How Much Money Do I Need For Thailand?

Planning a budget for a backpacking trip in Thailand can be a bit daunting to begin with. Here’s some rough numbers of various travel necessities to help you figure out your own budget so you can decide how much money to take to Thailand.

Bangkok Shop Sign
Bangkok Shop Sign

I spent 18 months backpacking in South East Asia a couple of years ago, and I now live in Bangkok, Thailand. I still travel frequently within the country so I’ve got a fairly good idea of the cost of things here.

The following are some rough estimates for different costs you’re likely to encounter travelling in Thailand. I have deliberately over-budgeted on some items like accommodation to provide a margin for error. It’s important to have spare cash because you can’t always rely on getting a bargain.

Thai Baht, British Pounds and US Dollars
I’ve stated prices in Thai Baht and UK Pounds below. 1 UK Pound equals 50 baht. I US Dollar equals 35 Baht. Please check the currency converter to get an accurate idea of current currency exchange rates on prices quoted below. You can also buy currency online at competitive rates.

Cheap Flights To Thailand
You should also shop around for the cheapest flights to Thailand – Skyscanner compares lots of different airlines and their prices in one place so you can find the cheapest flight. You should check check with local travel agents too as there is still not one single, comprehensive flight comparision website that manages to cover all airlines and all available deals. (Follow the link for more info on finding cheap flights online).

Vaccinations and Travel Insurance
Don’t forget to budget for backpacker travel insurance and vaccinations as well as your flight ticket before you go. Check World Nomads for some of the most comprehensive and best priced travel insurance around. You can buy it direct online and also extend it as your travel plans change, also just by logging in online. World Nomads are recommended by Lonely Planet. See also my rundown of a packing list for Thailand which includes what vaccinations you need for Thailand. Remember to go to the doctor at least 6 weeks before your trip begins to get the necessary vaccinations.

Itineraries For Thailand Travel
There’s also companion articles to this one – Cheap Travel In Thailand: A Quick Guide shows you how to travel super cheap in Thailand if you want to really travel on as little money as possible; and Travel Costs For Four Weeks Backpacking (In Style) Across Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam is a step by step breakdown of the travel budget spent by my friends Brad and Cassie on their month long trip in Asia. They did things more comfortably so you can get a good sense of what some extra cash can get you. I plan to create a Luxury Travel in Thailand article soon to cover all the bases. There’s also How Much Money Do I Need For Travelling In Vietnam, How Much Money Do I Need For Laos and How Much Money Do I Need For Cambodia if you are planning to travel beyond Thailand.

Getting Familiar With Thailand
If it’s your first time in Thailand, it is definitely a good idea to read up a little bit on the country with a Lonely Planet Thailand guide – this will also help you work out what there is to see and what you want to do. There’s also Travelhappy’s Bangkok Guide: 55 Tips To Help You The First Time You Travel To Thailand, a list of the main stories on this site which are full of practical advice about travelling in Thailand. If you are concerned about travelling alone, you might find Seven Reasons To Go Travelling Solo to be helpful.

Cost Of Food In Thailand
Food won’t be more than about £10 to 15 a day. Assume 200 Baht (£4) for breakfast and lunch if you want a single dish and some coffee and juice, and 500 baht (£10) for dinner, if you’re dining out in restaurants and having a drink with your meal. You can always get super cheap food from street vendors , like Pad Thai for around 30 baht (50 pence!), and you can dine permanently on their delicious food if you want to be super budget conscious and don’t mind eating on the street. At the risk of sounding like your mum, you do need to ensure you are eating properly while travelling and not just always going for the cheapest but not necessarily healthiest option.

Similarly, there are lots of supermarkets where you can buy bread etc if you want to make your own meals, although it’ll be difficult to store anything unless you have a fridge. Remember to drink LOTS of water – at least 3 litres a day.

Cost Of Hotels, Guesthouses And Accomodation In Thailand
My rule of thumb is to budget 1000 Baht a day for accommodation in Thailand if you want somewhere clean, comfortable and with air-con. This is an average figure because hotel prices are not consistent across Thailand. It’s easy to find quality accommodation for less than 1000 Baht a night in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but head to the popular tourist islands like Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao and getting decent digs for less than 1000 Baht is hard work due to high demand for limited rooms. Booking ahead for the more popular areas is recommended, especially during July/August and December/January as many hotels are simply full.

Recommended Budget Koh Phi Phi Hotels
JJ Bungalow Koh Phi Phi , Thailand
JJ Bungalow
Tranquil property
Check Availability
Orange Tree Koh Phi Phi , Thailand
Orange Tree
Small and comfortable
Check Availability

I wrote a list of my favourite Bangkok Cheap Hotels too which will give you some pointers for cheaper guesthouses, especially around Khao San Road. For Thailand hotel bargains, you should check Agoda’s regularly updated Thailand Hotel Special Offers pages – here you’ll find Thailand hotels that have slashed their rates, or are offering free nights or freebies like a free massage or free taxi transfer to try and get your custom. See the Special Offer pages for Khao San Road hotels, Bangkok Hotel Bargains, Krabi Hotel Special Offers and Koh Samui Hotel Offers – you can choose other Thailand destinations once on the page too. Also check Agoda’s Thailand hotel listings too which give you a complete range of hotels from humble guesthouses to deluxe penthouse suites. The listings are easy to browse by price and location.

