Bangkok is a fantastic city with lots of things to offer intrepid travellers. Don’t be fooled into thinking, you need to be cashed-up to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. Being on a budget in the City of Angels doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any fun. There is a myriad of free or relatively inexpensive things you can do, explore, and even choose the right backpacker hostel in Bangkok to stay.
For us, one of the nicest and cheapest things you can do in Bangkok is get out ‘n’ about on two feet and explore the city. There are many areas just ripe for exploration. One of our favourites is Chinatown. Alight from the BTS Skytrain at Saphan Taksin Station and then make your way up to Charoen Krung Road.
Besides sticking your head in a myriad of curious shops, like old apothecaries, and stopping to grab a bite to eat at 100-year-old noodle stands; take time to explore TCDC, Warehouse 30, the Bangkokian Museum and Wai Traimit. You can end your walk at Hua Lamphong Train Station. Other fascinating parts of town to ramble about include Rattanakosin, Victory Monument, Thonburi and Ari / SaphanKwai.
If you like green spaces, Bangkok won’t disappoint either. In the downtown area alone, there are loads of lovely parks to explore. They offer an eclectic mix of lakes, paddle boat and bicycle hire, running/walking tracks, cafes, swimming pools, libraries and even butterfly houses. You’ll want to check out Benjasiri, Benjakiti, Chatuchak, Chulalongkorn University Centenary, Lumphini and Rotfai just for starters. And for those feeling ever more energetic, take a boat over the river and spend a day riding around the Green Lung (aka BangKrachao) on a bicycle, which can be rented for as little as THB 50 for the whole day.
We think a klong boat ride is just about the nice ways to get around the city. Although very crowded at rush hour, in the middle of the day the boats are relatively empty, and you can easily get a seat (tip: sit in the middle of the row to avoid being splashed). Just wait at the dock and when the boat arrives quickly hop aboard. The ticket seller will find you and charge approximately THB 7-15 (depending on your destination).
A motorcycle taxi, known locally as a ‘motorsai’, is a quick, easy and cheap way to get around the city. They are especially common at the start of long side-streets (sois), where people take them to reach their destination after alighting from the BTS, MRT or bus. A typical ride will cost around THB 20. You can check the fair price before departing. These bikes go fast and weave amongst the traffic, so hold on tight.
Across the city, you will see spy rusty old red, pink and blue buses chugging their way through traffic. These behemoths have only a fan and open windows; newer versions in yellow and orange have air con. Once aboard look for the ticket collector brandishing a metal box. The required fare will typically be THB 8-10. Google Maps can help you locate your nearest stop and tell you which bus to take depending on where you’re going.
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to slum it. Thailand’s capital city is now home to scores of quality hostels. Whether you want a bunk bed in a dorm, a snug capsule space, a private room or swanky suite, Bangkok will have a hostel to suit your taste and budget.
Gone are the days of dark and dingy places, nowadays hostels give their hotel cousins a good run for their money! Backpacker hostels in Bangkok offers guests a great way to meet new people, join in with unexpected activities and experience a city from a fresh perspective, all without compromising on cleanliness, quality or comfort.
If you’re after a backpacker hostel in Bangkok, we recommend you search in the following areas:
- Siam / National Stadium
- Victory Monument / Phaya Thai
- Ari / SaphanKwai / Sanam Pao
- Thonglor / Ekkamai
- Charoen Krung
- Khao San Road
- Nana / Asok