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Walking around at night in Bangkok

  • Loretta

    Joined Travelfish
    24th May, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Wondering if someone could give me some advice as to how safe Bangkok is at night for woman to walk around by themselves. I was planning on staying near or around Koh San Road but have discovered a great place which is located in Sukhumvit which looks like a 10min walk to Koh San Road from the map I was looking at. The other option I was thinking would be tuk tuk's?

    Look forward to any feedback.

    #1 Posted: 7/6/2009 - 15:47

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  • KevinCorr

    Joined Travelfish
    15th June, 2004
    Posts: 54
    Total reviews: 39

    Sukhumvit is way NOT close enough to walk from KoSan Road. Way across the town.
    KSR is in the "old city" near the river on the west side. http://www.guidetothailand.com/maps-thailand/bangkok-rattanakosin.htm

    Sukhumvit is out on the east end of the skytrain. See the BTS skytrain map and notice how it does go to the river. So you take the BTS to the river and then a boat up to the old city. see the skytrain map: http://www.guidetothailand.com/maps-thailand/map-bangkok-subway-skytrain.htm

    The river, old city, Banglamphu etc is where most of the sightseeing is. There is nothing of interest out on Sukhumvit and you will have a long comute back and forth. Suk is more convenient to the airport to get away and for the Eastern bus station at Ekamai (BTS). Out on the airport side is a suburb or small town of Samut Prakan which has some interesting sights: the 3 Headed Elephant Temple, The ancient city. You can search the lonely planet thorn tree forum for more on this.

    Tuk tuks are a bad mode of transport. Take one for fun with a few friends but don't go anywhere the driver suggests. They are mostly out to get a kick back when you to spend money at a local business that they will talk you into visiting. Also they are hot, dirty and dangerous. There are river and canal boats and cheap meter taxis. Also busses if you want to take the time to deal with that.

    You can walk around freely in the touristed areas and most others but the same common sense applies everywhere, eg know where you are, not in the middle of the night, sober etc...

    #2 Posted: 7/6/2009 - 16:31

  • Loretta

    Joined Travelfish
    24th May, 2009
    Posts: 5

    thanks for that advice. Think I may need to study my map a little more!

    cheers

    #3 Posted: 7/6/2009 - 16:43

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    Walking about alone at night is very safe...except if you get very drunk and Khao San Road is probably the least safe place in the whole of BKK to be drunk.


    Tuk tuks are a far worse option than taxis .. they are more likely to take you where you don't want to go (eg gem shop after gem shop) especially if they give you a "very cheap price".

    If you insist on being taken directly to where you want to go, tuk tuks always charge more than a comfortable metered A/C taxi. Tuk tuks are noisy and often beltch black smoke. You are forced to breath in traffic fumes. Your clothes and skin will get covered in grime and your hairdo will probably be totally wrecked.

    If you need the thrill of traveling "authentically like the Thais do" then motorbike taxis are the way to go. They are also the quickest form of transport for distances that take 10 minutes to walk.

    Instructions for ladies: How to use a motorbike taxi.

    Approach a Thai bloke wearing an orange jacket with the word "taxi" on it. They can usually be found hanging out on street corners near some parked motorbikes. Explain where you want to go (if you can, most don't speak much English)

    When you've explained where you want to go, the motorbike driver will hand you a battered helmet and invite you to get on the motorbike behind him.

    To be polite, lady passengers should balance side-saddle on one buttock and try not to touch the driver. (Try and do this in an elegant manner like Thai ladies do please) Hang onto the helmet with one hand as there's usually no strap to stop it flying off once you get going. Use the other hand to call someone on your cellphone in order to display the right degree of nonchalant sophistication and blend in properly.

    The motorbike taxi will zip in and out of traffic at breakneck speed to get you to your destination as fast as possible, so remember to keep your legs well tucked in if you value your kneecaps at all.

    On arrival get off the bike (elegantly), hand back the helmet, briefly rearrange hairdo, and pay the driver. Price is 10B up, depending on whether you have managed to convince him that you do this sort of thing all the time.

