Backpacking Southeast Asia Fifth Stop: Bangkok, Thailand

Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Tina

It’s been more than a year since that unforgettable backpacking trip to some parts of Southeast Asia, but I’m not done writing about the trip yet. This Bangkok post has been on my post drafts for so long and now that I’m trying to catch up on my backlogs, I hope to finish this series before February 2021 ends.

After spending a week in Cambodia, I traveled by bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok. You can read about that bus ride experience including land border crossing here.

I’ve already been to Bangkok in 2013, so I had nothing planned for my stay there. But my flight to Yangon is from Bangkok, so I had to travel there from Siem Reap.

Day 1- Travel to Bangkok from Siem Reap

The bus ride to Bangkok was nine hours long. In Bangkok, we were dropped off near Khao San Road. Before going to my hostel, I exchanged some of my US dollars to Thai baht first. Then I bought a Thai sim card in 7-11 before going to my hostel, Warm Window Silom. Khao San Road is a popular place among backpackers. It’s where most of them stay. But I feel that I am too old for that area and I’m not really into nightlife and partying so I chose a more quiet place, Silom.

Warm Window Silom
Sri Mahamariamman Temple

After checking in at the hostel, I went out to look for a place to eat. I had a Pad Thai in one of the food stalls along Silom Road, not far from my hostel. After dinner, I decided to go for a massage somewhere in that area too. It took some time for me to find one though because I have a limited budget and I was warned to make sure I don’t go to a dodgy one. After the massage, I went back to the hostel to rest.

Day 2

As I had nothing planned for Bangkok, I didn’t get up early. After having free breakfast from the hostel, I decided to walk to Chinatown. It is not super near my hostel, I think it took me around 40 minutes to get there. We were not able to go to Chinatown during my trip to Bangkok in 2013 so I thought it would be nice to check it out.

On my way to Chinatown, I passed by some interesting spots like the Phadung Krung Kasem Canal and the Kalawar Church. The Phadung Krung Kasem Canal was dug in 1852 starting from the Chao Phraya River to help enlarge the inner city to a great extent. The Kalawar Church is a Catholic Church that was founded by the Roman Catholic Portuguese and moved from Ayutthaya.

The Kalawar Church

When I got to Chinatown, I was super exhausted. I decided to look for a restaurant to have lunch. After that, I decided to look around, but it was still too hot for me. I don’t remember who told me any more, but I was told that Chinatown must be visited at night. I think there are more stalls at night and also the lights make it more attractive.


Because I can’t stand the heat anymore, I decided to go to a mall. Asiatique The Riverfront was on our list in 2013 but we were not able to visit it then so I decided to go there. I booked a grab bike to Asiatique.

I didn’t know though that Asiatique is an open-air mall. And most of the stalls there are still closed. I think they open late in the afternoon. I was really dying to get inside an air-conditioned room so I decided to have ice cream at Svensen’s.

From Asiatique, I took the free shuttle boat to BTS to get to Central World. There I met a colleague who is already based in Bangkok. She brought me to the school where she is teaching, then we had dinner while catching up on things.

ABAC City Campus

I also wanted to visit Chatuchak Night Market during my first trip to Thailand, but it is only open on weekends so we never got the chance to visit it. After the dinner with my colleague, I decided to drop by Chatuchak Market before going back to my hostel. There are so many nice things at the night market, but because I still had many places to visit, the only thing I bought is a pair of colorful dangling earrings. It is not a good idea to be carrying a lot of stuff when you are backpacking so better reserve shopping for the last days of your trip.

Day 3- Flight to Yangon

My flight to Yangon was at 7:30 in the evening. But I wanted to have a very chill day so the only thing I did was hang out at Everyday Karmakamet. It is a cute little cafe in Silom. I was there for cheesecake and iced coffee. The cafe also has coloring materials and papers where you can make some drawings and hang them on the wall of the cafe.

The cafe is also selling postcards. And the coolest part is that same day, my Gerald (check this post to read about the story of Gerald) sent me a picture of his breakfast. That picture looks somewhat similar to the breakfast of the guy in the postcard so it was the postcard I bought for him and me for Bangkok. (In case this is your first time reading this blog series, I sent myself and “Gerald” a postcard from every city/town I visited during the trip).

I was planning to take a Grab taxi to Donmueang Airport. But the receptionist at the hostel told me I would save a lot if I took the BTS then bus. I followed her advice and it only cost me 20% of the cost when taking a Grab taxi.


As mentioned in my earlier posts about this backpacking trip, my challenge was to try to live on a US$ 20 per day budget. I brought US dollars for the trip. The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. I exchanged US$100 at the money changer in Khao San Road. The conversion rate was ฿ 3060 for US$ 100. Just to be consistent with my earlier posts, I’ll be using the conversion rate of Php 52 for US$ 1 for this post (it was the conversion rate for Php to US$ when I was on the trip). Using the above rates, US$ 20 is equivalent to ฿ 612.

Day 1

Bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok – US$ 33
Coke- US$ 0.75
Sim card- US$ 9.77 (฿ 299)
Grab from Khao San Road to Warm Window Silom Hostel- US$ 5.72 (฿ 175)
1 bed in a 10-bed female-only dormitory in Warm Window Silom Hostel- US$ 8.16 (Php 424.54)
Dinner- US$ 2.29 (฿ 70)
Massage- US$ 11.11 (฿ 340)

Day 1 total expenses: US$ 70.80


Day 2

1 bed in a 10-bed female-only dormitory in Warm Window Silom Hostel- US$ 8.16 (Php 424.54)
Lunch- US$ 2.16 (฿ 66)
Grab bike from Chinatown to Asiatique- US$ 2.68 (฿ 82)
Ice cream at Svensen’s- US$  2.78 (฿ 85)
BTS to Central World- US$ 1.21 (฿ 37)
BTS to Chatuchak- US$ 1.60 (฿ 49)
MRT to Silom- US$ 1.37 (฿ 42)
Grab bike to the hostel- US$ 1.18 (฿ 36)
Water- US$ 0.65 (฿ 20)

Day 2 total expenses: US$ 21.79

Day 3

Cheesecake- US$ 3.43 (฿ 105)
Iced coffee- US$ 3.10 (฿ 95)
Postcards- US$ 0.65 (฿ 20)
BTS to Mochit- US$ 1.44 (฿ 44)
Bus to Don Mueang International Airport- US$ 0.98 (฿ 30)
Stamps- US$ 0.98 (฿ 30)
Dinner- US$ 2.58 (฿ 79)

Day 3 total expenses: US$ 13.16

Did I succeed in the US$ 20 a day challenge? I didn’t even if I exclude the bus fare. Let’s see if I succeeded in Yangon, to be posted next week.

If you have any questions regarding this trip, feel free to leave a comment. Subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss any of my posts. And please follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates. You can also check out my backpacking highlights in my IG @tnadeperalta.

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