There is a reason I saved my budget breakdown post for Thailand for last… It’s the most complicated one! The ‘problem’ is, I entered Thailand 3 times during my 5 month trip, something that will sound familiar to many travelers.
Thailand is a major travel hub in Southeast Asia, there are so many connections from Bangkok by just as many different modes of transportation, changes are pretty much 100% you’ll end up there at least once. Or 3 times in my case.
My 1st step into Thailand was when I crossed the Thai-Cambodian border at Poipet, after spending 8 days exploring Cambodia, a multifaceted country with such an impressive history… We choose the worst day to cross the border but eventually made it to Bangkok before midnight. We wandered around in Bangkok for 2 days and discovered the delights of Thai food. We than flew to Chiang Rai and crossed the border to Laos.
Days in Thailand: 2,5.
The 2nd trip into Thailand was the shortest, a little over 30 hours! I was really just passing through, taking a night train from Vientiane in Laos to Don Mueang airport in Bangkok where I hopped on a plane to Singapore. The only reason it was 30 hours (and not even less) was because I didn’t trust the night train to be on time and book an earlier flight, resulting in me waiting on the airport from 5 in the morning until 12noon… Ah well, the lessons you learn while traveling, I have certainly learned to be more patient and more relaxed. A 15 minute delay traveling by train in the Netherlands doesn’t bother me anymore in the slightest.
Days in Thailand: 1,5
The 3rd time I entered Thailand was from Malaysia, all the way down south at a tiny Thai village called Sadao-Dannok. It was one of my longest travel days, trying to get from Langkawi to Koh Tao. But after this long journey I was rewarded with a relaxing week on Koh Tao, involving lots of diving and a dreamy stay at Tarna Align resort.
Days in Thailand: 6,5
Total time in Thailand: 10,5 days, give or take a few hours;-)
I dubbed over what to include in the breakdown, trying to be as fair as possible in allocating the cost to give you a good insight into the costs for a trip to Thailand. In the end I settled for allocating the cost depending on the currency I paid them in.
So when I spent half a day in Thailand traveling from Bangkok to Huay Xai, I allocated all the costs for food I paid in Thai Baht to this budget breakdown, but the costs for the food I paid in Lao kip to the budget breakdown for Laos. This is as good as it gets and should definitely give you an estimate how much a trip to Thailand costs.
And as always: the slower you travel, the lower you’ll daily costs will be! Unless you stay at a 5 star resort every day, but that’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself;-).
Costs of our trip(s) to Thailand
Thailand travel budget: important facts and figures
• I traveled around Thailand with my husband, all expenses are for the two of us together.
• As explained above, we spent approximately 10 days in Thailand.
• I quote prices in Thai Baht as well as € and $. When we were in Thailand, €1 was around 37THB and $1 around 33THB, but as the exchange rate varies this might be a little different now.
• In total we spent 22220 THB (€600/$670) in the 10 days we were in the country. This comes down to an average of 2222THB (€60/$67) a day and includes all expenses in Thailand except…
• …as with my budget breakdowns for the Philippines and Malaysia, I excluded the costs for the dives I did, as I feel this would not be a fair representation of the daily costs because not everyone will go diving. But I highly recommend you do, diving is awesome!
• I can already tell you, traveling in Thailand can be done for a lot less than we did! This budget breakdown includes 2 flights, and even though they were very cheap flights it still increased the average daily costs. Also, we stayed at the Tarna Align resort, on Koh Tao, which was by far the most expensive accommodation of our 5 month trip. But we decided to end our trip in style and that’s why we spent the last 2 nights of our trip at this awesome resort with semi-private pool. Worth every Baht;-)…
Daily expenses are divided into 4 categories
1. Accommodation: 39% of daily costs
2. Transportation: 20% of daily costs
3. Food&Drinks: 39% of daily costs
4. Paid activities: 2% of daily costs
1. Accommodation costs
Of the 10 days I spent in Thailand I only slept in hotels for 8 nights. I spent a night on the boat from Koh Tao to Surat Thani, these costs are allocated to transport and on my last day in Thailand I took a flight home in the middle of the night… No accommodation for that night, just lots of tears;-).
Anyway, I stayed at 4 different hotels, spending 850THB (€23/$25,50) on an average day. Total amount spent on accommodation: 8500THB (€230/$255). Read all about the hotels we stayed at in Thailand.
2. Transportation costs
Transport in Thailand is cheap and in general very well organized. Besides the time we waited in a train without a locomotive for 4 hours… Check my 10-day itinerary detailing how we got from A to B. Transportation costs were 450THB(€12/$14) on average per day, as I mentioned this includes 2 flights. The total transport costs for 14 days were 4500THB (€120/$140).
3. Cost of food & drinks
Food in Thailand was the cheapest in Southeast Asia. Malaysian food was also a bargain, but noting beats Pad Thai for 35 Baht!
And so delicious! I learned to love hot food and Thai food can definitely be hot;-). Nomnom… On an average day we spent 870THB (€23,60/$26) on food and drinks. Total costs for food and drinks were 8700THB (€236/$260).
4. Paid activities
As I mentioned above, I didn’t include the costs for the Advanced PADI Open Water Course I did on Koh Tao. Besides diving, our only paid activities in Thailand were a visit to Wat Pho, home to the famous Reclining Buddha and seeing a movie at the SF cinema. Because air conditioning… And because I love movies.
Anyway, the entrance fee for Wat Pho was 100THB per person and the SF Cinema at Terminal 21 was 160THB per ticket. Average per day 52THB (€1,40/$1,50), total costs for activities 520THB (€14/$15).
I have not nearly seen enough of the country, there are much more things to see and do in Thailand! I would love to hop on a liveaboard around the Similan Islands and go diving (and hopefully see a whale shark, one of my major bucket list items!). Or go touring around the North of Thailand on a scooter. Or do some islandhopping in the South… Plus, after being totally wowed by the magnificence of Angkor Wat, I would love to see Ayutthaya as well!
Oh, and also: Thai people are the sweetest and kindest people in the world! Super friendly, helpful and smiling most if not all the time. I know I already mentioned Thai food, but THAI FOOD! That alone is reason enough for me to go back. And since Bangkok is such a major travelers hub, I probably will:-).
Note October 2016: in July 2016 I took another trip to Thailand and not only visited Ayutthaya but Sukhothai as well. And while Angkor remains my favorite ancient temple, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai were beautiful and definitely worth a visit!
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