Bangkok – What to expect in your Visit ? A Tour in Bangkok – Page 2

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Thailand is home to many Elephants (and Monkeys) and on special occasions you can even see them in the streets of Bangkok. This photo was taken in the Khaosan road. There are at least 2 words in Thai to express Elephant: “Chang” (Yes, the famous Thai beer) and “Erawan”. Now you know two more words in Thai.

elephants thailand

And elephants bring luck, especially if the trunk is pointing up.

elephants bangkok


There are Hindu and Buddhist shrines a little bit everywhere in Bangkok, even near the big malls. A famous one is Erawan shrine, just near the Central World mall. There are also traditional Thai dance performances at Erawan shrine. Video of Erawan shrine Bangkok

erawan shrine bangkok

Whatever your beliefs, you will find a sort of calm and tranquility in a Buddhist environment.

shrines bangkok


Thailand is mostly Buddhist, you will see in Bangkok many monks dressed in orange and probably you will feel the need to have them in your photos.
if you want to learn about Buddhism and the other big religions you can read the best seller The World’s Religions (by Huston Smith). Also the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has a great overview of the religions.

monks bangkok

Thai Flag

Get familiar with the Thai flag:

Thai flag

Thai Letters

Get familiar with Thai characters.
In Thai (and other Asian languages) the intonation in speaking is very important, that’s why many times you will not be understood by Thai people even while pronouncing simple words.

Thai characters

As you can see from the following picture, Thais don’t like to put space between the words. In all the languages.

Thai characters mango sticky rice

Sky bars – Panoramic views

There is a trend in Bangkok to take a drink at a bar in a very high building.
The view is amazing, especially at sunset. The cost of the drinks is also very high. One such bar is the Sky bar at the Lebua State tower near Saphan Taksin metro station (see Map), the other is Vertigo bar at Banyan tree hotel, near Lumphini metro station (see Map). From Skybar at sunset:

sky bar bangkok

And there is also the skyscraper Mahanakhon with its glass floor.

sky bar bangkok

Thai Boxing – Muay Thai

In this particular type of boxing it is permitted to hit almost any body part of the opponent and also use the legs.
You can take a class in one of the many small clubs in the different neighborhoods of Bangkok. More professional fights are at Lumphini stadium and Rachadamnoen stadium. Video fight front MBK

boxing bangkok muay thai

Arts & Crafts

There are many authentic and beautiful Thai made products to buy in Bangkok:

arts thailand


A lot of T-shirts at good price to buy from street vendors in Bangkok. Take note of this phenomena : At the beginning of your trip, you may find the T-shirts’ design a little bit Kitschy, with slogans like: “no money, no honey” but by the end of your trip after falling in love with Thailand and before your imminent return to your cold country, all the  T-shirts will seem wonderful.

t-shirts bangkok

If you have a twisted mind, you can buy T-Shirts with a cruel Micky Mouse or Panda bear. If you don’t want to see this kind of T-shirts, go to Laos, the quiet and peaceful neighbouring country. (There are also excellent French restaurants in Vientiane, the capital of Laos).

tshirts thailand

You know what, if the evil T-shirts are not enough for you, buy Voodoo dolls:

voodoo dolls bangkok

Parks in Bangkok

If you want to relax from Bangkok busy life, you can go to one of the parks. Lumpini park is right at the center of town (see Map). It is hot during the day so you will probably want to visit the park in the morning or afternoon. Another park is Chatuchak, just near the Chatuchak week-end market.
See the page about the Parks in Bangkok.

parks bangkok

Trash Cans

I wouldn’t mention this issue without a reason. It is very difficult to find trash bins in Bangkok, there is not a public service for collecting garbage and each vendor is responsible for managing its own. So as a tourist, you will find yourself wandering during long times, searching for a place to put an empty plastic bottle and if you finally put it at a vendor’s private trash can, good luck with his reaction.

trash cans bangkok


The problem of the Trash Cans can partly be solved if you remember that in Bangkok the 7-eleven grocery stores are situated at a looking distance from each other(Usually with a Mac-Donald’s in the middle). In fact, these stores  are quite convenient, they are open 24 hours a day and they have a lot of stuff inside, I even found a Super-Glue for my faked Sandals.

