Bangkok is famous for being a cheap holiday destination: luxurious hotels are available for a fraction of what they would be in other cities, a full meal on the street costs next to nothing, and there’s a whole host of budget-friendly night markets and malls to choose from. However, Bangkok is a city full of surprises, many of which happen to be really, really, ridiculously expensive.
From cruising around Bangkok (or more like sitting in traffic) in a Lamborghini, to renting out the famous Dome (from the Hangover II movie) to party all night long with your friends, we’ve found 10 incredibly expensive things to do in Bangkok and given them all our thumbs up or thumbs down.
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Thonburi Klongs & Grand Palace Morning Excursion
- Floating Markets Cycling & Boat Tour
- Private Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha & Reclining Buddha Morning Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Safari World & Marine Park Full-Day Tour With Buffet Lunch
- Muay Thai Live Performance
The supposedly ‘six star’ Siam Kempinsky is Bangkok’s most expensive hotel, and prices for their Royal Suite made our eyes water last time we checked. 250,000 baht (plus 40,000 tax) gets you 300 sqm – more like the size of a giant condo - as well as 120 sqm of balcony space. Along with two bedrooms, you also have your own private everything, including a Jacuzzi, massage room, bar, kitchen, gym and study. The good news is that the mini bar is complimentary, a big relief for someone who has dropped $10,000 for one night's stay.
VERDICT: Go for one of Bangkok’s more affordable luxury hotels here.
Whilst it’s a well-known fact that you can get a five-star dinner in Lebua’s rooftop drinking and dining area called The Dome (as seen in The Hangover II), not many know that there is an additional space at the very top which can be fully rented out...for a cool half-a-million baht. Bangkok.com recently got this tip on a visit to Lebua’s incredible Sirocco restaurant, which is synonymous for fine-dining, vintage wine, and stunning panoramic dinner views across Bangkok.
VERDICT: Dine at Sirocco which has the same views all for a fraction of the price (although it’s still not cheap).
Ever sat in the back of a taxi stuck in traffic for hours and thought...I wish I was doing this in a Lamborghini? Prestige Car Rental Bangkok can make this dream a reality, as you can now hire your very own Lamborghini Performante for 50,000 baht (24 hours). To be fair, the price isn’t as bad as it might first seem. Other companies across the world offer ‘supercar experiences’ where you'll only get one or two hours for this much.
VERDICT: Go for one of Prestige Car Rental’s cheaper models, such as their Porsche Caymen (13,000 a day) or Mercedes CLK (11,000 a day).
Whilst you can take the budget option and get a 1,300 baht salad from the al la carte menu, the full seven-course menu plus wine pairing at Bangkok's most exclusive restaurant is priced at 11,500 baht. Throw in tax/service charges and you'll probably have a bill topping 30,000 baht (for two people). Rest assured, the man behind this swanky Sathorn spot, Joël Robuchon, is known as the ‘Chef of the Century’, with an unparalleled 28 Michelin stars awarded to his restaurants across the world.
VERDICT: If you can get a table and have the money, this is one Bangkok dining experience not to be missed. Read More...
Those looking for the same kind of naughty nightlife as Soi Cowboy and Patpong (but in some slightly more refined settings) should look no further than Bangkok’s booming gentlemen’s club scene – as long as you have some cash to splash. Big names like Sherbet (Sukhumvit 63) and The Pent (31/1 Wireless Road) charge between 10,000-100,000 baht a year, depending on what extras (drinks and food packages) you want thrown in. Most of these venues do allow non-members, but expect a hefty entrance fee and silly drinks prices.
VERDICT: Rich bachelors only!
Dozens of high rise five-star hotels across Bangkok have their very own helipads on the roof, but you’ll probably never see a helicopter actually land on it. The answer is all to do with the price. For example, a helicopter ride from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the roof of The Peninsular Hotel will set you back around 40,000 baht for one way – a journey that can be done for about 400 baht in a taxi!
VERDICT: Pay the extra 100 baht for the toll roads and take a taxi instead.
Button Up Tailors is one of the most popular in Bangkok, but we happen to know it can be one of the most expensive too...if you make a custom order. Button Up once made a unique Loro Piana suit (for a VIP we can’t name), using some of the most luxurious fabrics found in the entire world, all for a whopping 300,000 baht. Established in 1924, Loro Piana is one the most prestigious mills in the world and uses some rather pricey Merino wool in their sublime fabrics.
VERDICT: Try their in-house materials instead and you'll pay more like 2,000 baht for a shirt and 10,000 baht for a suit. Read More...
Bangkok’s luxurious Banyan Tree Hotel allows you to quite literally spend ‘a day at the spa’ with their lengthy 330 minute treatment + 60 minute lunch + 30 minute relaxation session (like you’d need it after 6 hours of head-to-toe pampering!) This marathon spa session is the most expensive we’ve found in Bangkok at 13,000 baht, which is more like 15,000 when you’ve paid service and tax.
VERDICT: Still cheaper than other luxury spas around the world! See the Banyan Tree Hotel here.
Now that you’ve done all this crazy spending in Bangkok, you may as well buy yourself a place to stay permanently. As for the most expensive apartment in Bangkok, you’ll have to wait for Thailand’s tallest building, the MahaNakon in Silom, to be completed in 2017/2018. Then, all you have to do is stump up 550 million baht to own the swankiest penthouse at the Ritz Carlton Residence on the top of the new tower. Elsewhere there will be a hotel, shopping mall, landscaped public plaza, numerous restaurants, bars and a rooftop garden.
VERDICT: Some of the Ritz Carlton’s cheaper alternatives at MahaNakon start from a less heart-stopping 32 million baht ($1 million).
Unlike other luxury malls in Bangkok where you’ll find high street stores like H&M and Zara alongside designer brands, Gaysorn Shopping Centre is reserved only for the ultra-expensive international names. Exclusive stores like Ermenegildo Zegna, Emilio Pucci, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Hugo Boss only need to sell a couple of bags or one diamond encrusted watch per day to stay in business. There’re also some of Thailand's most innovative designers such as Disaya, Fly Now, and Senada Theory at the top. Read More...
VERDICT: Head to Paragon or Central World opposite for more choice!