You don’t have to be rich to have a great time in Thailand. The country in general, and Bangkok in particular, has something for all tastes and wallets. Even if you’re on a very tight travel budget, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to partake in the Thai experience. Most Thai people do just that, every day of the week, 365 days of the year.
In this post, you’ll find the 5 best ways to keep your travel and living expenses to a minimum.
Instead of heading over to the trendiest restaurant for a meal, take a trip to one of the markets and grab a bite to eat. Street food in Thailand is usually held to very high standards and you can get the same quality food while visiting a simple street stand on the corner as you would in one of the finer establishments – sometimes even better. There’s a reason why most Bangkok residents prefer to eat simple, and you’re likely to get more food for your buck, too.
Drink Like the Locals Do
Think about it, the same beer that would cost you up to 200 Baht in a bar can be purchased for less than a quarter of that price in a local shop. Simply find the nearest liquor store or even a street vendor and grab a bunch of bottles that can be consumed in the friendly company of members from the community. Drinking like a local will save you quite a lot of money and the end result will still be the same. If you absolutely feel the need to drink in a bar, time your merry-go-rounds with Happy Hour. Most places only charge half price and will often have special group discounts at the chime of the bell.
Take a Walk
Taking a taxi ride or a trip on the ferry doesn’t cost much, but those small tabs add up after a while. After accommodation and food, cab fares in Thailand are what will drain your travel budget the most. Walking is free, and also gives you a better chance to fully take in the local scenery. If your feet can’t take the heat anymore, there are plenty of bicycle rentals that will get you through the streets just as easy as taking a cab, and for a mere fraction of the cost.
Buy in Bulk
Whether we’re talking bottled water, spices or bread, it’s much cheaper to purchase any products in larger quantities. Any larger orders will grant you a pretty sweet bulk discount in most places, and a little pre-planning goes a long way when you need to save your money for other things than the bare essentials. Make a list of what you’re going to need for the next couple of days and buy it all at once. It pays to be prepared in Bangkok, and you can easily find other people willing to go in on your investment venture.
Live Like Everyone Else
Why not skip the hotels and hostels altogether and rent a room with a local family? Most Thai citizen survive on less than 8,000 Baht per month and are always looking to supplement their basic income with some extra rent money. If you can find accommodations outside the city, you can get away with half the price of a room in the middle of downtown. By adding a couple of Baht, you can usually arrange a deal that will let you join your patrons for breakfast, lunch and dinner, saving you even more money than if you would eat fast food sold on the street. By embracing the local way of life, a backpacking visitor can experience Thailand for less than 400 Baht per day.
Just because it’s simple living, doesn’t mean it has to be any less enjoyable. All it takes is some backpacking ingenuity and a fair share of common sense.