7 Days in Thailand (Guide + Budget + Itinerary)
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. Popular with tourists and backpackers, it is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast-Asia.
I recently took a week-long trip here with my family. Thailand is really big and they have a lot more to offer. Here I am going to share my Thailand itinerary, guide, and budget from Manila to Bangkok to Pattaya to Chiang Mai. I planned this itinerary to get the taste of City, Province, and Beach in this 7-day vacation.
When To Visit Thailand
You can visit Thailand all year round but according to many, the best time to visit is around November to April during their cool and dry season.
How To Get To Thailand
From the Philippines, a one-way ticket to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Muang Airport can cost around 3000 Php – 6000 Php depending on the season. So it can cost around 6,000 Php to 12,000 Php for a roundtrip ticket MNL – BKK. It’s best to book a flight 3 months earlier to get the best price.
1 Person = 6000 Php to 12,000 Php
Currency in Thailand
Currently, the exchange rate of THB (Thai Baht) to PHP (Philippine Peso) is 1 THB = 1.68 PHP. While 1 USD = 30.23 THB.
I find it better to exchange my currency to USD before I exchange it to THB. It’s also better if you exchange your currency at the airport before or after you arrived. The exchange rate wouldn’t be as good when you get outside.
Where To Stay In Thailand
Ideally, it’s best to stay near Thailand MRTs or SkyTrain Stations. That way, it will be easier to tour around the country on your own. There will be less hassle finding cars and commuting.
A friend of mine said Sukhumvit area is generally a good place to stay. There are plenty of hotels, hostels, restaurants, and shops to keep you entertained.
I stayed in a hostel called The Little Pig Sukhumvit which is 5 minutes away from Ekkamai Train Station and Gateway Mall. I stayed with my family in a Quadruple room with two double beds.
A single bedroom can cost as low as 700 Php per night and 1100 Php for a budget single bedroom with a private bathroom. A quadruple room can cost about 1600 Php. Not bad eh? The rooms have basic necessities such as free water, free soap, and Q-tips. They even have free biscuits, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Khaosan Road is known as the backpacker’s hub. It is filled with bars, restaurants, clothing stores, souvenir shops, street food, and a lively nightlife.
600 Php – 1000 Php per night for Bunk Beds
1000 Php – 3000 Php per night for a single or double room.
2500 Php – 5000 Php per night for a single or double room.
Make sure you are connected throughout your stay in Bangkok. That way you’ll have no problem using translators, google maps, grab app or even updating your friends! Book them through the Klook. Get everything you need from transport, wifi to activities then pick them up at the airport.
Wifi rental can cost about 252 Php per day. You can connect up to 8 devices. The connection is pretty good.
This 4G Thai sim card is 242 Php for an 8-day unlimited data. Both sim card and wifi can be picked up at the airport of your choice in Bangkok. Book them now!
How To Get Around Thailand
You have many options. You can either take the bus, tuktuk, the taxicab or the train (which is btw the best option for you). They also have Grab in Bangkok. However, Bangkok is a busy city and you’ll most likely spend a lot of time in traffic. It’s best to use their Trains.
Skip the long queue in Train stations by getting their BTS Card. The card is 493 Php and pre-loaded with 200 Baht (336 Php). It’s good for a few days around Bangkok and if you run out of balance, you can easily top it up in any Station. The card can be used up to 5 years since the date of purchase.
Bangkok (Day 1 & 2)
Chao Praya River
One of the major attractions in Bangkok is getting a tour in Chao Praya River. From Saphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat and tour on the nearby tourist attractions such as the Flower Market at Chinatown, Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Khaosan Road, etc. You can get a ticket at the Pier for 60 THB ( 100 Php). But if you want to hit everything, you may purchase a hop-on-hop-off Day Pass ticket. It is 240 THB (240 Php) per person.
Asiatique The Riverfront
One of the first stops in the river tour is the Asiatique Riverfront. It is a shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities, and events under one roof. Great place to visit with plenty of shopping options and eateries. You can find many good cafes with nice music.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is the biggest Chinatown in the world so it is definitely a must-see. To get there, you’ll need to stop at the Ratchawong Pier, and walk up from Ratchawong Road to Sampeng Lane and Yaowarat Road.
The Grand Palace
Located at the heart of Bangkok. This complex of colorful buildings is probably one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok.
Entrance Fee: 500 THB (844 Php)
Entrance Fee: 50 THB (84 Php)
Entrance Fee: 100 THB (168 Php)
Khao San Road
This area is also known as the hub of backpackers. It is filled with hostels, bars, restaurants, clothing stores, souvenir shops, street food, and a lively nightlife.
One of the hidden gems in Bangkok is the TrueLove@Siberian Huskies Cafe. Owned by a Thai family that raises Siberian Huskies. If you love dogs and coffee then you should visit this place!
They allow playtime with the huskies for an hour (usually around 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm) and if you’re lucky, you can even get a group photo with them.
Entrance Fee: 500 THB per person (With Free Drink)
Another famous tourist spot in Bangkok is the Siam Paragon. It is a luxury mall with over 250 stores with brands including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Versace. Siam Paragon is located near the Siam BTS Skytrain Station.
Central World is one of the largest malls in Thailand. Generally, a good place to shop, dine, relax and have a good time. It is located near Chidlom BTS Skytrain Station.
Pattaya (Day 2 & 3)
If you are looking for an eye-popping experience of your life then this is the place you must visit. The beach, watersports, nightlife, the famous ladyboys, and beautiful girls as well are just some of the things Pattaya can offer to you.
