The average costs of living in Edmonton (single person) as of January 2020 is $2260/M (cad) Source: Expatistan -YEG

The average cost for a digital nomad living in Edmonton is $2900/M (cad) Source: Nomad List – YEG

It is possible to live in Thailand for $1000 CAD /M, if you are backpacking try to budget for $1500/m. The longer you are in South East Asia the cheaper your trip becomes as the most expensive part is the flight from Canada.

For reference I was in Bangkok Thailand for a month. The rent that month was $600, we stayed in a luxury place which was a one bedroom with a kitchen. There was an infinity pool, study/work space, and a gym to paint the picture. In Edmonton I would’ve paid double for that. Split with my boyfriend thats $300/m each. The first month in Thailand I moved around every few days, visiting the islands and taking in everything Thailand has to offer. It’s a lot cheaper when you are in one spot, but that’s if you are wanting to stay put or on the road for a long time. The rest of this post is based off of moving around.

Currency Conversion

$ 1 CAD = 26 BAHT The currency used in Thailand is called Thai Baht. You might be surprised by the amount of bills you will be handling.

One $5 Canadian bill turns into Six 20B bills. The most common is | 20B (green bill) = $0.77 | 50B (blue bill) = $1.92 | 100B (red bill) = $3.38 | 500B (pink bill) = $19.15|1000B (brown bill) = $38.31 |

This is how I like to remember it:

Cheat Sheet

This is an estimate which helped me memorize the conversion when paying for my items in the markets or at the cafe’s. This is not 100% accurate just easier to remember. All the numbers are rounded some more than others.

20 Baht = $1 or 80 cents

50 Baht = $2

100 Baht = $4

500 Baht = $20

1000 Baht = $40

Colour Hierarchy

From Low to high value

Colour Cad Value Notes

Green (20) $1 (Market, 711, Most Used)

Blue (50) $2 (Very common, Market, Cafe)

Red (100) $4 (Clothing, Food, Cafe)

Pink (500) $20 (Not as common, key deposits)

Brown (1000) $40 (From the ATM, break it)

Try to drill this in your head before going to make it easier on yourself. When paying you are usually rushing to figure it out and may overpay or underpay causing a lot of confusion.

What are the costs on average?

This all depends on how you like to travel.

You can travel on a budget: Street food, hostels, rent a scooter.

You can travel comfortable: Cafe’s, restaurants, hotels, taxi (grab).

You can travel luxury: Restaurants, cafe’s, beach clubs, villas, hire a private driver.

BUDGET– hostel ($5-20) a night + street food ($1.50-3.00) per meal + scooter rental ($5) a day + gas (cheap) .

Average a day (of the three) $10 (hostel) + $2(3) (food) + $5 (scooter) = $21 = $651 a month + any gas you use.

COMFORTABLE– hotel ($20-40) a night (split between a partner makes it 15-20) + restaurant 150 baht a meal ($5.75) + taxi (depends where you want to go) ($2-15).

LUXURY– villa ($100-200) split with friends to make it cheaper + food ($10) + private driver ($40) a day.

The beautiful thing about Thailand is you can come here and spend $700 or $5000/month. It all depends on the lifestyle you want.

I can only really speak on my own experience and friends who have been. I was spending $1500/m Typically the hotels would be $30-50 a night which is $15-25/each split between my boyfriend. We chose to stay in hotels because of the AC and it would come up to the same price if we stayed at a hostel in a private room, or got two beds. We would take the train in Bangkok, and take Grab/Gojek (Thailand’s Uber) everywhere else. There was a big range in the food sometimes it would be 711 toasties others a local cafe or restaurant. To stay on the safe side plan to spend $50/day which comes up to around $1500 a month. For my friends some of them spent over $3000/month others $1000 so it really comes down to your budgeting.

Location

Different parts of Thailand are more expensive than others. The islands are the more expensive areas like Koh Phi Phi.

The islands are more expensive, Chang Mai is on the cheaper side, Phuket is in the middle, and Bangkok is average. The more touristy the area the more expensive it gets. Chang Mai is full of expats, where Koh Phi Phi is more short term tourists.

