Sunday, 30 April 2017

Probably not the best but some suggested tips when you go to BKK

I just came back from my 7D6N Bangkok Trip and I'm really excited to share about some new places that I have visited this year! Before I go on, I would like to provide some tips that my boyf & I came up with based on our experience. Don't take it too seriously though, as we obviously aren't professionals in giving advices and it is only our second visit. But no harm having a second opinion from us right?

1.  Just GRAB all the way. 

We totally gave up on taking taxi after our horrendous ride from the airport. Not that the ride was traumatizing or anything like that, but I think we were really overcharged!! It felt like the meter jumped quite a lot as compared to our second ride on the following day. Yes, we did give the usual taxi a second chance and the driver was really really honest. But I just felt that Grab will lessen our worries of getting scammed. I think the driver also went circling around from the airport to our hotel based on the GPS.

Grabcar has a fixed price and while it may be about 10-50baht more expensive than taking the taxi during the fare surge (assuming that you are comparing to a really honest taxi driver), I feel that the range of 80-150baht (<SGD6) is generally super affordable and the fare surge doesn't really make much of a difference. One thing for sure, at least we don't have to worry which route the Grab driver will take. And a bonus point? You get to earn reward points too! Which are accumulated in my SG account.

Oh and if you want to take the Tuk tuk, I suggest only doing it when the distance is really near, the drivers tend to rack up the prices

2. Location and Accessibility 

When choosing an accommodation, I place a lot of priority on the location. I decided on Berkeley Pratunam Hotel because it's affordable, luxurious and super convenient - only walking distance to Platinum Mall, Pratunam area, Big C Supercenter and Talad Neon Night Market! I think we really maximize the hotel convenience because we just kept heading back in between our shopping to put down our loots or take a break before heading to the next place nearby. And best of all, we get supper at the night market for a few days straight. Nothing to do or too lazy to go somewhere far? Just night market la!!

3. Be KIASU and Compare Prices First

Unless you are not shopping with any budget at all, I recommend you to control your shopping urge for the first few days if you are planning to return to the same mall again. Well, unless you see something really unique that it's a MUST to have it, otherwise many of the designs are actually found in many places at even lower prices! Especially the night markets. After we visited the Night markets, we found everything above 200 baht expensive (SGD8). But if you think about it $10 is quite cheap also hahaha..

4. DON'T Underestimate Preplanning 

I think preplanning is a really important, and I derived much excitement from it alone. Depending on the location, I will group the nearer places on the same day to save on transport and time. Most importantly, you must check the opening hours as some night markets are only opened on the weekends (Like Chatuchak), and many cafes are not opened on Mondays. You wouldn't want to go all the way to the place and find out that it's closed isn't it?

While I am a detailed itinerary planner, I made a really huge mistake by not checking the important festive dates of the country that I am visiting. I initially booked our air tickets from 13-17 april as it was during my birthday week and there's an extra public holiday on Good Friday. What I didn't realize is that the 3 of the days fall on Songkran Festival (Thailand's New Year Festival which is very well known for its water party). I know some people travel there intentionally to enjoy the festival, but I obviously don't. In the end, we spent extra money to amend our ticket and extended our trip too. #lessonlearnt

Always check beforehand.

5. Budget Your Trip and Daily Expenses

Every trip has a budget but remember to buffer as well. We actually spent a little over budget but I also brought extra SGD cash in case. Try not to bring out too much money everyday unless you don't mind risking to lose all of it. Many of the small shops usually do not have change for big amounts like 1000 baht. You can try your luck to change some small money at the hotel concierge.

6. Shortcut of Crossing Roads

We find it quite a hassle to cross the roads at times as there are no proper traffic lights at some junction. Actually it sounds like a bad influence, but at Bangkok almost everyone just jaywalks across the road. I was afraid at first, but it's actually possible because of the slow traffic. The trick is to have a group of other people cross together with you. And always stand at the other side so there's less chance of getting hit by the car hahaha. But if you don't have the confidence then better not take the risk.

I think that's about it!

I will most probably be writing about Animal Cafes or Night Markets next so if you're interested stay tuned! ;)

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