If you have more time to explore Bangkok than you have money in your travel budget, don't worry. There are plenty of fun things to do in the city that won't cost you a thing but will create great travel memories. Here are some of the free things that you can do during your visit to Bangkok.
1. Chill Out in Lumphini Park
This 58 hectare green space is a cool, quiet oasis in the middle of the city, offering a breath of fresh air from all of the honking horns and smog. Sit under one of the leafy trees and have a picnic, or go for a jog along the 2.5km running track. There are also basketball courts and outdoor gym equipment available to use and free aerobic classes in the early evening.
During the cool season you can enjoy the annual "Concert in the Park" which is held by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Admission is free but it is recommended to come early to reserve your spot on the lawn.
2. Check Out a Free Museum
Bangkok offers some excellent museums and many of them are free. One of the most well-known is the Bangkokian Museum, which has a number of interesting exhibits about Thai culture. Another popular one is the Royal Elephant Museum, the Corrections Museum (a former prison) and the Silpa Bhirasri Memorial and Museum.
There are also many other museums to visit depending on your interests, including the Bangkok Doll Museum and the outdoor Gun Museum on the grounds of the Ministry of Defence.
3. Watch Muay Thai Boxing
If you have never seen a Muay Thai boxing match, it is an experience that you should have while you are in Thailand. It is a combat sport that is known as the "Art of Eight Limbs" because of the way that fighters use their elbows, knees, shins and fists.
The MBK Fight Night is held at the MBK shopping centre every Wednesday night, giving you an opportunity to watch free boxing in the outdoor arena right outside of the mall. MBK is close to the BTS National Stadium skytrain and is also within walking distance from the BTS Siam station.
4. Take a Walk Through Chatuchak Weekend Market
With more than 5,000 stalls, this open air market is the largest in the world. You don't have to buy anything during your visit, it's fascinating just to wander through the seemingly endless labyrinth of stalls selling clothing, live animals, jewellery, religious artefacts and much more. Make sure that you arrive at around 9am when the stalls start to open, the market will become increasingly crowded as it gets closer to lunch time.
After shopping in the market, you can get some street food and enjoy a picnic in the peaceful and quiet atmosphere at the nearby Chatuchak Park.
5. Watch a Free Puppet Show
If you are curious about the ancient art of Thai puppetry, you can see a live show demonstrating this tradition which is slowly dying out. There are only a few places left in Bangkok where you can enjoy watching a puppet show and one of them is the Artist's House on the west side of the river. At 2pm every day except Wednesday the show will be performed on the small wooden stage in front of the white stupa.
The puppeteers are dressed in black, allowing them to blend into the background and let the puppets take on a life of their own. The performances are often based on stories and myths from Thai folklore involving gods, mythical creatures and deities. At the Artist's House you can also see an art gallery displaying some beautiful and intricate masks and paintings, as well as a shop selling unique stationery.
Bangkok is an exciting city packed with plenty of things to do and it's easy to enjoy it even on a small budget. These are some fun ways that you can enjoy a day in Bangkok, without having to spend any money!