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Travel Inspiration

Off The Beaten Track: Bangkok Travel Tips - The Alternate Travel Guide


Yaksha Statue on a vibrant blue sky background
What is in this blog? Table of contents:

We’re staying in Thailand for our second instalment of Off The Beaten Track, and this time we’re bringing you invaluable tips for navigating the sprawling metropolis that is Bangkok.

Our Bangkok travel tips come from the first-hand insight our writers have from living in this magnificent, if occasionally daunting city. Best known for ornate shrines, eclectic street life, and with a nightlife popularised (if somewhat dramatised) by certain modern cult classic films.

However, in this guide, as ever, we will be offering some top Bangkok travel tips that we sincerely hope you make full use of during your next visit. Hopefully, we may even inspire you to book a ticket!

Blossoming vibrant flowers and golden architecture in Bangkok

Is Bangkok cheap?

As with almost anywhere in the world, Bangkok can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. So, when asked, ‘is Bangkok cheap?’ the answer is almost always a resounding yes!

Obviously if you spend your time in a 5* hotel such as the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, then it might set you back a little bit! The same can be said for eating out, getting around, and just about everything else you could find yourself doing in the city.

But the reality is, Bangkok can be cheap, without sacrificing too much on luxury or comfort. There are hundreds of excellent 3* and 4* hotels in Bangkok that are undeniably adorable, and you can even snag a bargain on 5* hotels in the off season. Aside hotels Bangkok offers a range of alternate accommodation including hostels and airbnb rentals, perfect for backpackers and solo travellers on a budget.

Eating at the local dives and food carts that litter the city (as the locals do), is also a tried and tested way to save a few pennies, while also experiencing authentic Thai food. And, instead of getting taxis everywhere (which are still fairly cheap), why not take the BTS, or even download the Grab Taxi App before you arrive and take a motorbike taxi to your destination!

A modest budget of 1000 Thai Baht (THB) (roughly £22) can easily get your breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack or two, take you to where you need to be AND then still have some money left over for beers at the end of the day! We’re not kidding, we’ve done it!

Is Bangkok cheap? You bet it is (can be)! Are you looking for a cheap trip? We discussed the top 5 cheap holiday destinations in detail here.

The sun setting in Bangkok behind the Temple of Dawn

Where is the best sunset in Bangkok?

Somewhat surprisingly, in our humble opinion, the best sunset in Bangkok is not atop one of the many skyscrapers or rooftop bars you can find within the city. Instead, we’re taking you to Wat Arun, arguably the most iconic of the many temples you can find in the city.

Considered one of the most stunning temples in all of Thailand, not just Bangkok, the architecture and exquisite craftsmanship truly are something to behold. And, if you think it is sunning during the day, the ‘Temple of the Dawn’ as it is also known as, is also arguably the place to catch best Bangkok sunset.

With the suns fading light casting its rays over the golden spires that adorn the temple, and the mighty Chao Phraya River reflecting them even further, we challenge you to find a better Bangkok sunset.

If you want a spot in one of the many intimate coffee shops or bars that have views over the river and temple, it might be an idea to go there for a late lunch and stay a while to guarantee a spot!

Traditional narrow boats in Bangkok market stalls and taxi's

How to get around in Bangkok

For a city so vast and expansive, it is surprisingly easy, if a little time consuming, to get from one end to the other. There are at least 9 different means of transport, besides your own two legs or renting a car, to help you explore this wonderful city.

Some of these methods of transport require you to rent, ride or sail through Bangkok. By no means are these activities unsafe but with Bangkok being the most populated place in Thailand accidents do occur, if you are travelling we would highly recommend having travel insurance in place before you commute the heavy hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

Each has its own advantages or disadvantages, so be sure to do some research on where you want to go, and how to get there, before you arrive.

Take a look at our comprehensive list of how to get around in Bangkok below:

  • Tuk Tuk (a must at least once, especially after a night out!)
  • Skytrain, or BTS
  • Subway, or MRT
  • Airport Rail Link, or ARL (very useful as you arrive/depart)
  • Public Buses (otherwise known as the Baht Bus)
  • Taxi
  • Motorcycle Taxi
  • Chao Phraya River Taxi
  • Grab Taxi (similar to Uber in the UK)

Thai market stalls alongside a train track selling fresh fish

Where to eat in Bangkok?

