30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia

30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia

30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia
30 day thailand itinerary

The Decision:

I had always wanted to go to Thailand. I couldn’t tell you why. I knew little more than what the capital was. I had no set plans on what I was going to do once I got there. I scribbled down a few names of places in my notebook and forgot about them. I procrastinated for months. I decided to add Cambodia onto the itinerary because it was inexpensive to fly into and my mom had told me great things about it. I booked my hostel for the first night in Phnom Pehn and went from there…

Plane Ticket: $854.16 RT

Travel insurance (standard plan) with World Nomads: $125

Visa: $40

See: 30 Days in Thailand for Under $2000

Here is my complete 30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia!

The First Day

The hostel that I planned on staying at had an airport pick up service, which was super comforting because I had no idea how I was going to navigate transportation in Cambodia. However, my flight was delayed by 3 hours so when I landed, no one was there. I called the hostel and the driver came to pick me up in a tuk tuk. I wasn’t sure what that was at first, but it ended up being a small covered cart pulled by a motorbike. We went buzzing through the city, dust flying, the heat hitting my face. I was bombarded by unfamiliar smells (mostly durian) and the chaos of people zipping by on motorbikes. I got to the hostel, overpaid the driver and checked into a private room.

I also decided to get a haircut and made my very first friend on my trip!

Tuk tuk from airport: $10

88 Backpackers Hostel Superior Private Room: $28

Haircut: $3

Food and water: $4

Total: $45

30 day thailand itinerary
Leaving Seattle!

Phnom Pehn Day 1: S-21 and Russian Market

My first full day in Cambodia, I paid for a tuk tuk driver to drive me around the city. I decided to start out by learning some history about the country by going to the S-21 Genocide Museum. It was a very sobering experience, but set the stage for understanding the culture of Cambodia. I also went to the large Russian Market, which was full of (intense) smells, produce, meats, clothes, and souvenirs. I ended the day by walking along the Mekong Waterfront and looking at the Royal Palace and nearby pagodas.

Tuk tuk driver for the day: $8

Genocide Museum: $2 audio tour without guide

Russian Market- Free

Mekong Riverfront- Free

Royal Palace and pagodas- did not pay entrance fee

Food and drink: $10

Female dorm: $8

Total: $28

Phnom Pehn Day 2: Killing Fields

For some more history, I went to the Killing Fields with some new travel mates. There were still clothes and bone fragments visible from the 1970s killings of the Cambodian people. It was very emotional to see. We then went to see the inside of the Royal Palace, which was magnificent!

Killing Fields: $3 audio tour without guide

Royal Palace: $6.25

Tuk tuk (split 3 ways): $3 per person

Food and drink: $12

Female dorm: $8

Total: $32.25

Onto Siem Reap:

On my third day in Cambodia, me and 3 of my travel mates took a bus to Siem Reap. It was a comfortable 5 hour ride with AC and a snack stop along the way. We arrived in Siem Reap around noon, checked into a hostel, and bought our tickets to the Angkor Wat Temples. We watched the sun set over Angkor Wat and then went out dancing on Pub Street.

Krohorn Express AC bus to Siem Reap: $10

Funky Flashpackers Hostel (4 person room): $6.25 per person

Tuk tuk to Angkor ticket counter: $2 per person

Ticket to Angkor Temples for sunset and next day: $20

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $48.25

Angkor Wat: The Largest Religious Monument in the World

We paid a tuk tuk driver for a full day to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat and several of the surrounding temples. One of the temples was where the famous “Tomb Raider” movie was filmed. It was a very long, hot, and tiring day, but totally worth it! The temples are so beautiful, interesting, and rich with history.

Tuk-tuk for the full day (4 people): $5 per person

Hostel: $6.25

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $24.75

30 day thailand itinerary
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Plane to Bangkok

After that long day at the temples, I decided to relax for a bit before my flight to Bangkok. After traveling with the same people for 4 days, it was nerve racking to finally be on my own. I got a very nice aromatherapy oil massage (on the expensive side), and then caught my flight to Bangkok around 3:30. When I landed, it was already dark and I got very lost, but I met an English speaker and followed him to his hostel instead of the one I planned on staying at. I was just happy to be safe with a hot shower and comfy bed.