If you want to go there by yourself, from Bangkok you can go to Ekkamai Bus Station (just right next to the Ekkamai BTS) and book a ride there. Or you can get a ride from the A1 Shuttle Bus and go to Mo Chit station and purchase your Bus Ticket to Pattaya. They leave every hour. The journey is around 2 hours.
If you want a hassle-free trip and don’t want to stress yourself from finding the stations, you may book a bus ticket from 12go.asia here.
Prices may vary.
A one-way bus ride from Bangkok to Pattaya is around 160 THB ( 270 Php).
If you want to rent a car from Bangkok to Pattaya, it is usually around 1800 THB (3000 Php) – 2000 THB (33000 Php)
Chiang Mai (Day 5 – 7)
Chiang Mai is a province located in the Northern Part of Thailand. If you are looking for a different cultural experience in Thailand this place is a must-go.
There are many ways to get to Chiang Mai. You can either take the bus, car or train. But for the best way to travel to Chiang Mai is through their Sleeper Train where you can dine, eat while enjoying the view along the roads and sleep comfortably.
Flights usually take around 1 hour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Busses or Cars are usually around 11-13 hours, same for the Train. So if you will spend almost an entire day getting there, I suggest you take the train! It will be worth it!
Prices may vary.
A One-Way Sleeper Train Ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (or vice versa) is around 1450 THB (2300 Php) to 1600 THB (2,600 Php)
A One-way Plane ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (or vice versa) is around 1800 THB (3000 Php) to 3000 THB (5000 Php)
A One-way Bus ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai 540 THB (900 Php) to 720 THB (1200 Php)
Things to Remember in Thailand
When Visiting Temples
When visiting temples, you should be aware of the proper attire. Ideally, shoulders and knees should be covered for both men and women. Tattered jeans, gym/yoga pants are also not allowed. If you don’t have the proper attire, you may buy it at a store near the temple.
Elephants are magnificent and brilliant creatures. However, many of them are being exploited and worse, abused. Before you visit an Elephant attraction, make sure that you research the place beforehand. If the attractions you are visiting involves tricks and elephant riding, do not proceed.
Elephant riding is cruel as they use hooks or chains. Those poor animals who are also forced to do tricks are often beaten to submission just to please the audience. If you are a human with compassion and love for nature, do not support this. Many so-called Elephant Sanctuaries is even lacking basic provisions of water, food, and shade.
However, there are ethical ways for elephant interactions. Elephant Nature Park is one them, it is mostly home for rescued elephants. Elephant Hills is also one of them, they are chain-free and they offer natural encounters.
Scams in Thailand
One of the most popular scams that tourists fall for every day is the tuktuk scam. If you are spotted as tourists having a hard time finding your way through your destination, they will smile and offer you a ride while charging you 3x or 4x more than the fare.
To avoid this, just check on your google maps and check the distances. Always ask for the price before riding and calculate if it makes sense. Use your common sense.
Taxi Cab Scam
This is basically the same as the Tuktuk scam. Never agree when a taxi cab doesn’t turn on their meter as well. If you are in need of a car, it’s actually better to book grab.
Grand Palace is close scam
There will be some locals or tuktuk drivers who will say the Palace is closed today for a special event. Then he’ll offer you to ride the tuk-tuk and take you to other temples and shops where they will surely get a commission if you buy from them.
Jewelry Shop Scam
A tuktuk driver might also take you to a jewelry shop and show you all kinds of beautiful gemstones. They will desperately try to sell you one. Do not fall for it because the jewelry might probably be just colored glass and basically not worth anything.
Travel Deal Scam
Another scam is when they take you to a tourism agency that will offer exclusive travel deals that are ending soon. But chances are, you’ll probably pay more than the other agencies.
1 Person = 6000 Php to 12,000 Php
Budget Hostels – 600 Php – 1000 Php per night for Bunk Beds
Budget Hotels – 1000 Php – 3000 Php per night for a single or double room.
Comfortable Hotels – 2500 Php – 5000 Php per night for a single or double room.
Wifi rental – 252 Php per day.
4G Thai sim card – 242 Php for an 8-day unlimited data.
Food is very affordable in Thailand. If you want to eat cheap, you can survive for at least 200 – 500 Php per day.
If you want to go to restaurants you can spend as much as 1000 Php to 2500 Php depending on how fancy you want to get.
BTS Card – 493 Php and pre-loaded with 200 THB (336 Php)
Bangkok to Pattaya
By Bus 160 THB ( 270 Php).
By Car 1800 THB (3000 Php) – 2000 THB (33000 Php)
Bangkok to Chiang Mai
By Bus – 540 THB (900 Php) to 720 THB (1200 Php)
By Air – 1800 THB (3000 Php) to 3000 THB (5000 Php).
By Sleeper Trains – 1450 THB (2300 Php) to 1600 THB (2,600 Php)
Entrance Fees and Activities in Bangkok
Chao Praya Express Hop On and Hop Off Pass – 240 THB (240 Php) per person.
Single Pass – 60 THB ( 100 Php).
Grand Palace Entrance Fee – 500 THB (844 Php)
Wat Arun – 50 THB (84 Php)
Wat Pho – 100 THB (168 Php)
Husky Cafe – 500 THB per person (With Free Drink)
Floating Market Tour – 700 THB (1200 Php) – 2000 THB (3350 baht)