Bangkok; a great city in Southeast Asia, is a tourist favorite and one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting up to 40 millions traffic in recent years. As a city filled with cultural and spiritual places and thousands of great street food, Bangkok will surely make you fall in love.
However, there are things you should avoid in Bangkok, to make sure that your holiday stays memorable. After all, we all want to be conscious travelers, and it is very important that we respect the local customs and behave properly wherever we go. As the saying 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do', here are seven things your should not do, when in Bangkok.
A home to almost 9 million people and 5 million cars, traveling around in Bangkok requires you to do a smart calculation. Traffic is fairly heavy in the main streets and intersections throughout the day and may spike to its worst during the rush hours. For this reason, you definitely want to time your schedule well, especially if you’re enroute to airport to catch your next flight or have other important travel plans to stick to. Allow a few extra hours into your calculations or refer to your map for better estimate.
Since the traffic in Bangkok can get tricky, it’s best to keep your wits with you when it comes to transportation choices. We recommend you to embrace the Bangkok BTS trains. It can be intimidating to try the rail systems, but it is undoubtedly the best way to explore many places in Bangkok. Alternatively, taxis are cheap and abundant, but make sure you only get in one with the meter on, or hire online taxis from your apps. Tuk-tuk is convenient and pretty cheap, especially if you travel short distance. Just negotiate before hopping on and hold onto your hats because these buggy rides go fast!
Super cheap tour package? A free ride out of nowhere? A guide suddenly appearing with lucrative deals? Half price massage or car rent? Hold your horses! If a deal is too good to be true, then most likely it is not as it seems.
We recommend that you book your travel plans only with reputable and trusted providers, either on the spot or through online services. Ask around to be sure or get information from the hotel concierge for better judgements.
Bargaining and price haggling is part of the fun when you’re shopping in the streets of Bangkok. In fact, it is the number one rule that you put your skills to the test–otherwise you’ll be overcharged. Still, do not negotiate too low because it is considered insensitive and rude. Know your price range and if you can’t reach a deal, just shake your head and walk away politely.
Bangkok is generally a safe place to visit. However, it is not 100% immune to tourist dangers, especially if you end up in the wrong parts of the city. Avoid entertainment area that is known for its infamous sex-related shows such as Patpong or bars and clubs in shady places.
Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country, thus monks and temples are a part of common daily sight in Bangkok. As a tourist (and decent human beings), it goes without saying that one should not disrespect religion-related matters anywhere. Avoid touching/kissing, inappropriate clothing, or being careless during your visit to temples or holy sites. Equally important and revered by the people of Thailand is their King, so avoid bad-mouthing or making fun about the monarch in any insensitive manner as it is considered a serious crime.
Generally, Bangkok has a very relaxed attitude in terms of clothing and style. The only exception would be during your temple visit, which requires you to dress more appropriately. Avoid clothing with holes, tight fitting, revealing clothes, flip-flops and etc. Another tip is to dress like a local would, especially when you’re going shopping! Dressing too much (or too-touristy) will make you as an easy target for swindlers!
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