My next stop was Bangkok and I have been here a few days already before I wrote this post so I can give a better view of the city. I can say one thing already… it is BUSY! Taxis, Tuk Tuks, Scooters and Trucks all race from one traffic light to the next as if there was a price to be won. A 3 lane road becomes a 5 lane road once the driver uses the horn. In a roundabout, everyone drives as the want, inner line pulls to the right and crosses 3 lanes of drivers wanting to go left. Coming from a western culture this is absolutely crazy.
But let’s start at the beginning. When I arrived I didn’t have internet and no map of Bangkok so getting to the hostel was a bit of a challenge. I tried the metro but it doesn’t go s far as I needed to go, then I was approached by a scooter taxi but I kindly refused having 2 backpacks on my and sitting on the back of a scooter of a person I don’t know the driving skills of… nope, not my thing. I eventually gave up the search for a cheap transport and took a taxi… So first thing after checking in the hostel was to get myself a local SIM card with a proper data plan so I could the internet. Now that I was equipped with google maps it was time to hit the streets.
I quickly found out, that Falangs (thats how Thais call us pale white skinned foreigners) get their own price. A native would pay 50 Baht and a Falang will be offered the same 15min Tuk Tuk ride for 200 Baht. Now 50 Baht are roughly 1,5 Euros so it isn’t such a big deal but you quickly learn, you either negotiate and sometimes say „no“ to the driver or get ripped off. This driver actually drove me around for 3 hours and only wanted 50 Baht. Reason being, there was a governmental promotion for tourist going on and the Tuk Tuk drivers employed by the government get petrol vouchers hence the cheap price. This gave me the opportunity to visit the first temples.
It is not as easy to get around in Bangkok as it was in Dubai. The metro system isn’t very extensive and you often have to rely on Taxi, Tuk Tuk, Grab Car (similar to Uber) or go by foot. The city isn’t really small so going by foot is out of the question.
Most Thais I met were very friendly, most just want your money and one actually got offended when I said no to a free map. Sorry dude, I got a smartphone with a local SIM card and I have a GPS map with me. You can’t beat that! This is something I recommend for everyone who wants to explore Bangkok individually. Without a GPS map, you are screwed! Not every street has a name written on it, not every corner has a pedestrian crossing and traffic is insane. In Bangkok you can get by with english but not very well. Only People used to working with foreigners or if they learned english in school actually speak english. Since it got late and I was close to Khaosan Road I figured why not go there and have a look around.
Pretty crazy and this was just Thursday. Friday and Saturday the bars battle each other who can make the most noise.
The next day the same road would look like this:
So not bad for my first impression of Bangkok. I like it!