Ultimate Thailand Travel Guide
Thailand travel FAQs and checklist before you arrive. Budgeting, weather, visa, accommodation, food, transport, and everything else you need to know.
How Much Does It Cost To Travel Thailand?
Here is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about traveling Thailand, with all the answers you need. We cover budget travel, transport, visas, health, safety, accommodation, and more questions that you might have. Please comment if a question you have isn't here.
Table of Contents
- Budget Travel Costs in Thailand | FAQs
1.1. How much does Thailand cost to travel? Is it cheap?
1.2. How much does accommodation cost in Thailand?
1.3. How much does transport cost in Thailand?
1.4. How much does food cost in Thailand?
1.5. Is shopping cheap in Thailand?
1.6. What's the cheapest time to visit Thailand
- Health & Safety in Thailand | FAQs
2.1. Can I drink the tap water in Thailand?
2.2. Can I drink iced drinks in Thailand?
2.3. Can I brush my teeth or shower with tap water in Thailand?
2.4. Can I eat fruits and vegetables in Thailand?
2.5. Is the street food safe to eat in Thailand?
2.6. Is the air quality good in Thailand?
2.7. Is driving safe in Thailand?
2.8. Do I need vaccines for Thailand?
2.9. Is there Malaria in Thailand?
2.10. Is there Dengue Fever in Thailand?
2.11. Are hospitals good in Thailand?
2.12. Are there gyms in Thailand?
- Transport in Thailand | FAQs
3.1. How do I travel from one city to another in Thailand?
3.2. Whats the best transport for inner city travel in Thailand?
3.3. Do I need a license to ride a scooter in Thailand?
- Visa's and Entering Thailand | FAQs
4.1. Do I need a Visa to enter Thailand?
4.2. Can I work in Thailand?
4.3. Can I extend my 30 day visa exemption for Thailand?
4.4. Can I re-enter Thailand multiple times?
- Weather & Seasons in Thailand | FAQs
5.1. When is the best time to go to Thailand?
5.2. Is it safe to travel Thailand during monsoon season?
5.3. Does Thailand get hot?
- Miscellaneous & Other Questions | FAQs
6.1 What's the best phone carrier when traveling Thailand?
Budget Travel Costs in Thailand | FAQs
How much does Thailand cost to travel? Is it cheap?
Thailand is very cheap, and is one of the most polished Southeast Asian destinations to go traveling. You can expect hostel stays to cost between $5-$15 a night, while a meal would cost $2-$5.
How much does accommodation cost in Thailand?
Accommodation in Thailand, much like anywhere, varies depending on the location and type of accommodation. However, they're all relatively cheap. On average, looking at reasonable listings in popular areas:
- Hostels are $5-$15 per night
- Hotels are $17-$50 per night
How much does transport cost in Thailand?
Transport within Thailand is a combination of inner city and inter city. Inner city transport costs between $0.2-$9.5 per trip depending on the destination and mode of transport i.e. Grab (Thai Uber), Train, Metro, Tuk Tuk, Bus etc.
- Grab Bike: $1.5-$3.5
- Grab Car: $3-$7
- Taxi: $4-$8
- Train: $0.5-$2
- Metro: $0.5-$2
- Bus: $0.2-$0.8
- Tuk Tuk: $5-$9.5
Of course these prices depend on the destination and travel time, but they're relatively stable averages.
How much does food cost in Thailand?
In general, local Thai food is very cheap. Food costs can vary from cheap street food like a few meat skewer for 30 baht ($1) to more expensive foreign style food. If you're buying from local food markets, street vendors, and local restaurants expect to pay between 60 to 120 baht per meal ($3-$6).
Is shopping cheap in Thailand?
Shopping for locally made and bootleg goods from markets are very cheap. Think souvenirs, clothes, ornaments, and other accessories. However, going to mega malls like Centralworld or ICONSIAM for high end shopping will resemble prices and brands you see back at home - Bangkok is the place to be for high end shopping.
What's the cheapest time to visit Thailand?
Low season which is from March to September is the cheapest time to visit Thailand. The weather isn't perfect as the time from March to June is hot season where temperatures are the highest and can get uncomfortable, and it's followed by the monsoon season which will include a lot of rain for 2-3 hours during the day.
