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Cost of 1 week Backpacking trip to Thailand for Indians

Hey Guys what’s up, I have spent a month in Thailand and have spent most of my time in Pai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Chiang Rai – if they do not sound familiar to you, is because they are not one of the more popular Kohs or islands, however, these are places in North of Thailand.

This post is a work in progress, adding more points and elaborating on some, do let me know in the comments what else you would like to know, will add/share whatever I can 🙌.

While things are still fresh in my mind, I thought I would compile whatever I can, mostly to help fellow travelers and for my own records as well.

Flight to BKK from India – with some planning a return flight can be done well within 25K. This is as of March-April 2023, prices will vary of course.

Backpacker Accommodation in Thailand

One good thing about Thailand – is a plethora of backpacker-friendly hostels and guest houses to please backpackers from all over the world. Family-run hostels, Party hostels, boutique hostels, Poshtels – the choice is plenty.

I would give 400 baht or 1000 rupees – as you can get a very nice dorm or a basic room. Dorms would start from Rs.500 and on average Rs.600-800 should get you a really nice place hostel anywhere in Thailand..

You can always do overnight buses and if you plan in advance flights are not that expensive as well.

Cost of Drinks

Thailand is a tropical country and whenever you are there, where you are in Thailand, chances are you will need to keep yourself hydrated all the time. Breaking down drinks in broadly into two categories, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic.

  • Alcoholic Beverages – Chang was my beer of choice for one month. Light, easy and smooth, available at the retail store next door for 60B for a large bottle and anywhere between 70B to 120B in hostels, cafes, restaurants, bars etc. There is a decent variety available on shelves and on bars, however, Chang is by far the cheapest ones. You can expect to shell you 10 to 50% extra for other beers like Budweiser, Heineken, etc. Another popular local one is Leo – which is almost a clone of Chang’s availability and pricing – so you can always flip between the two. Cocktails go from 100B to 250B depending on the type of Bar and type of Hour. Local spirits and known brands like Black Label, Absolut, etc can be picked up at reasonable prices at local retail stores.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages – let’s start with water, while a lot of eateries and hostels would provide you with free drinking water, some might not. Or you might just need or prefer bottled water. A small bottle costs 10B while a liter one would be 15-20B. Soft drinks generally cost 20B or lower.
  • Coffee – Coffee seems to be the adult beverage of choice and there is most coffee around the corner then you can imagine. Funky, Quirky, Classy, Vintage, Professional, Wooden, Rustic, street – coffee shops are thrown around everywhere in all shapes, sizes, and decors – and personally speaking I find them all to be really good. The cost of a basic hot Latte / Americano / Cappucino can be 30B to 60B while more fancier and signature drinks can go up to 75-80B.

Cost of Food

As you land in Thailand from India – it is easy to get overwhelmed with the food options and choices available – both local as well as International. And please do not take too much of images of creepy crawlies and weird things selling on the streets – they are strictly for tourist purposes. After initially going bonkers over food and splurging around 200-300B per meal, I understood that the best, local, and fresh food was going from 40B to 70B – yup that is how much you can expect to pay for a portion of Khao Soi, Pad Thai, Fried Rice, Curry Rice, Boiled Chicken Rice, Noodle Soup, etc.

Though as a vegetarian the choices get limited – however you can really survive on Tofu Pad Thai as well as veg fried rice. If you are a pure vegetarian or stick to a Halal diet – then you are on your own, because the chances of those sauces and dips having a little Shrimp paste in there – are quite high.

However, if you are open to all types of food – then probably you are in for a treat, especially for a week.

How to get around?

if you book in time, then flights can be a really cheap way of traveling, however, do keep your luggage restrictions in mind. A VIP bus, which is akin to our Sarkari Volvos would cost Rs.2000-3000 for an overnight journey. I used one from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then one from Chiang Rai to Bangkok. They are not in the best shape, even compared to buses run by several states in India – but they get the job done. They are safe, they are organized, they can be booked in advance and they are reliable as well.

Grad, ID, and Bolt – they are like Ola and Uber clones and work exactly the same – if not better. I used the services in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Chiang Rai – absolutely perfect. For a solo traveler, Grab Bike is a lifesaver.

Tuk Tuks: Good for a drunk ride around town in Bangkok with blaring music. Take a few pictures, have fun – take the grab home.

Walk – Walking is a great way to observe and absorb local vibes and Thailand is not a bad place to walk to at all.


This is another area you can plan a bit on – as the costs can get surprisingly high. Though for 1 week you can always pick and choose free as well as cheap experiences, however, it’s always better to have a look around the activities that you want to do and places you want to visit and keep the cost in mind. In general, I would put aside a budget of 500B for doing things – otherwise, if you are like me – there is enough to aimlessly wander about – cafes, restaurants, and markets to keep you busy – a lot of temples and sights you can visit for free or at minimal costs.


Despite its reputation for messages of another kind, the massage culture in Thailand goes way beyond all the smut that we hear about. For 200-300B you can get a Thai / or Oil Massage for an hour or two and if you do your research – you can get it done from really experienced therapists. In fact, if you enjoy massages, you can keep a major chunk of your cash.

This one is a work in progress guys, adding more points and elaborating on some, do let me know in the comments what else you would like to know, will add/share whatever I can 🙌.

How much should I budget for 1 week in Thailand as an Indian Backpacker?

I have given you the breakup above, you can expect to pay between INR 20,000 to 30,000 for the flight – depending on where you book it from, when you book it, luggage options, etc. As in the first half of 2023, the cost for Visa on Arrival (VOA) is approximately 2000 TBH, which translates into INR 5000 to 5500 approx, depending on rates and how you manage your currency exchange. Besides that, I would budget for around 1500 -2000 TBH per day for a decent backpacking experience wherein you will enjoy the myriad of food, beverages, experiences, and activities that this country has to offer. Translating to INR – it is around 3,000 to 5,000 rupees a day, which works out to around 20,000 to 35,000 INR – that’s what you can expect to spend per day.

The above calculation does not include local flights or buses, you can always account for them, however, if you are doing vans, buses or manage to book really cheap flights – the cost suggested above should include that as well. Of course I will not recommend hopping too many destinations in a week’s time – I will probably restrict myself to 2 destinations in the country or if they align with the route – 3 would be my maximum recommendation.

Ideally you should be able to get yourself into the country, including the VISA cost for under INR 30,000. Besides that INR 5,000 a day for the number of days you are – should have you well covered for local travel, food, accommodation, going – out, parties, drinks, and several touristic activities. If you want to splurge and stay in luxury accommodation which has more facilities and luxuries, then of course the sky is the limit. And then there is shopping, of course. That is where you got to be careful ladies.

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