Bangkok (Krung Thep or ก รุ ง ท พ) is the capital of Thailand.
Krung Thep (ก รุ ง เ พ
|Surface||1 568.7 km²|
|Inhabitants||14,626,225 (2010 census)|
|Phone Prefix||+66 2|
|Time Zone||UTC +7|
Just 14 degrees north of the equator, Bangkok is a typically tropical metropolis and also one of the most accessible Asian cities for Western tourists. The first things that impress the visitor are the heat and traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian. The heat is accompanied by high pollution and it is also immediately noticeable that the huge gap between poor and wealthy classes is widening despite the smile that lurks indistinctly on the mouth of the Thais. Bangkok is a surprisingly safe city, despite the alarming news in the foreign press and even less disorganized than it might seem at first glance. The city is also a hidden box of gems waiting to be discovered.
- Khao Sarn Road is the road of hippies and youth. You can find concert tickets and hotels at reduced prices (5 or 6 dollars per night, cockroaches often included). The EIA is full of Travel Agencies which organize floating market or Dumnoen Saduak, Ayuttaya, etc.
The high moisture content, accompanied by high temperatures, promotes the growth of tropical plants, and exotic orchids and delicious fruit can be found everywhere.
Thai cuisine is special, rightly famous, varied and affordable. Bangkok is one of the first tourist destinations in Asia. Monks wearing saffron, dazzling neon signs, the lovely Thai architecture, spicy dishes, colorful markets, traffic jams and tropical climate are positive and negative elements that mix with some harmony and it is difficult to get disappointed in this city.
Krung Thep (ก รุ ง เ พ), is the abbreviation for the ceremonial name: Krungthepmahanakhon, Amonrattanakosin, Mahintharayutthaya, Mahadilokphop, Noppharatratchaniburirom, Udomratchaniwetmahasathan, Amonphimanawatansathansathit, Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit (ก รุ ง เ ท ม พ ห า น ค ร อ ม ร รั ต น โ ก สิ น to ท ร์ ม หิ to น ท ร to า ยุ ธ to ย า to ม ห to า to ดิ to ล to ก to ภ to พ to น to พ to รั to ต to น์ to ร to า to ช to ธ to า to นี to บุ to รี to ร to ม to ย์ to อุ to ด.) He's got the world's longest toponym guinness. It means more or less: "The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Buddha of Emerald, the undisputable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the great capital of the world with nine gems, the happy city, with a huge Royal Palace resembling the earth's heaven where the incarnate God reigns, a city of Idra and built by Vishnukarn").
When to go
For Bangkok's weekly forecasts see TMD.go.th
According to the World Meteorological Organization, Bangkok is the hottest city in the world, always sunny and with temperatures above 30 °C throughout the year.
The best time to visit is the cold season between November and February, which is also the dry season and the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaeo also wears a scarf during these months! Don't think it's necessary anyway, because the temperatures during the day are around 30 °C and after sunset it goes down below 20 °C. March and April are the hot season with an average of 35 °C but it is no surprise that they rise to 50 °C. It's the worst time to visit the city, and in that case it's worth planning by putting lots of air-conditioned shopping malls among the places to go, and it's a good idea to book a hotel with a pool. The rainy season is May and October, months in which heavy rains can turn into big storms, resulting in flooding. But not all evil comes to harm, with scrubles refreshing from the heat and despite the fact that they can last all day, usually last about an hour. The extreme rain is between September and October, so these are the months to be avoided.
Whatever season you're visiting, it's best not to take the under-represented time: going to temples in the hot afternoons could be very challenging, so it's best to prepare: dress lightly so as not to die in heat, bearing in mind that many places to visit are temples with a code to be respected on how to dress, for example, you have to completely cover your torso, legs and biceps, so your overcrowded pants, t-shirts and robes cannot be worn to get in. In some places, street vendors might sell something to help cover for more.
Also make sure to drink a lot of water so as not to faint. There's a lot of 7-eleven and similar convenience stores all over the city where they sell fresh drinks for a few bahts. Local people get drinking water through the process of "reverse osmosis" with which they fill one liter per 1 baht bottles, but the potability for the unaccustomed may vary.
Bangkok (originally Bang Makok) was a small village on the edge of the Chao Phraya River until a new capital was built on the western coast (to date Thonburi) after the collapse of Ayutthaya. In 1782, King Rama I built a palace on the eastern shore (now Rattanakosin) and changed the city's name to Krung Thep (the city of the Angels), as is now known by Thais. Given the nature of the ceremonial name, foreigners never got used to the new name, so Bangkok is used in every other language, but for Thais that's just the old village on the west side of the Chao Phraya River that was incorporated into the jurisdiction of the "Great Bangkok" in 1971. The original village ceased to exist long ago. Life was once evolving on water; ordinary people lived on bamboo rafts along the river while street vendors sailed fruit and vegetables. The only stone structures built on the ground were the temples and buildings. In the 19th century, Western powers embodied much of Southeast Asia in their colonial empires. King Rama IV and V thought that the only way to maintain independent Islam was to modernize the country along the lines dictated by the European powers. The traditional channels were emptied and transformed into roads. King Rama V moved the royal residence to Dusit and built the roads of the district following European models.
Bangkok really began to develop after World War II. The economic center moved from the ordered city of Rattanakosin to the east, leaving Bangkok without a proper center. The city emerged as the central power behind Thailand's new role as a new industrialized country since the 1980s. The sudden economic growth has attracted immigrants from the countryside with millions of Thais who have moved from Isaan and other regions.
This rapid expansion transformed Bangkok into the most cosmopolitan and more active city in Asia, but also into a problem. A major gap has emerged between those who profit from economic activities and those who have arrived in the city in search of work. The city's constant traffic continues because the metro and Skytrain are too expensive for the working class. Taking a break from the excaltions in a park would be a good idea, but unfortunately Bangkok has fewer green areas than other world capitals.
How to orient
BANGKOK is a city that has expanded considerably. The official division of the city comprises 50 districts (เ ต khet) which are then divided into 154 sub-districts (แ ข ง khwaeng), which are used mainly for commercial and address purposes, but for tourism purposes, an exemplified subdivision such as the following is considerably more advantageous:
Addresses in Bangkok use the Thai addressing system, which could confuse if at first weapons. The streets as big as Silom or Sukhumvit are called Thanon (ถ น น), often abbreviated with Th or an addition of "Road", while the roads that come from them are called Soi (ซ อ ย). The Soi are numbered with odd on one side and peers on the other, so an address of type "25 Sukumvit Soi 3" means building or house number 25 on the 3rd Soi of Sukumvit Road. Although the numbers of the Soi increase by climbing the road are not always its two sides, for example the Soi 55 could be in front of the Soi 36. Many well-known Ours also have additional names that can be used instead of numbers. Sukumvit Soi 3 is also known as "Soi Nana Nuea", so the corresponding address could also be expressed as "25 Soi Nana Nuea". The /n extension is used for new roads created between two existing roads, as in the case of the sequence of Soi 7, 7/1, 7/2, 9, 11. It should also be noted that some alleys are called troks (ต ร อ ก) instead of Soi.
To further complicate matters, some of the great Soi are called Soi Ekkamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) and Soi Ari (Phahonyothin Soi 7) and they have their own radiating oi. In these cases, an address like "Ari Soi 3" means "the 3rd Soi heading out of Soi Ari," and you could also meet addresses like "68/2 Ekkamai Soi 4, Sukhumvit Road," which means "the 2nd house next to house 68 in the 4th Soi in Ekkamai, which is the 63rd Soi of Sukhumvit Road." In many of us, the number of houses does not just increase but can be dispersed.
Another confusion for the tourist who does not know Thai is that the translation of the Thai name of the streets in Latin is inconsistent. The roads leading to Don Mueang airport from the Victory Monument could be marked Phahonyothin or Phahon Yothin or Pahon Yothin or Phaholyothin depending on the road sign or map consulted. In Thai it's the same, it's only the latinization that varies.
If this did not confuse enough, the majority of the big streets tend to change the name every few kilometers. Sukhumvit is called "Sukhumvit" on one side of the toll road (approximately east) but becomes Phloen Chit just before crossing Witthayu Road (oWireless Road) towards the river. Continuing in a few other streets, he changes his name to Rama I Road (or Phra Ram Neung Road) after passing Ratchadamri Road. But if you turn right in Ratchadamri, in a few blocks you will find yourself in Ratchaprarop Road (Phetchaburi pass, or New Phetburi, called Phitsanulok when it approaches the river).
Luckily, there's a logic to the change of name: Many of these are rions and it would make no sense to call Sukhumvit the road that no longer passes through the Sukhumvit area. Similarly, Sukhumvit becomes Phloen Chit when it passes through the Phloen Chit area. Once you understand the city in terms of its regions, everything becomes much clearer and more fluid. Similarly, Pratunam and Chatuchak are more than just markets; they are distinct regions with their characteristics.
Cardinal directions are not widely used by Thais to move around. So when you ask, "What's the west road from here?" you only have strange looks in return. It's better to familiarize yourself with the rions and move accordingly. Asking for "How I get to Thong Lo" will take you home faster than asking for directions for "Sukumvit Soi 55".
An exception is that the Chao Phraya River is the city's main "monument" and many directions are referred to as "towards the river" or "distancing itself from the river".
How to get
Bangkok airports levy a passenger service charge of 700 baht on international flights, which can be paid in cash after check-in; it may well be included in the ticket price, so you would do well to inform you when the ticket is issued in order to avoid paying it twice. Don't trust travel agents because they could lie to you, insist and monitor your plane ticket well
Bangkok has two airports; consider that it takes at least one hour for the transfer between the center and one of the two airports (and vice versa).
Situated 30 km east of the center, Suvarnabhumi airport (สุ ว ร ร ณ มิ) (BKK) started operations in September 2006 and is the main city airport where all flights from Thailand abroad and some domestic flights operated by the Thai Airways flag company land. It has only one terminal, but it is extremely large, perhaps the largest in the world. There are two sections dedicated to immigration, when you get there. the process takes time, at least 30 minutes and on an unfortunate day around 2 hours. The same applies to flight check-in when you leave.
There are many services available in this area (transit hotels, ATMs, money exchange). Among the cheapest restaurants, the Magic on the 1ST floor deserves mention, while the most relaxing ones are the Sky Lounge on the 5TH floor. It also works as a bar and has a panorama view. Prices are not excessive. The shopping area with various duty-free shops is near the departure hall.
Don Muang Airport
Don Muang airport (DMK) (or Don Mueang) is 20 km north of the center. Until 2006, it was the main city airport. Air Asia, Nok Air, PB Air and Thai Airways are active in the air carriers operating many domestic flights and in neighboring Asian nations. Some charter companies also call on you.
Connection between the two airports
If you need to change the airport there is a free shuttle bus linking the two airports. Al Don Mueang the stop is just outside the arrival terminal from exit 5 (currently out 6 because the door is broken). Once outside, you show up at the bus stop stand and show yourself the ticket booked from the other airport. They're going to put a stamp on your wrist or your hand, like a disco, to show you to get on the bus. They leave every half hour, at the turn of the hour and a half, and it takes 65 minutes, traffic-permitting. If the change between the two flights at the two airports is less than four hours, there is a great risk that the next flight will be lost. In that case, leave the bus and take a taxi. Keep in mind, passport files at Don Mueang can be as long as an hour. In that case, insist to the staff, have them help you get through the "priority lane" saying that you're just changing the airport and you have to be there three hours earlier (because your flight is international) and you have to get over Bangkok traffic. At Suvarnabhumi airport, check-in files for international flights can be easily one hour.
In Suvarnabhumi there is a limousine taxi service which can be booked at the 2ND floor counter on arrival. In order to get into the parking lot, you have to go to the exit on the 1st floor. The queues of people waiting are really long and it is better to use the free bus service, which runs the line in the so - called "satellite terminal" where other taxis can be found. Taxis charge 50 baht when the taximeter starts. In addition to this, the toll must be paid on the motorway, which means that the total cost of the journey will be 365-465 baht. It usually takes 40 minutes to one hour to get downtown, but it depends on traffic conditions.
At Don Mueang, the parking lot of public taxis is is next to the arrival exit (be careful not to allow you to bark from the "taxi services" cottages in the main hall). Tell the driver your destination or show it on a piece of paper (but everyone chews English) The price of the drive to the center should not exceed 300 baht including 50 baht surcharge at the time of the taximeter start and 30-70 baht of the motorway toll. If the row waiting for the taxi is too long, and if you want a more spacious means at your disposal, you could book a limousine service from the counter inside the airport. The cost is around 500-600 baht. Ignore any invitation to use a white-plate car; they're abusive and you could pay for it. On the main road just outside the terminal there is also an unofficial collection of real taxis with a meter. To get there, use the bridge that goes to the railway station but get down the stairs before crossing the main road. If you use this collection point, you will skip the tail to the other taxi parking lots considerably and avoid the airport surcharge.
In Suvarnabhumi buses end with the exit of the 1ST marked as airport express buses. Races are every hour from early morning until midnight and like taxis it takes about an hour:
- AE1: Suvarnabhumi-Silom
- AE2: Suvarnabhumi-Khao San Road
- AE3: Suvarnabhumi-Sukhumvit
- AE4: Suvarnahhumi-Victory Monument-Hua Lamphong (train station)
The public buses for/from Suvarnabhumi cost much less, 35 baht. In order to reach the end of the line, you must use the free shuttle service from the exit of the 2ND floor. The lines are as follows:
- 549: Suvarnabhumi-Bangkapi
- 550: Suvarnabhumi-Happy Land
- 551: Suvarnabhumi-Victory Monument (BTS)
- 552: Suvarnabhumi-On Nut (BTS)-Klong Toei
- 552A: Suvarnabhumi - Sam Rong
- 553: Suvarnabhumi-Samut Phrakan
- 554: Suvarnabhumi-Don Muang Airport
- 555: Suvarnabhumi-Rangsit (Expressway)
- 557: merged with 558
- 558: Suvarnabhumi-Central Rama II-Wong Wien Yai
- 559: Suvarnabhumi-Rangsit (Outer Ring Road)
Public buses are much slower than Express and take one or two hours to reach their destination, but traffic conditions can delay them even more. Their frequency is about 20 minutes during the day and every hour at night.
There is also an extra-urban bus service which connects Suvarnabhumi airport with the localities Chachoengsao, Hua Hin, Nong Khai, Pattaya, Rayong and Trat.