Recommended Budget Koh Samui Hotels

Cost Of Cigarettes And Alcohol In Thailand
Most people come to Thailand to party, so it’s worth bearing in mind going out on the town can take up a bit of your budget. Beer and cigarettes are very cheap from any 7-11 convenience store – around 50 baht (£1) for a big bottle of beer and 100 baht for a pack of cigarettes. In bars, small bottled beers are around 70 baht (£1.40) and spirits around the same. Again, it depends where you go – it’s always cheap in the pavement bars, but if you go to the more ritzy places like the Bangkok Millennium Hilton, you can expect to pay 300 baht (£6) a cocktail. Budget for spending 1000 to 2000 Baht (£20 to £40) on drinks on a big night out.

Travel Costs In Thailand
Travelling around Thailand itself is quite a chunky cost that a lot of people don’t anticipate, either in terms of time or money. It’s a big country with large distances to cover if you want to go from Bangkok in the centre to Chiang Mai in the north and then the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan and perhaps down to the South to Koh Phi Phi.

Buses and trains are cheap and are usually best caught on overnight trips. A train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is around 1000 baht depending on what class you choose. A long bus journey, e.g. Bangkok to Phuket, is around 800 baht. Estimating each long journey as 1000 Baht if you go overland is probably a good rule of thumb. To get out to the islands, like Koh Tao, you will find many travel agents on Khao San Road that offer all-in-one bus and ferry tickets – these also go for around 1000 baht.

Airfares are cheap thanks to budget carriers like AirAsia.com and NokAir.com. One way flights to Chiang Mai and Phuket from Bangkok are around 2000 Baht including all taxes, which are usually more expensive than the flights themselves. There are also many special offers.

Activities In Thailand
Seeing the sights in much of Thailand is relatively inexpensive. Even a visit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok or Wat Po only costs a couple hundred baht admission. Excursions are more costly, and most day trips are around 1500 – 2000 Baht. e.g. seeing the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Tiger Temple, a day trip to the temples of Ayutthaya, kayaking in Krabi, elephant trekking in Khao Sok etc. You don’t need to plan doing many of these things very far in advance – booking a day or so ahead is usually fine. But you’ll need to have some money set aside in your budget all the same.

If you want to learn to scuba dive, a PADI Open Water course on Koh Tao will cost around 10,000 Baht. You can also do it over in the Similan Islands on the west coast, but it’s more expensive as you spend 4 days on a liveaboard boat – a real adventure. The price is around 24,000 baht (£350) and includes all your food and accommodation on the liveaboard as well as your PADI course itself.

Internet access and mobile phones
Internet access is readily available in all the big cities in Thailand. Wifi access in Bangkok is also increasingly prevalent, sometimes for free. On the islands you will have much slower access to the internet. The cost is usually 1 baht a minute on average. Quality of connection can differ wildly even in urban areas, so be prepared for that. Also avoid cafes used by Thai kids for online gaming, unless you like the sound of earsplitting digitised warfare as you type…

Thai SIM cards are also readily available from Thai phone shops for around 300 Baht. These can be found in virtually all Bangkok shopping malls eg. MBK, Emporium, Paragon, Tesco Lotus etc. Definitely invest in one of these when you arrive and don’t use global roaming with your home phone – it will cost a fortune. I recommend the 1-2-Call Thai network for best coverage and reception. You can buy top up cards for 300 and 500 baht at all 7-11 stores. Sending texts back to the UK costs only a few baht, and voice calls to the UK burn about 50 baht a minute.

iPhones, iPads and Android devices in Thailand
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone that you want to use to access the internet, check email, use GPS on Google Maps etc, then that’s easy too. See my How To Get A Thai Sim Card For Your iPhone for complete details.

If you don’t want the hassle of swopping SIM cards and are from the USA, you might want to consider the convenience of a Mobal Phone, which lets you call from 190 countries instantly. It’s an option if you want to stay in touch regularly and will be moving from country to country rapidly.

Shopping
One of the other things visitors to Thailand love to do is shop! There are endless opportunities for buying interesting stuff at bargain prices in Thailand, especially in Bangkok markets like Chatuchak, the Suan Luam night bazaar, megamalls like MBK and the ritzy high-society temples of consumerism like Siam Paragon and Emporium. Clothes, trinkets, ornaments – you name it, you can probably find it at the markets. You might want to put aside another £100 for spending on stuff and posting it home – unfortunately a lot of stuff can cost more to post than it does to buy.

Toiletries and other essentials
Assuming your first stop is Bangkok, you will have no problem stocking up on brand name razor blades, tampons, suncream, shampoo etc along with over the counter pharmaceuticals like headaches tablets and anti allergy pills. It’s usually cheaper to buy it in Bangkok than back home. Branches of Boots the Chemist and its US equivalent Watson’s can be found all over the city – there is a Boots shop on Khao San Road itself. The only thing you should ensure you do bring with you is any prescription medicines you require.

Before you go
Remember to check your passport is valid and has spare pages in it, and ensure you talk to your doctor about what jabs you need well ahead of time. Also make sure that you take out adequate travel insurance – this is boring but crucial. All these things can cost a fair bit of cash, so ensure you deal with these before you get into the nitty gritty of planning your trip.

Putting it all together
From the above, you should be able to work out a rough idea of how much money you’re going to need if you have a fairly good plan of what you want to do and where you want to go while you’re in Thailand. Of course, half the pleasure of backpacking is being flexible and not making too rigid plans – you never know who you might meet and what great places you may decide to stay longer within.

