I love love LOVE Bangkok! It’s brimming with character and every time I go I always find something new. As a backpacker, I found myself using it as a base, with a lot of International flights leaving from it’s two airports. Here’s my pick of secret/unusual things to do whilst you’re there.
Please note: This post contains some graphic images
I’m just gonna dive right in with the most intense one first. My friend Katie steered me towards this place during our of our visits, and since then, I’ve taken a few people back. The Siriraj Medical Museum is located in the grounds of the Siriraj hospital, and serves as a brilliant tool for the med students. It’s a super cheap boat ride across the river from the Chang or Prajan Pier, near the Grand Palace (I think it cost me about 6p). You get off at the Pranok Pier.
On my last visit, entrance was 40 baht (lets say 80p), and covers all sorts, from floating conjoined fetuses in jars to the preserved body of famous rapists. Not for the faint hearted, but certainly memorable!
I shit you not… you go to a restaurant and robots wait your table.. like proper big ass robots. When they’re not serving, they go up and down the rows of tables dancing to Gangnam style and other catchy (annoying) tunes. I’m not going to lie, you’re pretty much going for the novelty. The food is average, at best (though I got a good load of vegan options in – it’s all sushi). It’a also pretty expensive (for Thailand) if you’re on a backpacker budget; about £20 a head… But if you could go eat and get served by a robot at home for 20 quid, you’d be there every weekend!
Cabbages and Condoms
Situated on busy Sukhumvit Soi 12, the novelty restaurant chain has one main message.. safe sex! Free condom bowls adorn entrance ways, side tables etc, and mannequins dressed in rubber outfits made from the little blighters greet you on arrival. Inside, the restaurant is actually pretty nice, fairy lights, neat tables… You get a good Samaritan card for this visit, as some of the profits of your meal go towards the PDA (Population and Community Development Association).
1 hour Facial for a fiver (and it’s a brilliant one!)
Walk down Khao San road without paying enough attention, and you miss the teeny little walking street that connects Soi Khao San and Soi Rambutri. If you’re coming from the Khao San entrance, there’s a reasonable sized, glass front beauty parlour on the left as you first go through. They do brilliant facials (some kind of exfoliator, some kind of cream, some kind of sucky machine, a black head remover, a load of cucumber). I have no idea how much of it does anything, but who cares!? They’ll also discount add on treatments, the more you pile on.
Go to the cinema
Get yourself along to MBK, head to the top floor, and get settled into a movie. They show most of the movies with an English screening as well as Thai. The Thai cinema is an experience in itself, it’s cheap as hell and you get up before the start of the movie and sing the Thai ‘Kings song’. MBK is my favourite, because they sell loads of different flavoured popcorn (again.. cheap as chips!).
Stay in a Tree house
Yes! A tree house! Right in the city, The Bangkok Tree house is an eco hotel right on the river. They aim to clear 1kg of waste from the river per booking, and they operate on ‘green policies’. It’s not for everyone, they don’t fumigate the area to get rid of insects, they have (beautiful) outdoor showers, and they don’t have air conditioners (they rely on the river breeze). What they do have is full on romance rooms, and plants, trees, birds, fireflies and all things mother nature. Dreamy!
Paint a masterpiece whilst drinking a beer
Paintbar combines art and nightlife by running painting classes in a bar. Instructors are on hand during sessions, and budding artists can snack on tapas (nachos anyone?). Classes are for any age, and host up to around 25 people. You need to book online via Facebook, or by e-mail or telephone.