UPDATED – How much does it cost to travel in Thailand? It all depends on your travel budget and taste! It can be really cheap if you are willing to do it on a low profile, like backpacking around Thailand. Or very expensive if you choose the best of the best! For us, who have been traveling around the world for more than 3 years, Thailand is one of the cheapest countries we visited!
Our nomadic life across the globe is based on fun, adventures, amazing beaches, delicious food and a well-organized travel budget. We try to spend our money wisely, making the most of our travel budget. It means that sometimes we cut costs and other times we splurge a lot. How much does it cost to travel in Thailand is part of our series of posts about the cost of travelling and living abroad. On the blog, you find our travel budget breakdown from Portugal, Philippines, Spain, 6 months traveling the world, one year as digital nomads and 2 years traveling the world. Feel free to browse around and follow our best tips to organize your budget.
Travelers come to Thailand for different reasons, to backpack and learn about the culture, to party, for learning yoga, searching for the best cosmetic dentist, to relax or to work as a digital nomad. Doesn’t matter if you fit in one of these groups or if you are traveling to Thailand for any other reason, just keep in mind that if you plan your travel budget you can save a lot. Now let’s go back to the important question: How Much does it cost to travel in Thailand? On our Love and Road style, it cost less than 30 USD per day per person. Great isn’t it?! We gonna break down our 8 months traveling costs in Thailand and prove that you can have a pretty good life in the Land of Smiles!
How much does it cost to travel in Thailand?
Keep in mind that all the values are in Thai Bath, by the end of the article we’ll convert the totals to US dollars. Also, most of the prices are for two people. We separated the costs of traveling in Thailand by groups such as the cost of accommodation in Thailand, the cost of transport, food, night out… More than sharing our personal expenses, we’ll give you a general idea of the price of traveling around Thailand and some useful tips to make the most of your travel budget.
Remember: we are beach bum and party people, so don’t judge our expenses! Sometimes we do prioritize drinks over a business class flight. 😉
» Thailand in Figures
Dates: Nov/2014 to March/2015 and Aug/2015 to Jan/2016
Inbound: 1º Trip: Istanbul, Turkey » Bangkok
2º Trip: Sófia, Bulgaria » Bangkok
Outbound: 1º Trip: Bangkok » Istanbul, Turkey
2º Trip Bangkok » Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
How much does transportation cost around Thailand?
Arriving in Thailand: If you are flying from outside Southeast Asia it’s very likely that you gonna land in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, if you are coming from neighbor countries you might arrive at Dom Muang Airport. Flying in and out Thailand is not cheap, especially if you are coming from Europe or America. So before booking any flight to Southeast Asia I recommend you to check Skyscanner for the best deals, also create an email alert so the website will message you when the fares for this specific destination are going down. Another great tool to find cheap flights to Thailand (and everywhere) is Kiwi.com.
If you are traveling around Southeast Asia, you can fly with low-cost airlines. Bus and trains are also good options if you are coming from Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos. Just be aware of the visa issues and scams on the borders.
Many nationalities can enter Thailand visa-free at no cost. For others, there is the option of getting a visa on arrival or arranging one in advance from a visa or embassy. The costs vary. Later on this year the Thailand visa online will become available and it will simplify the process of applying for a visa.
Price of transport inside Thailand: The transport inside Thailand is simple and organized in a strange way, but it works! I love the “joint ticket” where you can book a Flight+Bus+Boat altogether or Bus+Boat+Tour in only one ticket. The joint tickets are perfect for traveling to the Thai islands for example, Bangkok to Koh Tao, with one company you can book the bus & boat to the island, only one ticket, one price and with the timetables synced. Many islands don´t have airports, so for us the easiest and best way is the night-bus + boat. You save time traveling at night. You can buy the tickets from travel agents, at the bus/train stations or online at 12Go Asia.
