– 13 things to know beforeyou go to Bangkok in Thailand.
I'm Chris, this is Topher.
This is Yellow Productions.
We do travel guides that arefun, informative, entertaining.
This is part of our series on Bangkok.
In this video we're gonna be telling you everything you need to know if you're planning a trip to this city, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
First we'll start with somegeneral information about it.
Number one, Bangkok, capital city of Thailand, has 11 million residents.
It is also the world's mostvisited city for tourists with 20 million tourists thatvisit Bangkok every year.
It is also known colloquiallyas The Big Mango, kind of like New YorkCity is The Big Apple.
And we'll get to weather, but I'm gonna tell you this right now.
It is really hot in Bangkok.
So you just need to know that, and that will temperpretty much everything throughout this video.
So if you see a few beads ofsweat on my face, that is why, and you might be seeing mewipe throughout this video every once in a while.
I am not making this up.
It is really that hot.
Each one of these bits during this video, I'll do in a different part of Bangkok, so you get to see Bangkokas you learn about it.
And first I'm here at the RoyalPalace, which I mentioned.
But speaking of Bangkok, Igave you the English nickname, The Big Mango.
In Thai, it's called Krung Thep, which means the City of Angels.
Actually, the officialname is much longer.
I'll put it here on the screen because I'm not even gonna try to say it, but Bangkok actually has the longest name of any city in the world.
Bangkok has 50 districtsand is basically organized around streets, canals, and alleys.
The alleys are called sois, S-O-I, so you might see an address of something with a major street name, and then Soi 37, which tells you whichalley that it's off of.
The other defining feature in Bangkok is the main river thatruns throughout the city, and the big tourist attractions, they are right off the river, including the royal Grand Palace.
The second thing to knowbefore you to go to Bangkok is about the weather.
I mean, really the onlything you need to know about the weather in Bangkok is it is hot.
It is hot and humid.
It is very hot and humid.
Did I mention it's hot and humid? Bangkok takes the cake as thehottest city in the world, not because of the daytime highs, but because the nighttimelows don't cool down either.
Most of the year round, thehighs are in the 30 Celsius, 86 Fahrenheit, even higher today, it's 34 degrees Celsius, 90-some Fahrenheit.
It is November 5th.
By the way, Bangkokreally has two seasons.
There's the rainy season, which is like April to October, and then there's the dry season, which is November onwardsto February, March, April.
It's generally coolestaround that time too in the dry season, andit's coolest because the nighttime lows cooldown to be really cool, 21 Celsius, 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, that is as cool asit ever gets in Bangkok.
And so when you're comingaround, if you're like me, you will want to bring a towel, because it's so hot and humid, you'll want to wipe offthat sweat occasionally.
I generally just bringthis out from the hotel, and I deposit it back, andI get a new one every day.
So take my tip.
Bring a hand towel with you.
The third thing to knowbefore you come to Bangkok is about getting into Bangkok.
Chances are you'll be flying into Bangkok.
Bangkok has two major airports, BKK airport and DMK airport.
BKK airport, that's themain international airport where most of the biginternational carriers fly into.
Chances are you'll beflying into that airport unless you're coming inon a discount carrier, which you might be flying into DMK.
From BKK airport, thereis an airport train that you can take in that'llconnect you to the BTS, which is the sky train.
What we did, we took a taxi into the city.
Taxis from the airport willrun you about 300 to 400 Baht, and the drive time canbe somewhere between 35 minutes to two hoursinto central Bangkok, because the traffic can be really bad.
If you're connectingbetween the two airports, well probably don't, but if you were, then you're coming internationally and you're connecting domestically, allow for at least twohours of travel time between the two airports.
There's like some shuttle buses that you can take between the two, but there's no other raillink between the two airports.
The next thing you need toknow before you come to Bangkok is about getting around Bangkok.
And if you haven't heard, Bangkok has some of the worst traffic ofany city in the world.
And so you'll want to pickways to get around Bangkok that don't leave you sitting in that.
