Koh Lanta

Thailand trip cost: Is Thailand expensive?

Published: 10-02-2021

Thailand is definitely one of our favorite countries in Asia. We visited this country several times during our world trip. Do you also want to travel to Thailand or go backpacking in Thailand? Of course we kept track of our expenses in Thailand in order to be able to answer the question “Is Thailand expensive?” This way you can properly estimate how much you need to save for your dream trip to Thailand. Read all about our Thailand trip cost.

How expensive is Thailand

In total we’ve spent over four months in Thailand. We traveled from Bangkok to the east, from there to Chiang Mai in the north and we visited the most beautiful islands in southern Thailand, like Koh Tao. We have tracked our expenses in several places, but we have summarized them all in this article. Here we give you a small insight into our expenses, but we mainly tell you how expensive Thailand is. Our expenses are divided into the following categories: Food and drink, accommodations, transport, excursions and other expenses.

Currency and exchange rate in Thailand

The national currency in Thailand is Thai Baht. The exchange rate with the currency sometimes changes. In this article we have assumed that one euro is worth 35.7 Thai baht.

To answer the question “is Thailand expensive”, you can read about how much we’ve spent while traveling in Thailand for one week. In addition, we give a number of example for prices.

Costs for food and drinks in Thailand

Food and drink prices in Thailand are very low compared to Europe, Australia and other western countires and Thai cuisine is the best. You can enjoy the best Thai dishes at the night market or in a local restaurant for about one euro. Of course there are also plenty of Western restaurants in every city where you can order all kinds of dishes for a few euros extra. In total we’ve spent an amount of € 140 on food and drinks in Thailand for two people in one week. Below are some examples:

  • Sweet & sour duck, noodles, a plate of fresh prawns, one beer, three fresh juices = 365 baht (€ 9.75)
  • 3 cocktails, one mix drink, 2 beers, 2x bruschetta, 1x hamburger: 725 baht (€ 19.40)
  • Fresh spring rolls or pad thai on the streets: 40 baht (€ 1)

Costs for transportation in Thailand

Traveling through Thailand is peanuts for everyone. It’s no coincidence that Thailand is the number one backpacking destination among young – and inexperienced – travelers. Since Thailand is a large country, many travelers choose to book at least one domestic flight. For example from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or from Chiang Mai to Krabi in the south of the country. Which is a shame for the environment, but if you don’t have much time to spend in Thailand, it’s the easiest way to explore the country.

If you have more time and you like to really discover Thailand, take the (night) bus or train. For example, we took the train from Had Yai – in the south of Thailand – to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. This train journey cost about € 50 for two people. For this price we had our own cabin with a bunk bed and a sink. Traveling with the night train in Thailand is one big adventure.

A beautiful and adventurous way to discover Thailand is by renting a motorbike. A motorbike will cost approximately 150 – 250 baths per day.

Is Thailand expensive: Transportation costs

How expensive are accommodations in Thailand?

You can spend the night in Thailand for a few euros per night. If you don’t have a lot of wishes and you don’t mind sharing a room, you can sleep in a hostel dormitory for about € 5 a night. However, we always opted for a double room with a private bathroom. On average we paid about 450 baht per night (€ 12.50) for two persons. Spending the night in the low season is much cheaper than during high season.

During low season it is not necessary to book accommodations in advance. Often you can even negotiate the price upon arrival. During high season, between November and March, I advise you to book your accommodation. We recommend Booking.com for this. Here you can often cancel free of charge up to 24 hours upon arrival and you can read reviews from other travelers.

Excursions in Thailad

To be fair, we generally don’t go on tours while we travel. We prefer to go out ourselves to discover the most beautiful places. Sometimes, however, we cannot ignore a tour. For example, we booked a snorkeling tour in Krabi for which we paid 700 baht per person. This fee includes lunch and drinks on the boat. Another example is a cooking class in Chiang Mai for which we paid 400 baht per person. Of course you should assume that you will spend more money if you are going to do multiple tours.

excursion to Koh Nang Yuang

Conclusion: Is Thailand expensive?

After discussing all categories, we can answer the question “is Thailand expensive?”. Do you want to travel like us, so sleeping as a couple in a double room with a private bathroom, generally eating on the street, but also occasionally a bit more luxurious and do you like an alcoholic drink? Then you can go a long way with a daily budget of € 25 per person. This is what we spend on average per day. If you travel more basic and you don’t mind sleeping in a dormitory every night, you can get by for € 20 a day. When asked “is Thailand expensive?” we can answer that Thailand, especially compared to western countries, is a super cheap travel destination.

Disclaimer: Of course you can make traveling through Thailand or backpacking in Thailand as expensive as you want. If you prefer something more luxurious, count in a little more budget for your Thailand trip.

How expensive is Thailand: Southern Thailand vs the North

Your spending habits in Thailand also depend on which region you visit. For example, the south of Thailand is the most expensive region. This makes sense because of the boat trips you have to take to islands and the fact that eating and drinking on an island is always a bit more expensive. The north of Thailand, in the Chiang Mai area, is a lot cheaper. In the north of Thailand we’ve spend around €22 a day for two persons. Bangkok is without a doubt the most expensive destination in Thailand.

Did you think traveling to Thailand would be more or less expensive?

Erick - When your girlfriend (Kirsten) has the travel virus, it doesn't take long before you are infected as well. Traveling has become a big part of my life, just as Travelaar has. Web developer and translator for Travelaar.com and it's Dutch counterpart Travelaar.nl. Photo and video editing are also my tasks. My motto: Don't take life too seriously