Off the back of my 2013 reader survey (which you can still fill in up until the end of Dec) one of the things you guys most asked for me to write about was budget breakdowns. I touched lightly on budgeting in my monthly summary posts but it seems you are after something a bit more specific – so I’m starting a monthly money series.

With a specific destination for each post it will give a better breakdown on where to go and how much everything costs – from a pint of beer to a night in a hostel – so you can get on with planning your backpacking trip.

Since Thailand is my destination of the month (sign up for the monthly newsletter if you’d like all that goodness in your inbox) and where I’m currently based it seems like the ideal place to start…

 

How Much Money To Budget For A Month In Thailand

Accommodation In Thailand

HQ Hostel Thailand

Hostels, Hotels Or Guesthouses, Take Your Pick!

Thailand is kitted out nicely for all levels of budgets, from backpacker hostels to 5* hotels and you’ll  soon find a level of bed that’s units both your money and style. But given that you’re backpackers like myself it’s safe to say what I’m spending is a good mid ground! From my personal experience here’s what you can expect.

 



Booking.com

Cheapest Bed – Little Bird Guest House, Chang Mai £3

Most Expensive Bed – Cha Da Resort, Koh Lanta £180

Average nights accommodation (shared dorm) £5-8

Average nights accommodation (double/twin) £8-10

Estimated monthly accommodation costs – £250

 

Food and Drink

With a good tourism culture Thailand caters for those wanting to get stuck into local dishes and western food too and you’re never too far from a street food stall or restaurant. I won’t lie to you guys, you’ll probably crave a pizza at some point as you max out on pad Thai…but that’s all part and parcel of travelling!

thailand street food

Street Food in Thailand – A Great Way to Eat

 

Favourite dish – Massaman curry

Cheapest meal – Pad Thai on Koh San road, around 70p

Average Thai meal – around £2

Average western meal – around £3.50

Average cost of beer (large Chang, 711) – £1

Average cost of beer (large Chang, restaurant) – £2

Favourite place to eat – Paddys on Phi Phi Island (amazing mix of Thai and western, epic cocktails and portion sizes!)

Estimated food cost per month (40 Thai dishes and 20 western dishes) – £150

rtw-banner

 

Transport

Getting around Thailand is pretty cheap and easy too – in fact it’s probably one of the most backpacker friendly places I’ve travelled around and depending on your time and budget there’s a range of options for moving around, from tuk tuks and taxis to night buses and internal flights.

Here’s a couple of the main journeys you’ll want to make and how much they’ll set you back.

 

 

mopeds thailand

Getting Around Thailand is Heaps Easy!

Bangkok – Chang Mai (Sleeper Train) – £14-23 (depending on time and class)

Bangkok – Koh Tao/Phangan/Samui (sleeper bus and ferry) – £17

Bangkok – Phuket (sleeper bus) – £15

Phuket – Phi Phi Island (ferry) – £8.50 (return)

Bangkok – Phuket (internal Air Asia flight) – from £35 (exc checked luggage)

Bangkok – Chang Mai (internal Air Asia flight) –  from £35 (exc checked luggage)

Chang Mai – Phuket (internal Air Asia flight) – from £65 (exc checked luggage)

 

I’d say a rough monthly route would cover a return journey from Bangkok to Chang Mai, bus to Koh Tao, ferry to Koh Phangan, over to Phi Phi and then loop back to Bangkok via Phuket, which will set you back around £90

 

Activities

Whatever you like to do for kicks I can assure you Thailand will cater for and you can spend your time travelling here doing everything from elephant trekking to a PADI dive course. Money wise here are some of my favourites to wet your appetite.

 

full moon party thailand

Full Moon Chaos!

PADI Open Water – 3 days, Koh Tao – £195 (if you’re looking to scuba dive in Koh Tao, Phi Phi or the Similans drop me an email as I have some exclusive reader discounts!)

Island day trip around Phi Phi – £8

Floating markets of Bangkok – 1 day, £20

Reclining buddah, Bangkok – £4

Full moon party, Koh Phangan (3nights accommodation, 3 buckets  and party entrance) £40

Dive live aboard, Similan islands – 4days, £400

Elephant jungle trek, Chang Mai – 3 days/2 nights, £35

Traditional Thai Bamboo tattoo – from £40

 

If I had to pull out what the average backpacker would do over a month I’d say you’d be looking at the open water, island day trip, reclining buddah, full moon and elephant trek – which comes in at around £280.

 

So, based on my personal experience and estimates a month in Thailand will set you back around £770 – or roughly £25 per day

 

This includes accommodation, meals, transport and a few activities. I’d like to point out though that this is merely a base point for your budgeting though and it’s always best to over compensate when it comes to money as it’s very much a personal thing – and of course you’re drinking will add some dollar on top.

Some people will easily spend less than this (if you are going to be in Asia for a while I’d certainly expect that to happen as your travel and activity costs per month are reduced) but some people will smash this estimate out of the water…something I’ve personally done without even realising it!

And of course if you really want to keep you budget on track and not worry about over spending then there are some epic backpacker group tours in Thailand that are worth checking out – especially if you’re worried about heading their solo for the first time.

Hopefully that’ll help you guys out with your planning – over the next few weeks I shall follow the same format for all the other countries I’ve travelled to. And of course if you need some seriously detailed travel details for Thailand I suggest checking out the Lonely Planet Thailand Guide too.

 

Found this post helpful? Check out my other How Much To Budget Posts!

 

Is there anything else you’d like added or included to this one or the rest of the series?

