I have been to Bangkok several times and hope to be back soon. I love Bangkok especially the food. Bangkok is such a lovely place for solo travelers.
From the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, I have tried the taxi, bus, metro train and airport link train going to city center – Silom area. The most convenient and economical one depends on what time of the day I am arriving in Bangkok. However, the bus and metro rail still prove to be my top choices.
In many occasions, I have stayed in Silom Area. I love Smile Society Boutique Hostel. It’s clean, near the metro, hospital, night and shopping market, mall, street foods, bars, massage parlor, banks, name it – it’s within reach to everything I can practically do.
Tuktuks are not always practical and I have tried it only for a couple of times. Drivers would charge excessively – as expensive as the taxis. The train and bus are still the cheapest and most reliable mode of transportation in Bangkok. It is safe, cheap and comfortable.
So here are the things I recommend to solo first time travelers. This is not a detailed information as I have separate entries for each activity. I have not done it also in this order. The sequence is just a matter of presentation.
After immigration exit, I exchange my Peso to Baht and normally walk around for about 1 hour exploring the facilities of the airport making sure to know at least the basic airport set-up. Then off to Silom by bus, train or taxi. In the afternoon, Chao Praya River tour, Temple of the Dawn, Grand Palace and Temple of Emerald Buddha and the National Museum can be done very easily. In the evening, the street of Silom and its small alleys are perfect to see Bangkok’s Night life. I have not tried though the “for adults only thing” and I don’t recommend it.
For this part, I have not done it solo. I booked it with my hotel because it’s much cheaper than doing it solo. I have sought the advice of some backpackers I met and they were one in saying that it’s more practical to book it with an agent. The whole day Floating Market Tour, Elephant Ride, Cobra Show, Samphran Zoo Elephant Show and Crocodile Show, Rose Garden Cultural Show and a lunch cost about 25USD. At night, a good massage is best. There are massage parlors near my hotel and a lot at Silom.
Pattaya is wonderful so a whole day treat here is perfect. I met an American backpacker at the hotel and we decided to do the Pattaya Day trip. I am going for an arranged tour while we will do it by himself. At the end of the day, it appeared that he has spent more than I do. The Pattaya Day Trip package tour cost me 25USD with lunch. He has spent 38USD. Our tour activity was practically the same when we got there. In the evening enjoy street foods in Silom.
The Safari World and Marine Park are perfect for animal and nature lovers. The Park is Bangkok’s largest zoo and has collection of trained animals for performances. The Park is open until 5PM. Estimate expenses for this whole day trip with entrances and lunch is 40-50USD.
The Ancient City of Ayutthaya is by far the most cultural and historical tour in Bangkok. Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand. The must see here are, of course, the temples and its many statues. A roundtrip bus transfer is perfect. The more adventurous way is via the Chao Praya River.
What is Bangkok without shopping? Bangkok is a haven for cheap buys. I don’t love shopping but I go to shopping areas. I normally don’t buy as I always travel light – no checked in baggage. Among the more popular and easily accessible shopping areas are Siam Paragon, MBK, Siam Square and Siam center. The night markets are always a better option.
I haven’t done this myself yet until perhaps my next trip. Lady Boy Show (the famous Calypso Show), Muay Thai and Thai Cooking Class.
Of course, there are more things to do and explore in Bangkok. Time, money and interest are major factors that will determine an itinerary – a next trip to Bangkok.