Thailand: a country that doesn’t really need an introduction. We all know it has delicious food, welcoming people and gorgeous white beaches. It is also an affordable country and it makes an excellent first-time solo backpacking destination. Shaun Janssen was such a first-time solo backpacker and for BoB he kept track of all his Thailand expenses. So, take a look at his costs overview! 

This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.  


*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day.  Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights.


These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.

Standard Thailand expenses

One night in a hostel dormitory: 4,81 euro
One night in a double room in a simple guesthouse: 6,02 euro 
A short 10-minute taxi ride: 6,72 euro 
A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 0,50 euro 
A local beer at a bar/restaurants: 1,60 euro 
A glass of coca cola in a restaurant: 1,40 euro 
Basic lunch at a local restaurant: 2,89 euro 
Dinner at a local restaurant: 6,02 euro 

Notable Thailand expenses 

PADI Open Water Koh Tao: 216 euro 
Pair of Nike shoes at MBK Bangkok: 110,68 euro 
Jungle Trip Chiang Mai: 48,14 euro (including food and accommodation)
Bus (VIP) ticket from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai: 25,77 euro 
Bus and ferry ticket from Bangkok to Koh Tao: 25,26 euro 
Kayak and swimming tour Krabi: 19,25 euro 
Ferry from Koh Tao to Krabi (Lomprayah): 24,06 euro 
Night train Bangkok-Chiang Mai (upper bed, second class): 19,03 euro 
Longtail boat trip to several islands op Koh Phi Phi (with a visit to Monkey Island, Maya Bay, Viking Cave, Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island): 13,23 euro 
One night at the Reno Hotel (Siam sq.): 32 euro (It was the last night and I wanted to have a good nights sleep before leaving Thailand)


About the backpackers: Shaun Janssen, 22 years, first-time backpacking
Destination and travel period: Thailand in July 2014 for 26 days 
Visited places: Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Chiang Mai, Pai, Krabi, Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi
Type of trip: Solo and independently
Accommodation*: budget (mainly hostels and guesthouses and a hotel for the last 2 days)
Transportation*: budget (cheapest available mode of transportation) 
Food*: budget (local places and cheap western places)

*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury

Thailand tips by Shaun!

  • The PADI Open Water course is cheapest on Koh Tao
  • Do a jungle trip in Chiang Mai!
  • Rent a motorbike and drive to Pai

Note BoB: Shaun’s total costs of first-time backpacking in Thailand may be a bit higher than you may expect, but remember that it’s the purpose of these articles to give an honest overview of expenses by real and different types of travelers. Shaun clearly got most out of his trip ;) Thanks Shaun for participating!

Can you relate to these costs of backpacking in Thailand? 

Recommended further Thailand reading
A stay at the Bangkok Treehouse hotel, an eco-retreat on Bang Krachao
Locals’ favorite places in Bangkok
Top things to do in Ao Nang and Krabi
Best hostels in Bangkok (via


  1. Not bad for an activity heavy trip with a lot of movement … Thailand can be done for less than $1000 a month as well if you move around less and do fewer activities, but to each their own!


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