 

**PLEASE NOTE; This is to be used as a guide only – currency and cost fluctuate depending on season and exchange rates. Information was correct at the time of writing**

166 Responses

      • luie

        hey man, me and my girl are going to thailand in two months. were going in june, heard its monsoon season which kinda sucks but i was wondering whats the hot spots around that time and would £1000 each be more than enough for a whole month? all we have is flights.

      • Chris

        Hey Luie, I’ve travelled around Thailand at that time of the year and although the weather won’t be great it’s not going to stop you doing heaps of cool stuff, makes it a bit cheaper too which is always good! £1k each will see you living the good life, you’ll easily spend way less than that or you can go for a higher level of accommodation! Location wise I’m not too sure which coast will be better in that period of the season, think it might be the east but have a ganders online for the weather reports. If you’re heading over to Koh Tao for diving check out my other site – Epic Gap Year – for all the dive course you can book. http://www.EpicGapYear.com/destinations/thailand

    • Chris

      Stoked to see it can help out both new and veteran travellers – looking forward to completing the rest of the series!

      Reply
  1. Henry

    Great blog! full of inspiration. Is this budget about right for Camboida, Laos and Vietnam too?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Henry, glad you like the site!
      Yeah I’d say it was pretty spot on for Laos and Cambodia too – although Cambodia is even cheaper!
      Thos 2 countries are next on my list so keep an eye out for this posts too for a detailed breakdown.
      Unfortunately I’m yet to make it to Vietnam…!

      Reply
  2. Alex

    Really makes me want to go back! I traveled from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by coach over night and it was very cheap and convenient, took a sleeper train as well from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok to then get the boats and buses over to Koh Samui etc! All really affordable if you shop around! Also great way to meet people

    Reply
    • Chris

      I love travelling Thailand too – it’s so easy and you meet so many like minded backpackers! Any plans to return?

      Reply
    • Chris

      I did one up in Chang Mai Alys – personally I would maybe suggest doing the Mahut day rather than the trek – much more animal friendly and unique.

      Reply
  3. Tom

    This is a great blog – glad I found it!

    Currently planning a trip to SEA with a friend of mine in May next year. Just a quick one, in terms of travelling in and around the countries, is it best to find transport whilst you’re out there or organise it before the trip?

    Currently got a flight to/from Bangkok to Hanoi/Ho Chi Min – refraining from booking any more flights as the costs mount up! Any help appreciated.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Tom – glad I can be of some help!
      I’ve had no worries booking things on the ground out here and from people I’ve chatted too thats also the cheapest way to do it. If you’re planning on covering large amounts of ground pre booking a couple flights might be an idea – but don’t over do it so you still have flexibility.

      Reply
  4. Josh

    Awesome blog man! Planning a 3-4 month trip around SEA next summer with a friend and alone for some part so this gives me a great idea of what to expect. Can I assume the prices are relatively the same in other countries?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Cheers Josh! Yeah I’d say it’s a good starting point for all expenses around Asia – although Cambodia is a lot cheaper and Singapore is heaps more expensive! heck out my monthly summaries for June – Sept 2013 as I’ve been bouncing around Asia during that period.
      Enjoy your trip!

      Reply
  5. Rhys

    Hi Chris.

    Great insight and probably the most helpful review of Thailand that I’ve seen!

    I have a couple of questions though as my girlfriend and I are looking to go for around 2 months at the start of next year.

    Would it be best to book accommodation/travel before we go out there? Thinking more in terms of the cities (Bangkok).
    What are the best places to go to?
    Rhys recently posted..Travel Photo Of The Week – Indo Surf CharterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Rhys – stoked you found it helpful! Accommodation wise it’s pretty easy to book on the ground – that way you’re totally flexible. However I’d maybe research some places you’d like to stay and book for key parts of the trip – such as your first couple of night, last few nights and things like full moon parties etc so you get what you want!
      Places to go wise check out my Thailand mini guide posts for some ideas…

      http://www.backpackerbanter.com/blog/my-thailand-mini-guide

      Reply
  6. liz

    “Full moon party, Koh Phangan (3nights accommodation, 3 buckets and party entrance) £40” I’m finding it hard to get accommodation for less than £20 a night.

    Reply
  7. Amy Haida

    This is great information :) I go to Thailand for a month in March and have a budget of £1000, so looking at your breakdown it seems I will have a perfect amount to do everything I want! I can’t wait!!
    Thankyou!

    Reply
    • Chris

      No worries Amy – have a great time, I love it there! If you want to do any diving just drop me an email and I’ll hook you up with some discounts!

      Reply
  8. Isiah

    Hi there I am so happy I found your blog! So I am a San Franciscan and am in need of finding a beautiful place before monsoon season (everyone told me to avoid Asia during that time because of the flooding and the scenery becoming gloomy but I want to go before summer!).

    Mostly I just want to avoid too many other travelers and be in a place that is dirt cheap because all I want to do is walk around, soak up the rays at a beach, and eat local fruits and such as long as possible a month + . It’ll be my first international trip and I would backpack alone but I am okay with that!

    Could you give me locations of like the cheapest places? Also do people sleep on the beach and is it safe?

    Many thanks and I am reading as much as possible now :-)

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Isiah,
      Stoked you’re liking the blog and it’s helping you out!
      Sounds like a good plan you have there – to be honest the first place that sprung to mind was Cambodia. It’s super cheap there and places like Koh Rong Island have such a laid back vibe and are super cheap for dorms too (around $3 per night right on the beach!) so that could be a good shout. Thailand wise places like Koh Tao are good fun and you can avoid the backpacker scene on Sairee if you want to get away from it.
      When it comes to the beach I’d be wary of doing that – depends on what you have with you and where you end up though.

