View Full Version : How to holiday in Thailand on a more limited budget

16th Nov 2008, 02:28
my wife and I were unlucky to purchase our tickets before the Lehman Brothers crashed and the whole Western economy took a nosedive. We have our holiday booked for July/August next year, but as I see the Baht/pound exchange rate worsen week by week I am beginning to wonder if our holiday will be worthwhile ....

We are staying in Thailand for 3 weeks. This year we spent approximately the same time in Thailand and blew away £4000 during that period. With an estimated guess of an exchange rate of 45 baht to the pound come July (based on the expansive fiscal policy the government is planning with tax cuts and more government debts) we would be spending some £6000 if we just did the same things again.

I do not want to do that so I am thinking of alternatives that would make our holiday enjoyable yet less costly. Hitherto, we have always holidayed in some of these areas, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket or Hua Hin. These will all be fairly pricey.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for alternative destinations? Not for the whole holiday but just one week maybe to keep costs down. We are already planning to stay 4-5 days in my wife's village as opposed to the normal 2-3 days (I think going beyond 5 days in the village would drive me nuts) However, staying in the village doesn't really save that much as we usually feed and give drinks to everyone who visits which means half the village and if we go on an outing we have to hire a bus to take the whole extended family.

Would Isarn, Laos or Cambodia be affordable and enjoyable alternative destinations? My wife would like to visit some family in Korat, but what else would there be to do in Korat?

Any suggestions appreciated.

Merc Fintail
16th Nov 2008, 02:57
£4000 in 3 weeks! Wow, we usually spend about £2000 and thats buying furniture and bits and bats for the inlaws home. We are going this christmas for three weeks and are taking £1500. I must admit that I am nervous of running out of money but thats all we have.
We avoid taking internal flights, set a budget of say 800 bht for hotels, watch where you eat, buy chang and not euro beer. When we go to the inlaws, we buy one box of chang and two ltrs of cheap Thai whisky, once its gone thats it!We run our own pick up so we drive everywhere.

I think the hardest thing is for the wife to say no to herself and to family and friends, to being over generous. The last thing she wants to do, is admit your a bit straped. Da tells me that the British economys down turn is on Thai news everyday, so you may get a sympathy vote.

Maybe try and scrimp for the first two weeks and if funds allow, blow out on the last!

Thats my 10 bhts worth ( thats about 50p now ;-) )


16th Nov 2008, 03:00
£4000 is an awful lot of money to spend in 3 weeks. Just spend more sensibly.

16th Nov 2008, 03:52
Maybe set yourself a budget for each week, One thing I have noticed is, if I tell my wife we have for example £2000 she will spend £2000, and if I tell my wife we have £4000 she will spend the £4000, they will spend whatever they have, So maybe before you go out there with your £4000 tell your wife you have say £3000 and she will stick to that budget...

I have noticed that we spend less on the beach part of our holiday compared to what we spend in Bangkok. So still go to Phuket and Hua Hin and the places you enjoy and have a great time, just be a little more careful with your budget.

Good Luck

16th Nov 2008, 04:15
Thanks for the advice,

We always do try to set a budget, but after one or two days it usually goes out the window. I have to admit that it's usually me who blows it though as I get bored easily.

When we're in the village it's usually me who suggests going on a trip to the nearest town - which necessarily always means we have to take 6-7 family members with us, anything else would be rude in my wife's eyes. But I guess economic hardship should be able to restrain me to the hammock for a day of 2 with the chickens and the dogs barking for entertainment. :rolleyes: ;)

Similarly, when we're holidaying I like to stay in a good hotel and eat out often - otherwise what's the point of a holiday?

Anyways, the advice about doing the same but spending less is certainly right but I also wondered if anyone has suggestions about alternative things to do which would not cost much but would make the holiday more enjoyable?

Would a week or so touring Isarn be a good idea? And if so what kind of itinerary would anyone suggest? As I said we have family in Korat which could be our starting point - are there any other places we could go to travelling economically on a bus? Are most Isarn towns/cities the same?? Without having been to any yet, I have a prejudice that they are mostly the same. Right or wrong??

16th Nov 2008, 04:41
Similarly, when we're holidaying I like to stay in a good hotel and eat out often - otherwise what's the point of a holiday?

