How much does it cost to backpack in Thailand

The days of Thailand being a bargain basement travel destination are sadly long gone; whilst a budget of $120 per day is pricey compared to other places such as Sri Lanka, it is still cheap by Western Standards. It’s probably worth pointing out that the Southern Thailand and the islands are generally considered to be more expensive than the mainland and the north.

Note that the below excludes the time that Carissa spent at a Yoga Retreat and that I spent learning to Scuba Dive.

Cost per night (per couple) Our Trip Budget
Accomodation  43.00 40.00
Food & Drink  35.00 30.00
Activities  20.00 20.00
Travel 20.00 20.00
Other 15.00 15.00
Total 133.00 120.00

Accomodation on the islands can get booked up depending on the season, although we still coped well with only booking day or two in advance. Our one off splurge in our three weeks was the cost of a beach bungalow in Koh Lipe (cA$75) which brings our average up.

Overall, budget AUD$40 per night for accomodation in Thailand.

Food & Drink
Thai food was probably my favourite food that I had in Asia. Fried rice for lunch, and curry for dinner, washed down with cheap beers. We found Koh Lanta & Koh Lipe to be a bit pricier than Koh Phagnan and Koh Tao; we also ate a few meals on the beach so that pushed the cost up a bit as well.

Overall, budget AUD$30 per night for food in Thailand.

Most activities in the South of Thailand involve relaxing on the beach and swimming, although we supplemented this by doing a snorkelling tour in Koh Lipe and cooking class in Hua Hin, both of which were great.

Overall, budget AUD$20 per day for activities in Thailand.

This is where Southern Thailand gets expensive; the cost of moving between islands is insane; we did it as cheap as we could by booking our transfers in person at the travel agencies but there was no way of getting them cheaper as they are all fixed price. Transfer prices for two of us were:

Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta- A$57
Koh Lanta to Koh Pha-ngan – A$98
Koh Pha-ngan to Koh Tao – A$40
Koh Tao to Hua Hin – A$93
Hua Hin to Bangkok – A$26

Ouch! For those on a budget, focusing on a smaller amount of places will bring down the travel cost significantly!

Overall, budget AUD$20 per day for travel.

We did a bit of shopping in Thailand, but a large proportion of this cost was mosquito cream and repellent which I need to apply about fourty times a day! We also needed quite a bit of sunscreen which is very expensive in Thailand; in fact we paid more here for it than we would do back in Australia.

Overall, budget AUD$10 per day for other costs.