So me and my girlfriend are heading out next week, for 25 days. Tentative itinerary is something like this:
Bangkok - 1 night
Sukhothai - 1-2 nights
Krabi + Railay - 5 nights
Ko Lanta/Lipe/Phayam/Chang/Muk - 10 or so nights, somehow divided between one or two of these, depending on the vibe, weather, beating of our hearts, alignment of the stars and so forth. If we head for Muk, probably also a night or two in Trang.
Khao Sok - 1-2 nights
Bangkok - 3 nights
I don't think the math exactly adds up, but i figure we've got to keep a bit of schedule space open for the unpredictable.
We mostly plan to stay within a backpacker budget; we'd rather have a decent porch than a perfectly air conditioned bedroom, neither of us particularly minds shared bathrooms and we tend to eat local food when we're abroad (I like a bacon and eggs breakfast every once in a while). My research suggests we should expect to pay around 400-600 baht a night on average, but I can't really figure out an estimate for peripheral costs (travel, food, drinks, etc). We'd also like to do a couple of the Tourist Attractions(tm): Island tours, elephant treks, etc. Other than that, we'd rather stay independent.
Is 2000 Baht a night (for the both of us) about right as an average, or is that more of a minimum? Any tips on how to slash costs (without resorting to one meal a day and sleeping in tents)?
#1 FreeSombrero has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 5
"Sukhothai - 1-2 nights
Krabi + Railay - 5 nights"
Suk is north of Bangkok by some margin while Krabi is south. Strange idea to visit Suk for 1-2 nights then head south. Normally people head north from there. Easier to visit Ayuthaya if you want ruins - it's close to Bangkok.
Rooms - you don't get much for 500 baht on the islands. Best to budget on 800 baht.
Tours - a lot of them range from 500 baht to 1200 baht
Food/drinks - 600-700 baht for 2 people
I realize Sukhothai is a bit of a run around, but it seems worth it. I've heard it's worth the effort over Ayuthaya. That said, we really might add a night in bangkok on the way down to Krabi. Aside from the hassle of getting there and back, is there any other reason to prefer Ayuthaya in your opinion?
When you say 500 won't get us much on the island, do you mean there won't be many accommodations at those prices or that what accommodations there are will be subpar? The internet suggests that 500 will get us decent fan rooms in the tail end of low season, but I realize the internet may not be up to date and/or not accurate to beginwith.
As far as the budget, seems like you're saying 1400 should cover us both on days when we're not travelling/making any particularly big expenditures? If so, that's great news.
#3 FreeSombrero has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 5
Depends how much you like ruins. Personally I wouldn't bother. I'd stay in BKK for 3 nights and do a few tours - ayuthaya daytrip and an overnight tour to kanchanaburi.
You are going to lose 2 days to and from going to Sukhothai. Only to see ruins that are a bit bigger than Ayuthaya. Most who go there do so as a halfway stop on the way to Chiang Mai. Suk isn't known as a great town in it's own right.
500 baht will get you a small fan hut. Not very comfortable. An extra 300 baht is only $10. Spend the money and enjoy your trip.
I've always been fascinated by temples and architecture, so one of the two is definitely going to happen (part of me thinks both might).
If the rest of it really comes up to only 700-800 combined, those 300 extra baht a night won't even really be a big dent in our overall budget.
I think my budget last time around skyrocketed due to partying.
#5 FreeSombrero has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 5
If you are going to go up to Sukothai and then down south you might want to consider going all the way to Chiang Mai then flying south. Chiang Mai has a lot to offer and tickets won't be that much more expensive then what it would cost to bus/train down south not to mention the extra time you gain to see things.
As for cost it all comes down to the individual. I travelled for $30(900 baht) a day and that covered everything except the odd little bit extra for tours like Khao Sok Lake Tour(which I would recommend). Islands are a little more expensive as well.
In some places you can find accommodation for 300-400 baht if you go without hot water, air conditioning, bathroom, view etc. 600-800 should cover anywhere you are planning and even get you some of these extra amenities depending on location.
Food you are probably looking around 100 baht each for breakfast, 100-200 for each lunch and supper. That is eating good food, in places can get cheaper meals for 40-60 baht but I always figure a person should at least eat well on a short trip like yours. Good food and mediocre food makes a big difference on a trip.
As you say partying is where it can get really expensive. Drinks in Thailand are cheap compared to Canada/US/Europe etc but not that cheap. If you are willing to buy them at store and take back to guesthouse etc it will save you money over buying them in restaurants/bars. A 630 ml beer might be 50-70 baht in a store but in a restaurant/bar you might pay more then that for a 330 ml beer. Cocktails are around 100 baht.
Travel of course costs money as well. Short trips(up to 4 hours) are usually pretty good, 100-300 baht. Long trips on a sleeper bus etc can be 700-800 baht.
Overall 1500-2000 baht a day should be good ($50-80). Higher range if you plan on doing fair amount of tours and things like that.