Despite Thailand’s popularity with tourists and the growing trend of tourist destinations becoming more upmarket, the day to day cost of living is still extremely cheap by Western standards and there is no shortage of good value accommodation, food, transport and activities. You just have to look out for it, talk to other travellers, browse the web and ask questions on forums.

What are you waiting for? Start looking for cheap flights on Skyscanner and cheap Thailand hotels on Agoda now – the sooner you start planning the sooner you can go! :)



Comments

  1. francinah hardy says:

    would like to go shopping in thailand but i dont know much about the place

  2. Hey there!!
    thanks for such an interesting write-up, im going to thailand for a month in january and i found this info to be most helpfull!!
    Many thanks
    Kieran

  3. Brilliant

    Best information I have found on the whole of the net

  4. thanks this info is the best i came across , my plane departs for bankok the 30th of oct.

    anyway

    thank you

  5. thanks for the adivise and info, just what i was looking for.

  6. Found the site very balanced, but having now read the link on the tiger temple i would ask that you review any promotion of the place.

  7. Hey there.. I was in Thailand like 7 to 8 months ago. I just wanted to say I found it alot more lower price in comparision to yours. Are you saying the highest price for food accomm etc…?

    My average budget accom i found was 400 baht (nice room) a night double ac/cable etc, food was about 300 baht a day for me, water, beer say 200 baht unless drinking from bar…

    My average expenditure was usually around 800 to 1000 Baht max a day and the room was shared with my girlfirend too so more like 200 baht each for the room.

    I understand that if you got the best of everything, but i you want to budget this can be the daily usage.
    Thanks…

  8. I am in Thailand now, and there is a pretty major difference between high and low season which this article doesnt really address.. Just wanted to point it out.

  9. awesome man. best info ive read

  10. stevie from glasgow says:

    when in south east asia just be cool , and you will be fine keep your head allways . and dont do anything stupid that you would not do back home and most of all have a great time.chill and dont let people put fear into your mind .go the whole world is waiting for you. it s yours

  11. Wow, so helpful!!!

  12. stevearno says:

    nice write up ….

    it is pretty cheap …… a couple of things i would add….. is that when shopping you must haggle for everything , it may not seem much money to you but most are trying it on … and they DO like to haggle , it’s part of the buying process, and expect it …. just be careful not to haggle over 30p or something stupid like that , the thai’s do get annoyed after while …..
    the TAXI drivers will always try it on

    getting suits made over there i recommend , it’s about £50-100 for a tailored suit , i got 2 made in less than 24 hours plus tailored shirts etc etc cost me just over £100 for all of it , again HAGGLE

    when i was there , to be honest money really didn’t matter…..where you would hesitate to drink from a mini-bar in the UK … over there it’s a full fridge ( the hotels i stayed at ) with half and full bottles of spirits in.. the local RUM ‘sam-song’ is only about 180 baht for a big bottle ( from a 7-11) , slightly dearer in the hotels but not that much

    food is great , but even I ( sad as it may seem ) had to eat one western meal when i was over there due to craving some variety …..it turned out to be a MACCY ‘D’s ……..and there nothing like you get in the UK … it actaully looks like the sign above the till’s

    I would recommend seeing one of the lady boys shows ( they get dressed up and sing along to celine dion songs …. it’s better than it sounds … trust me , well worth seeing

    if you going to thialand you will have a great holiday no matter what you do ….. it’s a amazing country and the people are great ..enjoy yourselves

  13. dave beckett says:

    hey this is great stuff, im off to bankok back packing for three weeks in november this year< any last min advice?

  14. blarghblargh says:

    18 months of backpacking? How’d you manage that?

    A tourism visa grants you 90 days at most in Thailand.

    I’m genuinely curious as I’m pondering the idea of backpacking myself, but all this visa crap seems very… Limiting.

  15. Im going leaving on the 23rd of November. All im looking forward too is the shopping, heard the clothes are gorgeous and extremely cheap, especially Platinum Mall and MBK. The only problem is…..how do i carry around all the stuff that i buy from shop to shop :(

  16. stevearno says:

    Su: you don’t carry anything around …… i flew out to Thailand with just one piece of hand luggage , linen clothes , light ,folder-able ……. you then go and have your holiday …. then on the last day buy a suit case and all the items you want to take home ……. i went to bangkok first , spend 3 very hectic days there , then off to an island …. then from there to Pattaya…where i bought all my presents and clothes etc …. it’s the same stuff everywhere @ the more or less the same prices …..

    one more piece of advise , buy a lonely planet ( book ) on Thailand ( amazon or ebay will cost pennies , second hand ) ….

  17. Cheers for the info mate!
    Holiday booked for end of Feb and I can’t wait!
    Got two weeks and really looking forward to it, the info you provide was a good bench mark to start from.
    Thank you very much!

  18. Thanks for the info everyone! Heading over to Koh Tao next week for three weeks, the info was very helpful and reassuring. I have a good friend on the Island that has a bar w/rooms so very inexpensive if I feel the need. I am really looking forward to getting Advanced Open Water certified in paradise :) Then I will wander around with my dry bag-backpack and explore some of the other islands for diving goodness. Of course I will make my way to Koh Phangan for the full moon party. I also plan to take the mainland up to Bangkok on my way out as it will be the Thai New Year, and a trip long water fight sounds like fun to me. Nice to hear from multiple points of view. My friend on the island is bias(of course, as I would be), and just wants me to get over there. Cheers all!

