How much does it cost to travel Thailand? In this guide, we’ll outline the cost of traveling Thailand, share Thailand hotel prices and accommodation budgets, give you our best tip for finding cheap hostels and hotels in Thailand, and help you choose the most appropriate Thailand budget for your travel style.
Note: This Thailand Travel Costs Guide includes affiliate links. That means Go Backpacking may earn a commission if you click through to purchase or price something out. It doesn't cost you anything extra and helps support this site.
Introduction to Thailand Travel Costs
The cost of travel in Thailand has helped make it one of the world's most visited nations.
The friendly culture, the spectacular cuisine, the stunning beaches, and the reasonable prices that tie them all together, make Thailand a world premiere destination.
Though crowds of foreigners mark some areas of the country, there are still many places that are completely off the usual travel routes, and therefore rarely visited by travelers.
Predictably, popular foreign spots in Thailand are costlier than off the beaten track destinations in the country.
Thailand uses the Thai Baht (THB) — 1 USD equals about 30.7 THB (as of July 2019)
Cost of Connectivity
Instead of buying a local SIM card when you arrive in Thailand, you can check in advance the mobile data services Keepgo offers: a 4G LTE Data SIM Card ($49) or a portable WiFi Hotspot ($99).
Their mobile data plans vary between $14 (for 500 MB) and $165 (for 10GB) and provide you with 3G coverage in Thailand as well as many other Asian countries all year round.
Cost of Accommodation
With the range of tourists that visit Thailand, there is also a giant selection of accommodation and price ranges.
- Dorm beds: $3 – $7 (100 – 200 THB)
- Double rooms with fans: throughout most of Thailand go for $7 – $10 (200 – 300 THB)
- Double rooms with air-con: usually in the range of $10 – $17 (300 – 500 THB)
- The next step up will include hotel-like conditions with cold air conditioning, fridges, and sometimes even safe boxes: $20 – $33 (600 – 1000 THB) per night for a double
- Nicer Hotels: If you are looking to splurge and go crazy, you can get very nice hotel rooms for $66 (2000 THB) per night.
How To Find the Best Accommodation Deals in Thailand
Hotels Combined is a meta-aggregator. It combs the other popular booking sites and finds the best price, and then lets you book with the popular hotel booking sites (like (Booking.com, Agoda, etc.). As it doesn't include Hostelworld, you need to check that site manually.
How Much Can You Save Using HotelsCombined?
We get into the specific prices below in our Sample Thailand Accommodation Budget, but we've tried to give a high-level guesstimate about the actual savings you can expect by using this technique.
We estimate a 2-week trip through Thailand will cost you between $42 and $688, depending on your travel style (from super cheap, to more of a flashpacker style).
If we assume using HotelsCombined will save you an average of 7.5% on your accommodation budget, that’s savings of between $3 (a free night in Thailand) and $52 (a nice meal out, or an excellent tour!).
We think that’s worth it for less than five minutes of effort!
Sample Accommodation Budget in Thailand
To give you an idea of how your travel style, budget, and the types of accommodation could impact the price of your trip, we’ve priced out different Thailand hostel and hotel options for a 14-day Thailand itinerary:
- 3 Nights in Bangkok
- 1 Night Ayutthaya
- 3 Nights Chiang Mai
- 6 Koh Pha-ngan
- 1 Night Bangkok (before returning home)
We priced this out based on three different travel styles:
- On the Cheap (dorms beds & as cheap as possible, please!)
- Upscale Budget (dorm rooms in ‘boutique’ hostels)
- Affordable Flashpacker (private rooms in boutique and luxury hostels, and 3-star hotels)
Of course, prices are based on the time of writing and will fluctuate based on season and other factors.
On The Cheap
3 Nights Bangkok ($15 to $18)
- The Overstay – $8 (245 THB) per bunk per night. Compare prices on Hostelworld and Hotels Combined.
- VX The Fifty – $5 (153 THB) per bunk per night. Compare prices on Hostelworld and Hotels Combined.
1 Night Ayutthaya ($7)
3 Nights Chiang Mai ($9)
- Kikie's House – $3 (93 THB) per night. Book on Hostelworld or compare on Hotels Combined.
- Mapping Hostel – $3 per bunk, per night, check prices and availability on Hostelworld and Hotels Combined.
- Me U Hostel & Tour – $3 per night. Check pricing and availability on Hotels Combined.
6 Nights Koh Pha-ngan ($17.82 to $20.16)
- Echo Beach Backpackers has dorms for $3 (93 THB) per bunk, per night, book on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
- Phanganist Hostel – $3 per bunk, per night rated 8.5/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
1 Night in Bangkok ($4 to $12)
- If you have an early flight, Wanderlust Bangkok Hostel in Ladkrabang town, Bangkok, near Suvarnabhumi International Airport, starts at $12 per bunk per night, check them out on Hostelworld, and compare on Hotels Combined.
