Bangkok is an amazing city and one that is best explored with the freedom to go where you please, and what looks like complete chaos is actually a smooth system that works. The smiling faces of the locals reaffirms this, and if you are planning to spend some time in Bangkok with your family, here are a few tips.
- Explore the Canals – While there is Skytrain and regular buses that traverse this sprawling city, the canals will give you a real insight into how Bangkokians live their lives. For a few cents you can board a long-tailed boat and be whizzed along narrow canals that stop every few hundred metres, and armed with a map, you and the family can explore the wonders of this unique metropolis.
- Family Accommodation – Find a family hotel in Bangkok where you can all sleep together, which will save you a fortune. Google can certainly provide you with a long list of Bangkok economy hotels, and choose one that is not far from the centre of the city. The hotel would provide fold-up beds that can be added to a family room and this will keep your outgoings to a minimum, leaving you more money for luxuries.
- Tuk-Tuks – Very much a tourist form of transportation, these cute little 3-wheeled vehicles can actually be rented by the day, rather than for a single journey, and if you want to see a few quiet suburbs, the Tuk-Tuk driver can oblige. A few dollars will see him spend the day taking you to places of interest, and if he speaks English, so much the better. Tuk-Tuks are used by market vendors and if you get up at 3am, you will see many on the streets, loaded to the brim with the vendor and all her produce, on her way to her small market stall, where she sells to the general public.
- Language Issues – There’s little point in learning more than a few basic greetings, and, of course, you need to know numbers for dealing with the local currency. Buy a good Thai-English phrase book that you can use to communicate with vendors and locals alike, which will help you in many ways.
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruises – You simply must experience dinner on one of the huge cruise boats that run along the main stretch of this river, and if you leave your hotel at 4pm, ask any Tuk-Tuk driver and they can take you to the pier where these boats are moored. As a general rule, every major hotel would have their own boat that offers a 2-hour cruise, with a fine 3 course dinner or amazing buffet, and the sight of Buddhist temples bathed in subtle light really is something else!
Once you book your hotel, you can use this as your base and head out every day for an adventure that will be different every time. Explore and experience the wonders of Bangkok, and make sure you stay hydrated, as Bangkok can be very hot and humid, especially in the summer months of March and April.