Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Viking Cave Photo By Fitri.Agung

Viking Cave Photo By Fitri.Agung

Simply put, the cost of living in Thailand is astronomically lower than the majority of cities within Europe, North America and most of the world. There are an exponential amount of expats that are finding out how easy it is to get by on as little as $10 a day. The better news is that if you take advantage of these tips for living cheap in Thailand you may even be able to live on even less than that. Sounds like the perfect escape doesn’t it?

Well it can be.

This type of living isn’t for everyone, and there are many people in Thailand that spend an incredible amount of money per month in order to live affluently. However, if you are considering moving abroad to save money or are interested in finding an affordable vacation then this is the article for you. All you need to do is use common sense and cut a few corners here and there, and you may save more money than you even realize.

Where and When to Visit Thailand

One of the best ways to save money when traveling to Thailand is to plan your trip according to the low season. This is between May and November and means that prices for absolutely everything from airfare to hotels and even food at classy restaurants are a lot cheaper. You can even rent scooters for a better price and get discounts on attractions, drinks and shows.


An added advantage to the low season in Thailand is the fact that there are fewer tourists in the area, which means better access to a number of places and events for you. On top of that most business owners will be dropping prices and throwing in amenities and bonuses in order to compete for your valued money.

Steer Clear of Touristy Areas

Places such as Phuket and Ko Samui are known as top tourist destinations in Thailand, which means they come with extreme prices and are full of merchants looking to take the most money out of your pocket as possible. If you want to save money and connect with the “real” Thailand then try and head to the South and North Eastern parts of the country.

Cut Down on Island Living

The islands of Thailand are incredibly impressive and well worth a visit, but expenses can really stack up in these areas. Everything in the area needs to be imported which means prices for food, drinks and even services are much higher than on the mainland. You will definitely want to tour the islands, but leave your wallet at home and stick to souvenirs and restaurants in cheaper areas.

Overnight Traveling

Hotels and accommodations are probably going to be the most expensive part of your stay in Thailand, but you can eliminate part of that cost by taking overnight buses and trains. You can travel to an all new part of Thailand and get a decent sleep as many of the trains in the country are quite comfortable. While there are a number of overnight buses, trains are considered to be quite a lot safer, and far more comfortable.

Dining and Sleeping in Thailand

A good tip for traveling in Thailand is to never feel bad when locals, or anyone for that matter, offer you free things. Many Thai families are more than willing to share what they have and it is a part of their culture to display their kindness and ability to host. Turning down an invite to dinner may seem ruder than simply accepting and counting your blessings. Who knows, a family dinner may even lead to a free place to crash for the night. Now that’s what we call traveling cheap.

While you may not need to fork over any money, you should always be willing to give what you can when dining in someone else’s home or crashing on their couch. Simply offering to do the dishes or run some errands can go along way, and help you feel more welcome during your stay.

Find Free Water

You may not realize how expensive purchasing bottled water every day can get, especially when you are used to your Brita filter or just drinking from the tap. Instead, give this idea a try. Purchase large bottles of water, which are cheaper in the long run anyways, and then feel free to refill them in your hotel lobby before you head out for the day. It is quite a common occurrence for people to do so and you will not get the weird glances in your direction like you may if you did the same at home.

Fight your Urge to Tip

A lot of people see a lack of tipping as rude, but that is simply not the case in Thailand. While a lot of us have been raised and taught to tip based on good service, it is simply not expected in Thailand. Locals do not tip and foreigners are not relied upon to either. In fact, in some instances tipping is seen as a rude and unnecessary display of wealth.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Surely you have had your fill of western food before heading to Thailand. To be honest, the imported foreign food in Thailand does not even taste the same or as good as the stuff at home, so why not just skip out on it altogether?
Thai food is delicious, cheap and diverse. The best part is that you will never be more than 5 minutes away from a food cart or a cheap restaurant where you can grab a quick bite to eat.

Leave the Alcohol in the Mini Fridge

There is more than enough whisky and beer available at the supermarket and it is extremely cheap when compared to bars and the mini fridge at your hotel. If you really want to cut down on costs then you can stick to cheap Thai Whisky, but it may leave you useless for the whole day after.

Added Tips about Thailand Law

Police in Thailand are more than willing to dish out fines for people not wearing seatbelts on the road and motorcyclists who opt not to wear a helmet. Just because the locals do it doesn’t mean that you are going to get away with it either.

