This blog post was originally shared April of 2014:
From April 1st - 9th, I had the pleasure of traveling to Asia for my first time with the tourism board of Thailand. My first stop was in Bangkok where my accommodation was located at the Mandarin Oriental, centrally located in the bustling center of the city. I was only given one day and two nights here, but even with such little time I was able to achieve seeing a small but insightful portion of this multi-cultural city.
First, if you’re ambitious like me and arrive at night, but are eager to see the gay night life. I would highly recommend visiting DJ Station in Soi 2 (known for all of the fun dance clubs) and Telephone Pub in Soi 4 (a more outdoor bar scene fun for pre-gaming and meeting locals). I ventured to each of these places on a Tuesday evening around 11pm and stayed out till 4am. Online they say close at 2am, but one thing I quickly learned in Bangkok, there aren’t many rules there that are actually followed. Though, do be extremely cautionary of people who pickpocket when going out.
Second, for daytime activities this doesn’t necessary require you to stay at the Mandarin Oriental, but if you want the full experience I highly recommend staying there. This way you can live the day as I did, starting with a 7am yoga across the river at their gym (which you get to take their really cool water boat across). Then you can have a delicious outdoor breakfast back across the river at the hotel before taking your very own Thai cooking class at, The Oriental Thai Cooking School. This is also apart of the hotels property. There are many class options, but to do it in one day I did the four course option. Where I learned how to make Sweet Potato in Coconut Sauce, Soup with Cucumbers Stuffed with Minced Pork, Fried Prawns Coated in Herb Flakes, and Rice Vermicelli with Coconut Cream Sauce (ingredients can be found below). After a quick cooking session, you are then able to eat the delicious meal you have made, and believe me your taste buds are in for a real treat. (For those of you who wanted to know my favorite dish, hands down Rice Vermicelli with Coconut Cream Sauce)
Third stop, after lunch you can schedule a long tail boat to pick you up directly at the hotel’s river dock to get an experience how the locals used to get around the city plus take the river down to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) for historic sights. This is a must!
Fourth, not mandatory, but definitely rewarding stop would be to visit Mandarin Oriental’s new spa for an hour long treatment that’ll prepare your face for the many sweat toxins that you’ll encounter while visiting Thailand, because believe me, it is hot! This was a real treat on my trip, but I would’ve loved to have had it last so I could’ve knocked out directly afterwards. Though that was not the case for me.
Fifth, and definitely not least is visiting the delicious street food at Yaowarat district near China Town. Half of my experience in Thailand was trying all of their delicious food. So make sure not to cut corners when it comes to trying their authentic delights.
Lastly, if you’re on the fence to visit Bangkok or Thailand in general, just do it! The country is beautiful and the people are some of the nicest I’ve met. Anything you expected, it will surpass and give you a welcoming surprise.
So 1 day and 5 activities: