Traveling to Bangkok is a rite of passage for a lot of would-be jet-setters who want to start a journey around Southeast Asia & beyond.

My first experience in Bangkok was nerve-racking but very memorable. In fact, it was the first time I went on a solo trip abroad, and the first foreign city I stepped foot on after going on “training” trips to easier destinations like Hong Kong and Singapore.

I’ve visited Bangkok many times since then. This city doesn’t run out of fun things to do. With travel apps & mobile data access, it has never been easier to enjoy a trip to Thailand.

Why Bangkok?

It’s a dynamic city full of awe-inspiring sights to see. For me, its most alluring charm was the exotic appeal. Having grown up in a westernized Roman-catholic country, getting to visit royal palaces, majestic temples & indulging in authentic Thai food was too exciting to resist. To add the cherry on top, traveling in Bangkok & the rest of Thailand can be very cheap.

This detailed Bangkok travel guide will get you started on how to plan a trip. I’ve included helpful tips that can help you maximize your time and save money. Scroll down for trip highlights, where to stay, sample itinerary, budget breakdown, where to go, and a lot of extra travel tips.

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Here’s a quick glimpse of what to see & do in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sunset at Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) during my first trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Many visits later it’s still my favorite view of the city! Click here to see this photo on Instagram.

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How to go — Touchdown at any of two airports serving Bangkok — Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). Travel time to downtown Bangkok from either airport can take 30 minutes to up to 1 hour depending on the destination. The fastest way is to go by train. You can also ride a taxi/Uber/Grab, bus or private car. Click below to see the cheapest Bangkok flights (remember to set the travel dates & search).

Manila to BangkokAll flights

Bangkok transport apps, car charter & private transport:

Best time to visit — Go in the cool “shoulder season” months of November or February when prices are low and the weather is not too hot. The cool & dry season between November & May is also a good time to visit just remember to prepare sun protection during the hottest months in March & April. Meanwhile, the rainy season starts from June and usually ends in October.

Book your hotel early — Reserve your stay as soon as you know you are going because prices rarely go down the closer you are to your trip. Not to mention, lower-priced rooms tend to get fully booked faster. Click below to compare rates & read reviews by other travelers.

See discounts

Pre-book tours & discount tickets — Check discounts on tours and attractions as well. Save money & avoid hassles of exchanging/bringing large amounts of cash by booking online.

See discounts

Top discounts booked by other travelers:

Visa-free travel for Philippine citizens — Filipino/Pinoy tourists (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Thailand. Filipinos usually get a maximum stay of 30 days if arriving via an international airport.

Bangkok on a budget — Cheap accommodations, local food & transport are very easy to find. If you want to splurge on a comfy bed, nice dinner, or a fun night out, prices are very reasonable even compared to other destinations in Southeast Asia. Don’t miss the money-saving tips on this guide if you want to enjoy a trip on a tight budget.

Beat the traffic — Traffic is unavoidable in Bangkok. Travel light & get on a train to get around the city, especially on your way to/from the airport. It’s cheap and a lot faster than taking the taxi or bus. Many tourist spots are also accessible via the Chao Phraya River ferries, which are also cheap and a lot of fun.

Top Thailand travel blogs & guides

Where to stay in Bangkok

The most popular place to stay for budget travelers is Khao San Road area. It is an easy base to explore Bangkok & beyond because of many hostels, travel agencies & transport options that can be found here.

Want better views & comfort? Try the mid-range & luxury hotels on the Chao Phraya Riverside.

If you’re after the exciting shopping scene in Bangkok, stay near the BTS/MRT train stations preferably in the area of Siam, Silom, Sukhumvit, or Hua Lamphong BTS station. A big advantage of staying nearby is fast access to Suvarnabhumi Airport (via the airport express), and major transport hubs like Morchit (Mochit)-Northern Thailand Bus Station & Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

Bangkok hotels & hostels

Here’s a list of recommended & top-rated places to stay in Bangkok. Click below to see rates, discounts & guest reviews.

1. Inn Stations Hostel

Budget backpacker | Siam

2. Love hostel

Budget backpacker | Khao San

3. Nacorn Hostel Khaosan

Budget backpacker | Khao San

4. Been Hostel Ratchathewi

Budget Flashpacker | Siam

5. Baan Dinso

Budget | Khao San

6. Thanabhumi

Budget | Khao San

7. Casa Nithra

Mid-range | Khao San

8. SSIP Boutique Dhevej

Mid-range | Khao San

9. Shangri-La Hotel

Splurge | Bangrak Riverside

10. lebua at State Tower

Splurge | Silom

Search more!

