Is Thailand cheap? Will you be able to stick to your budget in the Land of Smiles? Can you really spend less than £25 a day and not be bored out of your brains? Yes, yes and definitely yes!
Thailand is a beautiful country with so much to offer. From the busy streets of Bangkok to the peaceful mountains of Chiang Mai, to the crazy Full Moon parties on Koh Phangan, it really does have something for everyone. Not only that, but Thailand is incredibly affordable.
You really can spend less than £25 a day and have a great time!
We spent 6 days on Koh Phangan, and although we were careful with our budget, we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything we wanted (apart from the Half Moon party, but that’s another story!)
Our daily budget as a couple was 2695THB/£60/$77 but we didn’t need that for some of the days that we just chilled out on the beach and didn’t leave the resort.
We ate gorgeous Thai food, bought souvenirs and had a lot of fun in between. Here’s a day that we spent on the island where we spent 2160/£48/$62 between us, which equals to 1080THB/£24/$62 per person! Don’t forget this INCLUDES accommodation!
Note: This price is for two people. We visited Koh Phangan at the end of January 2017 – bear in mind prices might change according to the season, but will also almost definitely be more here than on the mainland!
We stayed at Silvermoon Beach and Jungle resort for 6 nights. We booked a bungalow with a garden view and had a shared bathroom. It was an amazing place to stay with a private beach and lovely staff.
Cost per night: 600THB/£13/$17.30
Often, breakfast can come included in your room price but if it isn’t, don’t panic because food is extremely cheap in Thailand. We stayed at our hotel for breakfast – pancakes for Kev (80THB/£1.80/$2.30) and coconut soup for Jade (also 80THB/£1.80/$2.30).
I’ve never had soup for breakfast in my life but when you’re on holiday and it’s that good, you don’t have to explain yourself!
Asia is famed for its tea but I haven’t found a place that does a good old English breakfast tea so on this trip I pretty much skipped hot drinks in the morning. We always bought a big bottle of water (40THB/£0.90/$1.15) in the morning and shared it throughout the day.
Motorbikes/scooters are EVERYWHERE in Thailand, but it’s up to you whether you take the risk of driving one! On Koh Phangan, the roads are ridiculously steep and we also heard a statistic that someone is badly injured every week there, so we decided to stay square and stay safe.
Our hotel offered return trips to the main town of Thong Sala for 200THB/£4.45/$5.80 per person so we opted for that instead.
If you’re close to the action then great, you might not need transport. You can rent a bike for about 100THB/£2.22/$2.88 a day but your hotel will also more than likely offer some sort of deal on helping you get around the island. We found taxis to be quite expensive considering the short distance they would go.
Cost of a return trip to town: 400THB/£8.90/$11.55
We spent the morning wandering round the shops of Thong Sala, picking up some elephant shorts for Jade (150THB/£3.33/$4.32) and flip flops for Kev (150THB/£3.33/$4.32).
Tip: Kev found a pair of flip flops in a UK size 13 so don’t panic if you have humungous feet like he does and yours break on the island!
You can haggle here but they won’t be as cheap as things in the market. We also bought a postcard costing 10THB/£0.22/$0.28 for our collection because we’re cool like that.
We found a cute little open-air restaurant in the town of Thong Sala. They served a variety of Thai dishes at amazing prices. Kev chose the Pad Thai (50THB/£1.11/$1.44) and I went for the Thai green curry (100THB/£2.22/$2.88).
The budgeters in us were also really happy when we realised the restaurant offers free drinking water with your meal. Result! I couldn’t tell you where this place was exactly or what it was called, but there are many similarly priced options around.
Our hotel had its own private beach, so we took advantage of their paddle boards and had a go at staying upright for more than 2 seconds! Needless to say, we won’t be entering any stand-up paddle boarding competitions any time soon!
Luckily, the hotel only charged 100THB/£2.22/$2.88 per board for an hour, so we didn’t overspend even though we had a really fun afternoon.
Once we returned the boards, we splashed around in the sea for ages until the sun began to set – we had only recently bought our GoPro 5 so took literally thousands of underwater photos!
Current Action Camera Recommendation – I nearly always recommend the previous version of the Go Pro series – in this case, the Hero 9 – This is because Go Pro is known for very slight incremental updates so getting the previous version is nearly exactly the same but cheaper. Go Pro won’t let you down so check out the current price here!
Unsurprisingly, Kev ordered a Pad Thai again and I joined him too this time (can you tell we’re getting addicted!?). For only 80THB/£1.80/$2.30, we were getting a huge plate of noodles which completely filled us up, even after all the swimming!
Dinner wouldn’t be complete without a cold beer either, right?! Even when you’re on a budget, 70THB/£1.55/$2 for a refreshing Chang isn’t too bad!
Total Cost: 2160 Thai Bhat/£47.63/$62.36
When calculating the costs, I’ve had to round up/down a little because the decimals got too small and random! But you get the general idea!
So, we managed to spend less than £50 between two people INCLUDING accommodation in Thailand in a whole day! We didn’t scrimp and deny ourselves anything on this particular day – it just really is super cheap in Thailand!
Obviously, there were days where we did spend more, especially when we needed to get to/from an airport, but our pre-planned daily budget always covered that. And yes, Bangkok and other big cities will be more expensive, but you could still live cheaply even there!
Check out these top tips for saving money in Thailand too!
If Thailand has always seemed too expensive for you, then I hope that you’ve now changed your mind and have already booked a flight over! You’ll probably land in Bangkok – check out this 2 day itinerary for the capital before you move on!
If £25 per day is still out of your budget, then why not try to spend less than £10 per day?!
It’s one of my favourite countries (yes, Pad Thai has something to do with that…) and the fact that you can spend so little whilst you’re there but still have a great time is amazing!!
Packing List Essentials
Fancy a trip to a different island instead? Try snorkelling on Koh Tao!
Have you been to Thailand? Did you manage to stick to a low budget like we did? Let us know!