I have to admit, editing this Bangkok vlog was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do for my Youtube channel. In previous travel vlogs, I pretty much just had to put all the video together chronologically and set it to music with a few spoken interludes along the way. But what happens when you don’t get all the footage you need to make a satisfying vlog episode?
That’s what happened on my first trip to Bangkok last March.
While I had a ball with my good friend Jenny eating and shopping our way around, the time we had was too short and the sights we saw too little. I’d also been warned away from the train system (needlessly, as I later found out). In fact, I think we spent a bunch of our time inside shopping malls and taxis, as Jenny had said she didn’t want to do a temple tour.
When I got the opportunity to revisit Bangkok, I decided this would be a good time to give the vlog a second try. Since I was traveling by myself, only my personal comfort was at stake. I was willing to take on the challenge of commuting and walking around this city that rivals Metro Manila in heat and heavy traffic.
Instead of going chronologically, I found it was much easier to section off this vlog according to topic: Transport, Shopping, Tours, Food, and Running. Hopefully, this will help you as a runner and active traveler in case you ever end up in the City of Angels (which is what Bangkok’s local name, Krung Thep, means). Watch the vlog below.
A few thoughts:
Flights – On my first trip, Jenny and I flew round-trip on Cebu Pacific. Because Jenny is married and has an adorable son, she didn’t want to be away from Manila for more than three days. Unfortunately, Cebu Pacific only departs from Bangkok in the morning at 9am so this meant our 3D2N stay was more like a 2D2N since we had to leave our hotel quite early to get to the airport on time. The second time I went to Bangkok I flew Thai Airways, which departs Manila in the early afternoon. This meant my first day was mostly spent traveling. However, Thai departs from Bangkok at 3pm and 7pm, which meant I could still make use of the last day in the city.
Tours – While you can definitely plan your own sightseeing itinerary, it’s a bit of a chore hiring a taxi or tuktuk to take you around all day. It’s why I chose to book join-in tours instead. I found the two tours I took on Klook.com and Hotels.com, but the tours were actually both managed by the same company (Tour East) so I was able to merge the itineraries seamlessly. I recommend the City & Temples Tour in the morning and the Rice Barge River Tour with Long-Tail Speedboat in the afternoon. This itinerary leaves out the Grand Palace, but you might be better served saving a whole morning to wander around (and avoid walking around outdoors after midday).
I also booked a lunch buffet at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel which included a ticket to their view deck and revolving platform. Supposedly it’s more scenic at night and you can dine on the open-air terrace, but I’d rather not be outdoors when I’m 78 floors up. Besides, night markets give you better bang for your buck for a nighttime feed.
Shopping – I’m a lazy haggler when I’m by myself, so it may be better to bargain when you’re with a friend. You can even ask for wholesale prices when you buy more than one of the same item. As always, open-air markets will have lower starting prices than airconditioned ones.
Food – Food is very accessible, and cheap for the most part unless you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck in Sukhumvit Soi 11, which is a posh hotel and nightclub area. You won’t find any street food markets there. I ate at this overpriced Thai restaurant and was not happy with how bland the food was. It was so bad that even the Thai food at the airport tasted better.
Running – Lumphini Park is one of the more well-trodden parks in the city, but you’ll rarely see Thais running on regular roads alongside normal traffic. That’s why I was super happy to find the pathway alongside the Khlong Saen Saep. It was quiet, cool, and felt a world away from the bustling traffic of the city streets.
Bangkok is such a vibrant, complex city. It’s such a large city that you can miss things the first time around. I’m so happy that I took a second chance on visiting it and was able to explore it more fully. I hope you feel that joy come through in my vlog. :)