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Commoner's Mini Bangkok Guide
If Manny Pacquiao is the pound for pound king in boxing, Thailand is its counterpart for tourism. I can't think of another place that gives you so much value in return for every penny you spend. If you want to get the most out of your hard earned money in practically all aspects, go to Thailand.
Where to start your research: http://www.bangkok.com
Rough Exchange Rate: 1 Baht = 1.4 Peso
Money changers in the airports are all banks so all are reliable and all have the same exchange rate. Rates are almost similar or exactly the same as banks in the city. No service charge, no need to present anything.
All popular malls have money changers (by banks also) inside them so no need to exchange a lot in the airport.
Exchange rate for Peso is somewhere around 0.5 so it's better to bring USD.
TO/FROM THE AIRPORT
For those arriving when the airport link is still operational, this is the most cost effective way of getting into the city.
Taxi costs somewhere around 200baht to downtown Bangkok plus 50baht airport surcharge and 25baht toll fee if you take the expressway. When you exit the airport look for the dispatch counter and tell them where you want to go. Some drivers might still insist on not using the meter.
To the airport, you can ask a taxi to bring you to the nearest airport link-connected BTS station. This way you don't need to hassle yourself with transferring between different stations/lines.
RABBIT CARD and THE BTS/MRT SYSTEM
Yes Bangkok traffic can get very bad so make use of their trains as much as possible. This is 1 of the few things that is more expensive than Manila.
The Rabbit Card is a contact-less smart card similar to HK's Octopus Card. Initial shell out is 300baht, this comes with 100baht load. 50baht is refundable deposit if you return the card. You can buy this in any customer service counter of the BTS stations. Minimum reload is 100baht.
The BTS (their LRT) is very well located and makes it very easy to go to areas which usually has heavy traffic like MBK and the Siam Square area.
PREPAID SIM CARD
7-Eleven is the easiest way to get a prepaid SIM card. I think you can also get one in the airport but I forgot to check where exactly.
The providers are roughly the same, their price are also similar.
I got a DTAC Happy Sim for 45baht and then 60baht for the load. For DTAC, the load is 60, 100, 200, 300, something like that.
The SIM needs to be activated when the phone is powered on, ask the staff to do this for you because the SIM pack is all in Thai.
CHAO PHRYA RIVER BOAT
You can take the boat to places that are hard to reach using the rail system such as W@t Arun, W@t Pho and the Grand Palace. A 1-way ticket is 40baht. Nearest BTS to a pier is Saphan Taksin.
PATPONG / TIGER SHOW GUIDE
Since no one really gave concrete guides to this place, I will write one for this thread. Almost all the clubs/bars in Patpong offer the Tiger Shows (Ping Pong, etc.). The touts will all tell you that there is no cover charge and beers only cost 100baht each.
Their modus operandi is all the same. When you go to the cashier to pay for your bill, you will be surprised to see that you have been charged thousands of baht, roughly 800-1000baht per person. The cashier and staff will immediately raise their voice and argue with you once you complain.
The actual amount you need to pay is somewhere around 250-300baht per person; maybe a maximum of 350baht. Who actually believes they will let you W@tch a show like that for P150 is crazy. Don't show them that you know this, start haggling from 150 or 200baht and make 300baht your last price.
These people can be very intimidating and they do this for a living. If you are weak-hearted, traveling alone or in a small group, I suggest you think it over. Preferably there should always be a couple of guys in your group.
TOURIST SPOTS YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
If Beijing has the Great Wall and Forbidden City, Bangkok's Grand Palace and the W@t Phra Kaew temple in the same compound should not be missed.
If you have the time, take a daytrip to Ayutthaya for temples that resemble Angkor W@t and Yogyakarta. There are vans from BKK to Ayutthaya then from there you can ask a tuktuk to bring you around the city. There are around 3 temples that are must-sees. Entrance for foreigners is 50baht each. You also have the option of taking a tour which should cost around 800-1000baht per person.
