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.
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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 accommodation in Bangkok 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Top Tips for First Time Visitors to Thailand
What to pack for a backpacking adventure in Thailand
Are You Traveling soon?
Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.
I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.