Going to Thailand but don’t know what to expect budget-wise? Let us help you out! The Land Of The Smiles is an extremely budget-friendly country, and that’s probably the fact why so much backpackers head over to Thailand. Doing full-moon parties or relaxing on the beach isn’t the only thing to do in Thailand. Go trekking in the mountains around Chiang Mai, explore the small alleys of Bangkok or indulge yourself in the local food culture. We kept track of all our expenses during our one month in the north of Thailand. We stayed in Bangkok for a couple of days and traveled to Chiang Mai to spend some time in the mountains. If you travel on a budget like we do, you can explore Thailand with just $500 in your pocket.
MONTHLY TRAVEL EXPENSES THAILAND – SUMMARY
Transportation – $28
Eating & drinking – $160
Accommodation – $178
Activities – $26
Shopping – $19
Total = $421*
* ALL COSTS ARE ESTIMATED ON THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF ONE PERSON IN 30 DAYS.
** If you plan to travel to the south of Thailand (island hopping and/or full-moon parties), expect to pay much more!
The standard options to travel around Thailand are (most of the times) good and cheap. Short-distance trains cost almost nothing if sitting in 3rd class and local buses can take you easily to other cities and towns. Getting around in the cities is mostly done by Tuk-Tuks or songthaews (shared taxi style pick-up truck with benches in the back). In Bangkok, you can also take the BTS Skytrain, MRT or a ferry.
Traveling long distances between cities is done by (sleeper) bus or (sleeper) train. We wanted to do something else and decided to hitchhike from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and back. It went so good that we didn’t pay more than $5 for transportation towards Chiang Mai.
Our estimated total spent on transportation is $28.
FOOD & DRINKS
Eating in Thailand is just awesome. You’ll easily find plenty of options like markets, food stalls, and restaurants scattered around the cities and towns. Thailand has a great food culture, and we suggest to try as much of the local food as you can. The famous backpacker dish “Pad Thai” is found everywhere and you can already have a portion for less than a dollar. If you want to save some money, buy local food from markets, and you’ll have a full belly for less than $4. Don’t worry; there are enough western options too.
Beers cost easily more than $1 for a big bottle. We stopped drinking alcohol to keep the costs low and are happy with this decision. You find fresh juices, smoothies, and sodas on the street (or in the 7-Eleven) for 50 cents.
Estimated total spent on food and drinks is $160.
There are plenty of options to sleep, in every city and town, for every budget. A bed in a hostel can cost as little as $5, and a private room is usually around $13. But if you don’t mind sleeping with a little less comfort, you can find privates for less than $10! Most of the time you’ll be sleeping in guesthouses or hostels. But when you’re staying in the south or the mountains like Pai or Mae Hong Son, there’s the possibility to sleep in a bungalow. Your best option is to ask prices personally or by calling the accommodation. If you want to be sure off a place to sleep, Booking.com is your friend. (use this link and get €15 back after your stay)
Estimated total spent on accommodation is $178.
Travel Tip: Bangkok is a lot more expensive compared to the rest of Thailand, try not to stay in the city center too long.
Find your accommodation for Thailand on Hotelscombined. This website scans all the hotel booking websites to find the best prices for you and your wallet!
You’ll have to pay an entrance fee for most of the things you want to see or do in Thailand. Also for the more touristic temples in Bangkok or Wat Rong Kun (The White Temple) in Chiang Rai. We were getting low on money so couldn’t afford going to full-moon parties, elephant camps, hiking to tribe villages, etc. We rather rented a bicycle for a day and explored the temples and surrounding of Ayutthaya and Sukothai.
Breakdown of our activities
Pai Secret Hot Spring – $1
Tham Lot Cave – $14
Wat Rong Khun – $1,5
Temples Sukhotai – $2,5
Bicycles Ayutthaya – $1
Wat Pho Bangkok – $2,5
Wat Arun Bangkok – $3
Estimated total spent on the activities that we’ve done is $26.
We haven’t shopped for anything, but we needed a couple of things during our month in Thailand. On our arrival, we bought a sim card which was $7 (top-up included). We bought some new mosquito repellent. And, of course, there were some costs involved in getting a new visa exemption during our visa run.
In total, we’ve each spent $19 on all of these things.
*These costs are calculated on the price that one person would pay for everything.