The capital city of Thailand is a very popular destination with travellers, but you need to be aware of these 10 Do’s and Don’ts in Bangkok. As the most visited city in the world, Bangkok will take you from mega malls to the street markets, from rooftop bars and restaurants to the best street food, from temples to seedy bars, to the boat-filled Chao Phraya River. Bangkok has enough to keep everyone interested but it pays to be aware of what you should and shouldn’t do, when visiting Bangkok. When travelling to Bangkok with family this will help you to have an amazing time, in this very wonderful city.
10 Do’s and Don’ts in Bangkok
- 1 10 Do’s and Don’ts in Bangkok
- 1.1 1. DO negotiate with a tuk tuk driver.
- 1.2 2. DO Haggle
- 1.3 3. DO be courteous
- 1.4 4. DO be careful if you go to a ping pong show
- 1.5 5. DO use designated crossing zones.
- 1.6 6. Do tip for a massage, Massages
- 1.7 7. DO have TOTAL respect for the royal family.
- 1.8 8. DON’T take photos of the military or police
- 1.9 9. DO NOT buy any Buddha statues or T-shirts
- 1.10 10. DO eat Thai food only
1. DO negotiate with a tuk tuk driver.
When getting one you must negotiate the price in advance AND make sure you strongly assert NO STOPS or else you will end up at their brothers cousins friends fiancés fathers factory outlet.
2. DO Haggle
When haggling at the innumerable stalls, which you must do as they expect and enjoy it – they will offer you a price, which you will reject, out of courtesy and game play. Then they will ask you to indicate on their ever-handy calculator what you are willing to pay. DON’T. Put it back on them to declare their hand. They won’t like it but if you make an offer then the price will only go up. However prices are cheap so be fair. It is all game playing when they harass you and laugh at you, which is not in a mean way at all, just a Thai habit.
3. DO be courteous
As a visitor to this amazing city, you need to have respect for the people and the customs. Your trip will be much better for playing nice with other people. Some things are different, and this is why you travel.
4. DO be careful if you go to a ping pong show
What might seem a reasonable price to go in, will balloon out of control once you are in. You may also get some shocks that you may or may not have been expecting.
5. DO use designated crossing zones.
- Crossing the street other than at a pedestrian crossing is risky. It is only a suggestion to Thais not a rule of thumb
6. Do tip for a massage, Massages
- not happy ending ones, where they will always ask for a tip and it is up to you, but 100 baht seems to be a fair rate.
7. DO have TOTAL respect for the royal family.
- No matter what, as they are revered. A slight bad word that is overheard will get you in more trouble than you want to know about.
8. DON’T take photos of the military or police
- as you will also be in super serious trouble.
9. DO NOT buy any Buddha statues or T-shirts
- or anything. Despite the fact that these are sold by the Thai people, the government takes a very dim view on this and you could come across problems in customs. Buddhism is the national and much respected religion.
10. DO eat Thai food only
- the plethora of Thai food that is good as in really good will astound you. Try the Thai Mango Sticky Rice, tom yum and pad thai. Street food is cheap and fresh and excellent. Avoid bus stop restaurants.
It is always a good idea to know the 10 Do’s and Don’ts in Bangkok, so that your visit is hassle free, and culturally sensitive.
I’m going to BkK in May… Any advice? I literally have been reading non stop… The feels are insane..
Relax, and enjoy this city. Do stay near a mass transit system, do eat the local food, and so enjoy learning about the culture of this amazing city, and country.
Avoid ping pong shows ! Also be wary of normal cab drivers not putting the meter on. Carry a photocopy of your passport at all times. Don’t carry a shoulder bag with all your stuff in it, esp late at night.. Motorcycle thieves are everywhere. And do learn a few words in Thai before you visit, it’s very useful.
And enjoy a beautiful culture as well.
What is a Ping Pong show.
google it ..:)
I’ve been there 2 times and never had a problem in any. The tuk tuks are almost pre-decided and will bargain just around 10-15 %. not more. The road shops will bargain more if the quantity is more.
I’m buddhist and wanted to purchase a Buddha during our upcoming trip to Thailand. Is that still considered a don’t?
I believe that despite being Buddhist it may seem to be disrespectful as too many people but them as decorations.
Great list. My advice for tuk tuk drivers is don’t take them unless you have no alternative!! 🙂
Number 5 has me puzzled. What is a ping pong show? LOL
I heard recently, yuk yuk = crook crook
Very helpful article. I would definitely negotiate with the tuk tuk driver and be wary but polite. I think sometimes with street food a good indication is if a particular stall has a lot of customers its pretty safe?
I agree Lyn, the more customers the better the food. Thanks for your comment.
Excellent article!! I would never eat the street food though – but that’s just me.:-)
I watched very carefully the first time and it is cooked with such fresh food and so quickly that i think it might be less of a risk than some hotels and restaurants. Thank you so much for your comment. Paula
I have less than 24 hours in Bangkok next week while I wait for a flight to Bhutan. I’ve been to Bangkok before and left with a fairly negative impression of it – it was July and the heat, pollution and traffic all made it miserable. So maybe I’ll take a little of my little time next week and explore some. The weather will be much nicer this time around! I think I’d be terrified in a tuk-tuk though!
My best advice is to stay as close to the MKR as possible which allows you to get to lots of places easily and in brilliant air-conditioning. I didn’t like Bangkok the first time either, but now I feel very much at home there. Have fun and tell me how you find it.
Great advice, I love Bangkok and I especially miss the Pad Thai that you can get off the street.
we had it for breakfast which they had got from the street. Awesome
DO NOT negotiate with tuk-tuk drivers. Believe it or not, but taxis will usually be cheaper for foreigners. Also use the Metro. It’s awesome.
I think that using a tuk tuk every now and then is a bit of fun and yes, we still negotiate. I have no argument with using either taxis or the excellent public transport system.
I lived in BKK for two years.. the metro is great but I think the BTS is even better! Gets you to everywhere you need to go (mostly), or at least closer.. it even connects to Khao San Road, via the Central Pier/Saphan Taksin water boat…
And you get to skip out on nasty bangkok traffic and pollution
Agreed though – tuktuks are fun! And sometimes metered taxis are impossible to get (especially at rush hour).. though its technically illegal, many drivers will still deny you the ride, or have a faulty meter
The BTS is great and regardless of what anyone says, you need to take a tuktuk ride ate least once.
Yeah, you’re right!