Venture out into Bangkok’s surroundings to find treasures you need a bit more time to explore and your reward will be less of the madding crowd. From historical temples to jungle beauty on day trips to a few alternative spots in the city that will give you a different look on the City of Angels. Ayutthaya is home to the stately ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom before it fell to the Burmese. Kanchanaburi famous for its natural beauty also writes a chapter of the story of a world war, while Khao Yai National Park is one of the few places in Thailand you might see an elephant in the wild. Any of the day trips can be extended to overnight excursions if you have the time.
Day 2 - Bangkok, Nakhonpathom
Consider this a day of background information. These museums will educate you on the complexity of Thai society and the multiple heritages of the people. Consider the uncomfortable images of the Corrections Museum and pre-cursor to the dark story of Kanchanaburi's Death Railway and World War II.
20 Pha Boromarachachonnani Road
Klong Chakpra Sub-District
10170 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 880 9429
fax: +66 2 880 9332
43/2 Moo, 1 Boromratchanchonni Road
(Pinklao-Nakhonchaisri Rd.), Kunkaew
73120 Nakhonpathom, Thailand
tel: +66 34 33 2607
fax: +66 34 33 2061
436 Mahachai Road
(near Rommani Nart Park)
10200 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 226 1706
Day 4 - Bangkok
Khao Yai situated about a two-hour drive east of Bangkok is a good place to see some of Thailand’s exotic wildlife. Monkeys venture out to watch cars passing through the national park and a hike in the forest might show you some of the last remaining wild elephants or a flock of hornbills. You can also make a waterfall tour of the park stopping at several very photogenic falls.
The park offers basic lodging and campsites while finer accommodations can be found just outside the park. Be sure to pack some warm clothing if you plan to be there at sunset. No matter how hot it is in Bangkok, the temperature up in the mountains can drop to 48F/10C at night.
Day 5 - Bangkok
Just over an hour from Bangkok, the palace makes an easy and beautiful day trip and odds are good you won't have a lot of travelers with you.
Golf carts are available for rent if you don't want to walk the extensive grounds. Bird life is abundant throughout the gardens. A juice stand just inside the entrance makes some wonderful concoctions.
20 kilometers south of Ayutthaya
13160 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 224 9477
fax: +66 2 225 7615(Tourist Information)
Day 6 - Bangkok
Consider this alternative-temple day. These sites often get passed over for the more famous Wat Pho and Wat Arun for example. Head to Wat Sa Ket first thing in the morning before the sun gets so hot at the top. The path up is pleasantly shaded and the sound of trickling water is a nice way to start the day. Look for a local noodle shop in the surrounding neighborhood for lunch. Then head to Suan Pakkad Palace at mid-day. End with Wat Thepthidaram to get a sense of the influence of Chinese culture on the Kingdom.
10100 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 694 1222 (Tourism Authority of Thailand)
fax: +66 2 694 1220 (Tourism Authority of Thailand)
352-354 Si Ayutthaya Road
Between Phayathai and Ratchaprapop Roads
10400 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 245 0568 / +66 2 245 6368 / +66 246 1775 6
fax: +66 2 247 2079
70 Mahachai Road
10200 Bangkok, Thailand
tel: +66 2 222 5067
fax: +66 2 225 9205