Bangkok is a bucket list to a lot of people around the world. With its rich culture, stunning cityscape, wild night life and well preserved temples there are a lot of things you can do here. I can compare the cost of living here to be the same as the Philippines and Vietnam so you can gorge on their streetfood, visit their temples, relax on their Thai massage and learn Muay Thai at a very reasonable price. I consider Thailand as a must visit country especially for those who wants to jumpstart their travel or backpacking journey.
A lot of people asked me about this city’s cost, accommodation, places to visit and things to do. So I compiled some tips on how to travel this country on a budget.
BOOKING A FLIGHT
Flights to Bangkok vary from seasons. When I booked my first flight in the month of June a round trip ticket cost around ₱5,000- ₱7,000. When I attempted to book a flight in January the ticket goes from ₱10,000- ₱12,000 two-way. Decent amount of airlines fly directly to Bangkok from Manila or Clark airport. If you want to score a great bargain ticket you have to constantly check the airline website. Ticket prices changes from time to time. You can subscribe to their newsletter so that you can get updates if there are ticket sales. I also compared the tickets in the morning and midnight as it varies on different time of the day. Booking your tickets online during midnight is lower than the day time. But, if you have no time for this, you can just simply check on skyscanner.com or http://www.cheapoair.com to compare ticket prices of different airlines. You might be surprised that Philippine Airlines has cheaper tickets than other airlines because they also go on sale like others.
WHERE TO STAY
Bangkok is one of the most visited countries in Asia so it has a lot of accommodations to choose from that suits your budget. I suggest that you book your accommodation in Khao San Road since it is nearby visitor’s sites such as Wat Pho, Royal Palace and Wat Arun. It is a backpacker’s hub so you will find numerous stores, street food, restaurants, massage parlors, souvenir stores, even Muay Thai classes and so on. Khao San has it all. At night the road gets lively as the bar and clubs open and play loud music. I strongly don’t recommend you staying in hotels near the airport. They are good and offer reasonable prices but the location is far from the sites and will make you spend more on the transportation going to the city center plus the traffic in Bangkok is also a hassle.
PLACES TO VISIT
If you are staying in Khao San Road, Wat Pho is 20 minutes away on foot and nearby the Grand Palace. The most touristic temple houses the 150 meter gold-plated Reclining Buddha and other temples that serve as prayer room. Like other temples it also requires you to remove your shoes in entering their temples. Free bottled water and pamphlet is given on the entrance.
Entrance Fee: TBH 100 (₱170)
If you can’t get enough of Wat Pho, head over to Wat Arun also known as Temple of Dawn. It is almost directly opposite to Wat Pho so it is easy to get to. From Sapphan Taksin boat pier you can take a river boat that goes to the other side of the river for only 3 baht (₱5). Go up the stairs until the top of the temple to see a beautiful view Chao Praya River.
Entrance Fee: TBH 50 (₱85)
Located at the end of Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, near Hualampong Railway Station, Wat Traimit also known as Temple of the Golden Budha houses the world’s largest massive gold seated Buddha measuring nearly five metres in height and weighing five and a half tons. The place also includes a museum. Be aware that the dress code here is more strict than the other temples. The Buddha is housed in a temple on top of the long stairway passing by its museum. You will be stopped before entering the main temple to remove your footwear and to check if you are modestly dressed. Sleeveless shirts, revealing neckline, mini dress or skirt and shorts are not allowed. Sarongs and cover ups are available for rent anyway just in case you are not informed.
Entrance Fees: TBH 40 (₱70): Buddha Temple
TBH 100 (₱170): Museum
Lumpini Park is an inner-city haven of tranquility, fresh air and shade – offering city dwellers the perfect connection to nature. The park is more than half a million square meters big, and the habitat of various flora and fauna. Locals and tourists usually simply walk, stroll or jog in this wide man-made with lake park. You can also rent a boat for 30 minutes and stroll on the lake. Iguanas and some animals are freely strolling around the park by the way so don’t you dare miss them.
Foot Paddle Boat Rental, 30 minutes: TBH 40 ((₱70)
Deposit: TBH 40 ((₱70)
Also known as Green Lung of Bangkok. This place is pure nature haven found 5 minutes away from Bangkok by boat. This is a popular day trip for those who are looking for nature tripping just near Bangkok. You can rent a bicycle to go around this area. It has a lovely park called Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park, Botanical Garden and bird watching tower. There are bicycle tours that are organized to go around the village but you can also Do-It-Your-Own since signages of attractions and directions are posted everywhere. To get here take a bus to Klong Toei pier and from there take a boat for 5 minutes.
Expenses: Boat fee: TBH 10 (₱17)
Bike Rental: TBH 30 (₱50) 1 hour
TBH 80 (₱135) whole day
It is a street market in China Town one kilometer away from Wat Traimit. There’s nothing unique in this market just the usual RTW products however if you plan to buy retail products in bulk for you to sell back in your home then this place is for you.
The most famous 35 acre weekend market and home to more than 8,000 market stalls. Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise from souvenir items, silks, home decors, organic beauty products, accessories and many more that will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. If you get hungry, you don’t have to worry since food stalls are lined up outside for your stomach needs.
Avoid using the taxi especially in the airport. There is a subway station in Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Phaya Thai station in the city center, then ride a taxi or bus going to your hotel. You can also take the airport bus going to city center Bus number A4 leaves from Don Muang for TBH 50 (₱85, $1.5) and Bus number S1 is from Suvarnabhumi airport that only cost TBH 60 (₱102, $2). The journey takes 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the traffic. If you are left with no choice but to take the taxi 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 will surely take advantage of you to pay higher saying the location you want to go is too far or there’s too much traffic. Bangkok has a good transportation system like BTS subway and free city buses are also everywhere however I must warn you as any capital city in Southeast Asia the traffic is too heavy.