20 Helpful Tips for Budget Travellers in Bangkok
So, you want to explore the City of Angels, but you do not want to blow too much baht while doing so. Luckily for budget travellers, there are plenty of ways in which you can save while sightseeing the city. Here, 20 helpful tips for budget travellers in Bangkok.
1. Utilise the commuter ferries and boats on the Chao Phraya River. It is a great way to see the city from a unique perspective and is incredibly cheap, as well. Ferries that go across the river are as little as ฿4, while the Chao Phraya River Express Boat ranges from ฿10-32.
2. Explore the city like a local by taking the bus, some of which are free to hop on and off and generally do not exceed ฿20 (approximately $US0.60).
3. Be sure that every taxi you get in Bangkok uses a meter. It is illegal for drivers not use one and instead set a fixed fair. If a driver insists upon a fixed amount, kindly thank them and find a new taxi.
4. Metered taxis usually are cheaper than using apps like Grab and Uber, but both are still inexpensive options to get from point A to point B. Using these apps also (mostly) ensure that you will not get lost heading to your destination.
5. Try to avoid taking tuk-tuks in Bangkok. Tuk-tuk translates to cheap, cheap, but it is not necessarily the most inexpensive form of travel in the city. Regardless of its title, tuk-tuks are more expensive than taxis and always have set prices. Try to only take a tuk-tuk once during your travels for the experience, and be sure to bargain. Otherwise, use a different form of transportation.
6. Take the BTS Skytrain and the MRT subway whenever possible. Fares range from ฿16-44 (approximately $US0.50-1.35).
7. Many of you are going to be hopping on and off the BTS Skytrain multiple times per day, so it might be more economically savvy to purchase a one-day pass for ฿120 (approximately $US3.70).
8. Parks are great free day excursions that budget travellers can visit. Lumpini, Benjakiti, Benjasiri, and Chatuchak are just a few great ones worth exploring. You can also workout in the park without having to pay, as many of them will have free aerobics classes and yoga sessions taking place. Some even have gym equipment visitors can utilise, as well.
9. Browse markets you know you will not purchase anything, like Pak Khlong Talad, the flower market in Chinatown. Instead, visitors can spend their time looking at the unique items for sale, taking photographs, people watching, and, of course, saving money.
10. Hit up the happy hours in the capital. There are plenty of restaurants and bars which feature buy one get one specials in the evening or have discounts on their drink menu.
11. Ladies’ nights are found across the city almost every night of the week. Witch’s on Wednesdays and Fridays, Sing Sing on Wednesdays, Woo Bar the W Hotel on Thursdays: women can drink every night of the week for free if they look hard enough. Men are in luck as well, as a handful of bars offer specials for the guys, like Woo Bar on Wednesdays, for example.
12. Stay away from booked tours if you do not need them. Instead, figure out how to take on a neighbourhood or area yourself and save money you would have spent on having to book someone to take you around.
13. Bring your student identification card with you if you have one to receive discounts on attractions and means of transportation.
14. Eat street food. Or, if you want street food prices but with some air-conditioning, be sure to check out one of the food courts found in malls across the city. We recommend Terminal 21 and the food court at MBK.
15. Go on cheap excursions that take up the entirety of a day, like cycling the islands of Bang Krachao or Ko Kret, found on the outskirts of the city.
16. Be sure to pre-game and have a few drinks at your local 7/11 before a night out. These convenience stores serve up both local and international beer for only a few bucks. They also sell wine, hard liquor, and there are always plenty of chasers to choose from.
17. Choose clubs that do not have entrance fees as opposed to those that do, like our favourite club in Bangkok: Sing Sing Theater.
18. We know Bangkok can be hot, but try to typically stay in a room with a fan as opposed to air-conditioning. They are generally a few hundred baht cheaper than those with air conditioning. Also, travel during the low season in Thailand. Some hotels and tours will be available for a discounted price.
19. Head to Khao San Road and split a liquor-ridden bucket amongst friends for as little as ฿150 (approximately $US4.60) a bucket.
20. Normally, purchasing a tower of beer or bottle of booze is cheaper than purchasing single drinks at venues in Bangkok, so try to go out with a group of people to split the cost. You can also save on the price of a taxi ride home afterwards.