It's been a while since I've shared any potentially useful travel tips that can help save money. Although my trip to Thailand is nothing new and happened a little over a year ago, I am however inspired to write a travel post as I plan on soon sharing one of my most recent trips to Singapore and Japan. My disclaimer before you continue further is that this is not a thorough, detailed and mapped list of directions on how to travel throughout Thailand. I did not do any of that. This post will primarily reflect on my stay in Bangkok and other small areas outside of Bangkok, like Kanchanaburi and Pattaya Beach.
Learn to trust that sometimes the most unsafe mode of transportation is not going to always lead to your untimely death. Yes, you may have to ride a tuk tuk or hop on a motorcycle because Bangkok's traffic is no joke...at least not one that you will find funny while that meter keeps running in a safer taxi ride. You also can take the subway but coming from crowded Seoul, I couldn't be bothered with extremely crowded spaces.
For places outside of the city, take a bus. The prices are extremely low if you use local buses, otherwise expect to pay more, about double and sometimes triple of that on a van/bus that organizes transportation to those same locations. Both prices will be remarkably low though so don't fret if you decide to opt for the easier option, which is option number 2.
Keep it street. You cannot be a germaphobe or a weirdo about street food. Yes, use common sense and avoid places that seem, look and ARE dirty. Street food is cheap, fast, and cheap. I know, I mentioned it's cheap twice but that's because it really is and you'd be crazy not to take advantage once in a while. Don't eat that everyday, wouldn't advice it for your colon but hey, fruit can be street and I did eat that every single day.
Bangkok has a variety of places you can eat, some prettier than others and in prettier locations but those locations often came with a price, one I wasn't willing to pay on the regular.
3. Speaking of prices...
haggle! You can haggle with vendors, but don't be unfair. There are a lot of people living in poverty and perhaps can't afford to go too low so haggle with some compassion and responsibly. It also does depend where you do it. I did haggle relentlessly in the city, like in Khaosan or in Pattaya where their business are booming from foreign attraction. I let them know that I was not one of those foreigners.
You will see many. Be sure to buddy up or be friendly enough to converse with other foreigners for information or networking....if you end up liking them. If you're not a big planner like I and don't walk around with a full itinerary with the intention of maximizing your trip that way, then just talk to folks.
From experience, other foreigners shared with me what they did and the locals taught me how to do it for free or less.
Don't just stick to foreigners. Locals are great! Of course you ought to be careful as a tourist with limited knowledge, but for the most part, they're great to talk to and find out information from. I met an old Thai lady who adopted me on the bus because she liked me so much and I reminded her of her granddaughter. She even gave me a free ride to the Tiger Temple and was going to provide me with a free Elephant ride. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I couldn't do the Elephant ride. I'm glad now that I didn't. After visiting the Tiger Temple, I don't think I could support that kind of cruelty to animals but I do wish I had the chance to spend more time with my Thai granny and perhaps visit the Elephant and kiss it's trunk or something!
When in Pattaya, you need to constantly be aware of things. Check prices before you ride ANYTHING and haggle. Do not buy anything that you can probably find elsewhere except for food.
It's going to cost you like anywhere else. Go with people you trust and who enjoy the same thing. Split the bill on transportation and other things if they're willing; otherwise, buy budget friendly drinks because you will be getting home by a Taxi, and if you're not familiar with the route to where you stay and unable to communicate alternative directions to the driver if they decide to take the long route back, then at that very point, consider yourself screwed.