Thailand, and indeed Southeast Asia, really is foodie heaven if you are a little bit adventurous and like all things sweet, sour and spicy!

But Bangkok in particular may hold the crown when it comes to food in Southeast Asia…

If you thought we were raving about the food in our last edition, focusing on Phuket, then be prepared for even more tastebud tantalising food reviews! Everything that Phuket has, Bangkok has, and then some!

As the largest and most populated city in Thailand, you will be hard pressed to turn any corner without the familiar smells of BBQ stalls, noodle soup stands, or ‘mom and pop restaurants’, complete with seemingly undersized, often green and pink, plastic stools and tables.

If you are wondering where to eat in Bangkok, just take a stroll out of your accommodation, turn a corner, any corner, and sit down at the first place you see.

These are the places where the real food is… We’re sorry, but if you opt to go and eat in an upmarket, overpriced Italian Restaurant when there is a veritable smorgasbord of local delicacies available then you’re just crazy!

If in doubt, and this is and will be a recurring theme for this entire blog series, ask what the person in front of you had. Worst case scenario, smile and point. Whatever it is, it’ll almost certainly be delicious!

It’s not just stalls, stands, or hole in the wall restaurants either, the markets in Bangkok are something else when it comes to the sheer variety of food on offer!

Which conveniently leads us into the best markets in Bangkok!

Train navigating the rail road through a busy market in Bangkok, Thailand

The best markets in Bangkok

Some of the most interesting places in Bangkok are those in which everything is crammed together, a seemingly unbelievable amount of people, products, produce, and food. We are of course talking about Bangkok’s infamous markets.

From food markets, to floating markets, and everything in between, Bangkok’s market scene has it all!

The best weekend market in Bangkok – Chatuchak

Chatuchak Weekend Market is possibly the largest weekend market anywhere in the world, and is a great place to start our mini market guide of Bangkok. The whole market in open on weekends from 9am – 6pm, although if you venture there midweek you will likely find an assortment of stalls open.

200,000+ visitors each weekend, 15,000 stalls across 35 acres and 26 sections (including food, art, antiques, fashion, and much more), you are GUARANTEED to find something of interest here! Just don’t get lost…

Address: 587, 10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand

The best food market in Bangkok – Khlong Toei

Not for the fainthearted, this is the real Thai experience. You might have seen this market featured on the Netflix show Somebody Feed Phil, or the YouTube adventures of foodie Mark Weins!

From the freshest ingredients, to mouth-watering local food, even if you just take a walk around, it is well worth the visit. An absolute must in our opinion!

Address: 1, Kasem Rat Road, Khlong Toei, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand

The best night market in Bangkok – Rot Fai Market Ratchada

In the Ratchada area of Bangkok you will find one of the most famous night markets anywhere in the city. World renowned for its rows of colourful tents, you can browse all manner of curiosities, grab a bite to each (obviously, it wouldn’t be a Thai night out without food!), and even a drink in one of the many cool bars!

Open daily 05:00 pm - 01:00 am, but visit around 7pm to be sure all the vendors are open!

Address: Ratcadaphisek Road, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand

The best floating market in Bangkok – Damnoen Saduak

The largest and most famous floating market in Bangkok is a colourful, ecletic mix of organised chaos, with vendors selling everything you can think of from their boats. It is of course, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Address: Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand.

While there are many markets in Bangkok, in our subjective opinion, if you visit each of the markets listed above then you will have experienced the best of what Bangkok’s markets have to offer!

Our Bangkok Travel Tips

We hope you’ve found Bangkok travel tips and the information on the best sunset and markets in Bangkok, along with how to get around and whether it is a cheap place to visit, interesting, informative and helpful.

You may even end up using some of this information on your next trip to the sprawling, eclectic urban metropolis that is Bangkok!

Don’t forget to subscribe and get our exclusive Moonsand holiday discounts straight to your inbox!

Take a look at the other destinations in our Alternate Travel Guide:

Things to do in Phuket
Things to do in New York
Things to do in Dubai
Things to do in Paris

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