However, this doesn't hinder the travel experience and a lot of backpackers prefer to travel during this time.
Health & Safety in Thailand | FAQs
Can I drink the tap water in Thailand?
No, we strongly suggest buying bottled water as the tap water is known to contain unhealthy quantities of bacteria and other residue from old piping.
Can I drink iced drinks in Thailand?
Yes, as nearly all commercially sold iced beverages use ice that's been made from treated water.
Can I brush my teeth or shower with tap water in Thailand?
Yes, as long as you don't ingest large quantities, you're very unlikely to get sick from the water.
Can I eat fruits and vegetables in Thailand?
Yes. The common misunderstanding is that these fruits contain high quantities of untreated water, and are therefore dangerous to eat. The real reason is how they're washed. Cooked vegetables and peeled fruits are complete fine to eat.
Cooked vegetables have no threat as the heat has killed any bacteria that may have existed - but avoid raw vegetables and salads as they may have been washed with untreated water.
And fruit smoothies or fruits in general are peeled, and the peel has protected the fruit from any bacteria that may have been there prior.
Is the street food safe to eat in Thailand?
Yes, though there's potential for bad street food, the majority will be safe to eat and delicious at that. Make sure you exercise common sense when buying. Things to look out for include;
- Freshly cooked food that hasn't been sitting there
- Locals eating from the same vendor
- Vendors and stalls that are a part of a larger market
Is the air quality good in Thailand?
Generally speaking, it's moderate. There are periods where it's highly polluted, and then there are periods where it's fresh. It also depends on whether you're in a big city with a lot of pollution like Bangkok, or you're on an island with barely any vehicles.
You can download the AirVisual AQF App to check air quality as needed. Other apps that are useful for Thailand are listed in the article below.
Is driving safe in Thailand?
It's a mixed bag. Driving can be safe, it can also be dangerous. The busier it gets, the more drivers on the road will weave in and out and tend to not follow, or bend the traffic rules. Most vehicles on the road will be motorbikes and scooters, so be aware of your surroundings.
Do I need vaccines for Thailand?
Yes. It's strongly recommended that you make sure your Hepatitis, Tetanus, and Rabies shots are up to date. Taking a Malaria prophylactic like Doxycycline is also an option if you're concerned about Malaria - though Malaria isn't a large issue in Thailand.
Is there Malaria in Thailand?
Yes, however it is mostly gone, and only limited to remote areas with a very small number of cases - here's a malaria map.
Most travelers opt to not take any drugs for this as the chances are extremely low, especially with use of mosquito repellent usage - while the side effects of the available drugs (Doxycycline) can greatly affect a travelers day to day experience.
Is there Dengue Fever in Thailand?
Yes, Dengue Fever is more prevalent than Malaria these days in Thailand. The chances are still low, however there is equal risk in both urban and remote areas. Prevention is key, so use mosquito repellent when in areas that are damp or near vegetation especially - more information here.
Are hospitals good in Thailand?
Yes. Most hospitals especially in urban areas like Bangkok are very much modern and professional in their medical services and facilities. Most doctors will speak English, and as a foreigner, you'll be able to book appointments and visit the doctors with ease.
Private hospitals are better - they usually have doctors and surgeons that hold international degrees and have more experience.
Are there gyms in Thailand?
Gyms can be found everywhere in Thailand, from regular strength training gyms, to Muay Thai gyms. Most higher end gyms require monthly or yearly subscriptions. However, mid to low end gyms that have everything that's required can be very cheap and offer day passes.
Transport in Thailand | FAQs
How do I travel from one city to another in Thailand?
The 3 most common ways for inter city transport in Thailand are by plane, train, or bus. The best way to buy bus and train tickets is to book them using 12Go Asia.
Flights can also be just as cheap to book and should be used when going from South Thailand to North Thailand or vice versa as it's more economical in price and time. Skyscanner is a good way to compare flights.
Whats the best transport for inner city travel in Thailand?
