Adventures in Asia | What to do in Bangkok to Avoid Hating it

Adventures in Asia | What to do in Bangkok to Avoid Hating it

Have you heard negative things about Bangkok? To get the most out of your trip you need to know what to do in Bangkok to avoid hating it. Having visited Bangkok twice (in a three-week trip) first I hated it, and then I fell in love. So I decided to put together this short post with my 6 Ways to Avoid Hating Bangkok.

 

Bangkok

Having spoken to, and read, posts by other female travelers who haven’t had good experiences in this city I thought I’d share some of my experience, and offer a few ways to avoid wanting to stay in your hotel room!

What to do in Bangkok to Avoid Hating it

1. Get your in Bangkok accommodation right

I did a lot of research on the best places to stay in Bangkok and read a lot of reviews on Booking.com to make sure we booked into a great hotel.

I decided to pre-book a mid-priced hotel in Bangkok (as I knew it was going to be a long flight we wanted to know where we were staying so we could get a taxi straight there and get some sleep) so I could sleep off the jet lag in a bit of comfort.

When we got to the hotel, it was fine. BUT it was too far out-of-town, the staff were nice, but not particularly helpful. I think this was a big factor in my lack of love, it just made everything that bit more difficult and when you are tired and a little culture shocked that’s the last thing you need.

The solution

Stay at The Yard Hostel – If you don’t believe me take a look at their reviews. It was spotless, beautiful, and friendly and although it was central it felt like a million miles away from Bangkok. I know if I’d stayed there for the first time the staff would have helped guide us around the best things to do and places to see and it would have drastically improved my first impression of Bangkok.

The Yard Bangkok



Booking.com

2 Unless you are a superhuman who doesn’t get jet lag don’t plan to do much on day one in Bangkok.

Eat close to where you are staying and just get some sleep. There is so much delicious Thai street food around you won’t need to go far.

I decided to wander the streets in search of food. Jet lag, culture shock and not knowing the area was a terrible mix and it didn’t end well…there were almost tears and I don’t even want to think about what I ate!

3 Rise and Shine – Get to the temples in Bangkok nice and early

If you are going to be spending day 1 catching up on sleep make sure you get up extra early on day 2 and head straight to the Grand Palace (that is if you want to see it). It gets incredibly busy there and the earlier you can get there the better. Plus it’s a bit cooler in the morning, which you will be grateful for.

Get it out of the way first thing and then work your way through the other places you want to visit from there. If I’m honest I preferred Wat Po, it was peaceful, there weren’t as many people and you can get a Thai Massage. I had an hour-long foot massage and it was incredible.

4 Issue caution haggling with Tuk Tuks in Bangkok

Now I know people say you need to haggle when getting taxis and Tuk Tuks in Bangkok, however, we didn’t do this at all and we didn’t have any issues whatsoever. I’d read all the warnings about being taken to shops for fuel tokens and horror stories about getting ripped off.

None of these things happened to us. We agreed on a price most of the time before we got in and didn’t question that price and our reward was being taken to where we wanted to go without any hassle what so ever. I didn’t feel ripped off by the prices we paid and the drivers didn’t need to take us to these places because we were paying them well.

I know people may disagree with this, but it worked for me. Bangkok like many other places is somewhere you need to watch out for scammers. Make sure you know what to look out for before you travel. This article gives you the top 10 scams to look out for when traveling.

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5 Embrace Koh San Road

I was one of those “oh no I won’t be going to Koh San road” people but after wandering around clueless on arrival in Bangkok I was actually relieved to find a road full of fellow travelers, street food and places to get a beer. We got talking to people straight away who gave us loads of great advice. We found out the hard way how strong the local beer is, and tasted some local delicacies…

6 Skip Bangkok altogether on your way in, and do it on your way out.

I did what most people do: Spent a few days in Bangkok when we first arrived in Thailand and then only spent a night there on the way back. If I could do it again I would do it the other way round. It takes a while to get into the swing of life in Thailand and if it’s your first time there it could take you even longer.

After 3 weeks of traveling around, I returned to Bangkok with a completely different attitude and confidence. I swear the first time I was there I wandered found for 2 days in a total daze and I really didn’t it at all. When I went back I felt so sad that I didn’t have any spare time to have a few days there before returning home.

