Lost in the Labyrinth: Unveiling the Other Side of Bangkok in 48 Hours

April 5, 2024

According to 2023 travel statistics, Bangkok is the most-visited city in the world by foreign tourists. It is the very definition of life thrumming away at every hour. Around every corner of this metropolis, where an eastern lifestyle seamlessly coexists with its newly acquired western features, lies new means to explore and revisit. An opportunity to get re-acquainted with Thai-ness – in all its cultural and culinary glory. 

Perhaps that’s why this iteration of the City of Angels is attracting a steady stream of visitors who can’t get enough of its food-filled landscape, which offers more than just historical landmarks and Buddhist temples; and presents new elements in diverse and engaging ways. While we often customise and plan our experiences as per your wishes, Bangkok’s true essence is often found off the beaten path. These are the places untouched by mass tourism, where Bangkok’s true spirit shines through. 

 It is here that most visitors find new opportunities and absorb the vibrancy of Bangkok, that also cast an irresistible spell over repeat explorers. And when you have just a few days to spare, the decision to see Bangkok in 48 hours with a Discova lens will be an easy one. 

Our Signature glimpse into the city’s soul starts with an oldie but a goodie – sailing through the Klongs. However, we have spiced it up with scenes from a bygone era. By adding a bicycle ride that passes by houses going back generations, we reveal a way of life inextricably linked to the water’s edge but with depth and authenticity.  

Visitors cycling through the bylanes of old Bangkok

Here temples whisper tales of devotion, houses perched on stilts defy gravity, and a floating market pulses with the energy of burgeoning commerce. This unique venture incorporates visits to an old Christian community, a breathtaking Chinese Thai temple, and a shrine dedicated to the city’s founder which makes the experience even more immersive by taking you back in history. We end this exploration at an over 200-year-old wooden house with a puppet show to add further lay bare the cultural origins of this booming city. 

As dusk settles, a different kind of adventure beckons. It comes as no surprise that Bangkok is the epitome of street food where you will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Bangkok residents to sample dishes that land from the sizzling wok to your plate in a matter of minutes. The sweet and savoury Pad Thai deserves a special mention here as a Michelin star chef will be serving you his version at his popular restaurant on this tour. Your transport of choice is, of course, the ubiquitous Tuk-Tuk, as this three-wheeled vehicle delivers more photogenetic moments than any other mode of transport in Krung Thep. 

Discova’s evening Tuk-tuk ride is made even more special by a spectacular view of the Grand Palace.

A brief pause in the culinary exploration will allow for a wander through Pak Klong Talat, Thailand’s largest flower market, a fragrant haven that comes alive only under the cloak of darkness. After the sumptuous food jaunts and night market strolls, the perfect finale awaits at a laid-back rooftop bar by the river. With a cool drink in hand, watching the majestic Wat Arun temple brightly lit up along with the glittering cityscape, you will be at a loss of words, while etching this panoramic view forever in your memory. 

 The second day in Bangkok will unravel at a much slower pace, once again featuring culinary artistry with a deeper cultural value that will leave you licking your fingers for more. Nothing defines Thai food more than how its condiments and dipping sauces command one’s attention in a typical meal. At a riverside restaurant on the outskirts of Bangkok, a knowledgeable host will unveil to you the secrets of preparing Thai dipping sauces using fresh herbs and ingredients which make them stand out. This will be followed by a meal which perfectly utilises the three signature dipping sauces made during the workshop, unleashing a symphony of deliciousness.  

A sumptuous meal awaits after you learn how to make three signature Thai dipping sauces

Thus, if you believe a 48-hour whirlwind through Bangkok will probably feature the same handful of temples and shopping malls, you’re sadly mistaken. A delicious exploration of this nature through the other side of Bangkok is an eye-opening experience for travellers, leaving them yearning for more. This carefully crafted itinerary merely serves as a blueprint for future explorers, a testament to the hidden gems that await those who dare to venture on the road less travelled.

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