Ruta 8

Tips for Bangkok

Bangkok, capital city of Thailand and home to approximately 8 million people.
You may find the city overwhelming at first with its buzzing traffic and hot weather, but once you start exploring you´ll soon discover its endless energy and charisma.

We´re not big fans of large towns as we used to be, but we quickly fell in love with the city! It reminded us of São Paulo a lot, so how could we not like it?
When I left, I felt as though I hadn´t experienced enough of the nightlife, its endless street food markets and vibe!
If you´re a newbie in town, don´t miss these tips!
  • Weather & Climate

    The climate in Bangkok is tropical and its average temperature is 28°C. The hottest month of the year is April with temperatures above 30° C, but you can expect hot weather most of the year! We were there at the beginning of October and the weather was hot and humid, with temperatures hovering around 35° C every day! There would also be heavy showers in the evening, just like in São Paulo. But that didn´t spoil our plans as they don´t tend to last long.

    Going to MBK shopping center for instance, can give you some relief from the hot and sticky days. So, if you´re wondering what to take in your luggage; sun cream, light clothes and a thermal water bottle could be useful as most hotels have water coolers to fill up. And an umbrella if you´re going during the rainy season, which happens from July to October.

  • Wat Phra Kaew

    A visit to Wat Phra Kaew is one of the top activities in the city.
    What we learnt is that many people who go there, don´t realise that a free tour inside the palace is offered. A very friendly Thai official took us around to explain the origin and meaning of some of the main attractions in the complex. It takes about 30-40 mins and you can see a plaque on the left-hand side of the main section right after the ticket office, indicating the schedule. It definitely adds value to the visit.

    Also, the ticket treats you with an extra cultural activity, as a Thai masked dance is included in the fee. A free shuttle from Grand Palace (Biman Deves Gate) to Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre is offered and departs 30 minutes before each performance (10:30am / 1pm / 4pm and 5:30pm). It was a pleasant surprise and we really enjoyed the show.

    Bangkok Thai masked show

    Other things to consider before you visit the temple:

    - Go as early as early as you can. It gets packed.
    - Dress appropriately, as you´re visiting a Buddhist temple.
    - You´ll have to take your shoes off to visit the main building where Emerald Buddha is. So, think about what you want to wear or if you want to take some socks.

    Bangkok Wat Phra Kaew
    Opening hours: 8:30am to 3:30pm
    Entrance fee: 500 baht
  • Scams

    Thai people are known for being one of the friendliest on earth and Bangkok is no exception. But that doesn’t mean you can trust everyone.

    When getting a taxi, agree to put on the meter and have an idea how far your destination is. If you opt to take a tuk-tuk, agree the price beforehand. You´ll soon learn how much it should cost to go from one place to another.

    We had a slightly unpleasant experience with one tuk-tuk driver coming back from China town. He was taking us to the opposite direction of our hotel. Lucky us, Al was following the route through and soon realised he was going the wrong way.

    Tuktuk Bangkok
  • Lost in Translation

    Take a card from your hotel or have the directions of your Hotel written in Thai, that could save you a lot of hassle and any misunderstanding.

    Thai writing
  • Explore the city through the river and beyond

    Don´t miss the opportunity to explore the city commuting through Chao Phraya river! There are several boats floating about moving locals from one side to another.
    I was personally impressed by its size and utility, not to mention that you´ll see the city from a different perspective. The boats with orange flags for instance costs only 15 baht runs daily till 7pm and stops at the main piers.

    Finally, make sure you don´t miss the nightlife and the street food markets. Without experiencing these you can´t say you´ve been to Bangkok.

    Chao Phraya River in Bangkok