The two biggest reasons people don’t travel:
1. It is too expensive (BUDGET).
2. I don’t have time to research and plan a whole trip (ITINERARY).
Well...I am here to help!
Below I have outlined all the places I went and you will also find my complete BUDGET for my 6 day Thailand adventure (The Cambodian portion of this trip can be found on the Cambodia page). No excuses, go explore!
*If you need me to go into any further detail, or if you have questions about any destinations, please visit my other Thailand blog posts or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*All pricing and information below is from January 2019*
*31.78 Thai Baht = 1 United States Dollar (USD)*
TOTAL TRIP COST, excluding Cambodia expenses = $3,028 or $1,514/each
FLIGHTS = $1,728 (round trip from Chicago to Bangkok, Siem Reap to Phuket, Phuket to Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai to Bangkok)
Book early! I booked right when the flight schedule came out for the days I wanted to travel, which was a year in advance. I purchased round trip economy tickets to Bangkok, Thailand for $722.50/each (including taxes and fees) on All Nippon Airways (ANA). This airline was great, even in economy. The seats were comfortable, there was a huge movie/TV/music collection to choose from, and they gave you meals. Since my flight to Bangkok left Chicago at 4:15pm (Thursday – Chicago time), had a 4 hour layover in Toyko, and landed in Bangkok at 6:00am (Saturday – Thailand time), I had to adjust my sleep schedule as I flew around the time zones. Luckily, I must have done something right since I didn’t have jet lag there or when I came home.
O’Hare (ORD), Chicago to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok
Leave Chicago Thursday, January 10th – 4:15pm-6:00a+2 (20hrs/20mins of total flight, 4hr/25min layover in Toyko, arrives in Bangkok Saturday morning)
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok to O’Hare, Chicago
Leave Bangkok Sunday, January 20th – 7:10am-3:40pm (18hrs of total flight, 3hr/40min layover in Toyko, arrives same day in Chicago)
The “in between” flights were booked on AirAsia, which is very inexpensive. Our most expensive flight in between cities was Chiang Mai to Bangkok, which was $111 for both of us (55.50/each). AirAsia is a great airline, but just be aware of their baggage policies. We only had our carry ons but the airline does have strict weight and size limits. Also, be sure to get the AirAsia app. This allows you to check in online up to 14 days ahead of time, so we were able to check into all of our AirAsia flights before we left the US. This was a huge convenience for us because once we got to the airport we would simply find the AirAsia kiosk, print our boarding passes, and head straight to security. This saved us A LOT of time.
ACCOMMODATION = $546 (6 nights)
Prime Hotel Central Station Bangkok = $79.34 (1 night)
23, 34-35 Tri Mit Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
Pacific Club Resort = $118.17 (1 night)
16 Patak Road Soi 24, Karon Beach, Phuket, 83100, Thailand
Phi Phi The Beach Resort = $154.72 (1 night)
At Long Beach on Phi Phi Island
The Astra Condos = $127.60 (2 nights)
191 12 Changklan Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Royal Princess Larn Luang = $66.48 (1 night)
269 Larn Luang Road, Pomprab, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
EXPERIENCES = $272
The Grand Palace = $32
TE Time and Space
Freedom Beach = $12
Massage at Pacific Club Resort = $40
Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Anusarn Night Market
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary = $110
Thai Farm Cooking School = $78
TRANSPORTATION = $242
Ferry + Shuttle for Phi Phi Island = $102 for both
This price includes a shuttle from your hotel to the pier, and from the pier to the airport. It also included round trip tickets to and from Phi Phi Island via ferry. Be sure to print TWO copies of your confirmation page. You will need one to board the ferry from Phuket, and another to board the ferry from Phi Phi Islands.
Phuket Shuttle from HKT to Karon Beach area = $28 for both
The shuttle picks you up from the airport in Phuket (HKT). Once you exit the terminal, there will be a person waiting for you to take you to your hotel. Once you book, you will get an email with very detailed directions, which make it a very stress free experience.
Grab Cars = $112
Grab is like Uber for Asia. You can download the app and call a car to pick you up from a location and drop you off at another location. For the most part this was easy to use. A few times we got stuck in some places that were off the beaten path, but when that happened, we would just walk to a more densely populated area in order to get picked up. You can add a credit card and pay right on the app too. This is a good way to save your cash since this is one of the few things that take credit cards.
FOOD = $240
Going out to eat in Thailand is super cheap! Of course, you can find places that are more expensive, but if you stick to street food and local places, you will save a lot of money. For example, we went to a little restaurant down an alleyway in Chinatown (Bangkok). We received two huge plates of shrimp fried rice and two bottles of water for about $6.00.