I didn’t spend my time in Thailand the way I’d originally envisioned. After nearly five months of travel I arrived tired, a bit burnt out, and low on cash (mostly thanks to a few big surprise expenses).
I’d planned to chill in the north for most of the remainder of my trip, but as it turns out, I wasn’t really feeling Chiang Mai. So instead I headed back to Bangkok to live the dreaded city life for a few weeks.
As a rule, I’m not a city girl. But at this point in the trip, I was missing a regular exercise routine at a really awesome gym, great vegan food, and a tan. So into the lion’s den I went in search of fitness, health, and vanity. I mostly found it, too. I got a short-term membership at True Fitness, ate at some incredible restaurants, and spent three boring days laying by a pool so that when I got home I actually looked like I’d been in Thailand.
I wasn’t doing a ton of touristy things or traveling around the city. So how much does it cost to chill out in Bangkok for a while? Well, it cost me $786.77. Here’s how that breaks down:
I entered Thailand from Cambodia on November 19 and flew home on December 15, giving me 26 days and 26 nights in the country (I left super early on the 15th, so I didn’t count that day).
Accommodation – $162.70
This averages out to $6.26/night, although one night was spent on a very uncomfortable train to Chiang Mai, so this more realistically averages to $6.51/night.
I obviously wasn’t staying in very fancy places, but all of my accommodations were perfectly suitable. All had lockers and wifi (most was high speed enough to watch Netflix…which I did…a lot). The one I stayed in for 16 nights had toast for breakfast, a free water cooler (a big deal in a place where you can’t drink tap water, both because it saves you money on bottled water and reduces plastic waste), and a fridge where I could keep a few basics (like soy milk and apples).
Hostels with pools are quite hard to come by, but I spent three days at one for less than $6.50/night. It was not near anything else of interest, including food, but was tolerable for those few days.
There are at least 110 hostels in Bangkok for $10 or less a night, spread all across the city, so no matter where you want to stay, there’s no reason to break the bank on accommodation here.
Transportation – $109.67
The bulk of my transportation costs were on a few ‘big’ moves, including the bus from Cambodia ($10), the train to Chiang Mai ($10.99), the flight back to Bangkok when I bailed ($55.44), and my taxi to the airport (because my flight left too early to take the metro, $10.40). Metro trips within the city ranged from about $0.65 to $1.21, depending on the length of the trip. The occasional taxi (to places the metro didn’t go) came in around $1.50/trip.
Food – $362.86
This averages out to $13.96/day and includes meals out, snacks, water, and a few groceries (apples, cereal, pretzels, peanut butter) that I kept in the hostel as my version of ‘eating in.’ Unlike hostels in Australia, the ones here do not include kitchens, so you’re forced to eat out most of the time. A few offer refrigerator space and a microwave, but I didn’t come across any with an actual stove.
Other – $151.54
The primary focus of my time in Bangkok was fitness and the bulk of my miscellaneous expenses reflect this, with $56.20 spent on a two-week gym membership and $34.73 on a bungee workout. Other expenses included toiletries ($41.78), laundry ($1.41), a splurge movie ticket ($9.84), and medication to deal with an unfortunate bout of food poisoning ($7.59).
Was It Worth It?
These definitely weren’t the most exciting four weeks of my trip, but they were what I needed at the time. I spent less than I would have for four weeks of just hanging out at home and returned to the U.S. rested and ready to dive into holiday preparations. There were definitely costs that could have been cut here, but overall I was satisfied with what I got for my money.