How Much Money Do I Need For Thailand


Travel money for ThailandHow much money do you need for that backpacking trip to Thailand?  Here are some rough numbers of various travel necessities to help you figure out your own budget so you can decide how much money to take to Thailand.

Prices quoted throughout this article are in Thai baht however as a rough guide 1 US $ equals 30 baht.  For a more accurate conversion, you may like to use the handy exchange rate calculator in the sidebar.

You should also shop around for the cheapest flights to Thailand.  Chasing down the cheapest price for your flight to Thailand is vital if you’re on a backpacking budget. No matter where you are going or when during the year you are going there, you are bound to find some great deals if you simply take the time to research and explore as many options as possible.

Looking for cheap flights to Thailand? Try AirfaresFlights


Food and accommodation

Food won’t be more than about $10 to $15 per day unless you’re dining out in restaurants a lot. You can get super cheap food from street vendors, like Pad Thai for around 30 baht, and you can dine permanently on their delicious food if you want to be super budget conscious and don’t mind eating on the street. Similarly, there are lots of supermarkets where you can buy bread etc if you want to make your own meals, although it’ll be difficult to store anything unless you have a fridge.

Remember to drink LOTS of water – at least 2-3 litres a day, more if perspiring a lot.

Accommodation will be around 1000 – 1200 baht a day if you want a hotel with a swimming pool and air conditioning. It depends on what you consider acceptable. You will always pay a premium for air-conditioning.  For guesthouses, especially around Khao San Road in Bangkok or away from the major centres in Thailand, expect to pay around 200 baht and up for a guesthouse room.


Alcohol and cigarettes

Most people come to Thailand to party, so it’s worth bearing in mind going out on the town can take up a bit of your budget. Beer and cigarettes are very cheap from any 7-11 convenience store – around 50 baht for a big bottle of chang beer and 100 baht for a pack of cigarettes. In bars, small bottled beers are around 70 baht and spirits around the same. Again, it depends where you go – it’s always cheap in the sidewalk bars, but if you go to the bigger places, you can expect to pay 150 bahr for a beer and 300 baht a cocktail.  Budget for spending 1000 to 2000 baht on drinks for a big night out.


Travel costs

As Thailand is quite a large country, traveling around can cost a lot more than most people anticipate, either in terms of time or money.  The large distances to cover if you want to go from Bangkok in the centre to Chiang Mai in the north and then the islands of Koh Samuii and Koh Phangan and perhaps down to the South to Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Island.

Buses and trains are cheap and are usually best caught on overnight trips, which will then also save you a night’s accommodation. A train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is around 1000 baht depending on what class you choose. A long bus journey, e.g. Bangkok to Phuket, is around 800 baht. Estimating each long journey as 1000 Baht if you go overland is probably a good rule of thumb. To get out to the islands, like Koh Phangan, you will find many travel agents on Khao San Road that offer all-in-one bus and ferry combo tickets – these also go for around 1000 baht.


Internet access

Internet access is readily available in all the big cities in Thailand. Wifi access in Bangkok is also increasingly prevalent, sometimes for free. On the islands you will have much slower access to the internet. The cost is usually 1 baht a minute on average.  Unless using your own laptop, always be very cautious of doing internet banking from internet cafe’.



Everyone loves to shop and Thailand in a shoppers delight.  There are endless opportunities for buying interesting stuff at bargain prices in Thailand, especially in the markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market, the Chiang Mai night bazaar. Clothes, trinkets, ornaments – you name it, you can probably find it at the markets. You might want to put aside an additional allowance for buying all those trinkets and T shirts.

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Updated: September 10, 2011 by admin

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