Our Bangkok honeymoon: a romantic city break in Thailand

Amazing beaches, romantic hotel stays and unforgettable food experiences – this is why so many people visit Thailand on their honeymoon. A honeymoon trip to Thailand is what my husband and I also chose. Only, our Thailand honeymoon itinerary only included one destination: Bangkok. That’s right, we had our honeymoon in Bangkok, a busy Asian megacity. So many people find our decision weird but I’m here to tell you why you should also ditch the beach and have a Bangkok honeymoon, instead!

Why you should have a Bangkok honeymoon: cheap luxury, great food, lots of things to do for a perfect romantic city break in Thailand.

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Why a Bangkok honeymoon, you may ask. The truth is, we really didn’t want a resort on the beach. A city honeymoon seemed more like our style. In fact, city honeymoons are becoming more and more popular. You don’t need an all inclusive beach resort to enjoy cocktails with a view, luxurious hotels and romantic dining on your honeymoon. Many cities can give you all of this, just think of Paris or New York City. Bangkok is no less of a perfect honeymoon destination than those two. On our Bangkok honeymoon we treated ourselves to all of the above, with the advantage that most things came with a much lower price tag.

Bangkok is famous for being a backpacker destination. While there are couples who choose a backpacking honeymoon, that was not the case for us. We wanted to treat ourselves a little while on honeymoon. Still, even going for that little extra, Bangkok still proved super affordable. As cheap as backpacker’s hostels and guesthouses in Bangkok can be, even more luxurious hotels and restaurants come decently priced – especially when compared to Northern Europe, where we come from!

Read more: the complete photo shoot from our Stockholm wedding.

Enjoying my Bangkok honeymoon in the infinity pool
An infinity pool overlooking the city is definitely honeymoon material
Bangkok honeymoon poolside cocktails
Poolside cocktails are another honeymoon must, right?

Furthermore, Bangkok is one of the cheapest destinations in Southeast Asia to fly to from Europe. Many people transit through Bangkok on their way to other places in Southeast Asia or within Thailand. Often visitors only explore Bangkok on a layover, spending one day in Bangkok or even less. Yet Bangkok has a lot to offer and that is one of the reasons why we decided to dedicate 5 days of our honeymoon to enjoy Bangkok.

We did not go with a honeymoon package, instead I organized our Southeast Asia honeymoon itinerary myself. For our honeymoon we had a relatively short time (12 days) and a low budget, so we had to limit our trip to 2 main destinations. Our honeymoon destinations became Bangkok in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia. We found a very good deal to fly to Bangkok from Stockholm, so we decided to make Bangkok our first stop in Southeast Asia.

Read about the rest of our honeymoon: a romantic stay in Siem Reap.

Bangkok temples - activities for a Bangkok honeymoon
The Grand Palace and temple complex provides lots of activities to enjoy on your Bangkok honeymoon.

Bangkok temples - activities for a Bangkok honeymoonBangkok temples - activities for a Bangkok honeymoon

Our Bangkok Thailand honeymoon itinerary

Bangkok has a lot to offer and in order to experience most of it even in a short time I would recommend not staying in only one neighbourhood but changing hotels. Changing hotels might sound like an inconvenience, but it’s the perfect way to explore two different parts of the city. Since we had our trip to Cambodia in between our 2 Bangkok stays, it was quite natural for us to pack up our things and move. But even without another trip in the way, changing hotels might be a good idea to just get a feel of a different part of the city. On our Bangkok honeymoon we wanted to experience both the lower and upper Bangkok.

Bangkok is made of two overlapping layers that are as complementing as they are opposite. The top layer is the cosmopolitan side of Bangkok; the one with all the skyscrapers, the fancy hotels with rooftop bars, the shopping malls, the international offices – all connected by the Skytrain transit system. The lower layer is the beautiful chaos I was expecting an Asian metropolis to have: the tuktuks, the traffic, the street food carts, the colours and sounds and smells that are the very beating heart of the city. While you can obviously explore both while staying in one place, I found it more exciting to change location and stay both in a fancy hotel in the Business district, and in a quirky hotel on street level at the edges of Chinatown.

