Top 10 free or cheap things to do in Bangkok

Bangkok is such a fascinating city. With sprawling, traditional street markets full of some of the world’s best street food to cutting edge modern skyscrapers and malls with all of the new world comforts, It is the epicenter of where East meets West. We spent a combined 10-days in Bangkok exploring every nook and cranny, some more than once, and put together this list of our top 10 free or cheap things to do!

1. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Cost: FREE – This is the place to be on the weekend! It’s one of the world’s largest weekend markets with over 8,000 stalls. The market open from 9am -6pm on the weekend and we spent nearly the whole day exploring each and every corner.  It had everything from books, food and clothing to any souvenir you could ever want to take home.

2. Chinatown

Cost: FREE – We love a good Chinatown and Bangkok has one! During the day, the hustle and bustle is shopping through the vendors with bulk items and unique individual finds. While at night, it’s all about the delicious street food culture and bright lights.

3. Wat Pho

Cost: 100 baht ($3) – One of the main tourist sites in all of Bangkok is Wat Pho and what’s great is it is so cheap to feast your eyes on her beauty. It is one of the most important temples in Thailand because of its connection to King Rama I, said to be the founder of Thailand. Wat Pho is also home of the world famous Reclining Buddha which is one of the largest in Thailand laying at 15 meters high and 46 meters long. Very impressive to see. 

4. Rooftop Bar Drinks

Cost: 180 baht ($5.25) per pint of beer – Bangkok has a beautiful skyline with some really unique buildings. Our favorite was the MahaNakhon building which looks like it is being digitally created. The best views of this and the city are from Cloud 47. We loved it here because they allow casual attire and the cocktails are nearly half the cost than some of Bangkok’s other rooftop bars, not to mention, it really does have the most superb view. We went an hour before sunset so we could enjoy the skyline day, dusk, and night! 

5. Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)

Cost: 50 baht ($1.50) – This was one of Kevin’s favorite places to visit because of how many wonderful things were around the temple complex. While the central Khmer-style tower was under construction, we could still see the beauty of the painted porcelain all around. Next to the temple is the Ordination Hall which is guarded by two guardian demons. An easy 2.5 hours was spent in awe of all the details. 

6. Foot Massage

150 baht ($4.35) – After walking all over Bangkok it was time to pamper ourselves. Everywhere you go in Thailand you see foot massage places. Some look seedy like you might catch something if you take your shoes off while others are packed, so you know it’ll be above board. We chose the 30-minute foot massage which included a leg rub and smooth oils. We were in heaven.

7. Khaosan Road

Cost: FREE – Khaosan Road is known as the backpackers district of Bangkok so you know it’s a lively place to see. Because it is full of like-minded budget travelers, this is the place to find a good deal. Trinkets are cheap and the beers are even cheaper! Nighttime is when Khaosan Road truly shines. 

8. Eat Street Food

Cost: 50 – 200 baht ($1.50-$5.75) – Thailand is known for having the world’s best street food so it would be ashamed if you didn’t try it all! Most street food like Pad Thai and Thai Basil Chicken will run you around the 60-100 baht ($1.75-$3), while other signature dishes, such as, Tom Yum Goong or Pineapple Fried Rice will set you back 200 baht ($5.75). Be sure to check out our favorite Thailand street foods

9. Take a boat down the Chao Phraya River

Cost: 15 baht ($0.45)– Hop on the boar with the orange flag and you are in for a cheap and fun experience. Not only is this the fasted and cheapest way to get into the old town of Bangkok, it give you some of the most incredible views! 15 baht is what they charge no matter how long you ride it, so why not use the opportunity to see the city through the eyes of a local. 

10. Wat Trai Mit

Cost: 40 baht ($1.20) – This is a stunning historic Buddhist temple just on the edge of Chinatown. It is adorned with fantastic guilding and houses the infamous 5.5 ton (11,000 pound) 18 karat gold Buddha statue with the most fascinating history. For over 200 years it was plastered over in stucco and no one knew it was made of gold until one day it was discovered by accident.