The trips we made and how much we spent on transport around Thailand:
- 3 Flights = 9,402 Baht
- 1 Train = 1,652 Baht
- 3 Boats = 2,136 Baht
- Joint Ticket Bus + Boat = 3,382 Baht
- 4 Busses = 6,763 Baht
Total: 23,353 Baht
Transport in the cities: In Bangkok the public transport works well. By Metro and Skytrain you can reach most of the tourist attractions and get around the city. In small towns and on the islands the transport is based on tuk-tuk [a three-wheeled vehicle that works like a taxi] and the songthaews [a red truck that transports people from one site to the other, kind of a bus]. The price of the tuk-tuk rides and songthaews are always negotiable and don’t feel shy to bargain. For the traditional taxi, ask for the meter, if they don’t want to use the meter don’t accept, just leave the car and try another one.
The average cost of urban transportation in Thailand:
- Songthaew ride: 20 Bath in small cities, 60 Baht in Bangkok and 100 Bath in the islands.
- Tuk-Tuk ride: 100 Bath in small cities, 200 – 300 Baht in Bangkok and the islands.
We spent on local transport: 17,434 Bath.
The total costs of transport in Thailand [urban + intercity]: 40,769 Baht, for two people travelling in Thailand for 8 months.
How much does accommodation cost in Thailand?
You can find accommodation in Thailand for all types of budgets, tastes and locations. As I told you before, we love a good and simple beach hut, but also we can´t resist to a modern room with rooftop swimming pool in Bangkok. Bear in mind that you can find very cheap hotels in Thailand, but they will be very simple and basic, sometimes a bit dirty and not well located. The rule “You get what you pay” works perfectly for accommodation in Thailand!
The average price of accommodation in Thailand:
- Dorms: 100 – 200 Baht per night per person
- Double Room in a simple hotel/guest house: 600 – 1,000 Baht
- Double Room in a 4- 5 stars hotel: as from 3,000 Baht
Bangkok has an overwhelming amount of hotels, hostels and Airbnb apartments [click here and get 20usd credit when you sign up]. When we want to pamper ourselves we stay at Amari Watergate. It´s in the heart of the city, has everything you expect from a luxury hotel in Bangkok for an affordable price [and free happy hour buffet of food and drinks].
For accommodation in the Thai islands the rule is very simple: cheap rooms are with fan and cold shower, the middle range comes with A/C, hot shower and sometimes breakfast, the luxury hotels are TOP!! If you are looking for an Island Extravaganza, check our suggestion for Phuket, the hotel we stayed is to die for!
If you do a good research you can find hotels that are really great value for money. Don´t think that hostel and guesthouses are always the cheapest and smartest option. For example, in Aonang we stayed at Alisea Boutique Hotel and the investment was totally worth. We had the best location, a few minutes from the beach with many restaurants and street food around the corner. Plus an infinity pool with sunset view, delicious breakfast and a spacious room in Mediterranean style.
How much did we spend on accommodation in Thailand? Here is our cost breakdown:
- House Sitting – 106 nights [free accommodation while we were looking after a dog in Bangkok, learn more about house and pet sitting here]
- Rented Apartment – 75 nights
- Hotels – 66 nights
- Friends house – 12 nights
- Airbnb – 10 nights
- Hostel – 4 nights
Total = 64,337 Baht on accommodation in Thailand for two people during 273 days. An average of 117 Bath per person per day! 🙂 Happy days!!!
How much does food cost in Thailand?
Thai Food: love or hate it! It took us a while to get used to the spices, but now we love it! We also love street food, which means our expenses with food is small comparing with travelers that only eat western food while traveling in Thailand. If you go local, food in Thailand is very cheap [and delicious]. Western food [burgers, pizza, English breakfast…] are more expensive, even though still cheap if comparing with European prices.
The average price of food in Thailand:
- Thai Street Food: from 40 – 80 Bath in the small towns and Bangkok, on the islands you can find from 100-150 Bath
- Thai Local Restaurants: from 80 – 150 Baht in small towns and Bangkok, on the islands you can find from 150 – 220 Bath
- Thai Top Restaurants: Dishes start on 200 Bath.
