101 – travel tips for Bangkok, Thailand
|The Grand Palace in Bangkok|
|Thai soup, a must try for any tourists|
The weather in Bangkok
|Ladival sun cream, my suncare buddy|
And of course, invest in a decent high SPF sun cream. I was lucky enough to have gone to the UK launch of a new range of sun creams called Ladival, just days before flying out (that’s fate, right?).
The sun creams offer four times sun protection compared to a regular sunscreen, and protect against infrared, UVA and UVB, something other high street brands don’t really offer. I took the gel formula as it didn’t feel as thick, and it helped prevent tanning on my face, one of my holiday pet hates.
Eating out in Bangkok
|The most delicious, but hottest chilli sauce I’ve tried|
|Hubby only takes me to the classiest joints|
|Street food charm|
Eat like the locals
It was also great to eat like the locals. The soup we were enjoying was also shared amongst stall owners, who drank them from a carrier bag with a straw, so we knew we were getting something authentic.
|Street food at it’s best in China town.|
If local stalls don’t sound like your cup if tea, the Siam Mall has a food court with plenty of options at a reasonable price, but I would honestly say at least try the street food once, as it’s the closest you’ll get to a true Thai dining experience.
|The air conditioned comfort of the Siam Mall|
Also if you go to Thailand make the most of the fresh fruit juice street vendors, as they whip up some of the best juices you’ll ever try. We ordered a lime juice which was deliciously sweet (possibly drowned in sugar) as well as pomegranate and orange juices. The juices were also super cheap, costing 20 Thai Baht (that’s about 40p in English money).
|Scallop flavour crisps anyone?|
So my best advice for eating in Thailand would be to look beyond restaurants, explore and also ask about their ingredients to ensure you’re not eating anything you don’t want!
Clothing for Bangkok and Temple dress codes
|My rather fetching borrowed shirt|
While in most places you’ll be able to wear your usual summer wardrobe, it’s worth noting that certain sacred sights, such as the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha have a stricter dress code which forbids leggings, sleeveless dresses and shorts. The rule also extends to men, as my husband had to swap his 3/4 length trousers for a longer length.
Also, a short sleeve or strappy dress covered by a shawl won’t do, as you would be expected to wear a sleeved shirt over the top. Most monuments offer you the chance to loan or buy shirts or cover-ups, but you do have to queue up for a while, as most people flout the dress code. So if you want to avoid eating into your sightseeing time, pack prepared and observe the etiquette.
Getting around in Bangkok
Easy, convenient and comfortable. However, opt for a metered taxi to avoid the hassle of haggling, as this will be invariably cheaper than any quote they give you.Watch out for cheeky chancing taxi drivers who may try and turn off the meter once you’re in the cab. One taxi driver tried this with us, but we insisted on putting the meter back on as he was hoping to charge an arm and a leg for a short trip. This might be a rare occurrence, but it’s best to confirm they will charge you by the meter before you enter any taxi.
Also, be mindful of taking a taxi during rush hour in the city, you could be stuck for hours.
|Rush hour traffic in Bangkok|
Another thing to bear in mind is that many taxi drivers have a poor command of English. So it helps to have a map handy and a card from the hotel you’re staying.
|The best ride in Thailand… the tuk tuk|
Also, tuk tuks in Thailand are pimped out with lights and music. So imagine one of those party buses you see through London, the tuk tuk is Bangkok’s answer to that.
|The boat ride, a scenic alternative to a taki|
Boat ride –
Explore the city and beat the traffic by taking a boat across the Chao Phraya river. Offering great views, sea air, and a head start on taxis, the Chao Phraya riverboats offer more of an experience whilst getting you from A to B.
Bangkok’s transport system isn’t as extensive as London’s tube network, but boy is it civilized. With air conditioning throughout, there’s a sensible order for alighting and entering (without any elbowing whatsoever), Bangkok’s train network is convenient, easy and comfortable. We used this quite a lot, but I needed a shawl with me as the cool air-con was a sharp contrast to the humid outdoors.The metro is also a good way to get around when the heat is at it’s most intense.
Shopping and haggling in Bangkok
So that’s my Bangkok 101, now go to my article on things to do in Bangkok, where you can see the really good stuff. However, if you have any really pressing questions, drop me a comment or give me a shout on FB or Twitter and I’ll do my best to help :)Also, for a great tip on where to stay, check out my hotel review here.
Latest on YouTube
About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.