You can comfortably backpack Thailand for £7.50 ($11.50) a day- Here’s how

Pardon me while I break second person again.

I did everything I wanted, ate an awful lot of food, travelled up and down the country and took diving lessons too. At the end of my three month jaunt in the land of the smiles, I’m struggling to think of anything that I wished I’d done- or done differently.

That’s not to say that everything went according to plan. I left the first farm I worked at early due to mounting discomfort at the owner’s behaviour; the rice paddies at the third farm gave me a skin infection and left me with weirdly discoloured legs; I fell off a mountain and also a motorbike (separate incidents) which gave me a few more scars; a jellyfish sting gave me a blood infection and kept me in bed over New Year’s and left a huge scar on top of my rice paddy scars; my camera got broken- and a month later I have a replacement (courtesy of the charming Taylor Fields who blogs at Callaway Rose) but no response as of yet from the insurance company.. and the haircut I got in Chiang Mai was terrible (but fortunately long enough to put up in a ponytail).

I still can’t quite believe how lucky I am. I received a diagnosis of Clinical Depression a few years ago, and after struggling to keep it under control for the past five years, things seem to be picking up. I am lucky that I was in a position to be able to save money and spend it on myself, and I’m lucky that I am physically fit and healthy and have very little holding me back.

Here’s a rough and concise write-up of my budget:

OCTOBER 8TH – NOVEMBER 1ST

8 days couchsurfing in Bangkok: £24 total spent
100-200 baht (£2-£4) per day on food and activities

5 days at Baanrai Farm Stay: £30 total spent
250 baht (£5) per day contribution towards bed and board
250 baht on snacks and water

10 days at Faasai Resort and Spa: £30 total spent
150 baht (£3) daily contribution towards bed and board

Bus tickets and other travel expenses: £11

Final Total: £95

*

NOVEMBER 1ST – NOVEMBER 24TH

24 Days at a rice farm: £100 total spent
200 baht (£4) daily contribution towards bed and board
200 baht spent on snacks, beer and hot chocolate

Bus and train tickets: £20

Final Total: £120

NOVEMBER 25TH – DECEMBER 22RD

27 days couchsurfing/helpXing with a fabulous lady in Chiang Mai: £85 total spent
1500 baht (£30) contribution towards food
750 baht (£15) on food, snacks and entertainment
1500 baht (£30) shared scooter rental
500 baht (£10) petrol

Final Total: £85

*

DECEMBER 23RD – JANUARY 4th

6 days with a friend in Chumphon: £14 total spent
700 baht (£14) on food, including a big fancy restaurant Christmas dinner for the both of us.

4 days learning to dive on Koh Tao: £284 total spent ohmygoodness
9,800 baht (£196) diving lessons plus accommodation
1,000 baht (£20) on food, snacks and water
1,300 baht (£26) ferry ticket plus transfer from station to pier
1,680 baht (£34) to see the doctor and get some medicine for the jellyfish sting
400 baht (£8) on a decongestant and herbal sore throat treatment

3 days in Bangkok: £32 total spent
1100 baht (£22) accommodation at an upper-range hostel
400 baht (£8) on food.. because I bought an expensive 200 baht burger. Worth it.
100 baht (£2) miscellaneous travel costs

Train tickets: 1,180 baht (£24)

Final Total: £354


TOTAL FOR THREE MONTHS: £654
Which averages out to £218 a month. Not bad.


Here is my post on HelpX/Workaway, and here’s two tips for couchsurfing: Make sure your profile is fully filled out and contains more than one (but not too many) photographs of yourself, and make your requests as personal as possible: explain why you think you’ll both get on well.

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9 comments

  1. I’m excited for when my time comes to hit Thailand but I’m still worried about the whole couchsurfing thing. I mean, you get this free place to sleep but for how long? I’d hate to overstay my welcome!

    • I’ve known people to stay for up to two weeks with one person, but I personally wouldn’t do that. 2 days minimum, 5 days maximum is my suggestion- and you can always stay longer if you both click really well and they offer. Buy your host dinner/drinks a couple of times, bring them a gift of some sort and no-one feels like they’re being taken advantage of 🙂

      The couchsurfing in Chiang Mai was a bit different- it was more of a HelpX experience since she wanted a lot of help around the house, so I stayed much longer.

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