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  • - 13 things to know before you go to Bangkok in Thailand.

  • I'm Chris, this is Topher.

  • This is Yellow Productions.

  • We do travel guides that are fun, informative, entertaining.

  • This is part of our series on Bangkok.

  • In this video we're gonna be telling you

  • everything you need to know

  • if you're planning a trip to this city,

  • Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

  • First we'll start with some general information about it.

  • Number one, Bangkok, capital city of Thailand,

  • has 11 million residents.

  • It is also the world's most visited city for tourists

  • with 20 million tourists that visit Bangkok every year.

  • It is also known colloquially as The Big Mango,

  • kind of like New York City is The Big Apple.

  • And we'll get to weather,

  • but I'm gonna tell you this right now.

  • It is really hot in Bangkok.

  • So you just need to know that,

  • and that will temper pretty much everything

  • throughout this video.

  • So if you see a few beads of sweat on my face, that is why,

  • and you might be seeing me wipe throughout this video

  • every once in a while.

  • I am not making this up.

  • It is really that hot.

  • Each one of these bits during this video,

  • I'll do in a different part of Bangkok,

  • so you get to see Bangkok as you learn about it.

  • And first I'm here at the Royal Palace, which I mentioned.

  • But speaking of Bangkok, I gave you the English nickname,

  • The Big Mango.

  • In Thai, it's called Krung Thep,

  • which means the City of Angels.

  • Actually, the official name is much longer.

  • I'll put it here on the screen

  • because I'm not even gonna try to say it,

  • but Bangkok actually has the longest name

  • of any city in the world.

  • Bangkok has 50 districts and is basically organized

  • around streets, canals, and alleys.

  • The alleys are called sois, S-O-I,

  • so you might see an address of something

  • with a major street name, and then Soi 37,

  • which tells you which alley that it's off of.

  • The other defining feature in Bangkok

  • is the main river that runs throughout the city,

  • and the big tourist attractions,

  • they are right off the river,

  • including the royal Grand Palace.

  • The second thing to know before you to go to Bangkok

  • is about the weather.

  • I mean, really the only thing you need to know

  • about the weather in Bangkok is it is hot.

  • It is hot and humid.

  • It is very hot and humid.

  • Did I mention it's hot and humid?

  • Bangkok takes the cake as the hottest city in the world,

  • not because of the daytime highs,

  • but because the nighttime lows don't cool down either.

  • Most of the year round, the highs are in the 30 Celsius,

  • 86 Fahrenheit, even higher today,

  • it's 34 degrees Celsius, 90-some Fahrenheit.

  • It is November 5th.

  • By the way, Bangkok really has two seasons.

  • There's the rainy season, which is like April to October,

  • and then there's the dry season,

  • which is November onwards to February, March, April.

  • It's generally coolest around that time too

  • in the dry season, and it's coolest because

  • the nighttime lows cool down to be really cool,

  • 21 Celsius, 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Yes, that is as cool as it ever gets in Bangkok.

  • And so when you're coming around, if you're like me,

  • you will want to bring a towel,

  • because it's so hot and humid,

  • you'll want to wipe off that sweat occasionally.

  • I generally just bring this out from the hotel,

  • and I deposit it back, and I get a new one every day.

  • So take my tip.

  • Bring a hand towel with you.

  • The third thing to know before you come to Bangkok

  • is about getting into Bangkok.

  • Chances are you'll be flying into Bangkok.

  • Bangkok has two major airports,

  • BKK airport and DMK airport.

  • BKK airport, that's the main international airport

  • where most of the big international carriers fly into.

  • Chances are you'll be flying into that airport

  • unless you're coming in on a discount carrier,

  • which you might be flying into DMK.

  • From BKK airport, there is an airport train

  • that you can take in that'll connect you to the BTS,

  • which is the sky train.

  • What we did, we took a taxi into the city.

  • Taxis from the airport will run you about 300 to 400 Baht,

  • and the drive time can be somewhere between

  • 35 minutes to two hours into central Bangkok,

  • because the traffic can be really bad.

  • If you're connecting between the two airports,

  • well probably don't, but if you were,

  • then you're coming internationally

  • and you're connecting domestically,

  • allow for at least two hours of travel time

  • between the two airports.

  • There's like some shuttle buses

  • that you can take between the two,

  • but there's no other rail link between the two airports.

  • The next thing you need to know before you come to Bangkok

  • is about getting around Bangkok.

  • And if you haven't heard, Bangkok has some of

  • the worst traffic of any city in the world.

  • And so you'll want to pick ways to get around Bangkok

  • that don't leave you sitting in that.

  • This traffic is Sunday at five p.m.,

  • so you can imagine rush hour, eight a.m. weekday

  • is way worse than that.

  • So you'll be best off on what's called the BTS.

  • It's the sky train.

  • The MRT, it's the subway that goes underground.

  • Those are two great options.

  • One of the most interesting ways of getting around,

  • and a lot of the guidebooks will tell you,

  • is by boat along the river.

  • And boat along the river will cut down on the traffic

  • because as you can see, there's a lot of boats,

  • but it's not bumper-to-bumper.

  • But it's bumpy, wow.

