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24 hours in Bangkok

Our first stop in Asia and only 24 hours to explore — our fresh feet and excited hearts were ready to wiz around Bangkok. And that’s exactly what we did, on a hop on, hop off tuk tuk.

Streets filled with people and salesmen shamelessly pitching their products characterize this busy city. Escaping the chaos is nearly impossible, but accepting it as part of the experience makes room for an exhilarating day.

The first place we hopped off our tuk tuk was by far the busiest, and most iconic, stop of the day — The Grand Palace. Though even the enormous crowds can’t mask this site’s beauty, we were glad to get the most overwhelming part of the day over with early, while energy levels were still high.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand, The Granda Palace is a can’t miss stop. Today the Thai King and his Royal Court call elsewhere home, but this beautifully designed site is still considered the heart of the kingdom.

If Bangkok is your first stop in Asia, and you’ve yet to enter the world of temples and pagodas, The Grand Palace is the perfect introduction to the religious culture that will soon play an enormous role in the trip ahead of you.

Stunning colors and intricate designs will keep your attention for as long as you can stand the crowds.

And after you've marveled at gold more dazzling than you’ve ever known and pushed your way through masses more dense than you've ever seen, you'll be ready to hop on a tuk tuk to a less popular spot.

To escape the crowds we hopped off at the Flower Market, which is one of the largest flower and vegetable markets in Bangkok. It’s even open 24/7, but it’s said the night is reserved for hectic trading and loading.

Take some time to smell the roses before heading off to the next temple of the day.

Wat Saket, or Temple of the Golden Mount, is perched upon a man-made hill built at just the right height for a breathtaking view of the city.

Though climbing a hill in the notorious Asian heat may sound like a chore, I promise you the view from the top is only half of the beauty of this temple. The surprisingly crisp air and refreshing breeze that you’ll find when you reach the mount makes this the perfect way to escape the city’s humidity.

Between gorgeous views and the coveted cool wind, you'll have to peel yourself away from this stop, which may just be your hidden treasure of the day.

From one temple to the next — a motto that’s likely to takeover any Asian adventure — our third stop was luckily packed with far more beauty than it was with people.

The Marble Temple’s unique architecture and elegant stone foundation is a sight that will leave you in awe.

Surrounding the main hall is a gallery of over 50 Buddha statues displaying different gestures with various meanings.

Also, if you're looking for more ways to escape the heat, as everyone in Bangkok is, the marble keeps the temple naturally cool during the peak of the day.

Now that I’ve let you in on two of Bangkok’s ‘shadiest’ secrets, you’ll be ready to face the heat of Khao San Road.

Just when you thought you couldn't feel more like a tourist, Khao San promises to prove you wrong.

Everything on this strip, from bars, to clubs, to restaurants, to shops and more, is geared for the ultimate tacky tourist. If you're looking to bargain on low quality clothes, try crispy insects for the first time or party with cheap drinks and rowdy backpackers, you're in the right place.

Whether you spend your time in this buzzing city temple hopping or street shopping, those all night happy hour specials will be calling your name after a day of fierce sun and manic tuk tuk drivers.

Beginning our month-long adventure with a day in this bustling city was a great way to fire the starting gun. It was my first taste of true Asian culture and it certainly heightened my excitement for the month ahead.

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