Travel 101 for Indians: Bangkok, Thailand

- Cheapest places to stay in Bangkok are in and around Khao San Road. You will see more white people here than Thais, and more Thai prostitutes than regular Thais! Personally, I didn't like the area very much (it's very touristy). Hotel rates can be as low as 120 Bahts/night (share bathroom). I also stayed in some Thai neighbourhoods (eg. Saphan Khwai). However, accommodation there was more expensive (around 300-350 Bahts), but it was more enjoyable for me.

- Accommodation is so plentiful on Khao San Road that it is quite possible to just show up without any advance booking and get a room, even in the high-season.

- Note that Khao San area is not served by subway or the Skytrain. So, getting around might be difficult. It is, however, close to a riverboat-taxi station, which can get you near downtown cheaply.

- At ordinary restaurants, you can have a good meal for 30-50 Bahts.

- Always insist on using meters for taxis. Always negotiate a fare before getting in tuk-tuks (rickshaws).

- If it's too good to be true, then it usually is. Never accept a seemingly cheap tuk-tuk ride to a shopping mall or any where else; it is a scam.

- Also, stay away from buying any gems unless you really know your gems. Bangkok is famous for its gem scams.

- The entrance fee to the "must-see" tourist attraction of Bangkok - the Grand Palace - is too high (~350 Bahts). I skipped it. I'm not much into sightseeing though.

- Avoid coming to Bangkok via packaged tours (eg. Kesari Tours & Travels). It is very easy and cheap to go to Bangkok on your own. You don't need to book anything in advance.

- Bangkok is a very modern and Western-like city. If you want to see a Western-like city on the cheap, then Bangkok is for you. Rangoon/Yangon is more like my type of city.

- Bangkok is the most tourist-friendly city I've ever been too; there are tourist maps everywhere and all signs are in English.

- The Skytrain and subway are very easy to use and most convenient for tourists.

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