      Reply
  9. Kirsty

    Love your website, so helpful! We fly to Bangkok in November and want to travel down to SG – we gave ourselves 8 weeks but think we may now be over thinking that.. How long would you suggest? We are probably going to be in Thailand for Xmas/NYE, do you recommend a certain place to be? We want the party vibe but also to chill out! Help! :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Kirsty,
      Glad the blog has come in useful!
      8 weeks between Bangkok and Singapore is a good amount of time – plenty to relax, enjoy everywhere and not rush.I did it in 4 weeks (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Perhentian Islands, Phi Phi, Railay, Koh Tao and Bangkok) but I knew where I was heading and went back to places I’d visited before. You can check out the times, prices and route in this post;

      http://www.backpackerbanter.com/blog/how-to-overland-singapore-bangkok-inc-costs

      For Xmas and NYE – personally I’d suggest somewhere like Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi as they’d be heaps of fun. I’d decide sooner rather than later though as places get booked out!

      Reply
  10. James

    Cheers for the info, me and a mate have literally just made the decision to go after our last exam in May for a month! I’ve got a budget of about £1500 (including flight for £450) so you’ve given me piece of mind!

    Reply
    • Chris

      what a great way to celebrate james! Man with that budget you’ll be laughing and you’ll have way more than enough to get by! Enjoy it!

      Reply
  11. Miranda Farley

    Amazing tips! This is exactly the type of post when we were saving for our long term travels! Anyways, I’m planning to have a trip in Thailand on June. Can you give me some tips to keep in mind when traveling there?
    Miranda Farley recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

    Reply
  12. Rose Booth

    Hi Chris,
    Love the whole blog – awesome job! This page was especially useful as I am currently spending 6 weeks in Thailand! (Followed by 6 weeks on the East coast of Oz – another great page of yours!)
    I was just wondering about your dive discounts in Koh Tao as really keen but it’s quite expensive! Thanks so much,
    Rose

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Rose – glad that both pages came in handy and you’re enjoying the blog!
      Koh Tao wise I’ve just pinged you an email…

      Reply
  13. Matthew

    Great blog, too many people on various forums i’ve read scaremonger and have first time backpackers believe they’ll struggle to get by on any less than £2000 a month! As you point out, there is of course plenty of potential to spend less as there is to spend a hell of a lot more, but as a realistic starting point for a budget it’s spot on in my experience.

    Reply
    • Chris

      hahaha yeah it always seems that way – I wonder what the hell these people are spending £3k a month on in Asia!hahaha!
      Good to know you’ve had a similar budget experience there – anything you’d add to the to do list?

      Reply
  14. Deanna

    Sick job your doing Chris!.. enjoy reading your adventures and advice.

    Im heading solo to SEAsia for a few weeks in early/mid January, the only firm plans ive booked are my flights (planning on playing most my trip by ear bookings wise), however my main goal/reason for the trip is to get my dive certs and am torn on whether or not I should make those arrangements in advance. Is it insane to think I can just show up book a course, get certified and not blow my budget? What advice would you offer and of all the dive sites and company’s ive researched im having trouble deciding which is best. any help is greatly appreciated.
    De

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Deanna – stoked you’re enjoying reading about my adventures!
      The diving in Thailand is really good actually, it’s where I did most of my certifications actually and I’ve got a few reader discounts I can offer, I’ll ping you an email now about them!

      Reply
  15. Georgina

    Hi Chris,

    Great blog, really useful!

    Going to Thailand end of August for a month, I know it’s monsoon season, just wondered if you have been out there around this time and what we should expect really!

    Also if you could advise on the best places to learn to dive that would be great, never done it before but will only have a few days to spare to have a shot at it!

    Thanks
    Georgie

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Georgina, glad it could help out.
      I’ve been in Thailand during monsoon and to be honest it can be pretty hit or miss and dependant on whether you’re heading for either the east or west coast.
      Dive wise I’ve actually just launched a travel booking site – http://www.EpicGapYear.com – and I work with dive schools in Koh Tao, Phi Phi and the Similans so you can actually book direct through me if you want! I also put up a blog on where in Thailand is best to scuba dive based on price v dive sites which will help you with your decision;

      http://www.epicgapyear.com/where-to-dive-in-thailand/

      If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them!

      Reply
    • Chris

      Cheers Ryan! It IS possible in theory to get by on that little – however you’d be renting an apartment up in Chang Mai and not really doing much in the way of travelling or adventure!

      Reply
  16. Austin

    Best information I’ve found. Very good insight on all major parts. Thanks mate.

    Reply
  17. Adil

    Thanks for this man. Ive been planning a trip to Thailand and SEAsia for the past year(s) and it’s finally coming together. Tickets, money, and time off…. But then military coup! Do you think that will pose a problem for travelers?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Adil,
      By all accounts and from chatting to buddies in Thailand at the moment all is good on the tourist trail – just try to spend a short period of time in Bangkok and stick to the more tourist/backpacker areas. Spots like Chang Mai and down on the island seems pretty unaffected though. Keep an eye on the news and the latest government advice though.

      Reply
  18. Amy

    Thanks Chris for all this information; its brilliant.
    So helpful. I’m planning on travelling from Bangkok to Singapore and this is so useful and with the rough guides on cost.
    Big thanks :)

    Reply
  19. abhishek

    hiii Chris
    thank you so much for this information
    I’m also planning for Bangkok phuket and pattaya trip I’ll be there in September for around 20 days. I have never been there before so can you give me some suggestion where I must go during this trip . I’m planning for normal city tour of bangkok wants to explore its city temple culture night life malls and street food too.
    my friends say I must visit Chang mai also but I wonder if it would be possible within. 20 days of time . I have a budget of US $ 1000 only

    Reply
  20. Myfanwy Hughes

    Brilliant, this is just what I have been looking for. A friend and I are off to Thailand at the end of August for 3 weeks and we are dead excited for about food, weather and everything else.

