- Discover Bangkok
You'll do well to stick more than a few days in this hectic town. It's smelly, noisy, and very hot. But it's also lots of fun and definitely worth a visit, albeit a short one.
Khoa San Road is the main tourist area, where pubs, clubs, and restaurants line the street. Near Khoa San is Banglemhu, another good entertainment spot.
Make sure to check out a Muay Thai fight, thai boxing is very important here and it's a must to check this out when in the country. It's probably the most brutal and devastating martial arts on the planet so if you're squeamish, it's probably best avoided.
If you want to experience some Thai culture, head to Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Budda. The Grand Palace is also on the same grounds. You can also get tours from Bangkok to a WWII war cemetry, the bridge on the River Quai, elephant trekking and bamboo rafting down a river.
This temple is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is stunning, and quite different to other temples you will see in Thailand. Wat Arun means "Temple of the Dawn" in Thai, and early morning is the best time to visit as it will be less crowded. However, you must see it at sunset, it looks spectacular all lit up.
Take a river boat from Saphan Taksin boat pier to Pier 8. From here you can hop on a shuttle boat to get to the other side of the river. Open daily from 08.30 to 17.30.
Bankok is quite a safe place but beware of muggings and cons, where people will promise you tours and the like and not follow through. Also beware of Tuk Tuk drivers who will bring you to Ruby factories or other places when you asked to go somewhere else. Make it quite clear where you are going and that you want to straight there.
Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main airport in Bangkok and Thailand and the busiest in Southeast Asia.
There is an express rail link that will take you to the city centre every 30 minutes and costs around 90 Baht. This can be found at the basement level.
Taxis are available on the first floor. It will cost around 300 Baht and can take up to an hour due to heavy traffic. Go to the official desk and stay away from touts.
Flight times to Bangkok
Dublin 12 hours | London 11.5 hours | Hong Kong 2.5 hours | New York 17 hours | San Diego 16.5 hours | Sydney 9.5 hours
The Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) cover most of the city and are efficient, convenient and cheap ways of getting around Bangkok. Services run until midnight and cost around 15 Baht for one stop. You can pcik up a BTS Smart Pass if you will be in Bangkok for a few days.
Taxis are cheap and can be found quite easily, unless it’s raining. Make sure the meter is switched on and leave a tip. Taxi drivers rarely speak English so try and have the name of your hotel or destination written out in Thai or carry a map. The vacant sign will glow red when the taxi is available. Stay away from taxis that are parked in tourist areas and don’t let a taxi driver convince you to go on a tour.
Getting in a Tuk Tuk is more of a fun thing to do rather than a practical way of getting around Bangkok nowadays, with the transport system and taxis widely available. It is great fun though and should be experienced. Make sure to negotiate the price down before you
Bangkok is quite safe for a large city. Falling victim to a scam will be your biggest problem here. The general rule is if someone approaches you offering you a tour, a suit or anything else really, say no. You should be the one choosing what you are going to do, or where you are going to go, don’t let someone else convince you. Many times they will have an ulterior motive. For example Tuk Tuk drivers or taxi drivers that suggest a tour or a restaurant will be receiving payment from those places to bring tourists with them.
Call the tourist police on 1155 if you have any problems.
Don’t drink tap water or eat leafy raw vegetables.
The hospitals are quite good here but do have health insurance.