So here’s a few tips for the uninitiated in Bangkok culture. First, don’t wing it. Unlike most cities I’ve visited where I pick a point where there is something I want to see and take it from there, this is not a good idea in Bangkok. It’s not anything close to a walkable city. It is so huge and vast that what may seem close on a map is pretty far away. It’s hot and humid (and this is the “cool season”). Add to the fact that you never seem to know what street you are on (and neither does anyone else, it seems), plus it being nearly impossible to cross driveways, let alone streets, and you get a pedestrian free-for-all.
Second, if you are going to hire a taxi driver to be your all-day guide, it’s a good idea to make sure his English vocabulary consists more than “good,” “happy,” “massage,” and “toilet.”
Third, you will not get very far very quickly in a taxi on the streets of Bangkok with traffic jams and drivers that basically do whatever they want. Los Angeles, I have seen your future and your future is Bangkok.
And most important, make sure that when the taxi driver parks his taxi, he is fairly certain that it will still be there when you both get back. That’s right. Make sure it doesn’t get towed away. Which it did. Gone.
Let’s start at the beginning. Got to Bangkok between 1 and 2AM. Took a taxi to the hotel. This is what $60 a night in Bangkok gets you: