I have been in Thailand for almost 3 weeks. I came with an open mind and heart, boy has it been hard. I am not here to tell you all of the AMAZING things I have done and seen. I am here to tell you the truth about traveling and living in other places.
This past weekend was a holiday for me; I decided to make the most of my 3 day weekend and travel to Bangkok, alone. From the town I am living in it took the van, 5.5 hours to get to Bangkok; I thought it would only take two hours. Or at least that is what I was told upon moving here. I have come across the good, the bad, and the ugly of traveling. Here is goes.
The good of Bangkok.
Bangkok is a pretty spread out place with any and everything a traveler and tourist would like to experience. Here is a list of the good:
Accessibility, like any capital city, you can get anywhere by different modes of transportation. Taxi, Tuk Tuk, Sky Train (like a metro or T), and Uber. The first day I took a taxi and Tuk Tuk but the rest of the time I took and Uber. I will explain why in a later post.
The history. There is so much history here it’s overwhelming. With history comes architecture unlike you have ever seen. The gold roof tops of temples, the gold Buddhas, and the tradition of the street market and vendors!
Bang for your buck! If you are a budget traveler, Thailand is for you. Street food is around .50- $1 or if you don’t care for street food there are plenty of restaurants where you may pay $5 for a quality meal. There are also hotels, hostels, and guest houses a plenty. A hostel will cost around $3 a night, a guest house $10-15, and a hotel $20 a night.
By day you can walk the city to visit the historic sites, or visit one of the mega mall complexes that take up city blocks to browses the stores, eat at a Starbucks or catch a movie, like I did. If you are traveling for business there are roof top bars, everywhere! So put on your best outfit and hit the town at night because the night life is crazy!
The bad of Bangkok.
Bangkok is still a city and an expansive one at that. You are a tourist and the locals notice. Some things that may happen.
Scams: Watch out for you taxi driver, he may say he doesn’t know where he is going; will stop to “ask” for directions while leaving the meter on. He knows where he is going. Tuk Tuks, they will try to take you to other locations for a large fee even if you don’t want to go there. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate….the price first. Watch out for people at the palace who tell you it is closed or that you can’t enter because of you attire. There is a visitors entrance, ask a tourist police person and they will direct you where to go.
There is certainly a language barrier in some parts of Thailand. But google translate and google maps will become your very best friend.
Credit card information stolen. As there is wifi everywhere, there is also the chance your credit card information will be stolen. Use cash as much as possible. My number was stolen and a hotel booked with it. My card company did not hold me liable but the hassle of canceling is annoying. Especially since I live here and need my card.
The ugly of Bangkok
Vendors or restaurants saying they are not open when they are happens often. It happened to me and 4 other people I met that day; a couple from Germany and 2 girls from the USA. I approached a street vendor to buy food. She told me there was no more food. Clearly, there was more food because she was literally cooking it in front of me. A Thai person came up, bought food and walked away. So yeah…
Homeless animals are everywhere. If you are a lover of animals it can be a bit overwhelming. It’s annoying to see people with small pure bread dogs dressed in sweaters when there are stray dogs everywhere.
As you travel all you see are the beautiful places, pristine streets and happy people. Be prepared for people yelling at you in Thai, run down building, and some smells you wish you could forget.
That wraps of the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY of Bangkok. With the combination of all three it’s still a cool place to visit!