Bangkok Travel Guide: What To Know Before You Go!
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Bangkok Travel Guide: What To Know Before You Go!

This post is part of the series Bangkok

Other posts in this series:

  1. Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok
  3. Grand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in Bagkok

This post is part of the series Thailand

Other posts in this series:

  1. 3 Week Thailand Itinerary
  2. Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok
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If you haven’t been to Bangkok before and you’re planning your very first trip, there are a few things you should know in order to get the most out of your trip! The first time in Bangkok is an overwhelming experience but Bangkok is not a city that opens itself up easily.

 

Planning your trip to Bangkok is a real challenge – there is so much to see and do that you can get easily overstrained. Bangkok is a mix of ancient culture, food paradise and nightlife heaven!

 

In any case, if you’re travelling to Thailand for the very first time and you’re looking for some practical Bangkok tips, you’re coming to the right place!

 

Thailand Itinerary

3 Week Thailand Itinerary

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Bangkok Travel Guide
Lumpini Park
 

Quick Facts about Bangkok

 
Population: 8.280.925

Official Name of Bangkok: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasi

Meaning: In Thailand, Bangkok is known as Krung Thep, which means “City of Angels”. Bangkok was the original site for the capital city and was located west of the Chao Phraya river (Thonburi). Bangkok means “village of wild plum trees”.

Symbol:  Ficus Benjamina, commonly known as weeping fig.

Spoken Languages: Isan, Kam Mueang, Pak Tail

Religion: Buddhism 95 %, Christianity 1,2 %, Islam 4,3 %, Hinduism 0,03 %

Electrical: 220V AC, 50 Hertz

Currency: 38 TNB = 1 EUR

Venice of the East: Bangkok is fondly referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ due to the many canals like Venice in Italy.
 

Bangkok: Best Time to Visit

 

The best time to visit Bangkok is between November and March. Because of its tropical location, there are three main seasons in Bangkok: hot (dry) season is from March to June, rainy (wet) season from July to October and cool season from November to February.

 

Wat Arun Temple, Bangkok

Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand

This post is part of the series BangkokOther posts in this series:Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand (Current)Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in BangkokGrand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in BagkokThis post is part of the series ThailandOther posts in this series:3 Week Thailand ItineraryWat Arun: The Temple of […]

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What Vaccinations Do I Need?

 

Do you need any vaccinations for Bangkok these days? Well, I think it’s up to you and your own piece of mind and it also depends on where you are going and what you are doing. Bangkok is much more developed than other regions in Thailand when it comes to hygiene. I, personally, would not travel to Southeast Asia without some basic vaccines like Typhoid, Hepatitis A + B, as well as Diphtheria and Tetanus. But the same vaccinations are important for travelling anywhere in the World!

 

Whatever you decide to do with your vaccinations, you should start planning at least 7 weeks before departure – some vaccines need to be done twice, e.g.

 

Typhoid and Malaria do occur but there are rare cases in Bangkok. Dengue Fever can be an issue too. But as far as I know, there is still no vaccine against Dengue Fever so you have to prevent the mosquito bites as far as you can (by 50% DEET spray!). The same thing is with Malaria – there is no vaccination available. Malaria could be a problem if you’re hiking through the jungle or doing mountain trekking outside Bangkok during the rainy seasons. The best solution: use 50% DEET spray, wear long sleeves and trousers and sleep inside mosquito nets.

 

Lumpini Park, Bangkok Travel Guide
Lumpini Park
 

Money Matters

 

Thai Baht will make you feel a bit richer than you feel in Europe or in the USA!

 

1€ = 38 THB

1$ = 33 THB

1 £ = 42 THB

1 A$ = 24 THB

 

Make sure you have enough cash during your stay in Bangkok! You will need cash for Taxi, Tuk-Tuk, Massage, Temple Fee, Streets Food, Night Markets, BTS & MRT tickets, etc.

 

Exchanging money in Bangkok can be tricky – always check your money twice! The Baht notes look very similar.

 

ATMs: Since 2014, most of the Thai banks charge a 200 baht fee for ALL withdrawal! … Which is about the price of six Thai meals or 5 beers! In Bangkok, Citibank ATMs do not charge a 200 baht fee.

 

Although everything looked kind of cheaper than in Europe, we ended up with spending about 30 % of our whole budget for 4 days in Bangkok (out of 24 days spent in Thailand).

 

Bangkok is expensive!

 

You can and you should bargain, but do it respectfully! Busing something on the streets can be an experience for somebody like me, who hates bargaining … But it will be expected. So for example, when somebody wants 160 THB for a t-shirt, start bargaining with 80 (respectful!), not with 10 THB. It is about the act of bargaining, just don’t push it! You will always get your -30% off. And you’ll know when you have reached the limit of your vendor – they won’t get any lower.

