Everything has a beginning
Hello and welcome to my very first travel series on this blog! I’m writing this blog entry now that I arrived safely back home from 7 exciting and truly exhausting days of Bangkok – Thailand and finally acclimatized and cured the 11 hours flight jetlag.
For me it was a dream that finally came true and I can’t wait sharing my experiences – all the good and bad ones – with you in this series! So, are you ready? Then let’s begin with Episode 1 that contains:
- A short introduction on why I chose Bangkok as a travel destination out of the 195 countries currently existing on our lovely mother earth.
- My planning procedure.
- Some very useful tips for your next travel.
How to choose a travel destination?
First of all it is important to know that i’m generally more interested in the eastern countries and cultures like the ones of Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam etc. since i’m in love with their music, food, morals and mentalities. I love watching korean tv shows and japanese animies in my free time and i’m pretty much only listening to asian music. My mother always says that I probably lived somewhere in asia in one of my previous lives – which may be true if it really works like this.
Anyway, this is why my personal travel destinations were already pretty much restricted from the beginning. In some way it is actually not that bad because it’s easier if you have to choose your next destination from a smaller amount of beautiful countries.
If you have no clue where your next travel should go, i would recommend you to watch some YouTube videos. There are hundreds of very cool “Best travel destinations for <insert anything here>” available that can give you some brand new inspiration. I also like to just browse through Google Earth and visit some random places, which can also be really fun in general. I’m pretty sure you’ll find rather too much countries to visit then less. 🙂
Checking the best flight deals
I started with the creation of a list of all the cities that I really want to visit at least once in my life and ordered them by my own priority. Then I checked the best flights using Skyscanner – which is perfect to find the cheapest deals – and compared the results to each other for the time I want to travel (around mid August). Here it already showed that Thailand, Vietnam and parts of China seemed to have the best deals, since there were a lot of flights available which were not overbooked and pretty cheap for the time of school vacations in a lot of countries. I personally favored direct flights this time, because i didn’t want to spend around 14-20 hours for a single flight when only traveling for 7 days.
I can also recommend you the Skyscanner Map Feature. It’s pretty cool to see the whole world map, select an airport and see the average prices to all airports around the world!
Comparing average hotel prices
After updating my list with the best fligt deals, I started checking the hotel availabilities and tried to get a feeling what the average prices in the countries are. Therefore i mainly used booking.com because experience showed that you can get the best hotel deals here and there are always some discounts and benefit programs available like the Genius levels. Since I wanted at least some kind of relaxation and luxus when I returned from my daily trips, I searched for an at least 4-5 star hotel with included breakfast. Surely the star definitions for hotels are a bit different in each country, but there are actually a lot of 5 star hotels for example in Vietnam or Thailand that are really affordable! I bookmarked some of the hotels and also checked them on Instagram – which is a really good way to see some real life pictures from the hotel, not the perfectly staged ones on the websites.
Finding places you absolutely have to visit
After the hotels and the flight prices, I researched more on the respective cities, the attractions and the food using websites like GetYourGuide and Tripadvisor and were pretty much overwhelmed by the mass of possibilities. These sites are perfect to get a first overview of famous tourist attractions and the amount of locations you can visit. Later I also booked multiple day trips and pre-ordered tickets through these sites – which worked perfectly and saved me a couple of euros, but i’ll tell you more about this in the upcoming episodes!
Almost forgetting about travel times & weather
At that point I actually forgot to check the best travel times for the weather. I was already so immersed and hyped that i was sure that nothing could get in my way. Thinking back now, it shouldn’t be this easy, but i’ll tell you more in one of the following chapters. I updated my list again and were pretty much finished, with the comparison of flight deals, bookmarked hotels, a list of things you absolutely have to do and the best travel times. For the moment i had everything that i need to make my final decision.
And the winner is …
Bangkok – the city of angels.
A magical city that wasn’t exactly on top of my list, but the city prevailed through best direct flight deals, very affordable luxurious 4 star hotels and a huge amount of beautiful places and delicous food that i absolutely have to visit and taste.
By the way, Bangkok is only the name for foreigners, it’s known as city of angels because of the short version of the city: Krung thep (กรุงเทพฯ) which basically translates to this. The full version:
กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์Wikipedia
City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.Wikipedia
But i’d say we just stay with Bangkok 😀
Best time to visit Bangkok?
