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.