One Night In Bangkok Definitely Makes A Hard Man Humble
Murray Head captured Bangkok perfectly in his short song. He sings about the sights, sounds and smells of the largest city in Thailand. He also warns men to be aware of the ladies of the third gender.
If you have never been to Bangkok, you will definitely be humbled. As soon as you walk out of the baggage claim area at Suvarnabhumi you will be overwhelmed by the maddening crowd waiting outside the door.
A sea of yellow shirts (in honor of the King) will be blocking your way. Some will have signs with names on them trying to find a wayward traveler. Others will be armed with clipboards touting taxis at ridiculously high prices.
Fighting through this narrow gauntlet is even more difficult with two suitcases and a backpack. The taxi mafia will not take “No” for an answer – even if you say it ten times in 5 different languages.
They will persist and follow you, block your way, and annoy you so much that you will want to punch them.
“But, you relax and realize where you are and why you are there.
You are in Bangkok. It is the City of Angels in the Land of Smiles. You know from your research that a smile and a cool heart will go far in this beautiful country. So, you smile and make your way to the escalator and find yourself on the first floor.
You head outside and find the legal taxi line-up and make your way to the makeshift tables and tell the cute girl where your hotel is. The fee for getting a legal taxi is all of 50 Baht – which is about $1.50 USD.
Your taxi driver will help you with your bags and usually ask you if you want to take the tollway. If you want to get to your hotel in less than one hour, agree. It will only cost you a little extra. Your cabbie may also want to negotiate a fee without using his meter.
This is technically illegal, but it is up to you to work out a fair price, or use the meter. If he refuses to use the meter, ask for another driver. You definitely want to establish this before you get in the cab.
If you are arriving from America, you will notice that the steering wheel is on the “other” side of the car and that you are driving on the “wrong” side of the road. Relax, and get used to it.
Just be careful when you are a pedestrian and crossing the street. Look both ways about ten times before crossing – even if you are crossing a one-way street.
You are probably experiencing sensory overload. Seeing all of the billboards along the tollway, the cars speeding in and out in some sort of controlled chaos, and the smells of the city, you may wonder what planet you are on. Every corner of Bangkok has a different aroma – some pleasing and some putrid.
Arriving at your hotel you check in and then have to decide whether to go out or catch up on the many time zones you have just crossed.
If you do decide to go out and experience the Bangkok nightlife, just remember what Murray Head sang;
Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand | DW Documentary
“One night in Bangkok, and the tough guys tumble! Can’t be too careful with your company. I can feel the devil walkin’ next to me.”
Must See Bangkok Temples
No visit to Bangkok is complete without visiting the temples in the city. The temples, or wats, are all over and the main temples can be seen in a day or two.
You can either plan your own trip or check in the lobby of your hotel and sign up for a ½ or full day trip. There are 5 temples that are definite “must see”.
Wat Arun is the temple of the dawn. It is located on the Chao Phraya River. As the name indicates, it is ideal to visit first thing in the morning as the sun rises. This way you will see the sun bounce off the walls of the temple with a pearly iridescence.
Wat Phra Kaew, or the temple of the Emerald Buddha, is in the heart of Bangkok, at the Royal Palace. Despite the name, the statue is really made of jade and is adorned in golden garments.
There are three sets of gold clothing that are changed according to the seasons.
Like all the temples, you should dress appropriately. For the men, this means slacks and a collar shirt. For the ladies, wear a dress and cover as much skin as possible.
If you are improperly dressed, you will either be turned away or be offered to rent some clothes.
Another temple to visit is Wat Pho. This is the temple of the Reclining Buddha. This is the oldest temple in Bangkok and houses over 1,000 images of Buddha.
The Reclining Buddha is 46 meters long, plated in gold, with inlaid mother of pearl on his eyes and soles of his feet.
Next is Wat Benchamabophit. This is a beautiful marble temple built in 1899. Inside the Ordination Hall (Ubosot) is a Sukhothai-style Buddha statue named Phra Buddhajinaraja, cast in 1920 after the original located in Wat Mahathat in Phitsanulok.
The ashes of King Chulalongkorn are buried beneath the statue. In the gallery surrounding the ordination hall are 52 Buddha statues, collected by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab for his king.
Lastly, is Wat Tramit, the Golden Buddha. This is a fascinating story and a temple you have to see. You need to read the history and learn how the Thai people hid this Buddha in clay to keep the Burmese from taking it and melting down the gold for war.
It went undiscovered until an accident chipped away some of the clay to reveal part of the 5 tons of gold. No guards in sight as no one would dare steal it.
“Whether you are religious or not, visiting the temples in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand is something you should do.
How To Find The Right Transportation
Travel in Bangkok sometimes never easy for many of foreigner tourists as there are many kinds of public transportation available. Moreover you may find that if you want to go to some area that there is only one type of transportation could access to.
Therefore, it is very essential for foreign tourists to study all of the details concern to transportation in Bangkok in order to save time of your travel and protect you from accidentally lost. The following gives in-depth guide about public transport, which you can choose effectively to save your time and money.
It is unlike any kind of general guide that you can find anywhere else on the internet because this was written by Thais who lived in Bangkok for more than twenty years so you can rest assure that you will get information from an expert.
There are two types of the Mass Transit in Bangkok, the BTS SkyTrain service and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Subway service so they have simple map that you can understand easily but the following types are more complicated than the Bangkok Mass Transit.
1.Tuk Tuk (three-wheeled taxi)
For some of you who have already visited Bangkok for few times may be familiar with this kind of transport. They are a kind of non-air condition taxi, which you can ask them to take you to anywhere in Bangkok area.
The most distinct advantage of using Tuk Tuk is the price is really cheap and you can negotiate for the fare before you decide to take it.
The first rule of thumb of using Tuk Tuk is you MUST negotiate to get cheaper price and this is possible. Normally you can negotiate for up to 50 – 100 Baht less that what the driver offer, if the driver refuses to discount, do not waste your time with him, and just go for another one.
However, by taking Tuk Tuk, apart from you can get cheaper price, it is also allows you to see outside environment when you travel so they are quite suitable for some of you who love open-air transport and enjoy Bangkok sightseeing.
There are some cautions that you have to consider when using Tuk Tuk, you must choose the car that in good condition and has valid yellow registration plate. It is also possible to ask to see driving license of the driver in case of emergency and while Tuk Tuk is running, you should be careful and hold the rail of a car tightly, especially if you have your child, you must hold them with your body for safety while Tuk Tuk is running too.
It is quite common for Bankokians to take bus, but for foreign travellers, especially first time travellers to get confused. This is because there are almost five hundred bus lines throughout Bangkok. However, bus is the cheapest transport in Bangkok.
There is information about Bangkok bus line available in tourist information center around Bangkok area. The disadvantage of bus transport is you have to know the name of destination that you are going to visit, so it seems to be very difficult for first visit travellers.
Therefore, if you intend to use bus as you major transport, make sure that you study about bus routes, number as well as the name of destinations that you are going to visit.
3. Air-conditioned taxi
This is probably the most convenient way of transport and it is also cost a lot too. Fare is varied depends on the distance of your travel. The distance and fare will be automatically calculated by electronic meter so you do not have to ask for fare quote or make negotiations.
All you have to do is know the name of destination and tell the driver.
Be careful out there.
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