    ;-)

    #4 Posted: 7/6/2009 - 17:10

  • dageshi

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2008
    Posts: 56

    At night, very late at night, and late at night and drunk on your own are all seperate things. As a general rule I would "at night" your o.k, very late I would be dubious about (all big cities are like this tho) and late at night drunk is somewhat asking for trouble.

    Certain parts of bangkok are terrible for muggings, I've had friends have stuff snatched (usually when drunk in fairness) but on the whole I've personally never felt in danger but I'm a man and so perhaps am less likely to attract the attention a single woman would.

    As for some other advice, unless your in a group don't bother with tuktuk's they're no fun unless there's three or four of you, in which case you can scream "party lights!" everytime he puts the breaks on and the random coloured lights come on in the back of the cab. As a general rule if a taxi or tuktuk quotes you a fixed price for a journey it's never going to be in your favour, on your own take a metered taxi. Plus be aware that parked taxi's most of the time will try the fixed price route, taxi's cruising for customers usually will on a meter. Usualy routine is to tell the driver your destination and then say "meter?" if he nods away you go, if he tries a fixed price move to the next taxi, remember no matter how well you bargain your never getting a better price than you would with a meter!

    #5 Posted: 7/6/2009 - 19:42

  • Maryanne

    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2013
    Posts: 12

    Thailand is definitely one of the safest places to travel for single female's BUT....
    Be very careful all the same. Don't wear sexy clothing or go down dark alleys away from public view alone, that is just asking for trouble.
    Also don't go meeting strangers without telling someone where you are going and having a way to contact others should you need help.
    There are many stories of abducted women and drugged women and missing women in Thailand, it is certainly something that happens but it does not happen on the scale that it does in the West.
    Be sensible and carry a handbag with some mace spray if you are getting a taxi late at night.

    #6 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 06:12

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Some great posts. SBE you had me in stitches.
    I've just see a woman driving a honda with an 8 or 9 month old baby on the back. She had one hand extended around the back of the baby to keep it firm against her back.If that wasn't bad enough she had her phone held in the fold of her neck.
    If this is the way they regard the lives of those close to them it would seem to be wiser to stick to the safest means of transport. In Bangkok that means taxis.
    Got to agree too that getting drunk in KSR is a bad idea.The two together push up your chances of an unwelcome outcome exponentially.

    #7 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 07:21

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Sukhumvit has better food. Up around Ekamai Road there's some good restaurants and bars. KSR is rather ordinary. Sukhumvit also has the skytrain which links you with the shopping centres at Siam like MBK, Siam Paragon etc.

    As for walking alone you will see single Thai women at bus stops alone but don't wear any expensive jewellry, stick to busy roads and try to call it a night before midnight.

    "Price is 10B up, depending on whether you have managed to convince him that you do this sort of thing all the time. "

    You can't do that if you don't speak Thai.

    #8 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 15:28

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    And I thought SBE didn't have a sense of humor!!! That was hillarious.

    I remmember one time I had to get to the US embassy quickly to get some paperwork for my about to expire visa and took a motorcycle taxi. The guy was psycho. We were driving at breakneck speed between rows of cars stuck at lights in traffic. One open door and we were toast. We were barely missing mirrors. I thought to myself, this will make a great headstone obit. "Here lies MAD MAC. Survivor of countless deployments with the US Army. Killed by a motorcycle taxi driver while getting paperwork for his visa."

    I used them sometimes, but then I'm not a safety first kind of guy. They aren't safe, but they are quick.

    #9 Posted: 19/6/2013 - 20:46

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 931
    Total reviews: 14

    We were driving at breakneck speed between rows of cars stuck at lights in traffic.

    I'm somewhat addicted to this form of transport (hopefully not to my future detriment). I find there's something incredibly satisfying about maneuvering through a traffic jam until you get all the way to the front. I wouldn't want to do it myself - I'll motorbike almost anywhere else in Thailand - but not Bangkok. But there's something so great yet seemingly sneaky about it. You could never cut through the middle of traffic like that in the States, so I suppose that's part of it, but also I think it must satisfy that little kid inside me who got yelled at for cutting in the lunch line at elementary school. Anyway, if it's traffic hours in Bangkok I'll usually walk when there are no motorbike taxis around - it's faster.

