First time in Bangkok ?
Then you probably have a thousand questions. And after welcoming a bunch of friends and clients for their first time in Bangkok, I've got a pretty good idea of what questions you're asking yourself.
Here's a list of things I wish I knew when I first came, and things I've been repeating a ton over the years. No doubt that if it's your first time in Bangkok, you will find a lot of answers here.
Let's go !
Where to exchange money ?
As soon as you arrive, the first thing you're gonna need is cash. Most places accept credit cards, but there's still a lot of things that are cash only.
From taxis, to street vendors and some bars, its cash only.
As you can guess, Money Exchange at the airport are rip offs.
Change the minimum you need there. Then once you're in the city, look for the nearest Superrich. They often have the best rate in town :
Buy a Sim Card
Because trust me, you're gonna need internet.
From translations, to bookings, to use Grab Taxi when taxis refuse to put the meters... you're gonna need internet on your phone.
From experience, AIS and True seem to have the best coverage.
Both have booth at both Airports in Bangkok, so do it there.
They know what you need and they will set it up in 2 minutes. Then you're good to go.
In both Airports in Bangkok there's an area where you can grab a taxi. Both charge 50฿ on top of the price on the meter (to be paid to the driver), and you will have to pay for the highway.
In total, expect to spend between 300 and 500฿ depending on the traffic.
Now if you want a private chauffeur, and even a Fast Track, you can check First Class Bangkok for that. No affiliation with them, I just heard from my clients that they offer a really good service.
Recently, Grab Taxi (the local equivalent to Uber) also launched an airport transfer service. They offer different options from taxis to SUV and even minivans for groups, at a way cheaper price than agencies.
- Download Grab App and get 40฿ Off your first ride.
And if you're on a budget :
- From Don Mueang Airport, there's a bus that go from the airport to the city center. That's by far the cheapest option.
- From Suvarnabhumi, you can take the airport link that go to the city and connect with the BTS (Sky train) and the Metro. You can easily go anywhere in the city for less than 100฿.
Where to Stay in Bangkok ?
People often ask me what's the best area in Bangkok and where to stay.
Well, that depends what's your program, how long you stay....
For a quick trip, I would recommend either Silom or around Khaosan Road. This way you're close to the river and the main touristic attractions.
If you're on a budget, stay around Khaosan Road.
For longer trips, families, couples, parties... Sukhumvit, between the top and Ekamai (Soi 1 to 61), is a good place to stay.
As for the budget, there's so many options that it doesn't really matter what your budget is, you'll find options that suit you almost everywhere.
Usually what I recommend is:
How to get around Bangkok?
There's a few things that you need to know:
- Taxis are usually cheaper, if you got 2 people or more
- But taxis are
almostuseless during rush hour, between 4 and 9pm.
- Use a combination of Motorbike Taxi, BTS and MRT during rush hour, if you're in a rush.
- Taxis should always put the meter on. Leave if they don't.
- Always ask for the price before you jump on a Moto bike taxi or a Tuk Tuk.
🐵 mojo tip: most of the time, Google Maps is really optimistic on the time. Don't really plan according to it, especially during rush hour.
Taxis are by war the most convenient, cheapest and most confortable way to get around Bangkok.
Taxis that have the light on at the front are free and you can wave at them.
Always make sure they put the meter on. Don't negotiate any price, unless you're in a rush. If they tell you a price and refuse to put the meter, close the door and wait for the next one.
Now, if you don't want to deal with taxis in the street, or have a hard time to explain where you go, you can use Grab Taxi (the local Uber)
- Download Grab App and get 40฿ Off your first ride.
🐵 mojo tip: always walk away from tourist areas, clubs and hotels and stop a taxi that is on the road. 99% of the time, the one that wait in front of the places full of tourists will try to rip you off.
2. BTS / MRT
The BTS, also called Skytrain, is the main transport system in Bangkok.
Really convenient, clean and fast, it's worth a ride and it's often the fastest way to get around in the city center.
But if you got a group, it will often cost you more to take the BTS than to share a taxi.
Same goes for the MRT, Bangkok Metro System.
3. MOTO TAXI
Motorbike Taxis are not the safest way to get around but they're the best way to cover short distances, and to get to the nearest BTS Station.
Prices to common destinations are listed where the guys are, but in Thai. So ask for the price before you get on it, or you might have a surprise.
4. TUK TUK
Tuk Tuk are not the cheapest way to get around, but they're the most iconic and fun.
Negotiate first, and don't forget to take pictures.
And you can easily fit 5/6 people or more.
My personal record is 8, if you beat it, please send me a pic 😉
Things to do in Bangkok and where to Party?
For that you can check the rest of my blog. I've got a ton of posts and recommendations about what to do in the city.
Just click here.
That quick guide helped you for your first time in Bangkok ? I've missed something ?
Let me know in the comments !