  19. Hey Rich, glad you found the article useful. If you’re looking for more diving after Koh Tao, you should hop over to the west coast to Similan Islands and Koh Lanta before the end of the season in April. Diving on the west coast of Thailand is beautiful. Check out my friends’ sites http://www.phuket-diving-safaris.com and http://www.amazinglanta.com – and I’m biased too, as I’m writing this from Koh Lanta! Happy travels, Chris

  20. Brilliant info everyone, thanks! I’m off in just over 5 weeks, slightly scared but very excited! Its one of my first trips that hasnt been an all inclusive 5* trip!

  21. Hello. nice site you have some great information here . is there anyone going to thailand around november/december This year? i am going 23th of november to bangkok . and im staying there for a month it would be nice to have a fellow backpacker around. Email me if your planning on backpacking in that month Unknownspacer@hotmail.com

    And again. Thanks for the information shown on this site

  22. On the $$$$ topic, I spent the same amount of US dollars in the entire trip in Thailand for everything including all my dive certs, mask, snorkel, best pairs of shorts I have ever owned, dozen or so shirts a quad that I own now and a LOT of alcohol, etc…than My niece did in Hawaii in 2 weeks FOR FOOD ALONE for two people! About 3k US. I did not go light on fun at all. I wanted to be able to tell friends of mine that like to go all the time what worst case spending could be.

    Hi there Chris,
    Thank you for the information, looks like a place for me to visit for sure. I kind of fell in love with the people and Island within hours of being there. And big surprise, my three week trip lasted until last week. Um…I extended trip a couple times. I never wanted to leave, but had to come home and tie up loose ends like rent out house and sell off stuff I will not need in Thailand…Yes, I am moving there in Sept or Oct. Have made some very good friends from Ex-pats to the wonderful local people. I ended up doing more diving than originally planned, did a few fun dives after the advanced open water cert. The water and sea life was amazing. I am going to be helping out the Save Koh Tao Foundation with their Electrical Engineering and Electrical needs, green power and such. I am heading back in early July to check on some homes and Island refresher. If anyone reading this is “thinking” about a trip to Thailand…GO, GO, GO. You will not regret it. And while you are there speak to everyone you can, and the ones you cant speak to, remember to let that smile come out. It really is the land of smiles.

  23. So with income of $2k per month I have, I can enjoy thailand comfortably?

  24. Hey,

    Excellent information, i’m off to Thailand on August for 3 weeks so i’m wondering how much will i need to bring? Seeing i’m from Ireland and more importantly do i need visa? Because i’m flying from Melbourne in Australia.

    Thanks :D

  25. You certainly can Aaron

  26. nice info !

  27. Thanks for this! I just started planning my trip for next year so this is very helpful.

    Bav

  28. polo gomez says:

    hey,

    what great infos here…what kind of visa you need to stay 6 month there and is it quick to get?? i live in greece…

  29. Hi Polo – you can get a 2 month tourist visa – which you can extend for one month extra when you’re in Thailand. Or if you definitely want to stay for six months, you should probably look into getting a Non Immigrant “Type O” Visa. This lets you stay for 12 months (but you still have to leave the country every three months). Check with your local Thai Embassy or Consulate for the latest info on visas as the details change frequently

  30. Hey all, I am heading to Thailand from December 03 to January 04. I am going with 2 of my guy friends so it should be a blast!!! I love all the info on here so thanks everyone. I have a question…..we are going to be in Bangkok, koh samui and koa tao…..the guy I am going with got vaccinations but I am seriously not about that stuff. I don’t even take tylenol or anything so I don’t want to pump my bod with shit if I don’t have too….just wondering if you guys got shots and if you did what you got and if anyone didn’t??? I am only going for a month so I don’t think it’s necessary :)

  31. Hi Jodi – would definitely recommend you get at least Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Like travel insurance, you never need it – until you need it. It’s not worth the risk.

  32. Great info! thanks a heap

  33. how much money do you think i would need all up for going over in january im going for 15days , i already have all my accommodation payed for but just thinking about spending money.?Australian dollars..\nalso does anyone know how much it is to get from patong to phi phi?

  34. I’m thinking of doing a solo trip to Thailand in Sept. 2011 and was planning to save approx. 3k Canadian for the journey (not including flights), do you think that will be enough?

  35. i’m heading to thailand for 6 weeks in the new year on my own and never been before, i plan to travel north to chiangmai then south to islands and will hopefully be doing a mix of stuff, partying, trekking, sightseeing, diving and chilling out, i won’t need much luxury living just average accomodation and overland travel, would 2000 uk pounds be enough ?

  36. £10 to £15 a day for food? No way. You can eat very well for a lot less than that. I stay there for 5 Months of the year and you can rent a very good apartment in either Pattaya or BKK for 7,000 THB a Month. With Wireless Connection and room cleaning 2 times a week. Use a near by Hotel pool for 50 baht if you want. If you had £1000 a Month or 48,000 THB you could live well. If you go up North and Stay in say Udon or an equivalent Issan City you could do it for less.