General Costs

Flight From Canada: Edmonton – Bangkok round trip can range from low end $800 (if you see that price book it!) to high end typically around new years and Christmas $2000. We booked ours in September to leave November – and come back end of January for $1200. It was cheaper but we bought a flexible ticket for $250 each extra. I highly recommend doing this in case want to come home early or extend your trip.

Flights Locally: Typically it’s $25-$40 to fly around Thailand. You can also take a bus which is half the price, but instead of an hour flight it’s ten hours on a bus.

Sim Card: Getting a sim card is a lot cheaper than paying roaming fees. As soon as you arrive in Bangkok’s airport there will be a bunch of booths set up for SIM cards. The best one in my opinion and most popular to go with is AIS, which will be a green booth. Its about $20 for 30 days of unlimited data (you will get something like 15 G fast then it slows down after). Other companies are cheaper BUT you wont have service everywhere.

Food: Food is affordable! From $1.5-$8/meal. Western food tends to be more expensive but still way less than you would pay in Canada. That also goes for fast food, it is a luxury in Thailand which is completely opposite to Western society. You might be surprised how much more it will cost you to do a McDons run compared to going in a restaurant.

Alcohol: Local beer (Chang) costs $2 /can at the 711. Quick Tip : Your costs will go up when you party, it adds up quick. We partied a little towards the beginning on the islands and Ao Nang which spiked are cost up a lot. A highball at the bars are 100 baht ($4.30 cad) which comes with a free shot in Ao Nang. Cocktails are same price as in Canada. Hard liquor and wine imports are expensive. 711 is the best place to get your drinks from and they are on every street in Thailand.

Temple Entrance Fees: Varies from temple but typically its $2-5. The only expensive temple is the Grand Palace which is $20 each to get in. My favourite was Wat Arun Temple!

Hidden Costs

Travel Health Insurance: Depending on the company what coverage you get the number changes but i’ve seen $40/m for basic. Check with your credit cards some have some coverage if you put your trip on the card.

Currency Exchange: A big one, it’s super hard to keep track but every time you exchange your money you loose on the exchange rate. Typically wait until you get to Thailand the exchange your money for a lower rate.

ATM Fees: When you pull money out there’s an ATM fee along with the foreign transaction fee on your card.

Data Roaming: Usually you buy a SIM card at the airport (make sure your phone is unlocked) but if you use your data when you first land to figure out where you are going you will get a roaming charge on your next bill.

Entry Fees: Sometimes there’s an entry fee when you first arrive at an island. You won’t be allowed to enter without paying so a good rule of thumb is to have cash on hand when going to an island.

Screw Ups: Bound to happen if you don’t perform well under stress. Could be missing a flight or what I did and booked a flight for the wrong week.

Airport Food: We went from spending $12 for two nice meals at the restaurants in Thailand to a $50 food bill at the airport, it’s hard to avoid it because when you’re bored the only solution to pass time is eating.

 

Check out my post Travel Motivation to see a comparison of prices to Mexico.

Here is a sneak peek ->

If you want to go to both Thailand and Indonesia in one month from Canada and back it would cost the same as some week long vacations at a luxury Mexico resort. In the post I also go over Mexico trips that costs $1000/week.

  • Round Trip flight Thailand/Bali average $1000
  • Stay in $20 hotel or $10 hostel for 30 days which is $10 each =$300
  • Plan to eat two big meals a day + snacks throughout the day at $10 a day =$300
  • Rent a scooter for $5 a day or budget that for your taxi/train rides =$150
  • Hit up 5 waterfalls average $2 = $10
  • Go to 4 temples average $5 = $20
  • Feed the elephants = $40
  • Bali Swing = $15
  • A beer a day $2 = $60
  • 3 Thai/Bali massages $10 = $30
  • Flower bath = $35
  • Fly to Bali from Thailand RT vise versa =$200
  • Take three flights between cities $40 = $120
  • Go see 2 caves $5 = $10 =2290
  • Boat ride on Phi Phi islands = $8
  • Monkey forest Bali = $4.50
  • Dog cafe = $15
  • Sim card $20
  • Shopping = $162.50 (which will buy you lots of clothes)
  • = $2500 (2 countries in one month)