A Layover in Bangkok – Six Hours in the City

As previously noted, we spent the first part of our layover at the THAI Royal First Lounge, but with twelve hours between flights, I wanted to get into the city a bit just to experience a little of the utter chaos that is Bangkok.  We left the lounge and headed for Thailand immigration, where our passports were stamped.  From there, we headed towards the taxi cab queue, but decided to play things “safe” and talk to one of the “official” airport transport / tour agents.  This is a surefire way to pay more for transportation, but we didn’t really feel like dealing with language barriers and preferred to pre-pay for a driver for the day.  We ultimately arranged for a driver for six hours for about 3,000 Thai Baht (~USD$100)– though that’s relatively expensive, we were happy to pay it, as it was pretty simple and easy for us.


An Around the World Trip — Oktoberfest and Asia


Combating Bangkok traffic is a challenge, so we’d asked to see a couple of the temples, have a meal, and hopefully make it to the night market before we returned to the airport.  I knew this would be a tall order considering the absolute chaos that is Bangkok traffic.  We started our trip out with a visit to Wat Benchamabophit.  I hadn’t visited this temple before on my previous visit to Bangkok, so I was glad to see it.  While it lacks the grandiose of Wat Pho, or other temples, it was great to see nonetheless.

Me at Wat Benchamabophit

Me at Wat Benchamabophit

Wat Benchamabophit

Wat Benchamabophit

The grounds of Wat Benchamabophit

Monks Doing Yardwork at Wat Benchamabophit

The next visit was to the aforementioned Wat Pho – home of the reclining Buddha.  I really enjoyed this on my last trip, and was happy to visit again.

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

After Wat Pho, we wanted to get some beers and some food before hitting up the night market.  Unfortunately, this was easier said than done.

Enter:  Bangkok traffic.

The real Bangkok:  Gridlock

The real Bangkok: Gridlock

Not surprisingly, we were engrossed in absolute gridlock.  The sun started setting as we finally passed the Democracy Monument en route to a local restaurant for dinner.  When we got to the restaurant, the name of which I really couldn’t tell you – we were a bit skeptical since I’m pretty sure the place was a tourist trap, but decided to order some food anyway.  And what we got was pretty darned good, and it wasn’t too expensive either.  We ordered Thai steamed mussels, Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, and spring rolls.  All of it was just phenomenal – especially the mussels!

Great dinner

Great dinner

Thai steamed mussels -- awesome

Thai steamed mussels — awesome

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

After the meal, we knew that it was probably too late to hit up the night market, as traffic was still just a mess.   Instead we just opted to head back to the airport where we would spend the last few hours before our flight in the THAI Royal First Class Lounge and Spa.

While six hours is not nearly enough to experience the metropolis that is Bangkok, I am certainly glad that we got out of the airport!  Though we could have probably done this little side trip for less money, the convenience of it for us couldn’t be beat, and was well worth it – it was certainly time well spent!

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