Category Archives: advice

Best Bangkok Bargains

fruit

There is a growing perception that Bangkok and Thailand is becoming an expensive country. There has been a surge in inflation that has accompanied the continued expansion of the economy since the 1990s. Tourists often seem to get the brunt of the high prices as many hotels base their profit margins on inflated food and beverage prices. There is also a massive ‘middle-man’ sector to the economy that organise tours, tickets and rental vehicles for prices that include a 20% profit margin.

All is not bad, however. Thailand still remains a country with man fabulous bargains for shoppers, culture vultures and foodies. Here is a list of some of the best bargains in Bangkok

Bangkok Metered Taxis

If you make the effort to walk out of your hotel and around the corner you will soon find a taxi prepared to go on the meter. Don’t get a taxi on the main road in Khao San. Walk towards the river and you will soon secure the services of an honest taxi driver. The meter starts at 35 Thai Baht. If you share a taxi it is cheaper than the sky train or underground. For just a few dollars you can get to all the major shopping and tourist spots in Bangkok. If you speak a bit of Thai the drivers are often keen to chat; some turn out to be real characters. You could base a blog around the bizarre conversations to be had with Bangkok taxi drivers.

Street Food

There are thousands of small places to eat on the pavement. They vary in quality. Hygiene might be an issue for those with delicate stomachs. I have, however, never been poisoned by street food. You can get a great phad Thai for 40 Baht. I have also had some brilliant massaman curries from street vendors. They are a fraction of the price of restaurant dishes, and often just as good. For more information about street food in Bangkok see the articles on this page.

Shakes, Juices and Fruit

Thailand has some of the best fruit in the world. The tropical climate produces bumper crops of fruit that you can buy very cheaply from street vendors. For 10 Baht you can get a bag of pineapple. You can also get cold and freshly squeezed orange juice on the street. It is better than any juice in a carton you will get in a supermarket. Another great experience is coconut juice. It has a distinctive taste and is a great way to re-hydrate.

Software

Forget fake watches and replica football tops at night markets like Patpong. The real pirate bargains in Bangkok are found in MBK and Pantip Plaza. Don’t fancy giving Microsoft $300 for Office? Then pick up a copy for $10. For high –end professional software as well as PC games you can save yourself hundreds of dollars. You just have to read the installation instructions carefully. You could always get a knowledgeable friend or a computer shop back in your own country to help you with installation if you run into difficulties.

Hotels

At the budget end of the accommodation market you get few bargains in Bangkok. Cheap rooms are generally small and very basic. This is especially true around Khao San. For those prepared to spend $30 a night there are some real bargains to be found. Areas such as Silom and Sukhumvit have plenty of good mid-range hotels. The intense competition means they often offer discounts. For $30 a night you can get an air-con room with satellite TV and fridge in a hotel with a swimming pool.

If doing Bangkok on the smallest possible budget possible then you can find hostels near Khao San as well as along the river and in the suburbs where they have beds for as little as $4 a night. A good place to search for such dorm beds and cheap guesthouses have a browse of www.bangkokbudgethotel.info

Medical Procedures and Dentists

Bangkok is the number one destination in the world for medical tourism. For those who want a breast enlargement, eye improvement procedure, sex change etc. Bangkok is the place to go. There are several reputable clinics in the city as well as the excellent Bumrungrad Hospital in Sukhumvit. Bangkok also has a number of firsdt class dentists that offer implants at a fraction of the cost in Europe, the USA or Australia.

Getting a feel for Bargains

As you explore Bangkok you will discover the bargains to be found in this great city. You will also get a feeling for places that have inflated prices.

Making the Most of your Time in Bangkok

Bangkok is a big and chaotic city. The roads are full of traffic, the pavements are jammed with people and the air is often polluted. Add to this the fact that it is always hot and humid. These conditions can deter people from fully experiencing the delights of Bangkok. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your time in Bangkok.

Tourist Sites

If it is your first visit to Bangkok you will surely want to visit the main cultural sites of the city. The best way to do this is by the Chao Phraya Express that runs up and down the main river in the city. It is a refreshing and cheap way to get around; besides the overhead train and metro don’t run to these places. It is possible to see Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, the famous reclining Buddha and Wat Arun in a day using the boat to get from one location to the next. If you are staying in Sukhumvit catch the ferry at Saphan Taksin. If your hotel is in Khao San then the nearest ferry pier is Phra Athit.

Boutique Hotels

Bangkok is a great city to splurge on better accommodation. Hotels are cheap. You can often get a room in a 4 star hotel for as little as $60 a night. To complete your Bangkok experience it is a fantastic idea to stay in a hotel with an extra something rather than an identikit chain hotel. There are some great riverside hotels such as Sala Arun, Chakrabongse Villas (a converted Royal residence), Loy La Long Hotel and Navalai River Resort. There are also some ultra contemporary and stylish places to stay such as Siam@Siam Design Hotel, MaDuZi and the Metropolitan.

