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Crossing the street!

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Perth, Australia
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Crossing the street!

Hi everyone,

I'm off by myself to Thailand in two weeks' time for 24 days and will be spending 9 full days in Bangkok.

I've done lots of research over the past months on this forum and elsewhere, and although I feel a little apprehensive (and very excited), I feel reasonably prepared and forewarned (in some instances, e.g. scams).

I think my biggest concern is the traffic, not because of congestion, but because of safety. I can be a bit 'away with the fairies' sometimes and realize that I need to have my wits about me in Bangkok. Here, at home, I live in a semi-rural area with light traffic and road rules are very strict (e.g. traffic stops to let pedestrians walk at crossings).

I intend making full use of the BTS and am staying at the Holiday Inn opposite Chitlom BTS station. I also understand that there is an overpass opposite the hotel which leads to several large malls. However, how do people cross streets? I have seen pictures of streets jam packed with cars so I presume you wouldn't cross them at street level. Are there generally overpasses over the main roads or do pedestrians walk until them find traffic lights to cross at?

I realise some people might think that this is a silly concern, however a work colleague of mine was killed crossing the road in Bangkok a few years ago so I'm probably a bit more concerned than I would have been if this tragedy had not occurred.

Your comments and advice would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Sue

Toronto, Canada
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11. Re: Crossing the street!

When crossing the street, cross with the herd. It's like the African savannah, there's safety in numbers.

Let the locals lead the way but at the same time use your own judgement. Joining the herd does not mean be lemmings.

Bangkok, Thailand
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12. Re: Crossing the street!

On a positive note, Bangkok and other Thai towns at least provide pedestrian overpasses unlike to what I experienced in big Indian towns which also have mad traffic.

newcastle upon tyne
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13. Re: Crossing the street!

Cross with the herd, and make sure most of them are between you and the on-coming trafiic.

Certainly make sure you know whats happening around you all the time, not just when crossing the street

Vancouver
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14. Re: Crossing the street!

Susan D... thanks for asking this question. Since I've only ever been in southern Thailand on "island time"... it never occurred to me that I would need to be so vigilant on Bangkok's streets, so this is a wake-up call for me. I spent a fair bit of time dodging traffic in Vietnam not so long ago, and there was a rhythm to the traffic flow and the people crossing the street, even though it was chaotic.

But in BKK, I gather from reading the posts that it is a whole different ballgame. Good to know.

Perth, Australia
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15. Re: Crossing the street!

Thank you all so much for your very helpful responses. I'll definitely pay heed to your advice. At my 'mature' age I'm not able to sprint across roads and dodge between cars, so I'd rather walk to where I can join a crowd of locals or use an overpass.

When I was in Mongkok in Hong Kong last year I was nervously waiting to cross a busy back street when a lovely, little, very old Chinese lady grabbed my arm and pulled me across the street, laughing all the time. I'm still not sure if she was protecting me or using me as a human shield!

Skeezix, I'm glad that you have found this thread useful. I felt a bit silly asking the question, however everyone has been so kind with their advice.

Infidelal, thank you for the additional information and suggestions. I'm not spending my whole holiday in Bangkok. I have (not including days spent travelling from place to place), 5 full days in Bangkok staying at the Holiday Inn, 5 full days in Kanchanaburi staying at the Oriental Kwai Resort, then another 4 full days back in Bangkok staying at the Anantara Riverside and, finally, 5 full days in Hua Hin staying at the Centara. I thought I'd mix it up to get a variety of experiences in different locations.

I've also booked a private guide, Gift, who is recommended on this forum, for 3 of my days in Bangkok to take me to local and out of town attractions.

Once again, thank you everyone. I'll be sure to do a detailed JBR when I return and will definitely let you know how I fared with crossing the streets.

Best wishes,

Sue

Melbourne, Australia
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16. Re: Crossing the street!

Ahhh crossing the street in Bangkok is an adventure! I remember trying to cross one night after several drinks, a barney with hubby and an encounter with a gigantic rat! Needless to say I was pretty stressed out. I came to this road, with three lanes in each direction and nearly died. I then had to cover my eyes when I saw a doggy trying to make it across. I was yelling and covering my eyes, with people watching me like I was a crazy woman. I opened to see the doggy safely on the other side which then gave me more confidence that if a doggy with no road sense can do it, we can do it too.

What a night!

You do need your wits about you, be careful and you will be fine :)

London, United...
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17. Re: Crossing the street!

Use the crossovers. 9days in Bangkok a bit on the long side for my liking

Bangkok, Thailand
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18. Re: Crossing the street!

I like stephfennell commented :P ,

also I kind of don't like crossing the street here , but if you have to do it so be careful motorcycles and taxis very fast.

Vancouver
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19. Re: Crossing the street!

Susan, have you thought about visiting Chiang Mai? You have allotted a lot of time to BKK, and just a suggestion, but Chiang Mai is very much worth seeing.... and you could use those extra 4 days in BKK for Chiang Mai... It's a lovely place.

Perth, Australia
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20. Re: Crossing the street!

Skeezix, I have been to Chiang Mai. Three years ago I spent a wonderful week in Chiang Mai. I agree with you, it is a lovely place.

I then went to Bangkok but became very ill on my first day there. I was taken to hospital by ambulance from my hotel room, spent two days there and was confined to my hotel room for the rest of my week's stay, so I saw absolutely nothing of Bangkok. I was even taken to the airport in the dark. My stay in Bangkok this time is something like 'unfinished business'.

I enjoy just soaking up the atmosphere and people watching so on my days without my guide I'll just travel up and down the river, visit parks and amble around markets and malls. I have a Nancy Chandler map and have done heaps of research here on Tripadvisor, so as long as I stay well and keep my wits about me (as I have been reminded here), I hope to be o.k.

Skeezix, I hope you have a wonderful time if you're off to Thailand soon.

Stephfennell, I'm glad you can look back and laugh at your disastrous night out. Talk about traumatic. I'm glad the doggy made it safely across. My reaction would have been exactly the same as yours. I, too, am an animal lover and I would have been devastated if I'd seen the dog run over.

I think if it had happened here people would have jumped out of their cars and held up traffic while the dog was caught and was then taken to the local Shire office where they would try to locate the owner! I guess that's what is so wonderful about visiting other countries, it is the things that are unique to each, things that we might perceive as 'good' or 'bad', that keep us travelling.

Best wishes,

Sue