If I haven’t convinced you yet then take a read of this amazing post from Dominican Abroad. It’s full of some great advice to help you enjoy Bangkok. Or my friend Nic from See Nic Wander wrote a great post on exploring Ancient Bangkok.

Are you planning your Honeymoon in Bangkok take a read of this great guide to help you plan your stay.

 

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If you are planning a trip to Thailand I have a lot of great blog posts to help with your trip:

If you are planning to Thailand check out my other posts:

How to see Thailand in 3 weeks

Top Tips for First Time Visitors to Thailand

What to pack for a backpacking adventure in Thailand

5 Reasons to do Yoga in Thailand 

How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Thailand

 

6 tips avoid making these mistakes in bangkok

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This post was proofread by Grammarly

 

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19 Comments

  1. December 28, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Haha this is a great way to round-up Bangkok! Personally love the photo eating the scorpion and of “too much Chang”!! 😀

    • December 29, 2016 / 1:29 am

      Haha yep the classic (Classy) Bangkok/ Koh San too much Chang bug eating photo. I’m such a cliche…

  2. December 28, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    useful tips! I hated Bangkok the 3 times I’ve been there. Maybe I should do it on the return as you suggested when I am all happy and relaxed and not suffering from jet lag. We have friends who lived there for 5 years and loved it so I know it is a city that people do like.

    • December 29, 2016 / 1:30 am

      That’s my plan next time I go…that or I’ll just go sleep somewhere for a few days and do lots of yoga so I’m chilled before I face the city haha

  3. December 28, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    Useful tips, I hope to make it over to Bangkok one of these days. The right accommodation are critical for any long flight.

  4. December 29, 2016 / 2:05 am

    We made the mistake of staying at Khoasan Road. It’s a fun place to hang out and visit, but staying can make or break your experience there. I would love to go back and give Bangkok another try with this info! I think my favorite thing we did would be the Chatachuk market!

    • December 29, 2016 / 2:22 am

      Ah I never got there! So much I didn’t get to explore. I must admit I’m glad we didn’t stay on Koh SAN road… one night there was enough for us ?

  5. December 29, 2016 / 5:50 am

    I didn’t hate Bangkok but I didn’t LOVE it as much as other parts we visited. I definitely agree with putting it at the end of a trip. I think you do need to be in the swing of Thai life AND be aware of city life to really enjoy it so doing it at the end would be wise. Great tips for first timers.

    • January 23, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you! Nice to know I’m not the only one 🙂

  6. December 29, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    Thanks for the great tips – I haven’t yet been to Bangkok but it seems to be one of those destinations that people either love or hate. As always it’s based upon personal experience at the time, and realistic expectations for the trip. Your tips help – thanks!

  7. December 30, 2016 / 2:19 am

    Awesome tips! I had this happen to me recently in Singapore where I was SO tired the first day, but I tried to push myself to the point of just crashing. It’s important to recover, so your advise on resting up the first day is great. I’ve been to Thailand, but we flew in and out of Chiang Mai, I would love to go back and use your tips to help me plan my trip.

    • January 23, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Thanks Susan. Ah jet lag in a new place like that is the worse!

  8. December 30, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Girl, I seriously wish I had read this 3 weeks ago! I did end up choosing to put Bangkok towards the tail end of my trip, but only having 2 nights and 3 days there (half of which felt like I was sitting in traffic) didn’t feel like enough time to get the lay of the land. I also ended up doing Grand Palace at the worst time possible and if I could re-do my trip to Bangkok, I’d definitely use your pointers!

    • January 23, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that. Hopefully we will both get to go again and do better 😉

  9. January 5, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    These are some great tips!! I hated Bangkok for the first three days and then over night (once I adapted to street food, traffic, heat and fish sauce smell) I fell in love with it! So much so that I am moving there this year yay!

  10. June 10, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    Great tips! I completely agree with the hotel location, it makes a huge difference! We luckily stayed in a central hotel in Bangkok at the beginning of our trip and it was so convenient when it came to waking up early to beat the crowds. At the end of our trip the hotel was in a different part of Bangkok and we were stuck in traffic all the day, it was a nightmare!

    https://2weekendwanderers.com

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