One caveat, my travel style has always been more flashpacker than backpacker, and is probably even more so, now I'm middle aged. I like AC. I hate share bathrooms. For convenience, I've broken the Thai portions of the trip down into different sections, as the costs do vary a little (with the islands costing noticeably more than the mainland).
Peninsular towns (Songkla, Phattalung, Nakhon Si Thamarat, Surat Thani, Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Hua Hin, Trang, Satun): average costs per day = £26.29 (1045 THB)
Accommodation average £17 per night (675 THB)
- Songkla - 1175 THB (£29). Songkla is very popular with domestic tourists, and I was there over a weekend, meaning most places were fully booked. I therefore had to take a more expensive room that I normally would.
- Phattalung – 730 THB (£18.25)
- Nakhon Si Thamarat – 495 THB (£12.40)
- Surat Thani – 490 THB (£12.25)
- Chumphon – 622 THB (£15.50)
- Prachuap Khiri Khan – 570 THB (£14.25)
- Hua Hin – 744 THB (£18.50)
- Trang – 502 THB (£12.50)
- Satun – 590 THB (£14.75)
- 30 THB for khao gaeng (curry rice) at a market stall
- 20 THB for an iced coffee at a stall
- 60-70 THB for an iced coffee at a fancy coffee shop
- 90 THB for khanom jeen (a noodle dish), a sharing-sized side of goong tod (fried shrimp fritters) and an iced tea at a small restaurant.
Transport is also affordable: I used a mix of trains and minibuses to move between towns, with sorngtaews, the occasional taxi, or often just my feet to get around in town. Intercity train journeys varied between about 20 and 100 THB, depending on the distance (3rd class). Intercity minibuses varied between 80 and 180 THB. I typically spent an average of £1.62 (64 THB) per day.
Accommodation average £14.43 per night (577 THB)
- Chiang Mai - 500 THB (£12.50)
- Chiang Dao – 500 THB (£12.50)
- Thaton – 400 THB (£10)
- Mae Salong – 700 THB (£17.50). Paid extra for a room with a view of the tea fields.
- Chiang Rai – 600 THB (£15)
- Phayao – 690 THB (£17.25)
- Phrae – 700 THB (£17.50)
- Phitsanulok – 535 THB (£13.39)
- Dan Sai – 400 THB (£10)
- Chiang Khan – 720 THB (£18)
- Udon Thani – 590 THB (£14.75)
- Nong Khai – 575 THB (£14.34)
- Nakhon Phanom – 500 THB (£12.50)
- Mukdaham – 952 THB (£23.80). I'd been roughing it in southern Laos for two weeks, so decided to treat myself to a plush hotel for a couple of nights.
- Ubon Ratchathani – 425 THB (£10.65)
Sightseeing is pretty cheap, as museum fees are generally not excessive (30-100 THB). Some of the more popular wats charge up to 100 THB entry fee as well. But I spent more time wandering about towns and hiking into the countryside around the town then visiting paid-for attractions, so my average spend was only £1.13 (45 THB) per day.
Transport is also affordable: I used a mix of coaches, minibuses and sorngtaews to move between towns, with a quite mobile schedule - I spent 4+ nights each in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, but most places I stayed only 2 nights, with a couple I only stayed a single night to break up a longer journey. Average spend was £2.31 (93 THB) per day.
The islands vary enormously in terms of cost. On some of them (I'm looking at you, Ko Ngai), expect to pay mid-range-and-up prices for basic, cold water fan-cooled rooms. Other islands offer some very good value rooms, especially as soon as you move one row back off beachfront properties. Average £18.36 per night (730 THB).
- Ko Samui – 800 THB (£20) - bungalows one row back off the beach
- Ko PhaNgan – 600 THB (£15) - small hotel one row back off the beach
- Ko Lanta – 520 THB (£13) - bungalows a 4 minute walk inland from the beach
- Ko Ngai – 1335 THB (£33.35) - beachfront property, but I was in one of the cheap bungalows at the back.
Fees for diving and snorkeling trips, boat trips, etc., can add up pretty quickly, but swimming, walking on the beach, and snoozing in a hammock are all free :)
Ferries to or from the islands are usually fairly tourist-focused, so expect to pay a minimum of 300 THB every time you to from the mainland to an island, or from one island to the next (and some of the other islands I didn't visit are considerably more expensive to reach, with ferries costing 800 or 1000 THB per person). So if you're planning on doing a lot of island hopping, your costs will mount horribly quickly.
So, that gives you a rough idea how much you might spend, assuming you travel as a solo flashpacker.