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  • Writer's picturePete

Bangkok First Timer Solo Guide

Bangkok is home to an estimated over 10 million people. It large metropolis area divided into many districts and areas with its own charms, so as a first-timer, it would be a little bit of work to find the best location, where to stay, what is near to what, and how we should enjoy Bangkok safely and under budget. Here I break it down for you based on my experience.


Where to Stay?

Silom

If you looking for fun, exciting nightlife, and lots of entertainment - stay in Silom Area. Known for being a financial district by day and a fun vibrant party hotspot by night, Silom is one of Bangkok's major three busiest areas. Silom is like a large area of nightlife and eateries and lots are close to one another. Silom is easily accessible via the MRT or the Silom Line of the BTS Skytrain - Sala Daeng Station. I like Silom due its location is accessible via public transport which is the main factor when I travel.


My rating as below


Traffic: Poor

Nightlife: Very Good

Shopping: Good

Eateries: Good

Public Transport: Good


List of hotels that are at a reasonable price for :





Khoa San Road

If you looking to mingle with other foreigners, solo travelers, and others backpacker, you can stay at Khoa San Road. It's backpacker heaven and fills with bars, food, thriving nightlife, and 24\7 convenience stores. Khoa San Road is popular when it comes to the Songkran festival.


I have stayed here before, and while it is packed with tourists & alive 24/7, the downside is the lack of access to public transport (no Skytrain access) compare to Silom. However, Tuk Tuk, Grab Bike is widely available according to your choice and budget.


Traffic: Poor

Nightlife: Very Good

Shopping: Good

Eateries: Good

Public Transport: Poor


List of hotels that are at a reasonable price for :






Sukhumvit

The commercial center of Bangkok. If you are more to the upscale area where you can stay next to international brand hotels, and exclusive shopping malls and mingle with the expatriate community, Sukhumvit is for you. Highly accessible via public transport and convenient go to anywhere from here. It has trendy upscale bars and restaurants, mixed with Thai and international cuisine to cater to the surrounding community.


If you ask me, would I choose the Sukhumvit area as a solo traveler? I would say no. I would like to experience a real Thai experience. Lovely place but does not suit my travel purpose. You can visit for the day to experience the streets but not for the stay.


Traffic: Average

Nightlife: Good

Shopping: Good

Eateries: Good

Public Transport: Very Good


Pratunam

Shopper paradise. With hundreds of stores selling everything from high-end fashion, home decor, foods, electronics, and anything in between, Pratunam is one stop center for shoppers. The famous one of course Platinum Fashion Mall. I love going to Platinum Fashion Mall.


Hotel Suggestions



The above recommendations are based on the location of the hotels near MRT/BTS, budget, malls, and attractions. Please do check guest comments prior to your booking.


Transportation & Getting Around


BTS Skytrain

From the airport (Don Mueang International Airport) you can take Grab (probably the best and safest for a solo traveler) to the city center. To commute around the city, you may take BTS Skytrain, Grab and walk on foot. I love BTS Skytrain in Bangkok, it is efficient and clean. BTS Skytrain has three mainlines - The BTS Sukhumvit Line running northwards terminating at Khu Khot and Kheha respectively. The BTS Silom Line which serves Silom and Sathon Roads, the central business district of Bangkok, terminates at National Stadium and Bang Wa. Bangkok also has MRT - MRT Blue Line from Hualumphong to Bang Sue & MRT Purple Line serving the north-western part of Bangkok and Nonthaburi Province.


Grab

Based on my experience as a solo traveler, I would only use Grab only arrival and departure days due to time constraints. Grab is pretty reliable in Bangkok and you have the option of GrabBike to save even more money.


Tuk Tuk

Although this is Thailand's national pride I wouldn't recommend it due to scam activities if you are solo. There are still genuine drivers out there but the majority of the driver especially at tourist sites, are involved in scam activities. I have learned from the hard experience so Tuk Tuk would be the last option.


Travel Cost & Currency

Spending money is very subjective, it depends on how you as a person when traveling. For me, as a solo traveler, Bangkok is generally affordable. It has plenty of choices either food, transportation, and a place to shop. Plenty of high-end malls to splurge and also at the same time plenty of affordable shops are scattered around the city. I will cover this more in the next post. Money changers are everywhere. Don't change your currency at the airport due to the high charge.


Internet Access

Internet coverage is a must while you travel solo. It is very useful. Plenty of choices but I would recommend Ais Traveller Sim. You may purchase at the airport for THB299 (15 G internet for 8 days).


Visas & Immigration

As the Covid-19 restriction lifted, so we can enter the Land of Smile like before. Do check your visa requirement here Thai Visa



Things to see & Do

There are so many things to see in Bangkok, however as a first-timer, you should

Go to my post here to get more details on this topic. In summary, you should consider

  • Visiting Bangkok's great temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, Way Pho

  • Shop & test your bargain skill at Bangkok night & weekend markets such as the world's largest weekend market Chatuchak, Patpong Night Market, and Roi Fai Market 2 Ratchada.

  • Visit the famous floating market in Amphawa.

  • Once in a while, bars & clubs hop around Silom, Khao San Road, and many more!

  • Escape the heat by visiting Bangkok's malls - MBK Center, Central World, Icon-Siam, Terminal 21.

Safety Guides

Like many of my posts, in every place that we visited, we always are vigilant at all times.

  • Based on my experience, I do not highly encourage TukTuk rides to avoid over-charge by the driver. If accompanied by a local friend, then yes.

  • Keep yourself hydrated because Bangkok's heat is just hot.

  • Like in our own place, avoid dark alleys/streets.

  • Beware of Tuktuk drivers or anyone else, who offers a tour that is too good to be true.

Personally, I did not encounter any safety & security issues while visiting Bangkok. As a solo traveler, always vigilant at all times.


Cultures Guides


When we visit new places, it will be totally different cultures. In Bangkok or Thailand in general, while enjoying the tour, we also should be respectful towards their cultures. Based on my experience;

  • Never wear short pants or sleeveless when visiting Temple

  • Before entering the temple, take off your shoes/ sandals.

  • Monks are highly respected. When you are on public transport always give up your seat to a monk if no other is available.

  • Never touch a person's head as it is seen as the most spiritual part of the body

  • Disrespect to the religion or monarchy, yelling in public or walking around semi-naked.


All in all, please enjoy Bangkok. There are so many things to do and be safe at all time! Hope my travel tips help!

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