Bangkok: A Young Traveler’s Guide

Bangkok is an unique, pleasant, and exquisite metropolis in southern Thailand. It is the capital of Thailand, it has over eight million individuals and it’s the cultural middle of the nation. It’s a spot of outrageous nightlife and exquisite temples, of scrumptious meals and sweltering warmth, of crowded streets and big markets. There isn’t any lack of issues to see and do within the metropolis, however there are additionally many journey ideas to remember whereas touring via Bangkok as effectively.

Some Basics

Thai is the primary language spoken in Bangkok, however as a result of booming vacationer trade, many individuals communicate English (be taught just a few Thai phrases, though- the trouble will likely be appreciated).

The unit of foreign money is the Baht (THB), usually missed “Bath” on the road. One US greenback is about 31 Baht. Prices are very cheap in Thailand making Thailand a serious hotspot for Western vacationers. You do not should tip for companies or at eating places like in lots of different international locations, however it’s actually appreciated.

There are just a few cultural taboos and legal guidelines that you must take significantly whereas touring wherever in Thailand:

  • When visiting a Buddhist temple, gown conservatively and take away your footwear upon coming into. Do not take images if anybody is meditating or throughout ritual, with out prior permission.
  • Touching one other particular person’s head (even a toddler’s head) is a non secular affront and shouldn’t be finished. Touching one other particular person’s foot is take into account an impure act and shouldn’t be prevented. Pointing to one thing together with your foot can be not finished.
  • Females ought to by no means contact a Theravada monk, however monks usually contact lay males, and even females if the lay feminine could be very sick.
  • Never have interaction in public shows of affection.
  • The King of Thailand is held in reference by the Thais. The King is legally “inviolable” and it’s a authorized offense to say or do something that might in any approach be interpreted as “disrespectful.” This is a critical matter. A violation could get you arrested and positioned in jail. This isn’t any joke.

Food and Water

Food and water security is one other main difficulty right here. Don’t drink the faucet water in your lodge or in eating places, and by no means use ice cubes. Drink solely bottled water. Don’t eat avenue meals which may spoil within the warmth. Although Thai delicacies is scrumptious and there are avenue distributors almost in every single place, you do not wish to spend your time in Bangkok sick from this meals.

The Streets

The visitors in Bangkok is overwhelming- it is extraordinarily congested, and even crossing the road is harmful! Due to the massive inhabitants, there are a lot of choices for transportation: the Metro, the SkyTrain, the boat community, the buses, taxis, and tuk-tuks.

Although the three-wheeled, motorized tuk-tuks aren’t essentially the most cost-effective approach of getting across the metropolis (agree on a worth earlier than getting in-sometimes you possibly can go for very low-cost!), they’re such an enormous a part of Bangkok that it is value simply using in a single at the least as soon as!

Sex for Sale

Bangkok has a flourishing and over-active intercourse commerce trade, each straight and homosexual. Many feminine and male prostitutes are HIV optimistic. A sure share of tourists come to Thailand to fulfill their sexual needs and fantasies. So, bear in mind that particularly male guests to Thailand will likely be propositioned quite aggressively as you land on the airport, and within the crimson districts in Bangkok. Just be agency in saying “no”, and guys, strive to not look or the gross sales pitches will change into extra aggressive and demanding.

Temples and Palaces

Bangkok is thought for its abundance of temples and palaces. These embrace:

The Grand Palace is maybe essentially the most spectacular. This large residence of the King is made up of many buildings-each extra lovely than the subsequent. It can take hours to discover, and it is undoubtedly well worth the 400 Baht (about $13 US) admission price.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew, is a nationwide monument and a must-see here-it was some of the memorable sights from my time in Bangkok. You should gown very conservatively with a view to enter, so plan forward.

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, positioned close to to the Grand Palace, is one other temple that is extraordinarily memorable. It’s residence to lovely gardens, sculptures, and a golden statue of Buddha that is over 150 toes lengthy. Entrance is affordable (20 Baht, about 60 US cents), and positioned here’s a well-known Thai therapeutic massage college that may get you an hour-long therapeutic massage for simply 200 Baht (about $6.50)!

The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun, is one other unbelievable temple to see. It is positioned on the Chao Phraya River and it’s identified for its excessive colourful spires and Ordinance Hall. For simply 50 Baht ($1.60 US), this attraction offers lovely views of the river and offers nice perception into Buddhism.

Markets

Bangkok has a formidable variety of markets, and they’re the proper locations to purchase Thai clothes, meals, and crafts. You can discover some fairly superb costs, however be ready to haggle- you possibly can virtually all the time cut price for a less expensive worth! But do not be afraid to stroll away for those who assume you are getting ripped off.

Be cautious of non-public belongings within the markets. There are lurking pickpockets.

If you are within the metropolis on a weekend, go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which has hundreds of stalls that provide every thing you might presumably think about. Although it is crowded (strive going within the morning earlier than it will get too sizzling), it is value a visit to simply expertise one thing so massive in measurement and so wealthy in Thai tradition.

Another actually fascinating market is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Vendors are all in small boats they usually primarily promote vegatables and fruits. You have the choice of standing on land or renting a small boat as effectively. Although that is quite touristy, there aren’t many different locations on the planet which have floating markets!

Museums

If you like someplace much less crowded, Bangkok has many museums which are fascinating and enticing. There are two that I notably suggest:

The National Museum is a shocking constructing with an enormous assortment of Thai artwork and structure.

The Jim Thompson House is a quite massive compound that homes artwork, antiques, and an fascinating mix of each Thai and European inside design.

Nightlife

If you are in search of some actually distinctive nightlife, there are two spots in Bangkok that may depart a really lasting impression.

Soi Cowboy is town’s very tourist-heavy intercourse district- it is a avenue filled with fluorescent lights and go-go bars.

Khao San Road, in the meantime, was the best place I went to in Bangkok. While there are many golf equipment and low-cost bars (cell bars are actually in style right here too), there are additionally Thai eating places, Western fast-food chains, cafes, avenue distributors and performers, and folks from everywhere in the world having enjoyable and having fun with town. It’s a spot the place Thailand meets the West, and this mix of so many cultures makes Khao San Road an fascinating place.

Bangkok is a fast-paced metropolis with no lack of issues to see and do. Although it may be fairly sizzling and crowded, its spectacular palaces, museums, and temples, lively nightlife, and robust sense of tradition make Bangkok some of the enjoyable and thrilling cities on the planet!

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