Things to do in Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand is currently among the most popular overseas tourist destinations for Filipinos. The temples in the area are what we see most often on social media – but there’s more to the city than these majestic structures.
To help you make a fulfilling Bangkok itinerary without breaking the bank, here are 9 budget-friendly things to do in Bangkok that Filipinos would surely enjoy.
1. Explore Bangkok Chinatown
Image credit: emiliano franci
Our country has the oldest Chinatown in the world in Binondo, Manila. But Chinatowns in different countries offer different experiences and takes on food, making them worth checking out.
Bangkok Chinatown is home to highly-rated dining spots serving Chinese and Thai cuisine for prices that won’t burn a hole through your pockets. There are great seafood restaurants in this area such as T&K Seafood.
The Sou Heng Tai Mansion.
Image credit: @sameway_phk
Besides restaurants, you can also visit the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center, Guan Yin Shrine, and The Sou Heng Tai Mansion – one of the last traditional Hokkien villas in Bangkok which is now home to a cafe and a scuba diving school.
Address: Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong District, Bangkok
2. Discover local art
Street art in Charoen Krung.
Image credit: Ben Panuts
Bangkok is peppered with street art. But to be sure you get those artsy pics for the ‘gram, check out the city’s art streets and galleries.
Image credit: Joe Macpherson
The Charoen Krung neighborhood is the perfect spot for an art walk, with its alleys decked with mural artworks by local artists. There are also free-entry art galleries in the area such as ATT 19 and Lek Gallery Art.
You can also drop by Warehouse 30 – still within Charoen Krung – for artful knickknacks you won’t be able to resist taking home.
Address: Charoen Krung, Bangkok
3. Check out unique markets in Bangkok
Chang Chui Plane Market.
Image credit: Jeab Ice
Bangkok is also popular for its budget-friendly shopping spots, including their hip night markets.
Chang Chui Plane Market even has an old plane that gives the market dystopian vibes. What makes it even more interesting is that the plane is a fine-dining restaurant with vintage furniture.
Asiatique: The Riverfront.
Image credit: Thanyathorn Champreecha
There’s also Asiatique: The Riverfront, a former trading port that now has shops inside its old warehouses. Here, you can ride a huge Ferris wheel to catch a great view of the area.
But for a classic night market experience in Bangkok, Chatuchak Friday Night Market offers authentic Thai street food and clothes with wallet-friendly prices.
Chang Chui Plane Night Market
Address: 460/8 Sirindhorn Road, Bang Phlat, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 11am-11pm, Daily
Contact: +66 81 817 2888
Chang Chui’s Facebook | Instagram
Asiatique: The Riverfront
Address:2194 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 11am-12am, Daily
Contact: +66 92 246 0812
Asiatique: The Riverfront’s Facebook | Instagram
Chatuchak Friday Night Market
Address: Chatuchak Park Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Fri 7pm-3am | Closed Sat-Thu
Chatuchak Friday Night Market’s website
4. Watch a Muay Thai fight
A Muay Thai fight.
Image credit: @rajadamnern_stadium
If you love to watch Muay Thai competitions on TV, then you should see a fight live in Bangkok.
These are often held at Rajadamnern Stadium and the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. You can conveniently buy tickets (from ฿1,000, ~P1,639.09) for fights online to guarantee yourself a seat.
If you want to see if Muay Thai can be a suitable sport or exercise for you, you can also book a one-time Muay Thai class (฿500, ~P814.45) with the pros at Muay Thai Academy in Bangkok.
Address: 8 Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok
Opening hours: Wed-Thu 6pm-10pm | Mon, Fri-Sat 7pm-9pm | Sun 10am-12pm, 6pm-10pm | Closed Tuesdays
Contact: +66 2 281 4205
Rajadamnern Stadium’s website | Facebook | Instagram
Address: 6 Ram Inthra Road, Anusawari, Bang Khen, Bangkok
Opening hours: Tue, Fri 6pm-10pm | Sat 4pm-12am | Closed Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu
Contact: +66 84 005 9723
Lumpinee Stadium’s website | Facebook | Instagram
Muay Thai Academy
Address: Rama 4, Thang Rotfai Sai Kao Pak Nam Road, Sai Kao Pak Nam Road, Bangkok
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm | Closed Sundays
Contact: +66 80 585 5537
Xxx’s website | Facebook | Instagram
5. Go temple-hopping
Wat Pho’s Reclining Buddha.
Image credit: @its.like.david.with.an.e
For a cultural experience, temples in Thailand are popular tourist attractions. Here, you can pray to Buddha for good health and good fortune, or simply snap photos and admire the majestic architecture.
In Bangkok, there are several temples you can visit including Wat Arun or The Temple of Dawn. From Wat Arun, you can ride a ferry to cross the river to Wat Pho where you can find the Reclining Buddha.
Wat Phra Kaew.
Image credit: Madhusudan Das
Wat Phra Kaew is another must-visit temple in Thailand. It’s considered the most sacred temple in the country, home to the Emerald Buddha.
Temples usually charge a ฿100-500 (~P162.87-P814.33) admission fee for tourists. When you visit, remember to dress modestly and be quiet to respect others who are in prayer.
Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok
Opening hours: 8am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +66 2 891 2185
Address: 2 Sanam Chai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Opening hours: 8.30am-6.30pm, Daily
Contact: +66 83 057 7100
Wat Phra Kaew
Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Opening hours: 8.30-3.30pm, Daily
6. Dine at budget-friendly, Michelin-star restaurants
Go Ang Pratunam’s Thai chicken rice.
Image credit: The Smart Local Thailand
Most people think of Jay Fai when they hear Michelin star Thai restaurant. But there are more restos in Thailand that hold this title at a more affordable price point and with shorter queues.
When in Bangkok, check out Go Ang Pratunam for Thai chicken rice (from ฿70, ~P114.01) and Jeh-O Chula for tom yum (spicy-sour seafood soup) (from ฿128, ~P208.47).
Tom Yum from Jeh-O Chula.
Image credit: The Smart Local Thailand
For something a little more upscale but still wallet-friendly, check out the Michelin-star restaurant Rongros. It serves Thai cuisine and has luxurious interiors with a scenic view of the Chao Phraya River and Wat Arun. Prices are comparable to Philippine cafes with mains starting at ฿240 (~P390.88).
Go Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice
Address: 962 Phetchaburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
Opening hours: 6am-2pm, 3pm-10.30pm, Daily
Contact: +66 61 656 9659
Go Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice’s Facebook
Address: 113 Rong Muang, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening hours: 4.30pm-12am, Daily
Contact: +66 64 118 5888
Jeh-O Chula’s Instagram
Address: 392 16 Maha Rat Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, Daily
Contact: +66 96 946 1785
Rongros’ website | Facebook | Instagram
7. Get a relaxing Thai massage
Image credit: NAPAR Massage
There are plenty of massage parlors in Bangkok where you can get a Thai massage to relieve body aches and fatigue.
For good, affordable massage services and clean interiors, check out NAPAR Massage (from ฿300, P488.60), a minimalist massage salon in the midst of the busy Siam shopping area. In Chinatown, there’s also the classic European-themed Center Point Massage & Spa (from ฿380, P618.89).
Image credit: Center Point Massage & Spa
If you want to be cautious of places that provide “extra service”, be sure to check the salon’s reviews, examine its visuals, and make sure the services and their prices are disclosed upfront.
Address: 392, 27-28 Siam Square Soi 5, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening hours: 11am-11pm, Daily
Contact:+66 2 658 0922
NAPAR Massage’s Facebook | Instagram
Center Point Massage & Spa
Address:472 Charoen Krung Road, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Opening hours: 10am-12am, Daily
Contact: +66 22224 916
Center Point Massage & Spa’s website
8. Shop for clothes and pasalubong at Platinum Mall and Big C Supercenter
Clothes at Platinum Fashion Mall.
Image credit: @work_woman_shop
For affordable & stylish clothes, shoes, and accessories, Platinum Fashion Mall in Bangkok is like our Divisoria but airconditioned. It’s huge so expect to spend a lot of time here.
But don’t worry – it has a food court with stalls that serve a variety of cuisines in case you get hungry while shopping.
Plus-size clothing items at Krungthong Plaza.
Image credit: @krungthongplaza
For plus-sized fashionistas, Krungthong Plaza across the street from Platinum Mall carries trendy plus-size clothes for men and women. There’s also a Big C Supercenter in the area for packed Thai snacks you can bring home for friends and family to try.
Platinum Fashion Mall
Address: 222 Phetchaburi Road, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
Opening hours: 9am-8pm, Daily
Platinum Fashion Mall’s website | Facebook | Instagram
Address: 813/8 Phetchaburi Road, Khwaeng Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
Opening hours: 8am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +66 2 653 9333
Krungthong Plaza’s Facebook | Instagram
Big C Supercenter Ratchadamri
Address: 97/11 Ratchadamri Road, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening hours: 9am-12am, Daily
Contact: +66 2 250 4888
Big C Supercenter’s website | Facebook | Instagram
9. Go on a Thai BL “pilgrimage”
Benchakitti Park Sky Walk.
Image credit: @dolley3011
Thai BL fans can also visit locations in Bangkok featured in their favorite boy’s love or BL dramas.
There’s King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang – an iconic shooting location featured in 2gether: The Series – and Benchakitti Park Sky Walk which was seen in the Vice Versa series. BL fans can also go to GMMTV’s GMM Grammy Place to buy BL show merch and potentially spot the actors.
GMM Grammy Place.
Image credit: Ramil Yuzmuhametov
F4 Thailand fans can also visit Asiatique: The Riverfront and Safari World to get secondhand kilig.
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
Address: 1 Chalong Krung 1 Alley, Lat Krabang, Bangkok
Contact: +66 2 329 8000
Benchakitti Park Sky Walk
Address: Benjakitti Park, Ratchadaphisek Road, Khlong Toei, Bangkok
GMM Grammy Place
Address: 50 Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok
Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +66 2 669 9000
Bangkok attractions and activities for Filipinos on a budget
Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy overseas travel. Bangkok has many attractions you can visit that are free entry or charge less than P1,000.
From Michelin-star eats to shopping spots to BL shooting locations, you’re sure to have a holistic experience in Bangkok!
Cover image adapted from: Joe Macpherson, Madhusudan Das, The Smart Local Thailand
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