Littering is taken pretty seriously in Thailand and a tossed cigarette or throwing an empty beer bottle in the street can lead to a fine if the police see you do it. This is another law that locals tend to get away with breaking but where foreigners and expats are fined all the time. Thai people may be welcoming and friendly, but they do not want tourists coming in and making a mess of their streets or beaches.

Employment in Thailand

There are quite a few jobs that are available where you can get paid under the table in Thailand, however it is illegal. Teachers and anyone planning on doing business within the country should make sure they go through the Visa process and fill out all the right paperwork. If you want to simply earn a little cash on the side while touring the area by all means go for it, but be aware that there are consequences for breaking the law if you are caught.

Thailand has always been a popular vacation destination and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular places where expats head to in order to work abroad and save money. However, just like with any other destination in the world it is possible to blow all of your cash here if you try to live a certain way. Use common sense, try to keep tabs on your spending and make a budget, and get caught up in the local flavours and culture.

The Land of Smiles has become the Land of Opportunity for many, whether they are looking for a brief getaway or a new life abroad in Thailand. It is up to you to make the most of this unique and dazzling paradise and these tips should help you along the way.

Thailand Backpacker Guide | Low Cost Villages & When to Travel

Posted by Drew On September - 30 - 2009
Photo By Rene Ehrhardt

Photo By Rene Ehrhardt

Thailand has long been one of the most popular Asian destinations for tourists from around the world, no doubt due to its beautiful countryside, friendly citizens and lovely beaches.


While the country of Thailand is renowned for its open spaces and beautiful scenery, it is known for its bustling city life as well.  The sprawling city of Bangkok is a riot of sights and sounds, with fast moving traffic, large international hotels, the best shops and gleaming office buildings.  The modern world is very much on display here, and the country of Thailand is a growing economic force on the horizon.


Travel Costs in Thailand

Budget minded tourists have known about Thailand for years, and this great vacation destination is one of the most inexpensive hot spots on the globe.  While the cities can be expensive, budget travelers can easily trim those costs by staying outside the city centers and exploring the countryside.


There are many wonderful villages to explore throughout the country, and the low cost only makes the country more charming and beautiful.  American and European visitors generally find that their money goes much further in Thailand than in other Asian countries, making it possible to enjoy a long and leisurely vacation at a very affordable cost.


Those wary of carrying large amounts of cash will find ATMs scattered throughout the country.  These modern conveniences are particularly widespread in the major cities and resort areas, but they are available in smaller towns and villages as well.


Credit cards are widely accepted in the large cities, at the country’s many shopping malls and at large hotel chains.  On the other hand most family run lodgings and many restaurants do not take plastic, so visitors should be sure to keep enough cash on hand.  Visitors should exchange most of their money for the local currency at one of the official money exchange centers, but it is a good idea to retain some U.S. or European currency for emergencies.


When to Travel to Thailand
Thailand is a land of many delights, but bad weather can ruin even the most delightful vacation.  Most people find that the best time for a visit to Thailand is between November and February.  During this time of year there is less rainfall, and less of the oppressive heat that often accompanies a Thai summer.


The peak tourist season runs from November to the end of March, so visitors going at that time should expect large crowds and long lines at major tourist sites.  Tourist traffic is also high in the months of July and August, but not as bad as the November to March peak season.  Those who want to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices may want to schedule their visits for April, May or June, when the lines are shorter and the sites are less crowded.


Most major airlines have regular flights in and out of Bangkok, so getting to Thailand should not be a problem. . There are many discounters offering steeply reduced tickets, but it is important to deal only with reputable firms.  Paying by credit card is always a good idea when booking travel, since this type of payment offers a wealth of consumer protections not available with other forms of payment.


Many tour operators offer all inclusive packages to Thailand, including airfare, hotel accommodations, travel within the country and even sightseeing excursions.  These package deals can be a good way to see the country, but independent minded travelers may be able to lower their cost by planning their own itineraries.


Once they have arrived, visitors have a wealth of choices for how to get around.  Many adventurous travelers choose to see the country by bike, and this can indeed be a good way to get around. Visitors who want to bring their own bikes into the country are free to do so, but the bikes must be registered with the customs agency upon arrival.  Failure to do so could result in a hefty duty when leaving the country.


