Many people want to visit Southeast Asia, but how much does it cost to go to Thailand? Like any vacation, the costs depend on where you’re flying from, what kind of accommodations you’re looking for and what you want to see and more. If you’re a backpacker who’s looking to spend as little as possible, you could probably get by for less than $40 USD per day (not including flights), but for the purpose of this article, I’m going to use average costs for a comfortable trip. 

In my experience, ten nights in Thailand will cost you about $2,450 USD (including flights) which works out to about $245 USD per night which is pretty good. Some people will think that’s a bit high, but flights will take up 1/3 of your budget. Throughout this article, I’ll share some tips on how to save. Note that if you plan to travel to Thailand as part of a Southeast Asia trip, your costs can go down quite a bit depending on how long you stay. 

 Estimated cost
Airfare$800
Accommodations$800 ($80 per day)
Local Transportation$300
Attractions$100
Food and drink$350 ($35 per day)
Random Spending$100
Total$2,450 USD

The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.

Keep in mind that this is just an estimate.  Things can cost you much less (or more), but I wanted to give you a rough idea of costs as you prepare for your trip. For some people travelling for as cheap as possible is the goal, but I think you’re better off stretching your travel dollars.

If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.   

how much does it cost to go to thailand boats

Airfare

My $800 USD estimate is admittedly a bit high since I’ve seen flights to Bangkok from the U.S. for as little as $500 USD, but I included a slightly higher number since that’s most likely the average price around the world. Obviously, if you’re flying from within Asia, flights will cost you much less.

Although Bangkok is a major destination, there are currently no direct flights from Canada. The most common cities to take a connection are Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Local Transportation

Most people who visit Thailand will likely visit more than one city so you need to budget for your local transportation. The $300 I’ve recommended is a bit on the high side, but you’ll get a better idea of how much it’ll cost you once you start planning out your route. The good thing is that Thailand has pretty good transportation to get you around.

Long distance trains – Regional travel within Thailand is crazy cheap, but it takes longer to reach your destination. A third class ticket from Bangkok to Ayutthaya will cost you just 15 THB for the two-hour journey. An overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in a 2nd class sleeper with air conditioning is going to cost you around 700 THB while third-class tickets are around 300 THB. This is one of the cheapest ways to get around the country but the time spent and lack of comfort don’t make this an appealing choice to me.

Domestic flightsYou can fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or Phuket for as low as $30 USD on a variety of budget airlines including Vietjet Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai Airways AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, and Nok Air. Some routes such as Bangkok to Koh Samui cost more, but even then you’re looking at $100 which is pretty reasonable.

Buses/subway – Local public buses cost around 10 THB while taking the Metro or Skytrain in Bangkok starts at 15 THB per station. If you plan on using the Metro a lot, a day pass might be your best option. Tuk tuks are unmetered and cost about 30 THB for every 5 minutes, but often drivers try to take advantage of tourists. Metered taxis are usually your best bet since a 5 km journey averages 60 THB and 10 kms for 90 THB. Any surcharges are added to your meter at the end of the ride. Local transportation is limited on some of the islands, so you may need to rent a scooter.

Note that not many people in Thailand speak English. If you’re using a taxi or tuk-tuk, you’ll want to get the address of where you’re going in Thai. They may not understand the English names in your guidebooks. If they refuse to use the meter, get out and wave down a different taxi.

how much does it cost to go to thailand transportation

Thailand accommodations

When people ask how much does it cost to go to Thailand? They understand that where you stay and what type of accommodations you choose make a difference. But, it’s always a shock to find out how cheap some of your options are. 

I’ve seen hostels for less than $10 per night and budget hotels in the $40-$60 range per night. I personally find that budgeting $80 a night for a mid-range hotel is a good idea. Below I’ve highlighted the different options available 

Hostels – If you’re travelling solo and want this trip to be cheap, then hostels are the way to go. A dorm room will cost you less than 400 THB. If you want to “splurge,” you should be able to find a room with a fan for 500 – 600 THB.

Recommendations: Good One Hostel & Cafe Bar (Bangkok), D-Well Hostel (Chiang Mai)

Hotels – Although hotels greatly range in price, it won’t be hard to find a local brand hotel starting at 1,400 THB per night. Resorts on islands as well as bungalows that accommodate up to three people can be found for about 2,000 THB per night. Even name brand hotels are reasonably priced by North American standards starting around 3,500 THB per night.

