Bangkok is an exotic, friendly and beautiful city in southern Thailand. It is the capital of Thailand, has more than eight million inhabitants and is the cultural center of the country. It is a place of scandalous nightlife and beautiful temples, delicious food and sweltering heat, crowded streets and massive markets. There is no shortage of things to see and do in the city, but there are also plenty of travel tips to keep in mind while traveling through Bangkok.
Thai is the main language spoken in Bangkok, but due to the boom in the tourism industry, many people speak English (even if you learn a few phrases in Thai, the effort will be appreciated).
The unit of currency is the baht (THB), often misspelled “Bath” on the street. One US dollar is approximately 31 baht. Prices are very cheap in Thailand, making Thailand a major hotspot for Western tourists. You do not have to tip for services or restaurants as in many other countries, but it is certainly appreciated.
There are some cultural taboos and laws that you should take seriously when traveling anywhere in Thailand:
- When visiting a Buddhist temple, dress conservatively and remove your shoes upon entering. Do not take pictures if someone is meditating or during the ritual, without prior permission.
- Touching the head of another person (even the head of a child) is a religious affront and should not be done. Touching another person’s foot is considered an unclean act and should not be avoided. Pointing at something with the foot is not done either.
- Females should never touch a Theravada monk, but monks often touch lay men, and even women if the lay woman is very ill.
- Never participate in public displays of affection.
- Thais revere the King of Thailand. The King is legally “inviolable” and it is a legal offense to say or do anything that can be interpreted in any way as “disrespectful”. This is a serious matter. A rape can get you arrested and put in prison. This is not a joke.
Food and water
Food and water safety is another important topic here. Don’t drink tap water in your hotel or restaurants, and never use ice cubes. Drink only bottled water. Don’t eat street food that can spoil in the heat. Although Thai cuisine is delicious and there are street vendors almost everywhere, you don’t want to spend your time in Bangkok sick of this food.
Traffic in Bangkok is overwhelming, extremely congested, and even crossing the street is dangerous. Due to the large population, there are many transportation options: the Metro, the SkyTrain, the boat network, buses, taxis, and tuk-tuks.
Although three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuks are not the most cost-effective way to get around the city (agree on a price before you enter – you can go for very little money sometimes!), They are a great part of Bangkok, well worth the worth riding one at least once!
Sex for sale
Bangkok has a thriving and hyperactive commercial sex industry, both straight and gay. Many prostitutes and prostitutes are HIV positive. A certain percentage of visitors come to Thailand to satisfy their sexual desires and fantasies. So keep in mind that male visitors to Thailand especially will be proposed quite aggressively when landing at the airport and in the red districts of Bangkok. Just be firm in saying “no”, and guys, try not to sound interested or the sales pitch will get more aggressive and demanding.
Temples and Palaces
Bangkok is known for its abundance of temples and palaces. These include:
The great palace it is perhaps the most spectacular. This huge residence of the King is made up of many buildings, each one more beautiful than the other. It can take hours to explore, and it’s definitely worth the 400 baht (about $ 13 USD) admission fee.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew, is a national monument and a must see here; It was one of the most memorable places of my time in Bangkok. You must dress very conservatively in order to enter, so plan ahead.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, located near the Grand Palace, is another temple that is extremely memorable. It is home to beautiful gardens, sculptures, and a golden Buddha statue over 150 feet long. Admission is cheap (20 baht, about 60 US cents), and here is a famous Thai massage school That can get you a one hour massage for just 200 baht (about $ 6.50)!
The temple of dawn, Wat Arun, is another amazing temple to see. It is located on the Chao Phraya River and is known for its tall, colorful spiers and ordinance room. For just 50 baht (US $ 1.60), this attraction offers beautiful views of the river and a great insight into Buddhism.
Bangkok has an impressive number of markets and they are the perfect places to buy Thai clothes, food and handicrafts. You can find quite amazing prices, but be prepared to haggle, you can almost always bargain for a cheaper price! But don’t be afraid to walk away if you think you are being scammed.
Be careful with personal belongings in the markets. There are pickpockets lurking.
If you’re in town on a weekend, go to Chatuchak Weekend Market, which has thousands of positions that offer everything you can imagine. Although it is crowded (try to go in the morning before it gets too hot), it is worth a trip to experience something so large in size and so rich in Thai culture.
Another really interesting market is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The vendors are all in small jars and sell mainly fruits and vegetables. You have the option of staying ashore or renting a small boat. Although this is quite touristy, there are not many other places in the world that have floating markets!
If you prefer a less crowded place, Bangkok has many interesting and attractive museums. There are two that I especially recommend:
The national museum It is an impressive building with a huge collection of Thai art and architecture.
Jim Thompson’s house It is a fairly large complex that houses art, antiques and an interesting mix of Thai and European interior design.
Fri de Nuit
If you are looking for a truly unique nightlife, there are two places in Bangkok that will leave a very lasting impression.
Cowboy car It is the very touristy sex district of the city, it is a street full of fluorescent lights and go-go bars.
Khao San RoadMeanwhile, it was the coolest place I went to in Bangkok. While there are many cheap clubs and bars (mobile bars are very popular here too), there are also Thai restaurants, western fast food chains, cafes, street vendors and artists, and people from all over the world having fun and enjoying the city. . It is a place where Thailand meets the West, and this mix of so many cultures makes Khao San Road an interesting place.
Bangkok is a fast-paced city with plenty of things to see and do. Although it can be quite hot and busy, its spectacular palaces, museums and temples, its active nightlife and its strong sense of culture make Bangkok one of the most fun and exciting cities in the world.