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Backpackers Guide to Bangkok


This guide is your ultimate information about Bangkok especially for those who travel with limited budget. Check out what’s hot and what’s coming up!

A little about Bangkok

Bangkok is a place for backpackers with many cheap hostels and great value restaurants to offer you. The city is filled with cultural attractions and temples for worships. Apart from that, Bangkok is a modern city with malls and skyscrapers reside near the bustling streets.

Adventurous journey in Bangkok

Bangkok activities are very affordable. You don’t really need to spend lots of cash for these attractions. Here are some of the must see places when you visit Bangkok.

  • Grand Palace

Grand Palace in Bangkok

Grand Palace is the royal family residence that’s open for public. There are 3 areas with one private place for the king and his family. Inside, the temple Wat Phra Kaeo owns the Emerald Buddha.

  • Chatuchak market

Chatuchak market in Bangkok

Chatuchak is the famous traditional market that only opens during weekend. The market is the biggest and most crowded one in the country. Here, there is nothing that you cannot find – from vintage antique to the trendiest skirt at a very cheap price. Bargaining is a must.

  • Khao San Road

Khao San Road in BangkokKhao San Road is where you can taste the true taste of Thailand. Along the streets you can enjoy Thai’s traditional snacks and curries at very cheap price but delicious. This is the backpackers paradise with hostels and guesthouse clean enough to keep you comfy and cheap enough to avoid extra budget.

  • Wat Pho Temple

Wat Pho Temple in BangkokThis is the famous temple where reclining Buddha resides. It is one of the oldest pilgrim cite in the country and you should witness the grandeur art with your own eyes. Learn some Thai safety tips and customs for travellers before you go!

  • Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park in BangkokLumphini Park is the place for elder Thais where they do Tai Chi at the sunrise.

  • Siam Square

Siam Square in BangkokSiam Square is the paradise for shoppers. The mall consists of few stories with wholesale price goods. Bargaining is a must in this place.

  • MBK mall

MBK mall in BangkokThis is a shopping complex where you can find fashion items, electronics and laptops for cheap price.

  • Chao Phraya

Chao Phraya in BangkokChao Phraya is the major water transportation in Bangkok. You can enjoy cruising across the river on sunset or explore new places by riding a taxi boat. You will see temples and tourism attractions as you sail across the river.

  • Dusit Zoo

Dusit Zoo in BangkokOne of the best zoos in Asia with extensive collection of animals.

  • National Museum

National Museum in BangkokTake a peek into Thailand’s history from its historical collection at the National Museum.

Bangkok Transportation

Bangkok owns several transpor methods from modern to traditional vehicles. The Skytrain system allows direct link from and to the airport. This BTS connects various parts of Bangkok conveniently. If you prefer a straightforward transport, you can take metered taxi with a little bargaining skill. The rate is usually fixed but some of the drivers might want a bargained rate. The best way to take the train is to check the schedule online.

Traditional transport like Tuk Tuk allows you to have cheap transportation to places with low cost. They are also familiar with snack and jewelry shops or guide you to Thailand’s tourism site. They work commissioned base so generally they will offer you various places. You need to be wise when agreeing to their suggestions.

Bangkok – the shoppers’ paradise

The open air markets plus extensive collections of malls and vendors have made Bangkok the shopping destination. The shops are in rows and everything caters for your fashion needs. For the best shopping experience, you can try to visit one of these places:

  • Shopping malls

Shopping malls in BangkokThe malls of Bangkok offer the premium and low cost fashions and brands. You can find book stores, accessories, and other specialty stores with navigable routes. The air conditioned building allows you to pleasantly embark the journey to shopping experience. This is a great alternative if you dislike the traditional market that could be very hot during the day. Wear your comfy shoes and let’s go to Terminal 21, Siam Square, MBK Malls, the Emporium, etc.




  • Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak market in BangkokWith the 35 acre of area, Chatuchak houses 8,000 stalls. More than 200,000 visitors come to this traditional market and find the goods they need. It can be pretty squeezy during the day but of course you will have something to bring home from the Chatuchak.

The market only opens during weekend. The traders offer goods in wholesale so you really need to place great bargain to get the best product. The diverse areas often make tourists get lost as they shop till drop.

There are 27 alleys in Chatuchak. The sections are divided based on categories but you can always get the help from map if you try to locate your favorite shops. Some of the goods are foods, handicrafts, furniture, clothing, antiques, art and gallery, pet accessories, books and many more. Check the items you want to buy because some antiques are second hand products. Don’t forget to put big smile whenever you want to bargain your good and secure the price.

Negotiation skill is probably something you need to learn when shopping at traditional markets anywhere in Bangkok. Always wear casual clothing and bring enough cash.
To visit Chatuchak, you can take MRT or BTS.

  • Pratunam Plaza

Pratunam Plaza in BangkokThis place is a low budget hi tech plaza with lots of DVD collections, software, and other electronics with extra saving values. Here, you still need your negotiating skill because traders may open a price high enough. However, you will still find the price is cheap because they eliminate the middlemen. When you come to Pratunam, you are actually opting for a good from the first person.

So, choose over countless stores to find what you are looking for.
The stores accept debit card or credit card but to avoid any error the best thing is to bring cash with you.