 

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho

Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

This post is part of the series BangkokOther posts in this series:Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, ThailandWat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok (Current)Grand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in BagkokThis post is part of the series ThailandOther posts in this series:3 Week Thailand ItineraryWat Arun: The Temple of […]

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Stay Connected

 

Pick up your SIM Card at Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Muang Airport. There are many SIM Card options that allow local 3G/4G internet connection anywhere in Thailand.

 

Chao Phraya River Boats Services, Bangkok Travel Guide
Chao Phraya River Boats Services
 

Staying Safe

 

Don’t drink the water! It is not potable. Water from the tap will make you sick and that is definitely the last thing you want during your trip to Bangkok!

 

Don’t do drugs! Technically, an imprisonment of anywhere from 1-20 years and 20,000-400,000 baht may be applied.

 

Although it is not unusual to see people smoking e-cigarettes in Thailand, this is technically breaking the law as possession and smoking e-cigarette is illegal.

 

Vaping is illegal!

 

Whatever happens: in case of emergencies call 1555 for police and 1724 for the ambulance.

 

The Roads of Bangkok are Hell on Earth! Millions of vehicles, snatch-thefts, crazy drivers … Although you have to wear a helmet by law, many drive without!

 
Tuk-Tuk Bangkok
 

Be aware of the Sun! Like the rain in Bangkok, the sun is also something different than the sun we know from Europe … Always wear a sunscreen with 50+ SPF! Not kidding, it will heart if you don’t!

 
Avoid Scammers! If anyone tries to tell you (mostly Tuk-Tuk drivers) that a major attraction is closed e.g. “the Grand Palace is closed this afternoon but I can take you to another beautiful temple or you can go shopping” – this is a scam!!!
 
Carrying a photocopy of your passport is a must in Thailand! Just make a photo with your phone and you’re good to go!
 

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Grand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in Bagkok

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Bangkok’s Regions: Where to Stay and Where to Go?

 
Where to stay in Bangkok
 

Old Town, Khaosan Road: The best place for walking tours. Here you can visit the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Temple of Emerald Buddha and Golden Mountain Temple. There is no good connection to the Airport. The atmosphere is relaxed and the accommodations cheap. The best place for Backpackers.

 

Siam, Sukhumvit: Siam is the modern Bangkok! Sukhumvit has something to offer for all visitors. Great for shopping. Great connection with the Airport. BTS Skytrain connection. Many hotels, sky bars, and restaurants.

 

Silom: Perfect place for business stay and nightlife! Great restaurant and bar choice. Here is also the red-light district of Bangkok. BTS and Metro connection. Here is the best place for the best getaway in Bangkok – Lumpini Park, also known as “The Green Lung of Bangkok”.

 

Pratunam: Good central connection with BTS and Skytrain. Good for shopping. Here you will find many cheap but good restaurants and also the cheapest Hotels in the modern part of Bangkok.

 

Ekkamai, Thonglor: Bangkok’s hippest and party district. Here you can find the best  Japanese Cuisine. Plenty of fancy cafes and restaurants.

 

Chao Praya Riverside:  The romantic side of Bangkok. Accommodations with amazing views. Close to many sightseeings. Here you can book a 5 start hotel and visit the most expensive restaurants.

 

Chinatown: Busy and loud but the best place for foodies! Here you can also find the best gold shops in Bangkok. Great street life and cheap accommodations.

 

Bangkok is the smoothie paradise
Bangkok is the smoothie paradise
 

Bangkok Accommodations

 

There are plenty of accommodations in Bangkok and there is no need to book in advance, BUT I don’t recommend it especially during the high season! Depending on your time to stay in Bangkok I would consider booking online beforehand if you have only 2 weeks, for example. It is less stress and you can get some great offers when booking with Booking.com or Airbnb. 

 

Wat Saket, The Temple of The Golden Mount

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Bangkok Travel Guide
Street Food Bangkok
 

Bangkok: Getting Around

 

BTS & MRT: My favourite transportation in Bangkok! Skytrain and MRT are the most agreeable option for travelling from A to B! Easy, cheap, fast, fixed rates and airconditioning! But … some attraction, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, require the use of Taxi or Grab.

 
MRT and Skytrain Bangkok
 

Grab: Travelling by Grab Taxi was, again, the most convenient option after BTS and MRT! You have to download the Grab App and that’s it! You can order your Grab Taxi any time of the day. Grab ensures the driver knows the destination before picking up your trip! The price for the ride is fixed so you don’t have to bargain with the taxi driver over using the meter!

