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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for Useful Tips for a First Time Visitor to Bangkok - the do's and don'ts of travelling in Bangkok
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Useful Tips for a First Time Visitor to Bangkok - the do's and don'ts of travelling in Bangkok

For a first time traveller to Bangkok, the foreign surroundings, humidity, and bumper to bumper traffic, may be more than a little disorientating. Here are useful tips to help you enjoy your trip.

1

Arriving at the airport

Once you get past immigration, there are several ATMs and exchange vendors located around the international airport, which are open 24 hours a day. Find one that will break large currency bills for you, as it is essential to have small notes on hand when travelling in Bangkok to pay for highway tolls, and tipping.

2

Transport to the city

The taxi stand near the airport is easy to locate, with fares ranging between 400 to 500 Baht (including a 50 Baht airport surcharge) to get to the city. If you're okay to navigate your way through the airport, you can save yourself from paying the 50 Baht surcharge by heading to the arrivals level, and hailing a taxi from there. There are two things to remember when you get in a taxi. First, make sure the meter is on to ensure you are not overcharged. Second, make sure to use the tollway, and tell the driver you will pay the tolls, usually about 80 Baht. This will save you from unnecessary arguments with the driver later. If you face any problem with your driver, there's a tourist hotline number posted in taxis, which quickly responds to all complaints. If you want to avoid all the taxi hassle, the airport express train runs between 6am to midnight, for 150 Baht.

3

Finding accommodation

Luckily, this is one city where, whatever your budget, you can easily find somewhere luxurious and comfy to rest your head. Finding a hotel to meet all your criteria shouldn't be hard, with all the various international hotels, budget inns, and serviced apartments in Bangkok, such as the Ascott Sathorn Bangkok, for example. Areas around Sukhumvit, Sathorn, and the Chao Phraya River, are popular choices for visitors since major malls, night markets, bars and clubs, and cultural sites are located here.

4

Getting around the city

The easiest way to get around is by skytrain or subway. Clean and affordable, you have the option of buying a single ticket or a value card at a kiosk. Taxis are everywhere, and cheap. However, beware of Bangkok's congested roads, since it's not uncommon to spend up to an hour in traffic, just to go a short distance. One tip that will go a long way is to always take the skytrain or taxi at night, instead of a brightly coloured tuk tuk. While they may seem like fun, after a long night out, Tuk tuk scams are increasing in the city, and you may find yourself with a massive bill for a ride that should have been only a few Baht.

5

Etiquette

The customary greeting of palms pressed together in front of the chest, is a respectful gesture and one that should always be returned. Before leaving your hotel, ask someone to write the name down in Thai, just in case you need to ask for directions.

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