Bangkok – what to do and not to do!

Bangkok

For such a vast city getting around Bangkok is relatively simple.  It has a Skytrain (BTS) which is easy to navigate and operates between 6am and midnight. To get a ticket go to the kiosk tell the kiosk operator where you are going and they will give you the correct change to put in the machines opposite. Bangkok taxi’s are easily available and can be reasonable, although ensure that it is a metered taxi and the meter is on. If the meter is not on make sure you you agree a price before you get in. Travelling by taxi is fine though can be very slow due to the volume of traffic, so ensure you have enough time allocated.

Traffic

Traffic

Tuk tuks can be great fun, we have used them a few times and had a particular fun journey through Chinatown racing with our friends, but do make sure you agree your price before you get in and read the scam section below.

Fun with friends in Bangkok Tuk Tuk race!

Fun with friends in Bangkok Tuk Tuk race!

There is a hop on hop off boat that goes up and down the river which is a fun way to get around. There are areas on the the boats where only monks have priority to stand so just be aware of that. Motorbike taxi’s are also available and very cheap but we have never been brave enough to use them!

For an awesome view of the Bangkok city sky line head to Lebua at State Tower Hotel and go up to the Sky Bar.

Bangkok

Lebua State Tower

It is on the 63rd floor and is now famous for the Hangovertini, which was created for the cast of The Hangover Part II while they were filming at lebua. Get off at Saphan Taksin BTS stop and look up and you will see the dome of the hotel it is approximately a 10 minute walk.

Lebua drinks menu

Lebua drinks menu

The drinks are expensive, as expected, a bottle of 1989 Domaine de la Romanee – Grand Cru was 551,000 baht, which is approximately £10,500……we decided against that and had a mojito and a small beer instead. This came to £14, which was still a little above our budget but it was so worth it for the view.

Another Bangkok bar with a view is the Zoom bar on the 40th floor of the Anantara

Zoom Bar

Zoom Bar

Sathorn Hotel, the nearest BTS being Chong Nonsi. Normally the prices for drinks on the menu are 200 baht (£4) bottled beer or pint of Chang, wine 250 baht (£5) a glass but go during happy hour (530pm-8pm)  and you get 2 for the price of 1 so great value and a fab view.

Cabbages and Condoms

Cabbages and Condoms

Cabbages and Condoms, Soi 12 Sukhumvit.  Great restaurant that proceeds go towards promoting better understanding and acceptance of family planning and have a better access to education.  Nearest BTS Asok BTS station twice. Most of the decor is made up of condoms, including the mannequin greeting visitors at the entrance. Free condoms are given out at the end of the meal.

First at Cheap Charlies gets a good seat!

First at Cheap Charlies gets a good seat!

Cheap Charlies Soi 11 Sukhumvit.  Great bar at great prices, get there early if you want a seat, opens at 6pm.  We have now visited 3 times and have always had a fab time and met some wonderful and bizarre characters.

The reason we keep going back to Thailand is the people, it certainly lives up to it’s name of the land of the smiles.

However, a few things to be aware of.  Thai people do not like confrontation so always deal with any difficulties in a polite manner and do not lose your temper.  Always be respectful. If confrontation is necessary, it is extremely important to do it in private, not in front of other people. Thais are much more sensitive to “Saving face”, which is very important in Thai culture.  There is never a hurry about anything so don’t expect things to be the same as in the UK, the culture is very relaxed. Family, friends, community and good food are most important.

Shopping

Shopping

It is normal practice to barter, for example, if an item is priced 500 baht, you should start to offer to pay half of the price, the shop assistant will then give you a calculator and you will go back and forward until a price is agreed.  Rule of thumb is pay what your happy to pay and if it is not the price you want to pay just smile and walk away.

Bangkok is a great city to visit, but just like most cities there are some unsavoury characters who will try and take advantage. Do not be put off with the following information, it is just to ensure you don’t fall for it.

Common Bangkok scams are –

  • You are approached by a smart dressed Thai man around the major tourist attractions for e.g. Grand Palace who will inform you that the palace is closed.  He will then offer to take you to another palace for 20-40 baht.  This will then lead onto stops at a gem shop and possible tourist shops which will then lead to a hard sell.  We were approached on our way to the MBK shopping centre by a well dressed Thai gentleman, he was saying that the MBK was closed and that he would take us to another shopping centre.  We politely refused his help and carried on walking to find MBK was open for business as usual.  Never believe that anywhere is closed until you see the ticket office at the attraction you are visiting.
MBK shopping in Bangkok

MBK shopping in Bangkok

  • Tuk tuk’s are great fun but make sure you negotiate the price before you get in and do not succumb to any scams involving stopping of at their family houses or jewellery shops as above.  If this happens just ask them to stop get out, pay and walk away.
  • If out of curiosity you visit Patpong market all bars on the ground floor have set drink prices, you will be approached by many individuals showing you very interesting menu’s.  The general rule is to not go to the unmarked upstair bars, as I have heard stories of after one drink, when the check arrives it can be 2000 baht (£40) including lady drinks that you are unaware of agreeing to, this will need to be paid before you leave.
Interesting menu in Patong Market

Interesting menu in Patong Market!

Be aware of these scams and don’t let it spoil your visit.  We have now been back 4 times and will no doubt visit again!

Is there anything you would like to add we would love to hear in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post please follow Paul and Carole Loves to Travel on:

Back to Thailand

Fun and banter in Bangkok

Fun and banter in Bangkok

 

Share Button
(Visited 726 times, 1 visits today)

About paulandcarole

A travelling, cruising, housesitting couple who hope to inspire others along the way!
This entry was posted in Pubs/Bars, Thailand and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Bangkok – what to do and not to do!

  1. Frank says:

    You’re pretty much spot on with your tips. I’ve been to Bangkok now 5 times and I’ve noticed that there seem to be more scam artists than ever before. Back in 2001 I was scammed for about $3000 on gems – rookie mistake at the time. But it still goes on. Makes you think that someone high up is in on it. Taxis are the other thing – always a hassle.

    Patpong is ok. But Nana more fun 🙂

    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Scams are a real problem and your probably right about the higher up engagement! We had a night at Nana Plaza that was great fun too. Thanks for taking the time to read our post and appreciate your comment. ☺
      Carole

  2. Pingback: Baan Sijan Villa Resort

  3. Pingback: Things to do in Ao Nang

  4. Pingback: Our stay at the Secret Garden Beach Resort, Bangrak, Koh Samui, Thailand - paulandcarolelovetotravel.com

  5. Pingback: Nikki Beach Koh Samui

  6. Pingback: Cost of taxis and transport in Koh Samui

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge