You’re about to plan your trip to Bangkok but you feel overwhelmed by the many facets of curating an organized itinerary. You don’t have a surplus of time to do as thorough a research as you want to, either. Most crucially, you need to work on a budget, and *still feel relaxed and not cramped on time, resources, and experiences.
That’s exactly us when we put together this Bangkok travel guide from scratch for our own use.
You can spend less than your trip to Bohol and you get to have more time chilling out and soaking in the places, the culture, and the people. It was definitely true for us!
P15,000 (a few pesos short of that actually) was all we spent in Bangkok including airfare, accommodation, transpo, and food! Bring a few thousands more if you plan on shopping for therapy.
Check our Bangkok Itinerary for the complete breakdown of expenses.
These destinations have been collated from various travel websites according to our interest.
This was the house of the American businessman who have contributed largely to Thailand’s silk industry. His house has been a museum for all of his Asian art and structure collections, as well. He designed the entire compound himself mixing Asian and Western influences.
Silk-spooling demo by this gent
Bangkok Arts and Culture Center
Found inside the the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center is this beautifully-styled, happiness-inducing cafe. After about an hour of art sighting, a dose of caffeine will pump you right back into the touring game.
Bangkok is not shy of temples as are other Asian countries. We suggest you choose your top 3 so you don’t feel temple fatigue. We only visited the first 3 temples from the list and it was enough for us to get a feel of their religious and cultural practices as well as their design sensibilities.
The Grand Palace is the huge compound of buildings and temples. It is the official residence of the king of Thailand.
Start when the gates open at 8:30am so the tour is a little cooler compared to high noon. It gets too hot in this place especially if the crowds are super dense.
Temple of Emerald Buddha (Wat Pha Kaew)
Situated within the vicinity where the Grand Palace is are intricately-decorated temples like Wat Pha Kaew.
Just imagine how long this takes to make, with all the details in place!
Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
Wear socks if you’re not fond of walking barefoot inside the temples
Water Taxi at Ta Thien Pier
Walk a block from the Grand Palace to get to the nearest pier to Wat Pho called Ta Thien. It has a tiny foot ferry across the river to Wat Arun
I had a nostalgic experience riding a water taxi to cross to Wat Arun. It was more like the water taxi system in Venice for only 8 Thailand Baht. It was touristy, a melting pot of all the citizens of the world, so to speak.
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
The Wat Arun from afar
Closer. Some were brave enough to hike but we were tired.
Bangkok’s biggest and most famous market is only open from Fridays to Sundays. Make sure you have a weekend date in your itinerary to experience Bangkok’s mecca of shopping! You will not regret (well come with caution if you’re in a really tight budget or risk tempting yourself to retail infinity).
Yes, this market needs a map of some sort to navigate around
Khao San Road
If you’re up for some food trip and we suggest you should, include Khao San Road if you have to scrimp on places you can go. It’s a whole stretch of local, odd, healthy, junk, international, but really affordable food that can fill you in with a few Bahts.
And a looooot of odd, fun things on the way, too!
This is how they afford traveling the world long-term
Mc Donalds delivery!
Devoured on this cheap tropical fruits the entire time!
Oh foot massage just this casual
Henna tattoo? Yes!
He’s making banana crepe for us
Consider this the “Recto” of Bangkok. You need IDs? They got you covered!
Here’s our own Bangkok itinerary spreadsheet with expenses, transportation available for each destination, and side notes. Use it as a guide especially if you’re arriving Thursday and spending 4 days in the country. Just adjust accordingly if you plan to go to see the elephants as the 2-5 hour traveling time will require that you allot a full day.
(There is also a separate tab for accommodation options and places of interests, which we have pre-screened according to what”s worth seeing. These were judged from the reviews of other travelers and the frequency these have been recommended on different travel blogs.)
WHERE TO STAY
Bangkok has capitalized on its tourism industry that you’ll find an accommodation all within your preferences. There’s an “accommodation options” tab in our itinerary in case your taste is similar to ours. At least you have a list to start with, which will surely lead you to several other similar options (you know how these websites work to lure you in :]).
