Some flight routes and budget carriers that might be useful for planning a trip around South East Asia. Please note this is not a complete list, by any means – it’s just the budget flights I know that definitely exist
Budget air carriers in South East Asia have expanded at an incredibly fast rate in the last 3 years. Bangkok has grown even further as a hub from which the rest of the continent can be easily reached. For backpackers, this opens up a whole new range of possibilities of destinations that can be fitted into an itinerary without breaking the budget. Flying can also save a lot of time and hassle doing overland trips, although doing several flights will obviously make costs mount up.
The main company that’s pioneered this budget approach in Asia is AirAsia, and they are aggressively expanding their routes all the time – you can compare their fares with other airlines on Skyscanner. I have used them many times and they are a good outfit, although they are generally late for take off, so I’d recommend leaving plenty of time if you have onward connections etc.
Bangkok Airways call themselves a “boutique airline” and are not so budget orientated, although their flights can still be quite cheap. They have a monopoly on Bangkok to Angkor Wat and Bangkok To Koh Samui, which makes the routes pricey on occasion. Air Asia now fly from Bangkok to Angkor Wat and are generally cheaper. It’s worth checking first at Skyscanner to see if there are any bargains on these routes – Skyscanner will then send you to the best price on the Bangkok Airways site.
Tiger Airways and Jetstar (the budget offshoot of Qantas) do the Bangkok to Singapore route as well as AirAsia, so it is worth shopping around as there are always cheap flights available on one of these carriers.
Finally, Thai Airways, while not a budget carrier, offers a direct four hour flight to Bali for around 14,000 Baht, which is roughly £200 – Bali is an incredible place, so if you felt flush with cash, this could be a good option. Air Asia also fly direct Bangkok to Bali but are not always the cheapest. Again, check Skyscanner to ensure you get the best price.
Here is the list of Asian destinations you get to cheaply from Thailand – let me know if you think I’ve missed any.
Thailand – Cambodia
Bangkok – Angkor Wat (Siem Reap airport) – Bangkok Airways. Check Skyscanner for best price. Search using the airport codes BKK (Bangkok) and REP (Siem Reap)
Bangkok – Phnom Penh – Skyscanner
Thailand – Malaysia
Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Skyscanner