  • So if you don't like getting seasick,

  • don't do this for very long.

  • Maybe just once and across one stop to experience it.

  • Do prepared to wait a long time for the boats.

  • The timetable, really time in Thailand,

  • it's sort of, it's approximate

  • what time those boats come.

  • Taxis in the city, they're really cheap.

  • They're really, like a 20-minute taxi ride

  • will cost 100 Baht.

  • I mean, it's really inexpensive.

  • But they'll try to scam you.

  • I've got a whole video about scams

  • which you'll learn more about how to avoid taxi scams.

  • You can find that link in the description below.

  • The word you'll hear through in Bangkok the most

  • is probably tuk tuk.

  • The tuk tuk, they're these little things.

  • Well, this one's like a tuk tuk limousine.

  • But the ones you see on the street, they're little.

  • They have a driver, and they have

  • basically a bench on the back.

  • Tuk tuks are all fixed price.

  • There's no meter in them.

  • They'll cost you approximately

  • three to four times what a taxi will.

  • They're not cheap.

  • They don't have doors.

  • They do have a roof, which actually makes it

  • kind of hard to see from.

  • But if you want the quintessential Bangkok experience,

  • definitely take a tuk tuk.

  • Just not the one I'm driving.

  • But the most interesting way to get around Bangkok

  • is motorcycle taxi.

  • I've never seen this anywhere before.

  • I'm sure it exists some places,

  • but not cities I've been to,

  • where these motorcycles will let you sit on the back,

  • and that way you can zip through traffic.

  • They go between the lanes and things like that.

  • Sometimes they'll offer you a helmet.

  • You can hail them on the side of the road.

  • You'll see them in orange vests.

  • Or if you have the Grab app,

  • by the way, Uber doesn't operate here.

  • It's been sold to Grab.

  • Grab, you can get taxis, nice cars, or motorbikes,

  • and you say, "Hey, I'm here."

  • The motorbike comes, picks you up, puts a helmet on,

  • and you whiz through the city, skipping the traffic.

  • And you get a free massive heart attack

  • to go along with that ride.

  • As you are getting around Bangkok,

  • no doubt you'll be doing a lot of walking,

  • and usually I say walking is a really great way

  • to get around cities.

  • But because it's so hot and humid in Bangkok,

  • you'll want to try to get around ways other than walking.

  • Cause you just can't walk as far here

  • because of the humidity.

  • And I will mention that the sidewalks

  • aren't really laid out all that well.

  • What I mean by laid out is like the height is different,

  • there's manholes, there's potholes,

  • and so you have to be really careful where you're walking

  • so that you don't end up twisting an ankle.

  • The next thing to know before you come to Bangkok

  • is about the money.

  • In Bangkok, the currency is the Thai Baht, spelled B-A-H-T.

  • Sometimes you'll see it misspelled as B-A-T-H, as bath,

  • but it's Baht, and it comes in coins and bills.

  • The coins are one, two, five, and 10 Baht coins,

  • and then the bills are 20, 50, 100, and 1,000.

  • At about the time I did this video,

  • it was about 30 Baht to one U.S. dollar.

  • That was about the conversion.

  • You should really have cash with you throughout the city

  • because many of the street vendors and the small vendors

  • do not take credit cards.

  • The high-end places, the high-end restaurants do,

  • but a lot of times you'll find

  • a minimum purchase required for credit cards

  • or sometimes an exorbitant credit card surcharge.

  • We ate at one restaurant that said

  • the credit card surcharge was 10%.

  • That's pretty crazy.

  • So where are you gonna get your Baht?

  • Well, there are tons of currency exchange places

  • throughout the city, but I would recommend

  • you get it from an ATM.

  • Get it from an ATM, but make sure when you do that,

  • you do not select dynamic currency conversion.

  • If you get asked that question, say no.

  • More information about that I've got in my video

  • about tourist scams in Bangkok.

  • Basically they're gonna charge you a lot of money

  • and give you less if you select that option.

  • The sixth thing to know before you go to Bangkok

  • is about what to wear.

  • And did I mention it is so crushingly hot in Bangkok

  • and do I look like I'm melting?

  • Well that's because I am.

  • And so you'll want to wear clothes

  • that are cool and dry quickly.

  • Things like rayon, things that are quick-drying fabrics

  • and that don't sop up a lot of sweat.

  • If you are wearing cotton, and I've got a cotton t-shirt on,

  • make sure it's a very, very thin one.

  • Whatever you do, don't wear jeans.

  • You know, you may see some Thai people wearing jeans,

  • but they are used to this heat over their whole life.

  • You or I would likely spontaneously combust

  • wearing jeans in Thailand.

  • Though a little bit of a challenge, you know,

  • if you're a guy, you'll wanna wear shorts.

  • If you're a girl, you'll wanna wear a short skirt,

  • because it's so hot.

  • But if you're going to temples,

  • you go into fancy restaurants,

  • they often have strict dress codes.

  • Related to footwear, when you're walking around Bangkok,

  • ladies, don't wear high heels.

  • These sidewalks, as I mentioned earlier, are not that great.

  • You'll want some really sturdy footwear

  • so you don't twist an ankle.

  • Athletic shoes, I think sneakers,