PARIS

The city of lights.

SOUND ON! Don’t Miss These 11 Bangkok Must-Do’s

Traffic in Bangkok is NO JOKE! If you plan on getting anywhere by a car/taxi, then give yourself an extra 30-60 minutes.

Thailand runs on Indochina Time (ICT). It’s 11 hours ahead of New York and six hours ahead of London.

If you are a U.S. Passport Holder, you are allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of 30 days without a visa.

Here are a list of countries that contain varying visa requirements for entering Thailand.

Tourists are prohibited from working or conducting business in Thailand. You will need a tourist visa for a period of 15 to 30 days. Visas can be stamped on your passport upon arrival, or it can be sent to your home through the Thai embassy in your country. In order to obtain a tourist visa, you will need:

  • A passport.
  • A visa application form that you must fill out.
  • A current picture of your face.
  • Your plane ticket.
  • Evidence of your financial means (a traveler’s cheque or cash equivalent to 10,000 Baht will suffice.)

Visas will cost USD $30.00 per entry. A tourist visa can last from 3 to 6 months, each period varying on which country made a bilateral agreement on visa exemption with Thailand. However, if you enter Thailand via land border, you will be allowed a 15-day stay. You can extend your stay by filling out an application at the Office of Immigration Bureau.

Just landed from the Bangkok Airport? Here are a few ways to get to and from your destination:

Bus

Local buses to Downtown Bangkok cost a flat rate of 35 baht (USD $1.14) per person. The local bus routes are cheap. Though, they can be extremely slow and somewhat crowded at times. There are several main bus routes, but the most useful for tourists is bus No. 552, with its connection to On Nut Skytrain Station. 

Taxi

To get a taxi directly from the terminal, walk to Arrivals after clearing customs and simply go down one floor. You’ll notice several of the taxi queues. Then, reach the taxi counter, where you’ll meet and English speaking official. Tell them where you need to go and they will help coordinate a taxi with a meter for payment. On top of the meter fee, passengers will be charged a 50 baht airport (USD $1.60) surcharge. Depending on where you go, costs will range between 250 baht (USD $8.15) for Sukhumvit and 375 baht (USD $12.22) to Khao Sen.

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle buses to the PTC also leave from the first floor near the taxi counter. So, if the taxi booth lines are too long and you don’t have much luggage, then it’s worth the 10-minute journey to the PTC.

Metro

The Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) is comprised of three rail lines and two monorail lines. The MRT serves more than 420,000 passengers each day (Blue Line 360,000 and Purple Line 60,000). Bangkok’s new metro system is divided into three parts (BTS “Skytrain,” MRT “Subway” and SRT “Airport Link”). Single fares cost between 18-50 baht (USD $0.60 – $1.60). Consider buying a day pass for 100 baht (USD $3.25).

Grab (Taxi App)

Grab is the equivalent of Uber in Thailand. You can order one from the airport and pay via credit card on your phone or cash to the driver. They provide modes such as Economy, Taxi, Songthaew, and Premium.

Tuk Tuk

They can drive you to your hotel for 100 to 120 Baht (USD $3.20 to $3.84). Known as one of the most popular modes of transportation, TukTuks are used for popular sites such as the Night Market.

Bangkok has a newly opened metro system, called the MRT, with two major lines and a few other lines due to open in 2021. The MRT hours are from 6 am to Midnight. Passes for the metro can be purchased at the machines at the metro stations.

For more information visit: Bangkok MRT

Bangkok is a relatively safe place for travelers, including solo female travelers! Bangkok isn’t known for targeting foreigners and the most common crime is theft. If you keep your eyes open and make sure to be aware of your surroundings you will likely have a good and safe experience. Solo female travelers have been known to venture to street markets and go out at night alone but if you are looking to be on the safe side try to find a companion and listen to your instincts!

Throughout much of the year, Bangkok maintains its scorchingly hot and dry temperatures. Between March and May, high temperatures rise to an average of 33 Celsius (92 Fahrenheit), along with the city’s extreme levels of humidity. Fortunately, temperatures cool down to 24 Celsius (early 70s Fahrenheit) by the evening.

Much of the city’s rainy season peaks in the summer and fall months (May-November). During this time, each month has 13-16 days of showers. Peak traveling season spans between November and December, with rain showers dwindling to two and a half days per month.

The official language of Thailand is Thai. Here are a few phrases and words to help you get by:

Sawadee-Ka: Hello

Kappunka: Thank you

Chai: Yes

Mai: No

Aaj ja: Maybe

Khor thoad khrup/ka: Sorry

Hong nam yoo tee nai khrup/ka?: Where is the restroom?

Phom dong gaan hai mor maa raak sa khrup/ka: I need a doctor

Kun pood paassaa angrrit dai mai: Can you speak English?

Known as the “Land of Smiles,” Thai people are generally polite and welcoming, assuming the same from others. They are not known to openly voice their irritation. Here are a few tips to avoid inner-scowling from the locals:

  • Women should bring an extra scarf to cover yourselves with when entering temples, if not they also have ones available on site.
  • Try not to raise your voice or show aggression when irritated. This may result in losing face, which is the act of losing respect from those around you.
  • Public displays of affection are seldom practiced here, as Thailand is still a conservative country.
  • At temples, women should wear clothing that cover your shoulders and knees. Expect to take off your shoes inside temples, so wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.

The baht ฿ is the official currency of Thailand. Though U.S. dollars are accepted in some countries, they’re not used in Thailand. You can exchange your U.S. dollars for Baht at the airport.

The standard voltage is 220 volts. You will need a voltage convert if bringing electronics with 110 voltage. Your converter should look like this:

It’s advised to drink boiled or bottled water. Due to Thailand’s hot and humid temperatures, it’s not recommended to drink water from the tap. The ice, however, is safe, as most ice factories use purified water. Keep a look out for tubular-shaped ice.

Bangkok has certain free wifi hotspots all around the city but if you are looking for a more reliable solution buying a SIM card for an unlocked phone might be the best move.

SIM cards can be purchased at the airport which can then allow you to hotspot the wifi off your phone to your other devices.

It’s recommended to travel via tuk tuk or the phone app Grab. Tuk tuks are used to travel to popular tourist sights such as the night market. Grab costs around the same price as a tuk tuk and is the Thai equivalent to an Uber.

Thailand is still a conservative country when it comes the LGBT rights. Though it hosts the largest Transgender beauty pageant in the world, the Land of Smiles doesn’t allow same-sex unions, nor public displays of affection. PDA in Thailand is considered taboo in general, so keep holding hands and embracing to a minimum.

Bangkok boasts a series of eco-centered restaurants, markets and hotels around the city’s far-reaching areas. The most notable include Deesawat, Shades of Retro, (Un)Fashion Vintage and Green Net Cooperative, a store known for selling plant and kid-friendly items like organic-based fabrics and rice products.

Also, the rise of recycling and reuse in Bangkok, a city previously known for its “seedy” reputation, has grown exponentially. There are four different colored bins to place waste. Yellow bins are for general waste, while green ones are for wet items and red bins are for hazardous waste. Blue bins are for recyclables such as plastics and glass.

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HOTELS WE LOVE:

Stay near the Riverside if you're a history buff and want to know more of the city's roots.

FOR THE PLANNERS

Low season in Bangkok is from May - October, where you can have a great time with less than USD $50 per day.

food & drinks:

Thai dishes are so beloved because almost every dish contains 5 flavors: sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter.

for culturaltis:

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