This Thailand trip on a budget plan is a 5 days/4 nights itinerary that is suitable for independent travelers who are planning a short visit to Thailand and have a limited budget for the trip. The trip plan can also be used as a part of wider itinerary when backpacking in Southeast Asia. This itinerary will help you to spend wisely while making the most of your trip to Bangkok and Pattaya.
Visited countries & cities
The only country visited on this trip is Thailand. If it's your first visit to the Kingdom, read the essential information for planning a trip: How to Plan Your Trip to Thailand. Here you will find practical information about the weather, required travel documents, local currency, transportation, and other issues that awaits you when traveling to Thailand.
Bangkok is Thailand's main travel hub and is well connected by international flights, including regional flights operated by a number of low-cost airlines. Bangkok is a perfect starting point for any trip to Thailand. In Bangkok you can find many options for sightseeing, shopping, eating, nightlife and other kinds of entertainment. Public transportation is cheap and very convenient when you are traveling on a budget.
Bangkok's top attractions, shopping & entertainment venues, transportation system and other useful information about Thai capital can be conveniently found in one place here: Bangkok - Best Things to See & Do.
Most of the best beach destinations in Thailand are quite far from Bangkok so reaching them takes time and money. When you are planning a short trip to Thailand and want to relax on the beach, going to Pattaya can be the best option, especially if you love water sports and vibrant nightlife. Pattaya is the closest to Bangkok major Thailand's beach resort city, which can be reached in 2-3 hours for as little as 108 THB.
Useful information about Pattaya's beaches, nearby islands, top attractions, entertainment venues, transportation, hotels, etc. can be conveniently found in one place here: Pattaya - Best Things to See & Do.
Length of trip
The total duration of this Thailand trip itinerary - 5 days and 4 nights. The trip includes 2 nights in Bangkok and 2 nights in Pattaya.
Most of nationalities can enter Thailand visa free when visiting the Kingdom for a short time. If you hold a passport issued by one of the countries listed here (Thailand Visa Exemption) and your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the day of your arrival, you don't need visa to enter Thailand.
Citizens of China, India, Taiwan and 15 other countries can conveniently get Thailand Visa on Arrival at the airport. The most up to date information about Thailand Visa on Arrival, eligible countries, required documents, fees, application procedure and other issues can be found here: Thailand Visa on Arrival.
All other nationalities must get a tourist visa from Thai embassy or consulate in advance. Applying for Single-Entry Tourist Visa is enough for this 5 day trip itinerary. If there's no Thai embassy or consulate in your country or reaching it is not convenient, you can apply for Thai visa in any other country.
There are many good deals for international flights from almost anywhere in the world to one of Bangkok's airports. Most of budget airlines use Don Mueang International Airport (DMK).
Deals for the most popular international flights to Bangkok can be found here:
Transportation options for traveling to Bangkok from other locations can be found by using the search form.
As the itinerary of this trip is compact, taking an early morning flight is recommended.
Day 1 - Arriving & Spending Half Day in Bangkok
There are many hotels and other accommodations around Bangkok that are suitable for travelers on a budget. Staying in one of Riverside area's hotels is the best choice for this trip itinerary. All the attractions will be within an easy reach and you won't need to waste time on the busy roads of Bangkok. Recommended budget friendly hotel in this area is The Onion Hostel at Flower Market. This perfectly located hostel has 8.9 rating on Booking and at the time of writing offers double room with breakfast for as little as 1080 THB.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the hotel depends on the airport:
From Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) - take Airport Rail Link train from the airport to Phaya Thai Station (45 THB) and from there take BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station (44 THB). From the nearby pier take Orange Flag boat to Memorial Bridge Pier (15 THB).
From Don Mueang Airport (DMK) - take A1 Bus or A2 Bus from the airport to BTS Mochit Station (30 THB) and from there take BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station (44 THB). From the nearby pier take Orange Flag boat to Memorial Bridge Pier (15 THB).
As you will have only a half day or even less on the first day in Bangkok, it's better to leave sightseeing for the next morning. Suggested itinerary for the first day would be a visit to one of night markets in Bangkok.