Compare all places to stay in Bangkok & see promo rates by searching below.

Where to book

Book your stay online through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently during my travels to grab the best deals & enjoy convenient bookings. Click below to see today’s lowest prices.

AgodaBooking.com

Here are some of the top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too:

Wide selection of Bangkok hotels/hostels for all budgets.

Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn!

Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests.

Instant confirmation & free cancellation on most properties.

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.

Fast customer support.

For home & apartment rentals. I book my stay online on:

Airbnb

How to find affordable yet decent hotels or hostels perfect for your budget

Step 1 — Go to Agoda.com.

Step 2 — View all properties within your price range by tapping on the “Filter” button. Then, scroll down to “Price per night” and select your price range. Tap on “Filter” to see the results. On a desktop/laptop screen, you can find the filters on the left side of the page.

Step 3 — See properties with the best reviews by tapping on the “Sort” button. Then, choose “Guest ratings” > “All guests” or any of the choices you like. On a desktop/laptop screen, the sort button is located on top of the results.

Pro tip — Carefully check the number of reviews, not only the review score. A higher number of reviews mean a more reliable review score.

By default, prices displayed do not include taxes/fees. If you want to see the total price (paid upon checkout), tap on the menu button found on the upper right corner of the page. Scroll down to the “Price view” settings and select “Total stay.” On a desktop/laptop screen, you can find it under the “Price per night” filter (left side of the page).

To view the best places to stay, simply sort the results by guest ratings.

To check the cheapest rooms, sort the results by price from lowest to highest.

Again, be mindful of the number of reviews in addition to the review score to find the best options, as experienced by other travelers.

For rock-bottom prices & promo rates on luxury hotels, filter the results by showing only “4-stars” and/or “5-stars,” then select “Hotels” as the property type. Lastly, sort by price from low to high. See more on the deals tab & clicking on the “Insider deals” or “Agoda secret deals.”

Bangkok itinerary

Here’s a sample 3 days & 2 nights itinerary in Bangkok. Scroll down for the budget and list of expenses. Followed by top spots to visit, things to do & extra travel tips.

3D2N Bangkok-Ayutthaya itinerary

Day 1 — Grand Palace and Bangkok riverside

AM — Flight to Bangkok & arrival.

Bangkok Airport to city center/hotel transfer.

Bangkok hotel check-in.

Jim Thompson House.

PM — Grand Palace, Wat Pho & Wat Arun.

Sunset along Chao Phraya Riverside — Best views from the riverside bars near Ta Thien / across the river from Wat Arun.

Dinner on Chao Phraya River cruise (buffet) or Thip Samai.

Day 2 — Beyond Bangkok

AM to PM — Ayutthaya full-day trip.

Bangkok night markets / mall shopping.

Day 3 — Floating market & shopping

AM — Floating Market half-day trip.

PM — Bangkok mall / pasalubong shopping.

Bangkok city center/hotel to airport transfer.

Arrival at Bangkok Airport.

Return/onward flight from Bangkok.

Bangkok budget

Your travel budget in Bangkok will largely depend on activities you plan on enjoying, how much you’re up to spend on activities, accommodations & food. For your reference, here are the budget estimates if you follow the itinerary posted above.

3 days Bangkok budget

Estimate for budget travelers.Price per person
Transport — Local commute (train, bus, ferry, etc.) & taxi fares for 3 days. See expenses breakdown below for details.THB 700
Accommodations — 3D2N stay in backpacker dormsTHB 600
Food — Daily budget of THB 300 x 3 days.THB 900
Total (excluding activities)THB 2,200

THB 2,200 is around USD 66 / PHP 3,400. Or, a daily budget of THB 730 / USD 22 / PHP 1,140.

The total budget above is for the entire 3 days trip, per person, excluding flights & attractions/activities. I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can travel.

If you have money to splurge on hotels/food and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted on this page to calculate your own budget.

Here’s the total budget plus entrance/admission fees on selected activities in Bangkok.

Including activitiesPrice per person
Jim Thompson House admission — Per person.THB 150
Grand Palace admission — Per person.THB 500
Wat Pho admission — Per person.THB 100
Wat Arun admission — Per person.THB 100
Ayutthaya full-day join-in tour — Including transport & tour guide. Price per person.