Recommendations: Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11 (Bangkok), Rainforest Boutique Hotel (Chiang Mai)

Luxury hotels – Even though there are plenty of budget options in Thailand, the country also has a lot of luxury hotels available where you feel like a king or queen. The best thing about luxury hotels in Thailand is that they’re reasonably priced compared to other parts of the world.

Recommendations: Shangri-La Hotel (Bangkok), Le Meridien (Chiang Mai)

Airbnb – You would think that with such cheap accommodation options, you won’t need to bother with Airbnb, but it’s would still worth considering if you’re looking for your own place. Use my Airbnb referral link now to get CAD $50 off your first stay.

If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.

how much does it cost to go to thailand accommodations

Food and drink

Food is ridiculously cheap in Thailand. I remember getting a huge portion of fried rice from a street vendor for just 30 THB. Don’t like fried rice? Don’t worry, you can get Pad Thai, Khao Soi, or fresh fruit for less than 50 THB. Don’t like Thai food in general? Western, Chinese, and Indian food are found everywhere and will only run you 150 – 350 THB a meal.

If you wanted, you should be able to get good meals for under $15 USD each. Generally speaking, street food will be your cheapest option, but you can even get decent food at convenience stores for less than $4 USD. Alcohol varies, but it’ll cost you about $1 – $3 USD per drink. Budgeting $35 a day should be more than enough to feed you. 

Attractions 

Most museums, temples, and parks cost around 50-100 THB to get in, however, The Grand Palace in Bangkok will cost you 500 THB. It’s the day tours and adventures that will cost you the most money. Hiking, diving, and jungle trekking can cost you anywhere from 500 – 2,000 THB per person. You can negotiate lower prices if you’re going in a group. How much you spend is up to you, but I don’t recommend you cheap out on experiences. Also note that some attractions charge more for non-Thais. This is standard practice and often posted.

Random Spending

With so many markets and malls, it’s not a far stretch to say that shopping is one of Thailand’s biggest tourist attractions. I certainly enjoyed shopping during my time there, but I found the quality to be quite low on almost everything I bought. Haggling in markets is expected, so sometimes it’s worth watching others do it first before you make your first offer.

Now if you want to spend money on massages, I get that. They’ll cost you less than $10 USD each and can be quite relaxing.

Final thoughts

How much does it cost to go to Thailand? I estimate a ten-night trip will run you about $2,450 USD. If your goal is to see the country as cheap as possible, then you won’t be disappointed. That being said, if you’re willing to spend just a little more, you can have one heck of a trip! Now check out my guides on how much does it cost to go to Southeast Asia, Laos, the Maldives, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam for more inspiration.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Thailand?

33 Comments

  1. Katelyn Jabotte on July 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip and would like to stay on Phi Phi Island. We are both beach and island people! I heard there are bad areas on the island that we should be sure to not stay at or near… Is this true?

    • Barry Choi on July 26, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Hi Katelyn,

      Some areas are full of tourists so it’s a matter of opinion of where you should avoid.

      • Nelson Roberts on July 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        1,600 really because what I am looking at from my phone with me planning a trip next summer and it seems more expensive than that…

        • Barry Choi on July 13, 2019 at 7:59 pm

          Nelson,

          My budget is based on backpackers travelling for as cheap as possible

          • Nelson on July 13, 2019 at 8:02 pm

            Oh ok yeah I was just reading different if there is a way I can with myself and a friend that would be awesome



  2. Mikayla on September 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    My boyfriend and I are going to Thailand. We are very excited since we booked the hotel in Chiang Mai. What would you suggest to go see and experience there?

    • Barry Choi on September 5, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Mikayla,

      The elephant nature park is near there, but you need to book well in advance. Can also go up to Chiang Rai and white temple. In Chiang mai itself tons of temples, monk chats at a couple, great food scene. Night market on Sunday is awesome as is the lady boy show. There’s also the Sticky Waterfalls that you can do as a day trip

  3. Luke on September 11, 2018 at 2:49 am

    I love going to Thailand since there’s a lot of place where you can visit that will not break your bank account. Also, their food and hotel are also affordable so you can definitely prolong your vacation here without worrying too much about your money.