At Don Muenang there are also many public buses shuttling between the center and the airport, just follow the directions to the railway station. The buses to the center are on the side of the road closest to the airport, so do not cross:
- The 504, air-conditioned, leads to the Central World at the intersection of Ratchaprasong (near Siam Square) as well as Lumphini Park and Silom, where they have access to the Skytrain.
- On 29, air-conditioned, it reached Hualampong station passing through many other places, like the Victory Monument and Siam Square. You can also go to Chatuchak market where you're changing for the subway or the Skytrain. Sometimes the last stop is the Victory Monument (19 baht)
- The 59, with air conditioning, comes to Sanam Luang and Rattanakosin but it takes a long time because Rattanakosin is far from the airport.
It should be noted that some buses do not complete their journey. They are called "additional buses" (Thai): ร ถ เ ส ริ rot serm). They have a red sign on their forehead with the final destination written, only in Thai. Check before you get on, you can ask someone at the bus stop or the driver.
- LimoBus : This private service has one route to Khao San Road and another to Silom and Pratunam. It's cheaper than a taxi for a lonely but definitely more expensive passenger than regular buses.
Airport Rail Link (Skytrain)
In Suvarnabhumi a high-end railway line linking the airport (from the station located to the underground plane of the airport - Basement B) with the town terminal of Makkasan (connecting station with MRT Phetchaburi, the cost of reaching this terminal is 35 baht, then a new ticket has to be made) and then traveling to Phaya Thai (connection station with BTS Phaya Thai). This line is traveled by rapid trains (red, heading to the center without stops) and normal trains (blue, making 8 stops to the center in all). The center is reached in about half an hour using the normal train, either by spending 45 baht, or in 15 minutes by spending 90 baht. To reach Hualampong railway station, the cost is 30 baht. Trains travel from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information on the train to/from the airport can be found on these pages: https://suvarnabhumi.airportthai.co.th/transportations and http://airportraillink.railway.co.th/en/
To get to Don Mueang with the Skytrain, you need to take an additional bus. You take the BTS for Mo Chit to get off to Chatuchak and take the bus to the A1 airport from Mo Chit. You get out of the Skytrain station through the pedestrian bridge crossing the road and you get off the bus stop. The A1 arrives just outside the DMK terminal between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. For the airport, it runs from 07:30 to 24:00 and from the airport from 07:00 to 24:00. The controller is paid once on board (30 baht). It takes about 30 minutes without traffic on a road that normally shouldn't have. The bus could be crowded so make sure you're front of the line. For Bangkok this bus arrives at Mo Chit. A direct connection to the Skytrain is under construction after the first project was abandoned; you can still see the old pylons. The deadline is 2018.
For the train parties with a lot of time available from Suvarnabhumi, you can take the bus No. 517 and then get off at Hua Takhe station for the modest sum of 15 baht. From there they will board a third - class train bound for Asok or Hualamphong (7 baht).
At Don Mueang a covered ride leads to the train station. Tickets to/from Hualamphong Station cost 5 baht (for a journey of about 50 minutes) and are issued at the door. It's a third-class ticket without a reservation, and that's undoubtedly the cheapest solution, but it's to be considered that delays are frequent, there's a crowd of beggars at the stops and they're pretty empty at night. It's interesting, however, to try out the delicacies that street vendors offer, by getting up and down from the various stations. To be kept in mind if you have not had time or do not want to eat before the trip. The hours from Hualamponh to Don Mueang are from 4:20 to 10:45 p.m., while the Don Mueang to Hualampong are from 3:34 to 8:12 p.m. with a frequency ranging from 20 minutes to one hour.
The directions to the train station within the airport are non-existent, so it is impossible to find it if you do not know where it is already. You have to follow the Amari Hotel on the second floor from international departures. In the hallway that leads to the hotel, just before the entrance doors there's a little door on the right. It opens and you're in the ballroom that leads to the station. The ticket office is on the opposite side of the track from where you arrive. For Bangkok, the right side to take the train is the side of the airport.
Getting to Bangkok by car is not a good idea because you can easily lose half a day sitting in traffic just to cross the city. There are three main roads leading to Bangkok from all directions in Thailand. The best way to get from the north is through Phahonyothin Road (Route 1), which arrives from Mae Sai near the border with Burma. Sukhumvit Road (Route 3) is from eastern Thailand such as Trat, Pattaya and Chonburi. Phetkasem Road (Route 4) one of the longest roads in the world extends to the border with Malaysia covering the south of the country.
To ease traffic on these roads, a new motorway system has been set up and will be extended further. The new Bangkok-Chonburi highway (Motorway 7) links Chonburi and Pattaya. The Kanchanaphisek National Highway (Motorway 9 or "Outer Ring") is a big ring around Bangkok that connects most of the surrounding towns including Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan.
|Streets passing through Bangkok|
|END.||O E||→ Chachoengsao → Aranyaprathet|
|Nong Khai: Photo: Ayutthaya||N S||→ END|
|Chiang Mai Rangsit||N S||→ END|
|END.||N S||→ Nakhon Pathom → Butterworth|
|Samut Songkhram Samut Sakhon||O E||→ END|
|Chiang Rai: Rangsit v||N S||→ END|
|END.||O E||→ Samut Prakan → Trat|
|END.||N S||→ Nakhon Pathom → Hat Yai|
Not many people arrive in Bangkok on a cruise. The medium-sized ships must dock at the 1 port of Laem Chabang in the southeast more than one and a half hours from the city (depending on traffic) and half an hour north of Pattaya. A taxi service is available on the back yard but they charge disproportionately high prices, like 2,600 baht to book a taxi for 4 people, or 5,000 baht to book an 11-seat minibus. Slightly better prices can be achieved by going to the main road: about 4,000 baht for a minibus, but even that number is about twice as much as you usually pay in the opposite direction. You can get better prices if you book your return, even if you come back the next day.
If you can easily get to the bus terminal, you could use:
- First and second class buses with frequent departures connecting Laem Chabang with the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai); there's a less frequent service that comes to the Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit). A first - class air conditioned bus (blue and white) for both terminals takes approximately 90 minutes or less for a cost of approximately 100 baht. One quick way to get to Sukumvit is to take a bus to Ekkamai and get off to On Nut where you get a Skytrain. The bus stops there on demand.
- Buses heading south for Pattaya take place at the traffic light of Sukhumvit Road in Laem Chabang. They're very frequent, about 10 per hour, and they cost less than 50 baht.
Smaller ships can dock at 2 Khlong Toei (Bangkok Cruise Port) near the city center. To reach the hotels and tourist spots from here is much cheaper. There is a modest passenger terminal where there are also "organizers" who will be able to arrange tours and book taxis. Costs may vary greatly depending on the contracting capacity or if you have the option of using a shuttle ferry for other destinations. The facility is inside an active commercial port whose entrance is not far from the metro station with the same name. The distance between the terminal and the real port is about a kilometer and pedestrians are not allowed to walk because of heavy traffic. The only options to move around inside, so it's taxis or shuttles if they're offered.
The Thai State Railways, ☎ +66 2 222-0175. They serve Bangkok with lines from every card point in Thailand.
- 3 Hualamphong Railway Station (หั ว ล โ พ ง). The central train station and the most important one. It is on the eastern edge of the old city, close to Yaowarat, on the metro line. It is a large and comfortable station built during the reign of King Rama VI. The building was built in 1916 in a neo-renaissance style on a project by the Turin architect Mario Tamagno and was spared the bombing during World War II due to the request of the Thai resistance movement.
- Tickets for the same day can be bought at ticket offices under large screens. The booking office is on the right side of the tracks and it's pretty organized. Seating positions can be selected and credit card payment accepted.
- One suggestion is to listen only to people in the information office. Any other person who walks by offering you help in "finding" a hotel or taxi is just a lender even if he wears an "official" tag. In the same way, "tourist information" on the second floor only of masked agencies. Taxis take and unload to the left of the tracks and it's usually quite chaotic during rush hours and tails are not respected. The luggage depot is across the lobby on the right, leaving the tracks behind.
- International Express is a train that connects Bangkok to Butterworth (Malaysia) with intermediate stops in Nakhon Pathom, Chumpon and Surat Thani.
- Thaksin Express, which makes the same stops but stops at Su-ngai Kolok, Malaysia's main border crossing, is also running.
- 4 Thonburi railway station (ธ น formally รี Bangkok Noi Station) (on the west side of the river at Thonburi). The deadline for trains to Kanchanaburi (via Nakhon Pathom), which leave twice a day. To further confuse the former Thonburi railway station near the river (accessible from the Chao Phraya Express Boat Express Railway Station) has now been transformed into a museum but only 800 meters away from the new one. It should be noted that second-class air-conditioned trains that only operate on the weekend for Kanchanaburi and Nam Tok leave Hualampong station.
- 5 Wongwian Yai Railway Station (ว ง เ วี ย ใ น ห) (About 800 meters from Skytrain station under the same name. To get there, you take a 35/50 baht cab or you walk.) We need the Mae Klong commute line for Maha Chai fishing village. The journey lasts about an hour and it's uninteresting if you want to arrive early, but it's an experience for the train enthusiasts who can enjoy eyesight on their meletons, vegetable plantations and coconut. Maha Chai is a good place for fish and if you want, you can cross the Tha Chin river by ferry and continue by train to Samut Songkhram.
When buying bus tickets for a trip outside Bangkok, it is recommended that you avoid travel agencies, or travel agents in private homes. It's always better to buy them directly in the three public bus terminals. These buses are cheaper, safer, faster and more comfortable, and they won't dump you on a half-way van or in a hotel with beds full of bugs at your destination. These three terminals are logistically located in three different places of the city to avoid traffic in the directions in which the buses that leave from there go.
- 6 Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai, เ อ ก มั ย), ☎ +66 2 391-2504. A relatively compact terminal right next to Ekkamai BTS station in Sukhumvit. It serves destinations in eastern Thailand, including Pattaya, Rayong, Ban Phe (for Ko Samet), Chanthaburi and Trat. If you go to Ko Chang, there's a specific stop between Chanthaburi and Trat. You can also take a bus to the Cambodian border crossing from Poipet. You're looking for the bus to Aranyaprathet and it's announced that you're going to Poipet when you buy the ticket.
- 7 Northern and Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2, ห อ ชิ ต 2), ☎ +66 2 9362841, +66 2 9362843. The most modern, large and frequented terminal that replaced Mo Chit. The upper floor serves the Isaan region in northeastern Thailand. The ground floor serves northern Thailand and shares destinations with Ekkamai (including Pattaya, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat). The terminal is reached with a good walk from Mo Chit BTS station or Chatuchak Park MRT station. Motortaxis have a fixed rate of 50 baht to go there and treat is useless, while tuk-tuks charge depending on how they feel, in this case, when they bargain, it's important to keep in mind that an air-conditioned taxi costs about 45 baht. You can also take bus 77 and spend 13 baht (this comes to the terminal from Victory Monument, Pratunam, and Silom Road). If you have too much baggage, the best option is to take a taxi.
- Buying tickets at the terminal is quite simple: you find the box with the desired destination (in the western alphabet), you pay the required number and you go to the next available bus. It should be noted that the blue inscriptions mean first class, red 2nd class, to be avoided on long journeys.
- If you need information, ask the front floor office or the Transport Co. staff that can be easily identified with the elegant white shirts with the golden buttons. The next step is to find the departure platform. If you have time, there are two decent, air-conditioned catering areas on both sides of the terminal building. KFC, Dunkin' Donquotes and several 7-eleven shops are also available.
- Since February 2013, there has also been a route from Mo Chit to Siem Reap in Cambodia, Transport Co.. The state company running the buses offers daily services to Siem Reap for 750 baht. Departures are 08:00 and 09:00 in both directions.
- 8 Southern Bus Terminal (You Know Tai Mai, ส ย ใ ต้ ห า), Phutthamonthon Sai 1 Rd, Thonburi, +66 2 894-6122. It is located in Thonburi in an uncomfortable position on the river. It serves all directions west (including Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi) and south (including Krabi, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Hat Yai). The new terminal has a good air conditioned airport appearance, video and English departures screens, restaurants, and a few banking offices. The restaurants, mostly Thai, on the ground floor are mainly outside. The first floor has ticketing and most restaurants. The second floor has a small shopping center and it's a good place to lie down if you have a long wait. Unlike the operators who rob the price of tickets on Khao San Road, all buses leaving from here are public, well run, cheap and fairly safe. Tickets are bought at the numbered counter with the text of the destination you want to reach (almost always in English).
- Arriving at the terminal is a bit challenging as there are few public transport. The easiest option is to take a taxi, but if you have to go there in the evening, especially on your working days, the traffic is intense and it could take 30 minutes or an hour of travel to get from the center. A run from Khao San Road costs about 120 baht with traffic in favor. Ignore the stickers because despite what they say, there's no faster way to get there when the roads are clogged. From the BTS station of the Victory Monument, you can reach the terminal with the bleached orange 515 bus (17 baht). After crossing the river and a long 9 km race, the terminal will be on the left. You'll notice, and it'll probably also be announced. It doesn't take much longer than a taxi (probably the same time in traffic) and it costs much less. The 556 bus comes to us from ARL station in Makkasan. There are also white minibuses that come to us from different parts of Bangkok for 30 baht. There are also cheap shuttles or minibuses that are slightly more expensive to and from the bus terminal to the northeast.
To travel in the suburbs of the city or within a 200 km radius, the fastest and often cheapest way is to use public minibus (minivan). They start from parking lots near 9 Victory Monument Square (อ นุ ส ว รี or anusawarii) (The pedestrian bridge running north from exit 2 of BTS Victory Monument station). In front of the monument are bus stops, while behind is a small market, where many colorful minibuses will be parked along the roadside waiting for passengers. They leave when they're full, usually every 10-30 minutes. The cost of the ticket is similar to that of couriers with the same destination, otherwise the estimate is approximately 1 baht per kilometer.
Since October 2016, minibuses for other provinces have been moved to three public bus terminals, which makes them much cheaper. The city is facilitating the transition by providing free shuttles from Victory Monument Square to bus terminals. The shuttles start from the northwest quadrant of the square and it is unclear how long they will be available.
The destinations are written on the minibus, in front and on the side, in Thai, so it is recommended to ask the drivers or ticket offices for the destination to be reached. Minivans are usually the fastest way to travel because they take the overlords for payment from the Victory Monument to avoid traffic. Another advantage is that they leave and arrive in the center of the city of destination, while the coach usually stops farther away. Minibus drivers are sadly famous for their driving and for being the cause of some fatal accidents. One disadvantage of minibuses is that the space for legs is limited and may not be comfortable for tall people of stature. If you have bulky baggage, you hold it on your knees or you buy an extra seat for it.
