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Bangkok Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Bangkok vacation


neilray
Paying for domestic flights without a credit card 4 stars
The airline Nok Air has lots of flights around the country from Bangkok Don Muang to Phuket, Chiang Mai, Trang and Krabi to name a few. So if I am flying around Thailand I call Nok on my mobile phone (with a Thai SIM card) 1318 and talk to an English speaking operator. Once the booking is made, Nok will send a code through to my phone. I then go to a 7-11 ( one on every corner in Bangkok) and show them the code. I pay cash and they issue the ticket, which is in fact a till receipt with a bar code. Simple, easy and Nok have very good prices – and I just love the paint job on the plane! Nok means bird in Thai so the planes nosecone makes sense.

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neilray
Thailand Mobile/Cell SIM Cards 4 stars
Thailand has one of the worlds best and comprehensive mobile phone networks so it is worth taking advantage of this low cost service whilst in the country. I always have a local Thai SIM card so I can have access to discounted restaurants, be able to contact local companies and hotels cheaply and even call home for a much lower rate than using the roaming services of Europe and the US. The most popular card is the 12Call, and the starter pack is 300 Baht or €6. I make sure you the home card is safe but once changed its cheaper in many ways. To phone overseas the prefix the country code with 009 and this saves even more!

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Marc888
Songkran and the rain 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Yet, incredibly as Songkran week wore on, the skies became more cloudy and with an almost uncanny amount of accuracy this famous festival, which essentially is intended to herald in the rains, yielded exactly that. The very day after the festival finished, it started to bucket down ending at a stroke nearly one hundred rainless days. For every single day since Songkran has passed there have been incredible thunderstorms providing massive deluges. The rainy season has certainly started and now you can get wetter just walking around in a thunderstorm then you could ever get during the water throwing festivities of Songkran week!

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Marc888
A very hot Songkran 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It was exceptionally hot at the start of songkran week, just as it had been for the past three months, and, whether or not global warming was to blame, the extra few degrees were very noticeable even in a country which is so used to having very hot weather. Newspapers and TV programs commented that this year was markedly hotter than previous years too. It is a wonder how so many people could draw so much water during what was undoubtedly a heat wave, but it made Songkran all the more fun as a good dowsing of water was exactly what was called for during such extreme climes.

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Marc888
A shorter Songkran in Bangkok 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In Pattaya for example, Songkran can last for up to 9 days which in my opinion, and in the opinions of many who stay there is just a little too long. However, in Bangkok it was over in just 3 or 4 days which was just about the right amount of time. Still, the capital remained quiet for the entire week as most workers were given a week off to enjoy the extended holidays in their home provinces. This made for a very nice side of songkran all in itself, since Bangkok without traffic jams is one of the most welcome things that dwellers of this city could wish for.

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Marc888
Songkran in Bangkok's Sukhumvit area 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Bars and restaurants were still open in the area, and it seems they had taken all of the sensible precautions such as ensuring that there were ample mats on the floors and plastic covers in place to protect furniture and electrical equipment. The open air bars were especially adept and making their premises safe and yet still fully open! I was able to have a lot of fun on this, my first songkran day, and Bangkok was certainly quite a nice place to be for this holiday as it was slightly shorter than the Songkran breaks in many of the provinces and especially in the many tourist resorts of the country.

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Marc888
Songkran in Bangkok's Sukhumvit road 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I should have known that the bus would be a good target as it was fairly clear when I boarded it that it was covered in white powder and water. It was definitely quite a sight! As I reached the Sukhumvit road area I found myself back in the land of the tourist hotspots, especially the areas around Sukhumvit Soi’s 1 to 19. The entire area was an all out water fight, but yet it wasn’t quite as crowded as the Koh San Road experience and with at least some room to walk around it made for a much nicer time. I couldn’t help but join in with the fun.

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Marc888
Taking a bus during Songkran 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
After much fun in the Ladprao Road area I made my way back towards the tourist hot spot of Sukhumvit Road. I actually took a bus along the main Ram Indra bypass, which was a non air-conditioned bus which meant that it had open windows along both sides. As you can imagine, the bus passed numerous families camped out on the pavements with buckets of water, hoses and large water pistols. To imagine that busses would be immune from the fun of Songkran was certainly foolhardy, and predictably, I, along with all of the other passengers on the bus got absolutely soaked through, many times over!

