A few days ago I made a walking tour around Bangkok. And in this post you will find some of local curiosities.
Thailands invention tuk-tuk is ubiquitous. They will also try to rip you off as much as they can.
So obviously you have to bargain. But my concept of that in SE Asia was slightly different from what I experienced. Since it is almost always better value to take a taxi on the meter, tuk tuk ride might be a lot of fun as a part of thai adventure. Getting to the point of negotiating fare, tuk-tuk drivers won’t take you for the fare that is below their so called financial expectations, which are pretty elevated. And just drive away without even trying to bargain (or maybe in their terminology it would be wasting time?) – I have a feeling that like Thai people have their pride in going down with the price. Same thing with watch sellers. The other day I went to Sumkhumvit today, and was into buying a Breitling counterfeit. So the price given by seller was 1500 BHT. My price was 800. He went down to 1250 and later wasn’t even interested in talking anymore. Wow, they could learn from arab sellers. And it was in fact next to Arab district. Later I discovered that unlike Vietnam or Cambodia sellers here in Thailand are not interested in closing the deal, since also the country is not that cheap in comparation to above mentioned ones.
Regarding the english language, very few thai people speak reasonable english, but once they do, they will initiate the contact by their own will, for example for lost tourist far away from touristy area looking at the map, they would approach, ask where you want to go, and point it. Sometimes even would go with you there.
And they are just so friendly that if you ask anything in english and they don’t understand, they will search for a person who does speak the language until find one. Even if it means stopping total strangers on the street, making a phone call to he person they believe speaks english and so on. Farang, you are welcome!