Total ‘On the Cheap’ Accommodation Costs for 2 Weeks in Thailand: $48 to $63
See also: The Best Hostels in Bangkok
3 Nights Bangkok ($34 to $46)
- Starting at $11, Chern Hostel gets good reviews, 9.8/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
- The lovely Chao Hostel has a 9.5/10 on Hostelworld gets higher ratings, but is also pricier at $12 (368 THB) per bed, compare on Hotels Combined.
1 Night Ayutthaya ($8)
- Stockhome Hostel has a fresh, hip look throughout and starts at $8 (245 THB) per bed per night, compare on Hostelworld and Hotels Combined.
3 Nights Chiang Mai ($18 to $21)
- For $6 to $7 (180-210 THB) per bed, per night, you can stay at So Hostel which is well-located, clean and has a ‘luxury hostel’ air to the common areas, with simple rooms. 7.9/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
6 Nights Koh Pha-ngan ($72)
- If you want to stay a bit away from party-focused Haad Rin, $12 (368 THB) per night, OR $23 for two people, will get you a bungalow at the well-rated Tanouy Garden.
1 Night in Bangkok ($10 to $16)
- If you want to stay near the airport, check out Wanderlust Bangkok Hostel. It's bright and clean, will arrange airport transfer and has breakfast included. Compare prices on Hotels Combined.
Total ‘Upscale’ Accommodation Costs for 2 Weeks in Thailand: $143 to $163
See also: The Best Hostels in Chiang Mai
3 Nights Bangkok ($30 to $132)
- 3HOWWBangkok has an airy and minimalist ‘design hotel’ vibe. Capsule rooms can be had for $10 (310 THB), with doubles (ensuite) going for $44 for a single traveler (they also have a Khaosan Road location). 8.4/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
1 Night Ayutthaya ($23 to $26)
- Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe offers privates from around $23 (shared bathroom) to $26 (ensuite) (705 – 800 THB) and has a nice, urban design look to it (think exposed brick, polished concrete, pops of color, and an on-site coffee bar). Rated 9.1/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
3 Nights Chiang Mai ($81 to $123)
- Oxotel Hostel offers up a cool urban common space. You can get a double for $29 (shared) to $41 (ensuite) (890-1,257 THB). 9.2/10 on Hostelworld, compare on Hotels Combined.
- Nap Box has bright and airy privates between $27 and $36. Compare on Hotels Combined.
6 Nights Koh Pha-ngan ($156)
- Most of the hostels in Koh Pha-ngan cater to budget travelers who want to party. If you want something slightly more upscale and quieter, the highly-rated Alcove Bungalow (9/10 on Booking.com) can be booked for around $26 (800 THB). It’s worth noting that across the water on Koh Samui, some excellent deals can be found in this price point as well if you want some affordable luxury and aren’t there to party.
1 Night in Bangkok ($10 to $22)
- Repeat your stay at 3HOWWBangkok (Hostelworld / Hotels Combined) or stay near the airport. If you want to stay near the airport, double ensuites at Wanderlust Bangkok Hostel near the airport are $22 (675 THB), Hostelworld / Hotels Combined.
Total ‘Affordable Flashpacker’ Accommodation Costs for 2 Weeks in Thailand: $300 to $459
Cost of Food
Food lovers are welcomed to Thailand with open hands. Food throughout Thailand is in no short supply, and luckily, it's affordable enough to make eating out a hobby.
- For a meal on the street consisting of rice, vegetables, and a little meat on a single plate (more information on Thai dishes), the price should be anywhere from $1 – $1.75 (30 – 50 THB)
- Big entire meals of street food with a selection of dishes and whole fish: $2 – $7 (60 – 210 THB) per person
Sit Down Restaurants
- Indoor Thai food restaurants with air conditioning can cost $3 – $7 (100 – 210 THB) per person
- Full Japanese sushi buffets and other gourmet restaurants: $10 – $17 (310 – 500 THB)
Bangkok is a melting pot of various cuisines; restaurants serving food from all over the world can be found throughout the city.
1.5 L bottle of water: $0.50 (13 THB)
Sample Daily Food Budget for Thailand
Let’s say you ate a free breakfast at your hostel, a street food lunch, and a restaurant meal: you can expect to pay $7 to $13 per day (205 to 390 THB).
If you stick to street food exclusively and eat three meals per day, you can each for much less: $3 to $5 (90 to 150 THB) per day.
Realistically, most people are probably going to do a combo of the two.
If you’re traveling on a strict budget, know that you can get away with paying less than $5 (155 THB) per day on food, not including any drinks (coffee, water, alcohol).
If you’re on a shorter trip and you want to enjoy different foods and dining experiences (within reason), plan to spend closer to $10 to $15 (310 to 465 THB) per day, per person on food.
Getting To Know Thai Food
Being a culinary capital, Bangkok is not a bad place to learn about Thai food through market tours, food tours, and cooking classes, if you have the time and interest.