The Siam Niramit cultural show is a must-see show (besides the tiger show). Cheapest ticket can be booked at Hotels2thailand.com. Get the one with dinner buffet and hotel transfers for convenience.
Bangkok itself has a LOT of things to do: River cruise, temples (W@t Pho and W@t Arun among others), Chatuchak weekend market, Chinatown, Khao San Road, the floating markets outside downtown Bangkok, Samphran Zoo also outside downtown Bangkok plus the tons of malls that will easily eat a couple of days if you love shopping.
As always, don't try to cram a lot of things in a day or you won't fully appreciate the beauty of the places. I know most Pinoys only have 3-4 days and some might think this is more than enough for Bangkok, but no, it's not enough.
I don't know why people still bother going to Vietnam and Cambodia when Thailand itself has so many things to offer.
I haven't seen a city in the world with this overwhelming amount and diversity of food. Thailand is indeed a heaven for food. It's diverse, very tasty, flavorful and most of all, very very inexpensive. Average price for thai food inside mall restaurants, 100-150baht per dish. For street food, it's just around 30-40baht. Unlike Manila, Bangkok street food can take the place of real restaurants. Locals eat street food for lunch or dinner.
Siam Paragon's food court alone has a selection that will overwhelm you and put what we have in Manila to shame.
Once you eat the food in Thailand, you will realize how bland, 1 dimensional and sweet Filipino food is.
Must Eat: Pad Thai Goong, Thai Milk Tea, Tom Yum Goong,
SHOPPING SHOPPING SHOPPING
For souvenirs, MBK (their version of Greenhills) and the weekend market. A pack of 5 small keychains should only cost 50baht - 10baht each. I am referring to the 1.5"x1.5" keychains. You need to bargain hard here.
For women's clothes - Platinum then Terminal 21 for designer boutiques that are not that expensive but you can't find at Platinum. So go to Platinum first before Terminal 21.
For men's clothes - Platinum for long sleeves and statement shirts. Terminal 21 also have a lot of good stuff for men.
For branded shopping - Central World. This is one of the nicest malls I've seen, it is very complete and has everything you want to buy (as long as you have the budget). Terminal 21 also have branded stores but not as much as Central World.
For guys who want to see nice luxurious cars and for the nicest food court - Siam Paragon.
For photo ops inside the mall - Terminal 21.
For fake stuff - MBK.
I cannot stress simply how BIG their malls are. Unless you totally have no inclination to shopping, I don't know how you can do malls like Platinum, MBK, Central World or Terminal 21 in just a few hours. Each mall can take up as much as 1 whole day. No kidding.
The stuff at Zen, Isetan and Paragon Department Store are also very nice.
WHERE TO DO GROCERY FOR PASALUBONG
Big C was a big disappointment. If you plan to buy fruits, pasalubong or anything food related, buy them at Siam Paragon's grocery. It might be more expensive but their selection is massive.
NEW ATTRACTIONS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TO BANGKOK BEFORE
Terminal 21 and Asiatique Night Market.
For those who will be buying expensive and branded items, there is a 7% tax refund you can get at the airport. Make sure you do all the paperwork at the store where you bought the item.
Tuktuk - As long as you are not a local, they will definitely charge you more than what you should pay. For short distances (1-2KM), it should be just around 50baht. There's really no "real" price for tourists because it depends on the driver and how much you can bargain. I was able to ride a tuktuk for 20baht but it turns out, he was in cahoots with a boatman scammer, we did not ride the boat so technically we were not scammed.
Tiger Show Scam - Already explained above.
Locals who speak really good English should already be enough reason for you to be extra vigilant on their true intentions.
It is almost impossible not to get scammed specially if you are a first time visitor to Bangkok or worse, first time abroad. What's good about Bangkok is that even if they double or triple the price, it's still not as bad as being conned in Europe because everything is so d*mn cheap!