You can still do that without spending a fortune. It's very easy to find a good hotel room for less than £30 per night.

16th Nov 2008, 07:10
:D <<<<<<<<< Stays Hushin rents a house (detached) 8/10,000 baht a month goes out everyday We do what we want and easliy lives on 3/5,000 baht a wk.

16th Nov 2008, 07:25
Hi stevem,

How do you manage to rent a house in Hua Hin for 8/10,000 a month if you don't mind me asking?

Do you know any websites where such rentals can be found or is it more a personal contact you have?


16th Nov 2008, 08:13
Henson try looking on this web site,
www.huahinafterdark.com/hua-hin-houses-for-rent.htm (http://www.huahinafterdark.com/hua-hin-houses-for-rent.htm) - 49k -

16th Nov 2008, 08:32
Originally posted by db1:
Henson try looking on this web site,
www.huahinafterdark.com/hua-hin-houses-for-rent.htm (http://www.huahinafterdark.com/hua-hin-houses-for-rent.htm) - 49k -

The cheapest listed there is 26k for a one bed place in Dolphin Bay! I think Steve must be using local contacts?

Anyway, just checked this which appears to have better deals, primarily as they are not managed by agents, I guess? Its another one of the HHAD portals.


16th Nov 2008, 16:11
Hi Henson, I have a few contacts, but have never used them for myself.
In May/June this year i rented in Cha am (just outside cha am to be exact)

I generaly book into guest house first then spend a few days driving down every soi asking.

From cha am to Huahin there are dozens of Sois that lead to the beach with many detached houses for rent.

I have never used a house rental shop,and i usualy get the wife to do all the talking/dealing etc.

The house in Cha am was initialy a new 2 bed 2 shower accomodation with no furniture, but the owner went out and purchased 2 new dble/beds wardrobes and settee.

I have some pics i can show (if i can work out a way to upload them)

I used to stay in Bangkwai,500mtres from the beach in a new house, was detatched and very quite 10,000 baht a month.

There are very good deals to be had you just have to go looking.

I will get some numbers for you to call + send you some pics either from here or your e/mail add.

Dont know if you know Bangkwai or not its a small village near the Regent/Tipviman hotels on the beach. i have a lot of friends with bars/restuarants there.

I think caller knows of it.

If i can be of any help let me know .

16th Nov 2008, 16:36
Thanks a lot for that Stevem,

I guess we could try the same regarding the guesthouse and then find cheaper accommodation privately instead of through agencies. Money can definitely be saved like that.

I any case we will not be planning or booking anything for at least a few months - best to see how the exchange rate situation develops first. :thumb:

17th Nov 2008, 07:33
I've posted maybe a million times [... content removed by Moderator ...] you have an interesting problem. You want to cut back on your budget and welcome the idea of guesthouses in Hua Hin. Isn't that a bit of a come down for you. Even after a suite at the Hilton in Hua hin, with breakfast and dinner included you'll be left with about 12k baht per day. Unless I was shopping everyday, I'd find it impossible to spend that much. Who wants to shop everyday on holiday, I wouldn't go to thailand to shop every day anyway. Barcelona or Milan maybe but not BKK or Chiang Mai or Hua Hin. Don't you ever sit on a beach and chill out. I love doing that at the Let's Sea with a margarita by my side, laptop in front composing replies to [... content removed by Moderator ...]

[MODERATOR EDIT: Post edited because of attempts to circumvent the language filter and to remove offensive content. WARNING: Any more posts which are intended to offend or embarrass other members will be deleted.]

17th Nov 2008, 08:17
Duster thats a bit of a naughty post....usually £1000 will last me a months holiday;but I can well believe that any amount can be spent(certainly if the extended family is in tow!)
Henson..no wonder falangs get taken for walking ATM,s!
I thought your were a 'poor'teacher too ;)

17th Nov 2008, 11:21
Well, I don't know if the offensive content of duster's post was due to incredulity of the spending of £4000 in some 3 weeks in Thailand.

