First trip to Bangkok? Congratulations!!! Then you must have heard ALL the great things about Bangkok – from affordable shopping to scrumptious Thai food, and all the other exciting activities!
There are just SOOO many things to do, yet very little time to experience them all. This leads to the next question… How should you plan your trip to enjoy everything the city has to offer on a budget, especially if you’re travelling with your friends or family?
Fret not! Here’s a special affordable itinerary combining all the best places you should visit on your FIRST 4D3N stay in Bangkok. (Trust me… you’ll be returning to this city very soon for more!)
Curious? Read on to find out more!
14 Night markets in Bangkok within 30mins from Pratunam you won’t want to miss (ranked from super secret to most famous)
How to travel around Bangkok?
As someone coming to Bangkok for the first time, it’s crucial for you to prepare several things to ensure a seamless trip.
1. SIM Card USD $4.29 / 131 Baht (8 days validity)
Unlike other countries, not many places in Bangkok offer free WiFi. Getting a SIM Card with unlimited internet ensures you won’t ever get lost (with the help of Google Maps) and lets you connect with your friends and family anytime, anywhere.
2. Rabbit Card (for BTS) From USD $3.75 / 115 Baht
When possible, it’s highly recommended to take the BTS in Bangkok to avoid traffic as traffic can get very bad at certain areas (especially during peak hours). By getting a Rabbit Card (with stored value of 200 baht) or a one-day pass, you can forgo lining up in ticket counters to buy the card or queuing for one-way tickets. When you’ve used up the credits, you can easily top-up your card at any BTS ticket counters.
3. Airport transfer From USD $18.60 / 570 Baht
Hailing a cab to/from Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi airport can be difficult, especially if you have a lot of luggage or if it’s during peak hours. Booking an airport transfer ensure you’ll get to the airport conveniently and on time.
4. Luggage services From USD $2.39 / 72 Baht
Want to spend more time to shop? By using a luggage service, you can send your luggage to your hotel or airport ahead of your arrival without any hassle.
5. Car charter (with driver) From USD $57.05 / 1,750 Baht
Don’t want to lug around your purchases in the sun or risk getting lost? Klook’s private car charter with a driver will take you to places according to your customised itinerary for complete comfort and convenience – no more dealing with tours taking you to unwanted destinations.
6. Experience a Tuk-tuk ride From USD $63.49 / 1,940 Baht
Want to try Bangkok’s iconic ride (tuk-tuk) without getting scammed? Klook’s private half-day tuk-tuk tour will take you to key attractions around the Old City like Wat Pho and Wat Arun and other local places.
Other than BTS, we recommend getting around Bangkok using other types of public transport (MRT, taxi or boat – from 16 Baht / approx. USD $0.51) or Grab.
Note: For this itinerary, we’ll be using The Residence Rajtaevee as the default accommodation.
Rest comfortably in a two-bedroom hotel room – The Residence Rajtaevee
Even though you’re travelling on a budget, I bet you’ll still be shopping up a storm in Bangkok (it’s a shopping haven after all!). And with many bags, you’ll definitely need some spacious accommodation to go along with it.
Good news, book a two-bedroom stay at The Residence Rajtaevee! There’s a living room, and a dining room where you can eat, chat and relax too.
And if you prefer chilling outdoors, there’s also a small seating area on the first floor where you can take some time to chat and relax with friends/family!
Photo Via Emna_xsn
Looking for more hotels? How about these!
16 Budget-friendly hotels to stay at Sukhumvit, Bangkok under $39 near Thong Lo, Phrom Phong, Asok, Nana BTS Station
Eat and shop to your hearts’ content and watch Siam Niramit
If you’ve taken the earliest flight to Bangkok, you’ll reach your hotel around noon. Once you’ve checked in (if possible) and dropped your bags, start today’s journey with a Chicken Rice and Sukiyaki lunch, and end it with a cultural night at Siam Niramit.
Who doesn’t love some chicken rice? I definitely do. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to come here – a Hainanese Chicken Rice store which has been operating since 1920. It’s recommended to eat their star dish with either their soy sauce or spicy brown sauce (my favourite’s the latter).
Try their Sukiyaki too – available in stir-fried and soup version. Super delish! 😀 (Tip: Add more Hainan-style suki sauce if the taste is too bland for your liking!)
Photo Via Thaifoodwriter, Kikee_kusalin, Watcharin.wimanjaturong
Yep… it’s a temple… with three crocodiles! It all started when a monk from this temple found (and adopted) three orphaned crocodiles – and the rest is history!