Night view of Bangkok
Bangkok’s Business District skyscrapers at night
Bangkok Chinatown
Bangkok’s Chinatown gate

Bangkok honeymoon hotels

Two nights in the Business District

We spent our first 2 nights in Bangkok at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, a 4-star hotel in the heart of the Sathorn Business district. This is the area where all the skyscrapers are found, with the Skytrain snaking its way above ground. This is where you can get the ultimate upper Bangkok experience. Planning our Bangkok honeymoon I was sure about one thing I really wanted and that was a hotel with an infinity pool. After some research I set my heart on Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn and its pool with a view on the Business District skyscrapers.

Those sweeping views over Bangkok are a renowned feature in general, as that’s something you get in every room. Even cheaper rooms come with a window wall that offers breathtaking views over Bangkok. While I normally don’t tend to splurge on hotels, for once I really wanted to. Both for my wedding and for the honeymoon I really planned my hotel stays around other factors that just the best deal.

Eastin Grand Sathorn Bangkok infinity pool | Bangkok honeymoon
Bathing with a view on the Sathorn Business district skyscrapers

Eastin Grand Sathorn’s infinity pool is located on the 14th floor and is accessible to all hotel guests, regardless of their room type. It is fairly small, but we were not looking for Olympic quality swimming anyway. In all honesty just chilling in the water and enjoying the view was all I could have asked for. We got to our hotel directly from Suvarnabhumi Airport by taking the Airport Link to Phayathai Station and then changing to the Skytrain. Eastin Grand is connected to the Skytrain Surasak station via a footbridge. Reaching the hotel by public transport you actually enter the building on the 3rd floor and need to take the elevator down to check in at the reception.

On our first two days in Bangkok I wanted a hotel I could enjoy as such, not just a simple room to get back to for the night after spending the whole day out. As I said, we didn’t want an all-inclusive resort, but I didn’t mind getting the same experience for a couple of days. Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn had it all: a fantastic spacious room with an amazing view, an infinity pool with an even better view, one of the most glorious breakfasts I have ever enjoyed and a couple of restaurants where we had cocktails and dinner. We may not have seen much of Bangkok those first two days but we loved treating ourselves.

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok room
“Don’t jump on the bed, I have to take a photo!” screamed I to my exhausted husband who just wanted to lay down.
Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok - view from room
The view from our room just after the rain.

bangkok honeymoon hotel view

The truth is, as much as I wanted to get out and explore as much as we possibly could, I was just too tired. While planning this honeymoon I budgeted in the possibility that right after the wedding we could be exhausted. And guess what – we were. A wedding is indeed filled with big emotions and when we left for our honeymoon we were as happy as drained. Choosing the cheap way, we made our long flight to Thailand even longer by having a 9-hour layover in Istanbul. When we finally made it to Bangkok we were just plain exhausted and jetlagged. Get out and explore? Err no. What I really wanted was a soft bed and a pool and my husband right by my side. And our luxurious hotel in Bangkok delivered just that.

Read more: see what we did during our Istanbul layover.

Three nights in Chinatown

For the second part of our Bangkok stay we chose a quirky little hotel at the edges of Chinatown, 103 – Bed and Brews. This hotel is located in an old Thai house and our room had a loft bed. We had a private bathroom but it was not properly en suite as we needed to go out of the room and across the corridor, but our room came with a sink that was beautifully decorated. This accommodation was definitely cheaper than the first one, but even though it was way less fancy it was no less charming. We got a very different vibe and could fully experience a different side of the city.