    And yes SBE's "motorbike lessons for ladies in Thailand" is spot on. Funniest thing I've read in a while. :)

    #10 Posted: 21/6/2013 - 09:38

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    "I wouldn't want to do it myself - I'll motorbike almost anywhere else in Thailand - but not Bangkok."

    I've done it on my CBR. Drove all the way from Mukdahan to Sukhimvite. It's a long ride. Got into Bangkok right at the height of traffic. BUT, being able to move to the front of the traffic line is always a plus! It's easier than it looks. Thai car drivers expect motorbikes to do this, and drive accordingly.

    #11 Posted: 24/6/2013 - 03:26

  • Triguy

    Joined Travelfish
    10th March, 2013
    Posts: 3

    Thanks SBE. LOL!

    #12 Posted: 26/6/2013 - 02:30

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    OK, true story. I was walking from La Rueda on Soi 18 to my room on Soi 22. I had been dancing. I was drunk. It was a little after one in the A.M. Head down, moving forward - baaaam - I'm on my ass. I was staring into the face of en elephant that I just walked into. At least it had the good sense not to just walk over me. That was probably the worst that has happened to me being out and drinking in Thailand. Well, I did lose it on my motorcycle once...

    #13 Posted: 26/6/2013 - 03:37

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    MADMAC meets mahout?

    #14 Posted: 26/6/2013 - 05:09

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    The "Mahout" was laughing at me. It was pretty bizarre.

    #15 Posted: 27/6/2013 - 12:17

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
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    That's gotta be a good luck sign!

    #16 Posted: 27/6/2013 - 12:31

  • boaby

    Joined Travelfish
    26th January, 2011
    Posts: 29

    Hi

    Yes it's as safe as anywhere else. If staying at a hotel. Ask for card with phone number. Phone up guest house or hotel and get them to speak to taxi driver for directions. So you don't get ripped off

    Safe travels
    Boaby

    #17 Posted: 2/7/2013 - 04:33

  • TassieWombat

    Click here to learn more about TassieWombat
    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2012
    Location Australia
    Posts: 44

    I have found BK to be very safe. I would walk Bangkok street at night before Melbourne or Sydney streets. Obviously you wouldn't be silly and attract unwelcome attention by your dress style and behaviour, if you do not go"looking for trouble" it will probably not find you.

    As for KSR to Sukhumvit it may only be 1 inch on the map but it is a dang long way LOL. Make it a day trip. If you travel in heavy traffic time (most hours) it can take a LONG time to move even 1klm in a vehicle.
    5817089102_e13217f83d_s.jpg

    The Skytrain is a great way to move around fast, Forget Tuk Tuks other than for the one time experience, taxis are good and cheap. Motor bike taxis are ok if you have a good sense of "I am not scared of anything" :-)
    5816520221_767365f2f5_s.jpg

    #18 Posted: 4/7/2013 - 23:32

  • rahadalex

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2013
    Posts: 5

    You should not worry about safety in Bangkok city. Its very beautiful even in nights. But the option of your traveling on tuk tuk is not good option. You can hire a taxi instead of tuk tuk. In the west of the Bangkok may be you find many cases of kidnapping of the drug women. But east area is totally safe. And also from map the distance from Kho San road looks less But it is not the walking distance. Especially if you are with women or a girl then you must travel through buses or taxis.

    #19 Posted: 11/7/2013 - 07:04

  • rahadalex

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2013
    Posts: 5

    You should not worry about safety in Bangkok city. Its very beautiful even in nights. But the option of your traveling on tuk tuk is not good option. You can hire a taxi instead of tuk tuk. In the west of the Bangkok may be you find many cases of kidnapping of the drug women. But east area is totally safe. And also from map the distance from Kho San road looks less But it is not the walking distance. Especially if you are with women or a girl then you must travel through buses or taxis.

    #20 Posted: 11/7/2013 - 07:06

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