7-eleven bangkok


There were times in which tourists were looking for Wi-Fi everywhere in Bangkok. These times are gone. Now you can get a local SIM with a lot of Gigabytes at a reasonable price.
See the page : How to get Internet and make calls in Thailand.

wi-fi bangkok

Thai national beers

In case an important part of your stay will be spent on drinking beers, get familiar with the two Thai national Lager beers: Singha

singha beer thailand

and Chang:

chang beer thailand

There is also a Thai Whisky called Sang Som. Thai alcohol can be strong.

alcohol thailand

Alcohol Buckets

Wherever there are foreigners having parties in Thailand, you can find these alcohol buckets. They are specially popular in Ko-Pangan, the island with the full moon parties, but you can find buckets also in Bangkok, in the khaosan road for instance. A bucket is usually composed of 3 elements: An alcohol drink like vodka or whisky, a soft drink like coca-cola and an energy drink. you get many straws in your bucket for all your friends.

buckets thailand


The coffee in Thailand (and in Vietnam) is excellent. There are lots of modern Starbucks and other coffee chains in Bangkok. If you drink the coffee in a small local place, it will be cheap. If you drink the coffee at Starbucks it will be expensive.

cafe bangkok

Very, very Spicy

These lines are dedicated to the last Papaya salad I couldn’t eat because it was too spicy. If you think you like spicy food and that it is not an issue, think again: Thai spicy is not like western spicy and if you won’t mention anything to the waiter, every now and then you will receive a plate so spicy that you will begin to cry in front of everyone.

spicy in thailand

Baht – the Thai Currency

Thailand is one of the best cost-effective destinations on earth. In simple words, it means that you are going to have a lot of fun.
Thailand is relatively a developed country and some services are even better than in Europe (some commercial centers, for example) so when you get this at a good price, it is a great bargain.
Look at the Bangkok Cost page to see common prices in Bangkok.

baht currency thailand

Bars in Bangkok

In Bangkok, Bars can come in many shapes. It is enough that a Van finds a parking space and that it has alcohol and hostesses and there you have a Bar.

dancing clubs bangkok

Dancing Clubs

Dancing clubs in Bangkok are exactly like everywhere else in the world except that if you are a male tourist you will be approached by a lot of local girls.
See the page about Bangkok Nightlife.

dancing clubs bangkok

Salsa in Bangkok

Salsa in Bangkok ? Yes, there are salsa clubs everywhere in the world and also in Thailand. If you want to take a break from the tourists, come to dance Salsa, it is an excellent way to meet local people and expatriates. The party usually begins with a class, so even if you are a beginner, you can join. There are several Salsa organizers in Bangkok. Visit the Nightlife page – dancing Salsa, for more details.
Video: Bachata demo at La Rueda Salsa Club Bangkok.
Video: Salsa at one of the Sky Bars.

salsa bangkok

Bike paths

This is not Switzerland nor the Netherlands and I really don’t know why there are bike paths because I (almost) didn’t see persons riding bikes in Bangkok. This is not a city suitable for bikes: first it is very hot and humid and second the traffic is intense. Anyway, as you can see in the picture the bike path is occupied.

bike paths bangkok

Strangely, there is a bike rental service, I even saw one tourist using it, he was probably from Switzerland.
Update: The situation has improved, there are now a lot of Bike tours in Bangkok.

bike rental bangkok

The Songkran Festival-The water festival

It is celebrated in April and it lasts 3 days. 3 long days and nights in which people are splashing water at each other by all means. At the Khaosan area it is a war zone (but fun). Avoid bringing your camera if it is not waterproof, the water will finally reach you and your camera. You know the festival is approaching when you see sellers of enormous water guns:

songkran festival bangkok

And you know that the festival is getting really close when you see that the water guns are sold also in the fruit stands:

Songkran festival thailand

And you know you are in the festival itself, when you see this:
(It means also you are wet, there’s no escape) Watch this Video

water festival bangkok

Christmas in Bangkok

The fact that it is above 30 degrees outside, doesn’t change the resolution to celebrate the New year and Christmas. The snow man and the Christmas tree are in every corner.


