The well-deserved reputation of the most fashionable Asian tourist destination attracts everyone to Thailand – from fans of pristine beaches on the islands to fans of snorkeling, from young people eager to go to Pattaya discos to connoisseurs of Thai cuisine.
So you have already chosen a country, bought tickets and booked a hotel. Now comes the stage of preparing for a vacation, when the question arises, how much cash to bring to Thailand? And in what currency.
Thailand’s national currency, the baht, comes in paper bills and metal coins with the image of the reigning monarch. It is better to bring dollars, the rate of 1 dollar:30 baht. Dollars can be exchanged at the airport, hotels, private offices and even on the beach. Favourable exchange rate – in banks and special exchange offices. In principle, dollars can be paid everywhere, they are in circulation, even the prices of goods are in baht and dollars. Maybe not at once, but sooner or later you’ll notice that the prices in dollars are always rounded upwards. And in some places the rate is just a rip-off. It is better to immediately change it into the local currency.
Bank cards can be used for purchases in supermarkets, shopping centers and major restaurants. It is better to use a U.S. card so as not to lose money on the double conversion.
The rental market in Thailand is huge, from cheap hostels and hostels to hotels of any level. If you are traveling alone and not limited by time, the best option is to rent an apartment. For a couple of weeks a hotel is preferable.
Factors affecting the cost of renting: the season, distance from the beach or the center, the duration of stay, and, above all, the resort – it is cheaper to rent an apartment in Pattaya than on the islands or in Bangkok. In the season we can focus on the following prices:
- For the hostel one tourist will have to pay between 1,500 and 2,000 baht for ten days. And the price will be the same in Pattaya and Phuket, and in the capital.
- Renting an apartment for the same period will cost 4 thousand in Pattaya, and from 5 to 6 thousand on the islands or in Bangkok.
- Double room in a 2* hotel will cost from 5 thousand baht in Pattaya to 6 thousand baht in Phuket. And in Bangkok it will be cheaper by a thousand and a half.
- A 3-star hotel in Phuket will cost 6-7 thousand baht for two.
- In a four-star hotel for a double room in the capital or in Pattaya will have to pay 8.5 – 9 thousand, and in Phuket its price starts from 9.5 thousand.
- In a five-star hotel for a ten-day stay in a similar room in Bangkok, you would have to pay not less than 22,000 baht, in Pattaya the price starts at 30,000 baht, and on the islands – 40,000 baht.
Renting a standard studio apartment with kitchen and everything you need in a condominium near the beach in Phuket will cost about 24,000 baht for ten days. Plus water, electricity (on the meter) and wi-fi.
In Pattaya, renting an apartment with kitchen and washing machine, in a condo near the shoreline, with a gym, will cost about 12 thousand baht. In Bangkok – at the same level.
In Bangkok, the subway is convenient to use. The capital’s subway is divided into three types: the line to the airport, the underground subway and the monorail. Tickets are sold in special terminals, prices depend on the distance of the trip. The cost is the same in the underground and overground subway: minimum 15, maximum – 42 baht.
Buses – the most convenient and affordable transport. Bus fare ranges from 3.5 Baht to 20 Baht depending on distance and bus comfort. The same applies to intercity buses. You can take both modern buses with air conditioning and older, miserable buses. The price will be immediately clear what awaits you on the road: air conditioning and biotoilet or stuffiness and stops on demand at every step.
Approximate prices for good buses:
- On the Bangkok – Pattaya route the ticket will cost from 100 baht.
- From Pattaya to Phuket by bus for 780-800 baht.
- From Phuket to Bangkok the ticket will cost 570-600 baht.
Cabs are primarily used for transfers from the airport. From there you can get to any hotel in Bangkok for 900 to 1200 baht. And to Pattaya the transfer will already cost 1400 baht. In Phuket, there is also an international airport, the transfer price to Karon Beach starts at 900 baht.
Prices for a city cab are set in two ways: on the counter or fixed (as you agree). If you think that the meter will be cheaper, do not be fooled. Cab drivers around the world mark up the price, taking advantage of the ignorance of tourists and choosing the longest routes. So, with the meter cost is as follows: from 100 baht for landing and 10 baht per kilometer.
The most popular cab ride on the coast is a tuk-tuk or sunteo – a small pickup truck with a shed roof and two benches for passengers. The trip is very economical: from 20 to 50 baht in Phuket, and from 10 to 35 baht in Pattaya. About the same pay for a trip in a so-called motorcycle cab or motor-sai. The big disadvantage of these open vehicles is air pollution on the roads. Advice: Try to pay with the driver without change, you just do not wait for it.
Renting a good air conditioned car with insurance starts from 500 Baht in the low season, starting from thousand Baht in the high season. For a period of more than five days the discount is given. The main thing is that the car must be insured. You should not economize on it because traffic accidents are a frequent occurrence in the country and if you don’t have insurance you will have to pay out of your own pocket.
It is easier to rent a bike (scooter), it is cheaper and more mobile. Renting a day will cost about 200 baht. Plus insurance. It is obligatory even when renting a bicycle. In Thailand, fraud with any rented vehicles is widespread.