We would recommend to choose Talad Rot Fai Ratchada which is open daily and can be easily reached by public transportation. Take the boat to Sathorn (Central) Pier (15 THB) and then BTS Skytrain from Saphan Taksin to BTS Asok Station (44 THB) where you need to transfer to MRT Sukhumvit Station. From there take MRT (metro) train to MRT Thailand Cultural Center Station (21 THB). The night market is nearby.
If you will be arriving earlier and will have plenty of free time before the night market opens, enjoy lunch at Terminal 21 Food Court which is located at the shopping mall connected to BTS Asok and MRT Sukhumvit stations. This food court is the best place to eat cheap in Bangkok so you can start your Thai food experience there. We would recommend trying at least some of these Top 10 Thai food dishes.
Getting a relaxing Thai massage is also a must as you can easily find a massage parlor where 1 hour of Thai massage will cost just 250 THB.
If you don't mind spending a bit more, choose one of 5 Cheapest Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruises and for 850-950 THB per person you will have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Bangkok’s stunning scenery and famous historical sites such as the Royal Grand Palace & Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Bangkhunprom Palace, Kanlayanamitr Temple and the Rama VIII Bridge at night. The starting pier depends on the chosen cruise but all them can be easily reached by Chao Phraya Express Boat from the nearby pier.
Day 2 - Full Day in Bangkok
On the second day of the trip you will have full day in Bangkok.
A. Wake up early and visit the most famous tourist attractions of Bangkok:
Royal Grand Palace & Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
All these historical sites are must-see in Bangkok for a first-timer even if you are on a budget. Grand Palace ticket costs 500 THB, Wat Pho - 200 THB, Wat Arun - 50 THB.
From Memorial Bridge Pier take the Orange Flag boat to Tha Chang Pier (15 THB). This pier is near the entrance to Grand Palace where you should start your sightseeing as later it gets really crowded. From Grand Palace walk south to Wat Pho. For getting to Wat Arun you will have to use Cross River Ferry from the pier near Wat Pho. One way ticket costs 3.5 THB.
B. After morning full of sightseeing, hide from the heat and relax in natural surroundings of Lumpini Park. Here you will find open public space, paths, lakes, various flora and fauna, including huge water monitor lizards wandering around freely.
From Grand Palace area to Lumpini Park you can get by taking the Orange Flag boat to Sathorn (Center) Pier (15 THB). There you need to transfer to BTS Saphan Taksin Station and take BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng Station (30 THB).
C. For the second night in Bangkok choose a night out in Chinatown. Chinatown is one of the most authentic spots in Bangkok. This colorful and exotic area full of market stalls and small shops becomes very lively at night.
Chinatown is in a walking distance from Lumpini Park but if you are not willing to walk, take MRT (metro) from Silom Station to Hua Lamphong Station (19 THB). On the way to Chinatown you can also visit Wat Traimit and see the Golden Buddha which is made of 5.5 tons of solid gold.
During short trips, changing hotel in the same city is not worth it as it would be too much time consuming. For the second night in Bangkok you should stay at the same chosen Riverside area's hotel such as The Onion Hostel at Flower Market (1080 THB per night). Getting back to this hotel from Chinatown is easy as it's in a walking distance.
Day 3 - Morning in Bangkok & Moving to Pattaya
On the third day of your trip go to nearby Sampeng Market and do some souvenir shopping there. Pack your bags and prepare for the trip to Pattaya.
There are plenty of transportation options for getting from Bangkok to Pattaya. The cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya is taking a bus from Ekkamai Bus Terminal that can be easily reached by BTS skytrain. Bus ticket for a trip from Bangkok to Pattaya costs 108 THB.
There are many hotels and other accommodations in Pattaya that are suitable for travelers on a budget. We always recommend staying at one of Pattaya Beachfront Hotels even if it's a bit more expended. Recommended budget friendly beachfront hotel - Flipper Lodge Hotel. The hotel has 8.1 ranking on Booking and double room there at the time of writing costs 1308 THB. The hotel is located in Central Pattaya, making all the attractions of the resort city within an easy reach from the hotel.
From Pattaya Bus Terminal to the hotel you can get by local public transport (songtaew). Get out on the street and waive the passing by songtaew. The trip to the hotel will cost only 10 THB. Expect to pay much more when choosing one of songtaews waiting right at the bus terminal.
