Bangkok, the most visited city in the world with 20.5 million visitors in 2017. A city that spikes controversy regarding safety but known for being a city where you can have a great time. If you’re in Europe or the US, it is pretty far away to travel, but is it worth it? One thing I will say is this is a city that is not for everyone. Bangkok is for a particular group of people if you fit into that, you’ll have a great time.
Clean, modern, yet dirty
Bangkok is not your ordinary city. It’s not the most consistent regarding infrastructure and vibe, and it’s probably the most diverse city I’ve been to. From dirty motorways, old buses to non-stop traffic. Some homes look like scraps of metal put together some are mansions and penthouses, temples are scattered all around the city. Bangkok is one of the most diverse cities in world planet as far as architecture goes.
It’s on another level in terms of cheapness
If you’re smart, Bangkok is the cheapest city you will ever go to. The key is not to buy from brands you already know in the US and Europe. Brands aren’t stupid, they don’t want to lose money and keep their prices consistent in different parts of the world regardless of what currency they use.
“It’s much cheaper for Asian companies to produce things in Asia both in terms of shipping as well as ingredients.”
If you try Asian brands that are just as good, you will not only save money, but you will have items that people in Europe/US don’t have which will make you stand out from any crowd.
Regarding food and restaurants, Bangkok is just ridiculously cheap. If you go to a local restaurant, you will find a main course meal for less than 3 euro.
The biggest problem for me? Pollution
The second you’re out of the airport it hits you. Thick and humid, you can barely breathe thanks to the old buses and vehicles that spout out harsh fumes – they’re a part of the reason why the pollution levels are so high. Go out at rush hour, and it’s even worse. You won’t feel well due to the air in Bangkok. I’ve had occasions where I just felt terrible if you are planning to travel with children, Bangkok is not the place for you and not worth the risk of your child’s health.
If you already live in a polluted area, you’ll survive. But if you are used to having fresh air, it will be difficult especially in the first few days which is why I highly recommend a surgical mask or bandana in Bangkok. Noise pollution is also another form of pollution that Bangkok has a lot of. Noise from traffic, motorcycles and old buses it can get pretty loud especially at rush hour.
It’s much safer than people say
Go onto google right now, do some research about Bangkok, I guarantee you that you will come across some articles that will make you fear for your life.
Yes, you are more likely to get robbed, and you could get food poisoned if eating street food, but that’s the same as any city in the world. Bangkok is not a war zone. The people are very friendly even though the internet makes it seem as if you can’t trust anyone.
The only thing that is not safe is the traffic. The city is constantly busy with cars, buses and motorcycles, the footpaths are narrow and the traffic is chaotic with no actual flow. If you plan on walking around, Bangkok is not a city made for pedestrians. We’ve had many occasions where we would cross the road when the pedestrian light that is rare to find is green, all of a sudden you have some motorcycle speeding into your way. There were occasions where motorcycles would be driving on the footpaths too, that’s illegal in Ireland but doesn’t seem to be a thing people care about in Bangkok.
A unique atmosphere
If you are wondering whether Bangkok is worth the visit and considering a lot of things, have you considered the atmosphere? Because Bangkok has an excellent, unique vibe.
It’s a truly lovely city, with lots of life. In Europe, a lot of the cities look the same and feel the same, but in Bangkok, you know you are somewhere completely different. From the smell of the food markets, people having fun, the lights, and even with flaws such as the chaotic traffic all add to the vibe of the city.
If you are sick of feeling like you’re in the same place all the time and looking for a truly unique experience, Bangkok is one of the few cities in the world that can provide you with experiences other cities don’t offer.
Is Bangkok Worth It?
Yes, it is, we fell in love with the culture, the people, and the food. And are sure you will too!
One thing to consider though is the Pollution is terrible there, and if you’re sensitive to that, it may not be the place for you. If pollution is not a problem and you wear a face mask, you will have a fabulous time.