Everyone’s favorite Thai cuisine is represented by a great many cafes and restaurants. The food is always fresh and cooked in the presence of the client. A seafood set with crab, squid, shrimp and mussels (a portion for two) costs 750 baht. Shrimp platter with greens and sauce – 250 baht. On the average, the check for one at a restaurant comes out from 500 baht without alcohol. Breakfasts in a cafe or restaurant – from 100 baht. Certainly, it is possible to have supper in a popular restaurant with alcohol and desserts, but all it will leave not more expensive than 2000 baht for two.
A set of prices of Thai street cafes:
- Grilled fish fried in salt – from 100 baht.
- Chicken in broth with rice – from 40 baht.
- Shrimp with fried noodles – in the region of 55-60 baht.
- Portion of shrimp without garnish – from 100 baht.
- Fried stuffing with rice and basil – from 45 baht.
- Chicken with side dish of rice and scrambled eggs – 45 baht.
- Soup topped with soy balls with noodles – from 40 baht.
- Small skewers of offal or chicken – from 20 baht.
- Pure water is 10 baht.
For those who are going to cook their own food, the prices are quite reasonable:
- A kilo of minced chicken costs 70 baht.
- A kilo of chicken breast – 75 baht.
- Pork tenderloin sells from 130 baht per kilo.
- Cheese – from 250 baht for the same weight.
- Pack of chicken eggs (30 pieces) – 80 baht.
- One liter of milk – 30 baht.
- Fish – from 50 baht per kilo.
Fruits at the market are sold from 100 baht for apples to 200 baht per kilo of the most exotic local fruits, bargaining is appropriate.
Vegetables, particularly tomatoes, cost 25 baht per kilo.
Sights and attractions
There are no uninteresting places in Thailand. The vibrant nature and abundance of exotic sights make a visit to the country a perpetual holiday. Guides offer a variety of activities, from a trip to the tiger farm to a visit to James Bond Island. And everyone wants to choose the best. At the same time not to go beyond the planned budget. To navigate the sea of tempting offers, it is worth getting acquainted with the main excursions.
A trip to the largest zoo in the country Khao Kheow near Pattaya is not only interesting for children. Thousands of representatives of fauna, including unusual, rare live freely in the park. They can be stroked, fed, take pictures with them. And Russian-speaking guide will tell you funny stories about them. Half a day at this place will fly by unnoticed, the cost – about 500 baht.
The spice garden near Pattaya is worth a visit not only for lovers of botany. After beds with medicinal and spice plants tour is waiting for the real show of cooking a delicious Thai lunch. After eating this lunch and tasting tea, shopping begins. In the store you can buy not only medicinal herbs, spices, honey and its products, but also natural cosmetics, oils for aromatherapy, etc. All this pleasure costs from 600 baht.
A visit to an ethnic village, a monastery with the ritual of purification of karma, a Chinese palace, tasting kebabs in a crocodile lake – all included in a rich guided tour of Pattaya and its surroundings, its cost is over a thousand baht.
Khao Lak National Park is famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey includes rafting down the river on bamboo rafts, visiting the turtle farm, pineapple and rubber plantations, a visit to the cave of monkeys, riding elephants and photo shoots against a waterfall. The price is over 1700 baht.
The acquaintance with the three fabulously beautiful islands near Phuket will cost about 1300 baht. For this amount you will find clear water with minimal currents, snorkeling, photos of the magnificent views, swimming and lunch.
And, of course, there is no way to avoid the famous Thai massage. Preferably a course. You can not get a course, it is worth at least try. Thai massage costs an average of 200 baht, if oil – 300 baht per hour. Foot massage can be found for 150 baht per hour. Tip: During the massage, do not let your feet walk on your own back. Given the sedentary work of most tourists, such strain can end up with an injury.
The shopping rules are the same as in other Asian countries. In large shopping centers, the goods are of higher quality, but also more expensive. In small stores and markets, everything is lower – both price and quality. In the markets it is customary to haggle.
What to pay attention to:
- Thailand is home to the largest microelectronics brands. Electronic products, such as Apple smartphones, cost 10-15% less than in Russia. It is better to buy them in company stores: they give you a guarantee and give you a VAT refund (which you can get on departure).
- Local silk is very famous, and the prices are affordable. The main thing is to be able to distinguish natural silk from fakes. Handkerchiefs cost from 200 baht, shirts from 12,000 baht. You can order clothes in numerous local shops.
- Equally popular are crocodile, snake and even stingray leather goods. Also beware of fakes. A bag of cobra leather will cost from 7,000 baht, and for a jacket of python, they ask from 52,000 baht. Belts are sold from a thousand baht, wallets and purses from 800 to 1500 baht.
- Denim clothes sold everywhere, prices – from 350 baht. For women’s blouses and men’s shirts charge from 90 to 200 baht. Very good quality children’s textiles range from 50 baht for t-shirts and shorts to 250 baht for dresses and jeans.
Let’s try to derive an average amount for two people based on the following parameters: rent of a standard double room, three visits to cafes a day, two trips around the city by cab or songteo a day, three tours a week, as well as overhead and unexpected expenses. That works out to about $1,200 or 36,000 baht. Shopping expenses are individual, as are alcohol expenses.