Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bangkok 101: Tips

Last holy week, I took a trip with my sisters and friends to the beautiful city of Bangkok. We stayed there from April 6-15. It was such a long trip that we ended up staying at the hotel for the last 2 days.

We chose this week to specifically join in the SongKran Festival [Water Festival] of Thailand. It is just like the San Juan Festival here in the Philippines. You get wet and ensure that others get wet too. Everyone has their very own water guns and cans. I even saw people wearing masks to protect their eyes. It was such an amazing experience. People make friends. Tourists are usually the ones who enjoy this. 

1. Exchange your dollars in bangkok especially in Khao San. We noticed that the exchange rate here is more reasonable.
2. Bring and wear lots of sunblock, insect repelant, and "cover". Bangkok is really hot and it would do you good to wear appropriate clothes.
3. Temples are sacred grounds, they require tourists to wear appropriate clothing. No "sexy" clothes as they call it. No shorts, slippers, sleeveless shirts.
4. Protect your belongings at all times. Many times you will be walking through crowded places and it pays to be cautious.
5. Riding taxis are better than taking tuk-tuks. Tuk-tuks are expensive and they usually charge extra high for tourists.
6. They have maps and discount coupons on trains, malls, and such. be informed and get discounts as needed.
7. Always ask for a DISCOUNT. It does not hurt to ask. Usually they pad the price if they notice you are a foreigner. 
8. There are tourist police. Ask them for help or assistance to ensure that you are not fooled.
9. Always carry a map in Bangkok. It will help you a lot since the names here are quite long.
10. Knowing some basic thai will help you a lot. I downloaded lots of applications that helped me on my trip.
       1. Phrases: 
                    Bai Set - receipt
                    Sawatdee ka/krap - Hello
                    Lot dai mai - can i get a discount
       2. Helpful applications for iphone:
                     Speak Thai 
                     Discovery TH
11. Be wary of people offering tours ensure that you ask all questions and have their number in case of emergencies. We sort of got a bad tour. I will discuss it in another blog post.
12. Shop! Ensure to bring shopping bags or carts. Do not buy in an instant, ask for discounts and buy in bundle.
13. Food - lots of spicy food. Be wary when buying ensure you ask the counter first if you cannot eat spicy food.
14. Take pictures. Thailand is very beautiful, it looks even prettier in pictures.
15. Bring water with you all the time. Since its hot, you will get dehydrated easily.
16. Eat their street food. Join at random street parties at khao san. Enjoy and have fun.
17. Must see: SIAM SQUARE, CHATU CHAK [weekend market!!! i love this], ELEPHANT VILLAGE, PLATINUM MALL, BIG C, WAT PHO, WAT ARUN, FLOATING MARKET,  madame tussauds. 

Below are some interesting snapshots to show how fun Bangkok is. :) Do refer to my per day narration of my 9 day stay in bangkok for a more in depth discussion. Enjoy!!!!

Hotel Room in Dnd. For 3 people. Interesting see through shower. hahaha.

Almost every food is SPICY. Even fast food chains like KFC serve really spicy chicken.

Interesting sites to visit!

Me and my sister with our newly found friend. Went to Elephant Village.

Song Kran - water festival. Water guns, hoses, and lots of wet clothes.

street food. Insect delicacies! :)

Temples. Lots and lots of temples.

Shopping til nighttime. 

Food courts/ chains in malls need a food prepaid card. You pay counters with this.


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