Bangkok is on the list of most world traveller’s ‘must see’ places. It is a fantastic city where you can shop till you drop, party until the sun comes up, visit cultural sites and taste some amazing food. Once you have decided to visit Bangkok it’s time to start preparing yourself for what to expect. There are many airlines that offer flights from most major cities, I know that Emirates does flights to Bangkok on a daily basis.
Here are some great tips to help you have a great time in one of the world’s most popular cities:
1) Get a good map
This place can a little confusing at times. There are lots of different streets names, rivers and roads that lead to so many places, it is often difficult to clearly identify different neighbourhoods. Sometimes it seems that the people who designed the city want you to get lost whilst trying to discover the place. The solution to this is to get hold of a good map that has the names of streets in both English and Thai.
2) Bartering the correct way
One of the first things you will notice is that there are rarely any price tags or barcodes in most of the shops. If there’s no price it means it’s time to barter! Don’t be too forward or confrontational, you should try to be polite and always smiling. Remember pay the price that you are happy with, don’t try to get it down to such a level that the shop keeper is making next to no profit. If you’re unhappy with the price then simply walk away.
3) Sensible planning
Bangkok wasn’t designed to walk around, unlike many cities where you can walk from place to place, this city needs careful planning. You should plan the route that you want to take and all the place you want to visit. Be realistic and don’t try to cram everything in to your trip, try to make it as relaxing as possible. It’s unlikely that you will be able to avoid using taxis but try to use the metro and BTS where possible.
4) BTS and Metro
There are plenty of transportation options available in Bangkok; taxi, motorbike, canal boats and trains. With out any doubt the most pleasant and most convenient transport you will find is the sky train or metro. You will avoid all traffic, high fees and the heat. The bonus of travelling on one of these trains is that it gives you a rest from the sun, they are very well air conditioned.
You need to carry some form of ID on you in Thailand. Of course you don’t want to be walking around all day with your passport, losing that would turn your holiday in to a nightmare. Instead, photocopy your passport and carry that around with you. ID may be required when you visit some of the sites, go to a nightclub or even if a policeman decides to randomly check.
6) Know where your hotel is
Ok, so you don’t need to know the exact location or the directions to your hotel. The best thing to do is either have your hotel card with you, or have the address written down in Thai – this will save you a lot of hassle when you’re trying to head home after a long day of exploring.
7) Stay hydrated
Bangkok is hot and humid, if you are on your feet all day you are sure to swear a lot. It is always a good idea to drink plenty of water, water is fairly cheap for shops and will cost you around 10 THB for a small bottle of mineral water.
8) Taking a taxi
You should always try to avoid getting in a taxi during rush hour in Bangkok, you may find yourself wasting over an hour sitting in a traffic jam. Always insist that the driver turns on the meter before you set off, at the very least agree on a price before you get in.
9) Join a tour
If you can find a good organised tour that suits your budget then you should take it. The city tours will take you to places that might otherwise not see, it also means that you don’t have to worry about planing your day – the guide will do it all for you!
10) Eat as much as you can
Thailand has some of the best food in the world. You may have been to a Thai restaurant back home, that won’t compare in anyway to what’s on offer in Bangkok. From high end restaurants to street food, there’s enough here for all food lovers.
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