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Should you ever find yourself in Thailand’s dazzling, chaotic and beguiling capital city for more than the iconic ‘one night’, save some cash with these tips. You’ll have some Thai Baht to spare for delicious street food, cocktails in rooftop bars and the all-important sightseeing.
Using Bangkok’s network of river taxis means less time spent inhaling exhaust fumes in endless traffic. The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat makes navigating the riverways a lot easier than the local boat routes, and a one day pass (180 THB) means you can use boats to and from nine convenient piers, all day long. Single journeys cost 50 THB.
Apps such as Grab make ride hailing a cinch. No haggling is required, as the price is displayed on the app.
Download Tuk Tuk Hop before you go. This hop-on, hop-off tuk tuk service between over 50 of Bangkok’s main tourist attractions costs just 599 THB for two people.
A one day pass on Bangkok’s Mass Transit System (BTS or Sky Train) costs 140 THB.
Many of the city’s main attractions are religious monuments or temples, and charge a minimal admission fee. Visit glittering Wat Arun for just 100 THB. Sunset at Wat Saket, perched in splendour at the foot of the Golden Mount, is a spectacular viewpoint, and is only 50 THB to enter. The low admission prices mean you can happily dispense with expensive city tour packages.
Reserving your accommodation through Booking.com entitles you to discounted entry at 47 of Bangkok’s leading tourist attractions. You’ll be sent an email containing a bar code. This acts as a ticket, and the discounted cost is charged back to the same card you used to secure your hotel.
Airlines routinely offer their customers special deals at various attractions. Air Asia currently offers passengers a free tourist SIM card, pre-loaded with data, at kiosks in the Don Mueang Airport arrivals terminal. Just show your boarding pass.
You’re spoiled for choice with Bangkok’s renowned markets and street food scene. Some of the more widely known street food locations such as Khao San Road have recently been cleared of street vendors and market stalls, but there are still pockets of the city where it’s easy to fill up on delicious Pad Thai, satay skewers, mango with sticky rice, and an abundance of aromatic, freshly cooked local dishes for as little as 50 THB. Head to China Town’s bustling Yaowarat Road for a different street food experience.
If it’s a more upmarket food experience you’re seeking, check Eatigo, an online table reservations site with great discounts of up to 50% at an array of restaurants. Reserve your table with Chope and score a free drink or special deal.
Bangkok for free
Some temples, such as Wat Patu, don’t charge any admission. Green spaces such as central Lumphini Park make great early morning or evening walks. Markets such as Thewet or Khlong Toey are overflowing with produce and provide an insight into busy Bangkok life. See Thai art at Queen’s Gallery or folk history at The Bangkokian Museum.
Clare Lawrence, nicknamed 'Coupon Clare' at college, lives mostly in Cornwall. Proud mum to Gregory, she'll stop at nothing in her quest to save cash!