The Ultimate Bangkok City Guide
Here’s a collection of the best travel tips collected by a group of expats and locals living in Bangkok, Thailand.
Smart Travel Tips
- You can purchase a SIM card at the airport for data and a local Thai number. We recommend AIS or TRUE as we have used both and they are reliable telecom providers.
- Bangkok does have Grab and if you can, download the app before arriving.
- Download communication apps called LINE and WhatsApp. Most Thais and expats in Thailand use LINE to communicate. WhatsApp and FB Messenger are used in SE Asia.
- Thai Currency: Baht is usually given in 1000 Baht, 500 Baht, 100, 50 and 20: Make sure to carry lots of 20s and 100s
- If you decide to use a taxi to get around, always get into a taxi that will run their meter. Be prepared for taxi drivers refusing to take you where you want to go (very common).
- Pack extra socks, if you need to take your shoes off at tourist spots, as they will ask you to remove your shoes and walk bare feet.
- Bug repellent that are locally made are more effective than the ones from North America. The Thai mosquitoes are small, sneaky and fast.
- It’s hot, hot season right now, stay hydrated at all times and please apply sunscreen throughout the day, even when it is overcast.
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- Download Bangkok BTS and MRT maps on your phone and use these two public transit systems to get around the city. You will save lots of travel time.
- Pack hand sanitizer and tissue/kleenex. Tourist spots will have access to public restrooms but they may not have soap and/or toilet paper.
- When brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with filtered water.
- Never raise your voice or show that you are angry or upset in public. Even at the most frustrating moments, stay calm.
- It’s common for food to have MSG so you can ask for ‘No MSG’.
- Sugar and/or sugar syrup is essential for many Thai food and drinks. If you don’t like sweet things, ask for ‘no sugar’; or be prepared for very sweet coffee and teas.
Things To Do and See
~ Royal Palace and reclining Buddha
They are located beside each other but if you don’t care to see the Royal Palace, we highly recommend visiting the reclining Buddha. You can visit them the same day you hang
out along the river, since you can get there by river.
Royal Palace and reclining Buddha
~ Muay Thai
The best authentic matches are held at Rajadammen Stadium. There are no matches held on Tuesday nights. You can attend a match on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
You can buy ticker here
~ Green Lung
If you need a break from the city hustle and bustle, you can bike around Green Lung for half a day.
~ Anatomical Museum
If you are a fan of visiting museums. The most interesting one in the city is the Anatomical
~ Red light District
Thailand is a conservative country but there are red light districts in Bangkok. If you are curious and want to check out the red light districts there are three:
1. Soi Cowboy, the smallest one of the three, walking
distance from Asok BTS stop and Sukhumvit MRT stop
2. Nana, close to Nana BTS stop
3. Patpong, close to Sala Daeng BTS stop
Red Light District Tips:
1. Do not give people direct eye contact while you are walking along the red light district. They will follow you until you say yes to whatever they are offering you.
2. There are some transgender bars so it can be confusing.
3. Make sure you carry your money in two different places.
4. You can also sign up for a tour guide to show you around the red light district.
~ Thai, oil and foot massages
Healthland is the place we recommend for family and friends visiting Bangkok. They are clean and provide a lovely ambiance. There are many locations throughout the city.
You can check there website here
Thai Restaurant Recommendations
(not in any particular order)
Supanniga: You will not be disappointed and here are two locations.
Gedhawa: located on Sukhumvit Soi 35, walking distance from Emquartier Shopping Mall. They offer delicious Northern Thai cuisine.
Eathai: They have many food stands and restaurants to choose from and ideal meeting spot for a big group and to try many different Thai dishes. Eathai is located at the lower level in Central Embassy, at Wireless Road and Sukhumvit.
Taling Pling: A very popular restaurant chain among local Thais and the expat community. There are three to four locations in the city.
Zaab Eli: for super casual Thai food, located in many malls.
Issaya Siamese Club: A little more expensive but the food is
Bo Lan: A high-end establishment offering a delightful Thai
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Rooftop at Lebua Hotel
If you have seen Hangover 2, you may want to check out the rooftop bars at Lebua Hotel for the sunset and enjoy the city views.
Bamboo Bar in the Mandarin Oriental
For classic cocktails, live music and great ambiance. Hands down, they make one of the best Old Fashion in Bangkok.
Iron Ferries on ThongLor
For live music and fun atmosphere.
For great ambiance with live music and/or good DJs
(not in any particular order)
Your goal when selecting the right accommodation is to stay close to a BTS or MRT stop (sky train and subway) or along the river to save travel time since Bangkok is notorious for
Along the river
- Shangri-La: it is an older property but I like the location, it is very close to Saphan Taksin BTS stop and it is also along the river
- The Hilton: It is an older property as well and it is across from the main city but I know someone who stayed there for over a month and enjoyed his stay.
- Mandarin Orient and Peninsula Hotels: for the classic five star experience.
In The City
- Okura Prestige Bangkok: Ideally located on the corner of Wireless and Sukhumvit. It is walking distance from Phloen Chit BTS and Central Embassy Mall that has Eathai located in the lower level
- Hotel Indigo on Wireless Raod (close to Phloen City BTS)
- Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok (close to Siam BTS and I think they have a hotel tuktuk to take you the BTS)
- Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit (very close to ASOK BTS and Sukhumvit MRT (underground subway)