As one of our tour guides said, Bankgok has three seasons: “Hot, hotter and even more hot”. In general every Thai person would agree with this I think, but if you want to be a little bit more detailed you could say that there is a hot season, a rainy season and a “cool” season, where cool means not exactly what you would think.
|Avg. Temp. (°C)||34 – 36||32 – 33||31 – 33|
|Months||March – June||July – October||November – Februrary|
Most tourists are preferring the “cool” season because it has the most dry time and well, it is at least some degrees colder than in the other months, but if you want to avoid huge crowds and are okay with some more degrees and probably rain, then you should consider the rainy season. In general I personally wouldn’t recommend the hot season since it was really hard for me to handle the heat in mid August when I went there, but we in Germany are not used to this kind of weather, you may manage it way better than me 😆
Do NOT trust your weather application
This is what I had to learn the hard way and what gave me some really bad thoughts before the trip. Please just take a moment and look on the image on the right, which is a screenshot from the weather forecast for mid August using the iPhone weather application.
What do you see here?
Bad weather all day – every day.
This is just a snapshot of a week in August, but the time really doesn’t matter here, it looked for weeks like this on all weather forecasts that I checked. At some point in my planning I realized that I was planning my trip in the rainy season, but I wouldn’t have imagined that the weather would be this bad – almost every day. I hoped that it changed the nearer the final date of my trip came, but it didn’t and this gave me some really negative thoughts and put me in a bad mood. What will I actually do if it rains every day? How can my schedules even work? Are there enough activities that I can do even in bad weather? Or should I even cancel the trip completely?!
Now that the trip is over, i’m really glad that I just pulled it through. And you know what? How many days did it actually rain from 11th – 17th August? Let me tell you:
Yep, it actually never rained in the time I was there. There was some slight drizzling rain for some minutes that I can remember (which was pretty nice to be honest and I even wished for more) and on one day the clouds where really black like apocalypse is near, but it never rained. It was just unbelievable hot and humid. I checked the weather in Bangkok almost every day and the forecast didn’t change at all, it was just plainly wrong. Only the current hour was correct most of the time – which doesn’t help that much because, well I could also look out of the window.
I’m not sure if I was just really lucky or if it is always like this, but you can take my experiences in consideration when planning your trip in the rainy season. Do not trust your weather application too much. You can also check current Instagram images from the current date and compare them with the weather forecast to get an better image of the current situation.
I’m also glad if you know why the weather forecast is so bad and if this applies to other countries in asia. Please leave me a message 🙂
Travel Tips Conclusion
In this section i’ll present you my most important tips and experiences in short formt, use it if you don’t have much time (TL;DR) or as a simple check list for your next travel:
Planning and research is important
- Make a list of travel destinations you absolutely have to visit once in your life ordered by your own personal priority.
- Check the best travel times for each destination and compare them with your decided travel date.
- Consider the weather and use as many sources as possible, but don’t let the weather applications fool you!
- Check and compare the flight prices using applications like Skyscanner to get the best deals.
- Use websites like booking.com for your hotel research and bookings, most of the time they really have the best deals.
- Think about what kind of travel you want: for example a backpacking adventure, a city-sightseeing or a luxurious-relaxing travel.
- Consider how much money you want to spend and check it with your travel destinations. Bangkok for example has pretty low living expenses compared to Germany or similar Europe destinations.
- Use websites like GetYourGuide or Tripadvisor to check famous tourist attractions and possible interesting locations that you can visit.
- Use Instagram to get an insight from another perspectives. You may even discover some very cool locations or restaurants that are not mentioned on the regular websites.
There’s always a way to save money
- If you have Amazon Prime, you can connect your Booking.com Account and upgrade your Genius level for free! This will get you a lot of discounts and upgrades for certain hotels. I also did it and it worked really fine.
- Always search for vouchers to get some of your money back when you visited your booked hotel (there are almost always different offers).
- Use websites like Shoop to get an additional small amout of cashback.
You want to see my full travel as a video?
Then I have the perfect solution for you! I recorded the whole trip using Instagram stories, just head over to my Instagram profile and check out the Bangkok Travel highlight containing my complete 7 days trip from beginning to the end! I would be glad if you follow me! 😊
Upcoming in Episode 2
This episode was just a short introduction on how I chose and planned my trip, sharing my experiences with you! The next episodes will contain following topics:
- 11-hours flight experience with Thai-Airways
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Airport
- Immigration procedure
- Best roaming plans for your smartphone
- Way to the hotel using public transportation
- Hotel review
You can look forward to it, and you can checkout my Instagram page for more Bangkok photos in the meantime!
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