 

Tuk-Tuk: What I learned about the Tuk-Tuks in Thailand will Blow your mind! The very first Tuk-Tuk drive cost us about 250 Baht from the Old Town to Siam, which was bargained from 500 Baht! On the next day, a local guy told us that 80 % of all Tuk-Tuks are fake! The real Tuk-Tuk drivers are government employees! One hour of drive costs ONLY 30 Baht!!! And you can go wherever you want! The real Tuk-Tuks have the Royal sign on the windshield, see below:

 

One hour of drive costs ONLY 30 Baht!

 

The real Tuk-Tuk
The Royal and Real Tuk-Tuk drivers!
 

Boat: They are two boat services operating in Bangkok –  Chao Phraya Express Boat used mostly by tourists (cruising in Chao Phraya River) and the Saen Saep Express Boat which is used mostly by locals.

 

Taxi: My very last option, if I have to choose! Driving by taxi can be tricky and expensive! Make sure they use the meter from the very beginning! If the driver refuses to use the meter, just get off the vehicle! The Pink taxis are very reliable.

 

Chao Phraya River Boats Services, Bangkok Travel Guide
Chao Phraya River Boats Services
 

Airport Transportation: The best way to get to the city centre is by BTS Skytrain. There are two lines running between the Airport and Bangkok – the Airport Express and the City Line. If you’re staying in Silom area here is the best option: catch the Airport Link to Makkasan station (35 baht) and then take the Petchaburi MRT station and buy another ticket to Silom (26 baht). If you have to travel by taxi or Grab, it should cost between 300 and 400 Baht plus the additional fee of 50 Baht for the highway.

 

Expect crowds

 

The total population of Bangkok is above 8 Million and about 20 Million tourists visited Bangkok in 2017! By comparison, London had 19.9 million visitors while Paris had 18 million in 2017.

 

Bangkok was named the most popular city for international tourists in 2017 and is probably the most visited spot on Earth. So you can expect crowds for sure! Most of the crowds are in the Old Town, China Town, and Siam. But beyond the tourist centres and especially near the Grand Palace and Khaosan Road you can still enjoy a lot of chilled out areas and secluded corners without tourists.

 

Chakri Maha Prasat, The Grand Palace, Bangkok

5 Must-See Temples in Bangkok

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Sukhumvit Road, Bankgog
Sukhumvit Road
 

What to pack for Bangkok

 

Umbrella or Raincoat: Because of its tropical location, there are three main seasons in Bangkok: hot (dry) season is from March to June, rainy (wet) season from July to October and cool season from November to February. Whenever you travel to Bangkok, you will see some afternoon raindrops during your stay for sure! Thailand is a tropical country so escaping the rain and humidity is not really possible. So you better bring an umbrella or raincoat every time you travel to Bangkok.

 

50% DEET Spray: There is no vaccination against malaria or dengue fever so you have to prevent the mosquito bites as far as you can. Malaria could be a problem if you’re hiking through the jungle or doing mountain trekking during the rainy seasons. The best solution: use 50% DEET spray, wear long sleeves and trousers and sleep inside mosquito nets.

 

International power adapter:  They use quite a few different electrical outlets in Thailand so you’ll likely find that you need an international power adapter

 

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is more expensive in Bangkok than in Europe! 100 ml cost about 13 €, so make sure you have enough in your bag. Be aware of the Sun! The sun is also something different than the sun we know from Europe … Always wear a sunscreen with 50+ SPF! Not kidding, it will heart if you don’t!

 

Medicaments: Traveller’s diarrhoea is a common problem too. I would recommend you to choose what and where you eat more carefully, and also to bring some anti-diarrheal pills (like Imodium) with you.

 

Nappies, Sanitary Towels, Panty Liners, Tampons: These are also more expensive than in Europe but not difficult to get find in Bangkok.

 

Sarong: You should definitely bring a sarong to Bangkok, or even better – buy one here! You’ll need it as a cover-up when visiting the Buddhist Temples.

 
The Streets of Bangkok
 

 
Have you been to Bangkok? Do you have any tips or recommendations?
 
Enjoy the day!
 
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*This post contains Affiliate Links. I only recommend high-quality items and services I am confident about. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Continue reading this series:

Island Trip

Road Trip

Travel Tips

City Trip

LillaGreen

Tsvete Popp is a travel and lifestyle blogger based in Innsbruck, Austria. LillaGreen is about living the life of a dreamer with passionate devotion to travel and photography. LillaGreen encourages you to explore the World by creating your own rules to follow.

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LillaGreen

Hello, I'm Tsvete Popp and LillaGreen is my sweet escape from reality where I share my adventures from around the World, travel and photo diaries, interesting stories and useful tips. Enjoy with me!