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Marc888
More safe during Songkran 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Indeed, whereas as in previous years, especially in tourist areas, water cannons and bicycle-pump style water guns were tolerated, these have now been outlawed in the spirit of safer fun. Statistics about the safety of the festivities are published by the government each year, in much the same way that Christmas drink-driving statistics are published by many western countries. Sure enough, this year’s festivities were a success in terms of safety. Still it is worth being aware that riding a motorcycle during Songkran might be unwise.

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Marc888
Traditional Songkran in Bangkok's Ladprao area 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Many of the passers-by would be sitting in small parties in the back of pick up trucks armed too with a large barrel of water which would allow them to give as good as they could get! The difference between these traditional water throwing events and those occurring in the tourist areas was that it was much more of a family affair. It was also much more spread out and relaxed. Typically those people lining the streets would do so outside their own house or shop-house and would have a water supply pipe running all the time to refill their buckets!

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Marc888
Traditional Songkran in Bangkok's Ladprao road 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It is in stark contrast to the plastic water gun wars in the tourist areas, and incidentally is not something you would see if you were simply confined to having fun in those places. Yet the traditional family ceremony doesn’t entirely replace the water fun that I had so clearly enjoyed in the tourist resorts. All of the main roads, and many of the smaller sois even in this traditional part of Bangkok were lined with people holding large buckets of water and medium sized plastic water pistols, splashing and firing water at passers by.

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Marc888
A family Songkran Thai style 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was able to see Thai families enjoying the festivities in the true spirit of the event, using scented water to pay respects to the elders. The ceremony is very simple and entails a peaceful gathering of all family members who in turn offer prayer and gifts to the most senior member of the household. The water is adorned with traditional Thai petals and is gently dabbed by each person. White talcum powder is also used, just as it is in the more touristy areas, but much more moderately. Typically the traditional ceremony takes about 30 minutes to an hour, and is a very peaceful affair.

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Marc888
Traditional Bangkok Songkran 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It certainly was fun though, and since it was my first time in Koh San Road during Songkran week I was able to enjoy the festivities to the max. Armed with a moderately sized newly purchased water pistol, I joined the throngs of people who were similarly armed, and had a great time engaging in the water battles. Yet I was interested to see the more traditional side of Songkran on this occasion, and so after a few hours at Koh San Road, a trip to the Ladprao Road area ensured that I was able to experience this important Thai festival in the most traditional way possible. This part of town is far from any tourist areas and as such was truly a good way to see all of the many facets of a Thai style Songkran.

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StellaPoint
How to make Bangkok your new favourite city! 5 stars
The intense heat, the smell of a thousand unknown fragrances, and the hectic pace that could only belong to an Asian city. Bangkok is all that, but so much more.

As I am preparing for my third trip to Bangkok the experiences from my two first visits has left a great impression on me. Of all the travelers I have spoken to, Bangkok is the one city that you either hate or love. Being indifferent about Bangkok is not an option!

I could go on and on about the things to see and do in Bangkok. The options are plentiful ranging from walking through the Grand Palace in the morning, getting a massage at the Official Thai Massage School at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, to getting a cheap dinner at the food markets along the Chao Phraya River. My first stay in Bangkok was also my first stay in Asia, and ended up being a huge mixture of stressful transportation legs between endless tourist attractions. The key to enjoying Bangkok is to have enough days to spare so that you can pick a few activities every day and still have enough time to soak in the vibe of the city. The best way to do this is to get a hotel close to a BTS (Bangkok Sky Train) and at the same time far away from the stress of the tourist areas. Reflections Hotel is perfect for this with its close proximity to the Ari BTS station and excellent location between the main Bangkok hub of transport, Siam Square, and Chatuchak Market. Chatuchak Market is an enormous weekend market that is a must see if you’re a shopaholic, remember that it is only open on weekends and that you should be there as early as possible to avoid the worst heat.


The Reflections hotel has 17 individually designed room decorated by talented Thai artist. Every room is completely different and if you want you can easily switch rooms so that you can enjoy a night of plush romance in the pink #201 or a traditional Thai wooden hut in room #304. The hotel is located in a district that has a distinct local feel ,and if you don’t want to sample the Thai or Japanese menu you can always just take a quick stroll outside the hotel where countless of street food stalls are waiting to serve all kinds of delicacies.

Reflections Hotel is a perfect complement to the hectic life of Bangkok, but if you want to experience the hidden serene gem that it is today you better hurry up now that the secret is out!