I cannot give a full account of our spending nor do I find a need to do so. Included in the cost, however is my wife's donations to her mother's finances, internal flights, a suit I had made in Bangkok, restaurants 1-2 times a day, shopping (the wife), relatives in tow etc., hotels, day trips, alcohol(!) ... it all mounted up. Still, I don't consider the holiday especially extravagant, but you're right sitting at a beach all day is not my preferred way to holiday which is a main reason for increased costs.

Anyways, the exchange rate will have to dip below 40 baht to the pund before I'll consider cancelling my trip (and in any case that will just be me and my mate not going - my wife will go even if it goes down to 10 baht per pound)

I appreciate the replies - except for Mr Duster - but not much input in terms of alternative holiday arrangements that could be viable in these poor exchange rate times. Never mind. :thumb:

17th Nov 2008, 13:07
Hi Henson,

This adorable little two bedroom house is available in Huai Boi, just north of Saraburi. If you are interested just let me know, I am sure we can come to some arrangement.

Saraburi? See here, Saraburi (http://www.thailandguidebook.com/central-thailand/saraburi-/index.php)



You can also make use of this jeep if you want to.


17th Nov 2008, 14:09
Hi Henson, I understand what you mean, Money sure does go quickly when one's enjoying themselves, When we go on our annual tip to Thailand we will spend about £4000 in about 5 weeks..

What do you guys think about this, Would any member be willing to buy say for example £1000 of Baht today and keep it for next years trip, if as they say the Pound could go down even more against the Baht, would anybody do that? I only say this as last year my bother bought £3000 worth of US Dollars when it was $2 / £1.


Robert W
17th Nov 2008, 21:06
It seems more than likely that the baht will follow the Korean won as the next Asian currency to take a bath.
I wouldn't worry about next June too much, Henson.

18th Nov 2008, 06:21
Originally posted by Henson:
Well, I don't know if the offensive content of duster's post was due to incredulity of the spending of £4000 in some 3 weeks in Thailand.

Well I got close to that inc airfares. But I was young, handsom and free at the time. :rolleyes:


18th Nov 2008, 09:22

Cheap week I have had in Thailand (apart from just staying in the village) was one where hired a Toyota (luxury) minibus and driver for less than 2000baht a day (including petrol costs). 10 of us headed from Udon Thani, through Loei to Chiang Mai, then down to Chonburi and back to Udon Thani. Initially we were just going to do across to Chiang Mai and then fly back, but enjoyed stopping off different places and restaurants and minibus had DVD and LCD Panel for watching "Lost" during longer journeys. Found some very cheap and comfortable hotels, in Chonburi we paid for a room for the driver as only 500 baht a night (we had to "force" him into accepting the room as he slept in the minibus by default). Saw lots of great scenery and places and around Chang Mai the driver and minibus were invaluable as saved a fortune in Taxi fares/trip arrangements.

Having just got back from Euroland where spent over 400Euro in the first 2 days of the holiday without doing much realise how important it is to get to a point where you limit yourself to the maximum you are going to spend in a day and then not exceed this for any single day. Best thing I did was to not use a card to pay for anything, but only for withdrawing cash from ATM. Day 1 ATM 200euros and that went, day 2 ATM 200euros that went, realised for day 3 etc to start cutting back, if I had not had to make the ATM visits could have ended up overlooking how much was being gobbled up :(

Doing the minibus trip I also used the internet beforehand to check hotel rates and book hotels. I even booked a hotel from the internet cafe in the hotel to get a vastly cheaper rate than what they wanted at reception ;)

From my experience it is the internal flights that tend to drain resources quickly, they initially seem cheap, but when you add on more people and do the hotel/taxi trips to/from each airport it can add up to quite a dent in the wallet.

In the village, if we haven't rented a pick up, we always find a bus or a helpful local to drive us into the local town, do a bit of market shopping, local (cheap) eateries and then bring back lots of produce for barbeques or al fresco meals, works out very cheap, tasty and good fun.

18th Nov 2008, 09:50
Anyone who would like to stay in my wifes cousins motel complex in RoiEt is quite welcome its 200 or 300 a night and quite close to the town centre.

very nice and clean family run.

Small bungalows in a garden setting.(no pool)

Marky Cha-am
18th Nov 2008, 12:58
Just by staying in Cha-am instead of Hua Hin will probably save you a bit. It's a bit less 'fashionable' but more Thai I think and I like it more. Last time we went to Hua Hin after a few days we headed to Cha-am as we remembered how good it was (quiet and romantic). The food in the little cafe's is also much cheaper - but probably better!

