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.

Weekday

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

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

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

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

Total: 165 baht ($5.77)

Weekend

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

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

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

Dinner:
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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