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StellaPoint
Want a genuine Thai massage in Bangkok? 4 stars
If you want a thai massage in Bangkok but have second thoughts about some of the parlors spread around the city then the Wat Po Massage School is a safe bet. It is located on the grounds of the Wat Po temple, famous for the huge reclining Buddha. The thai massage school is a genuine educational institution where you can get a massage by a student for a cheap prize. The school consists of one big massage room with plenty of fans to keep you cool, so if you feel like a refreshing massage after a long day of temple watching then head out to the Wat Po Massage School. I went there after first going to the grand temple, then the temple of Dawn and finishing with Wat Po so a massage was definently in order. You pay up beforehand and get a number so that you can sit and chill untill its your turn.


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Marc888
The Atlanta 4 stars
The Atlanta is a budget hotel in Bangkok with quite a bit of history, and is very popular with artists and musicians alike. Proudly boasting its standing as one of the oldest hotels in Bangkok, and yet having had little in the way of renovation, it still seems to attract budget tourists, possibly in part due to the fact that it is quite famous. Rooms start at just 6 Euros and so this hotel is truly priced with budget travelers in mind. I visited the hotel to meet a friend and whilst I didn’t stay there, I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel offered rooms, which whilst not new, were clean. Thus it provided a good deal considering the low room rates. The Atlanta can be found in Bangkok’s sukhumvit Soi 2 area.

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Marc888
The Golden Mount Temple 4 stars
The temple of Wat Saket, located in Bangkok’s Rathadamnoen Road area, is commonly called the Golden Mount Temple as it has a famous Golden chedi set upon a fairly large sized man made circular hill. The entire structure rises around 250 feet high, and I found it to be quite a nice sight on approach. The climb to the top was not too strenuous and at certain times of the year the temple is home to a colourful carnival. During its history the entire hill has had to be shored up on a number of occasions due to the fact that it is slowly sinking into the soft ground that makes up this area of the city. Wat Saket is located close to Boripihat road and is well worth a visit.

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Marc888
The Woodlands 4 stars
The Woodlands Hotel is a budget hotel in Bangkok which allowed me to enjoy a nice stay for a modest sum. Whilst the rooms were quite basic, they were furnished with reasonably new furniture and the bed was very comfortable. The room was also very clean and this to my mind is one of the most important things when staying in any hotel. I would always be happy to trade an older run down five star room, for a clean budget hotel room such as the one at eh Woodlands. The facilities on hand were also perfectly fine and so a had a pleasant stay overall. The Woodlands is located at 1158 Charoen Krung Road in Bangkok’s Bangrak area.

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Marc888
The Yamaha Centre 4 stars
The Yamaha Centre, which is set on the 3rd floor of Bangkok’s Fortune IT Mall, is a newly opened showroom which is unique in every respect. From the facade at the front which features angled concrete walls to the lobby area which opens up to a cavernous sales space, this place oozes class. I was able to spend some time there checking out the latest professional Yamaha Products. The main showroom area is laid out exactly like a professional recoding studio with Yamaha’s largest available mixing desks firmly taking centre stage. The dark wood floors and sound proof walls complete the feel of the studio space. This was an excellent setting for trying out Yamaha’s professional recording gear and at the same time getting sound advice on studio design too. The shop also features a large side area where professional accessories and musical instruments are available. Certainly a great place to visit, especially if you have never been inside a professional recording studio.

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AndreaLJC
What to do in Bangkok 5 stars
Bangkok is a huge city and it spreads itself out fairly far.  There are loads of different areas to the city too so there is plenty of exploring to be done.  My favourite areas to visit include Siam, which is great for shopping, Khao San Road, which is the tourist hang out with a market which is on during the daytime and night time, and Lupini Park where there is a huge night market, plus an outside eating and drinking area with a huge stage that has nightly music performances - with dancers.  There is plenty to see and do in Bangkok so whether its a visit to the particularly stunning Grand Palace or a trip to the Siam Niramit Theatre for a fabulous show, shopping, partying or a visit to one of the many cabarets, your never bored that's for sure and if your tired from a hectic day of sight seeing then you can unwind with a Thai massage.  Fabulous temples and statues are dotted around the city and there are loads of different modes of transport to get around; taxis, tuk-tuks, tricycles, buses, the sky train and boats are all very cheap and easy to use but watch the prices of taxis and tuk-tuks from big hotels as they will be about ten times the normal price!  I love Bangkok, its one of my favourite cities.

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