5 achievements that make a true Bangkokonian

No matter your job, standard of living or purpose of staying here in Bangkok, there are a few achievements that everybody needs to accumulate before he / she is able to call him or herself a real Bangkokonian. Here is our list of those achievements. Feel free to wear the badge that reflects your achievement with pride and honor.

Surviving a Motorcycle Taxi accident

We all take motorcycles or at least motorcycle taxis. Even if you work in a fancy office and don’t want to get your suit dirty, at some point everybody tries to beat the traffi jams and ends up on a bike and, let’s be honest, those bike rides aren’t always the safest. Doesn’t really matter if it’s you on your own bike or on the back of a ‘motorsai taxi’, at one point traffic is going to get you. Once you get up after that Motorcycle accident, wear those scars proud because you made it! Those are the scars of a true Bangkok Traffic Warrior. #BKKTrafficWarrior.

If you survived a Motorcycle (Taxi) accident, this is for you!


Making Bangkok the center of everything

Continuing with our #realtalk we can probably all agree that, at least to some extend, we all make Bangkok somewhat the center of our universe. Everything in the city of angels is rather ‘easy’ to do and reach and hence trips to provinces outside of the capital feel like trips to far away countries. This becomes pretty clear when talking to fellow Bangkokonians who often refer to everything outside of Bangkok as ‘countryside’ and call a trip to Hua Hin ‘far’. Moreover we tend to call cabs for trips that could also be done walking or with public transport simply because it’s way more convenient (even though it doesn’t safe much time because of traffic). Besides that, at some point, we also master the art of ordering food / goods without actually talking to the staff by just nodding at them. Because #hiso.


Learning to adapt and survive

Here in Thailand we still live by the mantra ‘only the strong survive’. Especially when it comes to traffic. Hence crossing an eight-laned street without a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights, just by nodding your head, takes skill (and balls). By now you mastered the art of street crossing and don’t even need to plug out your earphones or take your eyes off your LINE messenger on your phone as your gut feeling guides you through honking cars, queueing trucks and racing motorcycles. That is why you certainly deserve this badge:


Know where to get your late night street food fix

Wet Wet Wet said it best when they sang “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, love food is all around me, and so the feeling hunger grows.” – Or at least that’s what I hear, especially when getting hungry at night. Which is when one usually gets hungry. Then you got two chances, either you go downstairs to your next 7-11 which is probably around 120 meters (for American readers: Learn to use the metric system :P) away from your doorstep or jump on a motorcycle and head to your favorite street food vendor. The fact that you actually have a favorite street food vendor, know his name and that he already knows what you are going to order once he sees you will let you know that you are eligable to wear this specific badge here with pride. You know your vendors, you know when they make their ‘good stuff’ and you know what they specialize in. Some shops are great for Guay Dee Aow (lek, of course!), others for Khao Man Gai. Some are fantastic Som Tam sources while others give you the best Ga Pow Gai Kai Dao. Having all this down shows that you truly are Bangkokonian and that you don’t have to shy away from calling yourself the #BourdainOfBangkok.


World. Oyster.

Everybody. EVERY. SINGLE. BODY. whil make 5968730252983 references about Bangkok and the things they’ve heard about it. While you’re pissed at all those stereotypes and cliches (the world’s your oyster, hangover, etc.) you rise to the ocasion and certainly are able to show your guests a pretty good time. You know how to get to Khaosan without getting cheated on by a taxi driver, you also know that the “Hangover Rooftop Bar” is not necessarily the coolest rooftop around, you’ve been to the “ghost tower” at night to show your guests something ‘special’ and you know where to send your friends to “enjoy” a ping pong show while you’re chilling at you favorite Starbucks because that’s the only place to find solace and quietness away from the craziness that you will experience once again as soon as you take your friends to Silom or any of the buzzing nightmarkets. So it doesn’t matter if party, adventure or culture, you got it all, you’re the local lonely planet, and you’re not even Richard Barrow. Congratulations, you are allowed to wear this badge and be proud of it!


Once you have collected all those achievements mentioned above, you’ll be eligable to earn your “True Bangkokonian” badge. All you now have to do is to swear to honor and defend it, as is your witness. Go ahead, Bangkok Jedi, you deserve it. achievementbkktrue



Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at
Sascha is the publisher of and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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  • Mild Chandhraprasert

    I have to admit ,that everything that you have wrote is true and I’m still not unlock to be Bangkokonian hahaha. It also true that people should change about stereotyped about Thailand that is about Hangover or other movies that they have seen. Bangkok has changed a lot since the movies showed in the cinemas. Hope that i will unlock those badges soon.

