Bangkok

The capitol of Thailand, the country of smiles. Bangkok is a great place to go on holidays. There is always something to do and so much to see. In the busy city, there's an abundance of temples. One better than the other. After a busy day of visiting the biggest and most impressive temples, you can go eat a Thai curry for almost no money. After that, go out in the winding streets of Bangkok in search for the amazing nightlife. The heavy contrast between rich and pour and old and new start to be visible once you walk through the city. Some parts are clearly not modernised yet. While other parts make you think you're in a new, futuristic movie. That all together, is what makes Bangkok so interesting. There always is something new to discover.

Eén van de vele buddha's in Bangkok.

One of the many buddha’s in Bangkok.

  Average costs

Stay – There are many, many different places to spend the night in Bangkok. The cheapest option is to book a hostel or ‘dorm. But then, you shouldn’t mind to sleep with other backpackers in one room. Dependant on the location, prices start at 100 THB (€2,5 or $3), but can become a little more pricey to almost 600 THB (€15,5 or $17). For a single room you’ll pay something in between 400 and 1000 THB in a youth hostel.
For cheaper hotels where you get a single room, you pay between 500 and 1200 THB (€13 to €31 or $15 to €34).
Of course there also are a lot of luxurious hotels and ressorts. On average, these start at 1800 THB (€46 or $50).

On  this page you can take a look at all the accommodations throughout Bangkok, with its pricing.

Eat – You can eat delicious food all over Bangkok. The cheapest is to dine at the food carts and food courts spread over the whole city. Food doesn’t cost more than 80 THB usually. And however it is cheap, it tastes very good!

In a restaurant you’ll pay more. Starting at 120 THB (€3 or $3,5), but of course prices can get higher. For more European or western dishes, you’ll pay a minimum of 200 THB.

Transport – Everywhere you look there are tuktuk’s and taxi’s in Bangkok. Prices are very similar, but I found that most of the times taxi’s are in fact cheaper!

The cheapest way of transportation with these taxi services are still the scooters. You can easily recognise them, because the drivers wear a flashy orange vest.
Always negotiate a price beforehand. Otherwise the drivers will ask too much anyway.

The public transport in Bangkok is quite reliable (only the busses are not). The SkyTrain only costs 15 THB for a single ticket and it brings you all over the city.

Songkran Bangkok

Songkran, The Thai new year in Bangkok!

  Money Saving

Street food Good and cheap. I like to repeat it over and over. Try buying some street food! Besides Thai food you also will find a lot of delicious dessert such as pancakes or waffles.

Negotiate prices with drivers  Are you taking a taxi, tuktuk or motorcycle? Make the necessary arrangements beforehand or see if they have a functioning taxi metre. That way you won’t face annoying situations.
Another tip: use the public transportation as much as possible. Especially the SkyTrain is very accessible and a lot cheaper than always buying from a taxi, tuktuk or motorcycle.

Haggle  Are you forced to take souvenirs or do you just want them home for yourself? Don’t buy too fast. The seller will always give you a price that is too high. You can easily get a much lower price.

Probably another shop or stand a little further sells the exact same items, so if it didn’t work you can always try over there.

Predrinks  Weird… Alcohol was quite expensive in Bangkok’s nightlife! Go visit the 7/11 stores to buy some alcoholic beverages beforehand. That way you don’t need to spend too much Thai Baht’s while visiting some clubs.

Wat Pho, de liggende buddha.

Wat Pho, the reclining buddha.

 Do’s

Visit the temples! – Not all of them, of course. Because there are just way too much temples to see them all. And honestly, if you would see them all it would probably start to be a little boring after a while.

The most touristic temples are also the most beautiful temples. Definitely plan a visit or tour to some of these legendary buildings.

Thai kitchen – Go crazy and start to steam on your Thai diet. The hot, sweet and sour kitchen in Thailand is famous all over the world. Logically, because the food really is delicious!

Try out some food carts with typically Thai dishes. You can find these cars spread out over all of Bangkok and you’ll see your food being prepared. Cheap and very good! Maybe not a good idea with easily upset stomachs.

Massages  On average 300 THB a massage; you won’t find any cheaper where you live! A Thai massage is quite rugged and perfect to become stress free from the crazy traffic in Bangkok.

However… Do pay attention for the happy endings, guys. If the masseur or masseuse starts to fondle a little too close to your private parts, just say that you’re not comfortable with that… Or not?

Markets – Daily, Bangkok organises multiple markets around the city. Some are permanent, while others are only held at certain days of the week.
Definitely go to the floating market for a unique experience. But also the Chinese market is wort a visit for everyone who wants to go bargain hunting.

Going out – The nightlife in Bangkok is excellent. In Bangkok there are several different districts for different kinds of people. One thing is certain: Thai people know how to party!
Bangkok is a lot more expensive to go out in comparison to other places in Thailand. For a beer you’ll pay about four to seven euro’s.

Ga outside of Bangkok – Staying in the capital gives you lots of opportunities to spend some time in other regions too. Take a cheap flight to the north (Chiang Mai) or the south (Krabi) of Thailand and get to know the Thai culture a little better.
From Bangkok itself you can also do a lot of day tours or activities in the nearby regions.

Songkran festival – Are you in Bangkok around April? Great choice! The Thai new year (=”Songkran”) is celebrated annually from the 13th of april until the 15th. The festival is celebrated with huge amounts of locals and tourists.
Buckets, water guns and sometimes even elephant make you soaking wet during this spectacular event. Everyone takes part in it! Even the police throws buckets of cooling water on you, followed by some sticky flour.

Watertaxi's in Bangkok.

Watertaxi’s in Bangkok.

   Don’ts

Drive yourself – If you really woud like to rent a car or scooter in Bangkok, be sure to have tons of experience. How many backpackers or tourists I met with huge scars, toothless smiles and nasty holiday memories because they decided to drive on their own around Bangkok.

Scams Sometimes it’s hard to see them coming, but once you start to see that someone is scamming you, just walk away. Scammers try to take you to shops for ‘good causes’ or ‘tourist centers’, but actually they don’t want anything else besides your money. Luckily, they never get aggressive. Just a little bit annoying.

Animal cruelty – Unfortunately, there still is quite some animal cruelty going on in Bangkok. Not really on the street, but behind the scenes of tourist hotspots like Tiger Kingdom. It is said that the tigers get drugged, but if it is this way I just can’t say.
I went to take a look and didn’t think the tigers were treated badly. But if you google the subject, you find other comments on the case.
Definitely don’t go cheering for monkeys or elephants while they do tricks. They get abused year after year, and they certainly aren’t happy with their lives. Instead, go see some of the sanctuaries that adopt these mistreated animals and give them the life they deserve.

Uitzicht over Bangkok vanuit de Sathorn Unique Ghost Tower.

View over Bangkok from the Sathorn Unique Ghost Tower.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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