Thailand attracts thousands of tourists from around the world each year. Whilst most escape to the beaches to soak up the sun and hang out in the bars, the capital offers a more cultural and metropolitan trip for those that want it. You may have heard stories of how cheap Bangkok is – indeed it can be very affordable, although like any other city it has its tourist traps and money-saving secrets. For anyone looking for a budget getaway to this exotic city, here are some tips to ensure you don’t overspend.
Planning the plane journey
In most cases, the plane journey will be the most expensive part of your escape to Bangkok. There are ways to dramatically save costs such as booking your trip out of season (Bangkok is hot all year round, so why not go in January or February to cure the post-Christmas blues?). Cutting up your journey can also reduce costs, compared to a direct flight. Last minute deals are also worth looking out for if you don’t have to give your work too much notice.
Finding a Hotel
Bangkok is full of affordable accommodation. If you’re backpacking, you needn’t settle for a youth hostel – there are a lot of hotels that have cheap rates per night. Places on the outskirts can sometimes be a little cheaper, but as long as you’re not staying in a five-star hotel complex made for celebrities, you’re unlikely be paying astronomical rates.
Getting from A to B
There are all kinds of ways to get around Bangkok. Walking is always a reliable option, although I wouldn’t recommend this when getting from one side of the city to the other. Public transport is very cheap. You can book a taxi from booktaxibangkok, jump on a bus or ride a tuk tuk. Bear in mind that traffic can be heavy. If you want to avoid the roads, feel free to take the skytrain.
Eat on the Street
Bangkok is full of brilliant Thai restaurants, but eating in these every night may not be suitable for everyone. Often the cheapest option is street food. Bangkok has a number of markets in which you can try out all manner of home-grown and international cuisines. Chinatown and Little Arabia are well worth a visit, whilst areas such as Sukhumvit Soi 33 offer some amazing Pad Thai.
Seeing the sights
There are all manner of sights to see, usually always charging a small admission fee but nothing major. The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Golden Buddha are among some of the most popular attractions. You should be aware of scams – occasionally people will hang around outside these buildings claiming they’re closed and that they can offer you a ‘private tour’ of another nearby building that’s apparently only open ‘one day a year’. Most attractions should be open all year round – always go to the ticket booth and ask here before accepting the word of someone else. For those not too interested in the city’s landmarks, there are a number of markets and bar areas worth visiting.