Expect to pay about $35 to $40 (1,075 to 1,225 THB) for either a Thai cooking class or a food tour, if you book ahead of time online. We’ve listed some of the ones we’d like to try below
Bangkok Food Tour
Over 3.5 hours, this small-group walking food tour will introduce you to around 15 different Thai dishes and drinks at eight different venues, including food stalls, restaurants, and markets. Try fruits, teas, noodles, desserts, and more. Past guests rate this tour very highly.
Thai Cooking Class & Market Visit
This 4-hour cooking class starts at the market, where you pick up the ingredients for your creations.
Take a tuk-tuk to the kitchen, and begin preparing a multi-course meal, including Thai Green Curry from scratch. Past travelers advise you arrive hungry!
Cost of Drinking / Going Out
The cheapest way to drink in Thailand is to purchase alcohol from a 7/11 or other convenience stores.
- A big bottle of local beer costs: 35 – 65 THB ($1 – $2)
- 1 L bottle of whiskey: 155 – 410 THB ($5 – $13)
Local or small style bars: $3 for a beer (100 THB), around $3 – $7 (100 – 210 THB) for a small shared bucket of whiskey and soda (called a bucket in Thailand)
Some of the fancier clubs can charge a cover of a few hundred THB (especially true in central Bangkok).
Cost of Transportation
Taxis are in abundance all over Bangkok, and the fare starts at $1 (30 THB) and goes up from there. Going most places within central Bangkok should not cost more than $5 (150 THB).
BTS / MRT: The BTS is an elevated train, while the MRT is an underground train. The lines are not overly extensive, though they do cover the main center of Bangkok. The fare costs anywhere from $0.75 – $1.50 (20 – 40 THB) per ride depending on length.
Buses are quite easy to use and cover Bangkok with the most extensiveness. Fares are anywhere from $0.25 – $0.75 (6.50 – 20 THB) depending on the route and what kind of bus. If you plan to take buses, I would recommend purchasing a bus map route before getting started.
Tuk Tuks: Many tourists like to take tuk-tuks for the thrill, but taxies are usually cheaper unless you know how to negotiate – upwards of $1 (30 THB) for a ride.
Motorcycle Taxis: Used for short distances or down neighborhood roads for $0.25 – $0.75 (10 – 20 THB) per ride
Out of Bangkok
There are loads of options for traveling around the country of Thailand. Buses are easy and efficient, and there is a big range of transportation classes.
Motorbikes are available for rent all over Thailand for around $7 (210 THB) per day, but be careful as there are quite a few scooter accidents.
- VIP from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (10 hours): $23 (700 THB)
- Standard class from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (10 hours): $12 (370 THB)
- VIP class from Bangkok to Krabi (12 hours): $27 (820 THB)
- Standard class from Bangkok to Krabi (12 hours): $12 (370 THB)
- The local 4-hour bus ride from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (4 hours to Cambodian border): $7 (210 THB)
- 1st Class Sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (12 hours): $40 (1,250 THB) with own bed and air condition
- 3rd Class train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (12 hours): around $8 (250 THB)
- If you are really on a budget, I took the 3rd class train from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani (12 hours) for $8 (250 THB)
Air Asia offers the most competitive prices on budget flights. Two months or so in advance and it's possible to get a flight from Bangkok to Phuket for $33 – $50 (1,000 – 1,500 THB) one-way.
If you’re on a budget, it’s best to map out your main flights and purchase them in advance, while planning your trip. That’s when you’re likely to get the best deals!
We use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight deals. If you’re itinerary is somewhat flexible, you can use the “show whole month” function to show the cheapest days to fly on your route.
Here are some example fares on via Skyscanner, booking two to three months before traveling.
- Bangkok (Any) to – Phuket (HKT): $23 (700 THB)
- Bangkok (Any) to – Chiang Mai (CNX): $25 (767 THB)
- Bangkok (Any) to – Chiang Rai (CEI): $29 (890 THB)
- Chiang Mai (CNX) to – Phuket (HKT): $47 (1,442 THB)
- Chiang Mai (CNX) to – Koh Samui / Samui Island (USM): $144 (4,420 THB)
Sample Cost of Attractions in Thailand
- Grand Palace Entrance in Bangkok: $8 (250 THB)
- Bangkok snake farm and show: $7 (210 THB)
- Thai cooking course: $40 (1,200 THB) for a day
- Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam nature park in Krabi: $2 (50 THB)
- Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi (pet tigers): $13 (400 THB)
- Thai massage: $7 (200 THB) per hour
Overall Cost of Travel in Thailand
Thailand is not as cheap as a few other neighboring destinations in SE Asia. However, if you steer clear of real touristy areas, the cost of travel in Thailand is still quite decent.
Spending time on the country's southern islands and beaches is a sure way to rack up a higher bill than spending time in places like Chiang Mai.
I would say that to have a good time and travel freely, the cost of travel in Thailand is anywhere from $15 – $35 per day, highly varying on where you go and what activities you choose to do.
I live in Thailand, with an apartment in Bangkok and spend $220 – $300 per month (and I eat like a king!).