Bangkok is a city known around the world for its cultural vibrancy and amazingly decorative temples. There are endless possibilities to explore Thailand’s capital metropolis, and to help you best navigate your time there, we went to the TripAdvisor Travel Forums to ask travelers what they think visitors shouldn’t do when visiting Bangkok. Follow their tips below to ensure you take full advantage of all the city has to offer!
- Don’t miss the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. The latter is a very well known temple that has within it a 120-foot sleeping Buddha statue plated in gold.
- When it comes to shopping, don’t forget to go to the Chattuchak weekend market, or Siam Square and Sukhumvit if shopping centres are more your preference. Also, if you want to shop for women’s and children’s clothing, don’t miss Sampeng.
- When buying souvenirs, don’t purchase any Buddha statues—it’s against the law to take them out of the country without going through proper procedures.
- To get a taste of true Thai culture, don’t forget to spend time in Silom District. More Thais live there than in other neighborhoods and districts in Bangkok, which adds to its authenticity.
- Don’t forget to speak with the people that work at the airport counters before you take a taxi. If you don’t know Thai, they can help write down your hotel’s address for the driver to prevent delays of getting to your destination.
- When it’s rainy season, don’t forget to bring insect repellent with you wherever you go.
- Don’t step on any coin that has the King’s face on it—you could face anywhere between 3-15 years in prison for doing so. In addition, you shouldn’t touch or ridicule any pictures you see of the King anywhere around the city, nor should you speak badly of him or his family. Lastly, be careful to fold any bills that have the King’s face on them, instead of balling them up.
- Don’t forget to keep a certified photocopy of your passport at all times.
- Don’t wear tank tops, shorts, or skirts while visiting temples. Women’s shoulders must also be covered, and wearing shoes inside any temple is prohibited. It’s advised that you wear slip-on shoes to make the process of taking them on and off a lot easier.
- Don’t sit with your feet pointing towards a Buddha figure when you’re in a temple. Also, be sure to keep your hands away from images of Buddha.
- When you’re in close proximity to an image of the Buddha, don’t greet another person with a kiss—it’s deemed disrespectful.
- If a guide on the street approaches you, don’t take his or her offer. Many of them may seem genuine, but oftentimes they will try to charge you more because you’re a tourist.
- Don’t be so trusting of people who approach you with recommendations on where to shop—they’ll likely tell you only of the shops where they’re on commission and where prices are higher for foreigners.
- Don’t pay for a cruise on the Chao Praya River. Instead, take the public water transport (also known as “water buses”), which goes the same route, to save money.
- If a taxi’s meter isn’t set, don’t get in. You could potentially pay significantly more than the normal price of the ride.
- Don’t forget to negotiate prices when you’re shopping at the markets—you can usually cut the cost of an item by more than half if you do. As this is customary at most outside markets and kiosks, don’t be afraid to do it. If the sales clerk doesn’t think the price is fair, he or she will just decline.
- If you smoke, don’t forget to do so in reserved spaces specifically for that purpose. If you’re not careful of this, you might end up getting fined.
- Don’t take photos of locals without asking them first. If you fail to ask permission first, they may get agitated with you and even ask you to pay them.
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