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Best of Budget Bangkok

Destination(s): Bangkok

Traveling in Bangkok costs as much or in this case, as little as you want to spend. It is rare that a destination can offer five-star properties and luxury travel just a few steps away from options that won’t hurt your wallet. Good food doesn’t have to cost much and the temples and other attractions are well suited for the not-so-well-heeled. Backpackers and other budget travelers will find plenty to do in Bangkok. read more about Best of Budget Bangkok

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

  • 2 Sanamchai Road
  • Phra Borommaharatchawang Sub-District
  • tel:+66 2 222 5910 / +66 2 226 2942 / +66 2 226 1743 / +66 2 225 9595
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10200

Over 200 years old, Wat Pho is one of Bangkok's largest and oldest temple complexes. For an entry fee of 50 baht, visitors can roam the grounds with or without a guide, stopping along the way at numerous notable temples and sites. The most famous of Wat Pho's relics is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, wherein lies an impressive 46 meter-long gold-plated image of a reclining Buddha. A first grade royal monastery, Wat Pho is also Thailand's oldest learning center and the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Take a Chao Phraya River ferry to Tha Thien (pier). The Grand Palace is a short walk from Wat Pho. You can also cross the river from the pier to see Wat Arun. Beware that scam artists (often tuk-tuk drivers) will try to claim that the temple is closed for the day. Don't believe it.

[Note: Pho is pronounced with a P like Paul not an F like a Vietnamese noodle soup]
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Erawan Shrine

Erawan Shrine

  • 494 Ratchawithi Road (corner of Ploenchit and Ratchiwithi)
  • (Next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel)
  • tel:+66 2 225 7612(Tourist Information)
  • Bangkok, 10330

In the middle of the glitz and traffic of downtown commercial Bangkok stands Erawan Shrine, a very unique place of worship that is a must-see. Devoted to the Hindu god Brahma, Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 to honor the spirits that once resided in trees that were chopped down during construction of the nearby Erawan Hotel. Nowadays, the shrine is constantly flooded with worshippers praying for good fortune as they burn incense, light candles and place carnation garlands at offering tables. Traditional Thai dancers perform on a stage around the clock, and tourists are welcomed to partake in the spirituality. The open-air fills with pleasant scents and the good vibes are abundant. Erawan Shrine is a Bangkok must. read more about Erawan Shrine

Big John's Guesthouse

Big John's Guesthouse

  • 161/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 55
  • tel:66 0 2 712 9712
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10110
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

  • Phaholyothin Road
  • Beside Chatuchak Public Park
  • tel:+66 02 652 8836/ +66 02 625 8945
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10900

It is unlikely to hear Chatuchak Park's weekend market called by its official name. Commonly referred to even by the Thai as J.J. market (from an Anglified spelling of Jatujak) this is the mecca for bargain hunters and a good place to find a variety of street food. The labryinth of covered vendors -- which is only open on the weekends -- gets hot in the midday heat and haggling is the norm. Food vendors are spread throughout the open spaces. Both the SkyTrain (Mor Chit) and MRT Subway (Chatuchak) stop here. read more about Chatuchak Weekend Market

Suda

Suda

  • 6-6/1 Soi 14, Sukhumvit Road
  • tel:+66 2 229 4518
  • Bangkok, 10110

This corner restaurant is a good economical choice, popular with a mix of foreigners and locals. The expansive, but strictly Thai menu shows English names and photos and so makes Suda a good place to explore the cuisine a bit. The quality of the recipes isn't earthshattering but it isn't bad either and the restaurant has a loyal fan base. Bright orange plastic chairs spill out onto the walk and tables fill up quickly at night. Beer is served as is whiskey, but only the Thai version. The assorted bottles stored around the joint are actually left there by customers who come back regularly to keep working on them. Suda's convenient location just off Sukhumvit Road under the Asoke SkyTrain station doesn't hurt either. read more about Suda

Cheap Charlie's

Cheap Charlie's

  • Sukhumvit Soi 11
  • tel:+66 2 253 4648
  • Bangkok, 10110

Is it a bar or an alley? Who can be sure? A rope and marks on the pavement show where the fun begins at this standing-room only watering hole in Sukhumvit Soi 11. Decorated with loads of odd items from water buffalo skulls and tortoise shells to strings of colored lights, Charlie's is an eye-catcher. The drink prices live up to the name and this makes a great warm up for the pricey high-society Bed Supper Club down the street. Or better yet, skip the dress codes and just stay for the convivial crowd here. Street vendors and nearby restaurants can take care of your munchies. The BTS SkyTrain Nana station is just around the corner.
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Barn Thai Guest House

Barn Thai Guest House

  • 27 Trok Mayom Chakkrapong Road
  • tel:66 0 2 281 9041
  • Bangkok, 10200
Watana Mansion

Watana Mansion

  • 209 Soi 17, Ratchadapiskek Road
  • Din Daeng
  • tel:66 2 275 0110
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10110
Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park

  • Entrances on Rama IV Road, Sarasin Road, Wireless Road and Ratchadamri Road
  • tel:+66 2 694 1222 (Tourism Authority of Thailand)
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10330

Smack in the heart of the city lies Lumphini Park, an oasis of nature within bustling Bangkok. The first of its kind in Bangkok, plans for the public park began in 1925. Lumphini Park is named after the Buddha's birthplace and covers approximately 58 hectares, gracing the city with greenery and waterways for picnics, pick-up sports and paddleboat rides. Early mornings are unforgettable: hordes of fitness group regulars engage in synchronized aerobics, while others jog peacefully and practice tai chi. Lumphini Park is a great place to take a timeout during a long day of sightseeing. read more about Lumphini Park

Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha)

Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha)

  • Traimit Road
  • Chinatown
  • tel:+66 (0) 2 623 3329 - 30
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10100

It's not every day you get to see a World Record worthy of the Guinness Book. Known in Thai as Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn, the Golden Buddha weighs 5.5 tons making it the world's most valuable (money-wise) sacred object. Amazingly the 13th century Sukothai-style statue spent centuries hidden under a layer of lacquered plaster which King Rama III ordered to disguise it when he moved it to Bangkok. An accidental crack in 1955 revealed the solid gold interior. The three-meter tall statue in the Subduing Mara, Calling the Earth to Witness posture occupies the fourth level of a somewhat pyramid-like shrine inside Wat Traimit. Entry to the temple is free and it is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, for foreigners there is a 40-baht fee to see the massive gold Buddha image. On the third floor is an exhibit telling the history of the statue and its move to Bangkok.

The second floor is home to the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center. Both exhibits are closed Mondays but otherwise follow the hours of the temple. Wat Traimit and the Golden Buddha should be the first stop on an exploration of Bangkok's Chinatown.

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