    By the way, what budget hostel/hotel/guesthouse would you recommend in Bangkok? We are in Bangkok for the first couple of nights and will be ending our trip back in the capital. We’ve booked our hotel for the first leg of the trip, but have left our last few nights in Bangkok open.

    Reply
    • Chris

      You’ll have an awesome time!
      Accommodation wise in Bangkok I recommend a couple depending on the location and budget you have;

      – Rikka Inn
      – Nap Park
      – Lub D Silom (there’s a 10% discount on my review of them)

      Safe travels!

      Reply
  21. Sara

    This post has given me so much food for thought, thank you! I’ve been to Thailand and Malaysia, and it’s funny to think how different they were in terms of accommodation that you can get for your budget…I woke up with a roach hissing at me from the pillow next to me in Malaysia, and it was officially THE worst wake-up I’ve ever had!

    Definitely adding this to my Chrome bookmarks for future reference, thank you!

    Sara | This Girl Loves
    Sara recently posted..Glastonbury Festival 2014My Profile

    Reply
    • Chris

      Indeed it can vary hugely depending on how much you spend hey? Man I wouldn’t want that wake up!haha!

      Reply
  22. Charllotte

    My partner and I are going over Christmas and New Years for a month, I’m already an open water qualified diver but he wants to learn and I’d love to become advanced. Any advice on where we can both do it?

    Thanks xx

    Reply
  23. Nelly

    This is a perfect blog with precise breakdown prices, thank-you Chris!
    I need some advice regarding a trip from UK to Thailand to Australia.
    I’m thinking two weeks in Bangkok and then a week in Sydney with the return flight from Bangkok.

    Any advice on a rough cost, whether it’s better to book a flight from Bangkok to Australia whilst I’m there and the best/cheapest time complete this?

    Reply
    • Chris

      No worries Nelly!
      It’s a big leap for a week in Sydney from there – any reason for putting Oz into the equation? If you’re looking at doing that though you can get it all into a single ticket – simply open up the Bangkok stopover on the way out. If you can’t find a decent price on that then Air Asia fly Bangkok to Sydney and are pretty cheap – I’d get it sorted before you leave the UK though. Give STA Travel a shout.

      Reply
  24. Lawrence

    Great blog, really helpful!

    I’ve made an idea of a bucket list of what I want to do in my month of venturing out to Thailand.

    Would you suggest I use planes rather than buses to ensure I don’t waste time travelling and can fit more into my trip?

    Things to do on Thailand:
    *Zip lining in Bangkok (Flight of the Gibbon)
    *Phi Phi island speedboat, Phuket
    *Sea Cave Canoe in Phang Nga Hong
    *James Bond island Phang Nga
    *Get a Sak-Yant or bamboo tattoo in Phi Phi
    *Elephant trek Chiang Mai
    *Snorkelling in Koh Tao (Turtle Island) (Koh Samui)
    *Kayak Pai river to Mae Hong Son
    *Stay in the floating hotels, Khao Sok
    *Tiger temple, Kanchanaburi

    Also are the activities in the best order location wise to travel from one to the other?

    Would appreciate any help,

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hi Lawrence,
      Indeed internal flights can cut down travel time alot, it depends if your budget allows it though. I’d say that was in a good order although I’d do Bangkok – Chang Mai before getting a flight from Chang Mai to Phuket and then onto Phi Phi.
      The only other thing I’d point out would be to research your elephant trek and tiger temple. Personally I’m not an advocate of either due to the treatment of animals – so check out some online articles before contributing to it.
      Have a great time though!

      Reply
  25. stacey

    Hi me & my boyfriend are going to Thailand in january & plan to go from bangkok-north thailand-laos-cambodia & southern thailand within 5/6 weeks do you think this is doable within this time frame and will £4000 be enough of a budget?
    from there we are then going to Oz with a 12 month working visa, do you think this is the right way to go about it?

    Thanks x

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Stacey,

      That budget should be more than enough for the 2 of you for less than 2 months! Location wise I’d maybe concentrate on 2 countries (Thailand and Cambodia would be my pick) as there’s plenty to keep you busy and the last thing you want to do is rush through everything. On your budget you could well be able to add in some extra time to be able to cover all 3 though.

      Have a great time!

      Reply
    • Chris

      I’d say Australia is going to be the biggest budget buster there – depends what you want to get up too really. A month doing all the key things on the East Coast will be around £1,800 where as the month in Thailand is heaps cheaper. Return flights to Oz – roughly around £1k each (depends on what time of year you go) …all in as a rough guess I’d say you’re looking at £4.5k each for a couple month in Oz, month in Thailand and flights etc – although it will boil down to what you want to do and the standard of accommodation you want.

      Reply
  26. Deanna

    yo!
    approx. how long is the trip from Bangkok to Koh Tao via Night bus and Ferry combo? Previously you recommended booking this through the lil agency by the McD’s on Khao San Road (which ill do), just curious about the travel time? Thanx, as always your info is super helpful

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Deanna, it’s about 12 hours in total I think, doing it on Sat so I’ll let you know! Glad the sites helping you out.

