Bangkok - The First Time Guide
Bangkok as the home of 11 millions people, has something to offer for everyone. Despite the high traffic jam and suffocating heat, there were lies some astonishing architecture, colorful market and best night-life you could ever possibly had. I will give you some of the significant points might be useful for your stay in Bangkok.
Where to Stay In Bangkok
Khao San Road has become a central backpacker tourist. The location is located north of the Grand Palace, lined with affordable lodging with a dormitory price of around USD 15 / person. On this street, you can also find restaurants to souvenir sellers and Thai massages. There are also many AirBnB lodging available in Bangkok. Mostly consist of privately owned apartments that are rented out to tourists which can be an option since the rates are relatively cheaper compared to staying in a hotel. I suggest if you want to use Airbnb, search a room which its location close to the MRT or BTS stations.
Transportation in Bangkok
Bangkok is well-known for its terrific traffic jam during the daylight. Using mass transportation is a more desirable alternative to exploring the whole of Bangkok. Bangkok has several choices of transportation modes; ranging from taxis, city buses, tuk-tuks, riverboats (since Bangkok is divided by the Chao Phraya river), also the trains called BTS SkyTrain and MRT.
BTS train tickets can be purchased at each station: from one-way tickets, day passes (THB 140), or monthly passes. One-way tickets must be purchased from the ticket machine using coins (exchange your banknotes for coins at the staff counter). Prices are determined according to the number of stations that you pass, it can be seen directly next to the ticket machine.
Chao Praya Express Boat is a boat company that serving the route along the Praya River. There are four routes according to the flag color on the boat roof: orange, green, blue and non-flag. Central Pier as the central dock which interchanged with Saphan Taksin BTS Station. The fare varies from 10-30 Bath depending on your destination. Pay for the ticket to the boat conductor when you are seated. This boat is really handy to have a temple tour around Bangkok.
As for the tuk-tuk ride, there are a lot of Tuk-Tuk hanging around the hotel and the roadside. Fares can be negotiable in English.
Best Time To Visit Bangkok
Bangkok is a bustling city with dense traffic every year. If your purpose for a city vacation in Bangkok, late November to early December should be the best time for your visit.
September and October are the rainy seasons in Bangkok and any other Thai regions. If you want to go to the beach, come between December to March. During the month, the weather is sunny and dry, perfect for beach vacation purposes.
While April to June is the most burning season in Bangkok. Try to book a hotel furnished with air conditioning during this time as the heat can hit to 34 degrees Celcius. On April 13-15 2019, there will be a very lively Songkran Festival in Thailand. During Songkran, you can fight water and chalk with local residents and other tourists. You must come to get an unforgettable holiday experience!
The best time for shopping tours in Bangkok is mid-June to mid-August when the Amazing Grand Sale takes place. Stores will offer discounts of up to 80% on clothing, electronics, accessories and more.
Things NOT To Do In Bangkok
Some things should be avoided during staying in Thailand. Here are some of them:
Avoid whistling at night because the locals believe it brings bad luck.
Avoid stepping on a Buddha statue, as the majority of Thai people are Buddhist and respect even the smallest Buddha statue.
Thai people respect their King vastly, so do not be surprised if you find King's poster everywhere. Talking bad about the King can drag you into serious law violations.
It is forbidden to touch a monk especially if you are a woman. During your visit to the temple or any place that has a monk, mind your distance from them. If you want to make a donation, wrap the donation in a piece of cloth so it does not come in contact with their hands.
Items containing Buddhist symbols are not permitted to be brought outside of Thailand.
Places To Visit In Bangkok
Tourist attractions in Bangkok are so numerous that it requires a lot of time to explore them all. I will give you the top tourist attraction you should visit.
For those who are planning to go to Bangkok, definitely interested in visiting Wat Arun. Yes, tourist attractions in Bangkok are indeed interesting to anyone who saw it. The architecture of the oldest Buddhist temple in Bangkok is stunning. Wat Arun located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Nearly all the walls of the Wat Arun temple are decorated with colorful Chinese porcelain and ceramics. To go to the temple as high as 82 meters, you can use a boat to cross the river.
The best time to visit the Wat Arun is in the morning or at sunset when the sun beautifully illuminates Wat Arun. To be able to go inside tourists must pay a ticket for 50 Baht. Visitors can visit the temple starting from 8:00 to 18:00.
Across the river from Wat Arun, you will find the biggest Buddhist temple in Bangkok named Wat Pho. There is an iconic Buddha statue called Reclining Buddha because of its sleeping posture. Reclining Buddha is the longest Buddha statue in Thailand, measuring 15 meters high and 46 meters long. Anyone can enter the Wat Pho area, its an obligation that you should dress modestly and take off your shoes to enter Wat Pho as it considers as a holy place.
The entrance fee is around 100 Baht and you can exchange tickets for free mineral water. The temple operates from 8:00 to 17:00.
The Grand Palace
Bangkok’s Grand Palace is the busiest tourist stop in the city. Royal Grand Palace is in the Grand Palace complex as this area is home to the kings of Thailand. Occasionally, the Grand Palace does actually close for official visits and state functions. You can ask your hotel receptionist to get an official announcement. Use polite clothes (long pants and no sleeveless shirt for man, legs covered for women) during a visit here. The Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 16:00 while the entry fee cost 500 Baht. The guide is available to hire, you can make a bargain for the guide payment with them. I highly recommend you that you arrived 5 mins before the opening time, as the entry line can be very frustrating. To reach the Grand Palace you can take a boat crossing the river or using BTS Skytrain if you have access to the station. If you staying in Khaosan Road, taking Tuk-Tuk is another option to reach the Grand Palace.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you looking for a local handcraft, don't miss the Chatuchak Weekend Market. This mandatory place for tourist to go shopping only open on the weekends. You can buy a variety of foods, drinks, accessories, clothing, handicrafts, to home decor.
Do not forget to bargain for the goods to get a more friendly price. Come in the morning when there aren't too many visitors and the weather isn't too hot. Always be aware of your belongings from pickpocket since the hustle can be very crowded.
Asiatique The Riverfront
If you don't want to cram into the market, just visit Asiatique The Riverfront on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This shopping destination in Bangkok has hundreds of stands selling various needs at value prices. You can also enjoy a variety of delicious Thai cuisine while enjoying the views of the Chao Phraya River.