function initPage(){ }

12 budget-friendly things to do in Bangkok

12 budget-friendly things to do in Bangkok

Thailand is a budget traveler’s paradise! With cheap food and drinks, affordable accommodations, many ways to get around, and so much to sightsee on a budget. And Bangkok is definitely a hub for budget-friendly things to do and enjoy.

In Bangkok, you can enjoy all the modern amenities any big city has to offer, mixed with traditional Thai architecture and culture. From streets full of cars and motorbikes surrounded by super modern buildings, to small temples and markets snuck between buildings and the busyness of such a lively city.

In this blog, I’ll go over 3 of the most interesting and budget-friendly things you can do in Bangkok. 

Temples, markets, and places to eat.

5 budget-friendly temples you should visit in Bangkok

First things first – Buddhist temples in Thailand are known as Wats, which means “enclosure”. And to enter most temples you have to cover your shoulders and knees, so be sure to bring the appropriate clothing. Some temples offer free cover-ups for visitors. And they are all super budget-friendly. Below, I name 5 of my favorite temples that I highly recommend visiting.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

📍Wat Pho – Also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. Here you can find the magnificent Temple of the Reclining Buddha (pictured above) which is 150 feet long and covered in gold leaves. 

Entrance fee: 200 THB [$6 USD] (and includes a small bottle of water).

Wat Arun 

Wat Arun

📍Wat Arun – Also known as The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun has an incredible tower or prang that stands 270 feet tall, made with Chinese porcelain. You can even climb up (to a point) the main tower and see the view from up there. 

Entrance fee: 100 THB [$3 USD] (and they offer free cover-up)

Wat Intharawihan

📍Wat Intharawihan – A smaller temple with a 105 feet tall standing Buddha statue known as Luang Pho To. 

Entrance fee: 60 THB [$1.80 USD]

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew

📍Wat Phra Kaew – Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, it’s the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, and it’s located inside the Royal Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha itself is only 2 feet tall and gets adorned with three different sets of gold seasonal costumes that only the King can touch. 

Entrance fee: 500 THB [$15 USD] (includes the temple and Grand Royal Palace, and you can get a free tour of the temple once inside)

Wat Saket

Wat Saket

📍Wat Saket – Also known as the Temple of the Golden Mount, Wat Saket dates back more than 300 years, stands at 252 feet tall, and has over 300 steps to get to the top. It used to be a burial ground during the cholera outbreaks, but now it’s a very popular tourist attraction with a great view of Bangkok. 

Entrance fee: 50 THB [$1.50 USD]

Wat Saket View
View from Wat Saket

5 budget-friendly markets you should visit in (and around) Bangkok

There are A LOT of markets in Bangkok. Some are pretty well known and some tours even offer to take you to them, while others I found by accident or by local recommendations. So you’re bound to stumble upon one at some point while in Bangkok, but below I recommend 5 that really stood out to me and you should add them to your travel plans.

📍 Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market was my favorite market in Bangkok. It was recommended by a taxi driver and it did NOT disappoint. Only open from Friday to Sunday, this is the largest market in Bangkok (and maybe in all of Thailand) with over 15,000 booths. It is a bit like a maze with booths in every direction and, they sell pretty much everything. And what I liked most is that everything seemed like quality items, and the prices were still super affordable (meaning less than in the US and even less than in malls in Bangkok). 

📍 Sampheng Market in Chinatown 

Sampheng Market

Located in Bangkok’s Chinatown (duh lol), Sampheng Market runs parallel to the main Yaowarat road which is a very popular tourist destination. It is super long and offers really cheap items (although the quality didn’t seem as good). It’s definitely a market to walk around, buy a few souvenirs, and explore its many stands and the nearby river.

📍 Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Khlong Lat Mayom

There are a few floating markets in and around Bangkok, and Khlong Lat Mayom was only 20 minutes away by taxi from the city center, and it’s not very touristy. Now, I wouldn’t totally say it’s a floating market per se since most of the market is on land. But it is right next to the river and you can take a longboat back and forth to another floating market nearby and explore both in one morning at a super cheap price. These markets offer lots of raw and cooked foods and are perfect to try out different local dishes and delicacies.

📍 Mae Klong Railway Market

This very unique market was really recommended by other tourists. It’s a food market located right on the sides of the tracks of a train and every vendor has to be prepared for when the train comes to avoid getting their things ran over, which happens around 11 am. In the meantime, you can walk the tracks and check out their raw food selection. And when the train comes you get to see how close it passes by the vendors and take photos with the train (it stops for about 3 hours so you have plenty of time to take pics.)

This market is about an hour away from Bangkok, so I would recommend booking a guided tour to visit the market so you can get more info about the area and Thai culture. The tour I booked took me to this market and the next market on this list for about $35 USD per person. Here’s a link to the same tour I took.

📍 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak floating market 3

Usually among the top 5 markets in Bangkok on any list on the internet, this famous market is a legit floating market. Meaning that vendors actually sell things from their boats. You can hop on a longboat (with a professional driver of course) and buy things from one boat to another and navigate the river canals buying food and souvenirs from boat vendors and vendors in little shops by the river. It definitely is a very unique experience.

Unfortunately, due to covid and lack of tourism, when I visited, a lot of the shops by the river were closed and there weren’t too many boat vendors. And I’m sure the rain that day didn’t help either. But it was still a very memorable experience and I would love to return one day and give it another shot. You can book a guided tour to take you to this market, which is about an hour away from Bangkok. Book the same tour I took HERE.

Budget-friendly places to eat

Aside from the markets I mentioned above that sell food and other things, there were two areas in Bangkok that I frequented for food and I highly recommend you visit both on your next trip. 

Rooftop bars and restaurants overlooking Wat Arun

Rooftop bar by Wat Arun

There are 4+ different rooftop bars/restaurants overlooking Wat Arun across the river, on the east side of Chao Phraya River. They are almost next to each other and each one has its own vibe, food menu, and drink selection. You can easily bar hop around them or space them out between different days in Bangkok. Oh, and they are right next to Wat Pho so you can head over to one of them after exploring the temple. The 3 I got to explore were:

📍 The Deck by Arun Residence

📍 View ARUN Restaurant & Bar

📍 Eagle Nest Bar

Chinatown night market

Chinatown night market 3

Since I was staying in the Chinatown area of Bangkok I got to really explore the night food market and let me tell you there are so many food options to choose from. From more known dishes like fried rice, chicken, and pork to very authentic delicacies like seafood skewers and crickets/scorpion skewers, there is something for the adventurous eaters and the picky eaters. After a few rounds on the market, I found my favorite spot which I highly recommend (pictured above). This night market starts at around 5 pm every day until midnight. And it’s located on the famous 📍Yaowarat road in Chinatown.

Hope you found this blog post super useful for your trip to Bangkok! It is honestly so easy to enjoy and explore this amazing city on a budget, and it’s super affordable to get from one place to another to be able to see everything.

Don’t forget to bookmark this blog for future reference! And leave a comment below if you have any questions about traveling through Thailand on a budget.

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

Khlong Lat Mayom

June 3, 2022

  1. Davey says:

    I love the extensive research that you’ve done. And wow!!! This list has so many fun things to do, and they’re all so cheap!!! It makes me want to drop everything and travel RIGHT NOW lol.

    • Laurie Salmeron says:

      Thank you! I love researching budget-friendly things to do and can vouch for all these things since I did them myself! And I love that you want to drop everything and travel right now! XD

  2. […] 12 budget-friendly things to do in Bangkok […]

  3. […] For more ideas on budget-friendly things to do in Bangkok, read this blog post. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *