Pre-trip planning for Bangkok and Khao Yai 2017

Bangkok is the place I have to visit every year. Bangkok and I go a long way – yellow shirt riot, red shirt riot, military coop, Bangkok and I have been through thin and thick. Bangkok is BAE.

Photo via joojidrid

Travel HAN-ter

20 Aug 17

So this year, besides going to my usual Bangkok, I am gonna plan a road trip to Khao Yai, which seems to have been the ‘in’ place to visit for quite awhile.

  • Air tickets

With the fierce competition in the airline industry, now seems to be a time when you can book tickets to some places at a cheaper or comparable price on full fledged airlines than budget airline (after adding the baggage and other service fees).

Booked a SQ flight using the promo code BKK170 and used our Krisflyer miles to pay for the tickets. Yays to free tickets!

HAN-dy tip: Check if price for budget airline is cheaper or comparable to full fledged airlines after adding all the fees. Budget airlines are usually really cheap if you get them during their 50% off sale and if you are travelling light.

  • Transportation

Have been contemplating between hiring a driver for the trip from Bangkok to Khao Yai and our stay there or driving on our own.

Hiring a driver


  1. Safer and less stressful, seeing how bad the traffic in Bangkok area is
  2. Don’t have to worry about getting lost
  3. Can sleep throughout the journey


  1. SO EXPENSIVE if travelling in a company of 2, since we have to book the entire taxi Read the reviews online and contacted two drivers. Their rates are about THB2900 to 3500 for a 10 hours service, all things included. That would mean that a 4D3N trip will cost minimally THB11600, just on trasportation!

Self drive


  1. Much cheaper. Checked hertz and the rental for a toyato yaris for 4 days is about THB5200.
  2. Can travel OTOT.


  1. Bad and dangerous traffic conditions.

Our main concern for self drive is the traffic condition but after researching online reviews, seems like many people have self driven and the road conditions outside of Bangkok is an easy drive as long as you are careful. Many commented it’s like driving to Malaysia and one even said that it’s driving in Bangkok city was easier than driving in Penang. Have tried driving in Penang, which was a little scary but I did survive! Confidence level up! So we have decided that we will be self driving! Keep a look out on updates on our self drive trip!


4 days car rental from Hertz @ THB5200

  • Accommodation

For my first ever trip to Bangkok, I stayed in First House Hotel, which was small and dim. After that I usually stayed in better hotels like Glow hotel and Amari Watergate hotel. I did stay once in Grand Diamond hotel but the hotel was really old but extremely conveniently located. So despite visiting Bangkok for about 10 times, I usually just stay around the Pratunam area.

For this trip, we will be staying at the Centara Pavillion Watergate hotel as my favourite Glow and Amari are too expensive during that period.

As for our Khao Yai hotel, there are many luxurious hotels/ villas but after foreseeing the damage from our Norway/ Finland trip, we’ve decided to stay in U Khao Yai hotel which looks nice and was more pocket friendly.


  • 4 nights superior twin room in Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok @ S$539.36
  • 3 nights superior twin room in U Khao Yai hotel @ S$397.24
  • both after 10 % discount on Expedia, using code OCBC10HOL

HAN-dy tip: Sign up with Expedia or other booking websites to get extra discounts. For instance, the Centara hotel was $136 before signing in and $125 after signing in (excluding taxes and promo code discount)

Can’t wait to visit Bangkok and Khao Yai in December!

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