This traffic is Sunday at five p.
, so you can imagine rushhour, eight a.
weekday is way worse than that.
So you'll be best off onwhat's called the BTS.
It's the sky train.
The MRT, it's the subwaythat goes underground.
Those are two great options.
One of the most interestingways of getting around, and a lot of the guidebooks will tell you, is by boat along the river.
And boat along the riverwill cut down on the traffic because as you can see, there's a lot of boats, but it's not bumper-to-bumper.
But it's bumpy, wow.
So if you don't like getting seasick, don't do this for very long.
Maybe just once and acrossone stop to experience it.
Do prepared to wait along time for the boats.
The timetable, really time in Thailand, it's sort of, it's approximate what time those boats come.
Taxis in the city, they're really cheap.
They're really, like a 20-minute taxi ride will cost 100 Baht.
I mean, it's really inexpensive.
But they'll try to scam you.
I've got a whole video about scams which you'll learn more abouthow to avoid taxi scams.
You can find that linkin the description below.
The word you'll hearthrough in Bangkok the most is probably tuk tuk.
The tuk tuk, they're these little things.
Well, this one's like a tuk tuk limousine.
But the ones you see onthe street, they're little.
They have a driver, and they have basically a bench on the back.
Tuk tuks are all fixed price.
There's no meter in them.
They'll cost you approximately three to four times what a taxi will.
They're not cheap.
They don't have doors.
They do have a roof, which actually makes it kind of hard to see from.
But if you want thequintessential Bangkok experience, definitely take a tuk tuk.
Just not the one I'm driving.
But the most interestingway to get around Bangkok is motorcycle taxi.
I've never seen this anywhere before.
I'm sure it exists some places, but not cities I've been to, where these motorcycles willlet you sit on the back, and that way you can zip through traffic.
They go between the lanesand things like that.
Sometimes they'll offer you a helmet.
You can hail them on the side of the road.
You'll see them in orange vests.
Or if you have the Grab app, by the way, Uber doesn't operate here.
It's been sold to Grab.
Grab, you can get taxis, nice cars, or motorbikes, and you say, “Hey, I'm here.
” The motorbike comes, picksyou up, puts a helmet on, and you whiz through thecity, skipping the traffic.
And you get a free massive heart attack to go along with that ride.
As you are getting around Bangkok, no doubt you'll be doing a lot of walking, and usually I say walkingis a really great way to get around cities.
But because it's so hotand humid in Bangkok, you'll want to try to getaround ways other than walking.
Cause you just can't walk as far here because of the humidity.
And I will mention that the sidewalks aren't really laid out all that well.
What I mean by laid out islike the height is different, there's manholes, there's potholes, and so you have to be reallycareful where you're walking so that you don't endup twisting an ankle.
The next thing to knowbefore you come to Bangkok is about the money.
In Bangkok, the currency isthe Thai Baht, spelled B-A-H-T.
Sometimes you'll see itmisspelled as B-A-T-H, as bath, but it's Baht, and itcomes in coins and bills.
The coins are one, two, five, and 10 Baht coins, and then the bills are20, 50, 100, and 1, 000.
At about the time I did this video, it was about 30 Baht to one U.
That was about the conversion.
You should really have cashwith you throughout the city because many of the streetvendors and the small vendors do not take credit cards.
The high-end places, thehigh-end restaurants do, but a lot of times you'll find a minimum purchaserequired for credit cards or sometimes an exorbitantcredit card surcharge.
We ate at one restaurant that said the credit card surcharge was 10%.
That's pretty crazy.
So where are you gonna get your Baht? Well, there are tons ofcurrency exchange places throughout the city, but I would recommend you get it from an ATM.
Get it from an ATM, butmake sure when you do that, you do not select dynamiccurrency conversion.
If you get asked that question, say no.
More information aboutthat I've got in my video about tourist scams in Bangkok.
Basically they're gonnacharge you a lot of money and give you less ifyou select that option.
