Survival tips in Bangkok - Thailand
Thailand is a strange and wonderful place.
The tone of your experience of Thailand can be set as soon as your feet land on treasured ground.
So here are a few tips, to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Airport Survival tips
How to NOT get scammed by taxis
Take a metered taxi from the taxi rank outside the airport, and avoid all the punters and airport limousine touts inside offering you good deals.
It's highly advisable to take a metered taxi, as the unmetered taxis will charge you extortionate prices, and in some cases have been known to take tourists to the WRONG destination and leave them stranded. Plus it's just not safe what so ever.
The plan is to keep you in one piece to enjoy your holiday after all.
When you come out of arrivals, take a right and follow the signs to the public taxi ranks
There you will find a taxi, and will be given a sheet of paper allocating a specific taxi to you, the sheet of paper is yours to keep, and has all the information about the driver and the taxi for you. So if anything happens this will help you identify your driver etc.
You will asked to pay for the tolls by the driver, or in some cases they will pay the tolls for you and just add it on top of your fare.
Although I found it better to just give the driver the toll money to avoid confusion later, this is normally about 80Baht from Suvarnbhumi airport to central Bangkok.
There isn't a tipping culture for paying taxis in Thailand, however I always around it up to the nearest 10baht.
Tipping is up to you, as remember typically the Thais earn very little per day, so it makes a big difference if you do tip. So I always tipped everyone.
Getting around Bangkok
Don't be an asshole, and think you're the shit just because you want to ride around BKK in taxis all day.
USE public transport to get around.
Bangkok's skytrain is highly efficient, clean and easy to use. Plus you will avoid getting stuck in traffic for ages and waste precious time.
If you're staying for a few days get yourself a Rabbit card, which is basically Thailand's equivalent to the Oyster card except that it's super cheap and you can pay for the number of trips you plan to take instead of paying a set price each time you tap in and out. This makes it a lot easier to understand how many trips you have left on your card.
It also helps that the sky train stations are generally linked to large shopping malls, making it easy to navigate and get around.
There are a few lines on the Sky Train, making it pretty straight forward to navigate.
One of the best things about visiting foreign countries is immersing yourselves completely in their culture.
Learning a few key phrases, will help you get around easier. Plus everyone likes a tourist that tries to learn a little about the country and the language.
These are not the correct phonetic spellings, I am just writing each phrase as I would say it. ^^
Depending which gender you are, you will end a phrase with 'ka' or 'kap.' This just makes what you're saying a little more polite, when talking to a stranger.
Hello = Sa wa di
Female: Sa wa di ka
Male: Sa wa di kap
Thank you = kharb khuṇ
Female: kharb khuṇ ka
Male: kharb khuṇ kap
No thanks = Mai ow (ka/kap)
NO = Mai dai
Yes please = Chai (ka/kap)
I'm not gay= Mai beng gay
I'm gay= beng gay
Now you've got the basics :P
You're ready to roam free in Bangkok!
I love this country for a magnitude of reasons: the people are friendly, food and drink is so incredibly cheap you feel like you can eat the whole country, transport is also cheap and most importantly; I feel safe in Thailand.
Next I'll show you where I stayed and where to eat in Bangkok :}
Disclaimer: Some images credited to Google.