Some useful destinations within the city: Min Buri, about 30 bahts for Siam Park; Nava Nakorn, 50 baht for Don Muenag airport or to go through Highway 1 and hitchhike north and northeast; Phra Ram 2, for the highway and then hitchhiking for the south, or for Suvarnabhumi airport for 40 baht.
Some destinations served by the Eastern Bus Terminal: Pattaya (130 baht), Ban Phe (for Ko Samet), Rayong, Chanthaburi.
Some destinations served by Northern and Northeastern Bus Terminal: Ayutthaya (about 70 baht), Lopburi.
Some destinations served by the Southern Bus Terminal:Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin.
How to move
Although it's infamous for traffic, but if you don't feel like getting stuck in a bottle, there are other ways that are pretty fast to move: take a skytrain (BTS), which is a elevated subway, and the subway, or you have the option of navigating the river and the canals as well. Transit Bangkok will help you make the most of the public service by choosing a bus and metro combination to get you to your destination.
The Skytrain 10 BTS (ร ถ ไ ฟ ฟ้ บี า ที เ อ). It's worth catching just because it feels like traveling through space in Disneyland. Built in a desperate attempt to cope with impossible traffic and pollution, its line covers the main areas of the city and is particularly convenient to visit Siam Square. There are two lines: The Sukhumvit Line in light green traveling along Sukhumvit Road, Siam Square and following Phahonyothin Road north where it ends in Mo Chit (N8), near the Chatuchak market. The Silom Line in dark green starts at Petchkasem Road (Bang Wa Station, S12), passes through the pier of the Express Trahet at Saphan Taksin (S6), goes through the Silom area and ends at the National Stadium (W1) right next to the MBK shopping center. The lines meet in Siam (CEN), interchange station. Unfortunately, there are no stations near Khao San Road, but you can take the Express Traghetto from Phra Arthit Pier Pier pier to Sathorn pier where you can change for the skytrain.
Keep some coins in your pocket because you have to have five or 10 baht coins to buy tickets at the vending machines. At some stations, there are machines with tactile screens that accept 20, 50 and 100 baht bills. The cost of the ticket varies from 15 to 55 baht, depending on how many areas you cross. See the map next to each auto ticket. If you don't have any coins, line up to change the jobs of your service personnel. If you stay in the city for more days, or you visit more in the next 30 days, there are options:
- A prepaid card (100 baht, 30 baht redeemable and 30 baht redeemable for paper cost)
- A tourist pass with which you use as many means as you want (140 baht per day)
- A multiple pass per area (15 races cost 345 baht, 25 races 550 baht, plus 30 baht repayable for a rechargeable paper lasting five years).
They'll save time, and save money and money from fighting with coins and cash. Check with your service personnel.
The Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM or MRT or ร ถ ไ ฟ ฟ้ ม า ห า น). 6:00-24:00. It has two lines, but extension work is under way, which is currently further complicating in some areas. The service started as an underground meter but some of the routes are now on high tracks, so the word "skytrain" for BTS is confusing mainly because the Airport Rail Link uses a similar construction. The Blue Line connects the Hualampong Central Station with the Bang Sue Train Station, which passes through Silom, Sukhumvit, Ratchadaphisek and areas around the Chatuchak market at Phahonyothin. The interchanges between the lines are at the stations of Si Lom, Sukhumvit and Chatuchak Park. The Viola line connects the market of Tao Poon west of Bang Sue station to continue west to Nonthaburi over the Chao Phraya river. Free shuttles transport passengers between the stations of Bang Sue and Tao Poon until the new railway is completed.
Meter tickets are not interchangeable with BTS tickets. Prices vary between 16 and 42 baht and are based on the number of stations. Automatic machines accept coins and banknotes and pre-paid cards up to 1,000 baht are also available. Electronic plastic tokens are used for individual races, and they are placed on the sensor to enter and when you leave, they deposit in a slot at the exit gate. Older people and children are entitled to a half - price ticket, but they have to go to the ticket office.
The subway stations have escalators in both directions and elevators, so access for people with motorized difficulties is easier compared to the Skytrain. It should be noted that there is control of the bags at the entrance of each station. It's usually a very mild check with a quick look, a play that wouldn't stop any assailants.
Tourists don't use the Metro as much as the Skytrain but there are many useful stops on the Blue Line. The Hualamphong terminal is good access to Yaowarat. Lumphini is in Lumphini Park. The Phetchaburi station provides an interchange with the Saen Saep Express Boat ferry at Asok pier and with the Rail Link Airport at Makkasan station. Phra Ram 9 is near the lucetown IT shopping center that locals prefer at Pantip Plaza. The Thai Cultural Center is close to the night market Rot Fa Ratchada and the show Siam Niramit. Lat Phrao is close to the Suam Lum night market. If over the weekend you went to Chatuchak market, don't go out to Chatuchak Park but a stop later in Kamphaeng Phet that goes right into the market.
The Viola Line is opening other areas for tourists. For example, the Siam Gypsy Junction, near Tao Poon, now has easier access to drink all night until dawn.
Thailand's main rail link between Bangkok and the north and the northeast provinces crosses the MRT in two points: Bang Sue and Hualamphong. For those in Khao San Road or Silom or Yaowarat, they can go down to Hualampong for easy access to those areas. However, because of the many levels that cross, going down to Ban Sue to take the metro will be faster for Hualampong, even though it costs a little more. If you go to Suvarnabhumi Airport, you go down to Bang Sue taking the subway to Phetchaburi and then change to Makkasan where you take the Rail Link Airport.
Airport Rail Link
Opened in 2010, the Airport Rail Link (ร ถ ไ ฟ ฟ้ า เ ชื่ อ ม ท่ า อ า ก). It connects Suvanabhumi airport to the city. The service began with the most expensive and fast Express Line but today only the City Line remains. The Terminal City Air at Makkasan station was also dismantled due to lack of use.
The City Line starts at Suvarnabhumi airport and ends in Phaya Thai with interesting stops, like Ramkhamhaeng, Makkasan for the metro line and Ratchaprarop for Pratunam. A ticket costs between 15 and 45 baht depending on the distance, and can be bought at both ticket offices and automatic vending machines accepting coins and notes. Trains run from 06:00 to 24:00 at 10/11 minute intervals during the week or 12/13 minutes during the weekend. The journey from Suvarnabhumi to Phaya Thai takes about half an hour. The City Line is clearly a commuter line that makes it a little populated, but it is always useful for tourists as well. Tickets are cheap and if you have luggage, there are escalators and elevators. If you go up to Phaya Thai or Suvarnabhumi you will probably be able to find a seat and suitcases even though there are no baggage spaces. At Makkasan station, a covered pedestrian bridge is passed to Phetchaburi MRT station. At the Phaya Thai train station, most passengers walk up the stairs but to take the lift for the tracks, they walk backwards towards the direction in which the train arrived. The elevators may be very full, but if you walk past it's the escalators. Once out of the gate, a pedestrian bridge is passed through the BTS station in Phaya Thai.
Taxamer taxis are a fast and convenient way to move around the city, at least if traffic flows in the direction you need to go, but it is well known that taxi drivers find almost always a way to raise the final tariff. You insist on using the taximeter and if the taxi driver declares that the destination is closed or does not know where it is or tries to take it elsewhere, get out of the taxi and get another one. All taxis have a taximeter and air conditioning that helps a lot when you're tired from walking in the heat. The starting cost is 35 baht and most of the routes will be less than 100 baht. There are no surcharges (except for the airport) even at night; don't believe taxi drivers who say otherwise. A red light on the windscreen, if lit, indicates that the taxi is available.
When the meter is turned on, a '35' will appear somewhere on the dashboard or between the taxi driver and you. make sure it's at the beginning of the race, as many taxi drivers "forget" about turning on the meter to charge more at the end. Many will turn it on when asked nicely (meter na khrap if you are men meter na kha if you are a woman), if you continue to ignore, then insist on saying "meter, please!" until you turn it on or you come down.
In some cases, late at night, especially near tourist districts like Kao San Road or Patpong, you will have to walk a block to take an honest taxi. The effort will save at least 150 baht. This is often the case for taxis that are parked all day in front of the hotel. There are only two reasons why they are there: to take them to places where they take a commission (jewelry shops, tailors, massage centers, etc.) and to charge more without using the meter.
The best way, therefore, is to walk down the main road and take a taxi available in motion (it's easier than it looks as if traffic in Bangkok is generally very slow and one in four cars is a taxi). However, avoid parked taxis and if the taxi driver refuses to turn on the meter, go away. It's illegal to run without a meter. The only reason they get away with it is because the unsuspecting or fearful tourists let go. Be smart and give your money to honest taxi drivers.
Make sure you know the correct pronunciation of the destination or have written it in Thai because taxi drivers are famous for being unable to read maps, and most drivers speak very little English. In most hotels and guest houses, they will be happy to help you by writing Thai addresses for you. If you're in a big hotel, they should give you a note with the "TAKE ME HOME" printed and the exact address of the hotel in Thai characters. Rarely will a taxi driver move to tourist shops. Although most taxi drivers will recognize the names of the most famous tourist spots, although badly pronounced, it is still difficult to pronounce addresses in Thai. If you have a mobile phone that works at times, it's useful to call the hotel and ask the staff to talk to the driver for you. Also take the business card of your hotel to show the driver in case you're lost.
If you're on expenses or are concerned about the means of transport, don't take yellow-green taxis. They're managed by the drivers themselves, so they change so much as a service and they don't always have the installed taximeters. All other colors belong to large companies that comply much more with standards.
On some routes, the driver will ask if he wants to use the tollway, which is usually a big saving of time, but the cost must be paid at the toll booth. Pay attention to what he pays, because many keep the rest.
When you go down, you'd better have small denomination banknotes (100 baht or not), otherwise there might be problems with the rest. tips are not necessary but welcome if you are happy with the service; many locals make round numbers or leave their tip in coins.
What would Bangkok be without the much-hated and much-loved tuk-tuk? They feel coming from a distance and they hate the smell; these three-wheeled gadgets rage around the city leaving behind a dark trail. They're basically a cross between a car and a Piaggio Ape, with padded, colorful seats, lights and other kitsch fronts. In 3, it is tight, but the custom is that four people stand behind it: Be strong because the guide is very sporting. For a trip of more than 5-10 minutes or just for experience, it's not worth what they cost and if you pass it on, the price will be four or five times what it should cost (30% cheaper for Thais than a taxi).
On the other hand, sometimes you could travel free of charge by agreeing to visit jewelry shops or tourist clothing shops, which will give the driver of the tuk-tuk fuel coupons and commissions for bringing the customer. The shopkeepers are very insistent and will try to screw by offering bad quality and "gems" clothes which are actually just pieces of glass. You're usually free to go after 5-10 minutes of browsing. But be careful that a stop might turn into three and your driver might not be interested in getting to his destination, focused on grooming a gas coupon. With Bangkok's traffic, it is certain that hours will be wasted if not the whole day.
If you want to take one, it's always better to fly it from the main street. Always agree on the price before you go to the tuk-tuk and be very clear about where you're going. If they say the destination is closed that day offering to take to another tourist place, insist on the original destination or come down. If you're part of a group of men alone, the chauffeur sometimes ignores the destination, taking you instead to a "beautiful girls" brothel. You constantly insist on going only to your final destination, otherwise take a taxi.
A songthaew is the least colorful, cheeky and tourist version of the tuk-tuk that typically works in the lateral streets of residential areas. These are small vans that usually have four wheels instead of three, two seats instead of one, go on petrol instead of diesel. The ladies and local people use them to get back from the market full of just-done shopping. The price is not negotiable. Most songthaew cost 5 baht even though those with longer distances cost 7 baht. The destinations are written only in Thai. You pay when you go up or when you go down. They'll give you the rest, but it's better to have a five-baht coin ready.
When the traffic is painfully stopped and there are no alternatives, the fastest way is the motortaxi (ม อ เ ต อ ร์ ไ ซ ค์ รั บ จ้ า ง lapjang motosai). They recognize that they wear yellow/orange high visibility jackets and wait for customers in crowded areas. Prices must be agreed in advance.
For adrenaline lovers, a motorcycle ride provides a good download. Imagine waving at 50 kilometers/h between rows of cars stuck in traffic by brushing around bodywork and pedestrians, other motorcycles, tuk-tuk, stray dogs and sometimes elephants, while the driver ignores every street code that ever existed and challenges the laws of physics. Now imagine the same thing looking backwards with a TV set on your knees: Only then can you define yourself as a Bangkok citizen, although you might die trying. Imagine your relatives trying to bring the body back because you took a risk on which you were warned. Accidents in motion are brutally widespread and using this means of transport is very dangerous. Be aware of the risks before getting into a taxi.
Most of the taxi cabs, however, do not make long journeys, but generally only up and down inland waterways that are not covered by other means of transport for a fixed number of 5-20 baht. These are a little less dangerous, especially if they're driving in a one-way street.
The driver and passenger have to wear their helmet and it is the taxi driver's responsibility to get one, and if the police stop it, it is always his responsibility. However, the supply of helmets is not always widespread. Even when you rent motorcycles and scooters, you have helmets. Stand down at the side handles and watch your knees.
Using the public boats that circulate on the Bangkok channels is the fastest (almost always chaotic) and cheapest system. At one time, almost all the channels in Bangkok were run by public boats, which later disappeared. These are the main remaining lines:
- Chao Phraya Express Boat. 10 to 30 baht. 6:00-20:00 Lun-Sab, 6:00-19:00 Dom and public holidays. A service of boats behaving like a bus traveling through the Chao Phraya, the main waterway that cuts Bangkok. It has several lines distinct from the color of the flag that the ferries carry. Some lines (slower) stop at all piers along the river, others stop at the main piers only. The list of lines and stops is available online. With the Chao Phraya Express Boat boats, it is possible to move very easily between several popular destinations, such as Khao San Road, Chinatown, the Hualalampong Central Station; in addition, many piers can be switched for public buses or skytrain. The list of terminals and public bus fleet is available online in the Connections section.
- The basic service runs from Wat Rajsingkorn (S4) north to Nonthaburi (N30) and stops at the main attractions of Rattanakosin including the Grand Royal Palace (Tha Chang stop) and Wat Pho (Tha Tien stop). The nearest pier to Khao San Road is Phra Arthit. The ferry goes up to the various piers and the ticket is paid to the controller, without any overcharge, who will come up with a long metal ticket machine. Even before boarding, you can buy tickets at the major docks, and when the controller approaches you can just show the ticket you bought.