Those who choose not to bring their own transportation in the form of a bike will find a number of alternatives at their disposal.  The country features an extensive system of inter-city buses, making it easy to see the countryside at leisure.  Large cities like Bangkok have their own extensive public transportation systems, making it easy to see the sights and get from place to place.  Public transportation is also a very affordable option, leaving visitors with plenty of spare cash to spend at the shops and restaurants throughout the country.


Renting a car is generally not recommended, since the roads in Thailand can be difficult to navigate for the uninitiated.  The rental process can also be cumbersome and expensive, so most visitors are advised to rely on a combination of public transportation and taxis.


No matter how they get around, many visitors find the country of Thailand so enchanting that they can’t wait to return.  Thailand has many repeat visitors who arrive year after year to take in the delightful sights, sounds and smells of this unique Asian travel destination.

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Night Market in Thailand

Night Market in Thailand

If you have your sights set on living somewhere incredible while making your money last for as long as possible, then Thailand is an excellent option. To be honest and forthright it can be very difficult to find a job in Thailand unless you are involved within the gas or oil industry. High salary jobs in Thailand are especially hard to come by, but the good news is that you do not need one.

The cost of living in this stunning and unforgettable utopia is drastically low. If you can nail down a steady job that pays you on time, you can be set for years. Just as with Ecuador and Costa Rica, this should not be your first choice if you are looking to cash in quick. However, if a laid back lifestyle and care free atmosphere is your dream, it is attainable in Thailand.

When you are living, traveling or working in Thailand you can stretch your dollar further than in most other countries. While prices are creeping up as the area becomes more popular, you can still find good value, especially in areas outside of the mainstream such as Bangkok. Following is a brief yet thorough guide to the average cost of living in Thailand. The current exchange rate as of today, May 11th, 2009 is just under 35 Thailand Baht for every $1 American dollar.


As long as you stray away from the central business districts you can usually land an apartment for just a few thousand Baht a month. Keep in mind that this will just be the basics with a single room and a small fridge. However, the point of traveling to Thailand is not to spend time in doors anyways.

Once you start looking at accommodation nearing the 15,000 Baht per month is when you will notice a major improvement. For this price you can grab a comfortable two room apartment that will usually come hand in hand with a few amenities such as a shared swimming pool and so on.

If you are looking to live in the lap of luxury then you can do so for around 30,000 Baht per month. You will find a number of real estate agents and websites that focus solely on this price and if you can afford it, you are going to be immersed in a spectacular lifestyle.


One area where prices can be a bit higher than usual is in terms of electricity. The cost of living in Thailand can be substantially increased if you use a lot of appliances or constantly run your air conditioning unit. The cost of your monthly bills will correlate quite a bit with your standard of living and lifestyle. Your power bills could be as low as 1,000 Baht a month or could cost you up to 4,000. If you want to stretch out your money, then open up the windows and buy an electric fan. Think of the other areas where that money could be better spent. A cold beer can sometimes be just as refreshing as a blast of A/C and a lot more affordable.

Cell phones are readily available in Thailand and quite affordable. In fact many expatriates and native citizens do not bother investing in a land line. A simple pay per month SIM card is your best bet. On top of this you will want high speed internet access to keep in touch with friends and family back home. You can get easily setup for just over 1,000 Baht per month.


Most apartments that you come across in Thailand will not have appliances or even cooking areas. There are simply so many delicious and affordable restaurants nearby wherever you are that cooking in your home is not worthwhile. From sit down restaurants and bars to take out street carts, there is an abundance of food available for the right price. A filling meal of traditional noodles or rice will only set you back about 35 Baht. It may take some time to get used to the food and you might want to get acquainted with other foreigners in the area to learn about the best places to eat.

If you are looking for something a bit more upscale you can usual dine out at a nice restaurant with a group of friends for about 500 Baht, excluding alcohol. Not to worry, alcohol is extremely cheap throughout Thailand and that really helps to keep the cost of living down. If you aren’t in the mood for booze then you still want to make sure you stick to bottled water at all times. Bottled water is also much cheaper than you are probably used to in your native country.

In the end the cost of living in Thailand is quite affordable. That is, however, depending on the lifestyle you want to live. No matter where you travel in the world it is always possible to blow a lot of money and overspend. However if you are looking to discard some comfort items and get used to living abroad and fitting in with the culture, your money can go a long way in the wonder that is Thailand.