Thailand has become a real mecca for backpackers in the last 20 years and it was in fact where I started my travel journey. Since my humble beginnings in Chiang Mai, trying to teach English and scrape by with as little as I could I have traveled this beautiful country quite extensively and I have done so on a variety of different budgets throughout the years. People often ask me how much it costs to backpack and in Thailand and usually my response is “how much do you have?”
The answer to this question is tricky and it depends on your financial circumstances, how long you have and what you are actually looking to do. I have put together a couple of different scenarios so that you can see what you can afford if you want to travel through Thailand.
Basic Budget Backpacker – $25 per day
I really can’t think of how someone could live for less than $25 per day here, assuming that they want to have an enjoyable time. The north of Thailand is without question the cheapest place in the country and you can comfortably get by in Chiang Mai if you have $25 per day as your budget. With this money you can pay for single room accommodation, possibly with air con, and you can eat some delicious street food. The downside with this budget is that any experiences or adventures will be tough to pay for.
Comfortable Thai Budget – $40 per day
If you are able to squeeze your budget to $40 per day then you could travel throughout the country with confidence that you are not going to priced out of accommodation or eating choices. A budget like this is pretty much the norm for most backpackers who are looking to have some fun, some adventure and even a little bit of partying throughout Thailand and you shouldn’t have too much trouble making your budget stretch to all of these activities.
It is worth remembering that budget travelers have been coming to Thailand for a very long time and as such there really is a great deal of options throughout the country for anyone who is looking to save money and travel. Throughout the country you will find cheap hostels, low priced food and budget travel options so that if money is tight, you can still enjoy yourself in Thailand, albeit without any luxury.
Here are some example prices for you so that you can see just what your money will pay for in Thailand.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai train – $9 -$30 (depending on class and comfort)
Pad Thai on the street – $1
Bed in a shared dorm in Bangkok – $4
Large bottle of beer – $2
Thailand is truly a backpackers paradise and wherever you go ether is something new to discover and explore and I would recommend anyone who is backpacking, on whatever budget to enjoy this amazing Asian country.