Bangkok is an iconic city right in the heart of Thailand. It’s a blend of exotic culture and traditional Thai delights, with typical tourist attractions anyone can enjoy. There are few places quite like this in the world, making Bangkok an absolute must-visit location on everyone’s travel bucket list.
If you’re interested in travelling to Bangkok, you need to get to know the city a little better. Use this guide to find all the top tourist tips, things to see in the city, and much more. Then, pack your bags and get ready to jet off to this vibrant and eccentric piece of paradise.
Top Tourist Information About Bangkok
As beautiful and exciting as Bangkok is, it’s still a fairly big city, which means newcomers can easily get lost. You don’t need me to tell you that getting lost – or not knowing where to go – in a foreign city is far from a fun experience. So, here are some of the top tourist information tips about this famous city.
Pick Up A Tourist SIM Card From A Local Shop
As soon as you get to Bangkok, you might see that your phone coverage is pretty poor. This is bad as you rely on your phone for pretty much everything. So, the first little tourist tip is to look for a DTAC store on one of the high streets. This is the main mobile service operator in the city, and you can bag yourself a tourist SIM card to use while you’re there. They do some that last for a week, and some that last for longer. Pick one depending on your holiday duration, and you’ll get a cheap SIM card with full coverage to ensure you’re never stuck without signal to make an important call.
Don’t Take The Taxi Driver’s Advice
Generally speaking, Bangkok is as safe as any other big city. With that being said, it pays to be smart and know a few tricks to stay even safer. One top piece of tourist information is to never take the taxi driver’s advice if they suggest places to go. There are plenty of stories of taxi drivers saying they can’t take you to one place, but they know of an even better place to go. They’ll take you to a random location where they’ll either threaten you, or you’ll get out the car, and someone in that location will threaten you. Of course, not all taxi drivers are bad, but you should follow this advice if any of them suggest somewhere ‘better’ to go.
Get Your Hands On An Up-To-Date Map
It’s fair to say that navigating your way through tight Thai streets is a confusing task. Bangkok can leave your head spinning, which is why you need an up-to-date map. It will show you all the street details and ensure you’re always moving in the right direction and don’t get lost.
Don’t Be Afraid To Haggle
Bangkok is known for its plentiful range of shopping opportunities. There are small independent stores, huge chain shops, and lots of little market stalls. In the smaller places, shop owners will rarely label their products with a price. This presents a great chance to haggle with them and snag a bargain. Play your cards right in Bangkok, and you can save a lot of money.
Top Things To Do And See In Bangkok
Following on from these tourist tips, it’s time to think about what you’ll do and see in this great city. Here’s our pick of the bunch, ticking off any of these things will lead to an amazing experience for you and anyone else involved:
Visit The Grand Palace
You can’t come to Bangkok without checking out the iconic Grand Palace. It’s a thing of beauty that glows golden when the sun sets. Once the majestic setting of Thai royalty, it’s mainly a tourist attraction now. You can walk the grounds and take a look around some of the main buildings; marvelling at the magnificent architecture.
Take A Floating Market Tour
Tours are a fantastic way to see cool parts of the city without worrying about getting lost. There are loads of tours you can book, and our suggestion is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour. This will take you around some of the most picturesque areas of Bangkok while also delivering you through the famous floating market; Damnoen Saduk. It’s eye-opening to witness locals that live in this area as they pretty much live their lives on the water, paddling their boats through the busy canals. Definitely a great way to experience the cultural heart of the city.
Go To The Buddhist Temples
Bangkok is well known for its array of splendid Buddhist temples. There’s Wat Arun, Wat Traimit, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew. You might find some other ones knocking about, but these are by far the best Bangkok has to offer. Make visiting all of these a top priority as they’re simply stunning. Plus, they’re dotted around the city, meaning you get to see more of it too.
Take Yourself Down To Chinatown
Every big Asian city has a Chinatown district. Bangkok is no different, and their version is one of the city’s highlights. It’s a busy place that’s always bustling full of activity and packed with quaint little market stalls. A great place to sample some unique delicacies while buying a few travel presents for your family.
Bangkok Transportation Options
The city has a fairly good public transport system for tourists to use. While taxis are available, they’re usually discouraged because of the poor traffic. They’ve got a Skytrain system – known as BTS – along with their own underground network (MRT). You can buy passes for both of these that will help you get around the city with ease. Boats are also available, as are tuk-tuks, to avoid the road traffic.
Of course, you need to know how to get from the airport to the city in Bangkok. Thankfully, there is an option that provides Bangkok airport transfer to city centre. The airport itself has a variety of buses and taxis that offer an ‘express’ service to and from the city centre. However, as just mentioned, gridlock is a serious issue in Bangkok. As such, you’re better off opting for the specially designed Bangkok Airport Rail Link. It’s a train that’s operating from 6am all the way through to midnight and will take you from downtown Bangkok all the way to the main airport.
It’s a 30-minute journey from the downtown station of Phayathai and will take you through Ratchaprarop, on to Makkasan, into Ramkhamhaeng, towards Hua Mark, passing into Ban Thap Chang, then Lat Krabang, before reaching the final airport destination.
Tickets can be bought on the day or pre-booked online. If you’re in a rush or worrying about missing your flight, this is by far the easiest way of getting to and from the airport. It tends to be a very prompt service, and you don’t have to worry about traffic or an unpredictable taxi bill. Plus, Bangkok’s public transport system is very modern and clean, which means you aren’t stuck on a disgusting train for half an hour!
For an experience like no other, book a trip to Bangkok. Every day here is an adventure; there are so many things to see and enjoy. Pay attention to the top tourist tips and tricks to make your trip a lot easier. We’ve outlined the best things to do, but feel free to experiment with your own ideas and go with the flow!