Friday, April 19, 2013

The cost of eating in Thailand

Food is cheap in Thailand.  With an abundance of street food and local restaurants, you can easily eat for well under $5 a day.  Be aware that tourist destinations like Phuket will be more expensive, and even items at 7-11 will have a higher price tag.  My advice is to learn what street food you like and pack your own snacks to save money when traveling. 

Most accommodation won’t have a kitchen because all the locals eat out for every meal, so in a country like Thailand buying groceries is actually more expensive.  Alcohol, American name brands, or chain restaurants are more expensive, but even on weekends I found myself never spending much on food.  I lived in a small town outside of Bangkok, but frequented Bangkok and other cities each weekend.  Here’s an honest look on how I typically spent my money on both weekdays and weekends.


2 eggs served over rice—20 baht
Small orange juice box—10 baht

Plate of veggies and meat served over rice—20 baht
Bag of pineapple—10 baht
Bag of dragon fruit—10 baht

Iced tea—10 baht
Bag of peanuts—10 baht
Serving of corn—10 baht
Bag of raisins—15 baht

Friday rice with chicken—30 baht
Banana smoothie-20 baht

Total: 165 baht ($5.77)


Large orange juice—20 baht
Bag of peanuts—10 baht

Teriyaki chicken bowl at a Japanese restaurant—100 baht
Iced lemon tea—20 baht

Bag of fruit—10 baht
2 liters of water—26 baht
Cookies—20 baht
Large change beer—60 baht

Fried noodles with vegetables at a restaurant—60 baht
Smoothie—30 baht

Total: 356 baht ($12.45)

As you can see, food is extremely inexpensive in Thailand.  During the week I ate mostly street food, but spent most of my money on snacks at 7-11.  I found it difficult to eat properly and made an effort to buy fruit whenever it was available.  Drinking water was available at my school, but on the weekend I would typically spend about 30 baht ($1) on water each day.  Be smart about how much you spend on food and you’ll have plenty of money leftover for travel.  

street food in Nakhon Pathom

typical snacks from 7-11

street food and soda water

more of a splurge, yellow curry and a pineapple shake

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