Bangkok, the best city in the world. The most visited one, the loudest and certainly the craziest. Some of the best food could be found here, the traffic jams are here the worst and the best time of the city is of course at night, and more, more and much more could be seen here.
Our flight with the Qatar Airways company via Ankara and Doha was very pleasant. People who have not flown and have less experience with international flights, we recommend that you choose a company which consists the top of the air transport industry. On the other hand, the food could have been a little better for a five star company. The flight was packed and various people were taking this flight.
Visas are not required for Turkey nor for Qatar if you are in transit, or you have a so called short stop. A visa for your layover in Doha is also not required, but you cannot leave the airport building while there. At the airport you can spend your time by checking the facilities and shops which are made just for these reasons or you can buy a lounges Oryx, which will cost you only 40 dollars. People who have a short stop ticket will enjoy a more comfortable journey, but consequently will have to pay more.
Arriving at the Bangkok airport can be quite stressful, so you need to prepare yourself. There is quite a big crowd and the check in is very slow, and this is because in every 15 to 30 minutes another plane arrives with more people. Besides gathering your luggage, the exchange offices and transport to the city are the most important parts when you arrive. Make sure that you only exchange small amounts of money, which you will need to pay for the bus or the taxi, because the rates here are very bad.
Finding a Transport to The City
Bangkok is so big that words cannot be used to describe it. Transport is a big problem because most of the time there are a lot of congestions in traffic and in most periods the cars just stand around the do not move in hours. And the greatest nightmare is when it happens that you run into a crowd of demonstrators. But at night, things seem to settle down, a completely new atmosphere comes over the city and everything seems to get back in its own place.
The lane 10 bus stops just near the airport, but you can also use a taxi, if you manage to get through the taxi driver, and the cheapest ones are around 300, 350 baht. There is also a possibility of renting a motor bike, but the people in Bangkok drive in both lanes and you literally have to scratch your knees on the passing bay vehicles, so many people do not choose this way of transport do to it being unsafe. The sky train is maybe the best choice, because it will save you valuable time which you could lose in the traffic jams.
Valuables, Exchange Rates and a Night in Bangkok
Be careful when exchanging your money at the local exchange offices, because the 200 and 2000 notes are very similar and can easily be mistaken. In your hotel room do not leave any valuables, except at the reception desk or your own room safe. There are plenty of junkies who steal everything that they can get their hands on. You will be also warned at the hotel to watch out for pickpockets, which are mostly lurking at the temple tours.
Whatever you do, do not use the payphones on the streets. For the amount that you will pay on the payphone you will talk only a few minutes while for the same amount you can talks for hours on a cell phone. You can have your own mobile decoded or buy a new cheap one for approximately 20 euros or 800 baht. The sim card will cost you 90 to 150 baht or some 2, 3 euros and you can talk for hours. You can also buy a completely new cell phone for a very affordable price if you would rather go for a new one.
The Khao San Road area is a place for younger generations to gather, and everything is opened till the late morning hours. The restaurants, the bars, nightclubs, everything is at your disposal. But if you are a little bit older and lack the vigor of the younger generation, this part is not recommended. Your stay will certainly not be pleasant here because of the noise and constant movement of people, because after all Bangkok is the city which does not sleep. People from all over the world gather here and all are communicative and like to get to know different new people. Many of them want to get to know you, talk with you about your past experiences or just about your visit to this city. Here you can also find a lot of ladies of the night roaming the streets, but transvestites as well.
Shopping in Bangkok
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is probably the biggest and the best one in the world. I asked a man if there is a map I could use to get around and look at some different things. He replied by asking me what I needed. I thought that the market was arranged in segments and that different areas are used for same or similar items. I replied that I want to see everything, just to look around. He laughed and left. The market is so big that you cannot use the whole weekend to see everything. There is literally everything found here. From small trinkets and jewelry to wardrobe and candy. And everything is much cheaper here, at least 2, 3 times cheaper than in the central Bangkok or 5, 10 times cheaper than is some places of Europe.
Electrical appliances could be found in Pantip Plaza. You can buy a notebook for 200 euros, the newest Samsung S4 phone for or iPhones as well, and cameras for some 150 euros. The MBK shopping mall is also a place to visit and here you can find a completely new backpack for a price of 50 euros, or even 30 if you are good in haggling.
The most important phrases and gestures that you need to know here are “sawadee ka” if you are talking to a female or “sawadee kap” for males. “kopkun ká” means thank you and the gestures you need to use are to bow with your hands clasped together, which is a symbol of gratitude and respect.
Food and famous meals
Pad Thai noodles and sea food, Tom Yung crab soup and Fried Curry beef, chicken and pork with chilly and some basilisk. These are just some of the popular dishes served in Bangkok. They represent their culture and the local cuisine as well. You can also try fried ginger with a side of meat, while the ginger is good for your stomach and will help you through this degustation. Although the food is very tasty, not everyone has the stomach for it, so watch out and take it slow. You can eat in a luxurious restaurant or in a small place by the street, the choices are endless and you will certainly get something to indulge your hunger and your taste.
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