  37. Hi guys i really want to go traveling to thailand this coming summer as i have finished my degree, and i would like to do it on my final student loan, so my budget for everything, Flights, Insurance, Food, Accomadation the whole lot is £2100 roughly. im struggling on getting my head arround the budget and wether it would be ennough to go for maybe two months or so. is that reasonable do you think or would i need more money, any advice would be greatly appreciated many thanks peace and light to you all :)

  38. Jodi Fournier says:

    I just went to Thailand from December 03 to January 05. My flight from Canada was $1600 and while I was there I spent $3000. That includes everything from shopping to places to stay and food. Everything is really cheap but we partied quite a bit so that adds up fast. If you don’t party then I am sure you can survive a lot longer on less funds. We went to 7 different islands as well and we stayed in guesthouses mostly that were around $20 canadian a night between 2 of us. Its an amazing place so have a blast!!! Make sure you hit up a full moon party as well:) hope this helps!

  39. Hi guys, travelling to ‘The Land’ end of April, taking about a grand GBP so don’t wanna take all cash; any advice? Travellers cheques? Visa? Will be going to a couple of islands so not sure of availability for ATM’s etc. All help greatly appreciated. Tom

  40. Hi, Im going o thailand in May for the whole month. Got my flights from Ireland to Bkk via heathrow and dubai for €600.. We have booked nearly all our accommodation in thailand with hostelworld and for the whole month its coming to around €350, not bad eh? And thats including staying in a 5 star in Bangkok for the last 2 nights.
    I have lots of friends who have gone to thailand and said you can eat, sleep and drink for less than €35 euro a day. Im bringing €50 for food and drink and my accommodation money is seperate.
    Having looked into it extensively it seems you can eat and drink for nothing! So this will give you more cash for activities!!

  41. Food can be extremely cheap.
    If you can’t stomach the street vendor. Definitely hit up the food courts if you can find them, the ticketing system might be a little confusing, it’s similar pricing to street vendors but more sanitary. Good luck guys~!

  42. hi,i am a 52 yr old giordie geezer been around s.e.a many times,just returned to england yesterday (30 march) thailand for 6 weeks total spend inc flight,acomidation,ins £1,612.

  43. Ah suchh good information on here!! its been really helpful!! Im going to thailand 30th may for a month this year, very very excited!!! im really scareed tho that i wont have enough money, that ill take far to much stuff. Is there any places anyone REALLY recommends to visit that they really really loved?…as im still open on planning information and places to visit. Going for alot of cultral stuff at the begigning so lots of old capitals/ruins…wanna have an elephant ride?…and visit a good zoo? So if in anyone has any recomendations, would be great.

  44. Ayuthaya is a good start for history and ruins,you can also visit Ayuthaya floating market where you can take an elephant ride,bus from mo,chit Bangkok about 2 hrs. When you,ve done with Ayuthaya go on to Sukhothia the ancient capital the ruins here are very impresive and its not so touristy, enjoy

  45. Zoo,s are not my thing,but CHIANG MY has a zoo which is ok,

  46. Traveling to Thailand In July. Was just curious and wanted to know from people who have experience. What was the cost of a flight there and back?

  47. I plan on a min 1 month trip i am open on dates. Anyone looking for a travel partner email me. Not much into partying just the experience and cultural sights. sgtjwood@yahoo.com
    anyone w updated info please email thanks

  48. Hi everyone- anybody who is wondering about a budget in Thailand- it depends where you go! I went for 3 months in 2009 and being a ‘poor student’ (although don’t forget we’re all loaded compared to most Thais, so haggle up to a point!) I found the cheapest guesthouses (maximum 6 pounds a night in Bangkok, slightly cheaper in chiang mai, slightly more on the islands), ate from street vendors (1-2 pounds max for pad thai- a type of noodle dish or equivalent)and spent the rest on the nightlife, which compared to UK prices is very cheap. (I followed SE Asia with Australia, where I bought the same sort of round of drinks I could buy in thailand for a fiver for about 30 Australian Dollars). The point is- you can do it CHEAP, (10 pounds a day for the real hardcores!) but regardless of how much you budget, you’ll always find something (full moon party, motorbike rental, trekking, diving etc) that will blow your budget, and rightly so- there’s no point in going if you can’t afford to have fun! heading back this summer for university break so will see how much it costs this time! As said before on this forum- don’t think about it, just GO! Don’t forget Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam though- all 3 are amazing! p.s- pai in northern thailand is a must. happy travels

  49. A nice preliminary guide.

  50. Catherine says:

    Hey Guys,

    I’m travelling to Thailand in Sept 2011 for 2 wks then heading on to Sydney, so if anybody is thinking of going to Thailand and would like a travel partner let me know.
    p.s Travelling from Belfast Irl and would preferably like a female partner.
    Email: catherinemcaleavey@yahoo.co.uk

  51. Josey-May says:

    Hi all, Firstly Chris- Thank you very much for this info, concise and to the point which is helpful after the amount of endless information online! I’m planning to leave start of November and arrive in Bangkok, then roughly a month in each country Thailand-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia- Back to Bangkok by end of Feb. I reckon I will have £2,000 spending to include all over land travel around Asia.. Does this sound do-able? I’ve travelled Bali for a month a couple of years ago and spent about £500 living comfortably so im basing it on that!!?.. Also does anyone know if I can get all Visa’s on arrival and at the border crossings or do I need to do that in advance? Any tips would be really appreciated. Cheers guys ;)

  52. Does anyone know if there is a minimum amount of money that you need to have in your bank account to be allowed into Thailand?

  53. Sapphire says:

    hello, Really helpful info here, thanks a lot. I’m planning to go out early november, should I maybe go later in the month for the best weather?