- The different lines are indicated by the color of the flags in front of the boat and may be unclear: For example, the king's yellow flag with the Yellow Line should not be confused. The orange flag line (14 baht, 06:00 to 19:00 every day) is the most usable line for covering the major tourist areas and is quite fast. However, it does not stop at all piers like the flagged line (8, 10 or 12 baht), which is rather slow and only works during peak hours (Lu-Ve 06:45-07:30 / 16:00-16:30). It is better to avoid the Yellow Flag Line (19 or 29 baht. Lu-Ve 06:15-08:10 / 15:30-18:05) because it skips many points of interest including Khao San Road, The Royal Grand Palace and Wat Pho. The Green Line (10, 12, 19 or 32 baht Lu-Ve 06:10-08:10 / 16:05-18:05) jumps off many piers, but the Pakkred terminus is closest to Ko Kret if you want to spend one day there.
- In addition to the ordinary ferries expressed, there's the Blue Flag Line, which tourists stop at a small subgroup of piers, has a radio report in English and charges a fixed fee of 150 baht for a daily pass. These ferries are slightly more comfortable and may be worth considering if you want to navigate the most important tourist sites. They pass every 30 minutes and finish their shift at 3:00 p.m. Be aware that staff may announce that the orange flag line (cheaper and more regular) will not arrive for quite a while, as they have an aggressive customer solving policy. If you want the tourist experience with a guide and the comment from loudspeakers very high to the point that you often don't understand, this ferry does the case. However, you know that you're allowed to enter public piers (those with the blue wharf number inscriptions on a white background) and take any ferry you want because you don't need a ticket before you board.
- The signs on the pier are pretty clear with the number of the pier and the route map. The Sathorn dock (Taksin) is also known as the "central" pier and also offers interchange with Saphan Taksin's BTS station. The ferries leave every 5-20 minutes from dawn to dusk so ignore every stickler who tries to convince you otherwise.
- Many piers have also served by ferries crossing the river, which are very useful to reach Wat Arun or the many piers on the shore of Thonburi. They leave every 10 minutes and they only cost 3.5 baht to pay at the kiosk on the docks first and then cross the tournament.
- Khlong Saen Saep Boat Service. 8 to 22 baht. Lun-Sab 5:30-20:30, Dom and 05:30-19:00 festivals. Along the Saen Saep Strait, one of the remaining channels (khlong) that once traveled all the way through the city, operates this public vessel service which connects, with two lines, many heavily frequented areas Bangkok. Used mainly by commuters and despite the seemingly unreassuring appearance, these small 60-seater boats move across the narrow canal surrounded by the houses of Bangkok, smoothly connect areas, such as Pratunam, where road traffic is constantly congested, allowing it to move much faster and allowing it to see areas not otherwise visible. There are no tickets on the tiny, tiny piers along the river, but the ticket is bought directly on board, by acrobats walking in the balance on the outer edge of the boat. For the list of stops on both lines, you can refer to the company's website. In addition, for detailed information on lines, stops and connections with subway, SkyTrain and city buses visit the official service page. The channel runs parallel to Phetchaburi Road and keep in mind that the Panfa Leelard end is very close to the Golden Mountain and the Monument to Democracy, and therefore also to the tourist area Khao San Road, which is within 10 minutes of this line. Although at first sight this ferry service may seem dangerous and disorganized, in reality it is very efficient, albeit far from the scheme of a Western tourist. It allows for a truly original view of Bangkok's glow, even if the boats rush at maximum speed it is essential for passengers to lift up the side bulkheads (with the appropriate handles) in order to avoid showering with the canal's bad water spray. The bulkheads are then left at each stop to let other passengers get in and then be raised again. It is also very "folkloristic" during high tide periods, when boats literally lower the ceiling at every passage under road bridges, so as not to get caught.
- They're pretty safe, just be careful when you get on board and get off because they don't stop at the dock for very long. The next stop can be booked by pressing the green button or it may not stop. Today, the piers could also have placards in English, except for the mall bangkapi shopping center for which it is not obvious that it has arrived from the viewpoint of the canal.
- Because of the proximity of the last stop with the Golden Mountain, this line is rightly known as the Golden Mount Line and the full 18 km route runs from the Panfa Leelard docks to the Pratunam pier. If you want to continue further, you change the ferry. The NIDA Line starts from Pratunam in an eastern direction towards Sukhumvit and Ramkhamhaeng, so don't throw away the ticket.
- Taxi on the river. For journeys outside the pre-defined ones, a long-tail taxi can be rented to each main pier. They're pretty expensive and they're going to try to get you to spend 500 bahts an hour, but with some negotiation, they might be good for small groups. To get around the solder sign, first bargained for the shortest route, of about 30 minutes, then on board reprocessed directly with the driver.
Citizen buses are operated by the* Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (อ ง ค์ ก า ข ร น ส่ ง ม ว ล ช น ก รุ ง เ ท พ ข ส ม ก ☎), 1384 (Bus Route Hotline). they're the cheapest and most demanding way to move. There's an amazing number of lines that are usually indicated only in Thai. Even citizens have difficulties but at least they can call the 1384 service number which is also only in Thai. At the stops there's only a list of numbers stopping there and no other information. They are also subject to fateful traffic in Bangkok and many do not have air conditioning. If you want to get to a place quickly without the anxiety of getting lost, the bus is not the right choice: taxis are cheaper than most buses in the west of the city. But I'm a great adventurous experience if you're not in a hurry and if you're not sorry to be the focus of attention.For the intrepid and those on Khao San Road where buses are the only means of transport, the only free resource to decipher bus lines is the official BMTA website. It has an updated but not exhaustive list of lines in service in English, but without a map. You can also ask the guest house what buses you need to take to a specific destination. For a printed reference, the Bangkok Bus Map published by Roadway is a good investment of 69 baht if you travel by bus more than once.
Here is the hierarchical list of buses, from the cheapest to the best:
- Green buses, fixed price of 6,50 baht. Anxious and air-conditioned, and not advisable for a few stops. Privately run buses can be way faster than BMTA buses.
- Red bus, fixed price of 6,50 baht. More spacious and ventilated (in theory). Unlike the other buses, some of these even travel at night (with an overcharge of 1.50 baht). They're managed by BMTA. Some lines are free thanks to a 2011 government initiative that uses state funds to pay drivers. To find out which free ones you're trying to find a blue sign with white Thai inscriptions on the top of the windscreen, otherwise they're identical to the paid version.
- White/blue buses, fixed price of 8 baht. Identical to red buses but cost an extra baht. Managed by private companies along with BMTA.
- Yellow/blue and cream/blue buses, 11 baht for the first 8 km up to a maximum of 18 baht. With air conditioning and very comfortable. Yellow/blue are privately operated and cream/blue are BMTA.
- Orange buses, 13 baht for the first kilometers up to a maximum of 22 baht. With air conditioning and even more comfortable, owned by BMTA.
- Mini-bus white/pink, fixed price of 20 baht to pay to a car next to the driver who only wants the exact figure. They have air conditioning, they're modern and they only allow passengers to sit, which makes them difficult to pick up because many won't stop if they're full. They're also not very popular outside the center.
The buses stop only when it is necessary, so tell them to stop and pick you up using the gesture with their arm out and the palm of their hand down. Although drivers should stop only at official stops, some make passengers come down and board everywhere. Once on board you pay the controller and keep the ticket because you could have checks. To get off, you press the button near the door to request the stop.
Another two are that some buses with the same number could take slightly different routes, depending on color, and there are also express services (indicated by yellow signs) that skip some stops and may take the fast way to 2 baht more.
The airport buses accept baggage but regular lines do not.
Bangkok is famous for its stratospheric congestion, traffic is chaotic and motorcyclists have a suicidal way of riding motorbikes. As a result, many tourists think that driving in the city is a nightmare and it is advisable to use only the means of transport. However, the proliferation of huge shopping malls means that there are now places to park if you are forced to drive. Smartphones with maps and navigators make driving a little easier.
Many of the city's major attractions are no longer 5 km away from Siam Square. Walking long stretches in the heat and the ultra-busy streets may be exhausting, but it's a good way to see the city close up. Drink a lot of water and pay attention to road irregularities and motorcyclists. The food leftovers and surprises left by stray dogs are other reasons to pay more attention to where they put their feet. Residents instinctively avoid walking on the tombstones because in the past people fell into the discharges from broken tombstones. Women carry handbags on the inside of the sidewalk, not to the street, to discourage pickpockets.
Be careful to cross the street even with the green light. Turning to the left at a red light is legal and drivers turn around without pointing the arrow and giving way to pedestrians. Drivers do not stop or slow down pedestrian crossings without traffic lights. When you're expecting to cross at the main crossings with the corners of the road, stay very far from the road because motorcyclists will bend over the rope to get past other vehicles. When available, you always use pedestrian bridges, the stray dogs in the city are smart enough to use them.
Expect to be constantly approached by taxis and tuk-tuks asking where you're going, insisting that there's nothing to see later trying to get you to their trust shops. Everyone will leave immediately if they ignore it or leave.
What to see
More than anywhere else in Thailand, Bangkok offers wonderful opportunities to sit and watch people go by. Here is a partial list of what you'll see:
- University Students — Many Thai universities continue to wear their uniform. For girls, it's a white blouse with a short, black skirt. The button on the blouse indicates the consciousness that's the university of their own. The boys wear a white shirt with black trousers
- Business lady — Hasty dress with countless variations of pastel colors.
- Little lady from bar — little, dark-skinned baby coming from the peasant provinces, you'll see from a mile away with the pink cyclists and the golden kilo around your neck. Often he finds himself in a happy financial symbiosis with a "sexist emigrants."
- Sex emigrants — Beyond the 50s, bald, round belly beer, stained shirt, lovely love expression and a hairy arm sticking a girl too young to be her daughter. He found what he found.
- Ladyboy (kathoey) — tall, big hands, too much makeup, giant tits and Adam's apple. He perfected the art of disguise so well that he can be mistaken for an office or bar lady.
- Emigrant — A Farang walking, pulling it, in a shirt and trousers, and giving a shit that there's 35 degrees. Also try to distinguish between the scruffy English teacher and the inclusive travel guy. Try classifying them according to the old English joke of the three types of emigrants: missionary, mercenary or misadapted.
- Yuppie — Like every other city in Bangkok, it boasts a host of young professionals who are very trendy and fashionable, who have studied in the best and relatively wealthy schools. Like migrants, they usually wear soft sports outlets and always seem in a hurry without sweating.
- Khao San Road World — Tanned hair, bead necklace, sarong or shorts or broad trousers that are going, or have just come back from the beach. Confused and astonished when brought out of Khao San Road's environment.
Most tourist sites are concentrated on the island of Rattanakosin, which is often referred to as the "old city". With all the hundreds of temples in the city, the Grand Royal Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are the top three places to visit. The Great Royal Palace is huge, so expect to spend at least an entire morning or afternoon with it. Within the perimeter of the building's walls there is Wat Phra Kaeo the most sacred temple in Thailand. Unlike other buildings, it is not a single building and there are no monks living there, but it is a group of very decorated sacred buildings and monuments. One of the buildings houses the emerald Buddha and although it is not understood by its size, it is the image of a more sacred Buddha than Thailand.
Wat Pho, the home of the largest Buddha, is nearby and a famous massage school. The ferry is taken over the Chao Phraya River for Thonburi for the spectacular Wat Arun. The main structure has a height ranging from 60 to 88 meters and is surrounded by four prang trees. It is one of the most picturesque temples in Thailand and on the interior it is cheshed with 10 baht coins. It is so recognizable that it has also become the logo of the Thai Tourism Authority (TAT). If you go up there and look closer, you'll see that it's decorated with pieces of Chinese china. Going back to Rattanakosin, there are other major temples to visit, like the Golden Mount, Wat Suthat and Wat Ratchanaddaram.
Don't throw away the entrance ticket of the Royal Palace because it also serves for revenue at the Dusit Palace in Dusit. It is located in a very green European-style area built by King Rama V to escape the heat of the Royal Palace. Its main structure is the Vimanmek Residence, which is trying to sell it to us as the largest golden teak house in the world, but you can spend the day at the museum instead, if you like. There are many museums in Bangkok that show traditional Thai style residences. Many tourists visit Jim Thompson, the residence of a CIA agent assembled by mixing six traditional Thai style houses located near Siam Square. Ban Kamthieng in Sukhumvit, the home of the Heritage of R. Kukrit's in Silom and the Suan Pakkad Palace in Phahonyothin don't make the same impression, but they're a good experience. The museums of Rattanakosin are mainly devoted to history and culture, including the National Museum (on Thai history and archeological remains), the Siam Museum, the Rattanakosin Museum (which offers two guided tours with interactive exhibitions on history of old and modern Thailand), and the King Pradesh Museum jadhipok. Bangkok has a small but active artistic community and it is worth visiting the National Gallery or Queen's Gallery or one of the small galleries scattered throughout the city. In Siam Square, there is the Center of Art and Culture in Bangkok, which has temporary exhibitions all year round.
Lumphini Park in Silom is the largest park in the city and a good way to escape the fumes. The backpack travelers around Khao San Road can go to Santichaiprakarn Park a very funny ventilated park along the river where locals practice and delight with juggler tricks. Built around the Forte Phra Sumen with a beautiful view on the Rama VIII cable bridge. Zoos and herds are some of the most famous attractions in the city, but before you go there, you know that animal welfare in Thailand is not properly regulated. The poor living conditions of animals and inadequate veterinary care are examples of the sad treatment of the animal population. However, the Queen Saovabha Snake Rearing in Silom should not be wrong, as staff take good care of their snakes and have the job of informing the public of the risks associated with these animals. Another good attraction for families is the Siam Ocean World in Siam Square. It's expensive, but at least you'll see the biggest aquarium in Southeast Asia.
Events & Holidays
All the main Thai festivals are being celebrated in Bangkok. The New Year is celebrated three times. There is the new Gregorian year on January 1, celebrated with a huge display of fireworks at the Ratchaprasong intersection. There is the Chinese New Year in January or February with great processions of Chinese lions in Yaowarat. Finally, Thailand's traditional New Year celebrated in mid - April with Songkran water festivities. Khao San Road degenerates and turns into a war zone with Farang and local people fighting with super water cannons. Many more respectable celebrations are held in Sanam Luang, where the venerated image of Phra Phuttha Sihing is shown and devotees take her bath, and at the Wisut Kasat intersection where a beauty contest is held Miss Songkran.