Nowadays, you can usually find them frolicking in the fish pond (without fish). Aren’t they cute?!
Photo Via Galle, Inazuma, Kyrkylixa
Why is that? Of course, it’s because you can find everything here at wholesale prices.
From fabrics and accessories (bracelets, rings, earrings, etc) to anything else you can think of, you can get them in bulk for much cheaper than at any other place. But pay attention to the item’s quality when selecting your goods.
There are also plenty of street food and gold shops scattered around Yaowarat.
Photo Via Gerdaaboushanab, Christelle_lg
After a hot and tiring shopping day, you’ll need something sweet and filling to regain your energy. So why not try this sweet noodle dessert?
What makes it so sweet? They’ve mixed your favourite egg noodles with gingko nuts, beans, yam seeds, and more to create this interesting dessert. A definite must-eat in Chinatown!
It’s been around for 40 years, which in itself is a testament to its deliciousness. So if you have the chance, come here before 5pm to try the boat noodles. Its richly-flavoured soup will definitely leave you wanting for more!
PS: If you come here after business hours, opt for one of the other delicious food stores around Pratunam. Not sure what to get? We recommend Kuang Heng Chicken Rice, open 24 hours.
Photo Via Streetsidebangkok
The best way to understand a culture is to experience it for yourself. Thankfully, you can do it at Siam Niramit. Bangkok’s biggest cultural show, Siam Niramit, gives you a closer look at the country by showing highlights of Thailand in their 80-minutes show. It’s full of dance and other spectacular performances, keeping you entertained all the way. 🙂
Here, you can also get a Thai massage, visit a handicraft area and do more fun activities.
Tip: Get a 20% discount when you book your ticket via Klook! (Original price is approx. USD $49.09)
Photo Via Guido.benny_
Have a hearty breakfast and shop at two of Bangkok’s “IT” shopping spots
Start your day with a filling breakfast of Stewed Pork Legs with Rice. Afterwards, visit ICONSIAM, Bangkok’s newest luxury mall, and The Camp Vintage Flea Market.
PS: To travel around the city conveniently, consider pre-booking a Rabbit Card or a One-day BTS Card to avoid queuing for BTS tickets when you’re here.
Located 12 minutes from the hotel, enjoy some juicy pork trotters first thing in the morning. Pair it with bitter gourd soup and a fresh glass of coconut and you have a winning Thai breakfast meal!
Photo Via Angphoebe, Flyingmuffyn
It’s Bangkok’s newest luxury mall! And unique to ICONSIAM, it’s beside the Chao Phraya river, so you can also take some riverside shots for the ‘Gram!
Not sure what to do here? One of the must-see attractions here is SookSiam, an indoor floating market, which sells delicious local food like coconut pancakes and egg noodles. You can also go shopping at Takashimaya or other high-end stores.
PS: Get a free ICONSIAM Tourist Privilege Card from Klook to enjoy special discounts and other privileges from participating merchants. You can even rent a self-service locker (at a discount) to shop bag-free!
Photo Via Mo9191, Hw04_
Opened in 2018, this retro-looking market located at Chatuchak district is a place where you can get second-hand or antique goods. However, most stalls are open in the afternoon so it’s recommended to come here later in the day.
Not a fan of vintage goods? No worries. There’s a restaurant (with outdoor seating) you can go to so you can still enjoy the retro vibes of the place. At night, there’s even a live performance!
Also, feel free to walk around and take pictures. (It’ll look great on your IG feed!)
PS: If you want to visit a bigger and more popular market, consider Chatuchak Market. Note that Chatuchak Market is only open on weekends.
Photo Via Sharon_chen77, Taengneverdie, Sharon_chen777
Just like its name, this restaurant treats all their food like art pieces. Colourful and delicious! 😀
This restaurant is located inside The Camp Vintage Flea Market, perfect for hungry shoppers to stop by and fill their bellies. Here, they serve Thai-style food like Green Curry Chicken and Pad Thai as well as fusion dishes like Grapefruit Marinated Duck. Yum!
(Optional: For hungry ones late at night) Try this bowl of spicy and sour Mama noodles with delicious goodies – Jeh O Chula (ร้านเจ๊โอว)
Although this family-run eatery has been selling stir-fry dishes for around 40 years, it’s recently started growing popular among new and old customers for their spicy and sour Mama noodles (the dish is only available after 10pm).
