Traveling is a lot of fun but can be expensive as well. To find out exactly how much we spent during our round the world trip we painstakingly keep track of all of our travel expenses and analyse them for you. In this post: our travel expenses in Chiang Mai.
We started our trip in Thailand, spending an average of $61.32 per person per day traveling from Bangkok to Koh Samui. In our expense report for Thailand we mentioned that figure could have been considerably lower without our diving lessons. About 3 months later we returned to Thailand to take a little break from traveling and get some work done in Chiang Mai.
We stayed in Chiang Mai for 24 days and spent $1,394.86 (€1,250.54) or an average of $29.06 (€26.05) per person per day. No diving and staying in one place for a longer period definitely paid off in terms of expenses. Let’s take a look at where that money went:
Average Spending Per Person Per Day
We wanted a nice spacious studio with a small kitchen and opted for a stay at The Bliss. While we did enjoy our stay there, we would have been able to find a cheaper place if we had spent the first days in a hostel while looking for a longer term rental. Plenty of good places in Chiang Mai aren’t listed online. Do keep in mind that we paid for a full month but only stayed for 24 days, increasing the average cost per day.
Traveling often means eating out every single day, especially in Southeast Asia where a cheap meal is never far away. We did get a bit tired of this and looked forward to cooking some of our own meals. Even though the kitchen was small and poorly equipped we did cook a lot of our meals in Chiang Mai ourselves. This results in the following breakdown for Food & Drinks:
Average Spending PPPD for Food & Drinks
We did most of our shopping at the nearby Rimping Supermarket. Definitely not the cheapest supermarket in town and it was clearly aimed at expats and tourist, but its location was very convenient. It would have been cheaper to buy our meats and vegetables at the market, like the locals do, but that would have been too much of a hassle with our bicycles.
Looking back we also have to admit we had a lot more fastfood than in our other months of traveling. Foodpanda and laziness are to blame: having McDonald’s or pizza delivered to your door is just too appealing on some days.
So did cooking our own food actually save us money?
Average Cost Per Person Per Meal
The answer seems to be: no. The average meal we cooked ourselves was a little more expensive than the meals we had in Thai restaurants and on the street. I really enjoy cooking though (Birthe not as much) so cooking a few of our favourite meals was definitely worth it.
(Note to self: skip the fastfood.)
In the end our travel expenses in Chiang Mai didn’t have a large impact on our budget. Do keep in mind that we did spend a lot of time in the studio working on the blog and WordPress plugins. We didn’t do a lot of tourist activities apart from visiting Elephant Nature Park and taking a cooking class, so take that into account when you’re setting up your own budget. Still, your money can definitely go a long way in Thailand!