Bangkok, what a place. Below are just a few things I learned along the way to help you (and your bank account) survive in Bangkok.
TIPS AND TRICKS
1. Be wary of drinking too many of the liquor buckets. I've heard some horror stories of people getting incredibly sick from them. Alcohol isn't exactly regulated like it is in the States. The safest bet is to stick to sealed bottles, beer, wine, or buy your own liquor bottle from the nearest 7/11. There's one on every corner.
2. Never get in a taxi without the meter on. Ask once you get in for them to turn it on, if they refuse get a different taxi. Uber is also available here and is so much easier than a taxi. However it can be hard to get one during the day due to traffic. It's a good source though to know what a fair price is for a taxi.
3. Tuk Tuk's are awesome, but barter hard. You can usually get a ride for about half of original asking price.
4. Food from the street vendors is by far the most delicious and the cheapest (restaurants you'll pay at least double), but be careful not to get food poisoning. To avoid food poisoning go to vendors that locals visit, and also watch how they prepare their meals. Eat foods that are cooked in front of you, and not just sitting out. Be aware of fruits and veggies that have been sitting out.
5. If a taxi or Tuk tuk driver offers to take you on a tour or a ride but says they will stop at a nice shopping place or what not, say no. Shop owners often pay taxi/ tuk tuk drivers to bring tourists to their shop. A friend of mine got sucked into one of these scams when he just wanted a river boat tour and spent most of his day at some not so great shops.
6. Don't walk alone at night. I met the most kind people while traveling Thailand, however especially as a solo female traveler, you have to be aware of the risks around you. Honestly I felt very safe during my entire time in Thailand. However with that being said, Bangkok has been considered the human trafficking capitol of the world. I never ran into any issues, however at night time especially I made it a point to always be with other people.
SITES TO SEE/ PLACES TO STAY
- fantastic place to meet people, even more fantastic location. Just a five minute walk from Khoa San road. Has hotel style amenities, and costs about $12 USD a night.
Khoa San Road
- nightlife, backpackers galore. Attracts some really cool people, and is just one of those places you gotta see if you have the opportunity.
Pictures do this place absolutely no justice. I'll be making an entire post dedicated to this place. The detail and beauty will put you in awe. It's a beautiful immersion to Thai Buddhist culture. It was one of my favorite sites.
- The weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in all of southeast Asia. When I say it's large, I mean I got physically lost in it and couldn't find an exit large. The best shopping you'll find. You'll find everything from high end clothing to handmade trinkets from locals. The food there is also delicious.
- if you don't know what a floating market is, definitely look it up. It's a market where you take a water taxi (aka small boat) and float along a canal and shop from the comfort of your taxi boat. Vendors are all also in boats, so you float along, looking at all of the merchandise as you pass by.