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- 14 Votes | 6 Comments
The chances are that you will be flying in to Suvarnahumbi international airport after a long international flight from Europe or the US. After getting past customs and finding the way out, you will be hit by multiple sales people trying to sell you taxis to Bangkok centre. You are tired and just want to get to the hotel that you have made your reservation at and just can't be bothered doing anything else apart from flinging your bags into one of the taxi's. You agree to pay about around 700 baht and after the long flight do not have the energy to work out the conversion rate. You have just been fleeced for the first time.
Bangkok is in central Thailand and is no doubt going to be the hub for your trip as there is good transport connections to practically everywhere within Thailand. Bangkok will be the place where you will get your night bus down to Koh Sumai or perhaps your sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Bangkok is also probably the cheapest place to buy flights within SE Asia. Asia has seen an increase in cheap domestic flights in recent years and you can fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for about 1500 Baht. If you are travelling try catching public transport instead of chartered buses from tourist agencies, you will find them cheaper and a lot more fun. Traveling on public transport is also a great way to meet locals and can be a seriously funny scenario. Chartered buses from tourist offices are expensive and can often be a scam.
Khao San Road is the area with budget accommodation that many travelers find them selves staying. The truth is Koh San Road is not Bangkok and is a very poor representation of the rest of the city. Khao San Road offers cheap accommodation and nothing more. It has poor transport links to downtown Bangkok, The Sky Train and the Bangkok Thailand Underground and it is stuck out in the South Eastern corner.The bars are targeting budget western travelers and the rest of Bangkok is very different to this one road. If you have the opportunity try and stay down Sukhumvit Road or somewhere closer to the Sky Train.
The Royal Palace, Wat Po, Chao Phray River, Chatachak Weekend market and Sukhamavit Road are the most popular attractions within the city. The floating market and the crocodile farm, both a short drive out of Bangkok Thailand are good for day trips. But even without the above Bangkok offers some great shopping and an endless amount of quality restaurants and bars.
Bangkok has great transport connections to many places within Thailand. Do try and catch public transport as opposed to chartered, it is cheaper and a lot more fun. There are 2 major bus stations Mo Chit for the North and Ekami for the South. The Sky Train and underground is great for getting around downtown Bangkok and there are always a supply of Taxi's - just remember to ask the driver to turn the meter on. If you decide to take a Tuk Tuk be cautious as these guys are the worst for fleecing Farang, make sure both parties agree a price before hand.
Bangkok really is a great city and really can offer a lot. Over the recent years Bangkok has cleaned it's act up with regards to pollution. All Bangkok taxi's now run on LPG and the BLT Sky Train and super modern Bangkok Underground are all helping to keep the pollution levels down. Unfortunately there is still a whole army of old government buses that chuck out fumes, but these are still the cheapest way to travel and many Thai's rely on these as a means of getting about.
Bangkok Thailand Tip:
On arriving at Suvarnahumbi airport ignore all the sales people selling Taxi's by politely saying mai ow krup (M) karr (F) - don't want thank you. Walk straight out the airport and catch a legit Taxi for a fraction of the price.