      Reply
  27. Chason

    Hey I’m travelling to Thailand in January. this is my fist time solo backpacking and also my first time to Asia. what kind of things do you recommend doing? any input would be appreciated. thanks

    Reply
  28. Jenna

    Hi Chris,
    I’m travelling to Thailand for a month and was wondering what the best way to carry my money is? I’ve tried looking online but everyone seems to say something different. Is it best to take out all the money that i plan to spend out there before hand or should i just accept the bank charges and keep it in my bank account?
    Any advice would be very welcomed!
    Many thanks,
    Jenna

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Jenna,
      I wouldn’t suggest carrying that much cash on you, massive risk! I personally use the STA Cashcard and preload my money on, yes you have withdrawal charges but I think it’s worth it to manage your money safely and easily. I’d also suggest keeping another bank card in a separate place as a backup too and land with a bit of local cash to cover taxi from the airport, accommodation and a meal – the last thing you want to be doing when you land is finding an ATM!

      Reply
  29. Justine

    I’ve never backpacked before although I’ve travelled extensively. Where is the best place to start & how much money should I have to begin?

    Thanks indeed!

    Reply
    • Chris

      hey Justine, it really depends on what you want to get up to and how long you want to go for really! Australia is a nice start as it’s easy to get around, but is expensive. Asia on the other hand is a bit more exotic and cheaper. Might be worth getting a map and figuring out a list of countries that take your fancy!

      Reply
  30. Jacob

    Great advise mate! I’m landing in Singapore in March time 2015 and then we plan to make our way through Kuala Lumpur to Phuket and venture through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, we have 6 weeks for this would you recommend more time or would you say this is a good time scale? As I don’t want to leave with any regrets of missing anything!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Jacob,
      Sounds like a great route! Personally though if you can take more time that would be great, I easily spend a month in Thailand or Cambodia on their own! My advice would be to either focus on 2 countries (maybe Thailand or Cambodia which over 6 weeks is a great itinerary) or to take a bit longer. You could do most of it in 6 weeks but it would involve dropping the beginning bit in Sing/KL or cutting out either Cambodia or Laos (I’d suggest Laos if this is the case!)

      Reply
  31. Chris Wilson

    now then chris… great name btw :P I am wanting to travel around thailand on my own, and maybe see Cambodia and Vietnam,

    Where do you think is a good starting point, I want to go to the full moon party and learn to dive around koi samui, but dont know if i should start at bangkok and travel down then back up or fly to phuket and travel up, no idea which way would be better to meet other travellers

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey guy with the awesome name ;)
      To be honest you cant really go wrong with either direction so I guess it’ll be dictated by the Full Moon date you want to hit. If you can organise it I’d maybe start in Bangkok, head into Cambodia and up through Vietnam the fly back into Bangkok and have the diving and Full Moon as your last blow out of the trip?
      Diving wise head to Koh Tao as it’s great fun, you can actually book your open water on my booking site – EpicGapYear.com – let me know if you have any questions about it!

      Reply
  32. Tianna T

    Hey Chris! This, and your whole site has been such a help to me and my travel buddy! In March we`re heading out to Iceland, then Germany, then ending in Thailand until we go broke – LOL. An odd mix, but just being graduated sounded like a good time to leave Canada for a bit. Thanks for all the awesome info! Please keep it coming.
    All the best!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Tianna,
      Stoked the site has helped you out! What a great choice of countries, you’ll have a blast! For Iceland don’t forget to check out my review of Loft Hostel as there’s a 10% discount code you can use too!
      Safe travels!

      Reply
  33. James McDonald

    Hey dude. I’m curious what you did to carry your money? Did you take majority cash, were you using a bank card? Or did you opt for one of those travel cards?

    Apologise if you’ve been asked this already.

    Reply
    • Chris

      No worries James! I always take a bit of cash (enough to cover an airport taxi, checking into accommodation and a meal) as you never want to land somewhere strange and immediately start looking for a cash point! The rest of the time I use an STA Travel Cashcard to manage my money with a UK Debit card as a backup. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • Chris

      Always heading back that way hey Stephen?! Looks like I’ll be back in Oz or NZ by Feb

      Reply
  34. Chloe

    Hey, this blog is so useful! Would you say travelling as a couple would make the price of accommodation cheaper? Me and my boyfriend are looking into booking flights for August for 4 weeks but could probably only take around £1000 for spends between us and the back up credit card :-/

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Chloe, glad you’re liking the blog!
      Hmmmm travelling as a couple doesn’t really save you money, but it does allow you to get private rooms for almost the same price as 2 dorm beds.IF you’ve got £1k between you after flights I’d think about maybe cutting it down to 3 week or even 2 depending on what you want to do trip wise out there. I always advise that its better to do somewhere on a shorter time frame and do everything you want than to simply travel for longer just to be away for longer – there’s nothing worse than finding yourself in rubbish accommodation and not being able to do anything as you’ve overstretched your budget!
      Hope that helps – let me know how you get on!

      Reply
  35. Daniel

    Great advise and really useful. I’m going to be doing my PADDI open water in Thailand. Where would you say is the best place to do it?

    Reply
  36. DanR

    Hi. Very helpful stuff on here ..
    I’m going thiland in june for 8-12 weeks. I’m travelling alone. I was wondering if I could get away with literally landing in Bangkok and getting help planning my route when I get there? I have a decent budget but was wondering is there things I’m best to book before I leave like full moon party etc?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Dan, glad the post was helpful!
      Indeed you can land and wing it from Bangkok – it’s very easy to book accommodation and transport on the ground out there. Key events and trips (like full moon or dive courses) are best booked before you head out though, more for peace of mind knowing they’re sorted than anything else!

