7 Things to Do in Thailand While Travelling on a Budget
Welcome to the Land of Smiles, Thailand where you will be welcomed with big, warm smiles (hence, the nickname), generous hospitality and cities thriving with urban and natural jungles! With Bangkok as its capital, Thailand is one of the most popular countries in the world for travelling. Foodies, nature-lovers, adventure seekers and history enthusiasts - each and every kind of traveller will find his/her place in this wonderful land in Southeast Asia.
Travelling to exotic and distant places such as Thailand can prove to be quite expensive. It’s a completely different world and you want to partake in all kinds of activities that make you feel a little more connected to the culture and people of Thailand. Not everyone can afford to shell big bucks (or Thai Baht) without a second thought and that is okay. Travelling on a budget makes you more conscious about your decisions, helps you chart out a much better itinerary and you will be able to pick things to do in Thailand that will be totally worth it!
The most obvious answer is getting on a plane and landing in Thailand 6 hours later. You will need to starting looking up prices for plane tickets atleast 4-5 months in advance to book them at a cheaper rate. Also, consider travelling in the off season so that you save up some more and stick to your stipulated budget. But that’s not the only mode of transport available. Did you know you can reach Thailand by road too? Yes! It’s going to be a week-long road trip via the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway but it is possible! But for this, you require International driving license, your passport and other official documents that you carry on the way. Take into account what are the expenses incurred travelling by car and compare it t to travelling by flight before making any decision.
For the most part, weather in Thailand is decent throughout out the year but it may fluctuate depending on which part of Thailand you are travelling. The best time to visit Thailand is November to February but travelling during the summer months of March to June (off season) would be better if you are looking to save money. If you are taking the road trip, the best time to visit Thailand would be November to February. The weather is incredible and its a smooth drive through the countries with stunning landscapes as your company.
One of the main things to do in Thailand is save money on accommodation. Skip the option of staying in a hotel and choose a hostel for your stay. Since Thailand is a popular tourist destination, there are many options available for budget travellers. Make sure to do your research online and look for affordable neighbourhoods and places that offer cheap packages. Many places suggest booking and paying for your spot in the hostel online. That is a good idea if you want to be more prepared for your trip but what you can also do is look up hostels and local places for the next leg of the trip but go there and book your room. Face-to-face interaction is preferred if you are looking to haggle for the price and squeeze in some free perks. As a solo traveller, you can also consider couch surfing. This is a practice that is slowly growing recognition where travellers sleep on the couches of locals in an attempt to save money.
Thailand is a shopping paradise and it is very easy and quick to go overboard with your shopping. If you have allocated a special budget to shopping and want to stick to it as much as possible, we suggest street shopping and with strong haggling skills in tow. Street shopping is one of the things to do in Thailand that is an absolute must. But the vendors can recognise from afar if you are a tourist and if so, they are bound to hike up their prices. Learn a few basic words in Thai that will come in handy while bargaining. MBK Center, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Platinum Mall and Union Mall are some of the places to visit in Thailand for affordable shopping where prices are a steal and you can make full worth of all your purchases!
A great way to explore any country or city is on foot. Depending on where you are staying, take into account some of the things to do in the neighbourhood. Start your day early and get exploring your surroundings on foot. This is also a good way to stumble across food stalls or stalls selling local products. People in Thailand are friendly and welcoming. Most of them can understand and speak in English too. If you seem to have lost your way or looking for activities in the neighbourhood, don’t shy away from asking people in your hostel or street vendors who have set up shop for the day. For long distances, there is always the option of taking a public transportation. Buses can take you to almost any destination and barely cost anything. Another option is the train but make sure to take a day pass, travel around and come back before the night shift begins. The night pass costs four times more. Tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) are very common and since they are an unfamiliar form of transportation for foreign travellers, they love to ride in them. But it is essential to know that these tuk-tuk drivers can charge an exorbitant amount to tourists for a short ride.
If you are planning on visiting Thailand and looking for cheap airfares, start with choosing to fly during the off season. By doing so, cost of plane tickets, the cost of accommodation, things to do in Thailand, places to visit in Thailand and most tourist activities automatically become cheaper. Another thing to keep in mind while booking your tickets is try to fly on a weekday. An airline ticket for a time on Tuesday will cost lesser than the same airline ticket for a Saturday.
Remember how we mentioned that you should opt for travelling on foot to explore a place in Thailand? That is going to be very useful considering all the food you are about to consume. Thailand is a foodie’s paradise. The dishes and cooking methods are so different and Thai cuisine is just a collection of mouthwatering flavours. In an attempt to save up money, visit food stalls lined up in busy markets or maybe even tucked away in tiny corners. Keep an eye out for the variety available and how much different vendors charge for the same dish. Quick tip, if you see a crowd of hungry customers gathering around a stall, go stand in line for your turn. Such stalls have trained themselves in churning out yummy food at lightening speed. This is only possible if these vendors keep everything ready in a organised and hygienic manner. Apart from the cheap prices and flavour-packed dishes, another perk of eating at these street stalls is that the vendors are very chatty and will be willing to share useful information.
Got many places to visit in Thailand? Let’s get a city pass! Of all the cities in Thailand, Bangkok can be the most expensive. Buying a city pass means you can get discounts, packages and quick entry into the upscale places such as the Siam Ocean and Calypso Cabaret. Buying a city pass for Bangkok means you can also get unlimited free on the BTS Skytrain and Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. A city pass is available either as a two-nights or three-nights package.
Believe it or not, there are numerous things to do in Thailand that are absolutely free. Thailand has a number of temples, monasteries, parks and museums that you can visit free of cost. Some of these parks have makeshift gyms so can actually spare a few minute to get some exercise. If you are in Bangkok and looking to escape the city’s chaos, visit Bang Krachao, popular known as ‘Bangkok’s Lungs’. There is a cycling track that runs through this urban jungle but you can stroll around and take a look at the different of trees and flowers. For the perfect end to your day, make your way to the Wat Arun temple, find a good spot near the Chao Phraya river and watch the beautiful sunset!
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