For something really unique there is Imm Fusion that has a Moroccan theme or Shanghai Mansion that has a strong 1930s Shanghai art deco interior design.

It is worth paying a bit extra to not only get creature comforts while staying in Bangkok but also a unique experience.

Shopping

People fly to Bangkok just to do their shopping. It is a place with thousands of great bargains to be found. There is also a growing trend, especially in Sukhumvit, for lifestyle malls that combine designer label shops, spas, café culture and fine dining options.

For those looking for souvenirs, clothes and just about anything there is one of Bangkok’s largest shopping mall called the MBK. It is also connected to Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery shopping centres. MBK is reached via Siam or National Stadium BTS stations.

If you want cheap electronic goods or just enjoy seeing bucket after bucket full of computer parts, the place to go is the Pantip Plaza. It also contains every game, movie and software program imaginable most of it in flagrant disregard for copyrighting laws.

A great shopping day out is to be had at Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is 27 acres of shopping heaven. The market consists of a warren of walkways between stalls selling textiles, souvenirs, pets, house ware, glassware and clothes. Professional shoppers come here to buy in bulk. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the edge of the market. It is fun to take a break and watch the numerous performances by street musicians in this lively market.

Nightlife

Bangkok is famous for its nightlife, and rightly so. It is safe to walk the streets of Bangkok at night. Even in the red light districts it is no problem to stroll along the main drags and watch the demi-monde cast its spell over the punters.

Soi Cowboy and Patpong are the two most famous places to try a go go bar or see a performance that is hard to forget. For those not keen to see this side of Bangkok there are several great clubs and music venues to check out. These include Bed Supperclub, Q Bar and Glow.

Visitors to Bangkok are also spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants. There are excellent Thai restaurants such as Cabbages and Condoms as well Vietnamese, Laotian, French, Scandinavian, Italian and Indian cuisine to enjoy.

Conclusion

With a little bit of research about what Bangkok has to offer as well as a quick look at a city map you can easily plan some fantastic daytime and night time adventures in the City of Angels in the East.

Author Bio

Joe K. Johnson currently lives in Bangkok. He works as a freelance writer and website designer. He writes extensively about Bangkok boutique accommodation and things to do in the city, as well as keeping several blogs about his experiences in Thailand.

Dentists in Bangkok

Bumrungrad International
Dental procedures have come on leaps and bounds over the last 50 years. Just a few years ago most people had fillings, a bridge, enamel work, cleaning or dentures. Now dental work has crossed over into the area of cosmetic surgery. You can get implant related dental work that will improve your smile; not to mention make eating more comfortable. The only catch is that in the West implant procedures, veneers and even bonded crowns are expensive and not available under most national health schemes.

As a consequence those looking to improve their looks through a dental procedure often go abroad to get surgery they cannot afford at home. In 2013 this is very common. It is, however, fraught with hazards.

First there are language difficulties. The patient is never filled with confidence when he or she cannot understand everything the dentist is saying. There is a worry that miscommunication can lead to a botched procedure.

Secondly, there is the possibility of picking a ‘cowboy’ operator that has a bad track record. This is a problem in all countries but there are certifying bodies that you can consult in the US and Europe to weed out potential cowboys. Moreover, suing is fraught with expense, cultural confusion and general pitfalls in developing countries where dental procedures and dental lab work is cheap.

Lastly, it can be very nerve-wracking going to a developing country and getting a cosmetic operation. You are taking yourself out of your circle of friends and family. This circle can also be an effective group to mobilize if something goes wrong.

These three considerations need to be weighed against the cheaper price of going to Bangkok for a dental operation. Of course, if you live in Thailand then the choice is easier since you already have experience of Thai culture and also you probably have had some good tip of where to go.

If you have decided that you really want to visit Thailand and get some dental work done then doing plenty of research is vital. It is a good idea to check plenty of big forums like Thai Visa, Lonely Planet, Agoda and Travel Forum. It is also a good idea to look at Google Reviews.

The safest bet is probably Bumrungrad International Hospital in Sukhumvit. It is a multiple specialty medical centre and the biggest of its kind in South East Asia. The hospital attracts some of the best doctors and dentists in the region. They have been open since 1980. Since opening its doors Bumrungrad Hospital has had consistently good reviews.

Another big plus with Bumrungrad is that many of the staff speak good English. They are used to dealing with foreigners. The hospital also does a variety of dental procedures at prices comparable with other dentists in Bangkok.

In short, Bumrungrad Hospital is the closest thing to a safe option for cosmetic surgery and dental surgery in Bangkok. And if they can’t do what you need they will able to give you some good advice.

That is the humble opinion of the authors of www.bangkokboutiquehotel.info, and it is only our opinion.