THB 1,325
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market half-day join-in tour — Including transport & tour guide. Price per person.

THB 675
TotalTHB 5,050

THB 5,050 converts to around USD 153 / PHP 7,800. Or, a daily budget of THB 1,683 / USD 51 / PHP 2,600.

As you can see, traveling to Thailand doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The budget posted is a pretty good deal considering you will be able to enjoy many of the top tourist spots in Bangkok and even go on excursions to two interesting places outside the city — Ayutthaya & a floating market.

Can you travel cheaper? Of course! Over half of the budget above is spent on tours & admission fees. You can achieve a lower budget by replacing them with cheaper alternatives. For example, a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok’s different districts like Chinatown (food), Siam (shopping) or Khao San Road area. Also, make sure to check-out all the money-saving tips posted on this guide.

Expenses breakdown

Transport breakdownPrice
Bangkok airport train to city center — Roundtrip, per person. THB 50 per way x 2.THB 100
Transport within Bangkok — Estimated train, bus, ferry, taxi fares for 3 days.THB 600
Manila to Bangkok flight

Bangkok to Manila flight

OthersPrice
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise — With buffet dinner onboard.

THB 240
Thailand data sim card — Unlimited data/mobile internet.

THB 240
Thailand data pocket wifi — Unlimited data/mobile internet, 3 days rental. THB 180 per day. Connects up to 10 devices.

THB 540
Philippine Travel Tax — For Filipino outbound tourists only.PHP 1,620

Top Bangkok Spots

Here’s a list of top Bangkok tourist spots & things to do on your trip.

1. Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

An impressive complex of finely-decorated buildings, statues & courtyards. Here, you can find the 26-inch tall Emerald Buddha, the kingdom’s most sacred image, Wat Phra Kaew, the holiest temple in Thailand.

Opening hours — 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Admission/entrance fee — THB 500 per person.

How to get to the Grand Palace — The entrance gates are located within an easy walk from Tha Chang pier if you want to go by ferry. The Grand Palace is just over 1 kilometer from Khao San Road. On foot, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes. From the National Stadium, Phaya Thai or Hua Lamphong BTS/MRT station, it’s easily reached by taxi/Grab/Uber. The fare shouldn’t cost more than THB 100. Or, ride bus #47 from National Stadium, Silom or Lumphini BTS/MRT station. Bus fare is THB 7 on weekdays and FREE! on Saturdays & Sundays.

Top tours & discounts

Grand Palace & ferry cruise to Wat Lang Market — Join-in tour. Inclusive of Grand Palace admission fee, transport, professional guide & insurance.See discounts

Grand Palace & Chao Phraya River cruise — Join-in tour. Inclusive of Grand Palace admission fee, transport & professional guide.See discounts

2. Wat Pho

Wat Pho (Temple of the Giant Reclining Buddha) in Bangkok, Thailand

Home to the famous reclining golden Buddha.

Opening hours — 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Admission/entrance fee — THB 100 per person.

How to get to Wat Pho — Located near Tha Tien Pier, beside the Grand Palace, but on the other side of the entrance gate. Wat Pho is a short walk away. Bring an umbrella because it gets really hot & humid in Bangkok during the day.

Top tours & discounts

Wat Pho & Bangkok Temples tour — Join-in tour. Inclusive of admission fees, roundtrip transport to/from hotel & professional guide.See discounts

3. Wat Arun

https://www.instagram.com/p/0VjCvfoP4H/

This temple is famous for its beautiful spire that towers over the Chao Phraya River. You can climb up the steep stairs for a breathtaking overlook of Bangkok’s skyline. Though, my favorite view of Wat Arun is from the riverside bars across the river (near Tha Tien pier). The sunset & dusk views from here are not to be missed!

Opening hours — 8:00 am to 6:30 pm.

Admission/entrance fee — THB 100 per person.

How to get to Wat Arun — From Tha Tien pier & ride the local ferry to Wat Arun. The ferry ride costs THB 4 per person.

4. Bangkok markets & shopping malls

Golden Gate Bridge Replica at Terminal 21, in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a shopping paradise! There are a lot of exciting markets, malls & bargains here to keep you busy all day. Don’t go only to shop, most malls have excellent food courts where you can eat affordable & delicious Thai food.

Where to shop in Bangkok?

