They say that when in Rome do as the Romans do, likewise when in Bangkok , do as the Bangkokians do! It is not all about the sight seeing in Bangkok that attracts the visitors to the Big Mango. There are loads of other fun activities that one can indulge in without the need to visit historical sites and museums. Bangkok is a melting pot of culture, traditions and excitement from morning to night. The next time you visit after all the sightseeing and tour activities in Bangkok, try some of these activities.
Take a tuk-tuk ride to Yaowarat Road which is the Chinatown of Bangkok . During the day you can explore the Chinese markets and take a walk down the street where you will find many interesting vendors selling anything from Chinese hanging mobiles to dim sum dishes. Yaowarat Road is not normally on a tour destination in Bangkok itinerary but a place most often frequented by the locals of Bangkok for the many wholesale shops, Chinese restaurants, Chinese medicinal and herbal shops as well as the wet market where you can find typical Chinese street food in Bangkok.
Next, make a trip to Silom Road which is the central business district of Bangkok. Tucked in a little quiet corner is the Indian temple dedicated to Ganesh the Elephant God. You will find many vendors outside selling offerings for the God Ganesh in the form of sugar cane, large combs of green bananas, flower garlands and lotus buds. This area is a great photographer’s delight where the colourful vendors ply their trade and the temple itself is lavishly decorated with sculptures of Hindu deities in a blaze of colourful designs. You will be surprised that it is not just Indians who worship here but also Thai as Ganesh is a popular God for the Thai people as well. This part of Silom is also known as the Little India of Bangkok. You can make offerings at the temple if you so wish just for luck. You can also pay a small fee for an Indian cultural dance within the temple ground which is rather enjoyable. If you are feeling peckish after all that, there are many Indian restaurants located along Silom street that sell vegetarian or Northern Indian food and candies which is a change from the local Thai fare.
If you happen to be in Bangkok City on a weekend night do not miss the opportunity to make your way to one of the night markets in Bangkok city. As these are open-air markets, it is best to go only when it does not rain or you would find yourself stuck out in the rain with no stalls in sight! The most convenient night market on a Saturday night is located at Lad Phrao MRT station . As you exit it is just at the back of the building and on a rainless Saturday night the first thing to greet you as you walk out the subway building is the loud blaring music from the night market. Just follow your ears to get there. This is a great place to get bargains as the vendors pack he open air space selling their goods out of cars, trucks and make shift stalls. You can find anything from second hand clothes, shoes, toys, refurbished teak furniture to BB Guns and souvenirs. Oh, and don’t miss out that food is always available where Thai people gather! Keep a watch out for your wallet as the place can be packed like sardines . The vendors start selling their goods from around 5pm until midnight and these night markets are only open on Saturday nights.
If you are into toy collectibles or even superhero collections, make your way to the new BatCat Museum! This is a child and the “Kid in the grown up” place to be. Occupying the space of an old warehouse and located a short distance away from the Bangkapi Shopping Mall , you can spend several hours ogling at the huge collection of toys on display. It is the only museum of its kind in Bangkok dedicated to action hero toys and all manner of toy collectibles including vintage tin toys! There are two floors for you to admire all the collections and hopefully you would have brought along someone sane enough to drag you out at the end of the day! Be warned to bring your kids and the grown up kid at your own risks!
Bangkokians enjoy their weekends out by visiting the Chatuchak Market . You can sometimes find this on the shopping tours of Bangkok offerings but mostly for weekend packages. If you do not, then it is very easy to make your way there either by taxi or the MRT to Mochit Station and it is just a short walk away. If you plan to make your way to Chatuchak Market, it is advisable to wear comfy walking shoes and dress comfortable as it can get quite steamy and packed walking in the enclosed areas not to mention walking the size of the whole market which is several football fields in size. The Chatuchak market is open only on Saturdays and Sundays until 5pm. People in Bangkok love to hang out here because you can get practically anything including exotic wildlife and pets. If you are looking for souvenirs but don’t know where to look, then this is the best place to be. You can get beautiful handcrafted items, small boutique design items, antiques and even whole sale food and snacks all ready packed for your convenience. If you get carried away and end up buying huge amounts of items, no worries, there are even packing and freight forwarding agents on hand there to help you pack and ship the things back to your homeland and this includes anything from items to pets! One can never get bored in Bangkok City and this is just the tip of the buzz in the Big Mango!