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) 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 US$ 25 a day, and when it comes to Southeast Asia, be rest assured, you can survive a day in under US$ 10. 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 $3 a night, and then seemingly right next door you can find a luxurious property charging you a whopping $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 tuktuks and metered taxis to save time. But those who have more time in their hand, can go slow and can end up saving a fortune. To give you an example, you can take an airport taxi (from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok) for 300 Baht and get to the city centre 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, would take the BTS (for 30 Baht) to Victory Monument, and then a city bus (7 Baht) to the city center – and cover it all 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 who can wait for public buses, sleep with 7 other people in a dorm, and booze only during happy hours.
How Much Did I Spend In Thailand
I travelled Thailand on an average of 600 Baht a day, but other than transport, accommodation and food, this figure includes money spent on shopping, and hefty entry fee to some national parks, temples and museums. On days when I did nothing fancy, apart from eating, relaxing, taking a few local buses, and getting 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 can be tricky; and islands – expensive.
I travelled for 15 days and spent 10,000 Baht in total. This includes 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 Do You Need
If you’re going to relax and party in the Islands, then consider a minimum budget of 600 Baht a day. Here you won’t be spending much on entry fee to temples and museums, but since the accommodation is comparatively expensive and you’d be boozing a little too, doing it in less than 600 Baht a day, could be a tall order.
For Bangkok and elsewhere, 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 (local food) and relaxing – 350 Baht a day would do.
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 125 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 a nearly double.
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 sea food dinner or an international fast food restaurant meal, spare a minimum of 200 Baht.
• Water and Drinks: A 1 litre water bottle costs around 15 Baht (though you can refill them across Thailand at a water refilling station for 1 Baht 1 litre). 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 these articles:
- Thailand travel guide
- How to see Bangkok in 3 days
- Top Things to do in Pai
- A day trip to Ayutthaya, from Bangkok
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