Chatuchak Weekend Market — The market of all markets in Bangkok. This is a must-visit for shoppers visiting during the weekend. Chatuchak Weekend Market is located near Mo Chit BTS & Kamphaeng Phet MRT station.

Terminal 21 — My favorite mall in Bangkok because of its many Instagram-able spots inspired by London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Fransisco and & Hollywood. The food court is huge with lots of delicious options. The boutique shops (upper floors) are more upscale than the stalls at Chatuchak Market but the clothes are way more interesting. Terminal 21 is located near Asok BTS & Sukhumvit MRT station.

Platinum Fashion Mall — Shopping for affordable clothing in Bangkok? This is a mall you should not miss.

Siam Paragon, Siam Center & Siam Discovery — Located just outside Siam BTS station, it’s very easy to visit & one of Bangkok’s most popular malls. There’s a huge food court on the ground floor of Siam Paragon with a good variety of food options. Siam Center & Siam Discovery is located next door. You can find Madame Tussauds & SEA Life Bangkok on the 6th floor of Siam Discovery.

Pantip Plaza — THE destination in Bangkok for electronics & IT products. Its five floors area full of small shops selling cameras, phones, computer hardware, software & accessories. Pantip Plaza is located beside Platinum Fashion Mall.

MBK — Originally called Mahbookkrong, is one of the city’s oldest & biggest malls with over 2,000 shops. MBK is located across the street from Siam Discovery.

Central World — The largest mall in Bangkok & among the largest shopping complexes in the World. Central World is located near Chit Lom & Siam BTW stations.

Emporium — Mostly caters to high-end shoppers. Beautiful views from the sky gardens & open-air terraces. Emporium is located near Phrom Phong BTS station.

Asiatique — Nice views of Chao Phraya riverside, especially at night. Shops cater to the tourist crowd. Many products are the same as what you’d find at Chatuchak Weekend Market & Platinum Fashion Mall but sold at higher prices. To get to Asiatique, ride a free shuttle boat from Sathorn/Central Pier near Saphan Taksin BTS station.

Pratunam Market — Fashion-focused version of Chatuchak Market. Pratunam Market is located near Platinum Fashion Mall.

5. Jim Thompson House

https://www.instagram.com/p/BY8WpzkFEqR/

Houses the impressive art collection of Jim Thompson, an American expat famous for revitalizing the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The site also features traditional Thai-style houses surrounded by cool greeneries.

Opening hours — 9 am to 6 pm.

Admission/entrance fee — THB 150 per adult. THB 100 per student (under 22 years old.

How to get to Jim Thompson House — Ride the Skytrain to National Stadium BTS station. Then, ride the free shuttle or take a short walk to Jim Thompson House.

6. Bangkok temples

Thailand’s capital is home to over 40,000 Buddhist temples. In addition to Wat Pho, Wat Arun & Wat Phra Kaew, here’s a list of beautiful temples in Bangkok.

Wat Saket (Golden Mount Temple) — Near Grand Palace/Khao San Road.

Wat Saket (Golden Mount Temple) in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)

Marble Temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Inthrawihan (Temple of the Giant Standing Buddha)

Wat Inthrawihan (Temple of the Giant Standing Buddha) in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Suthat — Beside the Giant Swing. Near Grand Palace/Khao San Road.

Wat Suthat in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) — See the World’s largest solid gold Buddha statue. Located in Yaowarat/Chinatown.

Wat Traimit (temple) in Bangkok, Thailand

7. Bangkok nightlife

Chang Beer!

Bangkok’s infamous nightlife needs no introduction. Different areas in the city cater to various crowds. See the list below to keep you guided on night spots you shouldn’t miss in Bangkok.

Where to go at night in Bangkok

Khao San Road — The ultimate place to party & meet backpackers from all over the world.

Silom & Sukhumvit — Home to most of the finest clubs and bars in Bangkok.

Rooftop bars — Gorgeous views overlooking Bangkok’s skyline. Here are some of the most famous bars.

Beautiful rooftop bars in Bangkok:

Vertigo & Moon Bar — Banyan Tree.

Sirocco & Sky Bar — lebua at State Tower.

Attitude — Avani.

Park Society — Sofitel So.See discounts

Octave Rooftop Bar — Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.

Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar and Bistro

Zense Gourmet Deck & Lounge — Centralworld.

Patpong — Where to see the famed “ping-pong” shows.

