How much does a holiday in Thailand cost? Why is it such a popular destination? Many say it is very cheap there. Others say it's not as cheap as it once was. Let me tell you about our expenses for two weeks in Thailand.
We started with the amount of €3000 for two people. That's about how much I read that two-week vacation costs you in total. We started with this amount in mind and tried to see where we could save, we read a lot to be documented, we did it ourselves where we could, and we bought what we could online. We managed to come up with a final budget of €2400 for both of us.
Our itinerary in Thailand
I spent a total of two weeks on vacation in Thailand. We started with 4 days in Chiang Mai, 3 days in Bangkok, 4 days in Krabi, and the last two days in Phuket. On the way out I had a flight with Qatar Madrid – Doha – Chiang Mai and on the way back Phuket – Doha – Madrid. We chose to return from Phuket, but we would have been better off flying back from Krabi. After reading more, I came to the conclusion that we better stay in Krabi than Phuket, as it's a bit quieter and cheaper.
Airplane – 1000€
Since last fall, good deals have started appearing on Qatar Airways for Thailand from Madrid. That means an extremely comfortable one-stop flight to Doha. Until then such a flight cost around €700 per person, and with these offers, it reached €500. I took advantage on the spot and bought the tickets, €1000 for both of us for December! To Chiang Mai and back from Phuket. The cost was the same even if we had bought the Madrid - Bangkok - Madrid flight, and it saved us some domestic flights.
Of course, after a week or so, the offers dropped even lower, and the tickets reached about €370... Please, they were €370 at the agencies, directly on the Qatar website they were €400, but it's still quite a big difference. We only consoled ourselves with the fact that for the dates we had chosen, December 12-26, the prices had increased.
Domestic flights – €120
I bought two domestic flights: Chiang Mai – Bangkok and Bangkok – Krabi, both with Thai Lion Air. Each flight cost €30 per person. I chose Thai Lion because they offered free checked baggage. We both had one suitcase in the hold, a small troller, and the rest each a backpack. But it helped to have luggage included so we didn't have to stress about cramming everything into backpacks.
Accommodation – €306 for 13 nights
We paid a total of €306 for 13 nights of accommodation, which means an average of €23.5 per night. Some hotels cost more, some less. We didn't want to stay in who knows what resorts, but we didn't want to stay in hostels either, so we chose the middle path, some decent and somewhat cheap hotels. In Chiang Mai, I stayed for 15-16€ per night, in Bangkok for 45€ per night, in Krabi for 13€ per night, and in Phuket for 31€ per night.
In Bangkok, I stayed at a very nice hotel, Feung Nakorn, which I highly recommend. It is in the old town area, next to the Grand Palace, 1km from Khao San Road. A bit far from the subway or BTS, but close to other sights in the center.
In Krabi, we stayed at Naka Mountain View Resort, close to Ao Nang, but I don't necessarily recommend it because it's a bit far and you need a scooter to get around. I would choose something closer to Ao Nang beach so that there is no need for transportation. For example, I found some hotels with fairly good reviews and low prices: Yellow Sun Guest House, Green View Village Resort or The Ri Hotel. Or if you prefer hostels, with shared bathrooms, these two look very good (usually I have noticed that hostels are newer buildings and look much better than many 3-star hotels), they have good reviews and prices even from 5 euros per person per night: Pop-In Hostel and Stay Over Hostel.
In Phuket, I chose accommodation close to Nai Yang beach, very close to the airport, at Slow life Beach Guest house. It's a very quiet area, not very attractive, but in full development, a lot of construction was going on when we were there. The accommodation was great, and right next to the guesthouse is a bakery owned by a Frenchman who settled there. I'm just telling you that Thai food is really good, but it's absolutely wonderful to eat croissants for breakfast!
Food – 250€
The food cost us a total of €250, with an average of €17.8 per day for two people. I saved quite a lot here, without necessarily intending to because I ate street food often. I also went to the restaurant a few times, and I also ate fast food (it should be noted that the food at Mcdonald's was much more expensive than the Thai food!). But street food is part of their culture, and it was really good. At least in Chiang Mai, we ate our fill at the Night Market, where everything was clean, and in Ao Nang, we found a stall of Muslim women who cooked amazingly, and we never parted from them, every night we had dinner there.
Street food, for example, a portion of pad thai noodles, costs about 60-80 thb (€1.5 – 2), although I have also seen around 30 thb at street stalls in areas more frequented by locals. At the restaurant, a dish starts from about 150 thb (€4). And at Mcdonald's, the menu was 100 thb in Bangkok, instead in Ao Nang it was double, 200 thb (€5.2). At Burger King, it was even more expensive, with about 300 thb the menu.
Transport – €146
In the transport category, we have included taxis, tuk-tuks, scooter rentals, ferries, and Bangkok's BTS. The amounts are not very large, but they add up. The most notable is for the ferry from Krabi to Phuket, 700 thb per person, which we would have avoided if we had flown back from Krabi.
- In Chiang Mai, the transport cost us €19 in 4 days. Of these, €12 went to the taxi between the hotel and the airport (150 thb on arrival and 300 thb on departure, somehow on departure it was more expensive because, they told us, it was night). The rest went on renting a scooter for a day (250 thb) and half a tank of fuel to it.