During the Royal Armament Ceremony in May, farmers believe that an ancient shaman ritual held in Sanam Luang will predict whether or not the next harvest season will be plentiful. The event takes the Sukhothai Kingdom back and was reintroduced in 1960 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is considered to be the official start of the rice growing season and the rainy season. Today the ceremony is being conducted by Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Loi Krathong Light Festival (ล อ ย ก ร ท) is usually in November. The Krathong are rafts made of lotus flowers and banana leaves with a lit candle and over incense. On the night of the full moon, the Thais send their Krathong along a river, canal or pond and the owner's bad luck is leaving with it ensuring a new beginning. The celebrations are held throughout the city with parades, concerts and marches. The Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna Yi Peng festival (ยี่ เ ป็ ง). In this festival, a multitude of lanna - style paper lanterns are released into the sky. Lumphini Park is the best place to let a Krathong go into the pond or a lantern go into the air.
The Gathering of Colors in early December is an impressive annual event held at the Royal Plaza near the equestrian statue of King Rama V in Dusit. Dressed in colorful uniforms, in a mixture of pomposity and ceremony, the elite members of the Royal Guard swear allegiance to the king and march in front of the royal family.
July 28 is Father's Day, the King's birthday; Ratchadamri Road and the Grand Palace are decorated and lighted. In the evening, hundreds of thousands of citizens fill the road from Sanam Luang to the Chitralada Palace to glimpse the King when he is slowly thrown into the royal car.
On December 5, which was Father's Day until the king's death in 2016, he was changed to the anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday.
- Bangkok Design Week , TCDC Bangkok, The Grand Postal Building, 1160 Charoenkrung Road, Bangrak, ☎ +66 2 105 7400, @[email protected] It takes place between the end of January and the beginning of February. Organized by the Thai Creativity and Design Center (TCDC) under the patronage of the Prime Minister's Office, Thailand Creative & Design Center is a festival distributed in various areas of the city that invites Thai creative and designers to share new views of the city, allowing visitors to observe the capital's future through three subjects: Living in the city, wealth and gastronomy, creative arts.
- Galleries Night. It takes place in early February in the Silom and Sukhumvit areas. Opening night for art galleries organized by the French Embassy through the association "Culture and French cooperation in Thailand."
- Thailand Tourism Festival (Thailand Tourism Festival) (In Lumphini Park in mid - January). The festival features the arts and cultures of the various areas of the kingdom, organized by the Tat, the Thai tourism authority. She cooks, crafts, arts and sciences from 50 districts, with the strong presence of tribes from the mountains. It is a concentration of activity that is unavoidable for the curious and those who want to absorb as much as possible of this country into a limited space and time.
- Bangkok Marathon (every November).
What to do
Until the end of the 19th century, Bangkok, like Ayutthaya, was known as "East Venice." Most people lived near or on water, and an intricate canal network was the main mode of transport for citizens. Most of the channels have been covered since then, but many of them remain today, and some still work as direction lines. The traditional way of living through channels almost vanished, but since Thonbury was largely under-developed until the 20th century, it can still be a little authentic. Floating markets have completely disappeared in the 20th century but have been reintroduced for tourism and are pleasant to visit.
You can see the Chao Phraya River and the canals of the city with the canal tour. Most of these tours begin on the east bank of the river and flow through the channels of Thonburi via Wat Arun, the National Museum of Royal Boats, a floating market and some minor attractions. More information can be found on Thonburi's page. For 1,000 baht or more, they're pretty expensive, but you can treat prices with some individual barrels. Damnoen Saduak is a floating market that often appears on Bangkok's brochures but is actually 109km west of Bangkok and reaches by bus from the South Bus Terminal.
It's probably just as fun to take express boat public service along the river. You can go anywhere between the piers of Thewet and Sathorn (Taksin) and there are many things to see in all these neighborhoods. You can also take the boat all the way north to Nonthaburi in the morning, enjoy the afternoon in this traditional quiet town and take the boat back to rush hour. Another option is to take one of the free shuttle buses at the Sathorn Pier (Taksin) and eat something at one of the associated cafeterias. In the evening, Asiatique has a free shuttle boat from Sathorn dock (Taksin) to the new shopping center along the river. A very nice place to see the sunsets on the river.
Masses and self-indulgence
Traditionally, spas were towns where public baths, hospitals or hotels were built on natural spas so that people could use the therapeutic properties of water and mam for curative purposes. Nowadays, a spa can be a place where everyone can go to relax in a quiet environment with a variety of treatments administered to get the body and the mind back into shape and reinvigorating.
We hadn't heard of spa until the '90s, but today Bangkok is one of the world's leading destinations with a huge choice of treatments. All the luxury hotels that respect each other have a spa that offers at least Thai massage. Prices are exorbitant but offer some of the best treatments in the city. Spa well known at exorbitant prices is present in high - end hotels in Silom, in particular the spa of Hotel Dusit Thani. Independent spas offer the same experience and offer much more competitive prices. Around 1,000 baht/hour for most treatments.
The ubiquitous massage shops in every corner of the city offer the best value for money but less variety of services with offers that are limited to massage. In particular, Khao San Road and Sukhumvit are full of these negotiations. It's quite easy to distinguish legitimate shops from those that are a little more dubious, where massage is just the facade of prostitution: the real ones cost between 250-400 baht for an hour-long massage that has a team of sturdy white-jacket women working on the sight-goers' feet, while others have skinny girls in the evening dress with too much makeup saying "hello handsome" to every man who passes.
Thai Muay, the Thai boxing game, is both a combat sport and a self-defense tool. Opponents can use almost every part of their body to fight: feet. elbows, knees and shoulders. There are two places in Bangkok to see some meetings: Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Silom and Ratchadamnoen Stadium in Rattanakosin. Sessions can last all night, and even if you arrive late, it's okay because the most interesting meetings tend to be over. Even the traditional music played during the meeting is very enjoyable. One boredom that can put us out of combat in the West is the cost of the entry ticket of 1,000-2,000 baht for foreigners. Thais enter with 100 baht or not.
If you want to see Muay Thai for free, you go to the MBK Fight Night outside the MBK Center near Siam Square. The meetings take place every Wednesday evening (starting at 18.00 and running until 21.00). Another option is to walk to the end of Soi Rambuttri in the alley known as Trok Kasap (near Khao San Road). There, foreigners take lessons in Muay Thai in the open and many tourists usually sit on benches in front of them admiring. Apart from looking at this, it's a great place to try.
Bicycles can be rented free of charge to Rattanakosin, but cyclists are not allowed to leave the routes set along the island. However, even just following the cycle path is not for the weak of the heart.
Pedaling is a good idea to avoid major roads and exploit the complex road system and internal alleys. You can also experience rural life around the city by pedaling through green rice fields, orchard plantations and lotus fields. Bang Kachao, to whom the tourist flyers often refer as the "Bangkok jungle", is the last green border of the city. It's a peninsula across the river from Bangkok with a few cars and buildings and a very good bicycle destination.
Cyclists are treated like pedestrians, so you can use your bicycle to explore the parks, temple complexes, markets and quiet residential areas of the east of the city. In busier areas, you pedal on the sidewalk. Bicycle exploration has all the advantages of walking, combined with a bigger radius of action and a refreshing breeze. Pedaling is the best way to discover the city more closely, but there are security issues to consider and you need knowledge about where to ride. Because of this, many are choosing tours organized by industry players.
- 1 Bangkok Biking , Baan Sri Kung 350/123, Soi 71, Rama III Road, ☎ +66 2-285 3955. 950-2,400 baht. Bicycle tours in small groups for hidden parts of Bangkok, mostly free from traffic. Funny spells for the whole family.
- 2 Co van Kessel , ☎ +66 2 639-7351. 950-1,950 baht. They organize many tours in cities including Chiantown, Thonburi channels, the "Bangkok Jungle" and many other places.
- 3 Follow Me Bicycle Tours , 126 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 286-5891. 1,000 baht. A half - day tour through the city's residential streets. Included in the price is a fish massage and a barbecue at the end of the turn.
- 4 Grasshopper Adventures , 57 Ratchadamnoen Klang Road (Near the Monument to Agriculture, not far from Khao San Road), ☎ +66 2 280-0832, @ [email protected] 1,000-1,600 baht. Tour in the historical center of the Rattanakosin area, on the outskirts or at night.
- 5 SpiceRoads , 45 Soi Pannee, Pridi Banomyong Soi 26, Sukhumvit Soi 71, ☎ +66 2 381-7490. 2,950 baht. Many one-day tour inside or outside Bangkok. There are trips to the "Bangkok Jungle", Ko Kret, Yaowarat and Thonburi.
- 6 Go Bangkok Tours , 51 Charoen Krung, Soi 44, Bang Rak (At Saphan Taksin station, exit 1 and walk for 3 minutes), ☎ +66 2-630 7563, fax: +66 2-630 7563, @[email protected]. 350-1,500 baht. It offers bike tours, some GPS-driven tours, and rental. Small groups of up to 6 people.
The city also offers a bike-sharing service, called "Pun Pun Bike Share Program," similar to the same service offered in many other cities around the world.
- Pun Pun, Sathon Nuea Rd, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand. Every rental station has eight bicycles and there should be 400 stations spread throughout the city. Despite the fact that the website is only in Thailand, there is an ongoing English update on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PunPunBangkokBicycleShare/).
- To join the initiative, you must reach an operational station (two of which are in Chamchuri Square, MRT Sam Yan and Siam Square station, BTS Sukhumvit station or Silom Line - exit 4 of Siam station), and fill out a form. For foreigners, he must be accompanied by a passport. A member of staff will take a photo of you, after which they will pay 320 baht for registration and receive a pre-paid card with 100 baht already entered, for which you can choose the PIN number. The card will be used at bicycle releasing stations and for payment when it returns. It can be used for up to one day and prices vary depending on the time you use:
- Free Up to 15 minutes
- 10 baht after initial 15 minutes up to 1 hour
- 20baht 1-3 hours
- 40baht 3-5hr
- 60baht 5-6 hours
- 80bht 6-8hr
- 100 baht over 8 hours
- When the maximum rental time and before the stations close at 8:00 p.m., the staff will phone you reminding you to return the bicycle, because keeping it overnight is not allowed. In the event of non - reporting, a fine of 500 baht is charged on the paper used.
Bangkok is a great place to go to the movies. In comparison to Western countries, the price of a ticket of 120 baht is a real bargain. Most of the cinemas have very high standards and are showcasing the latest Hollywood and Thai news. They're updated with the latest technological innovations, so expect to wear 3D glasses for some of the movies. You can also visit the IMAX cinema in Siam Paragon. Thai films can be seen by foreigners because they usually have English subtitles. For the most independent cinemas, House RCA (on Royal City Avenue) and APEX in Siam Square offer art films with English subtitles.
For other means of entertainment, Ratchadaphisek is the new paradise. His bowling centers have superb standards with some of them who look like nightclubs. You dance while playing with style. Private karaoke rooms are usually connected to these centers and are available in major hotels. There's also an ice skating track and a high-level go-kart runway. Since this area is more targeted for locals, you could even try similar places in Siam Square or Sukhumvit. The horse racing takes place on Sunday at two alternate clubs: The Royal Turf Club of Thailand in Dusit and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club on Henri Dunant Road near Siam Square.
Bangkok is a good place for the aerobic dance. Many places in the city, such as supermarkets or public parks, offer free lessons in outdoor aerobic dance. Classes usually start in the morning at 6:00 p.m. and in the evening at 6:00 p.m. and the session lasts an hour. The instructor does not provide the equipment, so the participants must already be dressed as required. The meeting place usually consists of a tapestry with a stage for the instructor. These classes do not need Thai knowledge because education rarely uses verbal instruction. Outside of the exercise, it's a good reason to meet both local and foreign people. These classes are usually attended by 50 to 100 people.
For supermarkets, you can find classes at the Tesco Lotus or the Big C that have only classes at night and usually held in the nearby parking lot.
For public parks there are many places but the most famous is in Lumpini Park in Silom district. They have classes in the morning and in the evening at the ceremonial gate.
Thai food is preferred by many and there are many cooking schools that offer half-day classes that are a good break from the monotony of tourist visits. Silom and Kaho San Road in particular have some of the best-known schools.
meditation, the essence of pure Buddhism, can be practiced in any Thai temple. In addition, there are centers in Bangkok that serve specifically the foreigners I want to learn and practice. The International Buddhist Meditation Center inside Wat Mahathat in Rattanakosin offers free meditation lessons three times a day. If you understand Thai well enough you could want to go to a retreat in a quiet temple on the outskirts. In order to repay the reception, assistance to the monks resident in their begging rounds is greatly appreciated. For the centers inside Bangkok, it is recommended that you consult the articles about the different areas. Near Bangkok is:
- 11 POP (POP House Retreat Center), 50 Moo 10, Klong Song, Klong Luang, Amphoe Khlong Luang, Chang Wat Pathum Thani 12120 (Pathum Thani, Bangkok), ☎ +688 9 987 4630.
- 12 The Middle Way Institute 72/51, Moo 11, Ban Saun Tawanthum, Bangkhan St, Khlong Song, Khlong Laung, Pathum Thani 12121 (Pathum Thani, Bangkok. Geodata are approximate), ☎ +66 82 333 3082, @[email protected].
The Wat Pho temple in Rattanakosin offers excellent Thai massage courses. They are accustomed to teaching in English.
Bangkok is particularly well known for its sartorial plethora in which you can buy a custom made dress for an extraordinarily low price compared to the West. But choosing a tailor is complicated. tailors in the middle of tourist areas like Khao San Road or Nana Plaza generally have very low quality at exaggerated prices. Avoid any tailors recommended by the riders or by any tuk-tuk driver, because they are obviously not credible and you will have to pay them a fee. avoid super-cheap packages or anything done in 24 hours because quality will suffer greatly. The most important rule to find a good tailor is: research. You don't just go into the first store that happens to you, you ask other travelers or you look for online reviews. In general, the best tailors are slightly off the tourist routes in Silom and Sukhumvit.
If you're familiar with the fabrics and style you want, it's a big help (get a sample or at least one photo) and you'll need time for at least three sessions for the dress (size, test and final adjustments). Prices obviously depend on the tailor's capacity and the material used, but expect to pay at least 7,000 baht for a two-piece suit. When you choose materials that go safe with Italian or English textiles because local fabrics are often of low quality (except silk). You insist on two test sessions, you give yourself and the tailor time and fill it with details so you get the exact dress you're looking for.