  54. I just spent $2,996.26 (USD$) to purchase 85,600 (THB) in baht currency. No fees! I used a credit card,purchased on line via AAA Travel Money Services division. The Baht will be sent via Fedex or UPS in a couple of days. So it’s purchased as a product on my credit card-no fees their either. Is this smart to take this much $ into Thailand-Is their a limit to how much $ you can take-seems like the cheapest way. Currenlty, 1 USD=28 BAHT. ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE HELPFUL AS THIS IS MY ST TIME GOING TO THAILAND.

  55. im going thailand for a month, on average how much do u think i should bring?

  56. G Day Happy Travel People,

    I am off to Thailand around the end of October 2011. I would like to stay 3 months in Thailand and 1 month in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I have been there before and have spent hours researching costs, places to go ect.
    Anyone interested in coming along to split the costs for accomm.
    Let me know, i am a very easy going, cool, Austalian guy with dual U.K. passport.
    It will be a blast!
    Contact: brockmanresources@gmail.com
    Cheers

  57. Michelle says:

    We loved it there, went and had dental work done in Patong and just would recommend to anyone, so cheap, friendly and loved it. We are now off to Vietnam for a few weeks and expecting it to be just as great… Advice : go to Thailand you will never regret it and shop shop shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. Michelle says:

    OH and we took 1000 australian dollars and a travel ex visa card and my computer and just downloaded money when we needed it. We acutally had too much in the end for 10 days. it was was about 3.40 to use atm but we just pulled out 20 000 baht per atm use which we only used the atm twice…. next time we are only going to take 1000 baht to get a taxi and then use our travelex card as it is easy and safe………….enjoy

  59. hello fellow travelers, i have my flight booked for 28th of september for 3 months and can’t wait. i have budgeted for £1000 a month, with a credit card for emergencies. i am just wondering what is the best way to take my money over with me?? eg. cash, travelers check, pre pay card. if anyone can help me i would be so apprenticed. thanks :)

  60. Hi, I was planning a solo trip to Thailand from Canada in late October. I want to go for about 1 and a half months. The flight is going to be $1600. I am going to very conservative and don’t plan on partying too much. Based on what you have my calculation suggest $100 a day if i get a hotels. I dont plan on doing much traveling I just want to stay in one area and relax preferably by a beach. How much cheaper is it for me to rent an apartment for the time. What is involved in getting an apartment?

  61. Google for serviced apartments in the area you want – you will be able to rent those by the month. There are plenty in Bangkok Chiang Mai samui Phuket although expect prices to be quite high near the beach areas – you may find a bargain tho. You could also try finding a hotel you like and contacting them direct to negotiate a rate for one month. To be honest, I’d much rather see a place first than book it unseen if you’re going to be there for 6 weeks

  62. Hi there Chris
    Absolutley love the blog! So much helpful information, I came across it whilst researching the benefits of backpacking solo v. going with mates.
    I was just wondering, what’s your (or anyone’s) opinion on a female solo traveller in areas like South East Asia.
    I’m going travelling at the start of next year, however I think I’m going to be making the journey alone and I’ve heard mixed reactions about going alone.
    For example I’ve had “Oh no you CANNOT go alone it’s far too dangerous” to “You should definitley go alone, if you go with mates you’ll just get sick of them and fall out” to the mid-range “you can go alone, you just have to be prepared to make the effort to go out and meet people because not a lot of the rooms are shared”.
    Any advice would be welcomed, in a real pickle as to whether I should be worried about going it alone or not as a female!

  63. Lloyd Vaz says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for the write-up… it great!!! BTW are the rates mentioned more or less same now as compared to 2007…

  64. Hi Lloyd – yes, the Thai prices are pretty much the same – the British pound and us dollar have weakened considerably against the baht so when you do the conversion on particular items it can be more expensive than you first think

  65. Hi Chloe – thanks for the kind words. I think there’s no problem women travelling solo in Thailand – provided you exercise a bit of common sense just as you would at home. Also there are so many solo tracelers coming to Thailand it’s easy to meet people to travel with too – think there is a longer story to be written about this so I will try to do it soon – cheers Chris

  66. Jake, Australia says:

    HI, I’m going to Phuket soon and I was woundering, how much like t-shirt jeans and generall things cost? Are they really cheap? Is there an Apple STore in Phuket?

    Cheers, Jake

  67. Hello all!I’m travelling solo to Bangkok on the 2nd to 8th Nov 2011, this is my first time travelling to Bangkok alone..would love to have a travel buddy for shopping, sight seeing etc. Anyone interested can email me at qyvonia(_)c(AT)hotmail.com :D I’m from Borneo btw..

  68. hi every one..been to thailand 5 times..my 6th trip in dec 2011 till jan 15….one advice..its always better to change currency in thailand..1 usd will fetch u 32 bath in thailand…
    john..dubai

  69. Lilley Lou Lou says:

    Hey, great website & interesting feedback – thanks for all the tips! Travelling for my 1st visit to Bangkok in exactly 12 days time – Whoop Whoop – 8 girlies going ……….. shopping!! but really can’t wait to see this vibrant country.

