- Timo Kiviluoma
Bangkok Riverside with a kid
Bangkok with its 10 million inhabitants and torching heat could be overwhelmingly tiring for tourist. Traffic is chaotic from time to time and Thai way of living does not fear any noisemaking. For most it’s exotic and an experience as itself but for longer stays it could be wiser to look after other option.
Bangkok is famous for its nightlife but next to Chao Praya river it’s suitable for families too. It weaves through the city and the atmosphere on its banks is much calmer. While staying next to river, tourist is closer to ancient way of living in Bangkok, where river and numerous waterways and canals were the main routes for passengers and freight carrying. There are true luxury hotels like Shangri-La or Mandarin Oriental and also a lot cheaper ways to accommodate. In my visits to Bangkok I have stayed in two riverside hotels, Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa and Chatrium Riverside Hotel which both are oasis of peacefulness and relaxation.
A lot of riverside hotels offer a complimentary river boat connection to Thaksin Pier, where it’s easy to change to other river boats or the most comfortable way to move in Bangkok, Sky Train. Sky Train is a modern form of mass transportation and carries passengers easily to city center and huge malls next to Siam and National Stadium Sky Train stops.
At the riverside there’s a new night market Asiatique. It’s a huge are packed with small shops and restaurants. The easiest way to go there is take their river boat form Thaksin Pier. At the same it’s also very popular choice and non-stop shuttles between Asiatique and Thaksin Piers are very crowded.
While in riverside you should book some kind of canal tour for yourself. You’ll see the city in total different angle without traffic jams and exhausting heat. Whether you like to see temples or floating markets, there are several options to choose a suitable tour. In my last Bangkok visit I had a canal tour where we see ordinary people’s living and have an opportunity to visit Royal Barge Museum and Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).