Of course there are many more things to do in Bangkok we did no mention here due to their cost. However, we would recommend doing each. #1 – Go to a Calypso Cabaret Show, costs 900 baht ($27) and features amazingly talented transgender artists dancing and lip-syncing for their lives. #2 visit the Grand Palace, costs 500 bath ($14.50), it’s filled with a lot of history and has some top-notch architecture. 

We are two en route for free or cheap explorations 

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10 of our Favorite Meals from Around the Globe

It is no secret that when traveling to new places we are encountering new culinary delights. As part of the journey figuring out a new country we feel it is out duty to try their local cuisine. Now, not ever dish that dances across our taste buds is fantastic, but the ones that were make it all worth while. Here are some of the best local dishes we have tasted to date. 

1. Traditional Maldivian Lunch

While in the Maldives our guest house prepares a group lunch for all of the guests to share together. Our traditional Maldivian lunch consisted of rice, fried leaves of a local plant, tuna, onion, lime juice. You mash it all together with your fingers and eat by hand. It was packed full of flavor! 

2. Conveyor Belt Sushi in Japan

What do you get when you mix Sushi options with a twist of fun? Conveyor belt sushi! In 2013 we made out first trip to Japan and fell in love with all of the fresh sushi and sashimi restaurants, so much so, we knew we had to come back. While the best sashimi of our lives was not at a conveyor belt sushi place, some of the most fun was. So, of course, when we were back in Japan, we made it a point to grab a beer and feast on an array of sushi delights. 

3. Sri Lankan Curry Plate

Sri Lanka is an island nation off the coast of India and is full culture and spice. Almost every direction you look you will see the staple dish,  a curry plate. Pictured is one of our favorite plates we had from a hold in the wall mom and pop shop. It’s fried chicken, green bean curry, lentil curry, spicy gravy, rice, and vegetable filled pastries. Our taste buds were in heaven. Time to go explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.  

4. Fondue in Switzerland

Fondue is an essential meal to have when you are in the land of Gruyère cheese. Fribourger Fondue Stübli was a fantastic family run restaurant in Zürich, Switzerland. We dipped thick sliced of bread and potatoes in this Gruyère cheese blend fondue and it was amazing.

5. Pierogies in Poland

When we stepped off the bus in Krakow, Poland, the number one food that came to our mind was Pierogies! A pierogi is a semicircular dumpling filled with different sweet and savory goodies often found in many Eastern European countries. We decided to try a myriad of different types to make sure we got the proper understanding of the dish. 

6. Pad Thai 

Who knew Pad Thai could be so dynamic. We asked the owner of our hostel in Bangkok where do get the best Pad Thai and before we finished the question he gave us directions to a street vendor where is shore the best Pad Thai was in all of Thailand. He was not joking! Pad Thai is made with stir fried rice noodles mixed with egg, firm tofu, fish sauce, dried shrimp, shallots, garlic, red chili peppers, tamarind pulp, palm sugar, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts, and served with lime wedges. We also then topped it with chives and raw banana flower. Our taste buds were in heaven. Click here for more legit Thai street foods.

7. Eggplant Curry in the Maldives 

This was by far our #1 favorite meal since leaving on this journey! Delicious curries are a big part of the middle east and Asia but what makes the Maldivian curry a step above the rest is the fish curry powder only found in the Maldives. Our guest houses’ wife made her special recipe which uses the fish curry powder with eggplant in place of fish. The combination was unlike anything we have ever tasted and we would go back to the Maldives, not only for the beaches, but for this eggplant curry. 

8. South Korean Gangjeong Fired Chicken

Being from the Southern United States, we know fried chicken. Because of this, we were very excited to come to South Korea, another place in the world that knows fried chicken. Many times throughout South Korea we had Gangjeong, the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. This chicken is coated in potato starch and double fried to golden perfection. After which, the chicken is tossed in a sweet and spicy glaze and topped with sesame. The blend of the crispiness, sweet notes, and spicy zing is why this was one of our favorite meals.  