And the Thai Teddy bears are also dressed for Christmas:


The floating markets

If you have already seen everything in Bangkok, You can escape out of the city for one day trips or even half day trips. The easiest way to do these trips is with an organized tour which is sold in all travel agencies, they also pick you from your hotel.
The floating markets are a popular destination, the most touristic one is called Damnoen Saduak and is just at 80 Km from Bangkok (see Map). Another floating market is Amphawa which is more popular with Thais tourists. Very nice T-shirts and souvenirs are sold in Amphawa.
Video of a visit at Damnoen Saduak floating market

floating market bangkok


Another popular day trip is to Ayutthaya, one of the previous capitals of Thailand (Siam, then). It is about one hour from Bangkok and you can get there by bus, train or even by boat on the river but the easiest way is with an organized one day trip that will take you from one site to the other in Ayutthaya (see Map)(see Video).

ayutthaya bangkok

The bridge on the River Kwai

Have you seen the famous old movie with the famous whistle song ? The bridge is situated in the Kanchanaburi province. If you take an organized tour they will also take you ride an elephant, ride a train, ride a bamboo raft, caress tigers and see waterfalls, all this in one day (see Map)(see a Video).

river kway thailand

The Market on the Railway – Maeklong market

The railway is not just for decoration in this market, there is a train passing in the middle of the market eight times a day. When the train passes, the vendors take away their stands and only bring them back when the train is gone. Organized tours run on the week-end and they combine the Amphawa floating market because they are close to each other (see Map).
Video of the Train Market filmed from the train

market on railway thailand

The old Train station of Bangkok – Hua Lamphong

For more than a century, it used to be the main train station of Bangkok. Now, there is a new one in the north of the city. You can see details in the page about the station.
The old station is still active for some suburban lines and is worth visiting.
You can admire the architecture of the old station, in the area of China Town.

Taking the train in Thailand is a nice experience. Night trains with sleeper coaches are comfortable, clean and relatively cheap.
If you need a train in Thailand, visit the reservation page.
Video of Bangkok old main railway station

bangkok train station

Suvaranabhumi Airport

Suvaranabhumi is the main airport of Bangkok and is one of the world’s best. This airport has so many shops and food and it even has a massage place (more expensive than downtown). The airport is located 25 Km from the city  (see Map) and there is an efficient train line that goes to the center of town in 30 minutes. The last train station in town is Phaya-Thai (see Map) which is two sky-train stations from Siam. To go to the Khaosan road, you need to take a taxi from Phaya-Thai. You can also take a taxi directly from the airport,
just be aware that at rush hours the roads are jammed. (more info).
If you need a flight to or inside Thailand, visit the reservation page.
Video of a flight from Laos to Bangkok.

bangkok airport suvaranabhumi

From Bangkok To the South of Thailand- the Islands

At the South lies the famous beautiful islands and you can get there with an overnight train and a connection of a bus+boat.
At the right side of the land you can find the islands: Ko-Samui, Ko-Phangan and Ko-Tao. Ko-Phangan is where are held the famous full moon parties although there is a party there every night without any connection to the state of the moon. At the left side of the land are the big island of Phuket and the famous island of Ko-phi phi in which the movie “The Beach (Leonardo DiCaprio)” was filmed. See the Islands page for more details.

islands thailand

From Bangkok to the North of Thailand

At the north of Thailand you will find a more cool weather, mountains, agriculture fields, hill tribes including the famous long neck women, the city of Chiang-Mai, the golden triangle area and the historical site of Sukhothai.
Visit the Chiang Mai page for details about the city.

north of thailand

From Bangkok to Pattaya

Pattaya is the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok. It is close to Bangkok, just two hours drive and it has beaches but Pattaya is not the best option for beautiful beaches, it is rather known for its very developed sex industry. The walking street at night is very animated with hundreds of bars and clubs. See the page about Pattaya.

pattaya thailand

Be Cool

One last note. While you visit south east Asia, you should adopt a very cool attitude and a flexible mindset, especially if you are travelling on a tight budget. The bus travel in town can take you 15 minutes or 1 hour and usually  you will not be able to predict it, same thing with the meal you order at a restaurant. Local people can be at times very kind and helpful and sometimes rude (Usually, locals who do not work with tourists, are kind) and of course there is the culture difference that at times can frustrate the tourist. Be patient in your visit.

be cool thailand

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