Thailand has become a favourite with backpackers and holidaymakers alike due to its affordability and incredible value for money. Of all the countries we visited in South-East Asia in 2017,
we think that Thailand is the best in terms of value. It might not be as cheap as Cambodia, for example, but you get a lot more for your money.
Costs are valid as of July 2017
Accommodation in Thailand
Although accommodation will take up the largest part of your budget in Thailand, it should not be a big worry because it is relatively cheap. A bed in a shared dormitory will cost around 300 baht, though most backpackers (especially couples) choose to stay in a basic double room for 700 baht because it is so affordable. Keep an eye out for rooms with breakfast included in the rate. This is quite popular in Thailand and it will save you a fair bit of money overall. From our experience, the breakfasts were very good.
If you plan on staying in Bangkok, we recommend staying in Chic Hostel, which offers air-conditioned rooms at an affordable rate. Not only will you have access to an indoor swimming pool, you also get an all-you-can-eat breakfast included in the very fancy hotel next door.
Food and drink in Thailand
Food and drink are also very affordable in Thailand. A large Thai beer will only set you back about 70 baht, but more touristy bars might charge you double that amount. Beer is no cheaper in the convenience stores than it is in the bars, so, you can’t save much money that way.
In terms of eating out, opt for street food and you will save yourself so much money. Basic fried rice dishes start at 30 baht from street food vendors, while the same thing will cost more like 70 baht in a mid-range restaurant. Because eating out is so affordable, it is no cheaper to buy ingredients and make your own food.
There are many rumours of food poisoning from street vendors but we ate on plastic chairs on the side of the road for 2 months and we never got ill. Actually, we did get a bit of tummy ache when we once ate in a tourist-style restaurant. It just goes to show that a more expensive restaurant is no sign of quality. We generally felt more comfortable when we could see the kitchen area and how clean (or not) it was. Of course, always get the vaccinations recommended by your doctor at home. This often includes Hepatitis A and Tetanus for South-East Asia.
Other expenses in Thailand
Transport can cost you a lot less than a meal in Thailand! The train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, for example, cost 20 baht each and longer bus journeys were between 120-400 baht. If you plan on doing the Mae Hong Son loop, petrol is rather affordable at 26 baht per litre.
If you like ice cream as much as we do, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can pick up a range of frozen treats for as little as 20 baht in convenience stores such as 7-Eleven. We rarely saw ice cream sold by the scoop in Thailand.
Want to know the cost of something in Thailand? Send us a message and we will try our best to help.