Just like Chinese, once you get the tonation wrong, the word and the meaning changes. So don't try to speak Thai anymore when not necessary. Just learn the usual Sawadeekap (if you are a guy) and Kobbonkap (Thank You).
MGA SAWI SA PAG-IBIG
The shrine/mini temple outside Central World near the foot bridge is supposedly for love. You buy rose/candle/incense and offer it to the god.
^ at the parting shot. Very comprehensive guide, man.
Bangkok is such a great city, it's not only for visiting but it's one of those cities where you can actually live in.
Para sa mga mahilig kumain, ang saya sa Bangkok. Mura na, marami pang variety, sobrang sarap pa.
Ngayon alam ko na kung bakit sinasabi ng foreigners na walang lasa ang pagkain natin. Sa buong Asia tayo na yata ang pinaka-lackluster pag dating sa pagkain. Although Korean food (and to some extent, Japanese) is very 1 dimensional too. South East Asian (except us) and Chinese food are really 1 of the best in the world.
I like South Thailand dishes more though. Ang sarap ng Masaman Curry across Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi. Kahit saang restaurant, panalo!
Commoner or other bangkok experts, some questions:
1. paano ba ok papunta ng asiatique kapag galing ng platinum mall area?
2. May nabili ka ba dun or sight seeing lang?
3. Also ilang hours before your flight ka ba safe umalis ng city kung magttaxi? Flight namin pabalik 1:25am. Checkin kami baggage then asikasuhin GST. May nakapagtry na mag GST refund kahit madaling araw open pa or should we go to the airport earlier? Thanks!
I have no regrets migrating here in LOS (Land of Smiles).
buong family ko nasa US na lahat, ako lang nahiwalay.
A 500k worth of house-and-lot here is the equivalent of a 3million PhP quality house-and-lot in the Phils.
I reside here upcountry, in Chiang Mai though.
napakadaling kumuha ng sasakyan. uso dito yung 'zero DP' at napakababa ng interest rates normally nasa 2+ % lang. sa Pinas after mo nabayaran ang sasakyan mo you'd realize na umabot na pala ng 35+ ang interest. ang secretarya namin, after 1 yr lang may brand new ng sasakyan. no wonder Thailand is dubbed as the "Detroit of Asia".
sa Pinas napakahaba ng pila sa mga ATMs, pero puro withdrawals. dito, pumapantay sa pila ng withdrawals ang 'Deposits' minsan mas mahaba pa! totally different economic realities.
napakamura lahat ng bilihin, esp. pagkain, ang sarap-sarap pa, ang daming varieties, nakakaipon talaga ang mga local Thais dito. mataas ang sweldo, mababa ang cost of living. sa Pinas, baliktad.
may disiplina ang mga tao, dito ko na-realise ang nationalism, love of country. na hindi ko nakita sa Pinas. mahabang kwento kung sasabihin ko lahat..
like I always say pag may nangangamusta na kaibigan, kamaganak from Pinas - "another day in paradise!"
maganda yang ginawa mong Bangkok Guide commoner.
matagal ko nang gustong gumawa talaga, i simply do not have the time.
4yrs din naman akong nag-stay sa BKK, 3yrs sa Nonthaburi at 1yr sa Ratchaparop area, near PJ Watergate Hotel. company namin ang gumawa ng Rama V Bridge sa Chao Phraya River at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
matagal na panahon na 1999-2003, at minsanan na rin lang ako lumuwas ng 'Krungthep' (Bangkok by locals) ever since na mag-reside ako dito sa Chiang Mai. kaya hindi ko na rin masyado kabisado lahat sa BKK.
pag sinipag ako, i'll create some guides, for Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui madalas kasi kami sa island/s na to as a relative resides there.
Siguro OK kung makakapagpost ka ng pictures ng mga beach destinations nila para macompare ng travelers sa Palawan, Bohol at Boracay among others.
Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, ang biggest difference ay yung availability of cheap food and cheap accommodation sa mga beach destination nila. Tsaka madali din yatang puntahan? Ano nga ba ang biggest difference sa mga beach natin?
hello po we are set to go to bangkok for a short trip this coming Aug. 21-23 galing po kaming SR (2 girls). Pahelp naman po with regards to our itinerary kung feasible po ba.
Aug. 21 - SR-BKK
ETA 6:00 pm
Erawan Guesthouse po kami nakapag-pabook
my open pa po ba na travel agency around khaosan? magpapabook po sana *** ng Samphran Elephant & Crocodile Show (half day pm tour) or option po namin DIY na *** kami since mag grand palace at *** pho kamin ng morning
Grand Palace at *** Pho tour (am)
Samphran Elephant & Crocodile show (pm) madali lang po pumunta dit0 if DIY kami
Shopping (Platinum, MBK, Pratunam)
Check out sa hostel
9:00 am ETD BKK
thanks po sa tutulong
Ang sayang naman ng trip niyo, you practically just have 1 day in Bangkok. Bakit ganun ginawa niyo?
1 day is not enough for the Grand Palace, Samphran and shopping.
Kung ayaw niyong masayang ang trip niyo at mabitin ng sobra, extend your stay. Kahit 2 days man lang.
I'll be in Bangkok from Nov 8-14 (arrive 9am Nov 8, depart 12:30am Nov 14)
Im planning to go to Phuket from Nov 8-10, and return to Bangkok Nov 11 and stay til the 14th.
Hindi ba masyadong tight ang schedule na to?
commoner quick question po, biglaan kasi ang alis ko for BKK... Peso lang ang dala ko na pera, ok ba ang palitan sa mga banks sa airport? or may alam po *** na money changer outside of the airport? thanks in advance!
Ok naman ata sa airport, I forgot how much the exchange rate was. Don't change a lot kasi pwede naman sa city. Banks are everywhere and very easy to find. Lahat ng mall may money changer.
Backread 20 pages, may nagpost saan Ok magpapalit ng peso.
just got home from our 3 day Bangkok trip
Day 1... Went to Grand Palace and *** Po, picture taking. We went to Paragon to eat lunch, we order noodle soup, seafood supreme ang sticky rice with mango for 250baht. After we eat our lunch we went back to condoo where we stay, there are lots of fruits on the streets, we eat again, grilled tilapia, grilledcatfish and papaya salad for 140baht. Later in the afternoon we check some clothes at Platinum mall. daming magagandang clothes, pero mas cheap *** benta sa Pratunam market,bought around 50 clothes there, lahat nang makikita natin sa online shops andun lahat. for dinner we ate at Central Shabushi eat all you can, shabu shabu & sushi, unlimited drinks for 638baht for 2..., we also went sa sexy show, @600baht each... amazing show... hindi malaswa, purely entertainment...
Day 2... Tour... Floating Market, elephant ride, elephant show, rose garden, plus buffet... i really enjoy the elephant ride... after tour shop a bit at pratunam market.. Dinner again at shabushi..
Day 3... SHOPPING... Pratunam Market, Indra Square, Forever 21, Platinum Market...
sobrang sarap magshopping at kumain sa bangkok... probably babalik ako sa october to shop and eat again...
we stay at juladis mansion, sa harap lang *** ng pratunam market..
900baht for 2, with wifi, ref, free coffe & bottled water everday... pagbalik ko sa bangkok probably we'll stay here parin...
thank u for reading... till next time!
If you're just going to stick with the usual Phuket tours like Phi Phi and James Bond island tours, you will have no problem. Sa BKK naman, madali lang puntahan ang attractions. If you want to visit nearby attractions like Ayutthaya or Kanchanaburi, madali lang din dahil sangkaterba ang tour agents dyan lalo na sa Khao San Road. You can book your trip late evenings and then go on tour the next day.
Tell you what, make a list of the places you want to visit in BKK and HKT first and then gawa ka ng rough IT. Ipa-criticize mo dito.