Tourism Authority of Thailand invited Border Free Travels on a fall journey. Capping it off at TBEX Asia in Bangkok, we set out to explore the city over five days. Here’s my first and ‘Best Of Bangkok’ list – ten things that will give you a true taste of the City Of Angels. 

1. Try all transport

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From Tuk Tuk to longtail boat, colorful cab to water taxi, and even the skytrain, there are so many adventurous options for getting around town. Mix it up and try them all!
*Asking your hotel before you hop in a Tuk Tuk about typical fares is a grand idea. Negotiating with the driver and hashing out a price before you hop in will ensure you don’t overpay.

2. Submerge your senses

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Take your time taking in enchanting scents from all directions during the morning hours of the Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market. Feast your eyes on bundles and bunches of fresh cut flowers as locals prepare ornate afternoon offerings.
*Open 24 hours, nighttime is whole different perspective to explore.

3. Rooftop hop

My short list of bars where you feel like you’re on top of the world…
*Vertigo at Banyan Tree – The name says it all. Not for the faint of heart!
*Park Society at Sofitel So Bangkok – Well dressed and knowledgeable staff serving you perfectly prepared cocktails.

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*Sky Bar Lebua – This hotel where the Hangover 2 was filmed. Sky Bar is one of three bars rooftop bars all with spectacular city vantage points. If you’re into cheese ask for a tasting in their secret cellar.

*The Speakeasy at Hotel Muse – this flapper esque establishment is a great for lounging with a  group.
*Rooftop Reminder: Be prepared and don’t forget to pack you heels ladies! I usually travel in a simple, nice pair of flats, but when you’re heading for the roof tops and top notch spots, almost all require heels. It isn’t so easy finding a US size 9 1/2 in local Thai shops.

4. Run a temple marathon

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The ornate details on each one are so unique and the ceremonies people perform as they walk up are a true beauty to witness. The Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha were two beauties that stood out. *Appropriate temple attire: Wear long pants, covering your shoulders, and closed toe shoes.

5. Market after dark

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When it comes to the night markets, you’ll want to taste everything in sight. Bring a sense of adventure and plenty of friends to share the foodie fun. We opted for Chinatown when the weeklong Vegetarian Festival took place. Dinner cost about $3 and it was jam packed with a balanced mix of energetic locals and travelers.

6. Timeout for high tea

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I must admit, I tuned down coffee more than a few times to taste the tea in Thailand. Spending an afternoon sipping tea, noshing on scones and a whole tray for sweet and salty treats while live acoustics play in the background brings you back to bliss after the city hustle and bustle.

7. Stop everything for a bespoke day at the spa

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Another quiet and relaxing way to spend an afternoon, The Expate and I checked into The Peninsula enjoying a two hour Pretty In Pink Spa Journey. Getting to the treatment rooms is a well designed maze of wonder. Plan to arrive early and stay late to take advantage of the steam showers and ensuite spa overlooking the river after your tailor-made treatment.

8. Ask a local

Our host Tida from Thailand Insider was able to quickly pair us with the types of experiences we were looking to partake in. Find a local or instagram account you love, a few local blogs that float your boat, and ask for insider tips before you set sail. Upon arrival, talk to strangers (servers and bartenders too!) and ask for local off the beaten path suggestions.

9. Stay in a room with a view

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*Anantara Riverside Bangkok is conveniently located with ten tasty on property dining options extra large pool and hot tub to soak in after a long day of sightseeing, and just a free five minute water taxi away from Asiatique.  I also loved being able to take part in their River Cruise Dinner offered nightly. Unwind and imbibe aboard the beautiful wooden boat as you pass some classic night sights worth capturing on film.

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*For an extended adventure, move into lebua at State Tower. We stayed in the two bedroom executive suite equipped with a kitchenette, washer and dryer and three private balconies. Lebua also boasts one of the best breakfast buffet spreads from sushi to cronuts and everything in-between.

*Lap in luxury at the Mandarin Oriental. Each floor even has it’s own butler! All about the details from the refined buttons and switches inside your room to the perfectly prepared macaroons in the lobby lounge, MO Bangkok has their enriching and historical experience down to the tea.

10. Take your time

I like the philosophy of less is more when it comes to travel. I try to spend more time in one destination, and within each place, savoring those memories. Do not try to cram in every single bucket list item simply to check it off. Take time to curate a hand selected experience for your journey. I can’t get enough of Bangkok and I’m already planning a trip back for 2016.