bangkok debut

bangkok canalFaced with the daunting experience of landing in a strange city for the first time, sometimes it feels like our fate is in the hands of the gods. So these tips from Intrepid’s Danielle Jeffreson will help your Thailand holiday get off to a great start…

“For many people Bangkok is their first taste of Asia and it can often be an overwhelming experience. Once you arrive in the city you are faced with the crazy traffic, exhaust fumes, humidity and crowds, all of which can take time to get used to. Though before long the friendly smiles and hospitality of the Thai people will help you settle in and you can get down to exploring the many experiences this buzzing city has to offer.

Some of my favourite options for a short stop in Bangkok include exploring the khlongs that crisscross the city by long tail boat, haggling at the local markets and pounding the pavement to visit many of the huge (and thankfully air conditioned) shopping malls to hunt for both brand names and bargains alike.

The food is a huge drawcard and whether dining at a restaurant or local market stall, the flavours are amazing. For a cheap eat you can’t beat the value of the delicious Pad Thai from the street vendors at a cost of 25 baht, approx $1. They whip up the generous serves in their oversized woks and you can either eat on the move or take a seat on the little plastic tables and chairs, that have been set up to let you relax while you savour the tasty, budget-friendly meal.

One of my stopovers in Bangkok happened to coincide with Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12, and like the King’s birthday this is a national holiday. There were many extra festivities and fun to be had around the city. At night the streets were lined with locals holding candles and singing, whilst watching the birthday celebrations broadcast on small TV’s that people had set up as makeshift viewing stations. It was hard to not get caught up in the festivities and soon we too joined in with the candle waving, singing and celebrating, adding a unique and wonderful experience to my Bangkok stay!”

Tour Thailand with Intrepid on trips like these great adventures:
Tap Into Thailand – 8 days
Bangkok Urban Adventures – day tours
Choose from exploring Bangkok by bike to discovering the canals of Chao Praya River by longtail boat and more! Urban Adventures are authentic local travel experiences that unlock hidden secrets of the world’s great cities.

* photo by Helene Etschberger – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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4 comments

Christian Friborg / Reply

I’d like to visit the local markets and try some exotic delicacies. Very interesting country to explore, indeed!

Great post!
I’m flying to Thailand in a month and will definitely take your tips!

Nice post indeed, I hope I get to go on one of these trips soon.

I won’t be venturing to Thailand with Intrepid until November this year but I’d like to thankyou for this info…every little tip helps !! Gwenda

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