Chiang Mai Street Food Tour
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Thailand has long had a reputation of being a paradise for backpackers, where you can sleep, eat and unwind on a tight budget. More recently, though, the country has unveiled a luxury side and it now woos upmarket tourists with 5-star hotels and fine dining restaurants.
Whatever type of traveller you are, you'll find a lot of prices in Thailand to be between 35 and 70% lower than in Australia.
Prices are exclusive of flights and hotels as you've (hopefully) already sorted these out. If not, you can check out flight deals to the country here and search for hotel accommodation to suit your budget at Hotels Finder.
Debit and credit cards are becoming more widely accepted across Thailand, but it's still best to have a decent amount of cash on you for paying for things at local markets and in smaller restaurants and shops.
Most travellers take a small amount of their home country's currency (around $50–$100) over to Thailand with them and exchange it for Thai baht when they arrive.
They then top up their budget with money from ATMs. However, some cards charge quite a bit for withdrawals, so it's worth shopping around for the right card.
In Bangkok taxi fares start at 35 baht (just over a dollar). After the first two kilometres the fare starts to go up by about two baht a kilometre. A taxi from the airport to the city is about 400-500 baht.
Tuk tuks offer an alternative to a taxi ride. These are automatic rickshaws that typically fit two passengers. Short journeys cost about 30 baht, but you must negotiate a fare before you get in.
Scooters are cheaper to hire, but be aware that they're more dangerous to drive. You can usually hire one for about 1,344 baht ($56) a week.
Whether you have the budget of a prince or a pauper, you'll not go hungry in Thailand. If your purse strings are tight, you can pick up a bowl of street food soup or noodles for 30 baht (around $1). A meal in a basic Thai restaurant will cost you between 90 and 150 baht ($4–$6).
You'll find the cost of food increases when you're in more touristy areas. A 3-course meal at a fine dining restaurant overlooking the sea in Koh Samui, for example, can set up back as much as 1,360 baht ($56).
Alcohol can also be pricey in Thailand. Buy a beer from a 7-Eleven and you'll pay between $2 and $3. Order a beer in a hotel and you can pay up to $7.
If you're one to tick off must-do food experience in a city, street food is something not to miss in Thailand and tours can help you find the best of the best. Bangkok's towering skyscrapers are also home to rooftop bars and buffets, and while they may cost a bit more than the average meal they come with unrivalled views of the city.
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As with any destination, you can spend a little on sightseeing or you can spend a lot. A tour to The Bridge over the River Kwai will set you back a little over $80 while a trip to see the floating markets from Bangkok will cost a little over $50. If you're after an elephant experience, sanctuary visits will set you back about $100 per day, while island hopping tours in Thailand's south will be less than $30.
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Three networks operate in Thailand: dtac, AIS and TrueMove. AIS is the largest provider and tourists can buy prepaid SIMs called 1–2 Call and You from spots like Bangkok Airport.
You need to show your passport when you buy a SIM card. In terms of cost, you'll be looking at paying about $10 for a SIM that lasts a week.
You can also pre-purchase SIM cards before you leave home.
It doesn't matter if you're splashing the cash or travelling on a shoestring, you can have a great trip to Thailand.
Backpackers should budget 800–1,200 baht a day ($35–$50) to cover the costs of hostel rooms, street food meals, a couple of drinks and a spot of sightseeing.
Holiday makers looking for a touch more luxury should budget 1,800–3,000 baht ($75–$125) a day to cover nice hotels, gourmet meals and cocktails.
Exchange rate is approximate, obtained from xe.com on 11 November 2018
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