Bangkok: Like A Boss

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Bangkok is perhaps one of the most overwhelming cities on this earth. The gateway to the Far East is crammed with people, cars and places to see. So how do you do it all? Here are a few things I learnt while I was over there; if only I'd known a few of them before I went.


Hail A Cab

I spent most of my time there avoiding taking a cab. I wrongly assumed they were expensive and I also under estimated just how vast Bangkok actually is. Instead I rather foolishly attempted to walk everywhere. While this meant I was privy to a different side of Bangkok, it pretty much destroyed my feet and also led to some rather scary encounters.

After realizing walking wasn’t a great idea, we took a few tuk tuk’s. The experience is worth the cost for sure, but don’t make it a regular thing would be my advice. Not only are they overpriced but you have to tip too, further bumping up the cost of the journey. If you’re stuck and they’re around by all means get around safely but if you can, get in those wonderful pink taxis.

On a side note, make sure your cabbie turns the meter on. The ones we used always did but I've heard of people who've been ripped off this way. 

Take A Trip On the BTS

If you're near a line, the BTS can be a great, cheap way of getting around. Being based around Sukhumvit we were relatively close, so used it quite frequently. It does take a bit of getting used to, but once you're accustomed to it, it's really a doddle. Plus, if you're looking for a cheaper way to get to and from the airport, you'll also find lines servicing Suvarnabhumi Airport too. If you've got later flights, this is an absolute godsend as a cab can get pretty pricey as you have to pay for the toll roads too. 

Plan

This is one of the things I regret not doing. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to see but I didn’t have an idea of opening times or any other useful information. I had one full day in the city and a huge agenda. As you can probably imagine, I didn’t get to see it all and it was quite disheartening.

If you’ve a short amount of time to explore, make sure you have a plan of action. The Grand Palace and a few other places close earlier than you might think so bear that in mind. It’s also good to bear in mind that attractions aren’t as close together as you would imagine they’d be. With that comes a fair bit of travel planning too. By far I would say that Bangkok is the most complicated city I’ve visited to date, but sometimes it’s quite nice to feel a little bit lost.

Pick Your Base Wisely

As I mentioned earlier, Bangkok is very much a big city. Because of this, I’d advise really thinking about your plans before you book any accommodation. Have a look at what’s nearby and how far you’d have to travel to meet your agenda. I stayed in Sukhumvit (Park Plaza Sukvumvit) on my first trip and while it was nice, it wasn’t a great location for sightseeing. If you’re shopping, it will be right up your street but it sadly wasn’t mine. The second time around I stayed right on the river at the Millenium Hilton Bangkok. This wasn’t great for sightseeing again, but if you want a piece of heaven then look no further. With a 14-hour flight on the horizon, the Hilton was just what I needed at that moment in time.

Copy This 

By 'this' I mean your passport page and the address of where you're staying. Whilst most Thai's speak a degree of English, you never know. On our return to Bangkok, our cabbie hadn't the foggiest and I'm sure we'd still be wandering were it not for our print-outs. If your hotel confirmations don't already have the address on in Thai, grab a business card or leaflet from the front desk. You'll be glad of it at some point I'm sure.

With regards to the passport thing, this is a hotly discussed topic. By law you are required to carry your passport on you at all times. This of course isn't at all practical, so make a copy and laminate it before you leave for your travels. Some people don't bother at all but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Having some kind of ID on me felt better than having none. That being said, I was never asked for it during my 3.5 weeks out there, so it's probably just bad luck if you are. 



And with all that being said, the only thing left to do is wish you happy travels! Oh and drink lots of water!










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