Travel tips to keep in your pocket when traveling Thailand’s busy streets
Thailand’s capital city is a mecca for great buys and exotic scenic spots. Those are things Kris, her two boys, and the entire Kris TV Production Staff experienced during their bonding days in this exotic and pulsating Asian destination.
For you to get know the busy and bustling shopping hotspot, it pays to keep a few traveling tips in your pocket. Aside from the typical drill of looking both ways when crossing the street and not talking to strangers, here are some of the basic essentials for you to blend in with the locals and seem like a lost and wandering tourist.
If you can’t find a tag price or barcode on your exquisite find, commence haggling. One important rule to remember when playing the art of bargaining for a good price: Be nice! Even if your feet is throbbing from all the unnecessary walking and strolling around, approach the vendor with a smile on your face and try the gracious, “What’s your best price, dear?” approach. Your target is to chip off 10% to 40% from the original tag. Pleasantries will go a long way.
Similar to dense shopping districts like Baclaran and Divisoria, it pays to be aware that scammers are around. Typically, schemes on the Bangkok streets range from pushy sellers who’ll trick you into buying precious duds down to inviting you to a scenic site unheard of by your travel guidebook. As a general rule of thumb, some of the overly eager locals who approach you on the street might be in for more than just a delightful chat.
YOUR NEW FRIENDS: MRT AND BTS
If you’re a typical ragged type who grew up getting used to the hair-raising stunts of Jeepney and tricycle drivers of Manila, they you’ll feel pretty much at home riding Bangkok’s smog machines: tuk-tuks, motorbikes as well as the canal boats. For a more subtle means of transport, it’s better to opt for the Skytrian or underground railway. The MRT experience is similar to what we’re used to in these parts, pegged down to the train’s conventional blue-and-white striped body paint.
STREET FOOD SAMPLERS
Food stalls and turo-turos are scattered around the streets of the Thailand metro. Rather than heading over to the nearest fast food station, have an adventurous palate and sample what the locals have prepared. It’s generally clean and safe to take in, plus you’ll get a taste of real what Thai food cooking is all about.
Getting Thai massage in, well, Thailand is as authentic as it gets. This traditional art of kneading tired and sore muscles can be enjoyed at a variety of places in Bangkok. Don’t be alarmed if they ask you to lie on the floor rather than in the massage bed, this particular type of massage is typically performed on a floor mattress with the client fully clothed. Wondering why your therapist is using her hands, knees and feet during the process? It’s part of the fun. Charge it to tradition.