If you are visiting Bangkok on a budget and still want to see the main sites without having to max out your credit card, there are thankfully plenty of options available. Whether you are looking for a better understanding of the beautiful temples in Bangkok’s old town, a romantic river cruise along the Chao Praya River, or even a sky-high meal at the tallest building in Bangkok, there are great value tours available.

    Thinking about heading out of Bangkok for the morning or even an entire day? We recommend a half-day tour to the world-famous Damnoen Saduak floating market or taking a day to step back in time with a tour of the wonderful ancient temples and ruins of Ayutthaya. You can get some great experiences at value prices by checking out our must-do backpacker tours in Bangkok.


    Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

    For a step back in time to the simpler ways of life, head out of Bangkok and do a tour of the floating market, where women and men in straw hats guide boats filled with fresh fruits, handicrafts and the odd cooking station through the canal. After being picked up early from your hotel the last part of the journey to the market involves boarding a long tail boat to go whizzing through the canals, catching sight of the temples and houses that line the water’s edge.

    The bustling market is picturesque, and you spend an hour or so wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere and taking plenty of pictures. If you want to get in on the action, you can even take a boat ride along the canals for a small extra cost. On your way back to Bangkok, you make a stop at the Royal Thai Handicraft Center where you can watch artisans create teakwood carvings.


    Bangkok Dinner Cruise

    Sailing along the river after dark, when all the temples are lit up and glowing, is a Bangkok must-do. But with some of the cruises costing 5,000 baht per person, it's difficult to decide whether to splurge or not. Thankfully the White Orchid Cruise offers a great value dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast of Thai and western delicacies as you cruise along, and be entertained by a traditional band followed by a performance of classical Thai dancing.

    The boat’s open-air deck offers a 360-degree view, and after you have soaked up the vista you can enjoy White Orchid’s special cabaret performance. There's even a disco if you fancy a boogie. The tour even transfers you back to your hotel after you've disembarked.


    Ayutthaya & Bang Pa-In Summer Palace Tour

    One of the most impressive places to visit during a day tour from Bangkok is Ayutthaya: a complex of ancient temples and buildings in a small town that was once the capital of Siam. Indulge you inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones and clamber over the beautiful ruins and discover a Buddha’s head hidden inside a tree trunk. After a tasty Thai lunch at a local restaurant, head to another temple complex where you can admire the large reclining Buddha, which lies in an open field.

    On your way back to Bangkok, visit the summer palace known as Bang Pa-In, restored in the 19th century and comprising several architecturally and historically significant buildings in a beautiful garden that surrounds a central lake. Ayutthaya is only an hour or so from Bangkok, but couldn’t be more different. This small, sleepy town will give a wonderful glimpse into Thailand’s history and you get a break from the busy city traffic.


    Bangkok City and Temples Tour

    You would miss an entire element of the city if you visited Bangkok and didn't explore some of the many amazing temples. These stunning monuments shimmer in the sunshine, decorated in gold and mirrors, and the interiors are just as remarkable. This half-day tour takes you to 3 stunning temples in Bangkok’s old town. Wat Traimit is located at the edge of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Recognizable by its large gold spire, it houses a solid gold 5-meter-tall, 5.5-tonne Buddha.

    You’ll visit an even bigger Buddha at Wat Pho, where the 46-meter reclining Buddha lies, in a beautiful complex with courtyards filled with amusing Chinese statues and ornate chedis covered in ceramic flowers. Wat Benchamabophit is also known as the Marble Temple, with two tigers welcoming you at the gates. The tour picks you up and drops you back to your hotel, and the easygoing and English-speaking guide accompanying you will bring the history and legends of these fantastic buildings to life (in a fun way).


    International Buffet at Bangkok Sky Restaurant

    Bangkok looks fabulous from above, and if you want your own rooftop moment, then nowhere is higher than the 84th floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. The international buffet served in the restaurant on the 76th and 78th floor has a seafood theme, with all-you-can-eat lobster, prawn, crab and fish as well as plenty of other delights. These include pad Thai, curries, noodles and an assortment of desserts.

    After you have had your fill, you can admire the view, either from the observation deck on the 77th floor, or the skywalk revolving roof deck on the 84th floor. Lunch runs from 11am to 3pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm, so you have plenty of time to try all the delicious food that available and get plenty of bird’s-eye photos from the roof of one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings.


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