On your first night in Pattaya, visit one of Ladyboy Cabaret Shows that are a unique kind of entertainment in Thailand. Ladyboy Cabaret Show is a performance with dances and music which is a family friendly attraction and a perfect way to spend an evening. The most famous ladyboy cabaret show in Pattaya is Tiffany's Show (750 THB).
Day 4 - Full Day in Pattaya
Relaxing on the beach and enjoying city's nightlife are the main reasons for visiting Pattaya. Trip itinerary of the second day includes them both.
A. Pattaya's coastal beaches are not the best spots for sunbathing or swimming as they are normally crowded and full of speedboats and jet skis. Getting to Koh Larn, also known as Coral Island, is a recommended option for any beach lover. Koh Larn is an idyllic island with beautiful beaches located just 7 km west of Pattaya. The beaches on the island are the nicest in the area, making them a perfect day-trip destination.
Get on the ferry departing to this nice little island from Bali Hai Pier and you will spend a perfect day, full of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. Waive a songtaew on the street near the hotel and drop off at the start of Walking Street (10 THB). Bali Hai Pier is located at the other end of Walking Street. One way ticket for the ferry to Koh Larn costs 30 THB.
B. Spend your night on the worldwide famous Pattaya Walking Street where you will find the city’s best nightclubs, beer bars, restaurants, go-go bars and cabaret show venues. The street comes alive with neon lights, loud music and street performances.
During short trips, changing hotel in the same city is not worth it as it would be too much time consuming. For the second night in Pattaya you should stay at the chosen Beachfront Hotel - Flipper Lodge Hotel, Royal Cliff Beach Terrace or The Monttra Pattaya.
Day 5 - Morning in Pattaya & Departure from Thailand
On the last day, spend your morning on Pattaya Beach or visit The Sanctuary of Truth (390 THB).
Pattaya is not far from Bangkok and there are many options for getting directly from Pattaya to the airport. There's a bus going directly from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport (130 THB).
For getting from Pattaya to Don Mueang Airport you can first take a bus to BKK airport (130 THB) and then use the free shuttle bus running between the airports in Bangkok. Another way is taking a bus to Mo Chit Bus Terminal (117 THB) and then taking A1 Bus or A2 Bus to the airport (30 THB).
Transportation options for traveling from Bangkok to other destinations can be found by using the search form.
Best Time for the Trip
This Thailand trip itinerary can be completed at any time of the year.
Selected hotels for 4 nights (subject to change depending on season):
2 nights at the hotel in Bangkok: 2160 THB (for 2 persons)
2 nights at the hotel in Pattaya: 2616 THB (for 2 persons)
Total expenses for the hotels - 2388 THB per person
Flights to/from Bangkok - depends on the country of departure
From the airport to the hotel: 104 THB from BKK / 89 THB from DMK
From the hotel to the night market and back: 160 THB
From the hotel to Grand Palace and temples: 22 THB
From Grand Palace to Lumpini Park: 45 THB
From the hotel to Ekkamai Bus Terminal: 59 THB
From Bangkok to Pattaya: 108 THB
From bus station to the hotel: 10 THB
From the hotel to Koh Larn and back: 80 THB
From Pattaya to the airport: 130 THB
Total expenses for transportation - 718 THB* per person.
* minimum amount required for the itinerary that can be higher depending on personal preferences
Activities in Bangkok:
Ratchada Night Market: FREE
Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise: 850 THB
Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun tickets: 750 THB
Lumpini Park: FREE
Sampeng Market: FREE
Activities in Pattaya:
Tiffany's Show: 750 THB
Koh Larn: FREE
Walking Street: FREE
The Sanctuary of Truth: 390 THB
Pattaya Beach: FREE
Total expenses for activities - 2740 THB* per person
* if all suggested activities are chosen
Food, drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses depend on personal preferences.
This 5 days trip on a budget to Bangkok and Pattaya itinerary will cost you about 6000 THB per person, not including the flight to Thailand and personal expenses.
You can get really good currency exchange rates at the branches of the Best Currency Exchange in Bangkok.