Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tips to save money in Bangkok holiday

Tip #1 - Book your hotel online
Bangkok offers relatively cheap hotels but still the rack rates at the desk are usually much higher than the online rates. But do not just directly go and book from hotel's web site. The rates on hotel web sites are also usually higher than the rates you can find online.

Many people book from an online reservation site like or From time to time one is cheaper than the others and sometimes hotel's web site offer the best. So do you need to spend hours to find the best hotel rate? Of course not. Just use a hotel meta-search engine like Hotelscombined aggregates all the rates and hotel reviews from almost all major online reservation sites and let's you to see the best rate in a single list. Use it to save money.

Tip #2 - Stay in a hotel near BTS Skytrain or MRT Line
Bangkok's traffic is quite bad and you will do a big favour to yourself if you stay in a hotel near sky train or MRT in Bangkok. This will allow you to travel 70% to 100% of the route between hotel and the Bangkok attractions by train which is cheap and fast compared to road transport. If you combine train with River boat and walk then you can go to most attractions without a taxi and tuk-tuk. This will also reduce your exposure to tuk-tuk and taxi scams in Bangkok

Tip #3 - Beware of Thailand Tourist Scams
We have said "scams", let's talk about them a little. Tourist scams can cost you a lot. Thailand, particularly Bangkok, is full of con artists and scammers praying on unsuspected visitors. Know then before you step into Bangkok. Here is a good introductory article in Bangkok and Thailand Tourist scams.

Tip #4 - Read Wikitravel Bangkok Pages
Web based free travel guide Wikitravel is a must read before heading to your holiday destination. Their Bangkok Guide pages are full of useful information from where to eat to where to sleep and from what to do to how to stay safe in Bangkok. This free guide saved me a lot of money in my trips and I strongly suggest it to you.

This info also can be bought as a pocket guide from Amazon : Wikitravel Bangkok: The free, complete, up-to-date and reliable guide to Bangkok.

Tip #5 - Use Airport City Link or Shuttle
Two of the most expensive taxi rides in Bangkok will be the one from and to the airport. But you can avoid these rides by using new Airport Rail Link from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. If you have listened to us and booked a hotel near Skytrain, you can reach your hotel without a taxi. If you arrive Bangkok during rush hour you will also save a lot of money. And if you need to go to the airport during the rush hour, you can prevent missing a flight because of traffic.

There were once Private Airport Express buses but they have stopped operating in 2011. You can still take a free shuttle bus from outside the second floor, gate 5 to the Public Transportation Center a few kilometres away and then take a public bus from there. Read Wikitravel Bangkok Get In section for details.

Bangkok in the night
Bangkok in the night
Tip #6 - Bargain and bargain
Most shops will start bargain from 100% or 200% above the usual price so start bargain from 50% of the asking price and try to settle somewhere between 50% and 60%.

Tip #7 - Visit Bangkok in Low Season
The most pleasant time to visit is the cool season that lasts from November till February. This is also the high season for Bangkok. Try to visit outside this time and you can get things like hotel rooms for much cheaper. Also avoid regional holiday times such as Hari Raya during when people travel to Bangkok a lot.

Tip #8 - Buy Thai Telephone Card from Airport
This is quite important. Most Thais have mobile phones so it is difficult to find public phones in Bangkok. Roaming may be quite expensive so buy a local SIM card for 100 baht at Suvarnabhumi Airport. This simple action can save you a lot of money (i.e. if your taxi driver does not know the way to hotel you can call the reception and let the receptionist talk to the driver).

Tip #9 - Bangkok City Pass
Bangkok city pass, which comes with unlimited use of sky train, may save you money if you will visit a lot of attractions.

Tip #10 - Check the Travel DEALs
If you are heading to Bangkok from a nearby country like Singapore check coupon sites for Bangkok travel deals. They do not have only Bangkok tour packages but they also list discounts to Bangkok attractions.

Tip #11 - Buy travel insurance
Thailand may be a relatively cheap place when it comes to almost everything but a major hospitalization or evacuation from a remote location may cost you tens of thousands of Dollars. Never travel out of your country without a proper travel insurance covering activities you are planning to do (i.e. skuba diving).

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