Hanging around Bangkok, Thailand with about 30$.
Wild Orchid’s restaurant is nice to hang around in but quite pricey. Wander around the corner to Rickys for awesome cafe latte and baguettes, or if you want Thai food first thing, beautifully prepared salads. This is going on the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you want to stock up. If you drop the coffee and have a juice instead, you’ll save a dollar straight away. But some of us can’t live without frothy coffee…
Breakfast: 150 baht
From Ricki’s it’s a very short walk to the river taxi. This is a quintessential part of experiencing Bangkok and incredibly cheap – 12 Baht will get you all the way from Pa Athit (the river station at which you are currently located) all the way down to Saphan Taksin, where you can jump onto the BTS Skytrain. Best of all, you get to see Bangkok’s fascinating riverfront, with skyscrapers, shrines and slums side by side. For this journey though, you want to get off beforehand, at Tha Tien stop.
River taxi: 10 baht
There is an excellent outdoor riverside restaurant at Arun Residence, with an outdoor deck and spectacular view of Wat Arun on the opposite bank of the river. This is back at the riverfront, only a hundred metres or so parallel to the Tha Tien riverside taxi station. While Arun Residence is quite a fine dining, the prices are reasonable – a sandwich should be no more than 100 Baht. There are definitely cheaper options for lunch, but few will have such an amazing view in relaxing surroundings.
Lunch: 150 Baht (with drink – juice etc)
So, by 2pm, we’re over half way through the daily budget. For the afternoon, there are a few more things that can be done on the river. You can visit the Wat Arun and see it up close by simply catching a ferry across the river for around 10 Baht. I can’t remember the cost of entering Wat Arun (if it has a cost) but it’s unlikely to be more than 100 Baht.
One of the best things to do in Bangkok is the Klong tour – seeing the old canals of Bangkok and the people who still live on them from a longtail boat – the impossibly thin and elegant vessels with their propellers mounted on super long crankshafts made famous in James Bond’s Man With The Golden Gun.
A klong tour can be several hours long, with stop-offs at lots of different places which are of varying interest – you can even choose a version to stop for lunch if you like. Personally, I’m fond of doing a two-hour version which takes a big U shaped route around the canals, slowly motoring down the waterways so you can properly see the amazing variety and style of the houses built on the waterfront. And get to wave to the kids who are invariably taking a dip and pushing each other in too.
Depending on the length of time and your bargaining skills, a klong tour can be about 1000 baht for 2 hours. Therefore if there are four of you, it will be around 250 Baht each. This is one of those times where it’s good to find likeminded people if you can.
To catch the boat for a klong tour, you need to jump back on the river taxi and head down to Saphan Taksin river station. The river taxi won’t cost more than 10 Baht.
Klong tour: 250 Baht (with four people)
To be continued…
For more Backpacking tips, please return to our front page.