Bangkok has so much to offer!
Most of us who have been to Bangkok know about the traffic, the crowds, the shopping (both genuine copies and legit) and of course the colourful night life.
It is fantastic to see so many influencers and bloggers write about all the wonderful things there are to do in Bangkok but like any city, everyone has their own take on what you should and shouldn’t do.
So instead of repeating what others have already said. Try these two for starters.
Here are some first timers tips to explore wonderful Bangkok
From the airport many question whether to insist on the driver using the meter or negotiating the fare. I have found that negotiating is often better. From the Suvarnabhumi Airport it costs about THB450 including tolls. Sounds like a lot but it equates to about US$15 for what can take up to an hour – time of day and traffic depending.
Sure it’s OK to walk around in Bangkok but you do get hot and if you don’t want to spend time in the mega malls cooling down all the time, use a taxi. Most taxis are metered but always check when you get in. The drivers know what you mean when you say “meter”. Zipping around town I always insist on the meter just to make sure an entreprenurial taxi driver doesn’t take advantage of my limited back street knowledge.
Taxis are air conditioned and while it may take some time to get where you want to go it is really cheap and worth it.
There are other ways around the city and from the airport. The Sky Train (BTS) and the Subway (MTR) are both cheap and comfortable ways to get around. Often if there is a lot of congestion around then they are quicker than a taxi. My only hint with any transport in Bangkok is be fully aware of where you need to go and have a map AND ask for help. I have wasted a fair bit of time getting off at the wrong station only to find out if I went one further stop I would have been closer to my connection or destination. The Thai people are wonderful and will try and help if they can.
One more hint about travelling around in Thailand is to get a “Taxi Card” from the hotel before you go. This should be written in Thai and English. So if you do get a little lost, you can show this to any taxi driver and will be delivered home safely.
My favourite Bangkok Hotels
Two totally different hotels in different parts of town.
An iconic hotel in Sukhumvit area. Great location for everything Bangkok and the perfect base. It’s not a new hotel but the rooms are big, service is great and the General Manager is one of these “Old School” meet and great guys. He really takes an interest in what you are doing.
Tip here is try to get an upgrade to the Executive Floors where you have access to the lounge and evening drinks and snacks – very comfortable indeed.
In the Siam Square part of time very close to all the shopping complexes such as Central World, Siam Discovery (must see) and MBK. Skytrain at your door but easy to walk to attractions like Jim Thompson’s House. It is also very close to the National Stadium for sporting events.
Siam@Siam Bangkok is a modern and very funky hotel. Big rooms, fantastic restaurants and bars including one of the best roof top bars with views over Bangkok. An ideal place to have a cold drink after exploring wonderful Bangkok.
So if you are going to Thailand, don’t just rush to the tropical resort. Spend a couple of days looking around Bangkok. There is culture, fashion, design, food as well as the exciting entertainment of Bangkok’s nigh life. The people are friendly and welcoming, the hotels are very good and the experience is not to be missed.