The local expert guide meets guests at 9:30 in the hotel lobby. We head straight to Wat Saket, otherwise known as the Golden Mount, aptly named for its gleaming gold chedi perched above the surrounding area.
Climb up some 300 steps that encircle the chedi like a loosely coiled snake, admiring the Buddhist architecture, landscaping, and learning about the temple’s importance from our knowledgeable guide.
Next, it’s on to visit Wat Suthat and the area around the Sao-Chingcha – the Giant Swing. Wat Suthat is another stunning example of ornate Buddhist architecture for you to admire and to get to grips with Buddhist life so intrinsic to Thai culture. The Giant Swing, with its two towering pillars, is one of the immediately recognisable symbols of Bangkok and has its own complex story to uncover.
Nearby, guests have the chance to shop for some snacks at the popular local street food market – a fantastic chance to grab a bite to eat with some of Bangkok’s best street-food staples.
The tour continues on to Lhong 1919 on the Thonburi side of the Chao Praya River. The riverside attraction is built around a wonderfully restored 19th-century Chinese mansion celebrating the influence of Chinese heritage on Bangkok. There are numerous artefacts to marvel at, with the central attraction being the large shrine to Mazu, the Chinese goddess of seafarers.
The complex is a mix of restaurants, shops, and carefully crafted spaces great for photo opportunities.
As the afternoon draws on, it’s on to the final stop for a shopping frenzy at IconSiam shopping mall. The shopping mecca is dubbed the “Mother of All Malls,” with 500 shops and 100 restaurants from more than 30 different countries.
More than just a mall, the space houses evolving exhibitions, an art gallery, a food court modelled on a floating market, and offers panoramic riverside views of downtown Bangkok.
After exploring the city and using the public transport network with a knowledgeable guide, the tour concludes at 4 pm, with guests free to hang around at the mall or head back to the hotel.