Bangkok Trip 2013: 5 Things I Learned About Bangkok


As a Bangkok virgin, I went there with absolutely no idea of what to expect. Sure we had Bugger Jun, who was quite experienced in the ways of Bangkok, having been there several times previously. But nothing he told us could have prepared me for the kind of culture shock experienced by a person who has never really strayed too far away from his comfort zone.

#5 Taxis are cheap

When I say taxis are cheap, I'm not only comparing it with Malaysia. We met up with Bugger Marcus' friend, who told us that he used to take a taxi every morning to work, before he decided that he needed the driving experience before he forgot how to drive. Can you imagine riding a taxi to work without paying half your day's wages? I mean, even the Bangkok taxis trying to rip us off by not using the meter is almost 100% cheaper than the taxis trying to rip tourists off here in KL.

#4 Shopping is insane

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Most people go to Bangkok just to take pictures of their hotel room beds absolutely filled with clothes, shoes, snacks and everything else you can buy in Bangkok.

Not only is almost everything cheap, with markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Pratunam market taking a lot of our hard earned money away, the fashion and style is unlike anything you can find here in Malaysia. I was never really a person who enjoys shopping, but I went wild over there in Bangkok. Wild.

Everything I'm wearing  in this picture was bought on in Bangkok.

#3 Tiger shows aren't really as cool as they sound

When we first landed in Bangkok, the Buggers were all excitedly discussing about going to watch a tiger show. Now, I was naturally excited because I loved me some tigers. Things started to get a little weird when the first tuk tuk driver described the awesomeness of a tiger show to all of us, with some pretty obscene hand gestures. Of course, by this point, you should roughly guess what a tiger show is. If you don't, you should quickly close your eyes, kid. The next sentence will probably ruin the awesomeness of tigers for you, and destroy any shred of your innocence.

Here's a cute baby tiger. You're welcome. 

Tiger shows are really aquas strip dancing. Why it is called a tiger show is beyond me. (EDIT: It's supposed to be Thai Girls show, but Thai pronounced to Tiger show. Thanks to Eric who pointed this out to me in the comments.) The last remnants of my childish innocence was wiped away, along with any appetite I may have had that night.

#2 Most tuk tuks are cheats

Tuk tuks are the three wheeled terrors which dominate the roads of Bangkok.

Tuk tuks are fueled by its passengers' raw terror, and driven by people who have the massive balls to pilot these chariots of doom. But as the saying goes, with great balls comes an even greater need to cheat. Most tuk tuk drivers are quite sly, in that they offer to get you around for about half the price of a taxi, but then make a few quick bucks by getting commissions from restaurants or outlets who pay them by skinning, surprise, you alive. Our first night, and our first thousand baht was spent paying for an exorbitant meal at a "veli cheep" seafood restaurant, all thanks to a dickish tuk tuk driver.

#1 Tip your masseuse

I'm assuming that if you're in Bangkok, you would want to pay a visit to a spa and get a full body massage.

That's what the freaking locals do on a daily basis, so why not tourists? But I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. You have to tip your masseuse, because apparently it's something akin to a custom there. During the massage, I was wondering what my masseuse was muttering all the while. I later realized that she was muttering 'Tip tip tip' over and over again, sort of like a chant so that I would fall into her spell. It didn't work because I think I may have fallen asleep. Long story short, I didn't tip her, she ran after me angrily, we escaped within an inch of our lives.

If you've been to Bangkok before, what lessons did you learn? Or were you too busy shopping all the time? Leave a comment below.


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