Bangkok is a crazy place. It is also a beautiful place, a spiritual place, a place of amazing entertainment and exotic food, and a cultural place but its craziness will hit you as soon as you get off the plane at the international airport. A visit to Bangkok is always an unforgettable experience. Make sure you are prepared for all the capital of Thailand has to offer with our 10 quick tips for a Bangkok encounter.
1) Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Bangkok colors/ Image via Mike Behnken/ Flickr
No one can tell you what to expect in Bangkok because every visit is different, and every person is different. But one thing you can tell yourself is to be prepared for challenges. If you have never been to Bangkok before be prepared to experience a different way of life. The people are different, the surroundings are different, and the city is huge and very busy. You are sure to encounter challenges but that’s what makes travel so rewarding. Go with an open mind and the ability to go with the flow.
2) Expect Language Barriers
Not everyone speaks your language in Thailand – and neither should they. But being unable to speak Thai shouldn’t stop you from coming to Bangkok and interacting with local people. Learn a few key phrases to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you. Keep a smile on your face and be patient. People are mostly friendly and keen to help. If you have a good attitude and are willing to try to communicate, no one will mind that you are not fluent.
3) Be Prepared to Party
If you want to go out in the evening, Bangkok is your destination. Bangkok has one of the best nightlife scenes in the world – whatever your style. You can hang out with VIPs sipping cocktails in a rooftop bar, dance all night, buy cheap beer in a rowdy bar, or enjoy a dinner cruise down the river. Bangkok is a nighttime extravaganza.
4) You Can Travel Light
You can find pretty much anything you need to buy in Bangkok, from a fine linen suit to a set of suitcases. You don’t need to bring all your cosmetics with you are makeup and toiletries are available everywhere. You can always find food to eat and have your laundry washed, all at great prices. You shouldn’t come to Bangkok with a heavy set of luggage.
5) Thai Food is Fantastic
Whether you are on a tight budget or not, make sure you eat some food from the street stalls. It is safe and economical to eat from the street. Choose a place with plenty of patrons, and enjoy. Try all kinds of dishes from the standard Pad Thai to noodles, curries, duck, seafood, and dishes from other cultures like Chinese, Indian, and Korean.
6) Keep Your Cool for Best Results
We’re not only talking about cooling down in the tropical heat, but you should also be aware that getting angry and aggressive will not get you very far in Thailand. Keeping cool and calm will help you out of the toughest situations. Most people want to help, and most people are not keen on overt displays of aggression in this country. Also, remember not to touch anyone on the top of the head as the head is a sacred place, and do not point your feet at anything or put your feet on any monument or statue – the feet are the dirtiest part of the body and it will cause offense.
7) Take Some Long Pants
You will need to cover your legs and your shoulders when you visit wats – temples – in the city. Make sure that you have something to wear to these sacred places. Mostly Thais are conservative about dress in general so keep in mind that showing a lot of skin may cause offence, unless you are on a tourist beach.
8) Use ATMs for Easy Money Withdrawals
The easiest way to get money in Bangkok is to use your ATM card at the many ATM’s in the city. Be aware that you will get charged each time you withdraw money. If you are in the city for an extended period of time investigate bank accounts and money transfers that minimize the fees you pay.
9) Medical Coverage is Extensive
In Bangkok there are a number of high quality medical facilities where people speak English and you can access any type of health treatment you need. Make sure you travel with insurance, and you won’t have to worry about your health when you are in Bangkok.
Bangkok/ Image via Rishad Daroowala/ Flickr
10) Bangkok is a Wonderful Place to Travel
Despite the challenges, the hassles, and the occasional hardships, Bangkok remains a fantastic place to visit. Go with an open mind and a sense of fun – you will be rewarded with friendly people, fabulous nightlife, great food, and a wonderful time.
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