  70. im going over there in dec 28th only 19 and said stuff it im going by myself everyone thinks im crazy but i don’t care ! ill have the time of my life, one thing can i ask yous do i book accommodation on phi phi island where there is limited resorts or do i just wing it?
    adam

  71. i would like to go for back packing trip for few months to see everywhere in south east Asia. but am wondering how u guys make money during these trip? or do u have any financial support for this trip. if u can guide me through this it would be great and ill be thankful. i mean 18 months is not a short time. u obviously had money backup. but just tell me how much in general do i need and is there any loan or smthing that i can get? tnx

  72. Most people save up a load of cash before they go travelling, especially if heading out for 18 months. If you go to Australia you can work there (if you’re under 30) but Asia is hard work to find a job unless you want to teach English. (Korea and Japan pay well, Thailand pretty badly). I would definitely recommend avoiding running up a huge bill on your credit card, it will cost you a fortune in repayment fees and end up being way more than the original sum. Ditto with a bank loan.

  73. Hello great post Me and my freind are going in march for 10 nights and just staying in krabi we are a bit frustrated with how much money we should take. We will be going out a few night to local pub and for meals. But mainily doing tourist stuff.we are from england so would you know a price that would be good to take for 10 nights thanks.

  74. Hi,very helpful thanks a lot!!

    I’m flying out there in Marchfor 3 months and I was wondering if it’s a good time if the year to go (as in being the liveliest time if the year and decent weather)?

    I also wanted to know if there’s a lot of weight training gyms as I want to train out there…and party too of corse!! Thanks !
    D.

    Also I

  75. Hi,

    Any recommendations on the spending money required for two people spending 10 nights in Thailand (Phuket & Bangkok). Hotels and transfers paid for.

  76. Hello Travel Happy people….

    I am looking for advice from people who have experience in travelling around Thailand and neighbouring countries, and help would be sincerely greatful.

    Basically i am wanting to got travelling for a good 6 months mainly around Thailand starting November. I was thinking of starting in Bangkok and doing 3 months in the north and 3months in the south and if i get bored do the whole Laos, Vietnam thing but mainly want to concentrate on Thailand.

    As i have never been travelling before i am getting a little nervous about how much money i will need to take for accomodation, travelling n food etc.This is the only thing putting me off going as i dont want to get there n run out of cash n have no where to stay! i dont expect 5star hotels all the way and am pretty good at roughing it but the occasional comfy bed wont go a miss.

    I think i will be able to save up between £3500-£4000 to take with me but just wanted to hear from people with experience if this will be enough to see most of the country and have fun at the same time.

    any advice would be beneficial so please reply to me if you can, its greatly appreciated….

    Thanks

  77. Hi Ryan – six months travel on that kind of money is certainly doable, but you will need to budget carefully to avoid running out. 4000 Pounds over 6 months is roughly 22 pounds a day. That’s definitely enough to get decent accommodation in all but the most touristy places (assume spending around 400 Baht – 8 quid a night – on average) and food is also cheap. You just need to keep track of your money as you go along – staying in one area for a while e.g. on a beach is obviously cheaper than moving on every few days. You should also work out the things you want to do that will probably cost a chunk of money – e.g. doing a scuba diving course, or jungle trekking etc – and decide which ones have priority.

    The biggest problem is that it is very possible to travel cheaply but, as everywhere in life, there is a ton of shiny things to spend your money on along the way – so you just have to keep an eye on what you’re spending each day in a notebook or on your phone and you’ll be fine.

  78. Hey Chris,

    this info is incredibly helpful!
    but after reading it i kinda started second guessing myself. I have my flights booked toronto canada to bangkok. a friend and i plan on going for about 6 months. and are both thinking we will roughly have about $3,500- $4,500 Canadian to spend while there. we definitely want to do the moon light party for new years eve but other than that not so much partying. would like to be sober for most the experience. also elephant rides and scuba lessons. do you think with our budget we will be able to do an entire 6 months in Thailand?

  79. Hi Kyle – see what I said to Ryan a couple of comments ago. Basically, yes, you have enough for 6 months just as long as you keep a careful eye on your cash. You’ll be on $20-$25 a day for 6 months so obviously sometimes you need to go crazy and othertimes go and park yourself somewhere very very cheap for a couple of weeks. Check out the Cheap Travel In Thailand – A Quick Guide post by my friend Mark for some tips on uber cheap travelling – you can mix it up with more extravagant times too. Don’t worry about it too much – just get over to Thailand and figure it out as you go along. Cheers, Chris

  80. Hi everyone,

    My boyfriend and I were looking to travel around Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in July till the end of August for about 6 weeks. How much do do you think we should bring with us for the 6 weeks in GBP to live comfortably and do about 2-3 trips a week? Thank you in advance,

    Leanne

  81. Hi Leanne, this rundown of costs for a 5 week trip through South East Asia backpacking in comfort gives you an idea of pricing and what to expect.

  82. Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for the link! Its been really helpful!

  83. Hi Chris, great article. My husband and I are planning on going to Thailand for 4 weeks (the whole of December 2012)We are planning on booking and staying in one place, with a view to have lots of days out, boat trips etc. I notice that you live in Thailand, and actually just wondered if you had any advice in regards to Phuket? We are swaying towards this part because of the weather in Dec (meant to be nice) and also the beaches, but have heard some parts are a bit seedy. Do you know it at all? And could you possibly recommend anywhere in particular where we can have lots of days out, nice beaches, but can also get a taxi or similar into a town for a couple of beers & dinner? Our holiday is predominately to relax, not party, but would be nice if we were able to combine the two easily if needed. Any help appreciated – it is quite daunting!! Becky :)

  84. Hi Becky – for Phuket, the best – and quietest beaches are Naithon Beach and Naiharn Beach, with Naiyang Beach also worth considering. I think Naithon would fit the bill of what you’re looking for. You might also want to consider Koh Lanta, my favourite island in Thailand, which has big, beautiful and largely unspoilt beaches. Tubkaek Beach in Krabi is also a great, quiet area, although quite upmarket price wise. Hope this helps. Best, Chris

