This is the city where I started my Southeast Asia solo trip! Just as many other people, Thailand has been on top of my bucket list for a very long time so I decided it was time to check it off of my list along with a few other countries on that side of the world!
I flew from Costa Rica to Bangkok with two layovers for a total of 32 hours of traveling. I was super happy and excited about my adventure but I’m not gonna lie, I was also a little bit scared at the beginning because I was gonna be all by myself in a completely different country than mine in every aspect. But let me tell you this, once you get there you realize that there’s nothing to be scared of, even if you are a woman traveling alone. So in case you feel like going but have your doubts don’t think too much and just go for it (by yourself or with more people) I promise you won’t regret it 🙂
When you get there
Currency: Thai Baht (THB) is the local currency and is around 35 baht per dollar.
*Try to carry cash with you all the time, they accept card in some places but most of them charge a fee, and many places don’t take cards.
There are two international airports in Bangkok, the Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). There are some countries allowed to enter Thailand under the visa exemption rule, you can check the list here. If you are from Costa Rica you can see the visa requirements here.
The most popular ways of getting to the city from Suvarnabhumi airport are by Airport Rail Link and by taxi. Even tho the taxis are very cheap there, you might want to know that you can use Uber in Bangkok and it’s even cheaper. You should also check with your hotel/hostel because many of them include the transportation or offer a very convenient price.
Thailand is very cheap, some parts more than others but in Bangkok you can find guesthouses/rooms from 300 THB per night up to whatever you want to pay and even if you want to stay in a 4-5 star hotel you can find very good deals. I found trivago very helpful to find some of the hotels during my trip, they offer a lot of options according to the money you want to spend. And if you want to stay in a hostel then hostelworld is a good option to find something you like.
Things to do
Bangkok is a big city and there’s so much to see and explore. I’m gonna give you some of the things that you can do if you stay there 3-4 days.
- Temples: “Wat” is temple in thai. There are over 40.000 temples in Bangkok, most of the popular ones and worth the visit are:
–Wat Pho (the temple of the reclining Buddha)
–Wat Saket (temple of the Golden Mount)
–Wat Arun (temple of dawn)
You can go to most of these temples in one day or you can divide it in two days if you want to go to all of these or add more. A really good way to go is to take a tuk-tuk, remember to negotiate the price with the driver first because most of them offer different rates. They can take you to the temples you want and wait for you outside, just talk about it before.
*Important to note: In most of the temples you have to cover your shoulders and knees but since it’s too hot all the time to walk around with sleeves and pants, I recommend you to carry something in your bag to cover yourself once you get there, or in some temples you can rent shirts or pants in the entrance.
- Floating markets: It’s usually a half day tour, located like one hour and a half from Bangkok. It is a good way to buy some souvenirs and local products. The most popular floating markets are Damnoen Saduak (the one I went) and Khlong Lat Mayom. It’s a cool and different experience since you go around the market on a boat and all the shopping is made from there, usually is very crowded but still interesting.
- Khao San Road: The (in)famous road with endless bars, vendors, street food, shops and all kind of things. Super touristy street, maybe you’d love it or maybe you’d expect something more but you have to go at least once. Get a Chang beer and walk around and do some shopping, the street food is good and you might even want to try some bugs! (find my video on my instagram travel with jennats)
- Go to a rooftop bar: There are many where you can choose from with great views of the city but the most popular one is Sky bar – lebua at State Tower. It’s more expensive than the regular bars but the 360 view is worth it.
- Get a traditional thai massage: I know what you are thinking but there are many professional and nice places where you can get regular massages that cost as little as 200 THB.
- Chinatown: This part of the city is very crowded and busy but still fun. You can find temples, you can go shopping but most important here is the food!
- Take a cooking class: This is one of the must-do for most tourists. They offer classes all over the city but a couple of good options are Khao cooking school and Silom Thai cooking school.
- Take a bike tour.
Food and drinks
All I can say is eat your heart out, try everything! I love asian food but Thai food is definitely one of my favorites. You really haven’t tried the real flavors of Thai cuisine until you are there. Enjoy the street food as well, is just as good (if not better) than the food on restaurants. And not only is delicious but super cheap, you can sit down and get a meal and a beer/other drink for 200 THB ($5).
And desserts… Desserts are a must, please eat all the desserts everywhere you can!
Words and phrases to use
Here are a few words that can be useful once you are there:
Hello: Sawasdee -adding at the end of the word “ka” for female and “khap” for male (to show respect).
How are you: Koon-sa-bai-dee-mai (ka,khap).
Thank you: Kob kun -once again for female is kob kun ka and for a male kob kun khap.
How much: Tao Rai (ka,khap).
I don’t understand: Mai-kao-jai (ka,khap).
Same same but different: This phrase is one of my favorites, its basically used to say or to describe something that is kinda the same but different in some way haha I know it sounds weird, at first you don’t understand but then you get it and probably gonna use it all the time 😉
I can’t speak Thai: Pood-thai-mad-thai (ka,khap).
Good bye: Sawasdee (ka,khap).
I really had a great time in Bangkok, I love the rest of the country even more but if you go to Thailand you definitely have to go at least once. What other places in Bangkok do you like and/or recommend? Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it and would love to read your comments!
Happy adventures <3
Photos by me