Bangkok is a huge outdoor market. Practically everywhere there are stalls that sell items of all kinds to travelers, like this on the night market, and PatPong's red - light neighborhood. Leave a little girl in Siam Square holding a few thousand bahts and will stay busy for the rest of the week! Siam Square is the place to shop in Bangkok. his little alleys have dozens of design shops. The MBK Center and Siam Center are the most famous shopping malls because they sell clothes at much lower prices than Western prices. Siam Paragon and the shopping centers in Ratchaprasong seem even bigger but they are quieter because most Thais cannot afford the Gucci and Louis Vuittons for sale there. The girls will feel at home at the Emporium in Sukhumvit.
Just a few steps outside your hotel and the city will look like a huge market. Sukhumvit has the usual souvenirs, T - shirts and other pacific tourist garbage. Running around the stalls on the back streets of Khao San Road is especially good for clothes and accessories, many of which are priced for sale. Despite the fact that many of these stalls are still targeted at traditional hippie customers, they are slowly gentrificing themselves to attract a larger customer base. The neighboring Banglamphu market sells at rock bottom prices like the night markets in Silom and Rattanakosin.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market at Phahonyothin weekend is mandatory because its 8,000 stalls form the largest market in Southeast Asia (though they like to think it's in the world). You buy everything you can imagine there, from clothes to potted plants, from lavatories to huge pieces of art, and it's a paradise for curious people and businessmen. The alternative during the week is Pratunam one of the most famous clothing markets. The clothes sold here are wholesale and you do better business by buying in quantities. Pantip Plaza buys computer parts from branded laptops to pirated DVDs.
Yaowarat and Phahurat provide a more authentic experience, although many shops sell cheap stuff for kids who are also in other places. Just sitting in a plastic chair watching the evolving daily trade is a fun business in itself. Phahurat is the best destination for fabrics, available in all colors and sizes. Pak Khlong Talat is a surprisingly amusing wholesale market for cut flowers and vegetables. If you're a morning man, visit him at around 3:00, when the new flowers come from the northern regions and the market is perfectly lit.
Moving away from the tourist routes, such as the Dusit neighborhood, the stalls totally change the appearance of goods and customers (the Thais). No more clothes, CDs and other inulations, but vegetables, fish and fruit mixed. In this neighborhood, we feel observed because it is unusual to see Westerners. Thonburi, as one of the less developed areas, is the best place to experience what the city used to be. The Taling Chan Floating Market is only mandatory on the weekend that gives the feeling of authentic, mixing a rural market with life on the canals. Wang Lang market is a hidden gem with prices for local people. On the other side of the Rattanakosin River has everything that a good Buddhist would need, whether it be amulets, bowls for monks or statues of the Buddha in real size.
For the antiques, Silom is the place to go, as potential customers stay there in expensive hotels. The River City in Yaowarat is the city's largest shopping center and prices are aligned with it. Gold and precious stones are the best purchases but be careful: Know what you're looking for as quality and processing, gold or stone, and how much it would cost if you bought it in Italy. If possible with a priori search, not a recommendation from a street vendor, go to reputable jewelers and dust off your bargaining skills. Many tourists buy worthless pieces of glass believing they are gems. Others buy jewelry or precious stones at unjustified prices. Never let yourself be taken from a tuk-tuk to a jewelry store. he takes an errand for bringing you there, and most of the time you'll be cheated. The same advice applies to sartories.
If you want to buy books, there are second - hand shops in Khao San Road. For the new, there are many chains in shopping centers and they are Asia Books, B2S, Bookazine and Kinokuniya. There's a good variety of books about Asian culture and history. some also have a good selection of foreign magazines and newspapers.
Buying money in town is pretty easy; credit cards are well accepted everywhere and ATMs are present all over the city, especially in the central areas. All banks charge a 150 baht commission for the use of foreign cards for ATMs, with the sole exception of HSBC, whose branch is Rama IV Road 968, in front of Lumphini Park.
How to have fun
Bangkok's night life is notoriously out of mind, but it's not what it used to be. Because of recent campaigns on social order, there have been some restrictions on opening hours, nakedness, and drug use. Most restaurants, bars and clubs are now forced to close at 12:00, although many others are allowed to remain open until 2:00 or beyond. Some informal bars on the road remain open all night, especially in Sukumvit and Khao San Road. You always have to carry your passport for identity checks, and occasionally the police raid bars and clubs, subjecting all customers to tests on drugs and searches, although this happens mainly in places frequented by high-ranking Thai society.
One of the main celebration districts is Silom, the cradle not only of the most famous strip bar in the world, Patpong, but also many more legal exercises that please all tastes. The outdoor terrace on the roof of Vertigo and Sirocco is particularly striking for a drink with sight. A large number of more fashionable and expensive bars are found in the highest bars of Sukhumvit, including Bed Supperclub, Q Bar and Narz, as well as the fashionable area of Thong Lo (Soi 55).
Even the hippie reunion that is Khao San Road is slowly gentrificing and many Thai artistoid teenagers are settled there. Leaving Khao San Road is mostly informal, and sitting in bars along the street watching people go by, but the Gazebo Club is a nightclub that is open until dawn. Most younger Thais prefer to find themselves around Ratchadaphisek, where the Royal City Avenue is a street with nightclubs where the famous 808, Route 66, Cosmic Cafe and others are found.
RCA, Royal City Avenue, is home to more than nightclubs. You'll find karaoke club, go-kart runways, gaming halls and bars like the Overtone Music Cave, which is a place where you perform music students, often attended by famous artists and students who are becoming the real focal point of Bangkok's music.
Smoking is banned in all restaurants, bars and nightclubs, whether there's air conditioning or not. It's imposed in some places, but the ordinance is transgressed into areas like Nana Plaza.
Go-go bar and breweries
Some simple rules of galateo to follow in a go-go bar:
- A drink is obligatory at all times. Most places charge 100-150 baht for almost all drinks. We'll give you a menu of drinks and prices.
- A lady drink costs at least 200-300 baht and gives you the privilege of having a chat with the young lady/gentleman of your choice.
- Bringing a dancer/or a dancer out of their workplace before closing will cost a fine from the bar of about 600 baht. This is actually the bar part, and the rest of you are going to run it between you two.
- No pictures inside the bar. I caught in flagrant if you do well, your camera will be confiscated, but most likely they will beat you.
- Look but don't touch (unless you've been invited to do so). A rush of euphoria will drive you out of the club.
- Bring your passport. Police incursions are not rare and you will spend the night at the police station if you cannot prove your identity.
The go bar is an institution of good nights in Bangkok. In a go-go club, dozens of bikini dancers (or not) crowd the stage, moving back and forth to the highest music rate trying to make eye contact with customers to lure through the crowd. Some, but not all, are setting up "shows" where the girls perform on stage, but they're more modest than you would expect. Nakedness is technically forbidden, these are not Western-style or American-style strip clubs. Wait till you see a stage in the center surrounded by chairs and 5-10 girls dancing on it or stopping at various striptease stages. There's no lap dance, but the girls will sit down with you for the price of a lady drink. In a brewery there are no halls and girls wear normal clothes.
If this looks like a little beauty for prostitution, it is. While some report the origin of the commercialization of Thai sex the vast number of American soldiers during the Vietnam War, others claim that the attitude toward sexuality of Thais has deeper roots in history. In both the go-go bar and the breweries are only aimed at foreign tourists and most likely the Thais who are paid to stay there. Having said that, there is no problem if you look at the performances without taking part in them, and there are increasingly curious couples, and occasionally a tourist group, who enjoy them. The main area is around Patpong in Silom, but similar bars can be found in Sukhumvit in Nana Entertainment Plaza (Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (Soi 23). The Soi 33 is full of bars with chaperones, which are higher than the two mentioned above and do not have go-go dances. Before going to these places, make sure you've read the security section for advice.
The go-go bars close at 10:00, after which there are the so-called after-hour clubs that are open until dawn. They're not hard to find, you jump in a taxi, and the driver will take you there because they take errands from their owners to bring you. You might even have the free race. These clubs are generally sad and on the edge of law, and there are free professionals among the girls. Some of these clubs are Bossy Club in Pratunam, Spicy Club near Siam Square and the famous Thermae in Sukhumvit between Soi 15 and 17, in the undersigned of the Ruamchit hotel.
Nighttime life for gay people
In Bangkok homosexuality is generally accepted and has a very active night scene focused on Silom in Soi 2 and Soi 4 and a small series of go-go bars also known as Soi Twilight (outside Surawong Road). All these bars have free entry, but they charge an extra 150 baht for the drinks. The most famous bars are The Balcony and Telephone Pub in Silom's Soi 4, which are open until 11:00 p.m. For the DJ Station discotheques and their neighbor who's open late at night G.O.D. Club (Soi 2 of Silom) is full every night starting at 11:00 p.m. Between 17:00 and 12:00, more than 200 men from around the world walk, swim, eat and celebrate at the nearby Babylon, considered by many to be the best gay sauna in the world. Babylon is also a hotel with cheap, luxury seats.
Since the opening of exclusively lesbian bars Zeta and E-Fun, a small lesbian community is beginning to emerge along Royal City Avenue. Lesla (near Phahonyothin) is a lesbian bar open only on Saturday night. Get your passport in to check your age (they don't let people under the age of 20 enter).
This is a separate case from the many transsexuals (kathoey) in Thailand, both for and after surgery, known as ladyboy. Even if they are part of Thai culture, the kathoey have always begun to experience prejudice by importing the most intolerant Western way of thinking. Many Western men are obsessed with "exchanging" a ladyboy with a real woman fearing that attracting her would automatically make them homosexuals. The old stereotypes that describe a "tall, with big hands and breasts, with a dazzling trick" are refuted by the fact that many kathoeys are struggling to fit into the community. However, legal sex changes are not possible in Thailand, which means that many "respectable" jobs are struggling to access. Some work for the famous cabarets of transvestites and there are some cafes dedicated to kathoey.
Note that regular Tahilandan gay-night visitors take advantage of the thin line between celebrating and prostituting, and Western tourists, considered wealthier, expect to pay for all food and drink and perhaps even taxi money in the morning. It's advisable to ask the guy you know at the bar if he actually wants money, because it's not unusual for them to start asking after having sex.
Where to eat
BANGKOK boasts about 50,000 places to eat, not only Thai restaurants but also a wide selection of international cuisine at the highest level. Prices are generally high for Thai standards but cheap for international standards. A good meal hardly costs more than 300 baht, although there are some restaurants (mainly in hotels) where you can easily spend 10 times more.
Sukumvit has by far the best restaurants in the city and prices tend to be high. Almost every kitchen in the world here has its own representation, whether French, Lebanese, Mexican, Vietnamese or a merger that mixes many of these into a bizarre but delicious mixture. The Italian quarter of the city is Soi Ton Son near Siam Square. For those who have little money, the street stands are abundant with simple Thai dishes starting at 30 baht. In particular, there are many cheap restaurants in Khao San Road.
There are also many vegetarian restaurants in the most tourist areas. Vegetarian menus are also available in many restaurants. On request, the stalls can adapt the most famous Thai recipes to the vegetarian version. Ask for "jay" food to leave the meat out of the recipe. For example, fried rice is "khao pad" and its vegetarian version is "khao pad jay". For vegans, the most commonly used animal product would be oyster sauce, and to avoid oyster sauce, you have to say, "Never ao naam man hoi." Be careful that all street stalls that make noodle noodle noodles use soup of meat.
Don't let a good ice cream escape. The Western Dairy Queen and Swensen's have stores in every shopping center. Better still try an exotic fruit-tasting ice cream in an Iberry store. Their ice cream is tasty, cheap and safe to eat.
Even though they're not very classy, street restaurants serve the most delicious food you can find in the whole city and any area you rarely have to walk more than 100 meters to find a cart or a stall where you can take something or even sit and be served. Many restaurants sell satay (ส ะ เ ะ) with hot sauce for 5-10 baht per piece.
One of the national dishes you can try is the pad thai (ผั ด ไ ท ย), which are spaghetti made of rice poured into frying with eggs, fish sauce, tamarindo juice and hot red chili peppers. They can prepare it in ubiquitous carts or serve in street restaurants for about 50 baht. You can order chicken (kai) or shrimp (kung). Another national dish to be tested is tom yam kung (ต้ ม ย ำ ง), a soup with shrimp, citronella and galanga. Be careful it's very spicy. Another popular dish is the Khao man Kai (ข้ า ว มั ไ). You can identify them at the bankers who expose boiled chicken. It's a portion of rice with sliced chicken and cucumber on it and it's served with a bowl of fragrant chicken soup. The side sauces are spicy and they marry well with the light taste of chicken and rice. Sometimes you can add liver or gizzard if you like it. If you like the candy you try to find the kanom roti stall (โ ร ตี), which is a dessert that looks like a cracked cream filled with condensed milk, a lot of sugar, and sometimes even bananas. It's also interesting to look at preparation.
Khao San Road is also known for carts selling insects. They're fried and they're very nutritious and tasty with soy sauce sprayed on them. Scorpions, water beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bamboo larvae, camels and some seasoning specialties are available. Untie the feet of the grasshoppers and crickets or they'll be stuck in their throats.
Near Khao San Road, in front of big stores and supermarkets, the streets are lined with a myriad of stalls that sell all sorts of tempting delicacies: cakes and crackers, coconut jellies, candied fruit, fish-meaty skewer, tamarindo cakes in spicy sauce and sugar, and much, much more.
Thai cuisine gathers generically in: Central, North, North and South. In Bangkok all these kitchens are present. The Isaan (northeast of Thailand) cuisine is very famous; street restaurants usually serve it with many different dishes that can be shared. The Som Tam (ส้ ม ำ) is a salad made of raw papayas made of peanuts and purée, once again be careful because it is spicy but very good. If you want to eat the Isaan way, order khao niew (sticky white rice), kai yang (grilled chicken) and moo yang (grilled pig). The Isaan food is very spicy. say never pet or pet nit noy to lighten it a little. The southern Thai cuisine is also worth a try; Many restaurants are located around Wang Lang in Thonburi. At least try the curry massaman (แ ก ง มั มั่) that is delicious.
The place to go for the Chinese kitchen is Yaowarat. It has a wide variety of stalls and cheap restaurants selling expensive delicacies. The best road to big fish restaurants is Soi Phadung Dao. Try one kilogram of huge shrimp grilled for about 300 baht. The Phahurat area has decent Indian restaurants.
