When I traveled to Thailand, my first stop was obviously Bangkok – not only because it’s easily accessible by international planes, but also because I had heard many great things about the capital.
People described Bangkok to me as being the center of the world, the most vibrant city in the universe, and as the one spot in Thailand that everyone wants to stay in longer.
Well, my own experience was a little different. Don’t get me wrong, Bangkok was nice – but I was happy to get out. Here are five reasons why Bangkok is the probably most overrated city on the planet.
1. So much dirt
I know that most megacities are dirty to a certain degree – but Bangkok really is on a whole new level. No matter where you walk, there will always be a little mountain of used plastic bags lying in the curb next to you, maybe accompanied by some empty beer cans. But the trash can not only be found on the streets – it fills up the rivers as well. It is not unusual to see a little island of trash floating in the water – and even quite common to see someone throwing in their trash as well, adding it to the island.
Because of all this dirt Bangkok is probably one of the smelliest cities I’ve ever been in – every few meters, you’re surrounded by a completely new – but equally disgusting – smell.
2. It is filled with tourists
Tourists are inevitable, I get that. But in Bangkok, it is not fun anymore. More than half the people you see are white and fulfilling every cliché that exists. Most of them are either British or German – both of them almost always drunk, rude, and inappropriate. (Take it from me, a German myself.) Obviously there are some areas where 90% of people are tourists, but in all of Bangkok, it is almost impossible not to get lost in a group of white, tipsy travelers.
3. You will get screwed over
Yes, you will. No matter how careful you are, you probably won’t get around paying the “tourist tax”. Let’s not even mention the many pickpockets who will try to steal your phone, passport, wallet, and everything else you own.
If you want to get from one place to another without taking the public transport, always go for a taxi instead of a tuk-tuk, because the tuk-tuk drivers will rip you off – just like all the people selling fruit, bracelets, or extensions. It’s just not worth it – always haggle.
4. Bangkok is just too full
I’m not talking about the tourists, but the many, many Thais. Bangkok is so incredibly full of people that a 5 minute walk can take up to 10 minutes – by car. The roads are always filled with cars, tuk-tuks and motorbikes, causing huge traffic jams.
I can almost guarantee you that during 7 days in Bangkok you will at least see one car accident – I was there for almost a week and saw two. I was happy to leave Bangkok behind.