Siam Niramit Cultural Show & Dinner — Theatrical show featuring grand set pieces, hundreds of performers, traditional music, dances & stories of early Siamese heritage.

See discounts

Chao Phraya river cruise — Enjoy the night lights along Bangkok’s riverside while indulging in a sumptuous buffet dinner onboard.

Bangkok buffet — Excellent way to feast on different Thai dishes and international cuisine.

8. Bangkok Chinatown

Shophouses at Chinatown, in Bangkok, Thailand

Best street food in the city according to locals.

How to get to Bangkok Chinatown/Yaowarat — Ride the Chao Phraya River Express & drop-off at the Ratchawong Pier. Then, go on a walk from Ratchawong Road to Sampeng Lane and Yaowarat Road. Or, simply go by taxi/Grab/Uber.

Top tours & discounts

Beyond Bangkok

Floating Markets

An easy day excursion from Bangkok. The most popular floating markets are found in Damnoen Saduak & Amphawa.

Tours & discounts

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is filled with massive ancient temples ruins that is just one-hour away by land from Bangkok. This ancient city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, served as the second capital of Thailand.

Tours & discounts

Pattaya

Famous beach town just 2 hours south of Bangkok famous for its lively nightlife.

Tours & discounts

Hua Hin

Less popular, but also a lot less crowded & family-friendly version of Pattaya. This beach town has many themed Instagram-able spots like The Venetian & Santorini Park. Travel time from Bangkok is around 2.5 to 3 hours.

Tours & discounts

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Home to Angkor Wat, one of the World’s grandest temples & ancient structures. Travel time from Bangkok to Siem Reap takes 1 hour by flight or around 9 hours by bus.

Tours & discounts

See more

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vibrant capital city & southern gateway to Vietnam. Travel time from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh takes 1.5 hours by flight.

Tours & discounts

See more

Chiang Mai

A City of Temples, home to hundreds of beautiful temples and museums in & beyond the Old Walled City. This place is not only a beautiful place to visit, it’s also one of the cheapest travel destinations in Southeast Asia.

Tours & discounts

Krabi & Phi Phi

Go south & visit Thailand’s World-famous beaches. Krabi is home to the country’s most spectacular island landscapes with picture-perfect beaches surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.

Tours & discounts

Phuket

Thailand’s most popular beach destination.

Tours & discounts

Koh Samui, Phangan & Tao

Head to the east coast of Thailand for amazing underwater views and epic “Full Moon” beach parties.

Tours & discounts

Travel tips before you go

How to get to Bangkok?

Bangkok Flights

Bangkok is served by two airports — Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) & Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). Both airports are located some 30 kilometers away from the city. Check your plane ticket/flight itinerary to know which airport you will be arriving in Thailand.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport near Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and most foreign carriers arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Meanwhile, Don Muang Airport is the primary hub of Thai-based airlines that operate domestic flights in Thailand including Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, and Orient Thai Airlines.

Travel time to downtown Bangkok from either airport usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the destination in the city. Or, more if traveling by car & traffic is heavy (expect this throughout the day in Bangkok). Under smooth traffic, the ride should only take 30 to 45 minutes.

Manila to Bangkok flights

Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines & Thai Airways operate daily flights to Bangkok. All three airlines arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Travel time from Manila to Bangkok by flight is around 3.5 hours.

How to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city center

By train — A convenient airport rail link connects downtown Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport. If you are traveling light, this is the best option. It’s fast, cheap, and most importantly, avoids Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams. Train fare to the Phaya Thai, the end of the line, costs THB 45 per person.

To Khao San Road — The closest train station to Khao San Road is around 5 km, so you need to go on another transport to arrive there. You can go by public bus, taxi or ride-sharing apps. The taxi/Grab/Uber fare from National Stadium, Phaya Thai or Hua Lamphong train stations usually costs around THB 80 to 100 per ride. If you want to go by bus, drop off at Makkasan train station. Train fare is THB 35 per person. Travel time is 20 minutes. From the exit, ride Bus 556 and drop off at the next stop after the Democracy Monument. Bus fare is THB 15 per person. Then, walk 30 meters down to Khao San Road.

By bus — There are many bus routes connecting the airport to various areas in downtown Bangkok. I don’t recommend that you go by bus all the way from the airport because they are extremely slow and not worth the time/effort wasted. Instead, ride the faster train to downtown Bangkok and go by bus/taxi/Grab/Uber from the nearest station. For reference, the airport bus fare is around THB 35 per person.

