Northern Thailand Review and Costs Summary

Northern Thailand Costs and Review

See our general tip page here.  Note the costs here do not include flights, vaccines and insurance etc – this will be detailed at the end of the trip.

  Total per day
  THB gbp THB gbp
Accommodation 14550 £311.92 808 £17.33
Trains 12 £0.26 1 £0.01
Taxis/Buses etc 3300 £70.75 174 £3.72
Food (not beer) 5495 £117.80 289 £6.20
Essentials 487 £10.44 26 £0.55
Entertainment (inc beer) 13075 £280.30 688 £14.75
Total 36919 £791.47    
Nights 19      
Nights in paid accom 18      
Total per night 1943 £41.66    


After enjoying Southern Thailand previous, Northern Thailand was always going to be interesting.  We did the main sites and enjoyed the cities we visitied.  Fair to say though our heart wasn’t into seeing too many more temples, caves or waterfalls.  Had we seen Northern Thailand first then we’d have done a lot more.

Still, very much enjoyed Thailand and would recommend it.


Our daily spend of £42 for us both we think is pretty good.  If you like drinking more, eating in better places, or buy more tat, then £50 a couple is a good budget.  We did use good and more expensive guesthouses, and had a few expensive meals and trips.  Thus on a budget, you could do everything we did for probably £30-35 a day for a couple quite easily.  (e.g. shared bathroom, no AC, and only street food). 

We also did spend money on good transport and didn’t always use the cheapest option, sometimes a simple taxi to the airport is easier than a crammed lorry with bags balanced on the roof doing the rounds trying to pick more people up for an hour…


You will hear all the nightmare stories before you go and when you are there.  But we didn’t have any security problems, and only felt vulnerable once or twice – and that was in “night life” areas of dodgy places.  Always carry your valuables, so don’t leave laptop/money/passport anywhere other than your “day bag”.  You may be forced to leave main rucksack out of view (bus hold, ferry bag pile etc) and thus don’t keep anything in main rucksack of value.

That said, we never had problems, and no one tried to short-change us or rip us off, so for us, Southern Thailand is as safe as anywhere.  Just don’t get complacent.

Useful facts:-

  • ATMS:  Everywhere for VISA and Mastercard.  Easy to get cash at airport. Only Bhats are dispensed
  • Currency:  Everything is priced and paid for in Bhats.
  • Landry:  Everywhere – 20 to 70 bhat depending where you are (35/40 average)
  • 7/11:  Everywhere – convenient for cheap/cold water and sweets!
  • Transport:  Busses easy; Trains easy; and taxi/tuk tuk “beep” on way past you – so easy to get as you just wave.  Agree taxi/tuk tuk price before getting in.  We used taxi; tuk-tuk; bike tuk-tuk; pickup truck; songthaew; mini van; old bus; newish bus; train; sleeper train;  speedboat; longtail boat; ferry; moped.  No problems in anything…
  • Chemists:  Everywhere
  • Food:  Easy to get on street – wherever people are there are food sellers
  • Language:  Knowing Yes, No, Thanks, How Much and numbers in Thai is enough to get by easily.  You will learn other things when needed. 
  • Power:  mains plugs everywhere so charging stuff is trivial (socket adapter may be needed, and of course make sure charger is 110/240v!). 
  • Internet:  Wifi available in every guesthouse we used and in many bars/cafes.  Internet cafes and PCs to borrow also available free/cheap.
  • Toilets:  Western style in all guest houses and in most “good” public places, there may only be one in a row so look.  Worth carrying toilet paper though seldom needed.

Stuff we took and didn’t use

(see our packing list here)

  • Towels – they were provided by every guesthouse, even special beach towels
  • Mozzie net – only needed in one place, and it was already provided.
  • Loads of clothes – you only need 4-5 sets of undies – laundry is so trivial to do you do not need to carry as much as us.
  • Spare batteries for stuff – power so available we kept things charged
  • Main padlock – all guest houses had normal locks

Things we’d change

Pattaya probably isn’t on our list to visit again, but apart from that we’d not change a thing

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