      Reply
  37. Chris

    Hi,

    If you dont mind me asking how much did you save to go?
    Im looking to travel as much as i can and work abroad hope your good?
    Cris Roberts

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Cris,
      I had about £5k saved up before I started my trip – which was meant to be 4 months in South America, 2 months in Asia and a working visa in NZ – however it snowballed along the way!haha! Check out my post entitled “How The Hell Do I afford All This Travel” which explains all the jobs I’ve done to fund my adventures :)

      Reply
  38. DanR

    OK thankyou! When you say book before I leave would that be accommodation aswell as event tickets to the full moon? I also plan to do a dive corse just for the experience. Do you have any links where to book for these events? cheers

    Reply
  39. Bill

    Hey Chris,

    Was going through the comments & your awesome blog, it was very helpful.
    But i was just wondering to visit Thailand this coming July for a week with my girl friend & our budget is of 1000 $ (650 GBP). Do you think is it fair enough for partying, drinking, traveling around, shopping etc. As we are not planning to buy expensive stuff nor posh hotels or resorts. What about full moon party, is it taking place at a certain time of a year/month or everynight?

    Your reply will be appreciated..thnx alot :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Bill,
      Stoked the site is helping you out!
      If you’re only there for a week I think that should cover you pretty well, especially if you’re not going with posh accom and meals! Always better to over budget though! Full moon is once a month but there is also a black moon jungle party half way through each month too.

      Reply
      • Bill

        Awesome Chris, much appreciated for your reply.. Surely will keep some extra money on top for backup… Excited & cant wait to get their. Thanxxxx once again :)

      • Chris

        No worries – always best to be pessimistic when it comes to budgeting!haha!

  40. TANVA

    This blog is Amezing!!!!!
    I’m planing to travel to Thailand in June. And this blog helped me a lot..

    Thakns Guys….

    Reply
  41. Gemma

    Hey! So glad I found your site as I had no idea price wise what to expect to need in Thailand and Aus.

    Me and my friend are looking to land in Bangkok next year and spend a month travelling (Bangkok, Phucket, Phi Phi, Chaing Mai) however I’m completely unsure how to get from place to place. Would you recommend booking my first few night accomodation in Bangkok before hand?

    Then we plan on travelling back to Bangkok and flying to Sydney for a month! :D
    Again, thankyou so much for your blog posts. So helpful!!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Gemma, glad the posts helped you out!
      Personally I wasn’t a fan of Phuket – I’d maybe slot in Railay Beach or Koh Tao instead, depends what you like doing though!
      Yup I’d definitely sort a few nights in BKK for when you land (check out Lub D, there’s a 10% discount code in my review of them!), it’s super easy to bounce from place to place and sort tickets out on the ground, most hostels can do it or have a travel company they use who can.
      Enjoy!

      Reply
  42. Jack

    Hi Chris,

    I’m planning on going to Thailand from June 9th to July 14th with a friend for a short travelling holiday. I expect to have about £1500 for myself for my stay. (not including flights which I have already booked)
    I want to possibly try Laos and Cambodia, and possibly Vietnam which we have discussed booking external fights for. We want to do some activities and of course the obligatory full moon party, do you think that this will cover this?

    Also, your blog is really great and has already helped me lots in my preparation… Thanks!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Jack,
      Yeah I’d say your budget should be fine for that, although it will depend how much you end up spending on accommodation more than anything else. One thing I would say is try not to cram too many places/countries into your trip – I always find it better to spend a bit more time to explore and enjoy your trip than bounce around heaps simply to tick things off the list! With the 5 weeks you have maybe 3 weeks in Thailand and 2 in Cambodia?

      Reply
  43. adrian

    hey chris,
    your blogs are amazing dude!
    im off to thailand in 2 weeks, was planning on thailand, cambodia and vietnam for 3 months solo with a budget of around £4000, but that has had to be cut to £3000 cos of unexpected expenses.

    do you think thats doable? i’m not bothered about how nice the hostels are as long as there a bit sociable to meet fellow travellers and no blood stains( or other stains) on the mattress or rats lol

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Adrian,
      Glad you like the blog!
      Yeah I’d say you’d be fine on £3k although it depends if you have any big spends planned? Even still you’d have to be living the high life to smash £1k a month out there as Cambodia is even cheaper than Thailand so you can use that post overview as a rough guide for budgetting them all.
      Let me know how you get on!

      Reply
      • Adrian

        Yeah, got no big spending plans like scuba diving etc. plus the fact I’m a lightweight on the booze will prob help!
        I’m mainly just goin there to chill out, landing in Bangkok then slowly heading north then back down to Cambodia, then I will either go Vietnam or a bit of island hopping in Thailand!

      • Chris

        Sounds like a solid plan bro – let me know how you get on!

  44. Laura Knowles

    Hi Chris,

    Love all your blogs, so helpful.

    I’m going to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for 3 months with my partner and had a budget of £5000 each but we’ve decided we want to go do our working visa over in Oz straight after instead of coming back to England.

    I was wondering, as now obviously our budget is going to be halved due to moving to Oz, will £5000 between us be enough for the two of us for our 90 day stint in SE Asia?

    Any help would be muchly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Laura

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Laura,
      Stoked to hear you’re bouncing to Oz – good times! Hmmm is that each? If not I think you should be ok, just keep it in mind when choosing accomodation and trips though. Let me know how you get on!

