Below is a bunch of useful Information you will want to have for your stay in Bangkok, Thailand!
APPS YOU WANT TO DOWNLOAD PRE-THAILAND TRIP:
The Siam Guide to Bangkok:
A hub of ideas for what you can do while in Bangkok!
We suggest that you download "The Siam Guide to Bangkok, Thailand" app byclicking HERE. It's FREE!
this will tell you how much USD you’re actually spending!
LINK TO DOWNLOAD: CLICK HERE
Directly translate what you want to say from English to Thai
LINK TO DOWNLOAD: CLICK HERE
Make sure you have had the correct vaccines before traveling to Thailand. Check with your doctor to make sure you're all set to travel to Bangkok and (possibly) Phuket, as well.
BELOW ARE ALL USEFUL TIPS FOR YOUR AIRPORT ARRIVAL:
*PLEASE EMAIL US WITH YOUR ARRIVAL TIME TO SEE IF WE ARE ABLE TO HELP WITH AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION*
GETTING TO THAILAND:
If you live in WI, you will want to fly out from ORD/Chicago, as flights will be cheaper.
The airport code to search for flights is BKK, and you will fly into either Don Mueang Airport or Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
The location of the wedding is in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand, if you are staying close to there upon your arrival. The way you pronounce this is: “SOOK HOOM VIT”
The exchange rate for Thai Baht to US Dollar is 35:1. Exchange the USD to THB at the airport in Bangkok, not in the US. The US will charge higher processing fees than in Bangkok. We suggest bringing along around $100 or so in cash to exchange right when you get to the airport.
There are plenty of stations to buy a SIM card at when you arrive at the airport. If you would like to use your cellphone/internet + data while in Thailand, we suggest getting a SIM card right away from the airport, or if you would like to wait to get one (and only use WIFI at your hotel/airbnb), both Danielle and Christien know of great cellphone companies in Sukhumvit and we can go with you to get these/direct you to how/where to get these. With a new SIM card will be a new temporary telephone number that you will have, and any messages that are sent to your American number will not transfer to your new number. If you have a data plan in America that works in Thailand, then you’re golden - however, not many American cellphone companies have great, if any service. We would recommend getting a traveler SIM card. Check your phone in your settings to see how much data you use in a certain period of time before you take out your old SIM card, and that should tell you how much data you need to buy for the time you’re in Thailand. If you go over the amount of data you purchased, that’s okay, because all you need to do is “top up” your service/buy more data at a 7/11. More info about this in the 7/11 section below.
The company that we found to have great cellphone service all throughout Thailand is:
If you do not want to purchase a SIM card, you can always just use WIFI at your hotel, or in coffee shops around the city. However, it's not always the best WIFI in the coffee shops, and it would be smart to have a SIM card, just in case anything would happen where you weren’t in WIFI service area. Plus, it’s only around $20USD and it’s useful because let’s be honest, you’re a Facebook fiend.
WE MAY HAVE TRANSPORTATION ALREADY PLANNED FOR YOUR PICK UP, BUT IF WE HAVEN'T COMMUNICATED TO YOU THAT WE DO, PLEASE USE TAXI INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.
We will likely meet everyone at the airport, if we can. If we can’t meet everyone there, you will want to take a taxi. Your taxi driver will likely know very little English. If you go to the taxi counter in the airport, you will stand in a line and talk to the person at the desk. They will ask you where you need to go, and if you have the address of the hotel you need to go to on hand, that will be helpful. They will give you a ticket, and the ticket will ensure that your taxi driver does NOT charge you more than he is supposed to. Usually taxi rides from the airport are around 200THB, and the ticket is an extra 50THB charge. Just to make sure you don’t get overcharged (500THB is overpriced for a taxi and many taxi drivers will try to overcharge you if you’re an American coming from the airport), make sure to say “METER”, which means that you will be using the meter in the car to track the price, so he doesn’t charge you more. The taxis will probably be not the fanciest thing on the planet, but they will get you where you need to go. If the taxi driver drives too fast (they will travel around 100mph normally here, and there are never any police to stop them from doing this), and you feel like you need to tell him to go slower, say “SAFETY.”