By Taxi/Grab/Uber — Taxi fare to downtown Bangkok usually cost between THB 300 to 400 per ride. On top of the metered fare, prepare an additional THB 70 for the freeway toll plus THB 50 for the airport tax (THB 120 total). Better yet, use Grab and Uber for convenient rides in Bangkok.

Get UberGrab (iOS)Grab (Android)

By private car — For hassle-free transfers, book a private car with a convenient drop-off to your hotel or Suvarnabhumi Airport (if coming from the city). You can hire a car that can seat up to 3 people or van for bigger groups (up to 10 people per car). Click below to see discount prices.

See discounts

 

How to get from Don Muang Airport to Bangkok city center

By public transport — There are no MRT/BTS train stations at Don Muang Airport. The best way to get to the city center by local commute is to go by bus or taxi/Grab/Uber to the nearest station, which is Mo Chit BTS station. Ride bus A1 (airport bus), 29, 49 or 59. The fare is THB 30 for the A1 bus. From Mo Chit, take the train to your destination.

By private car — Like Suvarnhabumi Airport, you can also book hassle-free car charters that can drop you off directly to your hotel or Don Muang Airport (if coming from the city). Click below to see discount prices.

See discounts

How to find cheap flights to Bangkok?

The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on multiple airlines in one go.

I use these sites often to find the best prices on flights. Check as many sites as possible because not all may display the same results. Click below to start your search.

MomondoSkyscannerWegoTripAdvisor

Check Bangkok promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold several months to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date.

To learn more, visit the guide on how to book cheap flights.

Where to book bus & train tickets online?

Traveling from/to Cambodia, Vietnam or other destinations in Thailand? Check the sites below that offers the best rates, schedule & comfort. Buy your tickets days ahead to avoid fully-booked seats.

12go.asiaBookMeBus

Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok, Thailand

Do I need a Visa to travel to Bangkok?

Visa for Philippine citizens — Filipino/Pinoy tourists (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Thailand granted that the purpose of the visit is for tourism or transit only. Simply show up at the immigration checkpoint and get your passport stamped. Filipinos usually get a maximum stay of 30 days if arriving via an international airport, or up to 15 days if entering through a land border checkpoint from a neighboring country (Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, or Malaysia).

Always remember that all countries have the right to refuse entry to any person. Even if you are eligible for the free tourist visa or already have one in hand at the border.

Make sure that you are able to provide the following:

Valid passport not expiring within 6 months.

A confirmed travel itinerary  — Including a confirmed flight ticket back to your home country or onward destination that you are allowed to enter.

Proof of accommodation — Hotel reservation or letter of invitation from your friend/family residing in Thailand.

Funds of at least THB 10,000 per person and THB 20,000 per family — I personally have not experienced being asked to show this, but several travelers have reported that Thailand immigration had become strict with it recently. This money must be in cash and can be in an equivalent foreign currency — PHP 15,500 or USD 300. No credit cards are accepted as proof of funds. It is also recommended that you are able to provide evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only. You can do so by booking tours/activities online, prior to your trip, and showing your confirmation/receipt to immigration officers.

How many days to spend in Bangkok?

3 days is enough to visit many of the major tourist spots in Bangkok. If you want to include nearby areas like Pattaya or Hua Hin, schedule at least 4 to 5 days for your trip. A shorter visit of 2 full days is possible to skim through the highlights if you plan your itinerary well.

How to get Thailand Baht?

Thailand’s currency is called Thai Baht (THB or ฿). You should be able to exchange your USD, EUR, GBP easily at most money exchange stalls. Don’t exchange a lot at the airport. Branches found in the city usually offer better rates. It’s best to get a couple hundred THB at the airport (or at least 1K to be safe), enough for a ride to your hotel. Then, shop around at the city center for the best rates.

Philippine Pesos (PHP) to Thai Baht — Exchanging PHP to THB is not popular in Thailand. Rates are often very bad, especially at the airport. Also, you might waste a lot of time finding currency exchange stalls in the city that accept Philippine Pesos. Better bring USD in cash. Or, find a way to get Thai Baht before arriving.

ATMs — I always use my ATM card during my recent trips to Thailand. It’s way more convenient than to worry about exchanging cash. Because banks charge a fee (USD 5 or more) per withdrawal, I make sure to withdraw large amounts (once, if possible) instead of several smaller ones.

