Bangkok is a place you’ll either love or hate. If like me, you’re travelling on a budget, I’ve found a few things to do that are very affordable but that will get you the most out of what this incredible city has to offer!
1. Escape the Heat at the IMAX Cinema in the Paragon Mall
The heat in Bangkok can really become unbearable. There are tons of malls in the Ratchathewi area which are climatised. However, walking around a shopping mall can quickly become boring.
Walking through the fancy Paragon Mall, me and a friend discovered the cinema on the top floor. It looks really expensive but it turned out to be quite cheap compared to Europe! A film starts at around 140 Baht (4$) for the cheapest seats. Most films are shown in English. We ended up going 3 times and saw all the latest block busters!
2. Have Lunch in the Food Court of a Mall
Again, a climitased lunch will be something you’ll appreciate sooner than later. Whilst I loved the street food, most of them only open at night and a food court offers pretty much the same quality at a very similar price – with the bonus of aircon!
My favourite food court has to be the one in the MBK Mall! It’s huge and the choices are endless!
At the beginning I didn’t quite get the concept but it’s fairly easy. You go get a prepaid card at the payment counter and pay with it at the stalls. After you’re done, you return the card and get a refund of the money you didn’t spent. In the MBK Mall Food Court I’d highly recommend the Korean stall (they have the best Bibimbap) and my favourite dessert: Mango Sticky Rice! All in all you can have a decent meal with drinks there for around $5!
3. Visit a Local Night Market
The best bit about Bangkok? The markets – doubtlessly. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it’s so much fun to wander through and explore! Whilst the Chatuchak market is great, it’s also very popular among tourists, making it very crowded!
Two friends of a friend that lived in Bangkok took us to the Rot Fai Market which is popular among young Thais and it’s also known as the Train Market. It offers amazing street food stalls and lots of vendors selling everything from shoelaces to cool lamps! It changes locations every now and then, so google it or ask around before you go! Last year, it was located near the Esplanade Mall on Ratchadaphisek Road.
4. Take the River Taxi
Taking a boat to cruise the river is a must do for many travellers in Bangkok. I took one as well and loved to see the city from a different perspective. The expensive way to do so is to take a tourist boat tour, but you can also go with the taxi boat that leaves right next to the tourist boats. I took the boat from Si Phra Ya Pier to Tha Thien, right next to Wat Pho.
5. Get fancy at the Moon Bar in the Banyan Tree Hotel
A rooftop bar with an amazing view of the city in a 5-star hotel? How can that be affordable you ask? Well, if you dress appropriately (no flip-flops, no shorts for men) then you get in for free. It’s not mandatory to buy a drink there but you can get a non-alcoholic cocktail for around $9 which allows you to stay a bit longer, sit down and enjoy the view without fearing to be kicked out!
Of course there are plenty of other things to do in Bangkok, just get out there and explore!
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