WHERE WE STAYED
Udee Hostel was perfect for us. It was well within our budget and the style we were looking for. Since the advent of Airbnb and the revitalized image of hostels, we have rarely stayed in a hotel. As we always say, there is no added experience from the standard, character-less situations in hotels. Airbnbs and hostels, on other hand, you never know what life-enriching experience is bound to happen, or bloopers-for-future-stories, at that!
Udee Hostel is just a walk away from the train station, and other conveniences like stores, massage, money changer, etc.
It has a zen minimalist feel to it.
It’s clean, simple, and tastefully designed.
The common bathroom is extra clean and organized, too! The industrial interior made it more appealing, as well.
Won’t you love having breakfast in this garden?
BEST TIME TO GO TO BANGKOK
There’s not one particularly best time to go to Bangkok as anytime of the year is great but we say go between June and August. If you’re up for some shopping, The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale happens during these months. You’ll never know what you can score in between tours and cultural immersions.
HOW LONG TO STAY
We are never fans of 3-day, 2-night trips. It’s too short to get the rest and relaxation we want out of vacations. Stay at least 4 days for a steady and recharging out-of-the-country experience.
WHAT TO WEAR
Bangkok’s weather is much like that of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. So wear light, airy, comfy outfit.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Here are other things on our list but didn’t get to do in our limited 4-day stay in Bangkok. You might want to try them if you’re more interested in them than our recommendations above. Let us know then how it went, yes?!
2-5 hours away from the city (depending on your tour preference) is where the famous Elephant experience is. The BHT1500-2500 cost, aside from the travel time, was what made us decide to save it for another trip. If you can include this in your budget right away, we say do it!
River Tour (Khlongs of Tonburi)
Cruise along Chao Phraya River to see Bangkok by the river.
A little close to the river tour is shopping for local produce in the floating market. This one’s on top of our list but we had to drop it since this takes much time, too.
If your thing is being curious about Bangkok’s famous ladyboys, this sin city is the place to be!
Sirocco Sky Bar
If you’re a big fan of Hangover 2, it must be a thrill to see one of the highest and best roof top bars in the world. Lebua Hotel and Resort has garnered several international accolades for their one-of-a-kind Sky Bar. And the Hangover team got to shoot over here, if you remember that rooftop bar scene.
If you haven’t had enough temples, these two are worth seeing, too!
Temple of Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
The Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
Pratanum (Garment District)
Ratchada Night Bazaar (Vintage items)
Some of the best food in the world are Thai dishes! Try different Thai restaurants for the duration of your trip and you will love the country one Pad Thai at a time. Food is fairly cheap, too! There’s no reason not to devour!
Beware of tuktuks asking persuasively that you pass by several jewellery/souvenir shops in exchange for gas for them. Of course you would like to help a hardworking family provider, as we did. But too much kindness leads to:
- time wasted– we could have spent those lost hours exploring other worthy places
- additional expenses–the unbelievably, heavens-help-him, deceitful guy left us after all his gas vouchers have been claimed even if our arranged destinations are not finished yet. We also lost time looking for him. We gave him a loooot of benefit of the doubt. So we had to find another ride in the end.
Planning a Trip
Planning an organized, time-efficient, and cost-effective trip is hardwork. It takes a lot of time just doing research, reading blog after blog, after travel guides. It even involves time estimation skills, and creating different scenarios so you’re ready with plan A-Z. There’s a lot of variables to consider, funds and time, being the biggest dictators. You can’t just go there and expect everything to turn out as fluid as you imagine it to be.
Bangkok is Worth It
But Bangkok is worth the planning effort investment!
It is a city full of life, texture, and variety. It might as well be Europe in Asia if only for its river experience alone. Don’t get beaten by the planning conundrum and the cost! Bangkok is one of the cheapest places to travel to! You will surely have an amazing time with Thai food, shopping, culture, fashion, and a whole bunch of experiences! It has become one of our favorite destinations which is just close by and won’t deplete bank accounts!
You’re doing the right thing!
You got the destination right!
Now book your flight, play with your itinerary, and in no time, tag us with your photos!