The “Local” Floating Market
Thailand is famous for floating markets in which vendors sell produce, meals, and knick-knacks out of boats so I just had to check one out on my last day. I was recommended to go to Lat Mayom on the western outskirts of Bangkok as it was supposed to be less touristy and provide more of an authentic floating market experience. We took the SkyTrain to its western terminus and then took a taxi the rest of the way. The market was primarily on solid ground (just a few vendors in boats), but it was all right next to a canal and the structures had a very rustic, jungle-like feel so it was still a cool spot. We took an extremely tall, narrow bridge to reach the rest of the market on the other side of the canal. The marketgoers seemed to be primarily tourists, but maybe it would’ve been different on a weekday. I procured one of the Thai dishes for which I had been searching – mee grorp, yet another noodle soup. In a funny moment, I asked the vendor (who spoke excellent English) for a napkin and she had no idea what I meant until I pointed at one and she eagerly asked me to explain the meaning of the word “napkin” to her 🙂 Pro tip: one of the bathrooms charges an admission fee but another one doesn’t. Don’t pay to pee! 😉
The Temple of Dawn
We taxied over to Wat Arun, known as The Temple of Dawn and seated directly across the Chao Phraya River from the famous Grand Palace and Wat Pho. We saw a sign with an admission fee but just walked in and didn’t see anyone to pay – maybe someone was off duty? 😉 When we realized that the temple was under construction and that views of the most prominent structure in the complex were obliterated by building materials, we were glad that we hadn’t had to pay. We did enjoy walking around the grounds and strolling through beautiful gardens and open-air buildings. We then hopped on the orange flag river ferry (the cheapest option) and took a beautiful ride down to the Sathorn ferry stop to catch the SkyTrain.
Cats on Catnip
We took the SkyTrain to the Ratchathewi stop which was very proximate to our destination: Caturday Cat Cafe. I had been to a cat cafe in the U.S. before, but it didn’t have as many cats as I hoped for (health regulations?) and they weren’t that social. Unsurprisingly, this cafe was far superior: there were tons of cats of all sizes, colors, and personalities roaming around. My friend and I shared a sweet & delicious thai tea crepe cake (complete with dipping sauce) and spent an hour playing with the suspiciously friendly cats who kept approaching us and happily letting us shower them with love (I swear they were on catnip ;)). The waitstaff was extremely friendly and the environment of the cafe was very cute and lively. It’s a far cooler place than other similar cafes I’d walked by in Bangkok.
Best. Rooftop. Bar. Ever.
My friend and I had previously checked out SkyBar, but I wanted to discover another rooftop bar on which to watch the sunset for my last night. Red Sky Bar, located near the cat cafe, seemed like a good option so we took a long elevator up and did a 360° walk around the bar, soaking in the most incredible views of Bangkok in every direction. We got a table facing the setting sun and ordered Coke Zeros (soda was the cheapest thing on the expensive menu and it was buy one, buy one free ;)) as we sat down to watch the sunset. As with other swanky Bangkok bars, we got some free nuts – this time, it was a small platter of roasted peanuts, spicy peanuts, and almonds. After we sang the praises of the spicy variety, our friendly waitress replenished us with a giant supplemental portion of them which tided us over until a much later dinner. The sunset was gorgeous and I can’t recommend this spot enough – the panoramic 360° view, more reasonable prices, and smaller crowds make it a better choice than the more famous SkyBar.
The Final Evening
As the sun began to recede completely, we left and walked through the huge and swanky Siam Mall to get to Lumphini Park, passing some beautiful outdoor Christmas lights on the way. Lumphini Park (known as “the lung of Bangkok”) is the city’s largest park and it was abuzz with locals running, walking, and even playing badminton on our early evening walk. We exited the park and stopped at my hotel to relax for a few minutes before heading out for my final Thai meal. Unfortunately, the Sathorn and Silom areas turned out to have only quite expensive food and we wandered around for over an hour trying to find something reasonably priced. We were about to give up and hop into a taxi to go to a better area when we came across a random casual restaurant with good prices on a back street. We breathed a sigh of relief and I enjoyed a Thai take on chicken fried rice – it looked as if they mixed the chicken and rice together and was wonderfully spicy. With an early flight home the next day, I went to sleep full, happy, and satisfied 🙂
Click here to go back to my Bangkok Day 1 blog where I experience an epic tuk tuk ride during rush hour and get blown away by the beauty of the Grand Palace.
Click here to go on to my Chiang Mai Blog as I attend an epic and FREE ladyboy show and explore the Old City.
Click here for a travel guide to Bangkok outlining cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to see, eat, and drink.