Upon arrival into Bangkok, your senses go into overdrive. The smells, sights, and sounds are so different from what you experience in your day-to-day life that there is nothing that can prepare you the first time you step out.
We didn’t arrive at our hotel (Millennium Hilton – Bangkok) until late afternoon due to some flight delays (air traffic control at BKK lost power for about an hour and our flight from Seoul had to divert to Da Nong, Vietnam for about one hour) and given the long-flight we were ready to go exploring.
Our first stop was the famous night flower market in Bangkok. For a first experience in Bangkok this was pretty overwhelming. This is a must-visit for travelers to Bangkok.
Within the flower market on a street corner is the street food cart below which had quite possibly the best noodle soup I have ever had, the spice and flavor were beyond belief. (If you see the guy in the dark t-shirt below working the cart, stop in, you won’t regret it!)
The next morning we woke up to a hazy view from our room at the Hilton Millennium hotel overlooking the west bank of the Chao Phraya.
Given my Gold status with HHonors at the time we had access to the executive lounge on the top floor, must say the breakfast spread with quite good and the views were tough to beat:
For our first full day in Bangkok we had arranged for a half-day guided tour with a private car to view Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and take a canal tour. We booked through TourwithTong and I cannot recommend them enough. Very professional and informative tour guide. The images below are highlights from our half-day tour:
After being dropped back off at our hotel we were ready to explore Bangkok on our own. Using the free hotel shuttle boat, we crossed over the Chao Phraya river to the Saphan Taksin BTS station. Very convenient access to public transportation. If you are trying to cross directly over to the Sheraton, there is a public ferry that runs frequently and costs approx. $.05 USD (public ferry dock is in the distance in the below picture).
Nothing too exciting the rest of the day, just wandered around the city and ate some pretty delicious street food. After an exhausting day, we were ready to get some rest to make the trek the next day to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam.