Most of us wait for that perfect group to start the trip. However we don’t live in an ideal world, neither all our wishes can come true unless we make efforts .A solo traveler has become a trend these days. You just need to take that first step to make it happen.
When it comes to traveling to Bangkok people are all the more thrilled yet apprehensive. Fear is mostly if it’s your first international or a solo trip. If you are well planned then things become quite manageable. You just need to stay cautious and aware about few things.
Bangkok Visa Process
Visa process in Bangkok is quite simple. When I visited it was free in February 2019. Usually, it’s visa on arrival. If you are traveling for the first time to Bangkok then be ready for the huge queue. If you want to save from that then you just have to pay 200 Baht. However, the process may not be very simple. As getting saved from the queue by paying extra money is illegal.
Also, you need to be smart enough to make your way out there. Even after taking a smaller lane you have to wait for at least 1-2 hours in the line. Make sure to take an immigration form while standing in a queue. Like across Bangkok here also most of the officials are illiterate and can’t communicate well in English you just need to use the sign language.
Places to Visit in Bangkok?
This is a million dollar question. Before traveling to Bangkok first thing you should know is what all is worth visiting in Bangkok. People go with high expectation but to their surprise come back with disappointment. It’s usually popular for many things which are banned in other countries. Nightlife is and massages are quite popular in Bangkok.
But that also is the reason for the character assassination of an individual. Fact is not all go for that reason. This may be more common in the case of males. Females may have a different association with Bangkok. In my case, It was my first international solo trip all planned by me.
Honest confession is it was not less than a nightmare. Landed in a country where people were English illiterate was quite a challenge. My innocence had to go roller coaster to evolve to smarter me. Well, that is the reason I chose solo traveling as my lifestyle. However such blunder can lead to disaster at times too. Will elaborate on the same but before that let me tell you where and what you can visit in Bangkok.
- Famous Temples
Bangkok is known for world-famous Buddha temples. There are many temples known for its picturesque interiors and beliefs. Some of the famous temple there are like Wat Pho, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Arun and many more.
In order to visit all these temples, you can get in touch with any travel agent or plan your itinerary in advance as all of them are located in the outskirts of Bangkok. The best part of these temples is the Buddha sculptures and serene beauty inside. Bangkok is a city of Buddha temple; you can visit some of the best temples here.
- Metro in Bangkok
One of the best ways to commute in Bangkok is the MRT and Sky trains. It connects the entire city and can take you anywhere. If you want to commute just for few days then you can just buy a token to the place. You may not need to stand in a queue to get the token. Just enter your destination and you will get the token after making the payment. Weekends this train may be too crowded, weekdays you can commute with ease.
- Shopping malls and Local Markets
Bangkok is a large city which got lots of shopping malls. One of the biggest is Siem Mall near Indira Market. You get good brands and great delicacies to choose from.
- Floating Markets
Another attraction of Bangkok is floating market during the weekend. It is there near the Chatuchak market. You can sit on a boat and do all your shopping.
- Night Life in Bangkok
Bangkok is majorly known for its night people. One of the famous places having nightlife here is China town
- Street food in Bangkok
Bangkok is full of seafood and bacon; you can get pork, shrimp and many other variations. Price of them is really unbelievably cheap. In fact, they have a street where they serve the barbeque is as cheap at just Rs. 30 to Rs. 45. Taste of the food is also great and it’s hygienic as well. I had it on the street outside Siem Market and still relish it.
Challenges in Travelling to Bangkok
Taxi is a little expensive in Bangkok. Moreover, the taxi driver hardly understands English. If at all you plan to take a taxi than better to be ready with Google translator
- Tour Operators
As soon as you land up in Bangkok you will see a lot of tour agent which may sound too tempting to book. However, that’s the way to allure innocent travelers. The best thing to do is plan your itinerary in advance. I end up paying triple as didn’t have any choice, people around hardly understand English. For solo travelers, they act as support but come with the cost.
- Hotel Staff
The hotel I stayed in was Great Residence; it was not less than a nightmare. The receptionist was rude and non-sense. They gave used stirrer which I figured out later.
- English Language
In today’s time, how can a nation survive without knowing the international language? I wonder why schools in Bangkok don’t teach English. Alternatively, there’s a possibility that native doesn’t go to school. Whatever the case, if you are traveling in Bangkok for the first time you must know how to communicate with locals. Most of the people don’t know English. You can communicate either through body language or through a translator.
How to Plan a Trip to Bangkok?
There are many ways you can travel to Bangkok. You can choose to plan your own itinerary or take any package tour. Both can have different benefits. Nowadays there are many niche travel communities as well that can be good to join too.
Last but not least you may plan to choose to travel solo like me. Solo traveling can give you an altogether different scene of freedom. However, there can be many disadvantages too. Whatever way you may plan to travel to Bangkok minimum cost you can expect is Rs. 40,000 if you travel from India that will be around 576 dollars. This is minimum it can go up to Rs. 1,00,000 or 1441 dollars.
Smart ways to Travel in Bangkok
Travel international can be a challenge especially to a place where people don’t know English. Some of the best ways you can have the best trip are as follows. Something I learned from my traveling experience.
- Use Google Translator
Google translator is one of the rescue tools in countries in Thailand. If you are traveling there for the first time you must download it first
- Pre-Plan Your Itinerary
It’s good to decide the itinerary for the entire stay. If you plan to cover only Bangkok than don’t expect much other than temples and nightlife. However to come to nearby areas like Pattaya, Krabi or Phuket you need to plan your budget and days.
- Buy Local Sim
You can easily buy local Sims as soon as you land in Bangkok from 7 11 departmental shops. You can also activate international roaming from your service provider prior to landing in Bangkong
- Currency Exchange in Bangkok
The local currency of Bangkong is Baht. You can exchange it form the counter in the airport. It’s also available from ATM but there are some additional charges for the same.
- Don’t argue much with locals in the market
Most of them are good but just 1% may be little fussy. I had one such experience at an accessory shop in Indra Market. Where this young girl who looked like local school dropout was really rigid. She didn’t let anyone touch the items also she wanted people to pick a minimum of 5 pieces.
If you argue with her she used to fight and was too kiddish. You can easily give such shop a pass as there is a million better and cheaper option in Bangkok. Such shopkeepers can make you bent to their level which can be an unpleasant experience.
- Tourist Police and Embassy
It’s good to save the number of tourist police in case of any urgency. Not too sure if they could provide immediate help but they surely can be approached.
- Local Hospitals
You can also keep the number of local hospitals with you in case of any need. To get these numbers you can get in touch with the ministry of tourism. Their helpdesk is also available at Suvarnabhumi International airport.
- Carry First Aid Box
To stay safe you can also carry first aid box in case of any urgencies. Medicines that are must to carry are like for nausea, allergies or any other ailment that you may expect.
Knowing these facts before planning a trip to Bangkok can make your travel much easier. It may be easy to afford or plan a trip but ignoring fee facts can land you in much bigger trouble.