It’s good to know that some earthly pleasures remain affordable despite the global financial crisis. On a Bangkok holiday, the entrance fees to kickboxing stadiums, go-go bars, and cabaret shows will put a smile on any tourist’s face. Even dining, sightseeing, and shopping are cheap!
- Hemlock. Delicious food and incredible art keep the people coming to this restaurant on 56 Phra Arthit Street. Try the sweet and spicy banana flower salad in chilli broth or the grand lotus rice, which is sugary rice topped with caramelised prawns, pork, sausages, mushrooms, and lotus seeds.
- Khlong rides. Bangkok was once the 'Venice of the East', and transportation, tourism, and commerce continue to flourish today. Through these khlong or canals, visitors can marvel at grand temples, wooden homes, fancy hotels, colonial architecture, shopping districts, and more.
- Spirit houses. Those 'doll houses' outside Bangkok’s buildings actually have a purpose unrelated to child’s play. Thais pray and place gifts by these colourful miniature shrines to please the spirits dwelling in nature. This guarantees the person’s well-being, especially for workers at a nearby construction site.
- Cheap Charlie’s. The strange toilet sign, which says 'only pee do not shit', is just a preview of stranger things to come. This popular outdoor beer bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11 is decorated with creepy statues, lovebird figurines, suspended bats, heavy bells, and horned skulls with red lights for eyes. It’s a great place to mingle with the locals.
- Khao San Road. Its neon-lit avenues are a backpacker’s paradise, chock-full of bars and clubs which fit every budget. There’s a spot for you here, whether you go for house or hip-hop, R n B or indie, world-famous DJs or home-grown bands. For those nights when you’re feeling particularly tight-fisted, just buy a few beers from a convenience store, sit by the sidewalk, and people-watch.
- Chatuchak Weekend Market. Pets, plants, and perfumes; shirts, shoes, and silks; crafts, collectibles, and CDs… everything you could possibly need can be found in what is called 'the mother of all markets'! Chatuchak is likely the largest in the world with 15,000 stalls and around 200,000 visitors on weekends. The prices don’t just reach rock-bottom… with savvy haggling, they can get even lower!
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