Thailand is a bucket list to a lot of tourists around the world with its rich culture, stunning beaches, wild night life and well preserved temples there are a lot of things you can do here even though you’re on a budget. I consider Thailand as one of my favorite country to visit. I am looking forward to return and stay longer to explore more and see what this country has to offer.
A lot of people are asking me about this country, about how much does it cost? Are the commodities cheap? So I compile some tips on how to travel this country whether you are on a budget, on group tour, traveling solo etc.
Usually the first question I get is can we (Filipinos) travel Thailand?
My answer is a big YES! Of course we can, we just need to have our valid passport (not more than 6 months before it expires). There are 63 countries in the world where in Filipinos can travel visa free and Thailand is one of them.
Next, How to score a cheap plane ticket?
This is quite challenging since you have to constantly check the airline company website. Ticket prices changes from time to time. In my case I even stalked them (Cebu Pacific and Air Asia). I subscribed to their newsletter so that I can get updates if there are ticket sales. I also compare the ticket price in the morning and midnight and men, it varies, booking your tickets online during midnight is really cheap but, of course you gotta have your cards ready to book it.
If you are really on a budget try viewing the monthly view of Cebu Pacific and Air Asia and look for their Piso ticket, you just have to add some taxes and fees and you can score Php 1,000 plane ticket to Thailand.
But, if you have no time for this, you can just simply check your tickets on http://www.tripadvisor.com or http://www.cheapoair.com to compare plane ticket prices on different airlines. You might be surprised that Philippine Airlines has cheaper tickets than other airlines. Yes, that’s possible PAL also go on sale like others.
In booking your flight skip the seat selection and as much as possible just have 7- 15 kg. hand carry baggage with you it will avoid you from paying additional fees in your plane ticket. Budget airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia are cheap but they give additional fees on travel insurance (which is a must), seat selection, additional baggage (16 kg. and up) and food. They don’t provide food in the plane you have to buy them. Since it is just 3 1/2 – 4 hours flight I don’t mind buying food from the plane. I can eat in the air port while waiting for my flight.
Then, Where to stay?
Thailand one of the most visited country in Asia so it has a lot of accommodations to choose from inns, hostels, one to ten star hotels. Name it they have it. But I really suggest that you book your accommodation in the city center so that you can easily visit the sites.Plus it is hustle free and save some time from the traffic. I heard from a friend that Khao San Road has a lot of cheap accommodations for backpackers and budget travelers. I strongly don’t recommend you staying in hotels near the airport. Yes, they are good and offer reasonable prices but the location is far from the sites that makes you spend more on the transportation going to the city center. In my experience one way taxi fare going to Terminal 21 Mall in Bangkok from my hotel near the airport costs Baht 300 (about Php 400).
What and where to eat?
This country has a lot of good places to eat. If you eat in restaurant you expect that you pay higher than the street food. To experience more of Thailand, try eating on their street foods, they are not only affordable but they are clean too.
Or you can buy some food in their grocery or seven eleven. It’s so cheap I spent Baht 100 (around Php 150) that I can eat for three meals. haha
Where to go?
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand has a lot of sites to visit. You can visit malls such as Terminal 21 and Central World. You can reminisce in their temples like Wat Pho and Sukhothai Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha). Please be descent in going to their temples. Avoid wearing revealing clothes that shows a lot of skin. They will surely not allow you enter or they will ask you to hire some clothes or fabric for you to cover your body before you enter the temple.
You can also try their night life in Bangkok, I heard Khao San has good night life and even night market.
If you have more time take a side trip to Chiang Mai, it is just 3 hours bus ride from Bangkok or Pattaya which is 2- 2 1/2 hours bus ride away from Bangkok.
Avoid using the taxi especially in the airport. There is a subway station in the airport you can take going to the city center. From Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Phaya Thai station, then you can ride a taxi going to your hotel. Make sure to tell the driver to use the meter. If the driver asks you if it is your first time in Thailand say NO. They might get the opportunity to take advantage of that for you to pay higher. Trust me I experienced that.
It will not only save you from paying additional fees for your baggage in the airport. It will also give you comfort while traveling. I honestly hate carrying a lot of baggage while traveling. There are a lot of process being done in the airport from check in, to paying travel taxes and terminal fee, filling up departure cards, lining up in the immigration for your interview. It is really uncomfortable if you have a lot of things with you.
I usually travel with my back pack less than 7 kilograms. I fill it with food and 2 pairs of clothes and underwear. The food serve as my stomach filling during stop overs on the bus, connecting flight and journey getting to my hotel so that I don’t need to buy some. While traveling I buy clothes as my souvenir and for me to wear since I only have 2 pairs with me. I also bring some detergents to wash my clothes for them to be used for the next days. There are also laundry services available in the hotel or nearby hotel that only costs some bucks. It is much better than carrying a lot of clothes with you. When I go home my bag is filled with souvenirs for my loved ones and some experience to share with other people.