News

Vendor City Guide: Bangkok

Street secrets revealed by the people who know them best

Our guide this week: KAWASDEE KA! My name is Pat. I am 58 and started selling The Big Issue in Perth, Western Australia when I was struggling to get a job. I soon realised that this is indeed the right job for me! It’s great work that helps me pay my rent, and I love the people in Perth; they’re very generous. In March I visited Bangkok, in my home country of Thailand, after my mum passed away last year. If you’re thinking of going to Bangkok yourself, here are my tips for a great trip. Pat sells The Big Issue Australia at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth 

Getting around

The Skytrain and the subway are quick, cheap ways to get around the Bangkok central business district. Fares start from 16 baht (42 pence) and increase by two or three baht per stop. It’s also easy to get to the international airport by train, and compared to Australia, taxi fares are very cheap! Or to get around, tuk-tuks, which are around the same price as taxis.

Tech heaven

Pantip Plaza is Bangkok’s number one tech mall. Across five levels it has a wide range of computers, cameras, any electronics you want. There are very competitive prices, and you can try your hand at bargaining in many of the shops. Many of the stalls there can even issue you documents that you can use to claim tax refunds for tourists at the international airport on your way home.

Catch some culture

The Thailand Cultural Centre provides educational activities through performing arts, various activities and a cultural library. Or, you can head to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, a treasured, world-class national centre that stores some of Thailand’s precious stories. It’s open all year round and can comfortably accommodate up to 6,000 people.

Head to the market

Chatuchak Market is the world’s largest weekend market. It has more than 15,000 stalls spread across 14 hectares, and has everything from food to fashion, art to antiques and more. It’s full of crazy cheap prices and new ideas, you can shop till you drop. Definitely! You can taste a lot of Thai food here at Chatuchak, also known as JJ Market.

Out of town

Fruit farms in the south-east around three hours’ drive from Bangkok are worth a visit. You can escape for a break among a variety of fruits, like mangosteen and durian. The price includes accommodation, breakfast and a tour of the farms. You can pick your own fruit fresh off the trees! Delicious.

When to visit

Any time of year is a great time to be in Bangkok. Keep a sharp eye out for cheap flights – it’s a really bang-for-your-buck holiday.

Image: Megan Reddi

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt
james rossi, who faced debt
Cost of living

Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt

Tories are gloating that cost of living crisis is over – they're wrong: 'The country is going backwards'
unclaimed benefits/ dwp
Cost of living crisis

Tories are gloating that cost of living crisis is over – they're wrong: 'The country is going backwards'

Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?
Angela Rayner announces Labour new town plan
Housing

Labour promises wave of new towns if elected. But will they make a dent in UK's housing crisis?

DWP ramps up AI use to 'bring the future to the welfare system' and push people into work
dwp mel stride
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP ramps up AI use to 'bring the future to the welfare system' and push people into work

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know