Bangkok is one of those cities you either like or you don’t and we are in the latter. A large city with everything that goes with it: chaos, millions of people, traffic jams, tour buses everywhere, scammers, and while there are many nice people, there are those who have forgotten that tourism helps pay their salary.
We found the listed must sees – such as the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha, overcrowded with bus load after bus load of tour groups overwhelming at times. This totally distracts from the beauty of the sites and doesn’t allow for quality photos. To ease the crowds you have to arrive when the attractions first open and visit quickly.
We recommend using Bangkok as a transfer point to other amazing places in Thailand, such as Chiang Mai. You won’t go home thinking you missed something in Bangkok.
Grand Palace Courtyard……
Timing, as they say, is everything and with the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej last October, the Thais are in a one-year mourning period. The King’s son won’t have his coronation until October 2017. Approximately 30 to 40 thousand Thai people visit the Grand Palace daily to pay their respects to the late King. So the Grand Palace and surrounding staging areas have masses of people and then add in the tourists and tour groups.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located on Rattanakosin Island, south of the Grand Palace, in the Wat Pho Buddhist temple complex and is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples. The 150-foot long gold-plated Reclining Buddha statue is in the posture of a sleeping or reclining lion.
Yes, every city has a Chinatown, including Bangkok. With its narrow walkways crowded with shoppers, this plastic and knockoff capital has it all, in bulk. You want a watch, then name the type and brand and they will pull it off the rack for you.
Eating in Chinatown……
Renee, being the adventurous one when it comes to food, decided we should eat in Chinatown at one of the local cafes.
Tips and Recommendations for visiting Bangkok:
- There are two airports in Bangkok – Don Mueang International Airport (airport code DMK) and Suvarnabhumi – Bangkok International Airport (airport code BKK).
- No hard visa required for Thailand. An arrival tourist visa will be provided during the immigration process.
- Airport meter-taxis are available upon exiting the terminal. If you don’t have the hotel address in Thai, make sure you have the telephone number so they can call for directions if needed.
- Know where you are going. Get a detailed tourist map usually provided by the hotel.
- Cash – Thai Baht – is usually the only payment option. Most places do not take credit or debit cards, so don’t assume – always check first. Some establishments will add the 2-3% fee to the total bill.
- Watch out for scammers – tuk-tuk and non-metered taxis are big ones with over-charging. Know the going rate and negotiate ahead of time. Metered taxis are the recommended form of transportation. Also, individuals who happen to speak good English may approach you and tell you the tourist attraction you are heading to is closed. They will then try to guide you to a different attraction or shop where you will be pressured to purchased something. Just ignore their advice.
- Pedestrians are the lowest form and have NO RIGHTS. There are no such things as crosswalks even if you see a painted one on the street.
- Crossing the street can be challenging. If you wait for the traffic to stop for you, you will probably be there for years to come. Watch the traffic flow for an opening and then go.