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How Much Money You Need To Travel In Thailand?

Planning a holiday in Thailand? Find out how much money you need and budget your trip better!

My Southeast Asian odyssey is almost about to finish now, and it’s been unreal. I am currently in Cambodia (as I’m writing this article) and so far the entire journey has been bloody generous – in terms of experiences, as well as the expenses.

I always harp on about travelling being cheaper than people think and I stand by that. I am sure you can travel pretty much anywhere in the world in under USD 25 (or Indian Rupees 1500) a day, and when it comes to Southeast Asia, be rest assured, you can survive for much cheaper. Speaking of Thailand, however, the country can be expensive or unbelievably inexpensive, as you want it to be. Here you can find super cheap hostels, for less than USD3 a night, and then seemingly right next door you can find a luxurious property charging you a whopping USD 10,000 a night.

Understand What Kind Of Traveller You Are

On a short vacation, you tend to race around and cram more activities into your day. This can drive up your costs a little because you’re most likely to hire tuk-tuks and metered taxis to save time. But those who have more time in hand, can go slow and end up saving more money. To give you an example, you can take an airport taxi (from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok) for 300 Baht and get to the city center conveniently and easily. A fairly cheaper option, which costs 100 Baht, requires you to wait at the airport until the next minivan departs to the city. Those who are literally stone broke, however, can take the BTS (for 30 Baht) to Victory Monument and then a city bus (7 Baht) to the city center – and do the journey in under 40 Baht.

Budgeting for backpacking is a lot different and cheaper than budgeting for a vacation. And since we are talking about budget travel here, continue reading if you’re one among those travellers who can wait for public buses, sleep with 7 other people in a dorm, and booze during the happy hours.

How Much Money I Spent In Thailandfootloose-dev

I travelled Thailand on an average of 600 Baht a day. But other than transport, accommodation, and food, this figure also includes a bit of money that spent on shopping and a few hefty entry fees to national parks, temples, and museums. On days when I did nothing fancy, apart from eating, relaxing, taking a few local buses, and sleeping in a dorm bed – I could very easily live off in under 350 Baht a day. North Thailand turned out to be the cheapest part of the country, Bangkok was tricky, and the islands were the most expensive.

I travelled for 15 days and spent 10,000 Baht in total. This included 1000 Baht as the Visa-on-arrival fee (the fee has now been increased to 2000 Baht) around 2,000 Baht on buying useless souvenirs and the remaining 7,000 on everything else.

How Much Money You Need For A Holiday In Thailandbankok-street-vendor

If you’re going to relax and party in the Islands, then consider a minimum budget of 600 Baht a day (on 1000 Baht a day you can enjoy much better). In the islands, you won’t be spending much on the entry fee to temples and museums, but since the accommodation is comparatively expensive and you would be boozing a bit too, surviving a day in under 600 Baht can be impractical.

For Bangkok and elsewhere, your daily budget can kick off if the idea is to partake in tourist activities because in Thailand nothing is free. For those who are only eating (the street food) and relaxing – 350 Baht, a day is enough.

To give you a better idea, here’s the breakdown (all prices are in Thai Baht):

• Accommodation: A super clean dorm bed with air con is available between 150 to 250 Baht per night. For a private room (shared by a minimum of two people) expect to pay at least 200 Baht, per person. In the islands and beach towns, accommodation costs nearly double.
• Transportation
For a meter taxi: Nearly 6 Baht/kilometer, with a minimum of 35 Baht as base fare.
Tuktuk: Somewhere between 40 to 100 Baht depending upon the distance.
Bike taxi: Nearly half the price of a Tuktuk.
Public buses (only applicable in Bangkok): 7 Baht for Non/AC buses and 12 Baht for AC buses, per ride.
Scooter rentals: Start from 100-150 Baht for a 100 cc scooter.
• Food: A basic (meat+rice or meat+noodles) meal is available throughout Thailand from 30 to 50 Baht. For a fancy seafood dinner or an international fast food restaurant meal, spare a minimum of 200 Baht.
• Water and Drinks: A 1ltr water bottle costs around 15 Baht (though you can refill them across Thailand at a water refilling station for 1 Baht 1 liter). The cheapest Pint of beer in a supermarket and during happy hours costs around 35 Baht.
• Tickets and entry fee: Most Temples cost between 50 and 100 Baht. National Parks costs between 100 and 500 Baht. Day tour packages start from a minimum of 600 Baht. The famous Royal Palace, in Bangkok, costs a whopping 400 Baht)

And here’s how it might turn out for you, in a day: Around 150 Baht for three basic meals. 50 Baht on water (which can be saved using the public refilling stations). 100 Baht on fancy drinks. 150 Baht on accommodation. 50 Baht on transportation. This can give you a fairly nice, relaxing day in under 500 Baht a day.

Continue planning your trip to Thailand with my Thailand travel guide and Bangkok Travel Guide

Filed under: Thailand


After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!


  1. Leonardo Caetano says

    I liked the tips.. I am currently planning to meet Thailand next month. 🙂

  2. Anirudh Singh says

    Hi Dev,

    I visited Thailand way back in 2011 still spend more than what you mentioned here. I am a travel blogger as well from past 1.5 yrs. Good to read about your experience. Was it a solo trip ? Which all cities did you cover ?

    • I know. I can be super frugal. I was on a 15 day short VISA and thus tried to hurry things a bit. If you are in Thailand, for let’s say a few months, and the idea is to only relax and survive, you can be well off in 300 Baht a day. 100-150 Baht for hostel (which can be cheaper if you rent something for weeks) +3 meals for 40 Baht (though there are places which gives you full meal in 20 Baht – Meat+rice/noodles, and in Bangkok). I wont even count the cost of water (because you’d most likely use 1 Baht water refill stations). This still leaves you with some money to rent a bicycle for 50 Baht a day. ISLANDS CAN SURE COST A LITTLE MORE.

      Yea, I travelled solo. I covered Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Patayya, Ayutthaya, Amphawa.

  3. Harish says

    Hey Dev,

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll be visiting Thailand for 3 months starting from November this year. I hope to share some insights myself once I experience living there.

  4. Very informative post! I am planning to visit Thailand with my friends for around 8-10 days. Can you tell me that how much would it cost us per person including visa and all? (approximate expense, exclude shopping)

    • I’d have to copy paste the entire article to answer you in detail. I’d recommend, read the story again and you’d get a better idea. If a short, incomplete reply suffices, then consider 500 Baht (1000 INR) a day – for a slow traveller. 1 Baht = 2 INR. Stay in hostels (use or for pre booking) to keep the expenses low. When I visited Thailand, Visa on Arrival cost 1000 Baht (2000 INR). But they’ve increased it to 2000 Baht (4000 INR) recently. You can still apply the visa here in India and it would only cost you 2000 INR.

      But yea, as I mentioned in the story, since you’re there for a short holiday, you’d more likely race around and cram more activities in a day, so the total cost might go a little high. But still no more than 6000 to 8000 Baht in 8 days., including everything, but flights.

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