My trip back home to the Philippines last August 2019 has brought me to a lot of places because I decided to travel Multi-city. On my way to the Philippines, I dropped by Taiwan for 2 days and 1 night. On my way back to Japan, I was able to visit Singapore for 1 day and 1 night, then Bangkok, Thailand for just 7 hours. This trip to Thailand was actually not intended, but since I couldn’t anymore find a cheap flight to Japan with only Singapore as a Layover point, I just went for it.
This travel guide is for people who are wondering what can be done in Bangkok if ever they happen to layover to this beautiful city for just a couple of hours. If you happen to be interested with that, read ahead!
Arrival at Don Muang Airport
Time: 30 minutes
Yes, this layover guide assumes that you will land in Don Muang Airport. Please take note of that.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to go through the immigration processes. For the mean time, enjoy the airport’s Free WiFi. Yes, they have free WiFi!
- 4G Pocket WiFi
Just in case you really want to have you local Internet Access while travelling, you can get a local Sim Card or rent a Pocket WiFi. Renting a Pocket WiFi in Don Muang Airport is REALLY expensive. I checked them out, and I was literally shocked that they require around THB2000 – THB3000 of security deposit. That was just absolutely not practical for me, so I didn’t get any.
For those who really want to rent a Pocket WiFi, I suggest getting your 4G Pocket WiFi from Klook, here, as I always suggest. They offer this service at a lower cost and a lower security deposit amount.
- Package Counter
Since you are only in a layover for a couple of hours, you, of course, need to deposit your luggage somewhere for safekeeping, right? Unfortunately, Thailand doesn’t have lockers, unlike the other countries that I visited. So, I needed to find a luggage counter. And yes! There’s a Luggage Counter in Don Muang Airport, at the 2nd floor. They charge THB 100 per bag, if I remember it right.
- Download your Local Map in Google Maps
Bangkok doesn’t the usual Travel Brochures in the airport. Since I didn’t rent a Pocket WiFi or bought a local Sim Card, I made sure to download Bangkok’s local map in Google Maps while I still have the access to the free WiFi in the airport.
Eat some Thai Cuisine!
Time: 1 hour
When I set out from the airport, I was starving, so I tried to look for some Street Foods just to quench by starvation before I set out to tourist spots. I was surprised to find lots of local Thai Cuisine restaurants across the airport right after crossong the Sky Walk. So, I just ate a full-blown dinner. These are actually not fancy restaurants, but they have really great Thai Cuisine menu at a very low price.
I also bought a Milk Tea from a nearby store to pair with this delicious meal.
Don’t rush eating your meal. Enjoy every taste of your Thai cuisine. You have an hour there.
Visit Wat Don Muang Buddhist Temple
Time: 1 hour
When we think about Thailand, pictures of glamorous Buddhist temples appear in our mind right away. So, in my short time, I wanted to visit at least 1 Buddhist temple. I looked up for temples around Bangkok in the Internet. I was really disappointed that the famous ones, such as the beautiful Wat Arun Ratchavararam, are very far from Don Muang Airport. So, after finding out about Wat Don Muang Buddhist Temple, I was very happy. It may not be one of those famous temples but at least I will still have the chance to witness what a Thai Buddhist temple looks like.
As expected, the beauty of these temples are just mesmerizing. To think, this temple is not even one of the famous temples all over Thailand. I can only imagine how startstruck I will be if I get to visit those really famous ones.
And don’t worry. Wat Don Muang Buddhist Temple is just in walking distance from the airport as well as the Thai Restaurants where I had my meal in.
There are Lotus plants around. The architectural designs are just classy and authentic as what I imagined them to be. There were many people inside the temple. I can even see them practice their rituals. It was really great to be immersed in the cutlure and to be able to witness the physical beauty of their beliefs.
Don’t forget to snap your great pictures of the temple in your 1 hour stay in Wat Don Muang Buddhist Temple. You might be too immersed in the beauty and the culture that you’ll forget to snap some remembrance.
Visit Don Muang Railway Station
Time: 30 minutes
After Wat Don Muang Buddhist Temple, I planned on going to Chatuchak Market, so I dropped by Don Muang Railway Station, which is also just a couple of minutes walk away, to experience riding their trains for once.
When I arrived there and asked for guidance from the station personnels if it is possible to go to Chatuchak via train, they suggested that I ride a bus instead. They said it’s faster by bus. So instead of riding the train to Chatuchak, I just enjoyed the view of the Don Muang Railway Station for while then I proceeded to the Bus Stop, which is conveniently located at the entrance of the airport.
If you have more time than I did, I recommend you try riding their train. I think it would be a great adventure, being able to experience people’s daily lives.
Visit Chatuchak Weekend Market
Time: 2 hours
I rode the bus from Don Muang Airport to Chatuchak Weekend Market. One way takes around 30 minutes, so roundtrip would take more or less an hour.
Bus Stop: Don Muang Aiport Entrance, BMTA Bus Stop
Bus: BTS-MRT A1 Bus
Fare: THB 30 one way
I was in Thailand on a weekday, so to my horror, when I arrived at Chatuchak, the market was not open. Take note, it is a WEEKEND market. So, if you happen to drop by Bangkok on a weekday, don’t go to Chatuchak Market. That is why, the photo above is not mine, and is sourced from Asia-community.net.
Though it would’ve been great to spend that 1 hour in Chatuchak Market, I was able to find another location to spend my time into. In Chatuchak, there’s also a Park right across the Bus Station. So, you can relax there for a while.
Inside Chatuchak Station, there is also a mall. You might want to visit that, if you have extra time. They sell a lot of great delicacies, and they also have free WiFi.
Right after an hour sitting in the park and looking at great foods inside Chatuchak Station’s mall, I went back to Don Muang Airport to wait for my flight. So that’s a wrap!
Below is my Summary of Expenses for your reference:
- THB 150 : Food
- THB 60 : Local Transport
- THB 200 : Luggage Counter
Some Tips and Tricks
- Laying over for 1 day? What about a Bangkok Tour?
It is very convenient to be in tours. If your layover time is as long as 1 day, might as well do a Day Tour around Bangkok! Here are some great tour packages from Klook that you can choose from.
- For your safety, get a 4G Pocket WiFi from Klook.
I would say this is impractical but you know what, the whole time I was there, I felt tensed that I might get lost or something might happen and I wouldn’t be able to inform anybody because I don’t have portable Internet. Why would I be very uneased in Bangkok? Well, (1) nobody speaks English. (2) There are no proper guidance anywhere. You will not be able to read the signs, all the boards in the stations are incomprehensible. It’s difficult as a foreigner. Might as well have the internet as a guide, or if something happens to you, you can call somebody. Right?
- Limit the money you exchange.
Thailand’s money exchange rate is very low so, when you have lots of excess money after the trip, your money’s value will depreciate when your change back to your currency. So determine first how much you need for your trip, then exchange only that.
- There’s a Massage and Spa at the 2nd floor of Don Muang Airport
You can relax in the airport by availing that massage. Unfortunately, the price of these services are very expensive because they are located in the airport. Around THB800 – THB1200.
If I’ve had a choice, I wouldn’t visit Thailand like this. I think this country has a lot to offer and it’s a shame to visit it only for 7 hours. Hoping for another visit in the future, and maybe I can drop by Phuket next time. For now, I hope this layover travel guide was helpful to you.