The sixth thing to knowbefore you go to Bangkok is about what to wear.
And did I mention it is socrushingly hot in Bangkok and do I look like I'm melting? Well that's because I am.
And so you'll want to wear clothes that are cool and dry quickly.
Things like rayon, thingsthat are quick-drying fabrics and that don't sop up a lot of sweat.
If you are wearing cotton, andI've got a cotton t-shirt on, make sure it's a very, very thin one.
Whatever you do, don't wear jeans.
You know, you may see someThai people wearing jeans, but they are used to thisheat over their whole life.
You or I would likelyspontaneously combust wearing jeans in Thailand.
Though a little bit ofa challenge, you know, if you're a guy, you'll wanna wear shorts.
If you're a girl, you'llwanna wear a short skirt, because it's so hot.
But if you're going to temples, you go into fancy restaurants, they often have strict dress codes.
Related to footwear, whenyou're walking around Bangkok, ladies, don't wear high heels.
These sidewalks, as I mentionedearlier, are not that great.
You'll want some really sturdy footwear so you don't twist an ankle.
Athletic shoes, I think sneakers, are probably your bestbet coming to Thailand.
And you'll want socks, becauseif you're going to temples, you'll have to take off your shoes and won't want your feeton that hot pavement.
The seventh thing to knowbefore you come to Bangkok is about the language.
The language spoken in Bangkok, same as spoken in Thailand, it is the Thai language.
In Bangkok, though, you'll find quite a number of English-speakers.
So if English is your only language, you'll be able to get aroundfairly decently in Bangkok.
Signs for the public transportationis in English and Thai.
In the major department stores, in the higher end tomedium end restaurants, you'll find English and Thai.
Where you might have alittle bit of trouble is in some of the street food places.
They might not have a lot of English, but you can always usethe point to order method.
Just point at what you want, maybe say one or this one.
Most Thai people understandbasic English words.
But if you're taking a taxi, I'd highly encourage you to have your destinationwritten out in Thai.
Most hotels will give you a card that'll have Thai address for the hotel.
If you're going someplacelike the Royal Palace, you could have the hotelwrite that out for you in Thai so that you can show it to a taxi driver, because the taxi drivers heredon't speak a lot of English.
Or maybe none for the most part.
The eighth thing to know before you come toBangkok is about shopping.
And the first thing youshould know about shopping is there's the local priceversus the tourist price.
Haggling and bargaining iscompletely alive in Bangkok, particularly if you're at outdoor markets.
Outdoor markets, they pretty much expect to be bargained with.
And so if you're a tourist, chances are the price that you get quoted is going to be two to three times more than the local price.
So if it seems really expensive, you can just ask them, “Hey, can you give me a discount? “Can you make it cheaper?” In places where no price is listed, they will not be offended by that.
If you're looking for an outdoor market, definitely check out theChatuchak weekend market, Saturdays and Sundays.
It is the largest marketis southeast Asia.
I have a whole video justfocused on that market.
But there's all sorts of other markets.
There's food markets, universitymarkets, flower markets, I mean, you can do a lotof shopping in Bangkok.
If you want high-end shopping, well definitely checkout the shopping malls.
There are some very high-endshopping malls in Bangkok.
Some of my favorites are Terminal 21, Central Embassy, SiamCentral, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, there's awhole bunch of these malls that are all on Sukhumvit road, and very easily accessibleby the BTS sky train.
What I like, the shopping malls, they are one, air conditioned, and two, they havereally great food courts.
So if you want to knowmore about the food courts in some of these shopping malls that you can have really good Thai food in some air conditioned spaces, well, check out my linkin the description below to the best food courts in Bangkok.
And if you wanna go to kindof a local shopping center and experience a shoppingcenter that locals would go to, a good one to check out in central Bangkok is called MBK, MBK.
Or if you're by Chatuchak market, you can check out the JJ Mall.
Those are two very localBangkok shopping malls.
And they look very different from a typical western shopping mall.
The ninth thing to know before you go to Bangkok is about food.
