Bangkok, Thailand is in many travelers’ bucket lists, including mine. Aside from the dirt-cheap cost of living there, there is a variety of things to do and places to see that make it an ideal destination.
From temples and marketplaces, to girlie bars and shopping malls, Bangkok seemingly has everything to offer to anyone.
As I’m going there for two weeks in August, I asked my readers what to do and what not to do in Bangkok. I could, of course, have done my research online, but nothing beats the first-hand experience of people who have been there.
The following are some of the super helpful Bangkok travel tips they’ve sent.
Must-See Places to Visit in Bangkok
- Go to the Grand Palace and the Wat Phra Kaew to see the Emerald Buddha.
- Be overwhelmed at the Chatuchak weekend market.
- Eat at the “Cabbages and Condoms” restaurant at Sukhumvit.
- Enjoy the view at the Baiyoke Sky Tower, the highest building in Thailand. They have a revolving rooftop, and it is best to go there at night.
- Go on a day trip to Ayutthaya for the ruins.
- Take the small, non-motorized boats when you go to the floating market.
- Go tourist-watching in Khao San Road. Foreigners choose to stay here for the cheap accommodation but there are other cheap hotels in other places which can be nicer.
Top Things to Do in Bangkok
- Have a massage; everyday if you can afford it. As much as possible, avoid the small sidewalk massage places—they can give you a lot of bruises. The massage therapists in malls and bigger spas are well-trained and can give you the real Thai massage sans the pain.
- Haggle at the market or street stalls. Start at 1/3 of the price and work your way up, but set a ceiling price beforehand. Once you agree at a certain amount, be sure to buy it. If you have Thai friends, bring them along so they can haggle for you. The price for a foreigner is different from the locals.
- Eat at food stalls; choose the ones which are patronized by a lot of locals as they are always the best. If you are adventurous enough, you can try the maggot burger or the stir-fried crickets, the red ants and water beetles. Whatever dish you order, always say “not spicy.” You’ll still find a tinge of spice in it anyway.
Tips on Taking the Transportation in Bangkok
- Tuktuks are nice, but they are tourist traps which can charge expensive fees for short distances. To avoid getting overcharged, settle on a price first before getting on. Within the city, it shouldn’t cost more than 50 baht. Make it clear as well to the driver not to take you anywhere else and that you aren’t interested in what they’re offering. Tuktuk drivers usually take unsuspecting tourists to factories and shops where they can get a commission.
- Motorcycle taxis are cheaper than tuktuks. You can also take the river taxi as a convenient and enjoyable way to get around Bangkok.
Like in many other countries, Bangkok is full of scammers who victimize tourists. A lot of them hang around in the Grand Palace or in the temples.
One such scam will tell visitors that the Palace (or the temple) is not open (either because there’s a holiday, or for some other reason) and that they would take you somewhere else instead. Don’t fall for it.
If you go during the summer season, make sure to drink a lot of water always. You can add salt in your fruit juice to keep your electrolytes up. If there’s a shade, keep out of the sun, and if it really gets too hot, head on to the shopping malls to cool off.
There are a whole lot more tips, and I was quite happy to read them. Check out the many flights to Thailand so that you can choose the cheapest; you can spend your savings shopping in Bangkok! My sister spent two months in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and she couldn’t stop buying stuff, from clothes and accessories, to household items and food.
I only have a week or so to go before my trip, so I’m quite excited to put all these tips to good use. I can’t wait to take my own photos as well, and hopefully in my next blog post, I will be able to give you my own tips in traveling to Bangkok, Thailand.
My gratitude to my friends from Pinoy Travel Bloggers and Couchsurfing for their contribution to this blog post: Nicky Bañaga, Claire Algarme, Claire Raborar-Blaxland, Billy Tejada, Lilliane Cobiao, Shell Lam, Joy Eusebio, and Ken Oliver Lee Elvas.