  85. Chiang Mai is a cheap place to live, this guy here lives there pretty cheap http://www.livingthai.org/cost-of-living-in-chiang-mai-thailand-2012.html

  86. Sandeep says:

    Fantastic article Chris, I’m heading down to Bangkok and Koh Tao for a weeklong getaway with a friend and we were thinking of taking about 150 pounds with us, would that be enough? Hotels and bus/ferry are taken care of. We’ll probably be eating more on the street than anything, with maybe a couple boozy nights out in Koh Tao! Are prices for food/drinks in koh Tao generally more expensive or cheaper than Bangkok, the internet is tossing up conflicting reports!

  87. Hi Sandeep – you should be fine. Prices on Koh Tao are a little bit more than Bangkok because it’s an island (everything has to be imported across the water) and it’s a tourist place – but there are still plenty of cheap eats and places to drink etc. Have fun

  88. Jazz Hutchins says:

    Hi all,

    I am planning to go travelling with a friend, it’s our first time travelling and a little unsure on what to expect.
    First of all, is it possible to go for long periods of time i.e 6 months and if so, how?

    If possible, how much money would we need to budget for the duration?
    Don’t mind staying in cheaper accommodation, providing it is safe and clean.

    Anything else that anyone thinks may be handy to know would be much appreciated.

    Thanks! :)

  89. Hi all,

    I am 30 years old single guy, planing to go to Thailand in End June for a week….

    My question is that is 1 week is enough to explore Thailand ? My area of interests are night life, beaches, markets etc so can any one recommend me the places which I should visit in this trip?

    Pls also can I have any link where I can book hotels for the cities i will be recommended to visits ?

    I will be obliged for this needed help.

    cheers !

    Immi

  90. You can stay in Thailand for 10,000 baht a month or 100,000 baht a week depending on where and how you live. If you are going to Pattaya and will be renting a companion then it can get very expensive. I have just come back after a year in BKK as i was studying at a Thai language school. On average i was spending about 70,000 baht a month. If you want to go and see the real Thailand travel north to places like Udon Thani or Kon Kean. They are big Cities with bars and great shopping etcbut it’s cheaper to stay there. The people there are nicer and less aggressive than the tourist hungry Thai’s who live in the resort destinations.

  91. The info on this site is very helpful!! thanks everyone!
    My boyfriend and I are planning our first ever trip to Thailand in March for 20days (so excited). We’re wanting to visit Bangkok, Phuket, Phi Phi, Phangan and Samui. We’re want to stay in 3/4 star hotels, fly to the different cities, do the tourist thing(trips to temples, elephant trekking, snorkelling, jet skiing, Thai boxing, spa days, shows etc etc ) shop and party every night (clubs, bars, karaoke). Taking the above into account, What kind of budget (in pounds) should we be looking at?

  92. this is a MUST read for a visit to Thailand. all questions i had are now answered! cant thankyou enough :)

  93. I am planning to go for 2 weeks:

    5 days BK, 5 days Koh Samui, 3 days Chiang Mai

    The only issue is this will be from beginning of June…is that monsoon season?

    Or is this just applicable to certain areas like Chiang Mai and is the extent of the rain enough to ruin a holiday?

  94. Hi,

    Great information :)

    I’m off to Thailand next June for 6/7 weeks, will £3000 be enough (flights already paid)

  95. Yes, more than enough, unless you plan to stay in 5 star hotels all the way

  96. I wish I could get by on that a month, I could have just didnt lol

  97. Poudyal Basanta says:

    I am from Nepal and am going to Thailand on 29 Oct 2012, all the explanations and details looks amazing. I come from mountainous country, I have been trekking all the time, used to work as independent trekking and tour guide. But, this time I am traveling myself ….in Nepal we have beautiful mountains morning, day and nights……..no artificial construction….very natural and we don’t have oceans.So, i am so very much looking forward to this trip
    Great information
    if anyone coming to Nepal contact me basanta21@hotmail.com
    I will love to help you all

  98. joseph jnr says:

    hello mate, im currently on a workingholidayvisa in australia which ends in february..im a british citizen and was wondering if i need to buy a visa for about a month in thailand, because i see somewhere uk citizens among others dont need a visa for up to 90days??

  99. As a British citizen you get a 30 day visa waiver on arrival – meaning you can just turn up at BKK airport and they’ll stamp your passport to let you stay for 30 days. Stay over that and you have to pay overstay – 700 Baht a day. You might also get arrested if you overstay so it’s best avoided.

  100. I looked this up today and you are allowed 30 days without a visa, but if you intend to stay longer I think you will need one. I’m going for 29 days in Dec so I’ll just get away with it! :-)

  101. Me and my fiance are planning our honeymoon and are visiting koh samui March 2013 for 8 day with 2/3 days in Singapore. We have our flights and hotel booked but I was wondering if anyone could give guidance on how much spending money we will need for our time on the island?

    Neither of us are big drinkers so will only be 2/3 drinks in evening and breakfast is already taken care of.

    Would appreciate any hints and tips you may have regarding spending money and exciting trips etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  102. Alan pascoe says:

    Ive been travelling all over Thailand for ten years ,it’s not as cheap as it used to be and if u r in the big resorts it’s very expensive…London prices in some cases …be careful

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