Tips on surviving Bangkok~
Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
15Trip End Feb 15, 2010
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Its always great coming back to Bangkok...this city definitely grows on you and there is so much to do, that it would take many visits to do it all. I seem to just need a break in the beginning , and the end, and sometimes in the middle as in this trip , just to relax, get a great massage ( or two) enjoy some great street food, and watch all the travelers pass by while enjoying a cold Chang Beer at a street cafe here off Khao San Road. I'm fascinated and intrigued by where they've been , where their off too, and wishing that my journeys weren't ending and I was traveling for longer.
Bangkok can be too much for many for very long, so I have some great Traveler tips for surviving Bangkok...
1. Its best to only stay for a few days , this city is loud and busy, and it can be overwhelming and too much after much more than that. There are so many great day trips right outside of Bangkok, don't limit yourself to just the city.
2. Bangkok is Hot, its always Hot, sometimes even hotter, especially in the summer, this is the place to splurge for air-conditioning, its a must...don't even think about wearing or bringing a pair of jeans..you wont want to wear them.
3. Locals are sometimes nice, sometimes not, try to not take it personally, ( which is hard for me sometimes..) but they work ALOT, and they deal with us tourist alot...and sometimes were stupid,,,so give them a break if they aren't always smiling and so happy to see you.
4. Try the street food, its cheap and really good. It you feel unsure, try it in popular areas such as Khao San Road, go to carts that everyone else is going to, they probably now which ones are best, ( watch where the locals go) if in doubt of freshness, skip the meat, I order Pad Thai noodles with veggies and eggs for 25 baht ( about 75 cents) and you can get a beer for less than a dollar as well. Save your money for other things, once you eat cheap, its hard paying much more for food thats not as good in a restaurant!
5. Try riding public transportation, its cheap and a great way to mix with the locals and see different parts of the city
6. The traffic here is crazy,,,,all the taxi and tuk- tuk drivers are just as crazy, I think they get a kick of trying to freak you out by driving fast. I had one say to me once as he slowed down briefly and blew thru a red light..." In Thailand, red lights are merely a suggestion..." Yikes!
7. When crossing the road, the cross walks mean nothing...the best advise is follow a local crossing, walk fast with conviction...don't ever stop and get scared, keep moving forward, they will stop for you, at least its worked for me so far.
8. This city has so much diversity, it has old and new, something for everyone, enjoy all that it is, its a great dose of reality for you to appreciate somewhere more quiet that your probably heading. There are very poor districts right next to the really nice ones, this is an important part of the life in Asia, everything isn't always "nice" its good to apperciate all that it is, its all part of visiting foreign countries, all the difference in how people live is good to see. It will make you never complain again about not having the latest addition of that new IPod at home.
So my last day in Bangkok, I decided to do something different, and with it being Chinese New Year, and a Monday, alot of Temples and popular tourist spots were closed, so I headed out to The Aquarium here in Bangkok, the largest one in all of Southeast Asia
It was big, and luckily I got there early, because later it got really crowded. It had a glass tunnel that you could walk thru and large sharks swan all around you. They also had glass bottom boats that took you across the water of the large tanks. It was attached to a mall, and the largest food court I have ever seen in my life, simply amazing.
I also treated myself to a Fish Spa Massage. Its all the rage in Japan, and its popularity is spreading all over Asia. Its a spa that has a fish tank full of this little fish that are known for gently " "nibbling" all the dead skin off your feet and the bottom part of your legs that you place inside the tank and enjoy the sensation, that is suppose to be a massage, but it does tickle! It was the strangest feeling ever! I am not sure if my feet feel any cleaner, but the fish sure did seem to find alot to nibble on when I had my feet in their tank! I have been traveling for a while, the little fish must love Backpackers :)
After enjoying my local boat ride back to my part of town, I have a relaxing night planned of a nice hour Thai massage, some last shopping, and that Chang Beer on a street cafe, watching all the other travelers arrive wishing that I could be one of them, getting ready for the start of my adventure instead of mine coming to an end.