As part of our awesome experience in Bangkok attending the Digital Innovation Asia blogger match up both Smiling Albino and Bangkok 101 took us and some other travel bloggers out for the day. Lucky us! Thank you Smiling Albino and Bangkok 101.
The day tour is called the "Bangkok Multi Transport" Day Tour. It's a full day event that normally starts at around 9am and finishes at 5pm. Our day tour was a little shorter than the normal but still awesome fun!
As we were all staying at different hotels we met at a central location and headed off on foot to board our first form of transport, the Bangkok skytrain. We have talked before about our love for the BTS transport system in Bangkok. It's so easy to use to get around. Read more about how to use the BTS to get around Bangkok here.
We got off the skytrain and walked to the famous Erawan Shrine. This shrine gets more visitors each day then almost any other shrine or temple in the city. It is busy all day and all night. People stop here, pray, make offerings, watch some temple dancers, and enjoy this island of serenity. Surprisingly, it is actually a very calm corner of a very busy Bangkok street even with all the people coming and going.
We then headed into Central World shopping centre. It's one of the fanciest complexes in Bangkok, not to mention being one of the largest shopping complexes anywhere. I don't think this is normally on the day tour route but we enjoyed the stop immensely. A fancy drink in my hand and we put our hands in a bowl to see what beauty treatment prize we were each about to win. Would it be a massage? Facial? Manicure? Pedicure? Anything would do! We hadn't had time to have a massage since arriving... what would we get?
Andrew won an Aromatherapy Massage and I won a Foot Spa! Thank you Central World! We went our separate ways which was a little hard to do considering we spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together.
My foot spa was amazing. Even now, a few weeks later, I look down at my little footsies and notice how lovely my nails are. There is seriously nothing like a well done pedicure! Andrew asked if he could change his winning massage to a traditional Thai massage as wanted something stronger. He was not disappointed either!
After our beauty treatments, we all met up at Taling Pling restaurant in Central World. For a restaurant in the middle of a shopping centre we were pleasantly surprised with how delicious the food was. An array of Thai dishes were available and we made sure to get our money's worth.
The pomelo salad deserves an extra special mention as it was delicious. I ate half of a plate that was probably, in hindsight, meant to be shared.
Half the day was already gone. Our tour had been relatively leisurely, what with the massages and a long meal. Typically a tour would take you through the Pratanum market area for a satay chicken sticken or three, possibly another temple or whatever else was of interest to you. The tours are entirely customizable.
Our next mode of transport in Bangkok was jumping on a local canal boat on the Saen Saep Canal in Bangkok. Riding a canal boats can be quicker and a lot cheaper than a bus or the BTS. It's certainly more exciting and can be a little messier.
To get on the canal boat takes a bit of skill and practice. There is no time to stop and look around as you have about 15 seconds to either get off the boat or to get on and get seated. A canal boat pulls up to the dock and people leap on and off with amazing agility.
It makes a really interesting ride through Bangkok seeing how people live on the sides of the river. Just make sure to keep the not-so-pleasant water out of your eyes and mouth. If you're seated on the seat at the side of the boat its your job to hold up the screens to keep the icky canal water out.
At the last stop on the canal we disembarked and climbed a hill to view the golden mount, Wat Saket. The walk up to the top of the wat was extraordinarily beautiful, as was the view.
Lek, our tour guide, read some of our palms and we were left to ponder our lives while we enjoyed the view.
From Wat Saket, we headed to Wat Pho by our next transport option, the famous Thai tuk tuk! Andrew and I shared a ride with Audrey from That Backpacker and we forgot to take a photo of us or anyone else from our group as we were too busy talking about travel, blogging and life on the road. It's quite rare for us to meet others with a similar lifestyle to ourselves so we had lots to talk about.
Wat Pho was the last stop on our journey as it rained heavily. As it is rainy season in Thailand, it rained pretty much every day at least once for anything from five minutes to five hours (or more). Lucky for us, we had Lek and Quinn to entertain us during the rainy moments.
Lek regaled us with many stories about Wat Pho and spending time as a youth here. His mother used to work here so he was able to take us into a secret little section of the reclining Buddha room where we could all have a photo taken. The photo below is a tad blurry but I still love it! Thanks Lek.
Along the back wall of the Reclining Buddha room is a row of 108 Buddha pictures inscribed jars. Here, you can donate 20 Baht and in return receive a big handful of small coins. You then go along the row of jars praying, making wishes or whatever you like as you place a coin in each jar. I really enjoyed the few minutes of quiet this provided.
We also checked out the gold temple room at Wat Pho. This is such a lovely room. Lek then shared more stories about his time at Wat Pho.
And, this is when the rain really started. We happily hung out at Wat Pho and discussed what we would do next. Unfortunately, the last parts of the tour had to be cancelled due to the rain as well all needed to get back to our hotels for our next Digital Innovation Asia event.
We missed out on the local bus ride, boo... but we did end the day on a private boat on the very stormy Chao Phraya River speeding along through the choppy water ignoring the pouring rain... a perfect end to the day!
Would we recommend this tour when in Bangkok? We certainly would! The normal "Bangkok Multi Transport" day tour covers a lot more than what we experienced. It is a little pricey but totally worth the day out. They specialize in personalized tours for people who want to see a different side of Bangkok. The guides speak excellent English and are happy to share personal stories about their lives.
Disclaimer: We received complimentary day tours in Bangkok by Smiling Albino and Bangkok 101 due to attending the Digital Innovation Asia Blogger Meet-Up conference in return for our complete and honest review – good or bad. To find out more, click here and here.