- In Bangkok, the transport cost us 48€ in total. The taxi from Don Mueang airport to the hotel was 331 thb, an amount that is communicated to you at the airport and then a driver is assigned to you. When I left back to the airport it was 370 thb after putting the machine. They don't really agree to put the device on, and that's why I asked them at the hotel to call us a taxi. I thought he was going to call one on the phone, but out of nowhere, a boy came out into the street and stopped one. I imagine he asked him to put the device on.
We took the taxi twice, once we paid 100 thb, we still had a few km to the hotel, but no one wanted to take us, until we agreed to pay what they asked. Another time I paid 300 thb to Victory Monument, without the camera of course.
I used the BTS and the metro a few times, here you pay according to how many stops you go to. At BTS you can buy tickets from a machine, but you have to pay only with coins there, or at the counter where you tell them where you want to go and they calculate it there.
- Ayutthaya - Also in the transport category we also included the road to Ayutthaya, we went by minibus and it cost us 120 thb per person round trip. In Ayutthaya, I took a tuk tuk for about two hours and negotiated it to 250 thb. Negotiated is a lot said, from what I had read we could get him for 300 thb for the whole day, but the guy didn't give in and in the end we gave in, because we were tired.
- Krabi - In Krabi the transport cost us 73€ in total. We had to pay 500thb both for transportation from the airport to the hotel in a minibus. I don't even know if it was a scam, I didn't understand, even at the airport a ladyboy met us, asked us for the address of the hotel and told us how much it costs, non-negotiable. Then we went outside where they grouped us by hotel areas (most were staying in Ao Nang, but we stayed a little further away). Those going to Ao Nang paid less, but I don't remember how much.
We rented a scooter which cost us 200 thb a day (€5) and put 100 thb in gas. I had a much better experience than the scooter in Chiang Mai. A scooter that looked good and was powerful, it also had a good headlight and brakes and full helmets.
In the end, the ferry cost us 700 thb per person and the taxi to Phuket airport 200 thb per person.
Objectives – €385
This is for those who still thought Thailand was cheap. Maybe it is if you get there and live like a local, because the food is not expensive. Although long-term accommodation is not really cheap, about 300-400€ per month in Chiang Mai if I remember correctly.
In any case, if you go as a tourist and want to visit all of them, it will cost you.
The visit to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai cost us the most during our holiday in Thailand, about €64 per person (2500 thb). Next was the trip to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, which we really enjoyed, €40 per person. It was an organized tour with a guide, minibus transport and a meal included.
The trips to the islands in Krabi were not cheap either. For Phi Phi, I paid a total of €60 for both, if you include the national park tax. And the Hong Islands longtail boat tour cost a total of €55 for both of them.
It also costs a little more to visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, 500 thb per person (€13). It wasn't really worth it, it was suffocatingly crowded.
Souvenirs – €120
I bought some things, only now doing the calculations I see that they amounted to €120. I bought
for family and friends, but also for us. Colorful shalwars, cashmere scarves, some very cute magnets, t-shirts, and for us we bought a set of three super cute vases, which luckily they packed well for us to take home.
We got most of the things from Chiang Mai, although the original plan was to get them from the last destination, Krabi or Phuket so that we wouldn't have to carry them from one city to another. But we were won over by the night markets in Chiang Mai, where we found many nice things. And in the end, I did well, because in Bangkok, and especially in Krabi, everything was very expensive, and honestly, there weren't even any special things.
Other things – €17
Sun cream 120 thb / 3€, mosquito spray from the pharmacy 80 thb / 2€ (must get from them, as mosquitoes are immune to our sprays), cold medicine 466 thb / 12€. As I told you before, unfortunately, I had a cold almost the entire vacation, and we had to stop at a pharmacy at one point to get something. The pharmacies are among the European ones, Boots, at every step.
How much does a holiday in Thailand cost – €2400 budget for two weeks
In total, our budget amounted to 2400€ for two people, 100 less than we had estimated. Is it a lot or a little? It's not a small amount, but for an exotic vacation, it's not a lot either.
From this money, €1000 went on plane tickets, so I had €1400 in expenses there in two weeks. With this, I would like to combat the rumor that Thailand is a cheap country, and that it costs you a lot just to get there, but once you arrive you live in luxury for little money. I think we could also travel to Europe with this money for two weeks if we put in a little effort.
But Thailand has become extremely touristic in recent years, I'm sure that 10 years ago, maybe even 5 years ago, things were completely different. The whole country benefits, because it stands to gain. From the government charging you 200 thb informally and without a receipt to get your VOA faster, to the tuk-tuk driver who jacked up the price beyond the taxi fare.
We are glad that we visited such an exotic country, that we stepped into Asia for the first time, and that we also came out under budget with the expenses.
What expenses did you have on holiday in Thailand, if you have already been there? I'm curious to compare the budgets.
Or if you are planning a holiday in Thailand, where would you be willing to save? Accommodation, transport, objectives? The number of days spent there? Maybe food, if you prefer to cook yourself? Leave me a comment in the section below, I'm really curious what everyone's preferences are!
Subscribe to our email newsletter and unlock access to members-only content and exclusive updates.