Home » How To Spend Only $10/Day In Thailand

How To Spend Only $10/Day In Thailand

by Nomada How Far
Travel Cheap In Thailand

Thailand is a super backpacker-friendly country, which makes it easy to spend some time in the country on a very tight budget. We’ve spent almost two months in Thailand and managed to spend only $10 a day, even when we were traveling between places. Of course, not every day is the same, and there were days that we’ve spent way more than this. Especially, when doing tours or activities that cost money, it’s difficult. But still, it isn’t impossible. That’s why we wanted to share our experiences and tips on how we managed to travel cheap in Thailand on only $10/day.



After having traveled through whole Central Asia and Indochina, we’re already used to budget accommodations. During our stay in Thailand, we slept in the most basic rooms one can imagine. But it helped stretching our budget immensely. You can already find dorm rooms and basic privates for $5 and even less. In Chiang Mai, we stayed a week in a guesthouse for $8/night, which makes this $4 per person. Couchsurfing is also a great thing to do in Thailand if you want to save money.


A lot of people think that it’s almost impossible to hitchhike in Thailand or Asia because the locals don’t know the meaning of hitchhiking. But this is not true! With the help of a hitchhiking letter, you can get literally everywhere! Transportation doesn’t cost that much, but if you have the time and patience, hitchhiking will help you saving more money in the end. We hitchhiked all the way through the north of Thailand without any problems. We even got from Chiang Mai to Bangkok in just one day (two rides, +12 hours).


If you’re not keen on hitchhiking or want to visit points of interest, take the local buses or a songthaew (a pick-up truck with benches in the back). These modes of transportation are cheap and convenient! Buses have their fixed prices and routes while songthaew’s function more like a shared tuk-tuk service. Although, some of them have set routes, depending on the color of the songthaew.

Travel Tip: Agree for the price of the songthaew before getting on. Prices are usually around 20 Baht for short distances.

Train Travel Thailand - Travel Cheap In Thailand


We walk almost always and everywhere. Even if it’s 2km, we prefer to use our legs and walk the distance instead of paying money for a couple of hundred meters. It isn’t always the most relaxing and certainly not the fastest way to get around, but it’s free! We think that other long-term backpackers can agree with this.


The Thai cuisine is well-known all around the world, and for a good reason! Just take a walk around a local market or through the streets of Bangkok and the fragrances of the food stalls will overwhelm you. The street food culture in Thailand is BIG, and there are walking streets and markets in every city, more than once a week. The noodle dish “Pad Thai” is the most famous one among backpackers and you can already find a decent plate for 75 cents.

Pad Thai in Pai Walking Street - Things To Do In Pai


This convenient store is backpackers heaven. It’s a great and budget-friendly option to buy a microwave dish in the 7-Eleven. Especially the toasties are very famous among backpackers (Myrthe was addicted to the Tuna-Cheese Sandwiches). You won’t walk out with a full stomach but what can you expect for 50 cents? Perfect as breakfast, quick lunch or snack. 7-Eleven, 24/7! Unfortunately, it’s not so healthy. :-/


The north of Thailand is significantly cheaper than the islands in the south. Everyone tries to benefit from all the tourists and backpackers that want to stay on one of the islands. Transport is expensive as hell, and drinks & food are also more costly. Traveling on less than $15 a day is really difficult when you’re in the south of Thailand.


Most of the time, tours are very expensive, especially for budget backpackers like us. That’s why we want to avoid doing tours as much as possible. Instead, we try to do the same activities by ourselves in a cheaper way. Or we try to find some free activities, like seeing the sunset at the Pai Canyon or experiencing a real Muay Thai fight in Bangkok.

Temples & Buddhas - Travel Cheap In Thailand


Cities like Bangkok are cool to visit, as there’s much to do. But it’s most of the time much more expensive to stay in a big city than in a smaller village. Finding budget accommodations at a low price in Bangkok is really difficult. That’s why we don’t like to stay in touristic places for too long.


Renting a bike is already possible for less than $3 for 24 hours. This makes it an excellent way to visit places or points of interest that are further out of town and are not easily accessible by local transportation. Utilize all the time you can have with your bike and try to see as much as possible on one day.

