One Day in Bangkok
If it’s true that ‘one night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster’, then one day in Bangkok and the world’s your pearl.
Bangkok offers plenty to do for families and children. Some families will skip straight through Bangkok and onto other destinations like Phuket, Samui or Chiang Mai, but there are so many wonders to explore in Bangkok. It’s well worth at least a day or two of your Thailand holiday.
What to do if you’ve got only a day?
Bangkok Morning – Temple Time
You’ve probably just gotten off a long international flight. Most upscale and luxury Bangkok hotels offer lavish buffets, and even many of the mid-range hotels have quite nice family-friendly breakfast options. If your hotel has a spread waiting for you, take full advantage of it to recharge your family’s batteries to get ready for a day exploring the sights, sounds and sensations of Bangkok. Your buffet will probably feature a variety of Thailand’s tropical fruits. Enjoy some sweet tastes before setting off to Bangkok’s most magnificent sights.
The Grand Palace radiates with gold and bejeweled architecture. The regal buildings will take your children’s breath away, not to mention your own. The most sacred place in Thailand the Temple of Emerald Buddha, stands within the palace complex.
As the most revered site in the city, the Grand Palace does have a respectable dress code. You do not need to dress formally; casual holiday attire such as t-shirts are fine, as long as you stay within the following guidelines. No shorts for men or women; wear long pants and/or a modest-length dress or skirt. No bare shoulders for men or women; a t-shirt is fine… a tank top is not. You must wear closed shoes; no sandals, flip flops, or open toed shoes allowed. Very young children need not follow the dress code, but older children (approximately 10 years and up) will be asked to comply. Note: if you are not properly attired, there are clothes such as sarongs available for rental at the entrance, but you and your children in particular may be more comfortable in clothing of your own choosing that you have purposefully worn ahead of time.
The Grand Palace is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm. If anyone on the street near the palace approaches you telling you that Grand Palace is closed that day, do not believe them. It’s open every single day of the year except for a few very rare occasions when there is a royal function.
Couple your visit to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha with what is perhaps Thailand’s second-most famous temple, Wat Pho. The giant golden reclining Buddha inside is breathtaking. Wat Pho is located next to the Grand Palace Complex.
Bangkok Afternoon – Sky-high Views
For a quick lunch, you may wish to dine near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. A very nice option is The Deck, a new-ish restaurant with great views on the river at Arun Residence. Alternatively and even closer, there are several tourist-friendly restaurants on Maharat Road, right by the temple and palace complex.
After lunch, head to Baiyoke Sky in the Pratunam neighborhood of Bangkok. Buy your family’s tickets to the observation deck and take the lift to top of this skyrise, the tallest building in Bangkok. The rotating top allows you absolutely amazing views of the entire city.
Bangkok Evening – River Cruise and City Lights
A dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River in the heart of the city is one of the most memorable ways to see Bangkok. Many of these dinner cruises feature traditional Thai music or dancing, while some offer more upbeat live bands singing international pop music. Some boats are buffet style. Other have set Thai or seafood menus. While the food is delicious, the real highlight of the night will be picturesque views as you cruise alongside ancient Bangkok temples and grand hotels, under expansive bridges and passing other dinner and cocktail cruises along the way.
Most of the dinner cruises leave from the piers at River City or the adjacent Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. Advanced reservations are a must. A recommended dinner cruise is Loy Nava, a restored teakwood rice barge: www.loynava.com