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Your Essential Bangkok Guide

So you have booked your flights to Bangkok at unbelievably great airline discount and are all set to just board that cheap ticket airline, and fly to Bangkok for a thrilling vacation! Great. We are thrilled for you. After all Thailand’s capital city is a captivating, exhilarating and frenzied place, crammed with the promise of unforgettable experiences. To ensure your experiences stay positive, here’s a list of things you will do well to pay heed to and when required steer clear of, while vacationing in Bangkok.

A Map is your New Best Friend
As soon as you land in the city, you will realize it’s no mean feat, negotiating its lanes and roads. Bangkok can be and, for a first-timer, is confusing.  To make sense of your surroundings invest in a map which has street names in both, Thai as well as English.
Bangkok is a city that is best enjoyed if you plan your city excursions ahead. If you indulge the adventurer in you every day, chances are you won’t really be too happy with the results, at the end of your vacation. Hence plan your visits and your routes (with your map) in advance and have a good time exploring the city sights and attractions.

Barter, but nicely
Are you aware of the golden rule when it comes to shopping in Bangkok? If there is no set price or if you cannot find a bar code telling you the price, then it is your moral duty to haggle! Yes, you read it right. The Thais are as passionate hagglers as their sub-continent Indian friends. Once you realize that there is no fixed-price, the field is open for you to tone down the cost as much as you can. Just remember to do so in a conciliatory fashion. And if the vendor still doesn’t agree, just walk off; chances are you will be called back for a last negotiation!

Drink lots of water
The sun can be really barbaric as you roam the streets and lanes of Bangkok. Carrying your own bottle of water is a very good idea. If you run out of it, buy one from the many street vendors but just ensure that it is sealed.

Use BTS & MRT habitually
There is something to be said for using the local modes of transport of every city that you visit. But to use the tuk-tuks, canal boats or the bikes for your everyday commute to the various city attractions is not really the best way to go.  Opt for the comfort of the Skytrain or the underground metro for your everyday commute and resort to the other means only for shorter rides. This will save your time as well as money (that is, if you buy the passes).

Carry a photocopy of passport
Thais are particular about IDs. So to keep everybody happy (you will be amazed how many times you may be asked to show your ID) you will do well to carry your passport with you, wherever you go. You can carry a photocopy of it and keep the original back in your hotel room.

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