10 tips for the Bangkok first time travelers
10 tips for the Bangkok first time travelers
1. DO: choose a hotel/holiday apartment that is close to a train/metro station
Bangkok's train system provides opportunities to get to almost every corner of the city that you would visit. Cheap priced taxis/grab drivers can also get you there where you want to but only if you enjoy wasting your hours looking at the back of the same vehicle while listening to a symphony of honking cars. I would only recommend these if it's your last chance to get home after midnight or it's too far for you to walk to the nearest station. Also, it would be smart if you avoid buses at all cost, you sure don't want to get lost with these complicated system without any recognizable letter.
2. DON'T: agree to any price the taxi drivers give you
There should be times that you feel the need to sit down by the sidewalk waving for any taxi that passes by you, your feet refuse your command to walk that extra mile down the road. It's okay, just tell them (yourself) to find the nearest taxi stand. There you would find one of those with taxi meter, from which you will benefit most. Otherwise, after getting to know the destination they would tell you some prices that you should never pay, which are usually two or three times overpriced, especially during the rush hours.
3. DO: visit this astonishing night markets near Thailand Culture Centre
this should be on top of every recommendation lists. There you can find everything that you would ever expect from a night market. Street food, great live music, hundreds of stands that sell almost any product: from those fake but high quality Bose speakers to your very first hand-made case for your passport with your name on it. And by spending 3 hours wandering around the market you would surely fill up at least two bags for incredibly low amount of money
4. DO: spend an evening discovering Terminal 21
Not the biggest, but definitely the most interesting one out of around 10 shopping malls that I've been to in Bangkok. Every escalator you step on will open up a whole new part of the world right in front of your eyes. Through an amazing work of decoration you would feel like being in downtown London for a moment, the next one you are already in one of those beauty shop in Tokyo. Not just that, every product here has its own fair price, also for those who are looking for something authentically Thai.
5. DON'T: be afraid to bargain
Thailand people are one of the nicest ones I've met, so if you are shopping with a budget inside a market, don't hesitate suggesting a lower price. If it's not too irrationally, in most cases they would gladly agree with your negotiation. Don't think that something is already unbelievably cheap, it could get even cheaper.Just give it a try, both you and the seller would still benefit from it.
6. DO: give Tuk Tuk at least one try
Probably by now you should have already read tons of articles about how the evil Tuk Tuk drivers would rip off all your money. But no, if you know how to deal with them, I don't think around 5-7 Dollar is a harsh price for a short ride, considering you don't just pay to get from A to B but also for a genuinely fun experience. But it's not worth it to spend more than that.
7. DON'T: exchange money at home already
Suvarnabhumi Airport is the only airport so far that I know, which provides such beneficial exchange rates for travelers. Just look for Superrich on your way down to the airport link station, or if you run out of cash in the city downtown, those Superrich branches are around every corner. Just have your passport and hotel information on hand, they would ask for these.
8. DO: get a Sim card as soon as you could
Being lost in a foreign city is never a quite enjoyable experience, and I don't know how they have done that before with the map, but trust me, nothing feels better than having the internet as your companion on the go. Just find your way to the nearest network provider branch from where you live, they will do from a to z for you within minutes. In supermarkets like 7-eleven or Family Mart is not the case, you would have trouble communicating with them.
My recommendation: AIS Traveller SIM
9. DON'T: go to Khao San Market if you don't have to
If you are looking for an enjoyable place to shop at night time, instead listening to extreme loud music, wandering through those overpriced shops, and getting annoyed from people who desperately want to give you a massage, then avoid this market at all cost. Was a terrible night wasted for us, and we ended up home empty handed and frustrated.
10. DO: temples, temples, temples
Okay so it would be quite pointless to fly all the way to Thailand without visiting any temple, and Bangkok is full of them. It is the one truly heaven for those who enjoy this golden form of architecture. Just make sure that you have all the information needed, not every temple is ready to welcome any tourist any time.
My recommendation: Wat Ratchanatdaram - less crowded