How Much it Costs to Backpack in Southern Thailand

Thailand is one of the countries where it’s super easy for me to live on a $30 a day budget. In January, I spent 18 days in Northern Thailand (budget- here), but I knew I wanted to go back and explore the south. This time I stayed for just under 4 weeks (27 days), and managed to stay well under budget. A big factor in that was attending an 11 day silent retreat which cost only $60 including all food and accommodations.

Khao Sok National Park Cheow Lan Lake Overnight Tour

My Itinerary

1 night in Surat Thani – Since I only stayed for one night, I chose a cheap hostel. I wouldn’t really recommend spending a lot of time in this city as there isn’t much to do.

5 nights in Khao Sok – This town is one of the cheapest places I’ve ever stayed. My room cost less than $5 a night and I never spent more than $4 on a meal. I did go on an overnight trek for $75 which included several activities, accommodations, and food.

8 nights in Koh Samui – I fell in love with Koh Samui. I stayed at an amazing hostel with a beautiful pool. I was also right next to the beach, so it was easy to stay under budget there. I did splurge on a couple of Muay Thai boxing classes though.

1 night in Surat Thani

11 nights in Suan Mokkh Monestary – If you’re interested in “finding yourself” this is the place to do it. For $60, you can live like a monk for 11 days. It was extremely difficult and the living conditions were pretty basic, but it’s a great way to save money, and it’s a life changing experience. You can read more here and here.

1 night by the airport

Khao Sok National Park Cheow Lan Lake Overnight Tour

Average Prices Per Day

**Since the silent retreat skewed the information below drastically, I did not include it in the average prices per day. The information below is for the 16 days where I paid for everything and tracked my budget. I spent an average of $36.94 per day over 16 days.

Breakfast $1.49 – Breakfast in Thailand is super cheap, especially if you eat the local cuisine. In Koh Samui, my friend and I found a great little place where you could get veggies, rice and a fried egg for $1.

Lunch $2.30 – Again, if you eat the local food, it’s super cheap here. I was on a soup kick for some of this journey and soups are really inexpensive. I also started eating more vegetarian meals which kept the price down as well.

Dinner $3.86 – I found dinners to be very inexpensive. This price even includes going out drinking one night at an island party.

Shelter $8.03 – Shelter is super cheap. A lot of times, I chose the most basic place, but in Koh Samui I stayed in a beautiful hostel with a pool. Even then, it was under $12 a night.

Transportation $4.28 – I took a couple of buses and ferries to get to each city/town. I also took a few taxis/ tuk-tuks for shorter distances.

Tourism $8.17 – This included an overnight stay in Khao Sok National Park, tubing down a river, and two Muay Thai boxing lessons.

Other $4.51 – This was money spent on items not listed above. Mostly it was laundry, souvenirs, postcards, and my SIM card. I also splurged on some clothes when I arrived.

Khao Sok National Park Cheow Lan Lake Overnight Tour

Total Spent Over 27 Days – $581.17

**These prices take into account the 11 day silent retreat, which is included in the tourism category.

Breakfast – $23.83

Lunch – $36.80

Dinner – $61.79

Shelter – $128.53

Transportation – $68.53

Tourism – $189.54

Other – $72.16

Total – $581.17

khao sok river tube - tubing in the jungle in thailand

Average per day – $21.52

I went to Thailand with a budget of $30 a day and actually came in WAYYY under budget. Since I spent 11 days living in a monastery, I was able to save up some major money. I was also able to save during my time in Koh Samui where I mostly sat by the pool or went to the beach each day.

Do you think you could live on $30 a day in Southern Thailand? If you’ve been, what did you spend each day? Spill in the comments.

Budget for Backpacking Souther Thailand - one month cost breakdown

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