  • Thx for the comment and for understanding the idea behind the article :) I’m sure you’ll be able to wear all those badges soon – even though some of them might not actually to be aspired for ;-)

  • Elle Thitakorn

    After I read this, I immediately count how many achievement that I got. Those things that you wrote is definitely true. I think this article also help foreigner who going to come to Thailand soon because they will definitely know Thailand better than before. I didn’t unlock all of it yet but I think I will learn through the experience and have a chance to unlock it soon:) This is an interesting article anyway, after I read this article I feel like I am going to share this article to my friends and family to check how many achievement that they got! :)

  • Booker Vannapruk

    You are right!! I totally agreed that to unlocked to be a real Bangkonian is to ” LEARNING TO ADAPT AND SURVIVE ” is one of the main idea to live in Bangkok sometimes I didn’t managed to survived in Bangkok daily life such as motorcycle accident. As I am a car driver I have to be patient and be alarmed of motor bike all the times :/. Bangkok is the center of everything in Thailand; thus to unlocked those badges you have be fast and smart to achieve it.

  • Aployyzz Pattanan

    I’m strongly agree with this article! Although, I don’t intend to achieve this but it seems I have achieve it all (may not very well). I think is very strange in our country that there are many car (including motorcycle) accidents happens everyday. And because there are not much crosswalk and flyover, Bangkokonian have to have the art of crossing a street! lol Surviving on the road and Bangkok traffic is a most difficult things in surviving here! Some of road, street, alley have its own local names that hard to know by searching on google. Moreover, the public bus way is very complicate! Although I’m Bangkokonian, I don’t understand it much. I think there are more things to achieve as a Bangkokonian. Some I may don’t even realize it because I feel used to it. However, the most important things as you are a part of society is adjustment. You have to leaning to adapt and survive. This is not only in Bangkok but everywhere you go!
    Thanks for this worth article making me appreciate myself how I’m good at surviving in Thai road. lol

  • Um Ntrch

    After reading this article, I might not considered myself as an ‘Bangkokonian’ just yet, at least not entirely. The first badge is the one I truly deserved but on a another level because I ride motorcycle for like at least 4 years and I survived motorcycle accident with no scars because I almost never been in one! Even though the motorcycle taxi tried to break that privilege for so many times lol. And one badge that I couldn’t see myself getting would be the nightlife pro one because I haven’t explore Bangkok as much just yet so I might work on that in the near future!

  • If you work on that, use as your guide ;-) Also good on you for avoiding motorcycle accidents. I’m not a religious person, but every time I use a motosai taxi I start to pray ;-)

  • Haha. Thanks for the comment, appreciate it. Glad you got the essence of the article – as nobody should actively strive to unlock all of those achievements – but most of us do it automatically at one point. I agree that we all can be proud though if we survive BKK traffic on a daily basis ;-)

  • Or as Charles Darwin put it: Survival of the fittest! ;-)

  • Jenny Philomena

    Haha, love it! Once again something I can relate to. One thing I find such a pity is the fact that bangkok became the center of the universe for me. I love bangkok, but the act that my cousins who’ve only been here once or twice have been to more provinces in Thailand than me is just #sadbuttrue 😅

  • I think most of us who stay in Bangkok for a longer time feel the same. When I still was fresh to Thailand I traveled so much but now I became one of the Bangkok snobs who says ‘nah, too far, i got everything i need here’. :-/

  • Yotsawadee S.

    Certainly agree with all of your blog. Hahaha, I did not born in Bangkok but gotta live in Bangkok I quite familiar with all of your achievement unlock. especially traffic, I usually drive everyday so I better know the route to avoid traffic in town or which lane better be faster. Some people might think it is bad for people to experience it but it impacts to people in Bangkok to stay on time which most of Thai could not be punctual.

  • Ginni Kiatfuengfoo

    After reading this, I was thinking woahh, being Bangkokonian sounds very hard and complicated! Even I was born and live here, I still cannot achieve many of them. As you said, I think to get survive in Bangkok, we need to learn, adapt and conquer! Bangkok’s traffic is always have a unique style that impressed everyone ( mostly in a negative way hahaha). We need to use motorcycle taxi in our daily if you want to be somewhere on time even we already know that it is not so safe and yes how people crossing streets here is quite unique and needs to practice. Of course, we need to adapt ourselves where ever we go and live so we can survive and be a part of that society! I hope I will keep practicing to achieve every badge and can call myself as a true Bangkokonian!

  • Not sure if it’s a great achievement to get all those badges though ;-)