I planned this IndoChina trip almost 3 months ahead of my scheduled travel – tours, hotel bookings, flights, routes. Planning your itinerary ahead of time gives you more savings and flexibility. If we need some info for the places we want to visit, Google is always our friend, similarly read travel blogs to gather more ideas for your itinerary.
I visited Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for 15 days before i headed to Manila for my annual vacation.
Bangkok, Chang Mai, Phuket – Day 1-9
SiemReap, Phnom Penh – Day 10-12
Ho Chi Minh – Day 13-15
Day 1 – Arrival and Silom Night Market
Arrived in Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) via Etihad Airways from Bahrain (Yes, I am an OFW.) and for that reason, I decided to take a public taxi as I have huge luggage. Using train would require stairs going up/down – and coming from an 8-hour flight is already exhausting, i don’t have more energy to carry my big luggage.
Airport taxi services are readily available just outside the arrival hall. Take a ticket from one of the desk, show them your destination and then a taxi will be assigned for you. It’s better if you have the name and address of your hotel written in Thai to be given to your driver for easier navigation. Have some extra cash as you need to pay toll in the expressway. I booked my hotel in Silom area and it took me almost 1 hour to reached there. I paid around 400Baht including the toll.
There are a lot of cheap Hostels in Bangkok – i normally book my hotel thru Agoda.com. Dorm type is always the cheapest, some are only 3USD (Php 150 per night). A single room with shared bathroom will cost you 10-20USD per night. When booking hostels, always read reviews from the previous guest, it’s helpful. I booked at i-Sleep Silom Hostel having an excellent rating in Agoda, their early booking comes with free breakfast (bread, jam coffee). Another factor I always consider in booking my hotel/hostel is their proximity to MRT/subway station.
Take a short nap, freshen up and explore the area near the hostels. Silom is a very busy area hence you can easily find restaurants and shops. Street vendors are also just around the block. At night, the road is converted into a night market. Silom or Patpong night market is one the well-known night bazaar. A long stretch of clothing, fashion accessories, souvenir shops. Take a stroll along the street but just be mindful with your belongings. You would also like to consider heading to one of the bars around the area to grab some beer and have some happy time as this is also considered as one of red district in Bangkok.
You can also consider visiting Khao San road that is known to be backpackers area on your first night.
I also recommend to buy a traveler sim – this will not only help you to be updated in you social network but it also helps a lot if you need to search something while you are on the road and no wifi is available. For 300Baht, you can already have 2.5GB data for 7days. Enough for call a friend moment (Google) and likewise finding your directions. Traveler sim cards are available in the Arrivals hall of the airport or in some MRT stations.
Day 2 – Buddha and Temple Run
When visiting Bangkok, it should not be missed to check out their temples. I visited the Grand Palace and Wat Pho and Wat Traimit
The easiest way to get to the Grand Palace from Silom is thru BTS skytrain and Express boat.
Free public wifi is available around Wat Pho – with limited 1hr usage.
Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho
Furthermore, another temple that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Bangkok is the Wat Traimit. You have to pay 40Baht to enter the temple. This is where you will find the biggest pure solid Golden Buddha approx 5tons pure gold and most noteworthy amounting to 28million pound. Wat Traimit is located in Chinatown, if you take the express boat, get off in Pier N5 and walk for about 10mins from the pier.
The Golden Buddha in Wat Traimit
Day 3 – Shopping Centers
This day is my last day in Bangkok as I have to fly to Changmai by 4pm hence I decided to used my spare time in the morning to visit shopping center near my hostel. I hailed a taxi going to MBK shopping center which is just about 15mins away from the hostel. Roam around and did some shopping. I ate my lunch inside the food court – you have to purchase a prepaid card which you will use to pay on your chosen restaurant (card counter is just around the entrance of the food court). If any excess you have in the card, you can still exchange it when you return the card in the counter.
Below are my basic expenses in Bangkok for a quick budget guide
|Airfare – I did not pay for my flight coming to BKK as this is covered under my company benefits during my annual vacation||PHP 00.00|
|Hotel Accomodation (2nights) – single room with shared bathroom plus breakfast||PHP 1600.00|
|Taxi to Hostel from BKK Airport||PHP 500.00|
|Day 1 -3 Food||PHP 1200.00|
|Entrance Fee – Wat Pho, Grand Palace, Wat Traimit||PHP 1150.00|
|Transportation going around – train + boat + taxi||PHP 300.00|
|Taxi to Don Muang Airport||PHP 500.00|
Approximate Total = Php5500.000
You can still have more savings based on your hostel preference, (500php for 2nights in a dorm type) and mode of transfer to/from airport (airport link will only cost you around 60pesos plus another 40pesos if you need some transfers to BTS train)
Additional savings based on above option is Php1800.00
So basically, Php3000.00 is already enough in getting around the commonly visited sights in Bangkok for 3days/2nights
My itinerary for ChangMai as I continue my Thailand travel will be posted next.
“Traveling. It leaves you SPEECHLESS, then turns you into a STORYTELLER” – Ibn Battuta