Before Bangkok's buildings began kissing the atmosphere, the only place where you could get an unhindered view of the city was at the Golden Mount, a man-made hill in a district called Pom Prap Sattru Phai. Today, the Golden Mount looks like an ant hill in comparison to Bangkok's modern buildings, but it's still worth a visit because of its serene location and historical significance. Getting to the top is more than just a push of an elevator button as well - hundreds of winding steps stand between you and the top. Don't let the steps daunt you though - it's an easy climb, especially if you stop every so often to ring the bells and take photographs.
At the top of the Mount take in the view, walk around Wat Saket, and then make your way back down (obviously).
Back at sea level, continue to soak up the traditional side of Thailand by heading to the Monk Bowl Village in Soi Ban Baat. Getting there from the Golden Mount is pretty easy - just follow either Khlong Ong Ang or Wora Chak Road south until you hit Soi Ban Baat. Ban Baat is the last remaining village dedicated to handcrafting the bowls used by monks to collect alms. The half dozen families that comprise Ban Baat use a Khmer method of beating out bowls from eight strips of metal, representing spokes of the Dharma wheel. They make awesome gifts.
From here, the tourist haven of Khao San Road is a short taxi ride or a good 15-minute walk away. Head there for some roadside drinking, street food eating, and late night partying! One of our favorite Thai restaurants around here is Pannee Guest House on Rambuttri.
Meeting point: The ticket office by the base of the stairs to the Golden Mount.
Leaders, the Golden Mount is open from 9am to 5pm everyday.