Weekend Inspiration: Bangkok - United Hub
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Weekend inspiration: Bangkok

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

Bangkok is a city steeped in mystery to many, especially to people from the West. Its name alone is fascinating. The word "bang" in Thai means "village on a stream." "Ko" means "island." People believe its name is an ode to the key rivers that work their way through and around the city. We recently spent some time in Bangkok, so if you're there for a few days, be sure to visit some of our favorite spots.

Friday evening

When you arrive we recommend grabbing drinks and dinner on Khao San Road. This is a back-packers paradise and the perfect place to grab a cheap and quick meal. Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu has incredible hot and sour shrimp soup. If you're looking for Western fare, stop by Mulligans for some fish and chips. The best place to get a drink and people watch is The One Bar — a little pricey but worth it.

Saturday

A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without a tuk-tuk ride. Ask your hotel's concierge to organize the tuk-tuk. Pro tip: make sure they negotiate the price with the driver before you leave the hotel.

The Grand Palace is a great place to go for your first stop in Bangkok. Try to get there early to avoid the lines. Flip-flops or open toed shoes aren't allowed within the palace, so be sure to wear closed-toe shoes. Also, try to make sure your shoulders and legs are covered. If you don't have a long skirt or pants, have no fear. They sell loose, comfy pants in ornate patterns at the entrance to the palace (they were so comfortable we honestly wore them the rest of the trip).

The Grand Palace is breathtaking and has been home to the Kings of Siam (later named Thailand) since 1782. Take your time as you stroll around the palace grounds and visit the many different buildings. Over 200 years of royally inspired craftsmanship grace every wall, hall and chandelier in the palace.

After exploring the Grand Palace, take a cab ride over to the Marble Palace — here you'll find a site less touristy, but just as beautiful. For an Instragram-worthy spot and a very different scene, check out the Unicorn Café. Everything in the café is unicorn inspired, even the food.

Saturday evening

We highly recommend heading to dinner at Thara Thong. This restaurant has fantastic food, it's in a beautiful location and there is a fun traditional Thai dance performance that starts after 6 p.m. Make sure to get reservations beforehand.

Sunday

Your trip to Bangkok wouldn't be complete without visiting a floating market. We suggest getting up early and visiting the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market. Allow yourself to get lost in the sights and smells with the locals as they shop for their weekly groceries. Then, visit the Chatuchak weekend market (only open on the weekend) — which is the equivalent of Bangkok's Grand Bazaar. While there, try a Thai coconut and buy plenty of souvenirs for your friends and family at home.

After wandering around the markets, consider speaking to your hotel about getting a Thai massage. If you've never had a massage, be sure to let your masseur know, but simply put a Thai massage is similar to a deep tissue massage here in the U.S.

Sunday evening

With a population of over 8.2 million people, it's difficult to understand how huge Bangkok is until you set foot on one of the many stunning rooftop bars or restaurants in the city. We love The Surawongse at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel. The views on this rooftop were only surpassed by the kindness of the staff and the quality of the cocktails.

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