A Quick Guide to Bangkok

So, like many millions of visitors who arrive each year, you’ve chosen to visit Bangkok for your holiday, or maybe you are considering retiring to Thailand? In any case, if this is your first visit there is lots to see and do, and at much more reasonable prices than places like New York, London, Paris or Rome. Just be prepared for a hot, busy, heaving metropolis, the likes of which you have never seen before.

Arriving in Bangkok

Bangkok’s major airport, Suvarnabhumi (pronounced Soo-wan-na-poom) is large and modern. However, when you arrive you may be accosted by touts of various descriptions, the best thing to do is to head down to the lower level and get a ticket from the taxi rank machine. Don’t go in an unlicensed taxi. Depending on where you have chosen to stay, you’re looking at 300-400 baht, including tolls and the airport surcharge.

Getting around Bangkok

In an ideal world, you could just take taxis everywhere as they are not particularly expensive compared to the West. However, Bangkok has some of the worst traffic jams in the world, so sometimes it can be quicker to use a motorcycle taxi (which can be dangerous, so be careful), or take the BTS (skytrain) or the MRT (underground) to dodge the traffic. All are very cheap compared to, say, London, for example.

Hotels in Bangkok

Bangkok has a huge variety of accommodation for visitors, starting at shared dorm rooms for under 200 baht a night, all the way up to luxury hotels like the Peninsula where a suite can set you back as much as 60,000 baht a night. However, there are still many decent luxury hotels in Bangkok and again they are much cheaper than Europe or USA. I would recommend The Shangri-La, The Sukhothai, or Sofitel So. All excellent five-star luxury hotels in central locations for around the $200 a night mark.

Eating in Bangkok

Bangkok is famous for it’s food. Thai people’s lives revolve around their next meal, and they eat several times a day. As a result, you can expect fresh and delicious food to be found literally everywhere, you can eat on the street for as little as $1. However, if you want some luxury, Bangkok also has many world-class fine dining restaurants too, including Colonnade, Shintaro and Mezzaluna. Bangkok being such a huge city has many of the chain restaurants you are already familiar with, and you can get almost any kind of food here if you know where to look.


Bangkok has a world-famous nightlife scene, and you will be unlikely to be bored or lonely during your time here. Whether you want a glass of French wine, a German beer or an English ale, it can all be found here. If you just want to relax and watch the football, or play a few games of pool, there are endless places for you to enjoy.
Many visitors opt for the more adult variety of entertainment, and if that interests you, you must head over to either Nana plaza at Sukhumvit soi 4, or to Soi Cowboy near the Asok BTS station. Any taxi driver will know these locations. In these areas you will likely be accosted by many pretty young ladies who will want to take you inside for a drink and a chat.
The way the entertainment works in these areas is this:
You will be called at and asked to come inside many bars by the bar ladies who work there. Take your time and choose somewhere you like the look of.
Go inside and girls will want to sit with you. Again, take your time and find one you like the look of, there certainly is no shortage to choose from!
You will be asked to keep the girl supplied with “lady-drinks” whilst she talks to you. These are basically overpriced soft drinks which gives the girl a small income and some profit for the bar.
If you want to take the girl home, you must approach the bar and pay her “bar fine”, which can be anywhere from 500-1000 baht. This compensates the bar for losing an employee for the night, and the lost income from lady drinks.
If she wants to go with you (and she does have a choice) you must also agree a price in advance with her, depending on whether you want “short time” (about an hour), or “long-time”, where she sleeps with you in your hotel and goes home the next morning. This can be from 1500-5000 baht or even more, depending on the girl.
Be aware that some hotels strictly prohibit taking girls back to your room, or make a charge for it.
Bangkok is packed full of some of the most beautiful ladies you have ever seen, but you must also be very careful. Adult massage is popular in Bangkok and can be found in many areas around the Sukhumvit road.

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