As you must be aware that Thailand has been offering free visa on arrival for 21 countries including India from 1st Dec 2018 to 13th Jan 2019, it is a golden chance for you to plan a trip right now, you can read more at Thailand waives off visa on arrival fees from 1st December 2018 to 13th January 2019 .
Now I will tell you my last Thailand trip budget in March 2018 for 6 days including Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Normally there are five types of expenses: Flights, Visa fees, Hotels, Transportation and Food.
1. India to Thailand Round Trip Flight Cost:
As you know, Kolkata to Bangkok is the most popular route from India to Thailand due to less distance as well as low fares. Other cheap routes may be either Chennai to Bangkok or Bangalore to Bangkok. If you book flights earlier, you can get a round trip flight at around Rs 10,000 or less. Air Asia, Spice Jet and Indigo offer the cheapest flights, often you may get attracted by Air Asia’s offers. But there is a little glitch in Air Asia flights.
Beware that Bangkok has two airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng. The former is the main airport where all major flights are operated, but at Don Mueng, only low cost airlines run as of now. So, Air Asia will also land you at Don Mueng only which is a little bit far (40km) from the main city of Bangkok. But if you get much cheaper flights, it will not matter at all. Moreover, there are lesser queues at visa and immigration counters at Don Mueng.
I booked a flight in Air Asia too which costed us Rs 5000 per sector or Rs 10,000 for round trip from Kolkata to Bangkok in March 2018. But I didn’t book much ealier, that’s why I paid more, otherwise I would have got it at only Rs 8000 (round trip). Some times in flight big sale, you can get it even at Rs 6000 (round trip).
2. Thailand visa fees for Indians
You have two options for getting the Thailand visa. Firstly, you can reach any Thai Embassy which is located in all major metro cities of India, secondly you can get visa on arrival at the airport.
If you apply pre-visa at the embassies, the charges are around Rs 2500, but visa on arrival charges are around Rs 4400 or 2000 THB. You have to submit many documents like bank statements, flight tickets, hotel bookings, passport size photos, income proof (may be), cover letter etc. for applying at embassies.
But visa on arrival or VOA don’t require you much documents like pre-visa, they only need return ticket, hotel booking and photos, but it is more costly. Recently Thailand is offering free VOA till 13th Jan 2019, you can read more at Thailand waives off visa on arrival fees from 1st December 2018 to 13th January 2019 .
If you decide to take VOA, there may be a one hour or more long queues at the counters. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, queues are longer, but if you arrive at Don Mueng, queues are shorter which is the main benefit behind taking an Air Asia flight! I had also taken VOA and paid more than Rs 4000 or 2000 THB (Thai Baht).
3. Hotels or Accommocation Charges in Thailand
Thailand is a very tourist friendly country and every option is available here. If you are solo, you can book any hostels which are much cheaper that the hotels. Hostels generally cost Rs 400-500 per night with free breakfast but shared washrooms. While on the other hand, hotels will cost you minimum Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 for a two bedded room. May be, you may get cheaper rates also, but you will have to research more.
We were three friends on this trip, so we booked 3 bedded rooms in all hotel bookings (Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket) which costed us around Rs 2000 per night with free breakfast. Hostels are only beneficial when you are going single, if not, then hotels are always better.
4. Local transportation cost within Thailand
There are plenty of options in Thailand regarding public transport like buses, trains, taxis, ferries etc. I am giving some examples of fares in Indian Rupees approx.
Bangkok to Pattaya AC bus fare: Rs 230
Bike/Scooty Rentals in Coral Island, Pattaya: Rs 400 (with petrol)
Bangkok to Phuket AC bus fare: Rs 1000- Rs 1500. You can get Bangkok-Phuket one way flight also at Rs 2000 only.
Local taxi charges within bangkok: minimum Rs 200 for small distances like 3-4km. For longer distances like Bangkok to Floating market area, they ask Rs 3000.
From Airport to City or vice-versa: Rs 400-500.
All the above fares are just indicative and change from time to time.
5 . Food or Meals costs in Thailand
Thailand is a place which is very suitable for non-vegetarians, but for vegans, there is a little bit problem. Although the vegans may depend upon bread, bananas, bakery items, rices, noodles, yogurt etc. On the other hand non-vegetarians have a lot of options- chicken items, pork items, fried rices, sea food, eggs etc.
In Thailand you will see a 7-Eleven store at every 100m. You can purchase any daily consuming items there like water bottle, biscuits, bread, bakery items, tourist SIM card etc. A 1.5L watter bottle will cost you Rs 30 there which is almost same as in India. Street food is available everywhere in Thailand which is cheaper than restaurants. For examples, a plate of chicken rice is available at only Rs 120 in streets. I think non-veg items are cheaper than veg items as 1kg of banana or mango will cost Rs 100-200 here!
Indian Food In Thailand:
This is the much awaited topic for you. You can find an Indian restaurant in Thailand but it will be much more costly than local Thai food. For example, a tandoori roti costs here Rs 50 while a plate of dal tadka costs Rs 200, any Indian mix veg curry costs Rs 300-400 per plate. So, if you are a budget traveler and no problem with non-veg items, try to survive with local food only.
6 . Some islands small tour package costs
In Thailand there are a number of islands, but you cannot reach many of them in your own. For example you can visit the Coral Island near Pattaya by taking a ferry yourself, but you may not manage Phi-Phi or James Bond Island tours on your own as they are very far, need a time consuming journey. The Coral Island is very near Pattaya main city and every half an hour, ferries run continuously, fares are also nominal like Rs 60.
On the other hand, if you want to visit Phi-Phi island from either Karabi or Phuket, a small package costs you around Rs 4000 approx which includes taxi transfers from your hotel, ferry costs and lunch excluding any extra water sports. Similary, the James Bond island tour costs around Rs 2500 from Phuket city. We had booked the James Bond island in a hurry at the airport and paid Rs 4000 for it, but they transferred us to our hotel also for free. However, please don’t try to book at the airports, they charge you more. Just go to any local travel agent within the city and negotiate with them.
One more thing I forgot to mention about Bangkok Safari World tour which had costed us Rs 3000 approx, but we could have done it at Rs 2500 only. We booked separate taxi and bought separate entry tickets at Rs 2000 per head. Later, we came to knew that the whole package was available at Rs 2500 from any travel agent in Bangkok.
My overall 6 days Thailand trip expenses (March 2018):
Round trip flights: Rs 10,000
Visa on arrival fees: Rs 4000
Hotel charges: Rs 4000 (assuming Rs 700 per day approx)
Bangkok to Phuket Flight (one way): Rs 3000
James Bond Island Tour: Rs 4000
Bangkok Safari World tour: Rs 3000
Food and Meals: Rs 3000 (assuming Rs 500 per day)
Miscellaneous (taxi, entry tickets etc): Rs 3000
Total cost: Rs 34,000 (approx)
Thus you can also plan a Thailand trip at this cost which will include the three main cities of Thailand- Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. If you add your own extra expenses like water sports, Thai massage, disco etc, then the budget will definitely rise.
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