I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand in my last year in college. It was an exciting experience for me since its my first time to travel overseas. We traveled with our professor who knew quite a lot of the place so we didn’t had to worry so much about where to go or eat or any activity we’ll do. Yet she assigned us to manage a certain day of our travel. She gave us assignments to book our hostels and itinerary for the day. We were hands on to this experience that it was fulfilling to do travel planning and actually making it happen. Yeah! We were in a very tight budget that time so we had to limit our expenses but still get the most out of our first in a lifetime of travel experience.
So here’s our Travel Guide:
Travel to Chiang Mai
Arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand. Head straight to Bangkok through Airport Rail Link connected from the airport. Ask the airport staff for the Rail Link location. Buy train chip to Phaya Thai. Get off at Phaya Thai to transfer to another train. Buy train ticket or pass card for Mo Chit. Alighting from Mo Chit station, take a 10-minute taxi ride to Mo Chit Bus Station. Then, buy your bus ticket at ticket booths. Look for the cheapest bus ticket, as there are a lot of bus companies/operators and bus classes to choose from. You can also book for bus tickets online with your desired schedule. Search it through google. Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus ride takes 9-10 hours. As you arrive in Chiang Mai, ride a Tuktuk or Songtheaw (local transportation) to your reserved accommodation or night stay.
Travel to Mae Sod
Ride a Songtheaw to Arcade Bus Station. Buy bus tickets from there or book a ticket online. We bought Green Bus tickets for our travel to Mae Sod. The bus ride takes 4-5 hours. Arriving at Mae Sod, we rode a motorcycle to our reserved accommodation.
You can ride a Tuktuk to go around the town.
Mae Sod to Bangkok Travel
Go to Mae Sod Bus Terminal and buy tickets there for Bangkok Mo Chit Station. There are instances that the bus may take a long time to arrive at Mae Sod so be flexible with your schedule.
Arriving at Mo Chit, you can now buy BTS/Train Pass. You can buy a Day-Pass if you are planning on going around the city a lot. If you want to save on transportation, avoid taking taxis. There are times that they over-price your ride once they know you’re a tourist.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Mojito Garden since it has the cheapest rate. We booked online through Hostel.com.
Our hosts for the field exposure booked us our accommodation at Mae Sod. But you can also check accommodations online. If you are a bit adventurous, you can ask locals where to stay.
We also booked at hostels.com with our stay in Bangkok. We booked at New Road Guest House for cheap accommodation.
WHAT TO DO
You can stay a day at Chiang Mai and discover local tours. You can search for activities you can do at Chiang Mai. For us, since we went there for a field exposure, we went to WEAVE headquarters where we got an orientation about the realities of Burmese refugees seeking asylum in Thailand Borders. I can’t go to details for that. Then, we just walked through the town at night. We ate street foods, visited their old city walls and temples.
Stay for a day at Mae Sod and go to Moi River (the western-most border of Thailand). There is a large bridge at Moie River connecting to Burma. You can see that Burma is just across the river and is very near you. Alongside the Moie River, there is what they call as black market where you can buy souvenirs. There are a lot of jewelries in the market that they claim as originating from Burma like Burmese gold and jade items. They’re pretty cheap too. You can splurge for souvenirs there.
Also, do a charitable purchase at WEAVE shop, where you can buy hand woven materials like bags, caps, shawls that Burmese Women refugees made.
There’s also a coffee shop in Mae Sod that has a very affordable and tasty coffee and pastries.
- Mall-hopping at Siam Square
- Souvenir-buying at Chatuchak Market (week-end market)
- Ride a river cruise in Chao Phraya River
- Visit the Grand Palace
- Visit temples especially the Golden Temple – we were lucky to visit the Golden Temple without entrance – Now, they are charging an entrance fee of THB500.
- Eat exotic street food
- Go elephant riding
- Visit the zoo
- Watch Muay-Thai Fight
- Eat at local markets to experience their local foods and culture
Thai food is kinda similar to Filipino Food except spicier. You can buy meals for 30-50 Baht.
OUR TRAVEL EXPENSES
Excluding Airfares, Travel Tax (P1,620) and Terminal Fee (P450)
|BKK to Chiang Mai||Thai Baht|
|Airport Rail Link to Phaya Thai||45|
|BTS train (Phaya Thai to Mo Chit)||30|
|VIP Bus to Chiang Mai||657|
|Thai Sim Card||45|
|Songtheaw to Accom.||40|
|Chiang Mai to Mae Sod|
|Accommodation in Chiang Mai (1-night stay)||315|
|Songtheaw (2 way)||40|
|Bus to Mae Sod||333|
|Street food and food at SevenEleven||30|
|Accommodation in Mae Sod (1 night stay – divided with room-mate)||218|
|Coffee Shop (Parfait and Short-cake)||48|
|Crafts at WEAVE (Burmese Bag and Coin Purse)||255|
|Mae Sod to BKK|
|Moie Market (Souvenirs – Chocolates, Burmese Gold Earrings, Jade Bracelets, Key Chains, and Coin Purses)||1165|
|Bus to BKK||333|
|Accommodation (1 night stay divided with room-mate)||220|
|BTS Train to Platinum Mall||60|
|Street food and Lunch||100|
|BKK to Airport|
|Train to Chatuchak (1-day Pass)||130|
|Train to Hostel (Used 1-day pass)||0|
|Chao Phraya River Boat Ride to Grand Palace (I forgot but definitely it’s less than 50)||50|
|Train from Grand Palace to Hostel to Phaya Thai (used 1-Day Pass)||0|
|Phaya Thai to Airport||45|
Tip: Travel Journal. Before your trip, have a travel journal. It will help you balance your budget or keep track of your spending. You can also write down the names of the places you’ll visit that’s too difficult to spell or remember. You can write landmarks and transit routes so you’ll know how to go back. Well you can do this on your smart phone these days. It’s up to you what you’ll use.