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I am currently in the planning stages for my second trip to Thailand and like most people, a big part of the planning is working out how much everything is going to cost. I have always found you can find pretty great flight deals to Thailand (Predominately Bangkok) and with the value of the baht against the pound, generally a trip to Thailand can be pretty affordable if done right. But how much does a holiday to Thailand really cost? Here I share my budget for 10 days in Thailand based off of my last trip, including accommodation prices, how much to expect to pay for food as well as activity suggestions.
Budget Breakdown for 10 days in Thailand
Locations on my 10 Day Thailand Itinerary
As this was my first trip to Thailand and I wanted to cover the most ‘popular destinations’ in order to get a real feel for the country.
Our 10 days were shared between:
- Bangkok – The capital city of Bangkok and where most people start their Thailand holiday, you will often find return flights are cheapest from here. The most popular area to stay in the Khao San Road, I would recommend staying 2-3 days in Bangkok.
- Chiang Mai – Located in the North of Thailand, Chiang Mai is a very chilled area which is popular with a lot of digital nomads. In this area, you will also find the famous Elephant Nature Park.
- Phuket – I personally did not enjoy Phuket as much as the other areas of Thailand that we visited, but it is a great location for getting to the South Islands such as the Phi Phi Islands. This area is very popular with British tourists, which the most popular places being the Bangla Road and Patong Beach, I will say they were too party orientated for me and I enjoyed the areas towards Karon Beach a lot more.
- Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Koh Phi Phi Islands are made up of Koh Phi Phi Don (the largest island) and Koh Phi Phi Ley. Koh Phi Phi Ley is the famous islands of the film ‘The Beach’ however, you can only stay on Koh Phi Phi Don. Koh Phi Phi Don is great for scuba diving and snorkelling.
For a first time visit, I really enjoyed the places we included in our 10-day trip, I felt they gave a great mix of Thai cities, beaches and Islands. It is often tempting to cram as much as possible into a short duration holiday, however, as it is still a holiday it is important to ensure you leave time to relax as well and where better to do that then on a Thai Island.
Alternative Thai Island suggestions are:
- Koh Samui
- Koh Tao – Especially if you are a keen Scuba Diver
- Koh Phangan – If you want to experience a proper Full Moon Party
Accommodation for your 10 day Thailand trip
Accommodation in Thailand varies extremely in price, from 5-star luxury to backpacker hostels with everything in between. Air B’n’B is also available across the country, as my trips are holidays I do however prefer to stay in hotels over Air B’n’B, mainly as I prefer knowing I do not have to tidy up at the end of my stay. Please note accommodation will be based on a room with two people sharing.
In Bangkok, we stayed at the Buddy Lodge Hotel on the Khao San Road, we opted to stay on the Khao San Road as it is in the centre of everything and has great transportation links. I really recommend the Buddy Lodge and will be staying there again on my next visit. Despite being on a busy road, it is actually really quiet in the evenings and there is a rooftop pool. The average price is £40 per night (£80 for two nights for two people). Another option is the Lucky House on Khao San Road which is £17 per night on average (£32 for two nights for two people), the Lucky House does not have a pool but staying there does grant you access to an outdoor pool a few roads down.
For the Chiang Mai part of our 10 day Thailand trip, we spent two nights in the Sleep Box Hotel. The Sleep Box is a hotel made of shipping containers, the rooms are compact but really modern and comfortable, it is also really centrally located. The average price per night at the Sleep Box is £30 per night (£60 for two nights for two people). An alternative option would be the North Inn Town which is priced at £17 per night (£32 for two nights for two people).
Phuket has some really beautiful hotels and villas if you would like a villa with a private pool you can book into the Boutique Resort Private Pool Villa for £59 per night (£177 for three nights for two people) this price includes a villa with private pool and breakfast, which I think is a fantastic price for this. Alternatively, you can book into the Resort D Varee Mai Khao Beach for £33 per night (£99 for three nights for two people) for a room with swim-up pool access.
For our stay in Koh Phi Phi, we really wanted to experience island life and have our own private bungalow set away from the ‘main town’, therefore we booked The Cove Bungalows which overlook Rantee beach and is priced at £43 per night (£129 for three nights for two people). Beware there are no cars on Phi Phi Island, therefore you will most likely get to your resort by longboat after arriving on Ton Sai Pier when booking your accommodation ensure this is included in your price.
Total accommodation price for 10 days in Thailand = £466 / £292 for two people or £233 / £146 per person.