- Western Restaurants: Pizzas & burgers will set you back on 150-350 Baht.
- Top Western Restaurants: Expect to pay around 600 Baht per dish in a trendy restaurant.
The famous Pad Thai will cost you 50 Bath on a street stall, spring rolls 10 Baht each, coconut water 40 Baht and a beer on the supermarket as from 60 Baht.
How much we spend on food in Thailand?
- Lunch and dinner out = 94,124 Baht
- Market = 44,776 [here also includes some toiletries and cleaning products]
Total= 138,900 Bath, an average of 254 Baht per person per day [at least 4 meals a day].
Food Safety in Thailand:
Eat everything! If looks good and smells good, go for it! During our 8 months of living in Thailand, we got sick only once. Some food stalls look very dirty, others more clean and organized, have a look around before sitting and open your mind [and stomach] for a feast of flavors. If you have food allergies be careful, especially because they love to mix seafood with chicken, pork… Only drink mineral or filtered water! In many towns, you will find machines that sell water by liter [1 cent of Baht per liter]. It’s safe to fill your bottle there, we have been doing this all the time, and we are still alive!
How much is the cost of attractions in Thailand?
First of all, let me explain what attractions in Thailand mean to us: any place you can visit that somehow it’s interesting, tours, boat trips around the islands, snorkeling tours, entrance fees and tips to the Buddhist temples.
Attractions in Thailand are not expensive! Many temples and museums are for free, and others [like Grand Palace and Wat Poh in BKK] are very affordable. On our travel budget, the most expensive attractions were the boat trips we did around the islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao and Krabi. The secret for saving some money on the tours is to check the price with different tour operators and bargain.
You can also book tours online, TakeMeTour has an extensive selection of tours with Local Experts. They are locals who know everything about their neighborhood. We had amazing experiences with them, like discovering unique coffee shops in Bangkok, watching the sunrise in Phuket and cooking Pad Thai with an 85 years old grandma.
The average price of attractions in Thailand:
- Boat tours around the Thai islands: 650 – 1200 Baht [a private longtail boat will cost around 3500 Baht]
- Tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai: 800 – 1500 Bath
- Entrance Fees in Bangkok and Chiang Mai attractions: 100 – 500 Bath
We spent on attractions in Thailand a total of 11,590 Bath, which means 5,795 per person. No regrets here! Every penny invested in cultural or beach activities were worth. Thailand has such a unique culture that sometimes you will need a guide to give you a better understanding of the place. Or to have unique experiences, as the coffee roasting and mountain trekking we did in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand.
Talking about attractions, don’t forget to go out of the beaten path. Thailand is rich in culture, and there are plenty of things to do and see there, for a moment leave your guidebook aside and try new things. We discovered cool things to do in Bangkok, follow our tips and go to places that are out of the tourist zone.
As much as we traveled inside Thailand, we didn’t cover all the spots, neither all the attractions. After reading our post, if you still need more tips about places and attractions, check the this Explore Guide to Thailand.
How much does a night out cost in Thailand?
Well, nightlife in Thailand can ruin your travel budget! I need to tell you this because night out is our biggest expense in Thailand. I know, we shouldn’t go out and drink so much, but we can’t help ourselves… Thailand is known for the wild nightlife and the girls bars. Bangkok night scene and the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan are the best bet if you want to dance and drink. We had done both and we love it!
The average price of night out and drinks in Thailand:
- Beer in a local bar: 80 – 120 Baht
- Beer in a fancy bar: 150 – 200 Baht
- Cocktails in a fancy bar: 500 – 800 Bath
- Buckets at Khao San Road: 250 – 400 Baht
- Night club entrance: 500 – 1000 Baht
Bangkok nightlife has everything you can imagine, for all tastes, pockets, legal and illegal, it´s your choice and your risk! The upscale bars are TOP, most of them have dress code and expensive cocktails. The middle range and local bars are unpretentious, you can have great fun for a decent price! The best areas for bars are: Sukhumvit, Silom, Ekamai and RCA.