Before your trip, it’s important to contact your bank and request to activate your card for international withdrawal. Your card might be useless otherwise. I use a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) ATM card and it takes 24-hours for the bank to complete the activation. Call your bank at least 1 day before your trip! My ATM card has the Cirrus logo on it & could use it on any ATMs in Thailand that also display the Cirrus logo.

Credit cards — Go cash-less whenever possible if you want to avoid paying/exchanging cash. This is easily done by pre-booking online for hotels, tours, transport etc. I opt to pay in my home currency, if available. That way, I know exactly how much is charged to my account. Credit cards are also accepted in many establishments in Thailand. Of course, except for small shops & local transport.

When is the best time to visit Bangkok?

The best months to travel to Bangkok is November or February. The weather is cooler & prices aren’t too high. The cool & dry season is between November & May. It’s also the peak tourist season, which means prices are higher compared to the rainy season from June to October. The hottest months are March & April.

How to get around Bangkok?

Bangkok’s Skytrain (BTS)/MRT (mass rail transport) is a very efficient and cheap way to get around, the city. I go by train whenever possible to avoid getting stuck in traffic. There are, however, no train stations within an easy walk from Khao San Road and the Grand Palace. I usually, get around these areas by other means of transport.

I used Uber & Grab frequently for affordable & hassle-free rides not covered by the BTS/MRT. Taxis are generally safe and reliable, just make sure to insist that the driver use the meter. If you can, avoid the tuk-tuks, not unless you want to get ripped-off.

The most fun and memorable transport in Bangkok is the Chao Phraya River boat service. The ferry line is connected to the BTS at Saphan Taksin station & Sathorn Pier. Drop off at Chang Pier to get to the Grand Palace. Or, Phra Arthit pier to get to Khao San Road.

Useful travel apps

Google Maps — This travel app will make it a lot easier to navigate around Bangkok on your own. Download the offline maps before you go so you can check the map even if you don’t have mobile data. Bangkok train & bus routes are displayed in the directions feature but it only works if you are online.

Maps.me — Excellent offline maps & Google Maps alternative.

Uber & Grab ( iOS / Android ) — Reliable ride-sharing apps.

XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter.

Google Translate — Very useful to communicate with locals who do not understand/speak English.

Agoda & Booking.com — My go-to for convenient hotel bookings & cheap room rates. To display the total price (including taxes & fees) on Agoda, click here to download the app. Tap the menu on the top left corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap on “Price display”. Then, select “Total stay”.

Airbnb — Home/apartment rentals.

12go.asia & BookMeBus — Online booking for bus, train & other transport in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & beyond.

Momondo & Skyscanner — Top flight search & price comparison apps.

TripAdvisor — Reviews on the best places to eat & where to stay. Download the app on your iOS or Android device.

Where to get Pocket WiFi or buy a mobile data SIM card?

Stay connected online during your whole trip. Not only does it make it possible to share your travel moments instantly, you can also travel better by having access to all your favorite travel apps anytime. If you can’t get a good roaming data plan from your current provider, pre-book a local/roaming SIM card online.

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Thailand data sim card — Unlimited data/mobile internet for 7 days.

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Thailand 4G pocket wifi — Connects up to 10 devices. Unlimited data/mobile internet.

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Where to book tours & attraction tickets?

Go to Klook for easy, fast, and convenient bookings. I often book online to enjoy discount rates and reliable tours. Click below to see today’s lowest prices.

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Pro tip — Use promo code “DETOURISTA” upon checkout to get an extra PHP 65 off your first booking on Klook. Valid until December 2018. For Philippines & first-time users only.

Here are some of the top reasons why I like to book tours online & why you should consider it too:

Maximize your trip & avoid wasting time walking around town shopping for tours.

Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision.

Grab bargain prices often cheaper than booking on-site.

Free cancellation (check if available).

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.

If you’ve already finalized your travel dates, it’s important to book well before the trip. For join-in & private tours, Klook closes the booking period 1-3 days before the tour date. Also, the number of participants is limited for each tour & day. So, reserve early, especially if you are traveling in a group to lock-in those open slots for your group.

Top discounts booked by other travelers:

Click below to see more tours & discounts on:

KK DayExpedia

Don’t stop here

See more Thailand blogs & travel guides:

Check out these pages for more inspiration on places to go in Asia:

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