What better way to close out 2018 than with Affiliate World Asia and a trip to Bangkok? AWA is sure to be two action packed days of innovative performance marketing insight, but in the days surrounding the conference, you don’t want to miss out on all that this vibrant city has to offer!
Check out our list of things you won’t want to miss on your upcoming visit.
Things to See:
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho): One of the largest temples in the city, Wat Pho is famous for its giant Buddha measuring a massive 46 meters (151 feet) long. Plated in gold with intricate mother of pearl engravedfeet, nothing can quite prepare you for the sheer size of this magnificent statue. As you explore the temple complex, you’ll come across intricately designed stupas, rock gardens, Buddha statues, and pavilions. While you’re there you can also book a traditional Thai massage, as Wat Pho has one of the leading massage schools in the country. If you do choose to pay this temple a visit, be sure to wear appropriate clothing: no shoulders or skin above the knee should show.
The Jim Thompson House: American man Jim Thompson was relocated to Bangkok with the establishment of the Thai Silk Company. While there, he began collecting Southeast Asian art – a relatively unknown art form internationally among collectors at the time, and also began creating his own. In 1958 he started work on a new home for himself that doubled as a place to demonstrate his collected and self-made art. The home was uniquely created by combining six traditional Thai homes, as well as existing old structures, making the home a piece of art in itself. Now, the house is filled with priceless antiques and surrounded by lush gardens. During your visit to the museum, you hear the mysterious story about the disappearance of this exceptional man.
The Grand Palace: As the city’s most distinguished cultural landmark, no trip to Bangkok would be complete without a stop at the Grand Palace. For 150 years the palace was home to the Thai King and Royal Court. Later, it became the home to a number of other governmental units, including the Thai war ministry, state departments, and mint. Today the complex is widely considered to be the spiritual heart of Thailand. Just a 10 minute walk is all that separates the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, so consider seeing both on the same day.
Things to Do:
Siam Paragon: Though AWA is in December, when the humidity has shifted to more pleasant levels, highs still reach into the 80s during the day. When you need a break from the heat, Siam Paragon shopping mall is a great day’s activity. This huge mall consists of high-end stores, Southeast Asia’s biggest aquarium, a movie theater, and a plethora of restaurants. Whether you’re there to shop or just browse, the architecture and design alone make the Siam Paragon mall worth a visit for anyone.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Located 100 km from downtown Bangkok, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is just within reach during your stay in the city. An incredible look into one of Thailand’s most popular and unique markets; witness the river packed with wooden boats that are filled to the brim with fruits, vegetables, and other foods and goods. It’s a colorful, loud, and exuberant environment that does not disappoint. This is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs and try the local cuisine.
Places to Drink:
The Iron Fairies: This bar was designed to emulate an ironsmith’s workshop; there’s a wrought iron staircase, uncovered pipes, timber, brick, and an intentionally dark design. There are iron fairy figurines scattered throughout which give the bar its name and fairytale-esque character. It’s a “peanut shells on the floor” kind of place, with good drinks, a live jazz band, and a fun, whimsical atmosphere.
Vertigo and Moon Bar: The 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel houses one of the most iconic rooftop bars in Bangkok. This upscale bar offers once in a lifetime views of the city and offers a varying selection of drinks. Arrive just before sunset for a skyline that will take your breath away.
Places to Eat:
Cafe Bangkrak: This quaint Thai restaurant offers a large menu, authentic food, and reasonable prices. Known for its excellent service and cozy feel, a dish at Cafe Bangkrak will give you a legitimate Thai meal you won’t soon forget.
Boonsap Thai Dessert Shop: Most famous for its Mango Sticky Rice, this dessert shop needs to find a place on your itinerary. The shop sells homemade desserts of all kinds and sells them at a good price despite being one of the most popular dessert shops in Bangkok.
Street Food of Thailand: Bangkok is the street food capital of the world, and is something you must partake in during your visit. To try and recommend all the great street food in the area would be almost impossible, as there are so many exciting and delicious options. Our best advice is to follow your nose, and test out foods you won’t see anywhere else. Some popular areas to find an abundance of street food include – Victory Monument, Yaowarat (Chinatown), and Ratchawat Market. We recommend sticking to Tuesday through Sunday for your street food adventures, as Monday is streetcleaning day citywide, and about half the vendors will be missing.
Tips & Tricks:
- If there’s no barcode or price on something you’re looking to buy, barter!
- Beware of scammers- fake tour guides or taxi drivers are plentiful in the city center. Do some research on what typical transportation should cost so that you’re not taken advantage of.
- Have a photocopy of your passport with you at all times. In some hotels, you will be asked to leave your passport with the front desk.
- Write your hotel address on your hotel keycard in Thai to avoid being stuck in a cab with no idea how to pronounce the hotel name. While some English is spoken in Thailand, do not assume that everyone will be able to understand you.