Bangkok honeymoon accommodation in chinatown Bangkok honeymoon hotel room Bangkok honeymoon accommodation

Located just at the edge of Chinatown, this hotel was the perfect place for the exploration of this area of town. The hotel is just a short walk away from the Hua Lamphong stop of the MRT, from which you can later connect to the Airport Link. 103 Bed and Brews does not provide a lot of amenities, but hotel guests can enjoy a light breakfast in the on-site café. This café is a lovely place to grab something to eat or enjoy a cold brew from their selection of tap coffee.

Bangkok honeymoon accommodation 103 bed and brews bangkok bangkok honeymoon nitro coffee and matcha

A street kitchen around the corner caters to 103 Bed and Brews so if you would like to enjoy some street food nicely plated and served to your table at the café, this is the right place. The food was honestly so good that even though we had planned to explore a bit more we ended up dining there more often than we thought we would. I know one wants to go out and explore, but on our Bangkok honeymoon we really took it slow and played very safe. The last thing we wanted was to get sick, so too much experimenting with the food was not our plan anyway. Furthermore, we just wanted to enjoy the little things and eating at the lovely café over at 103 Bed and Brews ended up being one of them.

Bangkok honeymoon Thai food Bangkok honeymoon Thai food Bangkok honeymoon Thai food Bangkok honeymoon Thai beer Bangkok honeymoon Thai beer

I must admit that my foodie courage actually vanished the first time we went out to explore the neighbourhood. I saw more than one Chinese restaurant advertising shark fin dishes and that was something I absolutely did not want to accidentally order. Still, Chinatown was as charming as I expected it to be and 103 Bed and Brews proved an excellent location to explore the neighbourhood. Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the largest and more authentic Chinese communities in the world and definitely an unmissable attraction in Bangkok.

Bangkok ChinatownBangkok Chinatown Bangkok Chinatown Bangkok Chinatown Bangkok Chinatown

Romantic things to do in Bangkok

Fine dining in Bangkok

Bangkok is a temple of the street food, yet on our honeymoon we were adamant on getting the little extra. And, as I said above, we were really careful and trying to avoid getting sick from the food. Despite the abundance of street food everywhere, we decided to have a couple of fine dining experiences during our Bangkok honeymoon.

In fact, many dishes of the Thai cuisine are not just street food material but are also served at high end restaurants. That was the case of the fanciest Pad Thai I had in my life. Call me unoriginal but the first meal I ordered in Thailand was Pad Thai! Thai cuisine is very popular in Sweden so Pad Thai is something I get to eat quite often. Still, I was finally finding myself in Bangkok so I had to taste the real thing. So we ordered two portions of Pad Thai at the restaurant at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn.

Pad Thai at Eastin Grand Sathorn
The fanciest Pad Thai I had in my life – with giant prawns!

The Pad Thai we got to eat that night was absolutely glorious, served with the freshest ingredients, including two giant prawns. It was not cheap, but we were prepared to spend a bit. Still, being our first meal in Thailand, when shown the bill we did not frown as it still felt like a reasonable price to pay for such a dinner, compared to back home. Of course, the price of that dinner could have covered 10 portions of Pad Thai from a street food truck. But we were in for a treat.

When staying in the Business District, take advantage of the vertical architecture and hit a rooftop bar to have cocktails with an unforgettable view of Bangkok. In other parts of town you just gotta find a quirky bar, like Teens of Thailand on Soi Nana (neighbour to 103 Bed and Brews). It may lack the views of the rooftop bars of upper Bangkok, but I didn’t expect to find such a vast collection of gin in such a random place.

Rooftop cocktails Bangkok
Cappuccino Martini: Russian Standard vodka, Caffè Borghetti liqueur, Baileys, espresso and milk

Another fantastic experience to enjoy on a Bangkok honeymoon is a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya river. Dining while sailing by iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace, and the Wat Arun and Wat Pho temples by night is indeed a perfect Bangkok honeymoon activity. Once again, be prepared to spend a little in order to indulge, but buffet dining, entertainment and unmissable night views are all included in the ticket.