Restaurant cruises on the Chao Phraya River are a very tourist (but pleasant) way of seeing daylit temples while swallowing fish while watching Thai cultural shows. Many have the buffet combination and the quality of the food is like this — but there's plenty of it and it's not very spicy. The river may be a romantic experience but it's also dirty and smelly with lots of floating plants.
It should be noted that beverages and tips are generally not included in the prices on the underlying lists. Always book before going to the dock. There are a lot of competing operators, most of them starting from the pier River City near the pier of express ferries Si Phraya. The main players are:
- Chao Phraya Princess , 723 Supakarn Building, Charoen Nakhorn Road, ☎ +66 2 860-3700. 1,300 baht. Departure 19:30. A big operator with four modern air-conditioned ships that can seat up to 250 people. Departure from the River City dock.
- Loy Nava , 1367 Charoen Nakhorn Road, ☎ +66 2 437-4932. 1,400 baht. You leave 18:00 or 20:10 every day. This restaurant cruise sails with 70-seater barges for rice. From the Si Phraya Pier (near River City), there is a free pickup truck service from most hotels.
- Manohra , 257 Charoen Nakhorn Road, ☎ +66 2 477-0770. 1,250-1,990 baht. I leave 19:30 every day. These barges for Thai Rice have been restored and 40 people have been seated. It departs from the Marriott Resort dock with the pickup service option from Saphan Taksin's BTS station.
- Wan Fah , 292 Rachawongse Road, ☎ +66 2 222-8679. 1,000 baht. I leave 19:00 every day. These two - hour restaurant cruises offer a fixed Thai menu and fish, live music and classical Thai dance. Departure from the River City dock.
- Yok Yor Marina , 885 Somdet Chao Phraya Soi 17, ☎ +66 2 863-0565. I'm leaving 20:00. Managed by the famous fish restaurant, it is an option more for local (and also economic) people than for tourists: you pay for a 160 baht ticket and then you order from the menu at restaurant prices. Departure from Yok Yor marina on the side of Thonburi River. There's a shuttle service from Saphan Taksin's BTS station.
Where to stay
While most guest houses in Khao San do not even bother having a website, with higher-end hotels you can save a lot by booking from the Internet. In most cases, it is known that prices for unbooked rooms are about 30% more expensive than Internet prices because management costs are higher and reception staff work on board. When you're waiting or resting in a hotel lobby, it's sometimes easier and cheaper to use free Wi-Fi, to go online and book for the night at a lower price. For example, some mid-market hotels offer last-minute room prices for 1,500 baht per night while online prices are 1,000 baht, the equivalent of five beers bought in the same hotel! However, do n't treat it as a strict rule for Thailand. In some islands, resorts do exactly the opposite where rooms taken by reaching the hotel are half the price on the internet, especially in low season.
Bangkok has a wide range of affordable housing, including some of the world's best hotels, as well as the worst bettles. In general, Khao San Road is the backpack passenger area. The banks of Silom and Thonburi have the Oriental and The Peninsula, often voted as the best in the world's rankings adjusted for room costs. Most of the top-end hotels are located in Siam Square, Sukhumvit, and Silom, though there can be economic options.
When you choose accommodation, you have to think about how much you want to spend. Air conditioning is recommended as the night temperature does not fall below 20 °C. Also be aware of how close they are to the public transportation lines, Skytrain, metro and boat, as traveling through the city becomes so much more practical and enjoyable. In general, the housing in Bangkok is cheap, it is possible to find a double room with hot water and air conditioning for 500 baht per night. If you prefer to have more convenience, expect to pay 1,500 baht for double in the most touristic areas. Staying in one of the city's most expensive hotels can cost only 5,000 baht, which is the price of an average hotel in much of Europe.
For the accommodation near the Don Mueang airport, refer to the page of Phahonyothin, while for those concerning the Suvarnabhumi airport they are on the specific page of the Ramkhamhaeng area.
One of the things you'll notice in Bangkok is what's called the guest fee of about 500 bahts added to the account if you take your little friend or friend with you for the night. Some hotels refuse Thai guests, quite common in Khao San Road. These rules are of course intended to maintain control over local prostitution, so hotels generally keep documents for the duration of the overnight stay. Some hotels charge this fee even if the company you're carrying is Western. Even more embarrassing are the hotels asking your new partner. Watch out for hotel signs or if you have any doubts ask the staff before taking the room.
Although it's huge, Bangkok is pretty safe, and street crime, like beating, assault and robbery, is quite unusual. One of the biggest dangers is motorcyclists driving at full speed on the (rather unusual) sidewalk, breaking the red light, overtaking the buses that are driving down passengers and more generally rushing in traffic. If you rent a motorcycle, make sure you have insurance in the event of an accident because although you think you're the best driver in the world, the worst are in Thailand.
Bangkok is full of fraud and many shops and tourism services tend to overload prices for the inexperienced travelers. In general, it is wise to decline all offers made by someone who seems to be a kind local gentleman who tries to give advice to the unfortunate traveler. Never put yourself on a tuk-tuk if someone else is trying to get you caught. Most locals don't approach foreigners except for wicked reasons.
As long as you are in Thailand, it is not too late. Contact the Thai tourism authority immediately ( ☎ +66 2 694 122) or the tourism police ( ☎ 1155 ), fill up a report and go back to the shop for reimbursement. Under the law, they have to repay 80% of the amount paid. If the buds were sent by post, contact the Bangkok Mail Center immediately ( ☎ +66 2 215 0966(195) ) and request tracing of the package. if you act in good time, they will find out the name, address, and shipping date
You should always be alert for fraudsters, especially in tourist areas. There are dozens of fraud in Bangkok, but the most common is the fraud on precious stones. Always be careful with tuk-tuk drivers who offer daily trips for shabby prices, like 10 baht. They will take you on a daily trip that will only include shops of precious stones and souvenirs. Don't buy any products from insistent shopkeepers, gems are generally worthless pieces of glass and clothes are of bad quality. The driver will take an errand if you buy anything. Don't buy any gas bills. Unless you like the idea of going tuk-tuk, a taxi with a meter is getting cheaper and cheaper.
Be very skeptical when you're suddenly approached by a Thai who speaks English or Italian, saying that the place you want to go is currently closed or offers you a discount on the entrance. The temples are almost always free (the only exception is the Wat Phra Kaeo and Wat Pho) and are open almost every day of the year. Any person who's going to tell you otherwise, even if they have a badge that looks like an officer, they're probably going to rip you off, especially if they suggest a tuk-tuk ride for some other place to see. To paid tourist sites, check the opening times at the ticket office,
If you get on one of these tuk-tuks, the bagarino driver will leave you in a specific place, like a real Buddhist temple. There you will find a man who says he is an officer and will guide you in specific directions where you will meet another "officer" who will tell you that the place or tourist attraction you want to see is closed. In this way, the traveler will hear the same thing from many voices and is therefore more inclined to believe that the place is truly closed. As soon as you smell something wrong, drop as soon as possible, you will not be attacked (we are still a Buddhist country).
When you take a taxi, it's always better to stop one moving on the main road or to walk a little to the touristic area before looking for one. It's not a guarantee of honesty, but it increases the chances of finding an honest driver, the city is full of them, although it seems that everyone is just working to pinpoint money. Some taxi drivers turn off the meter and insist on making you pay a ridiculous price. Most of the unreliable taxi drivers are those waiting in tourist areas. Another general rule is to insist on taxis and agree on a price in advance with tuk-tuks. If they refuse or ask for disproportionately high prices just leave and take another because the city is full of them. The Thai phrase to ask to use the meter is mee-TOE, khap if you are male or mee-TOE, kha if you are female.
Watch out for tuk-tuk and taxi drivers who come by speaking good English or who have a "I provinces" sticker, especially those who refer to or take you to a dressmaking (or other shops). They're paid by low-quality shops to get tourists to submit to pressure selling techniques. If at any time your driver will take you to a place that was not planned, leave immediately, ignore every plea that says otherwise and find another taxi or tuk-tuk.
In general, don't ask the taxi driver for advice, especially for restaurants. They will probably lead you to some dubious places from which they will take a committee.
Watch out for private bus companies that offer travel from Bangkok to other VIP bus destinations. There's a lot of junk being done by these companies. So-called VIP trips could be transformed into relay relays in three or four minibuses to their destination, which will end up being 17-18 hours instead of 10-11 hours. Instead, book the public BKS buses from major bus stations. It's worth using a little more school to go there also because there were also reports of theft on private buses. One of these companies also operates inside the Hualampong train station. Operators will wait near the checkouts for someone to find no place on the train they want to take, and with "official" they offer the alternative of a VIP bus. Once you're accepted, they'll take you upstairs to book your ticket. On the day you leave, you'll be taken with a minibus that will cross you to another area of Bangkok about 20 to 30 minutes from there, where you'll be sitting on very old, dirty, mosquito-filled buses and frozen in a loud air conditioning that can't be turned off, with a bath that can't be used for the entire journey. All for a price ranging from 2 to 3 times the train ticket (direct experience of those involved in translating the English chapter)
Bangkok is known for its "go-go bar" and associated prostitution. Some aspects of prostitution are illegal (for example, incitement and protecting), but rarely does the law be enforced and brothels are quite widespread. It is not illegal to pay for sex or even to pay a "barfine", which is a price you pay at the bar to leave with an employee.
The consensus age in Thailand is 15 years, but for prostitutes it is 18. The punishment for having sex with children is harsh. All adult Thais must carry an identity card declaring the year of birth according to the Buddhist calendar. Many hotels keep prostitutes' ID cards for the duration of the visit. Although many prostitutes work in bars or in the sector, some are free professionals. Small thefts and other problems, such as sleeping pills, seem to be more common if you go with free professionals, even the cases are rare. Awareness raising on HIV and AIDS is much better than before, although statistics say the prevalence is still high; liberal professors are the most popular group and almost all girls insist on condoms, so be respectful of others' lives and practice safe sex.
Typically entering a go-go ba is pretty safe, but be careful who will try to take you upstairs to the bar and give you ping-pong and 100-baht beers. The beer will cost 100 baht, but the show will cost at least 1,000. The general rule is that if you can't see inside the street, you can avoid that bar.
Don't fight with locals. Thai people are kind and peaceful, but if they collide with foreigners, it is never an equal struggle: You're going to end up in a fight with at least 10 to 20 more people who weren't involved at the beginning, or you're going to call the police who won't do anything to help you, especially the Metropolitan Police, because they don't speak foreign languages. When problems arise, always contact the tourism police ( ☎ 1155). Thai people are also famous for fighting with guns, knives, broken bottles, metal poles, etc. Or they use Muay Thai combat techniques learned in secret locations that will cause you very heavy injuries, if not worse. Avoid all friction. If you find yourself involved in an altercation, it is advisable to apologize and leave: bring home saves your skin.
Elephants are a major part of Thailand's tourist industry and smuggling and mistreatment of these animals as attractions is widespread. Be aware that elephants are often separated from baby mothers to be domesticated cruelly and in captivity for the rest of their lives. It is advisable to ride these animals only in centers and organizations dedicated to the conservation of the species. A very depressing sight usually comes in the streets of the city when these animals are forced to beg, especially at night. The mahouts (the domesticators) approach tourists with unpleasant animals offering you a banana to eat and take a picture of them for money. Elephants are brought to the city to beg because they are no longer able to work and are very stressed by the conditions in the city. Be careful not to support this cruelty by rejecting the offer of the mahouts. Very common in the areas of Silom and Sukhumvit.
Because of its position and lax laws, many illegal animal products pass through Bangkok. Rare and endangered species are often sold on the market as pet animals, especially in Chatuchak, and many other animal products are sold as luxury goods. Avoid buying rare animals, skin, ivory, claws, dried marine animals (such as marine stars), fur, feathers, teeth, wool, etc., because they are almost certainly the result of poaching. Buying these products contributes to the abuse and extinction of entire species.
In 2008, political instability filled newspapers with the yellow shirts of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which closed both Bangkok airports for a week. Many people were killed during the resulting violence. After the PAD-backed Prime Minister was elected, the protests came to an end for a while, but the situation remained unstable. In 2010, more unrest erupted with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) protests by the red shirts that occupied most of Sukhumvit's and surrounding areas. The protests turned violent when government troops tried to take back some areas of Central Bangkok occupied by Protestants. In 2011, the UDD-backed government came to power. Since then, protests on both sides have continued to explode sporadically depending on political events. Always follow the independent press and stay away from political demonstrations.
Food and water
As everywhere in Thailand, be careful what you eat: outside major hotels and resorts, avoid raw vegetables, egg - based seasonings, such as mayonnaise, bulk ice cream and minced meat because the heat speeds up the decomposition process; In short, you eat boiled, fried, baked, grilled and peeled food. To be absurd, there's more chance of feeling bad in a traditional restaurant than in a street restaurant, probably because the street restaurant has no refrigerators, so the ingredients have to be fresh every day. For traditional restaurants, the more likely they are, there's a quicker replacement for ingredients that don't sleep too much in refrigerators.
Tap water is said to be good for drinking when leaving the distribution system but the pipes are often not in good condition, so avoid; even locals don't drink from there, unless it's a separate tap with a filtration plant, in doubt buy sealed bottles of water that are available everywhere at low cost.
Watch for the ice and make sure it's not made from tap water, though it's hard to judge. Some people say that round-hole ice is commercially produced. The ice is pretty safe and one of the most widely distributed products for the nation, there are dozens of trucks delivering "fresh" ice everywhere. Local people also buy refrigeration bags all the time.
How to stay in touch
The red mail boxes are scattered all over the city. There are also many post offices in Thailand Post, where you can send letters, postcards and parcels. In the tourist areas there are post offices in Khao San Road (opposite Bowonniwet temple) and Sukhumvit Road (Soi 4-6). If she's staying in Bangkok for longer, you might need to use remaining post, so friends and acquaintances can send mail to you using the address of a post office, which will keep your correspondence for two months. Letters sent through the 'Post Restante' service must have the name of the recipient written in capitals and underlined. If you want to receive mail near Khao San Road, please send it to: Post Office, Bangkok, 10203, Thailand. If you want to receive in the Sukhumvit area, the address is Poste Restante, Nana Post Office, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, 10112, Thailand.
