Bangkok voted No.3 top destination for backpackers 2023

Thailand‘s capital Bangkok sits among the top destinations for backpackers in 2023, according to UK retail company Cotswold Outdoor.

Bangkok is a backpacker’s dream with cheap accommodation, delicious street food for a bargain, inexpensive beers, free activities, and a variety of public transport systems. While Thailand offers plenty of luxury travel options, it’s easy to have a blast in Bangkok even on a tight budget.

Cotswold Outdoor carefully selected the most desirable destinations for backpackers around the world based on average costs, crime rates, mobile Internet speeds, couch surf hosts, and free attractions available.

The top ten backpacker destinations this year are Yerevan in Armenia (No.1), Baku in Azerbaijan (No.2), Bangkok, Thailand (No.3), Hanoi, Vietnam (No.4) Seoul, South Korea (No.5), Madrid, Spain (No.6), Budapest, Hungary (joint No.8), Sofia, Bulgaria (joint No.8), Beijing, China (No.9) and Vienna, Austria (No.10).

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Bangkok is suitable for budget travellers due to its large choice of cheap hostels, average hotel costs, and free things to do. On average, one night at Bangkok’s 992 hostels will set you back just 585 baht (US$17) and there are 463 free attractions to visit around the city, making Bangkok perfect for backpackers.

Although, backpackers should keep aware at all times in Bangkok due to the city’s high crime rates compared with other top backpacking destinations. Mobile Internet speeds are also quite low.

According to Cotswold Outdoor, a basic grocery shop costs $US16.54 – higher than Yerevan (US$12.78) and Baku ($US11.33). However, most backpackers in Bangkok won’t be grocery shopping. It’s far cheaper to eat street food and at local restaurants than to buy and cook food for yourself. A filling, delicious meal can be bought for as little as 50 baht (US$1.46).

Public transport is cheap in Bangkok, especially the MRT, BTS, and public buses. An average journey costs just 30 baht (US$0.82). Public taxis are also cheap but only if the taxi driver uses the taxi metre as specified law. More often than not, taxi drivers in the capital will try to get more money out of tourists by asking for a set price at the start of the journey.

Bangkok’s hostels are not as cheap as hostels found in Kathmandu in Nepal and Islamabad in Pakistan, where an average nightly stay costs just US$7.

Couch surf hosting hasn’t really caught on in Thailand, with only 14 hosts found in Bangkok. In comparison, Berlin in Germany is home to 335 couch surf hosts, Paris in France is home to 292 and Brussels in Belgium has 121.

Backpackers on a budget may also want to sample some of the city’s cheapest cannabis.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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