      Reply
  45. Gabby

    Hey Chris! Your blog is so amazingly helpful and I’ve read almost all of your posts! I’ve done a lot of backpacking, but this will be my first time trying to conquer SE Asia, hitting everywhere from New Zealand to India. I’ll be heading out there next February with no time limit and no budget restrictions. How do I go about planning a trip this monstrous? Any places I absolutely can’t miss?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Gabby, stoked the site is helping you out!
      No time limit and no budget?! Well you could always take me along for the ride!hahahahaha!
      Well I guess the main things you can do is make a list of countries you want to hit up and also a start and finish point. Once you’ve got this grab a map and see how you can piece things together, maybe buy the first few connecting flights (maybe base it around visa time limits so you make the most of each place but know your time restrictions too) and also start researching some top to do items, which will add some more detail to the picture.
      You’ve got plenty of time to plan, it’s a case of breaking it down place by place!
      If you need any help drop me an email or checking out my travel planning service :)

      Reply
    • Chris

      Hey guys, stoked you like the post! Ooh Thailand v Canada hey?! Will have to check that out!

      Reply
  46. Walter Pinem

    WOW, for a month?!
    Never think to spend a month in Thailand, or anywhere oversea especially for a trip.
    You provided detailed things in this post, Chris.
    Very good reference if needed in my future trip.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Charlie – actually it was a dorm bed in a quaint little hostel up in Chang Mai! Yeah with budgeting it’s always best to go higher, especially if you’re cramming lots of trips and activities – although many people will easily spend less!

      Reply
  47. Caroline

    Hey Chris loving ur blog it’s helping me plan our adventure!! me and my partner are planing on traveling in December 3wks in Oz then bali for NYE, Malaysia, thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, great wall of China, Tokyo to finish roughly 4 ~5 months travelling we’ve got £5K each do u think this is doable? Or any other advice would be great ☺

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Caroline,
      Wow that sounds like a pretty epic trip! I personally recommend around £1k per month of travel – spots like Oz are more expensive but Asia is obviously cheaper so it tends to balance out. Given the bulk of your trip is in Asia I can’t see your budget being stretched too much, although it depends what kind of style of travel you like and if there’s any big experience you’re doing in there

      Reply
  48. S.Delsey

    Hi Chris,

    I’m planning to go to Thailand in 2016 to do my PADI, is Koh Tao the best place for it or would you recommend any other place?

    Cheers
    Stof

    Reply
    • Chris

      Koh Tao is the best option in terms of price, it’s one of the cheapest spots in the world to do your PADI. Personally I prefer the diving in Koh Phi Phi but the courses are more expensive, so it depends on your budget. Check out epicgapyear.com/dive for all the details!

      Reply
  49. Leroy Roberts

    Ive gotta say mate I booked 9 weeks in Thailand for April next year today and I’m a bit nervous of going on my own and internal travel stuff but at the prices you put in here it really seems a doddle!! Aswell as cheap as chips!! I will be in Thailand just as the Songkran starts then plan to head to Krabi and Phi Phi…..Still undecided as to going to Phuket as it may be a bit like Magaluf for me i prefer quiet beautiful places with like minded travellers…….If you have any tips for that please let me know buddy! :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Leyroy, stoked its helped put your mind at ease – it’s an epic country to explore! Personally I’d avoid Phuket as it is how you describe it! Spots like Phi Phi, Railay and Koh Tao are always on my to do list when I’m out there!

      Reply
      • Leroy Roberts

        In regards to the elephant trek it is something i want to to where you spend a lot of time with the animals as you said a 3 day/2 night trek do you have any info on that for me as Chiang Mai is going to be my first destination after Bangkok……Thanks buddy!

      • Chris

        Hey Leroy, unfortunately I don’t on the elephant side of things. I don’t really endorse the elephant treks anymore due to animal welfare but there are some amazing sanctuaries where you can interact with them and volunteer :)

    • Chris

      Cheers for the link bro…always appreciated! Yeah keeping track of money is a bore, but it seems something find heaps useful so I’ve made it part of my workload!haha!

      Reply
  50. Adam

    Hi! Heading to SE Asia from mid Nov till around late Feb/March. Taking £4,500-£5000.

    Will be checking out Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam but most of the time will be spent in Thailand.

    What is the best way to take money? To take advantage of the best exchange rate and not losing out on transaction fees. Heard a lot of different things.

    Any help would be great!
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Adam

      PS – When paying for hotels is it best to have English money on a card and use that? Or have THB on a travel card, or just try and use cash everywhere?

      I’ve pre-booked a few places on Booking.com and I know they’ll take some cash out for the reservation before I get there anyway.

      Thanks!

      Reply
      • Chris

        Again it depends on the fees attached to the card – my STA card is pretty solid when I need to pay via chip and pin :)

    • Chris

      Hey Adam,
      Stoked to hear about your trip, SEAsia is amazing! Hmmmm dealing with money is always annoying – personally I use the STA Travelcard and have a UK debit as a backup. Have a look around at credit and debit cards from the country you’re from that might work out best…but that’s the combo that works for me!

      Reply
      • Adam

        Hi again Chris! Hope all is well.

        I went and got an STA card, gonna check out that and my Natwest debit out there and see how I get on.. The guy in the STA store said they have really good exchange rates when using the card at an ATM.. But after reading about it online people seem to be slamming it saying the rates are pretty poor. What’s been your experience of it generally? Regarding exchange rates?

        Cheeeeeeeeers! Adam

      • Chris

        Hey Adam,
        To be honest I’ve been using it for years and have only had a few problems – you’ll get pretty screwed with most exchange rates but it’s a solid one for multiple currencies. Check out moneysavingexpert.com for an in depth look at cards available in the UK as you might be able to get a solid credit card too

  51. Maria

    Hey I’m planning to go to thailand for 6 weeks starting from the beginning of June. I would also like to spend 1-11/2 weeks of this time in bali and a visit to komodo island.

    I want to back pack from Bangkok around thailand like you suggested and then fly to bali then back to Bangkok.

