BANGKOK ON A BUDGET: travel guide

A more updated version of this article can be discovered here: Bangkok travel Guide

I let out a deep, deep sigh of relief as soon as the plane landed at Subarnabhumi Airport. It wasn’t since there had been trouble on the flight or anything like it. I was just stoked that I lastly reached Bangkok, after a long tug-o-war with my poultry change ego.

I quit my full-time task to backpack across Southeast Asia. however the trip  became a reality eight months after my last day at work. eight months, people. eight months. quite a long time. What happened in between? Chickening out as well as delaying tactics masked as preparation. It would be my very first time to travel alone, as well as to do it in a foreign country intimidated me a lot. even on my last night in Manila, there was a part of me that wanted to back out.

But it happened. Late, yes, however it did.

And there’s no much better place to have my baptism of fire than in Asia’s City of Smiles — Bangkok.

Wat Arun
Bangkok: Asia’s Backpacking Capital

The tired backpacking route across the Southeast Oriental peninsula is known in the travel world as the Banana Pancake Trail, so called for the many stalls selling banana pancakes that are widely sold in the cities along the trail. This route is popular for a lots things, however its “exotic” cultures as well as low expense of living top the list. complying with it means passing through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, as well as Cambodia. as well as this trail starts as well as ends in Bangkok, the epicenter of backpacking in the region.

The funding of Thailand, Bangkok is the commercial, economic, as well as political center of the country. It is a wild, extremely developed third-world metropolis however is still very much in touch with its past. Bangkok’s history as the Thai funding began in 1782, when King Rama I had the people move south complying with the autumn of Ayutthaya in 1767. Bangkok lies at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, seen as a very strategic military place back then. It was likewise King Rama I who ordered the building of the Grand palace complex as well as many other temples, which remain standing until today.

Their language can be quite daunting to non-native speakers, particularly its lengthy words as well as tongue-twisting pronunciations, however as with every other language, it only intimidates in the beginning. English isn’t widely spoken, however what the locals lack in English fluency, they make up for with their friendly mindset toward tourists.

Boat on Chao Phraya River

Getting around Bangkok

Although it is not as sweat-free as in Hong Kong or Singapore, commuting in Bangkok is quite easy. Vehicular traffic can get crazy during rush hour, however it is nothing compared to what we are forced to endure in Manila. If you’re used to the giant vehicle parking great deal that runs across Manila called EDSA, you’ll be fine in Bangkok (or any type of other Southeast Oriental city for that matter).

Getting around via public transportation means using one or more of these four modes:

Train (BTS Skytrain/MRT). Bangkok’s train system is quick as well as reliable, as well as will take you to many attractions throughout the city. I discovered myself taking the train most of the time during my stay since there was a train station very near my hotel. Also, even during the busiest hours, I never experienced getting almost squished to death. The BTS fare ranges from 15 to 52 baht. as well as you will need 5 or 10 baht coins to get in. most stations have a counter than can break your big bills as well as a ticket machine that accepts bills.

Boat. The two boat services operating in Bangkok are the Chao Phraya reveal Boat, which plies up as well as down the Chao Phraya River as well as is popular among tourists for it stops at many of the city’s most popular landmarks; as well as the Saen Saep reveal Boat, used mostly by locals who commute to work. The Chao Phraya boat is the best option for you if you mean to check out the Grand palace complex (at Tha Chang) as well as Wat Pho (at Tha Tien), as well as the Siriraj medical museum (Wang Lang Station) within one day!

Onboard a Chao Phraya ferry
Taxi. always my last option. If my destination is too far from a train or boat station, I would just hail a cab. A ride costs more than in Manila however nowhere near the rates in Hong Kong or Singapore. The flagdown is 35 baht as well as the typical ride within the city is probably around 100.

You might encounter cab drivers who take advantage of tourists by not using the meter as well as then overcharging. If the driver refuses to use the meter, just get off the vehicle. understand that all cabs in Bangkok must use the meter. many of these drivers wait for tourist passengers at the popular attractions like temples as well as Khao San Road. I always walked far from them as well as just hail a moving cab.

Tuktuk. I didn’t even bother. They are very expensive, even more costly than cabs, as well as I had tried it in Siem Reap anyway. If you really want to try for the heck of it, just agree on the price first.

Where to Stay

Check rates as well as Availability Here
For budget plan travelers, Khao San road as well as Silom road offer the cheapest accommodations. Khao San is the backpacking center as well as has a very festive vibe with great deals of street food, restaurants, as well as bars. Its popularity among travelers likewise triggered the mushrooming of scams here. There is no train station around.

Silom is the business as well as monetary district of Bangkok. There are malls, shops, as well as night markets in its inner alleys. The famous (or infamous, depending on exactly how you look at it as well as what you mean to do, haha) Pat Pong is likewise located around the corner. the best part is that it has its own train station that links it to rest of the city.

I was able to try two budget plan hotels in Bangkok. The pics below lead you to short reviews of these hotels.

Sunflower place Silom

Nantra Silom

Smile Society


Where to Eat

In the streets, of course! Bangkok is widely known for its inexpensive as well as tasty kerbside cuisine. A stay in the city is never total without sitting at a sidewalk table as well as digging in to a plateful of Pad Thai or Pork Rice. It’s a dining experience that you shouldn’t miss. An order usually costs THB 40-60. right here are some dishes you cannot leave the city without trying!

Tom Yum

Green Curry

Pad Thai

Pork Rice

Grilled poultry as well as Innards

Mango Sticky Rice

Places to Visit

Temples as well as shrines top the listing of the popular tourist attractions in the city center. You don’t need to join a tour since many of these key places are quickly accessible from the Chao Phraya River. Here’s a quick do-it-yourself walking tour that will take you to the most popular sites in Bangkok: 6 popular Attractions in Bangkok, A walking Tour

Wat Pho

Wat Arun

Siriraj Forensic Museum

Grand Palace

Khao San Road

Bangkok Chinatown

And there are even more impressive structures if you go on a day tour or stay overnight in neighboring Ayutthaya.

Here are some more fascinating destinations:

Goddess Tuptim Penis Shrine

Floating Market

Siam Square

Platinum fashion Mall

Pat Pong/Silom


My preferred moment in Bangkok was inside the Siriraj Forensic Museum, where I walked through chilling galleries of gore as well as violence. It was a little out of the way, however if you’re into CSI or final Destination, this is your wonderland right here.

Sample Itineraries

Here are a couple of sample itineraries that you may use. I stayed much longer, however if you have only an extended weekend to spend in Bangkok, here’s something to consider.


Day 1 – Temples as well as Museums
Wat Pho, Wat Arun
Grand palace complex (including the temple of the emerald Buddha)
Siriraj medical Museum
Khao San road or Pat Pong (for nightlife or shopping)

Day 2 – Ayutthaya Day Tour
Wat Yai Chaimongkon
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Mahathat
Wat Chaiwatthanaram
and more wats!

Day 3 – Food, Shopping, as well as Nightlife
Damnoen Saduak Floating market
Siam Square, Platinum Square

Day 4
Back to Manila

Bangkok is landlocked, so beach bums might get disappointed. however other Southeast Oriental destinations are simple to reach from here. If you have more days, think about heading south to Phuket or Krabi or north to Chiang Mai or Pai. You may likewise cross borders to Vientiane, Laos or Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Many of my pals have done the Bangkok-Siem Reap itinerary. understand that it entails spending a day on the road so make sure your time allows it.


Day 1 – Bangkok Temples
Wat Pho, Wat Arun
Grand palace complex (including the temple of the emerald Buddha)
Siriraj medical Museum
Khao San road or Pat Pong (for nightlife or shopping)

Day 2 – Ayutthaya Day Tour
Wat Yai Chaimongkon
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Mahathat
Wat Chaiwatthanaram
and more wats!

Day 3 – Bangkok Food as well as Shopping
Damnoen Saduak Floating market
Siam Square, Platinum Square

Day 4 – Land travel to Siem Reap

Day 5 – Angkor!
Angkor Wat
Bayon (Angkor Thom)
Ta Phrom
Angkor night Market
Pub Street

Day 6 – Tonle Sap Lake or City Tour
Plus Angkor Museum
Late night flight back to Manila

For the above itinerary, the Cebu Pacific 6:30am Manila-Bangkok flight as well as Cebu Pacific 10:30pm Siem Reap-Manila flight are perfect.

Overnight train to Chiang Mai

Budget Breakdown

Below is the listing of the usual prices of things you will need for a comfortable budget plan stay in Bangkok! bear in mind that the figures are in Thai Baht.

Meal (street food) – Pad thai costs around THB40, pork rice THB50,  and a big, huge bowl of tom yum noodles THB100.

Accommodations – Dormitory beds from THB100, hostel private room from THB 300, as well as a budget plan hotel room for two from THB800

Grand palace entrance charge – THB 500

Wat Pho entrance charge – THB 100

Wat Arun entrance charge – THB 50

Siriraj medical museum charge – THB 200

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour – THB 300-600

Ayutthaya Day tour – arranged tours from THB 950, doing it DIY-style may expense around THB 700

Taxi – flagdown rate is THB 35, usual ride within the city is around THB 100

Train ride – THB 15-52

Important Tips

Here are more info you might want to remember for a hassle-free tour around Bangkok.

Currency Exchange. The official currency is the Baht. There are many money changers around, however most of them offer very poor rates, particularly for Philippine pesos. If you have us dollars, just bring the, instead. You may likewise opt to just withdraw straight from your ATM account.

Language Barrier. English is not widely spoken so prepare to do a bit of charades every now as well as then.

Address system. The Thais have their own address system as well as very first timers in Bangkok can be quickly disoriented. Wikitravel explains it really well: “Large roads such as Silom or Sukhumvit are thanon while the side streets branching off from them are called soi. Sois are numbered, with even numbers on one side as well as odd numbers on the other side. Thus, an address like 25 Sukhumvit Soi 3 means home number 25 on the 3rd soi of Sukhumvit Road.”

A warning posted on the elevator of our hotel
Scams. Bangkok is notorious for scams targeted at tourists so always be careful. Some are really more organized than they appear. one of the most widespread modus operandi involves people loitering by the entrance of temples (or other tourist spot) as well as approaching tourists. They are very friendly, as well as they usually introduce themselves as teachers. They insurance claim that the site you’re about to check out is closed since it is a holiday as well as that they understand a more gorgeous place that is not on tourist maps. They then hail a random tuktuk (which isn’t random at all for the driver is part of the scam) as well as tour you around. You will be taken to a jewelry store selling overpriced gems as well as accessories. The tuktuk may likewise overcharge you for the ride.

Bangkok is a fantastic place to have a Southeast Asia Backpacking 101. It offers almost whatever that makes the peninsula unique — a bit of urban vibe, a bit of quirky attractions, as well as a great deal of culture! plus fantastic food, friendly people, as well as inexpensive everything!

More tips on YouTube ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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