Bangkok was recentely named first destination in the world (in number of tourists) and attracts more an more every year..
So i felt like starting a thread with useful tips about Bangkok for first-timers (others are also welcomed and experts are welcomed to share other tips).
- First of all, when travelling to Bangkok, the wisest thing is to get a map of the city as it would be easy to get lost within the small streets and arteries that could make that city a labyrinth. Find a map with the public transportation on it in order to make everything easier for you. Most of the attractions are anyway easy to reach once you have a hold of your directions.
- As traffic is hard to predict, plan in advance where you're planning to go or what you wanna see. And use the public transports as often as you can, there are a lot of ways to get around (BTS/Skytrain, MRT/Subway, Boat..). BTS and MRT have day or week passes that can make things easier and cheaper (although one ticket fare is quite cheap already).
For those who prefer to use 4-wheelers (taxis): Make sure that the driver turns on its meter before driving, unless you're very good with directions and fares already. Sit back, relax and enjoy the lovely music
- Always carry a copy of your passport (whether than the original one), especially at night. The Police is often blocking the roads to do some random checkings and that might be useful. Most night clubs are now checking the IDs before letting anyone in (no matter if you're Thai or foreigner).
- Try some interesting tours, whether by yourself or organized (if you're not familiar with the city and country, the latter would be more advised). These tours can take you to parts of the city that you wouldn't think about at first, most of them are cheap and easy. I'm thinking of Ayutthaya, Cha-Am, of Floating Markets day tours.
- Thai Ethics: - Never touch a Thai on the head as it is believed to be the most sacred part of the body.
- Don't show the palm of your feet and don't point it to anyone as, opposite the head, the feet are the lowest part of the body (...I have a Master's Degree)
- Before entering a temple, make sure to wear proper clothes that wouldn't disrespect the religion.
- Never say anything bad about the King or Royal Family in public as they are very loved and respected by locals. At certain hours in BTS/MRT stations, or parks, a "royal" anthem is played and everyone has to stop moving (it's not a freeze, no!). Or in cinemas, in between two trailers will be shown a short film as a tribute to the King's life and his achievements, you will then have to stand up during that film. (The first time, I imagined what it would be like with the French president and I could not imagine that much respect).
- Learn how to "wai"= Thai greeting, especially your elders.
- And finally, MAKE SURE to learn the real Thai name of Bangkok or else you won't be allowed in the country:
"Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit"
which basically means:
"The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn"
If anyone thinks about more, feel free to add
Thanks for the information. But Bangkok's real name in Thai is too long to remember. It might take a week to me for reciting it. But nevertheless your thread is very informative and interesting one.
Thanks for the feedback parisharma!
Everything stated above are real tips that you may or may not choose to follow.
Except for remembering Bangkok's real name of course, ahahaha.
However if you do manage to recite it by heart, then you will probably be granted the respect of every locals
Bangkok is an amazing city - vast and sprawling with lots to see and do.
Whether you want traditional Thai architecture, history & culture or cosmopolitan big city buzz, Bangkok has it all.
Here are a few ideas for places to check out if you are spending a few days in Bangkok:
1. Chatujak Weekend Market; Giant, enormously popular daytime weekend market towards the north of the city, where you can buy just about anything. Handicrafts,art, furniture, pets, clothing..
2. Royal Grand Palace, Wat Po; Spectacular architecture and religious statues - well worth a visit.
3. MBK, Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Central World; Vast cosmopolitan shopping centres at the start of Suhkumvit road, where you can find all international brands
4. BangRak; One of the older parts of the city on the Chao Phraya riverside. Interesting places to eat, scenery and temples
5. Phra Phadaeng: Off the beaten track adventure - cross the river near Klong Toi and you reach an island of greenery, and would never know you are near Bangkok. Popular for cycling tours.
6. Chao Phraya River, Klongs, Riverside & Asiatique: The river is still an important means of transport for Bangkok, and many impressive buildings are situated along the river. Catch a traditional longtail boat to see the sites. Don't miss impressive Wat Arun (temple of Dawn), and the new Asiatique night shopping market a little further south.
7. Chinatown: Thailand has a big Chinese influence and Bangkok's Chinatown is bustling. The feel is completely different to the rest of the city - Seafood Restaurants, Chinese temple, night market and more
8. Sukhumvit High Rise Nightlife: Feeling flash. Check one of the main roof top bar restaurants around central Suhkumvit to enjoy some high-so dining/drinks and a great view of the BKK skyline
9. Talat Lot Fi (Railway Market): Less know night market near Chatujak, in an old converted railway warehouse complex. Lot's of interesting antique stuff turning up.
[ Edit: Fixed non existent link that should have been bold text. ]
Thanks for this very informative post. My brother-in-law and his wife are planning to visit Thailand next year. I'm glad I found this thread. This information helps a lot specially to someone that is planning to visit the place for the first time.
Thank you again for this post. I will give this info to my sister so that they will have a little background about Thailand.
I'm glad my thread is considered useful, that was my purpose ehehe.
If you need any info or tips for you or your family, don't hesitate to contact me.
I'd be glad to help.
Safe trip to them next year!
Yeah, this is indeed useful to the readers out there who are planning to have a vacation in Thailand. My sister and her husband are excited for their trip but don't have any idea yet where to start their itinerary. So this can be a big help for them to get any thoughts where to go. I have heard that it's a beautiful country and the means of living isn't expensive, so i assume the food, accomodation, and transportation there would be very cheap. And hey thanks for letting us feel we can have your help when we need to, we'll surely contact you if my sister and her husband is struggling or do any confusion when listing down their itinerary.