Khao San Road is a different world! People say it is full of backpackers, dirty bars and cheap drinks… Don’t forget to add us to this list, because we love Khao San Road. Go for the fun and dance your socks off! We recommend Best Bar in Khao San Road, safe alcohol buckets for a fair price and great electronic music by a Thai Dj. If you go there tell BIG the Dj, and Nut, the beautiful Thai girl behind the bar, that we sent kisses! Here is a video from our favorite street bar at Khao San Road!
We are not talking about the striptease & ping-pong shows because the price and the style of the clubs vary a lot. I would recommend you to always double-check if it´s a safe place with a fixed price and friendly atmosphere. Never go inside without knowing how much you have to pay and all the rules. Your scam alert must be on!
The Full Moon Party in Kho Phangan is great fun too, very mainstream and full of drunk /crazy people [including us]. Not my favorite party in Thailand, but if you are traveling around the islands and want to try something different, go for it! Be aware of drink poisoning, check the alcohol you buy and ask for sealed bottles. We also have a video about our Full Moon Party and Rob playing with fire!
How much did we spend on a night out in Thailand? OMG!! A total of 97,183 Baht [our best friend from Scotland would say: “Well done, spending more on party than groceries!”] 🙂
How much does it cost to travel to Thailand?
Now the final question: How much does it cost to travel in Thailand? Not much! If you go for budget options and do a backpacking trip around Thailand, your money will stretch a lot, even with some serious party! Even a luxurious trip in Thailand won’t cost a fortune, compared to European and North America prices, the best of the best in Thailand is cheaper.
How much does it cost our trip around Thailand?
We spent on 273 days [8 months] traveling in Thailand a total of 356,484 Baht. Our travel cost in Thailand per day, per person, was 635 Bath. We spent less than 20 USD dollars per day per person. Well done!!
Of course, we saved a lot on accommodation by doing the house sitting, but the secret is to plan well and spend your travel budget wisely. If you are on the saving mode, I’m sure that even paying for full accommodation you can manage to travel around Thailand for less than 40 USD per day. However, if you want to go for the luxurious side of Thailand, then the sky is the limit!
Costs of living in Thailand – Our Nomad Life
On the post we talked about costs of traveling in Thailand: food, accommodation, transport and activities. As we are digital nomads, there are a few other costs of living abroad that we can´t add to the travel list, so we create a new section: the cost of living in Thailand!
Thailand is one of the favorite destinations for nomads and digital entrepreneurs. The weather is great, the food is delicious, the beaches are paradise and the cost of living in Thailand is cheap. Bangkok is the home of expats and executives. Chiang Mai is the address for the digital community. Do you want to know why digital nomads love Chiang Mai? Read our post about it!
Here are our extra expenses, cost of living as a digital nomad in Thailand:
- Electronics – Rob´s MacBook Air + Nat´s Sony Xperia Z3 Compact = 45,896 Baht
- Beauty & Gym = 23,926 Baht
- Clothes & Shoes = 20,256 Baht
- Laundry = 1,645 Baht
Extra cost of living in Thailand = 91,723 Bath for 2 people during 273 days. A total of 168 Bath per day per person!
If you put together the costs of traveling in Thailand plus the costs of living in Thailand we get a total of 448,206 Bath, breaking in 273 days and by two people we got a final amount of 820 Bath! That is roughly 24 USD dollars per person per day around Thailand! A pretty good deal!
Hope our article about how much does it cost to travel in Thailand helps you to plan your trip. If you have any questions leave a comment, we love to share money saving tips! Do you think we manage well with our travel budget in Thailand?
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PS1: For more suggestions on how to plan a trip, book flights and hotels have a look at our Travel Resources page!
PS2: Our Thailand travel cost does not include the inbound & outbound flight. The price of the transport will change depending on where you are coming from and your next destination.
PS3: We didn’t add the price of our travel insurance because it is a worldwide yearly coverage, and the price for this policy is very different from a month/weekly insurance. We use World Nomads and we are very happy with them, check the prices and buy your insurance here.