Travelogue: Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Thailand

Thailand is a major destination for tourists and expats with thousands of them swarming in the country so it’s not surprising that I will also consider seeing this travel hub for myself. If you’re looking for a cheap place to backpack, Thailand is your go-to country along with the other countries in Southeast Asia. It is rich and culture and heritage and it is home to the many beautiful temples and palaces. No visit to Asia is complete without a visit to Thailand.

Getting to Bangkok

Unfortunately for someone like me who is coming from Central Visayas, only Philippine Airlines offer a direct flight from Cebu to Bangkok and it is expensive. So what we did is pass by Singapore since I figured that a Dumaguete-Manila-Bangkok route would cost me just the same as a flight to Cebu-Singapore-Bangkok. I got lucky and got cheap airfares during seat sales so we didn’t have to spend a lot despite taking lots of flights. We flew with Scoot (previously Tigerair) to Singapore and took a flight with Jetstar Asia from Singapore to Bangkok and vice versa and took Airasia from Singapore to Cebu. It was my first time to try all these airlines as I always flew with PAL or Cebu Pacific. And my experience with these airlines went thankfully smooth. No horror stories in here! Thank God!

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When our boarding gate was finally about to open!
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On board Jetstar Asia en route to Bangkok.

Airfare budget:

Cebu to Singapore: Php 2,499.00
Singapore to Bangkok: Php 1,792.00
Bangkok to Singapore: Php 1,650.00
Singapore to Cebu: Php 3,518.00
Total airfare: Php 9,459.00

Accommodation

We stayed near Khao San to witness Bangkok night life and booked at Nacorn Hostel. The location of the hostel was perfect for us as it was very near Khao San where the cheap food is but far enough so you don’t get bothered by noise at night from all the partying in the area. We booked a standard double room with private bathroom priced at Php 3,515.00 for 3 nights. The hostel is clean and the receptionists are very accommodating. They also have free breakfast that can easily save you money from eating outside.

Nacorn Hostel:

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The fiancé sipping his morning coffee to get ready for the day’s activities!
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Hostel exterior. Cute, right?
Our airconditioned room. Photo grabbed from Nacorn Hostel website.
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Photo grabbed from Nacorn Hostel website.

 

After staying in Central Bangkok for days, we had to transfer to another accommodation that’s near Suvarnabhumi airport to catch our early flight to Singapore. We found Pongsakorn Boutique Resort in Lat Krabang, Thailand. It is 15mins away from the airport and the rooms they have are pretty nice considering the price we booked the room for. Our overnight stay in a superior room with breakfast costs Php 1,074.00 and we think we got quite lucky with it. The place looks new and the rooms looked like we were staying in a very pricey hotel. One of the receptionist was a Filipino and he was such a big help to us. The other Thai receptionists were equally kind and accommodating.

Pongsakorn Boutique Resort:

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Superior room accommodation. Photo grabbed from Booking.com website.
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Photo grabbed from Booking.com website.
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Resort exterior.
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Garden area inside the resort. Photo grabbed from Booking.com website.

Accommodation budget:

Nacorn Hostel: Php 1,757.50
Pongsakorn Boutique Resort: Php 537.00
Total accommodation: Php 2,294.50/person

Getting Around

During our time in Thailand, we tried different modes of transportation but we relied heavily with Grab and Uber to efficiently go from one place to another.

Upon arrival, we took the Airport Rail Link from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phaya Thai which is the last station this train serves and booked a taxi with Grab to Nacorn Hostel.

We also tried the locat tuk-tuks to authentically experience Thailand. But be warned that tuk-tuks have become more and more expensive over the years as they have become so much more like a tourist activity rather than being just a means to get around central Bangkok.

If you have so much places to see based on your itinerary, you can take their MRT to save expenses. For more information on this and map of the Bangkok MRT system, visit TransitBangkok.com.

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Local tuk-tuk.
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Experiencing Bangkok streets aboard a tuk-tuk.

Bangkok Highlights

Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is a top landmark in Bangkok. Home to Thai royals, the complex houses chambers and temples tourists love to see. The palace opens at 9a.m. and there is an entrance fee of Thb 500.00. Be there as early as 8a.m. and prepare umbrellas or hats as it could get really hot in there most especially on days where the sun is up. When we were there, it was summer so it was scorching hot and there were a lot of tourists since it was a Saturday. We decided not to go inside to stay away from the huge crowd since we were both not a fan of crowded places.

Tip: Don’t forget your sunscreen and always drink water to re-hydrate yourself. Observe proper dress code too. No revealing clothes and no flipflops. There are “sarongs” and elephant pants for cover-up sold just outside the palace if you’re uncomfortable wearing pants or long dresses/skirts.

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A photo with the fiancé outside the Grand Palace.
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Amazing architecture.

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Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Wat Pho is one of the largest temples in the city and a must-see for first-time travelers. It is located just behind the Grand Palace so visiting both could come off as a package. Prepare to be mesmerized by the hues of yellow and gold while inside! Entrance fee is Thb 100.00.

Forgive me for very limited photos. I even forget to take a picture of the reclining buddha!

