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24hrs in... Bangkok

Text Brinda Suri
Illustration VINOD Mhatre

The world in a city,

that’s Bangkok. A heady
cocktail of culture and
commerce, ritzy resorts
and glitzy nightlife, you
can never have enough Chatuchak Weekend Market

Brinda Suri
Not visiting Chatuchak (Jatujak or JJ Market) means
of its vivacity. The Thai missing out on one of the most vivacious public
capital almost always spots in town. Among the world’s largest weekend
manages to spring a markets, it houses close to 15,000 stalls, selling
everything from the tiniest trinket, to fabulous craft,
surprise for its visitor, trendy apparel, scrumptious food and even cats and
rolling out the new with dogs you’d want to take home as pets. Brush up
inimitable alacrity. your bargaining skills before venturing here. It’s
an engrossing place and a map of the market
1 comes in handy. Silom Road street food
Siam Niramit Silom is known for its seafood served from carts and
You can’t have returned from kiosks in a jiffy. If you have the stomach and heart for it,
Bangkok without viewing this Pak Khlong Flower Market a popular snack is a platter of seasoned and fried insects.
splendid opera. A feast for the If the incredible floral arrangements at Thai hotels Alternately, for a high-end experience, choose from
eyes, it takes the viewer on and restaurants astound, a visit to Pak Khlong will be Vertigo (Hotel Banyan Tree) or Sirocco (State Tower), the
a spectacular journey to the an assault on the senses. A heady mix of colour and latter being the world’s highest open-air restaurant giving
Enchanted Kingdom of Siam. fresh, assorted fragrances, it’s bursting at the seams a terrific view of Bangkok’s neon skyline.
A celebration of Thai culture with some very pretty and some truly exotic blooms:
tailor-made for tourists, it’s filled hydrangeas, anthuriums, heliconias, arum-lilies, tulips, 10
with grace and grandeur and has orchids etc in colours and varieties you’d never have Suan Lum Night Bazaar
pulsating performances by over known. The best time to visit is the morning hours. Fun meets funky at this lively night bazaar. Open all
500 artistes on a gigantic scale days, usually beyond midnight, it’s a place to dine, shop
(a world record). The 90-minute and be thoroughly entertained. Its innumerable stalls sell
show begins at 8 pm and is worth 7 just about anything trendy. There are dozens of massage
the weight of its 1,500 Baht Taling Chan Floating Market chairs with capable therapists who work hard at refreshing
entry ticket. 3 A few hops away from the Old City, Taling Chan is the you; non-stop music by assorted bands; impromptu gigs;
Old City place to be should you want to experience a floating shows by the famous Joe Louis Puppet Theatre.
A world away from the uptown retail bustle is the heritage district of Rattanakosin market scene. It’s open on the weekends but don’t
Siam Square (officially Phra Nakhon). All popular sites lie conveniently close. The capacious expect picture postcard shots here. Those are possible
Think Bangkok, think malls, think Grand Palace, housed in a sprawling complex, takes a few hours to explore. Within only at the touristy Damnoen Saduak (90 km/2 hrs), QUICK FACTS
Siam Square, the central shopping its perimeter is the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. the oldest and most colourful floating market, or at
borough where the best stand A few skips away at Wat Pho or Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the vibes are very the quieter Amphawa (75 km/1.5 hrs) where Thais Getting there
shoulder to shoulder, attracting tranquil. To get to Wat Arun or the remarkable Temple of the Dawn (Thailand’s prefer going. Jet Airways has daily flights to Bangkok from Delhi, Mumbai,
eyeballs and impressing with their iconic single prang or tapering tower structure), a ferry ride across the Chao Phraya and Kolkata.
large sizes and even larger choices in River is most convenient. Though dedicated to dawn, the temple looks the prettiest
apparel, electronics and accessories. at dusk and a river cruise is quite the best way to view its glory. Khao San Road JetEscapes
A skywalk connects all the malls This is typical backpacker zone. Alex Garland’s The Book a JetEscapes package to have a worry free vacation in
here—stylish Gaysorn Plaza, plush Beach made famous this little stretch of road and it’s Bangkok. The Thailand Classic - Bangkok and Pattaya – 5 Days
Peninsula Plaza, CentralWorld and Blue Elephant Cooking School been drawing its share of crowds ever since. By early / 4 Nights starts from Rs 18,008
the ever-popular MBK, among Want to learn some tricks of Thai cooking? Enrol for a half-day course at one of evening the streets spill over with non-local crowds For details, contact our JetEscapes Service Centre at
others. At the massive Siam Paragon the many customised schools. The popular Blue Elephant School functions from a chilling out over inexpensive treats. Souvenir stalls line (022) 42495999 or write to us at jetescapes@jetairways.com
is the Siam Ocean World, among the charming colonial building and its course includes a trip to the vegetable market the road, music blares from every corner and the sizzle
largest walk-through aquariums in by skytrain, theory and demonstration of recipes by the head chefs, and then the of street food fills the air. It’s a place full of lure and For more information
Asia (entry 850 Baht). Check out its most exciting part where you individually prepare what you learnt. The class wraps it’s advisable to keep a check on your belongings and Log on to www.tourismthailand.org
‘dive with the sharks’ programme. up with a brilliant lunch spread, a certificate and a gift hamper. well, on yourself too.

40•JetWings•August 2010 42•JetWings•August 2010

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