9. Hiroshima’s Okonomiyaki in Japan

Okonomiyaki is found all over Japan and each region put’s their own twist on it. Most notable styles are the Hirosima style with layers and yakisoba noodles and the Osaka style where everything is mixed together with the batter.  While traveling through Japan, we found that Hirosima’s version was, hands down, the winner! Okonomiyaki is the Japanese savory pancake and it is mouth watering. The Hiroshima style we had was layers of batter, yakisoba noddles, seafood (shrimp, scallop, and octopus), a mountain of cabbage, fried egg, okonomiyaki sauce and topped with shallots. You then eat it with a special spatula called hera. 

10. Meat and Potato Meal in the Czech Republic

We do not know exactly what we ate in Prague at this traditional food spot, but we do know it had our taste buds singing and stomach full! We know the potatoes were full of butter and garlic while the meats were salted and fried. Who could say know to comfort food like this? Not us, we dug right in and after we were done we were ready to explore Prague at night!

With months left on this journey we are so excited to taste our way through the world one bite at a time. Up next, we are looking forward to banh mi’s in Vietnam! 

We are two en route for more delicious meals from around the globe.

Thai Street Food, enough said!

Part of experiencing Thailand is eating the street food! Out of everywhere in the world we have visited and all the travelers we have had the honor to meet, everyone is in agreeance that Thai Street food is the best in the world. From hot and spicy to sweet and savory here is our picks for the best of the best in our Thai street food experience.

1. Tom Yum Goong Noodles

Tom Yum Noodle is a very popular dish in Thailand. With its intense flavor combination of sweet, sour and spicy it’s hard not to love.

2. Pad Thai

Probably the most well-known Thai dish, Pad Thai is a staple of Thai street food. It is a combination of stir fried noodles, fried egg, shrip, firm tofu, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, garlic, pepper, and red chilis poured over flat rice noodles. Often topped with fresh shallots, peanuts, sprouts and banana blossoms.

3. Chicken Stir-Fry in Oyster Sauce

This is a simple chicken and vegetable stir-fry tossed in oyster sauce and served with steamed rice. Anyone could make this is about 3 minutes which makes it the perfect on-the-go street food. 

4. Pineapple Fried Rice

Probably the second most well known Thai dish with expats. This dish is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Generally this dish is served in a pineapple half filled with rice, shrimp, pineapple, cashews, garlic, onion, red chilis, raisins, egg, and peas that have been tossed in soy or fish sauce. 

5. Khao Pad Gong

Khao pad gong is another simple street food dish. It’s a basic stir-fry with the addition of tomatoes, cucumber and coriander leaves. Ofter served with fresh shirmp you have to open yourself. 

6. Thai Basil Chicken

This is the dish to go for in order to feel the heat! It’s a simple mix of chicken, basil, shallots, garlic and fresh cut red chilis tossed in a fish sauce and served with steamed rice. The fresh cut red chilis are everything you want for a powerful punch of intensity.

7. Mango Sticky Rice

At first we didn’t know what we were going to get when we heard we had to try “Mango Stick Rice.” However, this Thai dessert is so delicious in every bite. It is fresh cut mangos eaten with sticky rice topped with coconut milk and sometimes rice crispy or toasted sesame seed.

8. Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Ever since we saw a video of someone making Thai tolled ice cream, we knew we had to find some!  It is milk with you choice of flavors and fillings stirred and chopped with metal spatulas on a frozen slab. It is then spread into a thin sheet and scrapped off into rolls and packed into a cup. It was then topped with whipped cream, more goodies, and sauce. Delicious! 

9. Coconut Ice Cream

This is exactly what it sounds like! It’s the perfect blend of cream and coconut ice cream served in a coconut half and drizzeled with chocolate sauce and coconuts. 

10. Pint of Chang Beer

No street food list would be completed without enjoying a golden pint of Chang beer. It’s cheap, good and cleaner than the water, so drink up! Cheers!

We are two en route for more enjoying more of the worlds best street food