Tip: Make sure you redeem the free water they will provide. You will need to take off your shoes so wear something that can easily be taken off.

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Chatuchak Weekend Market

If your motto in life is “Wander and get lost” then this weekend market is for you! Get lost in a maze of store after store here as it is believed to be home to 15,000 stalls that sell almost everything that you could think of. It is divided into different sections based on your needs so it would be easier to locate goods. From foods, clothes, houseware, antiques and just about anything under the sun, Chatuchak will surely have something for you.

Tip: Wear your most comfortable footwear when visiting the market. Whenever you find something you like, buy it immediately as there is a very low chance you’ll get too locate that particular store again.

Dinner in Buri Tara Bar and Restaurant

We actually traveled to Thailand for our 10th anniversary trip so finding a restaurant for a romantic dinner on the night of our anniversary is on our to-do list. We initially planned to dine in another restaurant but due to circumstances, we were unable to book a reservation in that restaurant. We made last minute reservations at Buri Tara and we’re surely glad we ended up there. The food is exceptional and reasonably priced and what made it so special was the ambiance and the stunning view of the Chao Phraya river.

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The place is seriously so dreamy with all the lights!

And guess what… WE GOT ENGAGED!

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Good job hiding that ring from me since I was the one who packed our things! Haha!
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How did I get so lucky?
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After 10 years of dating!

Khao San Road

Khao San Road is very famous among travelers for the cheap food and beer. I think everything around this area is quite cheap, inlcuding cheap hostels and Thai massage.

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So courageous of him to try this! I cannot for the life of me even taste a little from it! No, just no!
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These exotic foods range from Thb 40.00 to Thb 500.00
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San Mig Light pa rin!

Tip: Khao San has many food trucks in the area that are very cheap and delicious. But expect to be served very spicy Thai cuisines.

Ayutthaya Highlights

Ayutthaya is located 2 hours from Bangkok by 3rd class trains and is home to many temples and historical landmarks. It is the old capital of Siam and surely makes for a lovely day trip outside Bangkok.

Follow the pictures below for our itinerary.

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Take these 3rd class trains from Hua Lamphong station.
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One-way fare to Ayutthaya costs Thb 20.00
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Finally arrived at Ayutthaya station at around 11a.m.
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Walk straight to the station pier to cross the river. Tuk-tuks will be offering you a ride or a city tour but it is less expensive to do the tour on your own.
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Waiting for the river taxi so we could cross. Fare is Thb 5.00 only.
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River taxi is finally here! You can now cross to the other side!
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Scooter and bike rental is common in Ayutthaya. Rent one if you know how to drive and tour around the city. Through this, you get to control your time and only see the temples you would want to see. We rented this scooter for only Thb 200.00
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First stop: Wat Mahathat. This temple is famous for the head of Buddha found in a tree as seen above. Entrance fee is Thb 50.00.

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Since there are so many temples in Ayutthaya, I honestly forgot the names of the temples we visited!

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This is another temple but I also forgot the name! Entrance fee is Thb 50.00 if I could remember correctly.
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We did not stay in Ayutthaya for very long since it was so hot on the day that we were there. We went home to Bangkok in a 3rd class train again.

Tip: Bring a scarf to cover revealing clothes when visiting temples. As you could see above, I wore an off-shoulder top during our visit since it was so hot. I easily got in the temples when I covered it with a scarf. Avoid wearing short skirts and shorts. Pay respect to their culture and religion.

On our last day in Thailand, we went to Taco Lake to try wakeboarding. To know more about this awesome activity, read my blog on our Taco Lake adventure. I can tell you that it’s the perfect activity to do outside Bangkok if you get tired of the big city.

Wakeboarding in Taco Lake
Click on the photo to read about our Taco Lake adventure.

Budget Breakdown:

Airfare: Php 9,459.00
Accommodation:  Php 2,294.50

Bangkok trip breakdown:
Temples entrance fee: Php 160.00

Ayutthaya trip breakdown:
Temples entrance fee: Php 160.00
Train: Php 64.40
River taxi fare: Php 16.10
Scooter rental: Php 321.90

Taco Lake expenses: Php 644.10

Total: Php 13,120.00 excluding food, shopping and other transpo

Southeast Asia is indeed home to many beautiful places and we are blessed that as Filipinos, we won’t need a visa to Thailand and other SEA countries. I plan to go there again in the future and backpack from Thailand to Vietnam, stopping by Cambodia and Laos. In fact, that was my original plan but because of time constraints, I decided that Thailand will do for now.

Always thankful for seatsales that it became possible for me to travel to places I could only picture out in my mind in the past. Bless you, generous airlines, for all the promos! And bless you, Traveloka, for the extra discount! (Yep, it’s our little secret. Traveloka always offer discounts and promotions. 😉)

This trip is extra special for us not only because we got engaged during this trip after 10 years of dating, but this is our first international travel together as a couple.

So where to go next? Well, only time will tell. But for now, this blog ends here.

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Your soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Mayol. Woah! Haha

BUT WAIT! Watch our trip video below:

One thought on “Travelogue: Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Thailand

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