  4. Jenny on September 29, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Super helpful read! Thailand will be the first leg of my 80 day South East Asia trip and I’m already set on which cities to hit up. I’m curious though, would you suggest I book hostels in advance or just book for a few nights and gauge for the rest of the trip? I’ll be in Thailand for 4 weeks, covering 10 cities/islands so each place I’ll be there for 2-4 nights depending. The planner in me really wants to just book it all in advance, but I’ve had some people tell me to wait it out. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • Barry Choi on September 29, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Jenny,

      I’m totally like you and would prefer to plan everything in advance. Can you book fully refundable hotels and hostels? If that’s not an option, I personally would probably book – 3 days at the start and then sort of go with the flow. If you’re going during the low season, getting rooms likely won’t be an issue.

  5. Alexander ch on November 4, 2018 at 6:54 am

    I just wanted to say thanks for letting people know what you think. You seem to know your stuff. I’m actually thinking of going to Thailand for retirement with my wife. Being able to spend 2000 to 3000 Canadian per month. I don’t like to spend 1500 but I’m prepared to spend more if you think that’ll make a difference. What do I need to know about I guess visas how long you can stay whether I get kicked out after a certain amount of time. I’ve been watching a bunch of videos to go to Pattaya Thailand. What do you think is good place. I have watched mini videos that very so drastically you don’t know who to believe.

    • Barry Choi on November 4, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Hey Alexander,

      I’m not familiar with local laws about how long you live in the country, but you shouldn’t have any issues living there comfortably for less $2K CAD a month. The key is to pick a base and rent an apartment. My estimates are based on hotels but in Thailand, you can get a space for $400 – $650 a month depending on where you’re staying.

      Pattaya is more of a party area, so you might want to look at some other areas. You’ll obviously want to make sure you’re an area where you have easy access to healthcare.

  6. Shahla on March 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Hi
    I am a single female in my 50’s and planning a trip to Thailand for my birthday on mid August
    Any suggestion which budget hotel near beach and local night out to be safe as well

    • Barry Choi on March 13, 2019 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Shahla,

      I’m not as familiar with specific properties so you may want to ask on Tripadvisor.

  7. Melissa on May 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    I am considering a trip very soon (end of May or June) and wondered if this is a good time of the year to go. Couple in early 40’s considering Marriott Mai Khao Beach in Phucket or Marriott in Bangkok, not sure which is best to go to, i’d like to be able to swim and tan poolside but also want to be able to venture out and see some local art and culture.

    • Barry Choi on May 1, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Melissa,

      May and June can get hot since the average temperature is in the 30’s. It’s also the start of the rainy season, but I wouldn’t let that stop you if you want to go. The Marriott in Bangkok is nice, but I would argue the Sheraton Grande and Westin are better located on Sukhumvit since you’re close to more food options, transportation, and shopping. The main tourist areas e.g. Chinatown and the Grand Palace would require a tuk tuk or taxi ride. Phuket is more for relaxing as I’m sure you know.

      Thailand is a huge country with a lot to see so you may want to do a little more research to see what interests you.

  8. Ralph Monroy on May 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Thank you for the write up. I have visited in the past but with military so it was much different. Much much different lol. I’m currently planning a “surprise” trip to Thailand with my wife and was wondering what your thoughts were on travel packages. Iv seen some on groupon that include air, lodging and guided tours for a set price; 10 days for $1500 for Bangkok and Phuket for example. Was wondering if these are good options or if it would be better to just do and find everything myself on line.
    -thanks again.

    • Barry Choi on May 30, 2019 at 9:05 pm

      Ralph,

      If you don’t want to do any planning, those could be a good value but Thailand can easily be done on your own. If you’re going to book a tour, you want to make sure it’s with a company that caters to your lifestyle e.g. there are ones that are more focused on families while others are more for luxury travellers.

  9. Mary Jones on June 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I want to buy a inexpensive trip to Bangkok and Chang Mai for my 48 yr old niece and her two children…ages 13 and 15. We are related to Siamese Twins and the 15 yr old is doing a documentary on the twins next year. I’ve been to Thailand and would luv to have them witness the country first hand. Can they use hotel service people for help in arranging a tour t9 their village, statue, and to Chang Mai elephant camps and Hmong people?

    • Barry Choi on June 19, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Mary,

      Hotels usually only help with day trips so if you’re looking for something that’s all packaged together, you many want to check with a travel agents or maybe look for a local tour company that can build you an itinerary.

