My First Time in Bangkok, Thailand
An amazing vibe from the minute we landed in Thailand. Every one is happy and helpful with a smile on there face. The feeling of finally being in Thailand was overwhelming, yet so comforting and exciting! Apon arrival in Bangkok you must check if your origin country is required to get a visa or not. The laws vary from country to county. As Canadians we are given a 30 tourist visa upon arrival, there was no paperwork or any kind of process to be granted this privilege. If you are looking to stay more then a month i suggest getting your visa before you leave Canada to avoid the absurdly long lines at the airport and you can save you self some money. Don’t quote me but I think it’s $40 CAN for 3 months if you apply online before your trip. For us 30 days was enough as we plan to move into another county, and when we want to renter the country by land we are granted another 15 days as Canadians. After clearing customs and getting our bags we proceeded out the front of the airport. Keep in mind most backpackers leaving the BKK airport are heading towards Koh San Road, save some money and share a taxi with someone! We found a very nice couple from Amsterdam to share the fee with which was 250 Baht per couple and the driver didn’t mind dropping us off at two different locations near by Koh San Road.
The only time we pre arranged accommodations was our first night in Bangkok using Hostel World, a must have app for backpackers. A couple other good ones are Agoda, and booking.com. We found a very very nice welcoming hostel far enough from Koh San Road to be quite and peaceful but close enough to walk there in under 10 mins. We had friends that stayed in the heart of Koh San Road and they highly regretted that decision. It’s great if you know you will be up to the early morning partying but if you would like some sleep good luck. Our hostel was perfect, Sam Sen Sam, very clean as you must take your shoes off before entering a common practice in Asian cultures, and very helpful and friendly staff. Using the Hostel world ap we booked a room for $23 CAN that said private unsuite but it turned out to be a shared bathroom. We ended up paying $4 CAN more to upgrade our room to a much larger suit with a bigger bed and a private washroom. So a good tip when arriving at a hotel or hostel is ask how much for the upgrade and you can always ask to see the room. Seeing your room before paying is important, you want to make sure there is a lock on the door, bathroom is relatively clean, fan works, free wifi and check the bottom of the bed under the sheets to ensure there are no bed bugs! After settling into our room we ventured out to the famous Koh San Road, where you can shop till you drop, drink till you drop, and eat till you drop.
This road is the place to go for entertainment but don’t get sucked into staying here long it’s very touristy with little Thai authenticity. Be aware of the rip offs on Koh San Road, almost everything will be more expensive here, beer, travel agents, tailored suits. Remember you can talk anybody and everybody down on there original quotes price. My tactic is cut the price in half, and after some back and forth and you debated the price a little high you say final offecr and slowly walk away, a lot of times they will say okay okay and take your money. Koh San Road is a must see but don’t forget about the rest of Bangkok it’s a huge city, there are many tours you can take, one that I highly recommend is the floating market. Be aware of the Tuk Tuks in Bangkok, do not take tours with them! They will rip you off. I have talked to many people who got ripped off by a Tuk Tuk also many locals will tell you stay away from them! They will tell you, I will take you to a government travel agent for the cheapest tickets, it’s a scam! Now it is a great experience so you do want to take a short Tuk Tuk ride but make sure you negotiate rate and a drop off point. Even after that they will still try to rip you off, stand you ground and do not give them anymore money then originally negotiated.
The food in Bangkok is delicious and absolutely everywhere you go, it’s also incredible cheap comparing to the western world. You can find many different types of food, western restaurants higher end to KFC and Burger King, Thai and Indian restaurants, and street food stands everywhere with a very wide variety from dinner to dessert even stuff most would not consider food. Fried scorpions, spiders, snakes, grass hoppers etc. We were told not to eat street food for a week or so after arriving so our bodies could slowly adapt to the different bacterias. We couldn’t help it, after two days we got some street pad Thai. It was 30 baht, just over $1 CAN. It was the most delicious pad Thai I have ever had, we eat so much pad Thai the next two days I needed a good break from noodles when we left Bangkok. The street food didn’t harm us at all but I can’t promise it was the best idea.
After exploring a little bit of Bangkok knowing we would be back to the city soon enough it was time to move south. We wanted a cheap flight so that gave us the option to fly down to Phuket or Krabi. Other cheaper options would be day or night bus or train. That journey takes 10-15 hours so we figure spend a little bit more money and get there In an hour and a half via airplane. We got our tickets from Bangkok BMK to Krabi the day before our flight on an app called cheap flights for $60 CAN a person. We talked to many travel agents and discovered buying online is the cheapest option. Cheap flights and Sky scanner were our go to apps for flights but also going directly to the airlines website was good, Air Asia, Thai Lion Airways. BKK is the international Bangkok airport about 45 mins away from BMK Bangkok’s domestic airport, don’t get these mixed up when ordering a taxi to catch your flight! From the Koh San Road area to the DMK airport we paid 150 baht a person and our new adventure in the Thai islands began!