Thailand is the first country that comes to mind for many people when they think of Southeast Asia. It’s definitely the most popular country in that region of the world due to the tasty food, gorgeous islands, friendly locals, and of course, the low prices. When Andy and I started our winter escape to Southeast Asia, we didn’t really think about going to Thailand. We thought we would end up in Malaysia or maybe Vietnam after Cambodia, but our plans changed and we found ourselves with three weeks in Thailand. Here’s how much we spent traveling in Thailand, enjoying the beaches and the food.
Total Thailand travel costs
Expenses are listed in Thai baht and US dollars. The exchange rate while we were in Thailand was roughly 33 baht per dollar.
25,645 baht / $778.14 – accommodation
6,140 baht / $186.06 – transportation
20,956 baht / $635.03 – food and alcohol
2,000 baht / $60.60 – activities
1,810 baht / $54.85 – miscellaneous
56,551 baht / $1,714.68 – total
This does not include our flights from Siem Reap to Krabi, which cost $457.95, and our bus tickets from Krabi to Penang, Malaysia, which cost 1,400 baht or about $42.42. Your cost for getting in and out of Thailand will vary.
>>Check out this guide to gay Thailand.
Cost of lodging in Thailand – $778.14
We spent 21 nights in Thailand, mostly in guesthouses and one resort on Koh Samui. The nights were split up as follows: 3 nights in Krabi Town, 3 nights on Koh Samui, 9 nights on Koh Phangan, 6 nights in Ao Nang. We mostly stayed in double rooms, though we did end up with a twin in Krabi Town. We had our own bathroom in each place. This averages out to about $37.05 per night, or $18.53 per person per night.
Transportation costs in Thailand – $186.06
The most expensive transportation we paid for were bus and boat combo tickets from Krabi to Koh Samui for 800 baht ($24.24), boat tickets from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan for 800 baht ($24.24) and boat and bus combo tickets from Koh Phangan back to Krabi for 2000 baht ($60.61). Both included being picked up from our hotel in the morning. The remaining $76.97 was for an airport shuttle, shorter transfers, songthaew taxis/buses, longtail boat taxis, moto taxis, and tuk tuks.
Food and alcohol costs in Thailand – $635.03
For the most part, food is inexpensive in Thailand. The more touristy restaurants and just about anyplace serving western food are more expensive but still reasonable compared to western prices. About halfway through our time in Thailand, we started splitting a lot of meals because the portions were kind of big. We had to buy breakfast all but five days out of the three weeks we spent in Thailand since most of our hotels did not include it. We also had a few drinks here and there, mostly purchased from a 7eleven or grocery store instead of higher priced drinks at restaurants. On average we spent $30.24 per day, or $15.12 per person per day, on food and alcohol.
Cost of activities in Thailand – $60.60
Since we tried to make this a working trip, not 100% vacation, we didn’t do tons of activities. We took the Krabi 4 Islands Tour for about $24.24 ($12.12 per person) and the Hong Islands Tour for about $36.36 ($18.18 per person). Other than that, we stuck to free activities like swimming or wandering around to take in the scenery. There are plenty of other tours we could have taken from any of our stops in Thailand, so if you want to do more, increase your budget here.
Miscellaneous spending – $54.85
A big chunk of this was buying beach towels. When we started this trip, we didn’t know what to pack for Thailand and we didn’t know if we would end up at a beach destination, so we didn’t pack towels. They were a little over $9 each. We had to do laundry three times while in Thailand, which cost a little under $15 total. We also bought stamps and postcards, a couple of magnets, after sun lotion, and some antibiotics for Andy since he got, well, a bit sick from something he ate in Cambodia.
Thailand isn’t the cheapest country in Southeast Asia, but it’s certainly cheaper than traveling in Europe or Australia. If you’re a budget backpacker, you can do this for less by staying in hostel dorms and being more conscious of how much you spend on food and alcohol. During our three weeks traveling in Thailand, we spent on average about $81.65 per day, or $40.83 per person per day.
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