I’m just back from my trip to Bangkok, Thailand, a place that is well-known for its bustling atmosphere and of course, food. I’m always on the lookout for new places to visit at affordable rates and Bangkok is sure one of them.
First, its currency (Baht) values at 1/10th of that of U.A.E., so the math is easy. Second, Bangkok is one of the places where you can use your bargaining skills to the max and not be looked down upon. And third, food. Obviously.
Bangkok is also home to Gaggan, No. 1 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Sadly, as our stay was quite short, we couldn’t visit the restaurant. Oh well, another reason to return! 😀
So basically, our stay was for 4 nights. We arrived on the morning of 28th July and got dropped to our hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 7. The taxi from the airport charges an extra 50 Baht and another 50 Baht for a toll gate we had to pay on the way. Total charge around 270 Baht including the extra 100 counted earlier. (That’s around AED 27 for a half an hour ride) I’d suggest that it’s better hailing a cab yourself if you arrive at peak hours. Since we reached Don Mueang Airport around 4 AM, there was no one around.
Here’s a detailed itinerary with the breakdown of cost for two people:
- Flight Tickets AED 604 per person [round trip] (paying AED 54 for 20 kg baggage)
We searched for the cheapest airlines and found Air Asia which offered us a great deal. Also, the travel time was around 3 and a half hours since we were traveling from India. It takes about six hours from Dubai but you can find great deals on flights like Jet Airways and China Southern.
AED (604 + 54) x 2 = AED 1,316
Note: Air Asia charges extra for baggage which we opted to pay on our way back.
- Visa: 1000 baht or AED 100 per person
We decided to get our Visa on arrival. There is a choice if you want to do it beforehand and avoid the long queues at the airport which are a nuisance. The Visa for Thailand is AED 100 per person. (AED 200 for 2 people)
- Hotel: AED 400 (without breakfast)
We booked our stay at Mac Boutique Suites which is located in this beautiful area called Sukhumvit. I was a bit surprised to see a lot of Arabs in the area which helped us adjust faster. A bonus was that the street boasted a lot of Halal restaurants which was pretty convenient.
Mac Boutique Suites offers different packages from which we reserved a Royal Suite (room for 2 people) for around AED 400 without breakfast. (The restaurant at the lobby wasn’t offering Halal food)
Our first day went by exploring our area which transforms into a Souq in the evening. The whole street is lined with small stalls selling almost everything. It’s called the Arab Street and you almost feel like you’re in Naif Souq. My advice is to bargain to the max until they agree on your offered rate.
- Transport and sightseeing (2-day package + 1 day in Pattaya): 5000 + 1200 + 4000 = 10,200 OR AED 1,200
The next three days were spent booking and sightseeing. We managed to find a tourist and travel desk in our hotel lobby and booked with them without further ado. If you’re looking for cheaper rates, you can inquire at the nearby hotels. Sukhumvit is filled with hotels that you can find within a 5-minute walk.
- Day 1: Private car + Floating Market + Elephant and Crocodile Show + Pratunam Market = 5,000 Baht
I was looking forward to visiting the floating market since I had heard a lot about it. And, it did not disappoint. A 2-hour boat ride where you can stop for pictures and shopping plus a 10-minute stop at two temples and a Coconut Sugar Factory.
While I wasn’t a big fan of the sugar factory, I loved the architecture of the temples and how the skies totally seem insta worthy here. Don’t you think?
The next stop was an Elephant and Crocodile zoo where we got to look at some crocodiles up close. We ended the tour by heading to Pratunam Market which is near Pratunam mall in case you are tired of the humidity.
- Day 2: Wat Traimit (entrance fee 40 Baht each)+ Wat Pho (entrance fee 100 Baht each)+ China Town + Chatuchak Weekend Market = 1,480 Baht
Visiting Bangkok and not seeing the temples would be a huge crime. Also, if you’re interested in history and architecture, this would be the perfect place. Or else, if you don’t like both, (like my husband) then you can spend time clicking pictures!
We decided to alter the original package of six temples a day by cutting the number down to two and added a tour to China Town and the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.
China Town is an area that should be visited at night, the place is covered with stalls selling different kinds of food. The Chatuchak Market is another place that is a must-visit! Only on the weekends, I specifically planned the trip so both Saturday and Sunday can be spent there.
- Day 3: Pattaya + Chatuchak Weekend Market + Siam Paragon = 4,000 Baht
Our last day in Bangkok (well, second last. We had a flight the next afternoon so couldn’t go sightseeing that day 🙁 ) was spent in Pattaya. We managed to get a private car and boat to the island for 2,000 Baht each.
First a two-hour journey from Bangkok to the city and then 2-3 hours on a shared speed boat where they make three stops. First, you can stop and try paragliding (500 Baht per person) if you’re interested. The next stop is where you go underwater and the final stop is the island where you can stop to eat or take pictures. Sadly, the boat caused seasickness in me and we had to take a trip back immediately. Also, they wouldn’t refund our fee so the day was a fail.
But, we decided to make good use of our money and went shopping instead! The malls are another place to visit in Bangkok. I’m writing a post on the top 5 things to do in Bangkok which shall be up soon.
- Food and Shopping: AED 1000
If you’re looking for Halal food, you might find it a little expensive than the other restaurants. But, AED 1000 for 5 days is not bad, plus eating out at some great restaurants we found.
Total breakdown = (Airport taxi fee – to and fro) 54 + 1,316 + 200 + 400 + 1,480 + 1,000 = AED 4,450
So there you go! The perfect guide for your trip to Bangkok. Covering the main sightseeing attractions, shopping and food.
Do you have some affordable countries to visit in mind? Do let us know…
Until then, happy eating AND traveling! xx