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8 tips for getting around Bangkok

8 tips for getting around Bangkok

 Bangkok is known for its Buddhist temples.
Bangkok is known for its Buddhist temples. 

Is it the first time you travel to Thailand? Do you land in Bangkok and don't know how to start moving around the city? After having visited "the city of angels" several times, we tell you 8 practical tips to get the most out of your stay. Aim, aim!

1) Money

All ATMs charge 220 THB (6 euros approx.) commission and the exchange rate they apply is pretty bad. It is much better to take cash in EUR/USD and exchange it at any Exchange House or Bank. The bigger the ticket, the better exchange rate they offer you. In most entities they ask for your original passport so... don't forget it!

The tuk tuk is one of the most used transportation in Bangkok
The tuk tuk is one of the most used transportation in Bangkok.

2) Transportation

The tuk tuk (three-wheeled motorbikes used as taxis) is the most authentic means of transport but also the most polluting and the most expensive, by far! They only offer cheap prices when you stop at the “fashion shops”, where they make custom clothes for you and the drivers take commission. If you want to save a lot of money, use public transport! Generally the buses charge you around 10 THB (less than €0.30) each way within the city and the public boats charge around 15 THB (about €0.30). Both modes of transport work very well and Google Maps will tell you which bus or boat number you should take. If you are in a hurry, the best is a taxi with a meter, you always have to insist that they put it! If they don't listen to you, it's best to get off and take another.

3) Temples

To enter many of them you have to have your shoulders and knees covered. Buddha images are very important to them and respect is required. In fact, there has recently been a campaign to stop people from getting Buddha tattoos! Photos should not be taken at ceremonies. You will see people rubbing a piece of paper against the back of the different Buddhas: it is the offering called “gold paper”, and it is sold at the entrance of the temples. What they do is stick the gold part of the paper on the Buddha. You will also see that they offer flowers, incense, candles, food and drink. Do not trust people who tell you that the temples are closed, most likely they tell you because they want to offer you some service!

buddha statue in bangkok
Buddha statue in Bangkok.

4) Haggling

In most cases, you shouldn't pay more than 60% of the first price they give you. It is very common to haggle at any stall on the street.

5) Ice and water

The ice cubes are usually made by the company that sells the purified water, so in the more touristy areas of Bangkok, it is quite safe to take ice. The tap water is supposedly treated and is drinkable, although we don't recommend it. To brush your teeth there is no problem 🙂

6) Food

It is said that Thais eat at all hours and in Bangkok you will be able to verify it. Street food is quite tasty, but use common sense and go by the appearance and above all, the smell!

Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world.

7) Terraces or "rooftops"

In Bangkok there are many terraces where you can go up to contemplate the city. In the vast majority, a “dress code”For example, wear long pants for men and shoes, no flip flops! Of course, where they do not require you to be dressed in any way is precisely in the highest tower in the city. Is called Baiyoke Tower and has 84 floors. To go to the top, you will have to buy a ticket for 400 THB (approx €11, price as of September 2017). A drink at the bar is included in the entrance.

Tourism does not have to be linked to the exploitation of elephants
Tourism does not have to be linked to the exploitation of elephants.

8) Animals

What animal comes to mind when we think of Thailand? Elephants! Many people dream of riding an elephant but it is a very cruel practice, do not encourage it! The situation of elephants and other wild animals such as gibbons and slow lorises (two species of primates that inhabit Southeast Asia) used to beg on the streets of Bangkok and large cities is terrible: they often suffer from malnutrition, live in an unnatural environment for them and can be exploited for life. Never take pictures with them or feed them, that encourages their captivity!

Don't forget solidarity!

Flights to Bangkok are very cheap, so if you fly here, you can spend a few days collaborating with one of the NGOs we collaborate with in Tumaini:
  • Learn more about elephants at Chiang Mai or Surin.
  • Give English classes to children and young people in Cambodia. To get from Bangkok you can take the train or bus (from the stations of Mochit o ekamai) to the border (Aranyaprathet – Poipet) and from there take another bus that will leave you at the Battambang station where the coordinator will pick you up. The total journey will be about 7-8 hours.

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