A Guide to a First Visit to Bangkok – What to Expect

A Guide to a First Visit to Bangkok – What to Expect

Wherever you are from, you won’t have experienced anything quite like Bangkok; an assault on the senses is a very accurate description of Kreung Thep, or City of Angels. Most visitors arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is located around 20km from the centre of Bangkok and either taxi or BTS can take you to your hotel.

Changing money

Don’t change more than $50 at the airport; you get much better rates at one of the Super-Rich money exchange booths found all over Bangkok. It should be noted that drawing cash from a Thai ATM will result in charges, which is another reason to bring cash. Some foreigners report paying 300 baht every time they withdraw cash from an ATM; check with your credit card about local ATM charges. It might be a good idea to tell your credit card company that you are travelling to Thailand, otherwise they might block a charge for security reasons.

Sukhumvit Road

This is the best place to stay; book a room at a Sukhumvit Soi 11 hotel and you are right in the middle of a vibrant night-time entertainment. There are chic shopping malls, fast food restaurants and in soi 4, the go-go bars are open from early afternoon to early morning. Most Thais who live in this area speak English, so you won’t have any communication issues and there are many street stalls set up in the evening for tourists to buy souvenirs.

Getting around

You have quite a few choices in this amazing city; if you want to get from A to B quickly, the BTS train system runs to all parts of central Bangkok, which is cheap and safe. Taxis are green and yellow; you simply hold up your hand when you see a cab with his red ‘vacant’ light on and make sure he turns on the meter when you start your journey. The canals in Bangkok offer an insight into how Bangkok Thais live and a century ago, the canals were the main thoroughfare. Motorcycle taxis are everywhere and they wear waistcoats with their number on the back. If you would like to make a video of your travels and become a YouTuber, click here.

Organised tours

You probably want to see the Grand Palace (Wat Phra Keow), Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and other famous Bangkok sights; Google can help you book tours, or ask the receptionist at your hotel, who can make bookings on your behalf. If you are more adventurous, why not set off early in the morning and explore the area? If you search online, there are street food guided tours and for a few dollars, a guide will take you to some of the best roadside eateries, which is an experience not to be missed.

Bangkok is a very safe city, but you should use your common sense at all times and carrying a Thai dictionary could be very useful. The street food is something else and there are many small markets all over the city, selling everything from food to Buddhist artifacts.