These are the things we did to live on $10/day, and we managed to do this for at least 30 days during our 2-months stay. By combining these tips, you and your wallet will benefit from it. It will help you to travel cheaply in Thailand and to stretch your budget to explore even more of the world.

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100cobbledroads April 15, 2017 - 6:44 AM

That must be one of the most pocket friendly posts ever…$5 day accommodation, 75 cents for lunch. Who could imagine that?

Mel and Marcus April 15, 2017 - 7:33 AM

Some excellent tips for people on a budget. Some look fun even if you are not on a budget like eating locally and renting a motorbike.

Nomada How Far April 16, 2017 - 4:29 AM

When we are traveling, we like it more to eat between locals or small restaurants instead of the more nicer restaurants. This way, you connect more easily with the place and its locals.

Iza (@IzaAbao) April 15, 2017 - 3:17 PM

These are all very good suggestions. I would not mind staying in hostels that are less than $10. I am already happy if I am able to sleep, take a shower and eat a decent meal. The street foods in Thailand are really good and nutritious. I love noodles so I am okay with this. I am not that eager with hitchhiking if I am just traveling solo. I do not like Bangkok because it is so busy and crowded already. I would prefer going to rural areas which have more hospitable people.

Nomada How Far April 16, 2017 - 4:32 AM

We fully understand that hitchhiking can be intimidating when you’re traveling as a solo woman. We are lucky that we always have each other’s back. But luckily, local transport is cheap and good too! We didn’t like Bangkok neither.

Mimi & Mitch April 15, 2017 - 8:45 PM

Well that is a super guide to travel cheap in thailand! Never have travelled this short on money or on a budget so quite surprised it is possible this easy!

Nomada How Far April 16, 2017 - 4:34 AM

Thailand is a great country if you’re on a budget and still want to enjoy the place, its people and culture. Of course, $10/day isn’t always possible certainly not on the islands. Thank you for the comment 🙂

The Brew Diaries April 16, 2017 - 1:25 AM

Great tips! I usually travel with local transportation. It’s cheaper and gives me the feel of how is it like living in the place where I travel. Glad you shared this 🙂

Nomada How Far April 16, 2017 - 4:35 AM

You’re absolutely right! And especially in Asia, it can be a fun experience too…

Rhonda Albom April 16, 2017 - 5:11 AM

Walking a lot and eating local are always on my list when I travel, not for budget, but rather it is what we like to do to better absorb a culture. The rest, I think I would prefer to upgrade and spend a bit more.

gokulr27 April 16, 2017 - 11:59 AM

II have been to Thailand 1 month back and Bangkok did put a hole in my wallet. In the south I was in a village in Krabi and my expenses were covered by the resort I was working with. Next time I am gonna explore North. Good to know it is cheaper over there.

travelwith2ofus April 17, 2017 - 2:22 PM

Very informative. I think even if you’re not a backpacker or budget traveler these tips can also apply. Hopefully, one day we would get to visit Thailand and try the amazing street food or rent a motorbike like you recommend and visit the countryside.

Nomada How Far April 23, 2017 - 4:22 PM

You really should! And if you do, we’d love to hear about your time in Thailand.

Reshma Narasing April 18, 2017 - 8:39 PM

I have been to Thailand and has traveled as a backpacker and I could relate to all of it as I have traveled exactly the same way – staying in the north, public transport, walking & 7 eleven. Hitch hiking is the one thing that I didn’t do. Great tips here!

Nomada How Far April 23, 2017 - 4:23 PM

Thank you Reshma 🙂

mappingmegan April 19, 2017 - 2:19 AM

Thanks for these tips! Avoiding the big cities, looking for free activities and walking are strategies we use a lot to keep our costs down – interested to know, what is a hitchhiking letter?

Nomada How Far April 22, 2017 - 9:34 AM

Hey Megan, a hitchhiking letter is a useful piece of paper where you write down all the essential information a driver need. Like who you are, why you are standing at the side of the road, and preferably where you need to be, etc. If you’re in a foreign country, it’s best to find someone that understands English and can translate this for you in the actual language.


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