  10. Emily Burg on June 25, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Hi!

    My fiancé and I are planning a 10 day trip to Thailand and Cambodia for our honeymoon. We have been going through a travel agent to get recommendations and are considering booking the trip through them. For everything (accommodations at very nice places, some excursions including elephant sanctuary and two day trips to national parks/snorkeling/lagoons plus temples and personal drivers the entire time), the trip will be $7000 USD. This also includes breakfast every day and some other meals. We already booked international flights so that’s not included. Is this way too much to spend for our time there?

    • Barry Choi on June 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Emily,

      That’s on the higher end, but the travel agent may have simply booked you really nice hotels and organized tours. My estimate is based on everything DIY and on budget accommodations.

  11. Lane Lundeby on July 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    We went last OCT

    PHUKET, SINGAPORE and BANGKOK

    Nicer hotels ranged from $50-125/nite in Thailand and much higher in SINGAPORE… there are hostels and “back-packer” motels and Airbnb all over for very low cost. We took more of the mid-upper level of full service hotels.

    Our 14 day trip without airfare was about $3500-$4000 (We ate and stayed at higher end places).

    My Budget per person
    Flight $ 800
    Food/day – $25
    Alcohol/day – $10
    Hotel – $100/day (nicer) so $50/person assuming a couple
    Transportation – $10/day
    Attractions – $10/day
    Shopping $10/day

    Overall I my opinion $115/day per person + flight would be a nice vacation. However if you start flying inter-country cost will increase.

    The nice thing about Thailand as there is something for every budget. I think if you scrimp you can meet the budget here in the article but if you want more US/EU like accommodations i would 2X total prices. I would suggest packing lite and doing laundry its super low cost… new cloths are cheap and readily available.

    • Sammy on October 31, 2019 at 12:43 am

      I’m looking to book a trip in Thailand in June as a surprise for my spouse’s birthday. The prices for flights I see are expensive. Any tips on how to find cheaper flights. The ones I am seeing round trip from Jamaica are for usd$1700 and more.

      Also for tours, what do you suggest?

      • Barry Choi on October 31, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Hi Sammy,

        Unfortunately, getting to Thailand from Jamaica can be pretty expensive and there aren’t really any ways to bring down your costs. The good news is that once you’re on the ground, costs can be relatively inexpensive. I personally prefer Intrepid Travel and G Adventures for tour operators.

  12. Asok Kumar on November 4, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Superb Writting, useful information, Thanks man

  13. Gwendolyn on December 12, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I am planning a trip in 2021 to Thailand and want to visit hot springs. Where is the best place to stay and visit?

    • Barry Choi on December 12, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Gwendolyn,

      I’ve never done a hot spring in Thailand so I can’t really advise you there. You could check Viator as they may have tours to popular hot springs

  14. phyllis miller on December 17, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you Thank you for this awesome information I fly Dec 30 to Chiang Mai (Solo) have hotel booked for the month then looking for a place near Prachuap Khiri for the month of Feb… Taking your advice will fly to… where when I go South what is the nearest airport. I have not made my return airfair Plan to fly home to Canada from Bangkok…Appreciate all the feed back from fellow travellers. Retired Lady hoping to meet other like minded people. Cheers

  15. rebekah hughes on January 4, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Hi we are going in march all of our hotels and flights are already paid for. we are going for 16 days how much spending money would you say to bring with us and is cash or a travel card better ?
    h

    • Barry Choi on January 4, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Rebekah,

      Although many places take credit cards, Thailand still uses a lot of cash (especially at attractions and street vendors). $35 USD for food a day is probably enough but you also need to factor in shopping and transportation.

      There are ATMs everywhere so you can just bring a bit to start with and then withdraw more as you need it.

  16. Bobby j on January 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I am a 61 year old man. Leaving for Patong beach (via Chengdu) feb 4-March 1. I’m staying in a hostel as I did last year . My cost from Vancouver BC, $850.00 Canadian. That’s airfare and 26 nites. I’m pretty much guaranteed perfect weather. Sunny and hit every day. I rent a motorcycle and travel up and down the various beaches and love it. Food, drink and massages are cheap

    • Barry Choi on January 24, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Bobby,

      Yes, costs can be crazy cheap if you’re not too picky.

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