BELOW ARE ALL USEFUL TIPS FOR YOUR STAY IN THAILAND:
If you need to use the taxi at another time, which you likely will if you want to see some of the city on your own, make sure the say “METER” before getting in the taxi cab you hail. If they say no, then do not get in that taxi. They will upcharge you. Again, if you feel unsafe at their speeding, just say “SAFETY.” In Sukhumvit you will notice that people do not beep very often, even if it is completely packed. Buddhist minds in those cars are to thank!
Always make sure to have the name, address and telephone number of the location that you are going to with you, if you are going somewhere other than to a monument. Be ready to show the taxi driver this information before you get in to the taxi, just to make sure they will take you to the correct location. Oddly enough, Thai people do not really use maps/google maps, they will call specific locations to ask for directions if it is an establishment with a receptionist, like a hotel. If you are going to a monument, usually they will know where that is based on the name of it. We will try to do as much group travel as possible, but we also think you will want to see some of Thailand on your own, so we want to equip you with all the facts!
If you are going to rent one yourself: BE CAREFUL, but i’t’s really fun.
If you’re going to try to ride with a motorbike driver: we suggest that you don’t ride them. Someone we know had to have reconstructive face surgery because they were in an accident on one because the drivers are extremely careless, and even moreso as Thailand grows in population (and tourist population). If you want to straddle a random dude on a motorized bicycle going at speeds you probably wouldn’t let your child go, then go right ahead!
These are the little motorized carts you see around Bangkok. They usually carry lots of people in them and are a typical type of transportation that Thai people use. If you are trying to carry luggage anywhere, don’t use them. You should use them at least once, as you likely won’t get that experience anywhere else! Michael Burren, this thing is for you. You will want one when you are back in America.
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER OMG DON’T DRINK IT
Don’t drink the water. It will likely make you sick. The water in the US is highly filtered and the water in Thailand is not so much. Ask for drinks without ice cubes. Make sure that you are prepared for traveler’s diarrhea by bringing some medicine specifically for this. You can buy it over the counter at any drugstore in the US. You will be buying water bottles the entire time, but they are very cheap given the high exchange rate. The only water
Thai street food. If it’s fruit, eat it. If it’s meat…be hesitant. Meat purchased from the markets is great. From a small stand on the side of the road, though, is a different story. You will find stands on the side of the road selling food (and literally everything else you could imagine) and the fruit is always okay, but anything that needs to be cooked shouldn’t be purchased. Markets have more reputable restaurants and local food shops, so buy from those instead.
7/11 is your friend. 7/11’s are super popular in Thailand, and you can search for one on your phone’s map and will likely find that one is right around the corner from you, if you aren’t already standing in one. 7/11 will give you all of the things you’ve ever dreamed of, including but not limited to: hardboiled and cooked eggs, brown and white rice, water bottles by the bulk, American chocolate (Gigi take note), and all of the other things.
CELLPHONE DATA FROM 7/11:
All 7/11’s will “TOP UP” your cellphone data/add to your data plan if you need it to. Just say “TOP UP” at any 7/11, and they usually understand this and will ask how much money (in THB) you want to put on your cellphone service.
In Thailand, when you greet someone, to say “hello”, you say “Sawadeeka”, pronounced “SAH WAH DEE KAH” and you put your hands in a prayer position and do a small bow towards the other person. You don’t necessarily need to do this if you don’t want to, however it is seen as a sign of respect in Thailand, no matter who you are talking with.
The word for “thank you” is “Kapunkah” pronounced “KAP HUN KAH.”
If you need to say “Street 11” you would say “Soi 11”
If you need to say numbers, 1-10 the pronunciations are:
0 - “SOON”
1 - “NOOM”
2 - “SONG”
3 - “SAAM”
4 - “SEE”
5 - “HAA”
6 - “HOK”
7 - “JET”
8 - “BET”
9 - “GAO”
10 - “SIP”
Thai people will likely try to overcharge you if you’re American. If you want to buy something and don’t know if you’re being quoted a good price for it or not, you could ask us by texting us a picture of it or calling us to ask us when we are in Thailand. Things are very cheap in Thailand and nothing on the street should be more than $10USD.
WHAT TO DO IN THAILAND? ACTIVITIES LIST
Some ideas that Christien and Danielle recommend on your stay in Thailand!
Floating market - water
Night market - street
Kong tuy - meat market (?)
W District street/market food spots
Thong Lor (cool area to walk around, especially the night scene with eateries and bars)
Near wedding location:
Khao San road - American af
Dusip Area - ?