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.
How Much Money To Budget For A Month In Thailand
Accommodation In Thailand
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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!
- How Much To Budget For A Month In New Zealand
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Australia
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Bali & Indonesia
- How Much To Budget For A Month In The Philippines
- How Much To Budget For A Month In Cambodia
- How To Travel The Maldives On A Budget
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**