These prices are based on accommodation which is 3 star and above, there are cheaper available and if you prefer hostels you will find many of these across Thailand.
Top Travel Tip: If you are travelling frequently, I would also recommend signing up and frequently using Booking.com. I use them religiously and due to this have unlocked ‘Genius Discount’, this discount not only gets me special offers on rooms but also access to free breakfast, upgrades and early check-in in some hotels.
Transport in Thailand
Due to the nature of this Thailand itinerary, it does include internal flights. I choose to use internal flights as with only have 10 days in Thailand I prefer to use the most time-saving option possible. Thailand is well serviced by smaller airlines such as Air Asia and these flights run frequently every day.
The flights you will need to book will be –
- Bangkok to Chiang Mai (average price £30 one way)
- Chiang Mai to Phuket (average price £50 one way)
- Phuket to Bangkok (Unless you opt to fly home from Phuket instead of Bangkok) (Average price £19 one way)
Due to the backpacker nature of Thailand, there are various other ways you can travel across the country including overnight buses and sleeper trains, these will generally be cheaper in price, however, they will cost you more time. For looking up your various options I would recommend using Rome2Rio.com.
To get between Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, you will need to book the ferry. The ferry runs daily, however, I would recommend booking your ticket in advance for £8.30 each way to ensure you place on the ferry you require. The ferry takes two hours and when using the previous link includes hotel pick-up in Phuket as well.
Total transportation costs for 10 days in Thailand = £115.60 per person
This one is obviously going to vary considerably from person to person depending on interests. For the sake of this post, I will list the activities we did plus some of the most popular activities people do in Thailand.
The most popular paid activity in Bangkok is visiting the Grand Palace, the entry price is 500 Baht / £13.00 per person. Another popular activity is visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which you can combine with a tour of the Maeklong Train Market, this 6-hour tour costs £26 per person inclusive of hotel pick up and drop off, long-tail boat fee and train ride.
Other popular things to do in Bangkok:
If you love adventure then I fully recommend booking Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai. Here you will be invited Leave Chiang Mai and fly through a primal Thai rainforest with a full day eco zip line journey. Visit an ancient rainforest ecosystem on the largest canopy zip line tour in the world. It is SO much fun and it is my top recommendation for anyone visiting Thailand, you will also get a chance to see wild gibbons. Flight of the Gibbon is a 7-hour excursion including food which is priced at £110 per person.
My other recommendation for Chiang Mai is a day trip to the Elephant Nature Park. The Elephant Nature Park (ENP) is one of the few places in Thailand that is truly ethical when seeing elephants in Thailand. All of the elephants have been rescued from the tourist and logging trade, you will spend the day learning about the elephants, the park as well as having the opportunity to feed the elephants. The day trip to the ENP is priced at £66 per person including transfers and lunch. Please never visit anywhere in Thailand that allows you to ride or sit on the elephants.
Other popular things to do in Chiang Mai:
I recommend using your time in Phuket to relax by spending time by the pool or the beach. However, you may also want to use your time here by booking onto a traditional Thai cooking class. The average price of a half-day Thai cooking class in Phuket is around £60 per person.
Koh Phi Phi
My top recommendation for Koh Phi Phi is to go snorkelling or scuba diving. Book onto a full day island hopping and snorkelling tour, this particular tour includes a full day of sightseeing and snorkelling in Koh Phi Phi’s 8 most scenic spots, ending the trip with a spectacular sunset view. The price of this tour is £70 per person and includes snorkelling equipment as well as food throughout the day.
If you are looking to go scuba diving in Koh Phi Phi I recommend The Adventure Club. I undertook my PADI qualification with them, I am an extremely nervous diver but they were brilliant with me and I highly recommend booking your dives through them. If you are looking to become a qualified Scuba Diver in Thailand, then you will need to allocate three full days, which is obviously a big chunk of your 10 days in Thailand to give up. A good compromise would be to do your indoor dives and theory in the UK and just do your two open water qualification dives in Thailand – these can be done in one day.
Total activity cost for a 10 day Thailand trip – £345 per person
Food prices for 10 days in Thailand
This is a hard one to share as it really depends on your eating and drinking style as well as where you are in the country. For example, eating in Chiang Mai will be cheaper than eating on Koh Phi Phi. Street food is highly accessible across Thailand, as well as highly recommended, you can get an amazing Pad Thai for as cheap as £1. I personally would recommend allocated £3-5 per meal per person.