  • Asiatique River Front

Asiatique River Front in BangkokThe Asiatique is a bazaar and mall in one complex. You can take BTS train and go down at Saphan Taksin. There are thousands of stores and restaurants with fascinating goodness. The place opens at 5 pm so you will have the comfort of cool weather while strolling around the area. It’s a great place to find gifts and souvenirs and watch Thai puppet or the famous ladyboy, Calypso.

If you have finished shopping, you can go to enjoy trinkets and bazaar or simply mesmerizing the architecture and the crowds. The locals and tourists often come during weekend and blend in with the bustling beauty.



  • Khao San Market

Khao San Market in BangkokYou can still continue to shop cheap products at Khao San Market. The afterdark market is filled with travelers who still want to unleash their shopping lust in Bangkok. This place opens lively when all other shopping malls are closed. You will find the chance to have great bargain under the moonlight shadows. This street never loses a bit of sparks even when it is come to midnight.





  • River City

River City in BangkokThe River City offers huge complex of mall with 4 stories. It overlooks the Chao Phraya River and specializes its stores in collectible goods and antiques. There is a regular auction each month that you can join. River City houses some of the romantic dining places outside just next to the river side.







Backpacker guide

If you travel on a budget, Bangkok is one of the best  possible destinations with vast selection of low cost tours and trips. There are several cheap activities that you can do here in Bangkok from retreats to snorkelling.

As for accommodations for backpackers, you will find extensive choices from guest houses to hostels with 5 star quality at low cost. Some of these hostels are even overlooking at Chao Praya river. For a taste of premium shopping, you may want to visit Sukhumvit Road with lots of restaurants over the area. The State Tower provides incredible view with fine dining experience that overlooks the Skyline underneath.

Seasonality and Prices

Bangkok’s shopping centers offer leisure and pleasure with entertainment and life scenes that excite you. Here, there is always something for everyone. The clubs and the bands play beautiful songs that keep the city alive.

Bangkok outdoor activities:

  • The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

This is one of the mostly visited places in Bangkok. As this is the official residence of the royal family, the historical sceneries are breathtaking. Many royal ceremonies have taken this place as the main venue from marriage, coronations of the royal, and also banquets to welcome international guests. Near the area, there is this famous temple called Emerald Buddha as one of the sacred place in Thailand. The green statue is made from rare green jade for the surface. It is a holy statue that only the king is allowed to touch. The statue of Emerald Buddha symbolizes the protector of Thailand.

Be prepared because when you come here you need to dress properly. It is not allowed to wear tight hot pants or skirts. See through shirt must not be worn so you need to cover with outer garment like scarf or something else. Your sleeves must be long and you should not roll it up.

  • Siam Park

Siam Park in Bangkok

The outdoor place to soak up the sun is the Siam Park. As a recreational park, the pool offers waterslides, fountain and whirlpools. It’s a great place for family who bring children because there is playgrounds and botanical garden with bird aviary. The zoo is a crowdy place but you will find it’s still convenient to have a stroll inside. Weekend is the busiest day above any other day so if you want a rather quiet environment, you should visit Siam Park during weekdays.

  • Dusit Zoo

Dusit Zoo in BangkokAnother outdoor activity in Thailand is at the Dusit Zoo. It is located at the heart of the city just few distant from the Rama V, Dusit. This place has enormous coverage up to 100 acres. The zoo opens for more than 60 years up till now. The first zoo in Thailand has 1500 animal collections with wildlife and domestic animals that add up the excitement each year. Millions of people visited this zoo every year. As a large complex, the zoo offers facilities like museum, train, cafeteria, educational center, and many others. For the best time of the day, visit Dusit Zoo around the morning. Not only that it is less crowdy, it is also a little cooler than the day time.

Democracy Monument

Strives in the middle of the busy traffic, the Democracy Monument is a historical site built with the spirit of Thai. The architecture embodies four wings with each of the wing symbolizes the strength of Thailand forces. This represents the Thai’s personification and often becomes a place for demonstrations.

  • Soi Rambutri

Soi Rambutri in Bangkok

Soi Rambutri is a rare gem behind the bustling Khao San Road. If you prefer a quieter area with the same stalls like the Khao San’s then you should come here. Soi Rambutri made a debut in big screen when the movie The Beach shot a scene there. The pedestrians will love to come here because the side walks cafes and restaurants with paving stone ready for you to step. Some cheap materials you can find here including local and traditional snacks, music DVDs, books, second hand things like CDs and guitars.

Soi Rambutri is located between the Phra Athrit Road and Chakrapong Road. The narrow lane may not be easily found so you should ask the local for the right direction.

  • Phra Sumen Fort

Phra Sumen Fort in Bangkok

The fascinating façade is a concrete monument serves as a national museum today. It was used to be the sanctuary for armies during the battles. The unique hexagonal shape looks beautiful at night. You can climb up at the observation deck and feel the historical moment when the forces spies on enemies from there.

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Article Name
The Backpackers guide to Bangkok
Samantha ilbassa
A comprehensive guide to Bangkok, covering markets, attractions, accommodation, and Transport advice for the traveller on a budget

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