Thailand’s enigmatic capital can be a daunting experience for first-time visitors. While most travelers prefer to head straight to the picture perfect Thai beaches, this evolving metropolis has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment. If you decide to stick around, here are some useful Bangkok travel tips to make your trip a bit more enjoyable.
1. Plan Ahead: Best Times To Go
Bangkok is hot and humid most of the time. December and January are the coolest months in the year, but they are also the most popular with tourists. The rainy season runs from late May till October or November. The hottest months are from February to the start of the rainy season.
2. Use the Express Train to Get To and From the Airport
Suvarnabhumi airport is located some 20 km (12.4 miles) from the city center. The fastest — and cheapest — way to get between the two is via express train. A single ride costs around $2.65 and it takes about 20 minutes. A taxi, however, will cost you around $12 and take at least 45 minutes, depending on the traffic.
3. Know Where to Stay
Most big hotels are located along the Sukhumvit road. This area has a modern flare with everything to please visitors. If you are looking for a luxury hotel with world-class service, the Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok is a great option. For travellers looking for budget alternatives, Khao San Road is the place to go.
4. Be an Early Bird
The most popular touristic attractions can get very crowded. It is recommended that you get there early to avoid long lines and make the most of your time.
5. Beware of Scams
Just like many other big cities, Bangkok has its fair share of shady characters. Before you go, try to get familiar with the most well known scams in Bangkok so that you can be ready if someone approaches you for any of them.
6. Don’t Hesitate to Bargain
If the prices aren’t marked on an item, you should definitely try haggling the price down. Sometimes, you can get a 10-40 percent discount from the quoted price. Just remember to be friendly but firm.
7. Get High
Bangkok is a city of contrasts and spectacular views. To enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city, you should try to get to any of its high points, such as Baiyoke Tower II.
8. Be Ready for the Heat
Visitors from milder climates might get overwhelmed by the heat and humidity in Bangkok. Bring quick-drying synthetic clothes if possible and drink lots of water.
9. Cover Up
When visiting temples, you should wear modest clothes. A sarong or scarf can come in handy to cover your legs or shoulders as needed.
10. Always Carry a Card With Your Hotel Address in Thai
In case you need to ask for directions or simply to let your taxi driver know where you are going, it is very helpful to always have this information with you.
This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.