Thailand is an incredible country to explore, renowned for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. It's no wonder that Thailand attracts millions of travelers each year. Despite its popularity, Thailand remains an affordable destination. You'll find an abundance of inexpensive street food, budget-friendly hotels and hostels, and most attractions can be enjoyed for just a few dollars.
In this article, we'll provide you with a comprehensive overview of the expenses you can expect during your journey through Thailand. Whether you're looking to backpack on a tight budget or indulge in a more luxurious trip, the Land of Smiles accommodates all travelers. We'll cover costs for flights, food and beverages, accommodations, tours and attractions and transportation. To wrap it up, we'll provide an average daily budget. For your convenience, we'll mention all prices in dollars, although you'll be using the Thai Baht while in Thailand. Currently, $1.00 USD is approximately equivalent to 36 Thai Baht.
The costs of flight tickets depend on several factors. On average, a round-trip economy class ticket from major U.S. cities to Bangkok can range from $600 to $1,200 USD or more. Flights tickets from major European cities to Bangkok generally cost a little less, between $400 and $900 USD. Keep in mind that prices tend to be higher during peak travel seasons, so booking well in advance or during promotional periods can help you secure more affordable fares. Direct flights may be more expensive than those with layovers.
If you plan to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 30 days, many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a 60-day visa. The costs are around $30 to $40 USD for a single entry, allowing you to enter Thailand only once. For instance, you can't make a trip to Cambodia within those 60 days and re-enter Thailand afterward. If you need multiple entries, the cost is higher. A multiple-entry visa costs between $150 to $250 USD, allowing multiple entries into Thailand within six months, with a maximum stay of 60 days per entry.
While there are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into Thailand, we recommend getting certain vaccinations. It's best to consult health organizations in your country for advice. The vaccinations for Thailand are also recommended for many other destinations.
To ensure you've covered everything for your trip to Thailand, check out the Ultimate Thailand Packing List for a convenient overview!
It's hard to find a place where you can eat as cheaply and deliciously as in Thailand. At the numerous street stalls, you can get a local dish for around $1,50 to $2 USD. These stalls often offer a wide variety of dishes, allowing you to try something different every day. Even when dining in local restaurants, prices remain low, averaging around $3 to $4 USD per dish. Western food tends to be slightly more expensive, starting at around $7 USD, but prices can vary depending on the location. At coffee shops, various types of coffee cost between $1,50 and $2,50 USD. Additionally, Thailand offers delicious fruit juices and smoothies available at around $1 USD from street vendors to $2,50 USD at coffee shops.
Accommodation in Thailand is affordable. If you're looking for budget travel, outside of the peak season (November-February), it's easy to find a double room with a private bathroom for between $10 and $20 USD in most places. A room in a slightly better hotel often ranges from around $20 to $30 USD. Staying in a hostel can start from $5 USD and even cheaper in some very economical hostels. For solo travelers, we recommend choosing a friendly hostel without compromising too much on quality, as hostels are the best places to meet new people. Enjoying a bit of luxury during your vacation is also reasonably priced in Thailand. Between $50 and $100 USD, you can find some real gems, staying in well-designed boutique hotels or charming bungalows.
The entrance fees to popular attractions in Thailand are often low, despite the influx of tourists. Thailand is well-known for its stunning Buddhist temples. Most temples have free entry, but donations are appreciated. The more popular temples, such as Wat Pho in Bangkok and Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, charge a small admission fee, typically around $3 to $6 USD.
When traveling to popular destinations in southern Thailand, many expensive tours are offered. On almost every corner, you'll find shops offering tours for island hopping, snorkeling, diving, and jungle treks. These tours are often considerably more expensive than arranging them yourself. For instance, you can get boat tickets to islands independently or use Grab (the Southeast Asian alternative to Uber) to reach a national park for a jungle trek. The advantage is more freedom and lower costs, but it may require a bit more planning and research. A good alternative to dealing with the aggressive sellers at tourist shops is booking a tour through GetYourGuide. These tours are often cheaper (or at least equally priced) compared to purchasing them on the street, and you can comfortably review all the details in your own language before booking. Additionally, almost all tours include hotel or hostel pickup, which is great!
Thailand is a large country, and distances between popular destinations can be substantial. Fortunately, Thailand boasts a good network of trains and buses connecting all these places, and domestic flights are also affordable. One of the longest journeys you might undertake during your trip in Thailand is from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which takes about 10 to 14 hours by bus or train, costing roughly between $20 and $30 USD. A flight ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be acquired for approximately $40 to $70 USD, depending on your luggage.
Additionally, traveling within Thailand is cost-effective with Grab, the alternative to Uber in Southeast Asia. For a 15-20 minute ride, you'd pay around $2 to $5, depending on the city, time, and route. Songthaews (shared pick-up trucks) and motorbike taxis are even cheaper, often costing just $1 to $2. Tuk-tuks tend to be pricier than taxis, but with good bargaining skills, you might secure a more affordable ride.
Renting a scooter is also budget-friendly in Thailand, typically around $6 to $10 USD per day, depending on the location and rental duration.
The daily budget for a trip in Thailand greatly depends on the choices you make.
If you're traveling on a budget, staying in hostels and enjoying street food, you can manage at around $30 to $35 USD per day. For those wanting to explore more, stay in better hostels or hotels, and occasionally indulge in more luxurious or Western meals, the budget can range between $40 to $60 USD per day. Of course, you can tailor it to your preferences. Especially in Bangkok and the southern regions, you'll find plenty of luxury hotels, expensive restaurants, and upscale nightclubs.
In summary, Thailand offers options for every budget. Costs for local food, accommodation, and attractions are generally low, allowing you to adjust your expenses based on your preferences. It's a country that caters to various types of travelers, providing ample opportunities to explore this beautiful land.