(Luxury) shopping in Bangkok

Bangkok is a Mecca for shopping enthusiasts. Its shopping malls are considered a true tourist attraction and are listed as such on Bangkok.com. They indeed play a key role in attracting people to the Thai capital. From full-on luxury with car dealers, jewellery, designer fashion and top-rated restaurants to bazaar-like clothing, technology booths and indoor street food, Bangkok’s shopping malls have it all. You just need to find the ones that best suit your style and shop the day away.

I am known for being a person who does not enjoy shopping, yet in Bangkok I caved in and truly enjoyed experiencing these insane shopping malls. Since we were on honeymoon, we decided to get ourselves a pricier souvenir than just the usual shot glasses and flag patches we usually get when we visit a new country. So we brought back two watches from our Bangkok honeymoon. My husband is a watch enthusiasts and the MBK Center – a shopping mall with a lot of technology stalls, as well as watches and photographic equipment retailers – was definitely his favourite. I was looking for some clothes, too, and my favourite was definitely Terminal 21.

Inside Terminal 21 in BangkokBangkok shopping mall terminal 21 bangkok shopping mall terminal 21

Every floor inside Terminal 21 is inspired by various places of the world like London, Istanbul, Tokyo and San Francisco – a miniature Golden Gate Bridge towers the escalators in the very middle of the mall. Even if shopping is not your favourite activity, checking out Bangkok’s shopping malls is definitely worth a half day. What surprised me the most was the food offer. While I did expect chain restaurants like in most shopping malls around the world, finding indoor street food was a surprise. So in the end the foodie factor was one of the things I enjoyed the most during my Bangkok shopping mall exploration, as I got to taste some (cheap) Thai favourites and I also got to try some delicious Japanese at Yayoi Restaurant.

yayoi restaurant bangkokyayoi restaurant bangkok yayoi restaurant bangkok

If shopping malls or more luxurious goods are not your cup of tea, Bangkok’s got you covered anyway with its street markets. Make sure to plan your stay over a weekend and hit Chatuchak, the world’s largest weekend market. This was actually the first place we explored in Bangkok when we finally peeked out of Eastin Grand Hotel on our second day in Thailand. We were finding ourselves in Bangkok and it was a Saturday so we had no excuses but to hit Chatuchak Market.

Outside Bangkok there are famous floating markets that are considered to be among Thailand’s best attractions. Damnoen Saduak is the most famous floating market in Thailand as it has been featured in a James Bond movie and it’s mostly known for that reason. Daytrips to the floating markets are popular among Bangkok visitors, but that was something that we did not end up doing. As the saying goes, you always need to leave a place with one reason to go back.

Bangkok streets lensbaby
My Lensbaby proved great when photographing the streets of Bangkok

Is a Bangkok honeymoon good for you?

Overall, during our Bangkok stay we had a great time just enjoying what the city has to offer. Living in a small town surrounded by nature, we loved being in a city. Having a resort holiday is a blissful experience, especially after the stress and big emotions linked to a wedding, but it’s not for everybody. What I liked about our Bangkok honeymoon was the fact that we could combine a luxury stay with some exploration. As much as I longed for a couple of idle days in a big hotel with a swimming pool and excellent restaurant, I knew I would have gotten bored after a few days.

This is why a city honeymoon can prove to be such a great choice. You can always retreat to your luxurious hotel and indulge on food, cocktails and massages – like at a beach resort. At the same time you can also go out and enjoy some city life: hit the restaurants, shops, go watch a movie (we did!) or just take in all sorts of cultural activities the city has to offer.

If you would enjoy any of the following:

  • luxury at a reasonable price
  • an infinity pool with a view on skyscrapers
  • delicious food that comes at any price range
  • endless shopping opportunities
  • breathtaking ancient architecture
  • exquisite hospitality

then you would probably love a Bangkok honeymoon as much as we did. And if you have already been on honeymoon or are not looking for that kind of holiday but you’re still interested in a romantic city break, Bangkok may be the perfect destination.

Pin my recommendation for your next romantic getaway to Southeast Asia’s most exciting city!

 

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