4 reasons why Bangkok is overrated

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.


16 thoughts on “4 reasons why Bangkok is overrated

  1. I was lucky with my visit to Bangkok because I had been pre-warned about it by other travellers! I actually began my journey through Thailand in Chiang Mai, and others told me at my hostel there that you only need 3 days in Bangkok MAX because of all the reasons you gave in this post. Luckily, I listened, and had the most AMAZING three days possible, but I couldn’t imagine staying any longer! I do love Bangkok for its hustle and bustle though, but certainly couldn’t take it for long! Great post 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a totally opposite opinion, please check my blog on my trip to Thailand last month. Yes, I agree with some of the points mentioned in the post, but most of the tourist spots especially in this part of the world are like that. But during my visit, it was very clean and tidy. Everything was in order. I wished for more stay there. Just my two cents.


  2. Thanks for this post! My first experience with Thailand in 2002 was mostly positive, but when I returned ten years later I had all of the problems you describe. Add to the list public officials (customs in the airport, for example) who are always looking for different ways to screw you out of your money. The sooner you get to Phuket or Chiang Mai, the better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt bad about your experience and I’m wondering where did you go for you to judge it as a whole. Tourist can’t even visit the whole Bangkok the whole month of stay. Probably you roam around on a place where it’s quite messy. I’ve been living here for 5 months now and I did not even feel even the danger that you’re talking about in your page though I respect that maybe something really bad happened to you. I’m very proud to say Thai people are really nice and a taxi driver even get back my passport when I misplaced it. He went back to my home with a big smile and said that I left my passport in his car. About the smell, where did you go? Probably at the wet market? Or near the river. I walk around Ekkamai part, Sukkhumvit area, etc. You can’t even smell anything. Even the people who can smoke, they need to go to designated area. 90% of tourist, where in the world did you see that. It’s definitely not true. I really respect your post but I don’t want foreigners like us to see a bad impression about it. They can see at my page how nice the BKK, mostly Thailand as a whole. Anyway, I’m also a foreigner like you but the difference, I’m studying here so I can see a lot and learn the great culture, tradition, places and lovely Thai people. Maybe, next time try to message me so I can give you advise on where you can visit and stay. Have a great day.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is interesting to see your opinion as well, because it obviously greatly differs from my experience.
      I do agree that Thailand is a beautiful country, however Bangkok was just not my cup of tea. I talked with several other travelers I met on the way about Thailand and Bangkok, and all of them said that they had really big expectations for Bangkok, but in the end were very disappointed because of how touristic and dirty the place is – especially compared to the rest of Thailand.

      Maybe we just have different expectations, or we enjoy different things. Thanks for your comment 🙂


  4. Maybe I went during a less busy time, but I didn’t encounter any huge crowds. I thought the city was lovely, and easy to get around in. I did grow up in Rio, though…so I may be used to dirtier streets. I had no problem finding my way around and communicating with locals and vendors. I also found all of the food, metro and taxi fares to be super cheap. Not to mention my luxury Airbnb apartment was $25 a night! Can’t beat that.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love to travel to Bangkok again and again. It has a huge passion for fashion. Unless you enjoy the experience of walking down the aisles of supermarkets, online shopping makes a great deal of sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bangkok is certainly a challenging place to visit, especially for first time visitors. Is it crowded? Yes. Is it smelly. Oh yeah. Are there scams? Of course. I didn’t like it the first time I visited, but now that I live here I love it. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live in Asia.

    The key is to get away from the very touristy areas of Khao San Road and the Grand Palace area. In general, Thais are honest and easy going, and it is a very safe city. If you come back through, look for some temples outside the main areas. I promise you’ll visit them free of tourists, meet friendly locals, and have no hassles.


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