OK - That's my opinion!

Last time I went I bought some baht a bit early as I use the Travelex website and you can track rates for up to 60 previous days and try to buy on a slight upward trend. It worked for me but I would not buy now. I would rather wait and if it can get back to over 60 to the £ over the next few months that will be the job.

I'll be going in May or June...can an economist predict it for me then!!!!????

Anybody near Bury or Manchester want to meet up with Orn and I for a few beers. I think she needs mao with another Thai girl!

18th Nov 2008, 13:19
Originally posted by Mark Wankowicz:
...can an economist predict it for me then!!!!???? If one could he'd be a very rich man!

18th Nov 2008, 14:37
Thanks for the latest replies - especially IanB-Uk's which has some great suggestions. A road trip starting in Korat and ending in Chiang Mai would be a great way for us to spend a week. I believe money will be saved too. :thumb:

I would rather wait and if it can get back to over 60 to the £ over the next few months that will be the job.

After reading the views of economy eggheads I'm rather resigned to the idea that 50 baht to the pound might be the rate we have to get used to - in fact maybe the best we could hope for is that the rate stabilises around that level and doesn't slide into the 40s. There is nothing to suggest that the Pound should be able to crawl back up to 60 baht - the last ten years or so has seen the pound being over-valued due to crazy housing bubble and now foreign investors are pulling their money out because the party is over. Britain will have the worst recession of the G8 countries and our slashed interest rates also encourages investors to place their money elsewhere. By comparison Thailand is actually healthy - with large foreign reserves. Of course tourism and exports will suffer but if its only the £ that takes a big hit then it doesnt matter so much - against the $ the baht has actually fallen ....

18th Nov 2008, 16:40
For that sort of money you are spending I hope you are leaving thailand with some land or a nice bit of gold for the wifey...

Why not go to South on one of the Islands??? Nice house stone throw from the beach air con etc etc 8-10,000 bht a month.

Or up to Pai lovely sleepy part of Thailand get a nice place for 200-300 bht a night,(Open Camp Fires at night) bike for 100bht a day. Nice little food market everyday.

Or how about taking the wife into Laos via a 2 day boat trip along the Mekong into Luarang Prabang then back down to Thailand by bus stopping off along route sure the wife would love Laos......

18th Nov 2008, 17:06
A road trip starting in Korat and ending in Chiang Mai would be a great way for us to spend a week. I believe money will be saved too.

Or how about taking the wife into Laos

The Laos idea is another good one to tie in with a road trip, we went to the border on the Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai, but not over into Laos, went around the market and had some good food. My mum was with us on this trip and enjoyed it. Henson, for further experiences on the road trip, the Toyota we had was an impressive mini bus and the DVD/LCD with an entire season of Lost (whilst not being used for Thai VCD) made a big difference, also the driver we had knew EVERYWHERE like the back of his hand, took us all around Udon Thani, Loei, Chang Mai, Bangkok, Chonburi / Jomtiem / Pattaya without even the glance of a map! We had many restaurants along the way that cost pennies to eat at, the best one (don't know it's name or where it was) had a play area for the three children, lakes, stilted, open sided huts with phones for calling in the orders, the food and drink kept on coming, the fish dishes were excellent and we chilled out for ages before being dropped with a bill that I remember shocking me how little it had cost, but can't remember the amount, I think it was just 2 notes that were needed to pay for it though! The other benefit was having your luggage being with you at all times and limited space for buying momentos that you would not be taking home with you ;)

18th Nov 2008, 17:46
Go to Laos, I intend to head back there after spending couple of days of my holiday with the family in January after all it is your holiday as well...

Have a look at Dondet the 4000 islands, Vang Veng...Mam will be able to uderstand what is going on no language barrier and its like what Thailand was like a long time ago....

Dont smile with any Laos Ladies making Somtam though....If you do dont get caught.....

19th Nov 2008, 07:04
Dont smile with any Laos Ladies making Somtam though....If you do dont get caught.....

Correct :lol: but true as I found out on a Day Trip which got 2 Days silent Thai treatment ;)
colin 244