The area code of the Bangkok area is 02 and the zero should be typed if it is called from inside Thailand, otherwise it is not needed. Pay phones are not popular because most Thais have a mobile phone. If you want to avoid high roaming charges, you can buy a SIM card per 100 baht at the airport (where you can also search for the specific card for tourists), phone shops, or 7-eleven. the 100 baht is not the cost of your SIM card, but the credit you'll get after you buy it. Reloading is easy for the 7-eleven to make and making international calls in this way is even cheaper.
Internet cafes abound in Bangkok. The average price is 30-60 baht per hour in tourist districts like Khao San Road, 20-30 baht per hour (on the top floor of the MBK for example) and 10-15 baht per hour if you venture into residential areas (where the speed is generally very high). More and more cafes and pubs offer free Wi-Fi to customers including all branches of the ubiquitous Coffee World chain: ask your staff for a password. TrueMove provides free and paid Wi-Fi access. If you want to go online for free, you need to register and the session and time are limited. Their network is accessible in many shopping malls including Siam Square and is sometimes accessible from their room if you are close enough to a hot spot. search for the truewifi networks to register. Most hotels and guest houses offer some form of the internet and more and more access is free and fast. There isn't much free Wi-Fi in old districts like Rattanakosin and Yaowarat. Keep in mind that the connection to McDonald and Starbucks is unavailable or chargeable. If you're staying for more than two days and prefer to stay connected without being limited to hot spots, a prepaid SIM with Internet data is a good option. Being able to use a smartphone for navigation, advice and reviews is very useful in a city where the recommendations and directions offered by locals are not always reliable. For navigation alone, it is highly recommended to use applications that use and rely on OpenStreetMap, which are usually free, updatable, do not need Internet connectivity (GPS only), and are likely to import the .gpx files available from each Wikivoyage page so that you have all the points of interest that you talk about that you can reach at your fingertips.
If you're going to take an outward hike to Central Thailand, there's a lot of options to consider.
- Maeklong Railway Market — One of the largest fish markets in Thailand, set up along the train tracks, famous because at every turn sellers have to pick up their tents and reposition them.
- Amphawa — A floating market that's very popular with local people.
- Ayutthaya — One of the ancient capitals with a beautiful archeological park just 1.5 hours by train from Hua Lampong.
- Bang Pa-In — His spectacular Summer Palace is worth a one-day visit.
- Damnoen Saduak — A floating market perfect for tourist-friendly photographs.
- Hua Hin — A seagoing town to go to the beach with waterfalls nearby and national parks.
- Kanchanaburi — The famous bridge over the Kwai River, the Erawan Falls at the Hellfire Pass.
- Ko Kret — A renowned rustic island for the production of vasellame, a one-day door trip out of the concrete jungle.
- Nakhon Pathom — The oldest city in Thailand and the site with the largest wonder in the world.
- Phetchaburi — A very relaxed historical city with the Khao Wang mountains, colorful temples and great desserts.
BANGKOK is also an excellent clearing house for traveling to other regions of Thailand.
- Chiang Mai — The starting point for the north and the heart of Lanna culture.
- Khao Yai National Park — Streamlined mountain scenery and some of the country's first attempts to win.
- Ko Chang — Large and relatively pristine tropical island
- Ko Samet — The closest island to Bangkok with white beaches.
- Lampang — Tranquilla city rich in markets, temples and cafeterias. He has one of the most beautiful temples you can see, Wat Pongsanuk, who is part of humanity's heritage.
- Krabi Province — The beautiful beaches and islands of Ao Nang, Rai Leh, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
- Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) — The main city in the Isaan region.
- Phuket — The original paradise island, now developed to the far-fetched impossible with no possibility of finding a square centimeter with no human presence, but still has some beautiful beach, if you can get through the pools of meat of bathers.
- Sukhothai — The ruins of the ancient Kingdom of Sukhotai.
- Surat Thani — Cradle of the ancient Srivijana Kingdom, starting point for Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao.
If you are considering leaving Thailand, there are roads leading to the following destinations:
- Siem Reap — Angkor temple cradle.
- Phnom Penh — Capital of Cambodia.
- Vientiane — Starting point for Laos.
- Bangkok Post. One of the best English language newspapers, including travel, entertainment and entertainment articles, daily life and Bangkok announcements.
- BK Magazine. Bangkok, a restaurant guide, night life, travel, art, etc. The new numbers come out weekly and are distributed in specific places.
- Sukhumvit Guide. A complete list of hotels, restaurants and bars in Sukhumvit, one of the most active districts in the city.
Many people go to Bangkok to undergo medical treatment that costs a fraction of what it would cost in other countries of origin. The most respected and expensive is Bumrungrad Hospital, which attracts about 400,000 foreign patients per year for an average of 1,000 per day. Another hospital specialized for foreigners is Samitivej. Private hospitals in Thailand are accredited by the government according to international standards, because many Thai doctors have international credits and licenses.
The most common treatments are cosmetic and organ transplants, orthopedic, denal and heart operations. They're cheaper than in the West. For example, Bumrungrad Hospital offers an all-in-one package of 90,000 for a breast implant. Bangkok is also known for Sexual Reassignment Surgery for those who want to change sex, even if it comes out of the scope of an informal trip.
There are many dental clinics with dentists and English-speaking staff. The largest is Bangkok International Dental Center on Ratchadaphisek Road. There are also many clinics known for dental whitening, dental facilities and dental centers like BFC Dental and Denta Joy
LImmigration Bureau, Government Building B, Chaeng Wattana Soi 7, ☎ +66 2 141-9889. Lun-Ven 08:30-12:00, 13:00-16:30. He moved from the Soi Suan Plu station to a far north of the city near Don Mueang airport. It's a large building that has a coffee shop on the ground floor, restaurants and photocopy shops. Many visa services, re-entry permits and immigration are available. It's preferable to take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station and then stop a taxi to the center of the government. The services for Burmese, Newcomers and Laotians remained in Soi Suan Plu.
- Saudi Arabia, 23-24F, Saeng Thong Thani Bldg, 82 Sathorn Nuea Rd, ☎ +66 2 639-2999.
- Argentina, Promomitr Villa, 20/85 Sukhumvit Soi 49/1, ☎ +66 2 590-4012.
- Australia, 37 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ 66 2 344-6300.
- Austria , 14 Soi Nandha, Soi Attakarnprasit, Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 303-6057.
- Bangladesh, 727 Sukhumvit Soi 55, ☎ +66 2 381-1144.
- Belgium , 17F, Sathorn City Tower, 175 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 679-5454.
- Bhutan, Rm 107, 19F, JTC Bldg, 919 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 237-3315(-27).
- Burma, 132 Sathorn Nuea Rd, ☎ +66 2 233-2237.
- Bolivia (Consulate), 1901 Ramkhamhaeng Rd, ☎ +66 2 314-0040.
- Brazil, 34F, Lumpini Tower, 1168/101 Rama IV Rd, ☎ +66 2 679-8567.
- Brunei, 154 Ekkamai Soi 14, Sukhumvit Soi 63, ☎ +66 2 381-5914(-6).
- Bulgaria, 33/15 Soi Charoen Chai, Sukhumvit Soi 63.
- Cambodia, 518/4 Pratcha Uthit Rd, ☎ +66 2 957-5851(-2), @ [email protected]
- Canada, 15F, Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama IV Rd, ☎ +66 2 636-0540.
- Chile , Unit A, 17F, 193/67 Lake Rajada Office Complex, Ratchadaphisek Rd, +66 2-260-0045.
- China, 57 Ratchadaphisek Rd, ☎ +66 2 245-7043.
- Cyprus (Consulate), 17F, Richmond Bldg, 75/59 Sukhumvit Soi 26, ☎ +66 2 261-8408(-10).
- Vatican City, 217/1 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 212-5853.
- Colombia (Consulate), 9F, Park Place, 231 Sarasin Rd, ☎ +66 2 254-5105(-6).
- North Korea, 14 Muban Suan Laem Thong Soi 2 (Soi 28), ☎ +66 2 319-2989.
- South Korea, 23 Thiam Ruam Mit Rd, ☎ +66 2 247-7537(-41).
- Croatia (Consulate), 1F, ITF Silom Palace, 160/347-348 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 238-5112.
- Cuba, Apple Mansion Apt 3C, 5 Sukhumvit Soi 27, ☎ +66 2 665-2803.
- Denmark , 10 Sathorn Soi 1, ☎ +66 2 343-1100.
- Egypt, 49 Ruam Ruedi, ☎ +66 2 253-0161.
- United Arab Emirates, 29F, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, 87/2 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66-2-402-4000.
- Estonia (Consulate), 62 Soi Yodsuwan, Pracha Uthit Rd, ☎ +66 2 690-3779.
- Ethiopia (Consulate), 962/14 Phran Nok Rd, ☎ +66 2 411-0218.
- Philippines , 760 Sukhumvit Rd, ☎ +66 2 259-0139(-40).
- Finland, 16F, Amarin Tower, 500 Phloen Chit Rd, ☎ +66 2 250-8801.
- France , 35 Charoen Krung Soi 36, ☎ +66 2 657-5100.
- Gabon (Consulate), 13 Pradiphat Soi 10, ☎ +66 2 279-2800(-1).
- Gambia (Consulate), 610/5-6 Song Wat Rd, ☎ +66 2 224-0091.
- Germany , 9 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 285-6627(-8).
- Greece, Unit #25/5-9, 9F, BKI/YWCA Bldg, 25 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 679-1462.
- Honduras (Consulate), 28F, CP Tower Bldg, 313 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 641-1567.
- Iceland (Consulate), 59 Soi Navin, ☎ +66 2 249-1300.
- India , 46 Sukhumvit Soi 23, ☎ +66 2 258-0300(-5).
- Indonesia , 600-602 Phetchaburi Rd, ☎ +66 2 252-3135(-40).
- Iran, 602 Sukhumvit Rd, ☎ +66 2 261-9790(-3).
- Iraq, 47 Pradiphat Rd, ☎ +66 2 278-5335(-8).
- Ireland (Consulate) , 208 Wireless Road, 12th Floor, Unit 1201, Lumphini, Pathumwan, ☎ +66 2 016 1360, Fax: +66 2 675 3933.
- Israel, 25F, Ocean Tower, 11 Sukhumvit Soi 19, ☎ +66 2 260-4854(-9).
- Italy , 27F/40F, CRC Tower, 87 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 250-4970.
- Japan , 177 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 207-8500.
- Jordan (Consulate), 47 Sukhumvit Soi 63, ☎ +66 2 391-7142.
- Kazakhstan , Ste 4301, 43F, JTC Bldg, 919/501 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 234-6365(-6).
- Kenya , 62 Thong Lo Soi 5, ☎ +66 2 712-5721.
- Kuwait, 17F, Sathorn Thani Bldg ll, 92/48 Sathorn Nuea Rd, ☎ +66 2 354-222(-3).
- Laos , 502/1-3 Soi Saha Karn Pramoon, ☎ +66 2 539-6667(-8).
- Lebanon, 15F, CTI Tower, 191/67 Ratchadaphisek Rd, ☎ +66 2 261-1013.
- Luxembourg , 17F, Q House Lumpini Bldg, 1 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 677-7360.
- Malaysia, 35 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 629-6800.
- Malta (Consulate), 485/14 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 235-9423(-4).
- Mexico, 20F, Thai Wah Tower, 21/60-62 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 285-0995.
- Mongolia, 100/3 Ekkamai Soi 22, ☎ +66 2 381-1400.
- Morocco, 12F, Sathorn City Tower, 175 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 679-5604(-6).
- Nepal, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 71, ☎ +66 2 391-7240.
- Nigeria, 412 Sukhumvit Soi 71, ☎ +66 1 711-3076(-8).
- Norway , 18F, UBC II Bldg, 591 Sukhumvit Soi 33, ☎ +66 2 204-6500.
- New Zealand, 14F, M Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 254-2530.
- Oman, 7F, 134/1-2 Silom Rd, ☎ +66 2 236-7385.
- Netherlands , 15 Soi Ton Son, ☎ +66 2 309-5200.
- Pakistan, 31 Sukhumvit Soi 3, ☎ +66 2 253-0288(-9).
- Panama, 16F, Lumpini Tower Bldg, 1168/37 Rama IV Rd, ☎ +66 2 679-7988(-9).
- Peru, 16F, Glas Haus Bldg, 1 Sukhumvit Soi 25, ☎ +66 2 260-6243.
- Poland, 25F, Vongvanij Building B, 100/81-82 Rama IX Rd, ☎ +66 2 645-0367(-9).
- Portugal, 26 Captain Bush Ln, Charoen Krung Rd, ☎ +66 2 234-0372.
- United Kingdom , 14 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 305-8333.
- Czech Republic , 71/6 Ruam Ruedi Soi 2, ☎ +66 2 255-4978.
- Dominican Republic (Consulate) , 431 Pradit Manutham Rd, ☎ +66 2 933-5686.
- Romania, 20/1 Soi Ratchakru, Phahonyothin Soi 5, ☎ +66 2 617-1551.
- Russia , 78 Sap Rd, ☎ +66 2 234-9824.
- Singapore, 129 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 286-2111.
- Slovakia, Pantip Ct, 68 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 285-0220(-2).
- South Africa, Floor 12A, M-Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 659-2900.
- Spain, 23F, Ste 98-99, Lake Rajada Office Complex, 193 Ratchadaphisek Rd, ☎ +66 2 661-8284.
- Sri Lanka, 13F, Ocean Tower 2, 75/6-7 Sukhumvit Soi 19, ☎ +66 2 261-1934(-5).
- United States of America, 95 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 205-4049.
- Sweden , 20F, One Pacific Place, 140 Sukhumvit Rd, ☎ +66 2 263 7200.
- Switzerland , 35 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 674-6900.
- Taiwan, 20F, Empire Tower, 195 Sathorn Tai Rd, ☎ +66 2 670-0200.
- Tanzania, 3F, S.L.D. Condominium, 501 Room Daeng Soi 1, ☎ +66 2 235-8282(-3).
- East Timor, 7F, Thanapoom Tower, 1550 Phetchaburi Rd, ☎ +66 2 654-7501(-2).
- Turkey , 61/1 Soi Chat San, Sutthisan Rd, ☎ +66 2 274-7262(-3).
- Hungary , 28 Soi Suk Chai, Sukhumvit Soi 42, ☎ +66 2 661-1150(-2).
- Uzbekistan (Consulate) , 32 Moo 5, Sukhumvit 62 Soi 1, ☎ +66 2 741-7247.
- Vietnam, 83/1 Witthayu Rd, ☎ +66 2 251-5836(-8).