The easiest way to get around any city, town or island in Thailand is either by downloading Grab and booking bikes or cars to ride in as a passenger; or hiring a scooter and driving around to wherever you need to go.
Grabs can cost anywhere between $1.5 to $7 per trip depending on whether you get a bike or car, and how far you're traveling. A scooter hire can cost between $3 to $8 for a full day.
Options for daily transport are below:
|Grab Bike||$1.5 - $3.5||50 - 120 baht|
||$3 - $7||100 - 220 baht|
|Taxi||$4 - $8||125 - 250 baht|
|Train||$0.5 - $2||20 - 80 baht|
|Metro||$0.5 - $2||20 - 80 baht|
|Bus||$0.2 - $0.8||7 - 25 baht|
|Tuk Tuk||$5 - $9.5||150 - 300 baht|
Again, these depend on where you are, how far you're going etc. For instance, Grab is very expensive on Phuket, but one of the cheapest methods of private travel in Bangkok. So you would rent a bike on Phuket, but maybe opt to use Grab in Bangkok.
Do I need a license to ride a scooter in Thailand?
Technically yes, however nearly all tourists and expats will ride/drive a scooter without one as it's extremely rarely enforced. Even with an international drivers permit, it's prohibited on paper - you need an official Thailand approved licence to drive one.
All rental shops will rent to tourists with money or a passport as collateral. Police will ignore nearly all tourists on them as long as they're wearing a helmet, and are following the rules.
If you do get stopped, the fine is 500 baht ($16) and you'll have a 3 day window where you won't be able to get fined again. The main spots where this happens is going from Chiang Mai to Pai - this usually doesn't happen during inner city/town/island driving.
Visa's and Entering Thailand | FAQs
Do I need a Visa to enter Thailand?
No, most likely. Most countries will have a 1 month visa exemption when entering Thailand. The 64 countries that are on this list include the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and most European countries. The full list is here.
Can I work in Thailand?
You cannot work in Thailand with your 1 month visa exemption. You need to first apply for a non-immigrant visa, and then apply for a work permit - this usually takes 7 days - Details here.
Can I extend my 30 day visa exemption for Thailand?
Yes, you can go to any Thai immigration office and pay a fee of ~2000 baht (~$65) to extend your visa for an extra 30 days. This fee is sometimes waived to encourage tourism.
Can I re-enter Thailand multiple times?
Yes, you can re-enter Thailand by air to secure another 30 day visa exemption an unlimited amount of times. But doing visa runs by sea or land are capped at 2 entries per calendar year.
Weather & Seasons in Thailand | FAQs
When is the best time to go to Thailand?
Peak season in Thailand is from November to March as the monsoon season will have subsided and the cool season will have set in. These dates are just before the hot season which is from March through June.
The best time to go to Thailand in terms weather and things to do would be the peak season, however as a budget traveler, going just before or just after peak season aka. the shoulder seasons, are better. Fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation and transport.
Is it safe to travel Thailand during monsoon season?
Yes, the season doesn't provide the very best conditions but it won't hinder your travel experience all that much - and it's most definitely safe.
You can expect tropical storms, 2-3 hour periods during the day where it rains heavily, and a humid heat afterwards - not the very best conditions but they don't hinder the travel experience all that much.
Make sure to exercise common sense and don't go out in a thunder storm. But besides that, enjoy cheaper travel during this season as its a low season of Thailand.
Does Thailand get hot?
Yes, Thailand much like other Southeast Asian countries is by default quite hot. The weather varies depending on where you are and what season it is, but the average weather during the day across the whole year is about 30 degrees Celsius or 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Miscellaneous & Other Questions | FAQs
What's the best phone carrier when traveling Thailand?
Phone carrier and sim deals change frequently in Thailand, so there isn't a definitive 'best' when picking a sim but the sim should be from one of the 3 major carrier in the country.
AIS is the leading provider but they all have great coverage, lots of data, and good deals. You'll be able to purchase a sim at the airport when you land. However, you can also purchase one from the small vendors scattered across the city or town you're in. This way, you'll pay local prices instead of tourist plans for the sim.
This article is updated frequently, if you gave a question that we haven't answered, please comment below and we'll have an answer in no time 😎👍