The average price of a local beer in Thailand is now around £2, however, it can cost as much as £3.50 in touristy areas. Thailand is, of course, famous for its ‘buckets’, you buy a plastic bucket filled with various alcohol and mixer, which do work out a lot cheaper but be careful they are extremely high in alcohol content.
Total food cost for a 10 day Thailand itinerary – £150 per person, based on allocating £5 per meal three times a day. I definitely think this can be done for cheaper, however, if you budget for the highest outcome then you will have money left over.
The total budget needed for 10 day holiday in Thailand, inclusive of accommodation, activities, internal transportation and food = £902.
The only other expenses you will have will be souvenirs and your return flight from Bangkok. Always search Skyscanner for the best prices, however, I would say a good price for a direct return flight from London to Bangkok is around £450.
Please note, this is just a suggested itinerary based on my previous trip, of course, it is possible to make this trip a lot cheaper as well as a lot more expensive depending on your travel style and tastes.
10 day Thailand tour options
Another way to see Thailand in 10 days would be to book onto an organised tour, these tours are generally inclusive of all fees and you will not need to worry about planning or budgeting your money while there. I highly recommend G Adventures for these types of tours and at present, they are currently offering a 10-day tour from Bangkok to Koh Samui. These tours are often a great idea for solo travellers looking to meet like-minded, people that have not travelled to Asia before and are not sure what to expect or just people who prefer to have their trips organised for them.
Do I need a visa to visit Thailand for 10 days?
If you plan to stay in Thailand for less than 30 days, you don’t need a visa. For longer visits, or if you visit Thailand on business purposes – a visa is required.
What to pack for your trip to Thailand
Okay, so you have planned your route around Thailand and hopefully, everywhere you are going to stay. Now you need to pack. Of course, you are going to need comfy travelling clothes which are also going to keep you cool in the heat, but what about the absolute essentials?
Jungle formula mosquito spray: There are tons of mosquitos in Thailand, especially in Phi Phi Islands. Do not ruin your trip, your photos and potentially your health but skimping on cheap bug spray. I always use Jungle formula wherever I go, it is expensive but it is one of the best.
Travel Adapter: Thailand uses European-style two-pin round plugs so ensure you have these. However, if you frequently travel I recommend getting an all in one travel adapter for convenience.
Reef-Safe Sunscreen: In the Phi Phi Islands there are a ton of opportunities to go diving and snorkelling. We need to remember to be responsible tourists. Help preserve that reef by wearing reef-safe biodegradable sunscreen when you go swimming or snorkelling. Many sunscreens are not reef safe and contain chemicals which are harmful to the reefs and the creatures which live in them. Reef-safe suncream is formulated to be safe to the oceans. Some places such as Mexico and Hawaii will not let you in the ocean without a reef-safe sunscreen, and if you are on an organised tour will check, so invest in a decent, safe suncream.
Reusable stainless steel straw: The people of Thailand are really working on their single-use plastic waste. Continuing with the responsible tourist theme, invest in a reusable straw, I invested in this one and it folds down compact and comes with pipe cleaners to ensure it stays clean. When you get back from your trip just pop it in Milton for an hour and it will be sterilised to use it at home as well.
Trespass 45L backpack: As you are going to travelling around I recommend a backpack over a suitcase. It is easier when moving in and out of cars and boats. When you are moving between hotels you can quickly chuck it on your back. I use a 45L litre backpack, which is one of the smaller side but works for a two-week Thailand trip, invest in a good brand such as Trespass and it will last you well, here my review of the Trespass Inverary 45L Rucksack. If you are using a top-loading backpack then packing cubes are essential. In fact, I use packing cubes on every trip now regardless of whether I use a backpack or a suitcase.
For a more detailed list of items to pack then be sure to read this female packing list for Thailand post by my friend Ellie, who is a frequent visitor of Thailand.
How is Thailand for vegetarians?
Thailand is great for Vegetarians, a lot of the dishes are noodle or rice-based, such as Pad Thai. Tofu is readily available across Thailand and therefore inexpensive, however, Thai people cook a lot with fish sauce, so make them aware before cooking that you are a vegetarian to prevent this issue.
Spending 10 days in Thailand is a great way to start to see the country as well as leave you wanting to come back for more. Thailand is definitely a holiday destination for people restricted to just annual leave and therefore you should not be put off thinking it is just for backpackers. I hope you have found this budget recommendation helpful and please feel free to get in touch if you need any further information.