The Budget Guide to Bangkok Thailand

The long form version of “Bangkok Thailand” is “Krungthep mahanakhon amon rattanakosin mahintara ayuthaya mahadilok popnopparat ratchathani burirom udomratchaniwet mahasathan amonpiman avatansathit sakkathattiya visnukamprasit”, but that’s a lot to say in one breath. Most people know it by the slightly simpler version of its name, “Bangkok”, which is a lot of fun to say.

Besides having a funny city name, Bangkok doubles as being an awesome travel destination. Besides a truly interesting cultural experience, you’ll save a lot compared to the traditional international trip!

Cheap AF: Your Daily Budget in Bangkok Thailand

You almost don’t need to budget for a Bangkok Thailand trip – it’s seriously that inexpensive.

A Package Deal

If you know anything about me, you know I can’t resist a cheap AF deal on a vacation. I love Groupon Getaways, which are actually a great deal. For less than the cost of an international round trip ticket, you get your flight, hotel, ground transportation, some included tours, and often a bomb buffet breakfast each morning. But Groupon Getaway pricing and packages aren’t limited to Groupon’s website – I recently took advantage of an amazing deal to Thailand, offered by Travelzoo.

For less than $700, I scored round-trip airfare to Bangkok Thailand, with ground transit, a luxury hotel stay (and breakfast to match), and a few tours. The caveat? It was less than a week long. My boyfriend and I waited too long to extend. But still, amazing deal!

Let’s get back on track, since you don’t actually need a package deal to have an awesome time in Bangkok for a ridiculously low amount of money.

Bangkok Thailand Hostels

Hostelworld advertises options starting from $7/day.

bangkok thailand

If you opt to book each element of travel separately from each other, $100 would get you about 2 weeks of accommodations. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal.

If possible, choose a location on Khao San Road – an expat’s paradise.

It’s on Khao San Road that you’ll find the best of everything:

  • Souvenir shopping (I got an awesome personalized bracelet for my best friend that says, “I love to eat j***” for 100 baht, or about $3 USD).
  • Street food – tons of vendors, and some nice sit-down restaurant options, as well
  • Bars with live music
  • People from all over the world!

Of course, hostels don’t include meals and tend to be pretty bare-bones in general. But what does it matter? You’ll be out exploring more than you’ll be sleeping, anyways.

bangkok thailandBangkok Street Food

Bangkok Thailand has a very well-respected street food scene. The problem is in figuring out what’s good to eat, and what might make you sick. Besides getting the feeling that something’s been left out too long, this can be quite hard to suss out. An easy method for enjoying street food without risking the adverse side effects is to avoid meat from street food vendors completely. Opt for the vegetarian versions of your favorite dishes, instead. You can fill up on meat protein the next time you go to a more well-regulated restaurant.

Bangkok Transportation

Bangkok Thailand has a subway system that is known to be fairly efficient. But since you’re not a local, you might not want to spend too much time getting to know it. The reason? Tuk tuks are only a tad more expensive, and will get you directly to your destination in a quicker timeframe. Tuk tuks are motorized scooters with room for passengers. At any rate, you might as well take advantage of this badass form of transportation while you’re in the area.

bangkok thailand
This tuk tuk is technically in Peru, but you get the idea.

To avoid being taken advantage of, make sure to talk pricing before you get in.

Longtail boats are another awesome form of transportation in Bangkok Thailand, though they mostly serve touristic purposes.

bangkok thailand

Bangkok Thailand: Entertainment

With all the money you’ll save on food and accommodations, there will be plenty left to explore the city in style.


“Wats” is just a funny word that describes a Buddhist monastery or temple. Thailand has a lot of these, but the most popular are Wat Arun and Wat Pho. There are certainly a lot more Wats to see if you’re into that sort of thing, but I’d recommend setting a limit so you can spend the rest of your trip on all the rest of the things this city has to offer.

bangkok thailand
Wat Pho

Another thing to think about when planning your Wat itinerary: some are under construction and that’s a total buzz kill for all the IG pics you were gonna take. As of this writing, Wat Arun is one such Wat with a lot of unsightly scaffolding around it.

bangkok thailand
Ain’t nobody got time for this scaffolding.

Buddhas in Bangkok

Insight a Wat, or as an attraction of their own, people in Thailand love their Buddhas. Here are a few worth getting to know:

This Buddha is referred to as “Reclining Buddha”, and he seems like a chill dude.

bangkok thailand

This Buddha is a little more high maintenance, as he’s made entirely from gold.

bangkok thailand

Or, behold the Emerald Buddha, who is just over 2ft tall and is one of the most treasured items in the Kingdom of Thailand, and is one of the many amazing things you can see on your visit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

bangkok thailand

Image Credit

The Emerald Buddha is dressed by the King of Thailand (and only the King!) depending on the season. By the way, Thailand only has three seasons, hot, very hot, and MOIST AF. Perhaps one day, It’ll be fashionable for him to be wearing a TTGA tank, but no such luck yet.

Finally, this Buddha is hungry, and honestly is being a bit of a pest, but aren’t we all at some point?

bangkok thailand


One of the highlights of a trip to Bangkok Thailand is a trip to Calpyso. Calypso is a cabaret located at the Asiatique Market. The Asiatique Market plays host to excellent (though expensive) dining options, a somewhat bargainable market, and they sell beers you can take around while you shop – how great is that?

Back to the ladyboys – they put on quite a show. You’ll appreciate the frequent changes of costumes and scenery, not to mention their interpretations of some of your favorite singers and pop idols. A Calypso show is definitely more expensive than most things you’ll do in Bangkok Thailand, but so worth the entry fee. Your ticket includes a drink for each person in your party!

Jank Stuff

Let’s start with massages, although they’re not inherently jank. An hour massage probably will run between 300-500 baht, or way less than $15. No ideas on happy ending pricing, but suffice it to say, that wouldn’t be the jankest thing you have access to in Bangkok Thailand.

Anyways, you honestly might as well make one of your days in town a spa day, as you’ll get so many services for so little. So what the hell, grow out your body hair, let your nails get a little weird, and come ready for relaxation. While you’re at it, don’t forget to try a fish massage.

bangkok thailand

Perhaps the jankest thing you could do while in Bangkok is head to a ping pong show. No, you won’t be seeing the Thai people rallying a ball back and forth while playing table tennis, but you’ll probably see a ping pong come out of an area of a woman’s anatomy that it really doesn’t belong in.

And that’s just the start.


The last jank thing I’ll touch on is riding elephants if you venture out to a nearby village. The things they do to tame these beasts are pretty disgusting, so avoid it if the options comes up. If you have time, extend your trip to check out Chiang Mai, where a prominent elephant sanctuary is located.

Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok is seriously awesome, and a necessary addition to your travel bucket list if you want to be able to claim true worldliness before you die.

Whether you’ve been, or are dying to go, why not show your appreciation for this intriguing Thai city? We’ve got two funny tank top styles that play homage to Bangkok Thailand:

This play on words:

bangkok thailand

(Here’s the men’s style)

And I guess you could say this is a play on words, too:

bangkok thailand

(Here’s the women’s style)

What’s your favorite thing about Bangkok Thailand? We’d love to hear your travel tips! Tweet at @tanksgetaround, and we’ll share our favorite insights!

Most of the images on this post were taken during the author’s recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Check out the whole Flickr album if you’re interested!

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bangkok thailand

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