What makes it so special that people are willing to queue for a long time? The Mama noodles include prawns, squid, meat and egg yolk, easily turning an ordinary instant noodles into something so mouthwatering. You can also add crab into the noodles if you want more seafood (for a fee).
Tip: Avoid queuing for 2 hours by booking the Mama noodles set on Klook.
Photo Via Daisylks, Mjteo
Enjoy a fun-filled shopping, eating and massage day at Siam Square
It’s Siam Square day! Start by shopping and eating breakfast at 7-11. (Thai 7-11s are a MUST-GO.) Afterwards, go to Somtum Nua for Green Papaya Salad and Fried Chicken, before heading to The Market for some shopping and eating adventures. Treat yourself to a Thai massage before ending your last night in Bangkok at a night market.
Note: All the places are near the hotel, so we’ll be walking on this day.
Don’t underestimate this convenience store. It may not look like much, but I bet you’ll be exiting with baskets full of goodies – from insect snacks and instant food to skincare products and cosmetics. You can even get yummy microwaved meals here (great for breakfast or quick meals!)!
Make your shopping list before you come here by checking out what they have in store.
Photo Via TripCanvas
As you probably could have guessed from the name, this eatery does its Somtam very well.
You can add different ingredients in your Somtam such as salted egg and crab meat to make it even more deliciousss! Tip: Eat it with sticky rice for the perfect Isaan-style lunch!
Photo Via Henjiwong, Jojodreamsjourney, Im_jessie_yo, Bagelandbacon
After lunch, it’s time for shopping!! Just a 14-minute walk from Somtam Nua, you’ll find trendy clothes, bags, cosmetics and more at this mall (opened in 2019).
And if you want to go shopping for snacks, there’s the biggest Big C right next door. Remember to get those delicious instant noodles and special snacks as a souvenir or for yourself!
Photo Via Michael_sheep
What? Domo-kun?! That’s right! At The Market Bangkok, you can sit and eat with Domo-kun. There are Domo-kun cups, Domo-kun tables, Domo-kun EVERYTHING!!
The store is located at G floor of The Market Bangkok, so don’t forget to stop by to get some sweet stuff and meet Domo-kun! 😀
Photo Via Jenniesingh
Ever heard of the popular Chinese restaurant with elevated tables at Chinatown (accessible via ladder)? Now, you no longer need to travel all the way to Chinatown as they’ve opened a branch at The Market Bangkok.
You’ll still be able to enjoy the same delicious food up high, without experiencing the insane queues in Chinatown!
Photo Via Vorawattana, Nida_dew_knack
Are your legs aching like crazy? With all that walking, I bet they are. Before you go back home, you HAVE to treat yourself to a nice hour long (at minimum!) massage.
Tip: Ask for a private room if you’d like a more peaceful/relaxing massage. Although there are curtains in the open area, some masseurs like to chat with each other so it can get a bit noisy.
Photo Via TheLavenderMassage
Still up for some shopping? If yes, then it’s time to head to Talad Neon! There are quite a number of stalls here, from clothes and souvenir shops to tattoo parlours and food stalls. Just stroll around and take your pick!
Photo Via Rinetburnett, TripCanvas
Visit a traditional and wholesale market before flying back home
It’s the last day already?! If you’d like to make full use of your time, and if your return flight is in the afternoon, go to Bobae Wholesale Market in the morning for breakfast.
It’s your last day so why not end your trip with a BANG? In addition to breakfast hunting (there’s plenty of local food here!), you’ll also discover clothes at wholesale prices and local snacks. There’s also a local traditional market here, so you’ll see sellers selling fruits, eggs, and more.
If you have the chance, you should also visit Bobae Tower. There’s air-conditioning inside so you can take your time looking at the various wholesale stalls and have lunch before going to the airport.
PS: Still have lots of time to spare? Go to Pratunam Market, which is located near the hotel (less than 10 minutes walk).
Photo Via Mer0lol, Jkrnn, Grosiaczka, Places.faces_.phrases
Total Cost Breakdown
(for 4 people) (excludes flight ticket and shopping expenses)
Accommodation: USD $71 x 3 nights = From USD $213
Transportation: USD $57.05 (car charter) + USD $3.75 (BTS one-day pass) + USD $57.05 (car charter) = From USD $117.85
Day 1 Meals and entrance fees: From USD $167.96
Day 2 Meals and entrance fees: From USD $53.77
Day 3 Meals and entrance fees: From USD $56.96
Day 4 Meals and entrance fees: From USD $5.20