    I’m going stay in very cheap accommodations with my friend and only buy street food. I don’t want to do anything to expensive like diving but my a visit to a spar or temple or animal sanctuary etc.

    How much do you think my budget(not including flights) should be?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Maria,
      Sounds like an awesome trip you have planned there!
      Hmmmm budget wise the biggest expense is going to be Komodo and the cost of that really depends on which tour you book. I’d recommend around £700-900 for the 6 weeks, it should easily be enough given your accom and food plans but with enough spare incase something happens!

      Reply
      • Maria

        Hi,

        Thanks so much for the advice but due to pricing and culture we were thinking of going to cambodia instead .

        If we went away for 6 weeks and spend 12 days of it in cambodia and the rest in thailand how much do you think it would cost compared to spending 2 months there splitting the time evenly between thailand and Cambodia?

  52. Maria

    Hi again,

    I was just wondering if going in July and August how will I be affected by the monsoon season?

    Will there be no sun or flooding? Should of try to pick another time to go?

    Thanks

    Reply
  53. rahul Gogawale

    what is that currency…? I’m.not aware of that… n can you tell me in rupees…?Indian…

    Reply
    • Chris

      All currencies are listed in £GBP – check out xe.com if you need to convert it :)

      Reply
  54. Stephanie Nicole

    Wow thanks for the awesome post! I’m getting ready to travel all over Thailand after living in a small town in the northeast of Thailand for 4 months. Please check out my blog myforeignconnections.com

    Reply
  55. Becky

    Hiya chris
    So my boyfriend and I are planing to go to Thailand for two months.jan till beginging of march. we are planing to go to Chaing Mai then head to Bangkok spend time there; then Bangkok to Cambodia for only 4 days as our 30 day visa will run out so hoping out of thailand. Then hoping to go back to Bangkok to travel down to Kao Tao then from there do ko samui then ko samui to Phuket town. As we will fly back from there. Could you give me any advise of how much I would need roughly? We are not wanting to do all the attractions. Just elephant trekking and tiger Kingdom. And we are not fussed about expensive places to stay. Thank you

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Becky,
      Stoked to hear about your plans – you should think about spending some more time in Cambodia too though, it’s an amazing place.
      Personally I don’t agree with the elephant trekking or Tiger Kingdom as they’re pretty dire in terms of animal welfare – there are much more rewarding and ethical ways to see the nature in South East Asia :)

      Reply
  56. Yll

    Hey Chris can i ask you something?
    How much money need to stay in Kah Tao for three weeks we are two I and a friend
    With good hotel, breakfast etc., and doing something for example scuba-diving.

    Sorry my english hahah

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Yll – hmmmm it really depends on the level of accommodation you guys are wanting as they have everything from hotels or hostels and over 3 weeks that will be your main cost aside from scuba diving. Hostels are from about £5 a bed per night upwards

      Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Yll – you can easily book a bus/ferry combo pass whilst in Bangkok, many hostel and hotels offer the service and there are also heaps of travel agencies around the Khao San Road area.

      Reply
  57. Yll

    Brohh answer to that question above if you can😊

    I like to stay in a hotel with good accommodition and to do twice or three scuba-diving.
    Is it enough 1300€ for a month or three weeks in one of the best beaches in Koh Tao…

    I appreciate your answer😊

    Reply
  58. Rodrigo

    Hello! We are a couple with two children, one of 10 and another of 4 years and we are going to Thailand to spend 30 days. We would like to know if with THB 100000 just for food, drink and transportation we managed to get through this period.
    Transport would be taxis and boats to the beaches as we will stay in Krabi, Railay, Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
    Anyway, this value is only for fun since travel and lodging are paid for.
    Thank you :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Rodrigo – it really comes down to where you’re going to be eating (street food v restaurants) and what kind of day trips you’ll be doing. If travel and accom are paid for though I’d say it was a pretty healthy budget to be working with! Have an awesome trip!

      Reply
  59. JooJoobs

    Its 2017 and these prices are still accurate.

    $1000 USD easily lasts a month in Thailand, just so long as aren’t in the more higher end resort spots.

    Chiang Mai or Bangkok, can easily be achieved on this budget.

    ~bibi

    Reply
    • Chris

      Yeah I’ve just come back from my latest visit there and I’m happy to see prices are still pretty cheap!

      Reply
  60. Harpreet

    Hello!

    This article is great – thank you for compiling all the information. Do you have any more information on prices for the PADI open water course? We’re looking at doing it in Koh Tao.

    Thanks,
    Harpreet

    Reply
  61. Nicholas

    Great Sharing, Chris.
    I am on my way to Vietnam now, But definitely I would add up Thailand as a must-go-place on this trip now.
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  62. Claire Benson

    Thanks for this Chris!
    Really detailed and informative! Great links too!
    Just what I needed to help me plan my 1st ever solo trip!
    :) Claire

    Reply
  63. Konkan

    You have given a complete traveler guide with exact budget. I will be traveling Thailand end of this year. £25 per day is good budget and affordable for me.

    I will be traveling from India to Thailand, so i think air fare are much lower for us. I also want to experience scuba diving which is in my do-list from past 4 years ;)

    Elephant jungle trek will be also a adventurous.

    Reply
  64. Matt

    Awesome article!
    I just got back from Bangkok.
    I would highly recommend for night owls and clubbers!
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  65. Lesley

    Great tips! I’m heading to Thailand next month and it will be the first time I’m traveling there without my daughter. I feel like I can really experience the culture on this trip, but I’ll be staying for three weeks so I needed a few tips to travel cheap.

    Reply

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