Is Thailand boring

Bangkok: You will never get bored with these tips

Thailand's nine million metropolis can do everything: hypermodern and traditional, meditative and extroverted, expensive and cheap. A wild city in the best sense of the word, where voyages of discovery never end

Jungle in the city

Yes, Bangkok is also available in green: Amazingly relaxing strolls through gardens, parks and mangrove forests in the middle of the city ...

Klong Tour: Discover the tributaries of the Chao Phraya

Duck your head! The skipper is serious, because at some points on the Klong tour the long-tail boat chugs under the narrow pedestrian bridges, past overgrown gardens and wooden Thai houses built on stilts.

What else is there to discover in the narrow side arms of the mighty Chao Phraya? Old temples that are almost completely surrounded by water, small neighborhood restaurants and a traditional Bangkok that remains hidden from most travelers.

The two-hour tour costs around € 35 per person (including snacks and drinks), bookable at www.tinyurl.com/co-canaling, daily at 10 a.m.

Bike tour: With the Thai guide through the urban jungle

Better not look to the right and left, because in some places the concrete path built on one to two meter high stilts is quite narrow and wobbly. The guided bike tour takes you along the river through the Bang Krachao district, better known as "Bangkok's green lungs".

The group cycle past numerous small settlements on their 22-kilometer tour but also through the middle of the mangrove forests in the Phra Pradaeng district. One could almost forget that this jungle lies in the middle of a metropolitan region.

The four-hour bike tour costs around € 32 per person (including snacks, drinks, crossings, helmets and bikes), and can be booked at www.tinyurl.com/thai-bike

Foray through Chatuchak:

If you are looking for relaxation and nature, you don't necessarily have to go to the banks of the Chao Phraya. The Chatuchak district is more green than many other districts. This is not just one of the world's largest open-air weekend markets with a huge range of plants. Chatuchak Park and Wachirabenchathat Park are also just around the corner.

In between, retailers offer wooden garden furniture, oversized hammocks and brightly colored ornamental fish. When shops close in the evening, Bangkok's popular JJ Green night market opens Thursday through Sunday. Get off at MRT Chatuchak Park or SkytrainStation Mo Chit and explore the neighborhood on foot. Or take a motorcycle taxi (from the stops) through the fairly large part of the city.

Weekend Market: www.chatuchak.org; JJ Green: Kamphaeng Phet 3 Road, www.jjgreen.com

Wimanmek Palace: Relax like a king

Perfectly manicured gardens, old trees, narrow canals and in the middle of it the "heavenly cloud castle". This is what Thais call the Wimanmek Palace, the largest teak building in the world. At the turn of the century, King Chulalongkorn temporarily resided here.

Today, the facility in the Dusit district is admired by travelers from all over the world and used as a park by urbanites in need of relaxation. The only restriction: if you show too much skin, you have to buy a shirt or wrap skirt at the entrance for around 2.50 euros.

16 Rajvithi Road, Tel. 026 28 63 00, www.vimanmek.com

Life on the river

For decades, the old neighborhoods on the Chao Phraya River were considered dirty and underdeveloped. Today the IconSiam, by far the largest shopping mall in the city, is being built here alongside modern skyscrapers. New things can be discovered everywhere on the banks: small hotels, nostalgic restaurants, floating art galleries and a shimmering night market ...

The fulcrum: Saphan Taksin Pier

It's not just the BTS high-speed train that stops at Saphan Taksin Pier. Many ferries that chug along the Chao Phraya also leave here. You can tell which is going where by the colorful flags on deck. Boards on the pier show the routes of the ferries. By the way, free shuttle boats depart from here every few minutes and take passengers to the pier of the Asiatique The Riverfront night market, which is about 10 minutes away.

The ferries from Saphan Taksin Pier run daily between 6 a.m. and 7.30 p.m., a regular ticket costs just under 50 cents. More ferries: www.tinyurl.com/bangkok-faehren

Creative playground: Jam Factory

The architect Duangrit Bunnag has created a playground for the city's creatives on a converted factory site with old industrial halls - the Jam Factory. There you will find a designer shop for modern Thai furniture, a cozy bookstore, a photo gallery, an outdoor bar and The Never Ending Summer, a restaurant for modern Asian cuisine. On the weekends, small concerts and sometimes creative markets take place on the lawn in front of the gallery.

41/5 Charoen Nakhon Road, Tel. 028 61 09 50, www.facebook.com/TheJamFactoryBangkok

Night Market 2.0: Asiatique The Riverfront

The night markets in Bangkok are exotic and dazzling, but also loud and narrow. The relaxed alternative with upscale restaurants, bars with live music and the largest ferris wheel in Thailand is called Asiatique The Riverfront. A shopping complex modeled after a traditional Thai night market. When it rains, roofs protect visitors; when it is hot, the air conditioning systems in the countless small shops that sell handicrafts, young fashion and vintage wooden furniture.

2194 Charoen Krung Road, Tel. 021 08 44 88, www.thaiasiatique.com

Royal luxury: Chakrabongse House

The Thai prince Chula Chakrabongse used to reside in this property, today it is mainly nostalgic people who can afford the not exactly cheap rooms. M. R. Narisa, the daughter of the royal historian, entertains guests with classic Thai dishes in the property, which was built in 1908. The recipes come from the royal family's well-kept cookbook. If you want to dine in the exclusive mini garden restaurant with a view of the famous Wat Arun temple, you should make a reservation.

396 Maharaj Road, located behind the Wat Pho temple, Tel. 08 98 10 04 98, www.chakrabongsedining.com

Dancing on the pier:

Casual, electronic music from the DJ, interiors from Thai designers and international cocktail classics from the bartender - musicians, artists or Thai TV stars meet on the cozy veranda of the trendy bar Viva & Aviv for a sundowner on the pier, right next to the Sheraton Hotel.

It gets pretty tight here, especially on the weekends. But only until midnight, when the lights and music go out pretty quickly. Trouble with the neighbors, says the bartender and shrugs his shoulders.

River City, 23 Trok Rongnamkhaeng, Yota Road, Tel. 026 39 63 05, www.vivaaviv.com

On mini cruise:

If you want to change your perspective, marvel at the glittering Bangkok from the water during a dinner on a boat. The luxurious alternative to the many party excursion boats with loud hit bands and overcrowded decks: a tour on an antique, wood-paneled rice barge with an authentic six-course Thai food menu and a nostalgic ambience. On request there is a free shuttle service to and from the hotel. At around € 60 per person, it is quite expensive, but also significantly better than other providers.

Two departures a day (5:50 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.) from the pier of the Millenium Hilton hotel, www.tinyurl.com/river-dinner

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