Food pretty much runs this city, and in particular, street food.
Pretty much anywhereyou go, just like here, you will find food lining thestreets and the sidewalks.
You know, in many cities, sidewalks are places for people to walk and havemore pedestrian traffic.
Here, sidewalks are places to set up for more food vendors, and I'll say, you know, if you're feeling a little bit squeamish or not sure about the street food, well I'll say, you know, eat at the ones that might look a little cleaner, might look a little moreprepared, be more busy.
If you find cats walking on the produce, well, maybe you want to skip that one.
If you wanna eat things that are inside in air conditioning, wellI've got a whole video about eating in airconditioned food courts.
You'll find a link in thedescription below to that.
One of the Thai dishes thatyou're sure to know is Pad Thai.
Pad Thai, is the famousThai dish around the world.
The Pad Thai actually isn'tquite as popular in Thailand as it is outside the world.
It is often served as an appetizer, though you will find some places that specialize in Pad Thai.
If you want Pad Thai, check those out.
Speaking of specialization, that's what you'll find aboutmost of these street vendors or most vendors in Thailand.
They specialize in one or two dishes, at least at the low end.
At the high end, Thailand has a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, so you can go from cheap allthe way to really expensive.
The quintessential Thaidrink, it's Thai iced tea.
Thai iced tea, it's made ofCeylon tea, kind a red tea, added with condensed milk and sweetened.
You should definitely try it.
Sometimes it's served in a cup, sometimes you might get itserved in a bag with a straw.
It's probably advisable not to drink the tap water in Thailand, so if you're at a restaurantand you ask for water, they will likely bring it out to you in a plastic bottle and pour it.
Don't drink the tap waterunless you want to get sick.
Usually the bottled wateris pretty inexpensive, something like 10 Baht, orthe equivalent of 30 cents.
The ice is okay to drink though, because the ice typicallycomes from a special vendor that filters the water to make the ice.
Bangkok has a healthy live music scene that you'll find all over the city.
But much like the street food, it is also served with a healthy dose of car noise and car fumes.
We've seen tons of places like this that are bars with musicright next to a busy road.
This feels like a placeyou should be in Waikiki, enjoying the ocean and the fresh air, but no, here you're also hearingcars and smelling them too.
The 10th thing to knowbefore you go to Bangkok is that bug spray is your new best friend.
If you're walking aroundwith sandals and flip flops without any socks, and withoutany mosquito repellent, well you will be nibbled on by the friendly mosquito species.
This place is hot and humid.
And so there are a lot of mosquitoes, so make sure to bring somemosquito repellent with you.
Spray it on your feet, spray it on your legs, spray it on places that are exposed so you don't get a lot of itchybumps from those mosquitoes.
The 11th thing to knowbefore you go to Bangkok is to respect the kingand the royal family.
You will see pictures of theking and the royal family all over Bangkok.
By the end of the trip, you will be very well acquainted with their image.
But Thailand has anti-defamation laws, so it is illegal to speak negatively against the royal family.
So just don't do it.
And because of those laws, similarly, it is illegal to step on Thai currency.
If you've got a 20-Bahtbill and it's flying away, don't step on it to stop it, because that's the same asstepping on the face of the king.
The 12th thing to knowbefore you come to Bangkok is to not touch anybody on the head.
I don't know why you would touch random strangers on the head, but in Bangkok and Thailandin particular, don't do it.
The top of the head is considered sacred.
You may think you're being nice by patting someone on thehead, but don't do it.
Also, don't try to pointyour feet at strangers, particularly at Buddhas.
This might be hard ifyou're on the subway, things like that, buttry to point your feet just a little bit away.
If you're in temples, you'll actually see signs to tell you to not sit with your feet pointed directly at the Buddha.
And thing to know number 13is that we've got more videos.
If you like this video, chances are you'll like some of our other videos about Bangkok.
You'll find links inthe description below.
You can click here and here to watch them.
We won't say goodbye, because we'll see you in the next video.