Massage at Lemongrass Spa: $16

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Plane ticket to Bangkok via Asia Air (1 hour 30 min)- $80

Food and drinks: $10

Tuk tuk to airport: $2 per person

Sky train to hostel: $1

Cazz Hostel Mixed 6 Person Dorm room: $7.15

Total: $116.15

A Day in Bangkok

After waking up refreshed, I spent a day exploring Bangkok on my own. I quickly realized it was an easy city to get lost in! Eventually I got my bearings, hopped on the sky train, and bought an all-day boat pass to multiple stops along the Mekong River. Do not book a private boat! Goes to show that if you practice some bargaining and look around, you can find sweet deals to save money.

For an excellent guide to what to see and do in Bangkok, head over to my favorite post at The Creative Travel Guide

Skytrain to/from Hua Lampong Station (old town) from Sukhumvit: $2 total

Walk (or tuk tuk ) to Central Pier

All day boat ferry boat ticket: 100 TBT

  • Chinatown- Free
  • Flower Market- Free
  • Wat Arun- 100 TBT
  • Wat Pho- 100 TBT
  • Koh San Road- Free

Dorm: $7.15

Food and drinks: $10

Check out Tom n Toms Pretzel Café!

Total: $25.15

30 day thailand itinerary
Longboat in Bangkok

Sleeper Train to Chiang Mai

One day in Bangkok was enough for me, so I checked out of my hostel, walked around Bangkok a bit more, and decided to buy a train ticket to Chiang Mai. I snagged myself a bottom bunk, had some movies downloaded on my tablet, and then slept like a baby. It was a solid 10 hour trip, but a great money saver and super comfortable.

Skytrain to Hua Lampong Station: $1

Sleeper train to Chiang Mai (pay extra for bottom bunk): 850 TBT

$8 food and drinks

Total: $34.75

Chiang Mai Temple, Waterfalls, and Hike

After making some new friends at the hostel, we took a tuk tuk to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Despite the rain, we hiked to a waterfall and a lookout point with a great view of the mountains.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: 30 TBT entry

Taxi truck—50 TBT per person

Deejai Backpackers Basic 4 person dorm: $4.88 per night

It’s Good Kitchen chicken pad thai: 60 TBT

Food and drinks: $6

Total: $15.12

30 day thailand itinerary
The White Temple in Chiang Rai

Trekking Tour and Elephants

A group of ten of us opted for an all day tour that included trekking in the jungle, lunch, washing and feeding elephants, and rafting in the river. Transportation was also included.

Thom Tours- approx. 1400 TBT

Food and drink: $5

Hostel: $4.88

Total: $52.30

30 day thailand itinerary
Just casually hanging out with some elephants

Me Time in Chiang Mai

After so much activity, I decided to take a day to explore Chiang Mai on my own. I went to a few coffee shops and markets, and worked on my blog.

Sunny Hostel 8 person dorm with fan: 350 TBT

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

Day Trip to Chiang Rai

I decided to go on another full-day tour- this one went from 7am to 10 pm! I brought snacks for the trip but an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet was included. The trip included the hot springs, the Golden Triangle, the White Temple, the border of Myanmar, and the “Long-Neck” village. It was a long but culturally enriching day.

Chiang Mai Full Moon Tour: 1400 TBT

Snacks and Water: $5

Hostel: 350 TBT

Total: $57

Another Chill Day in Chiang Mai

I decided that this was going to be my last day in Chiang Mai. I spent a little more time seeing the city and then booked a ticket to Krabi.

Hostel: 350 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Plane ticket to Krabi from Chiang Mai: 2083 TBT

Total: $83

30 day thailand itinerary
Fern Forest Cafe in Chiang Mai

Flying to Krabi (15th)

I spent another half day in Chiang Mai, flew to Krabi, and arrived at my hostel around 6pm. I got some yummy pad thai down at the waterfront and had a great night sleep in my bunk.

Bus from airport to Krabi: 60 TBT

Pak-Up Hostel 10 person dorm: 360 TBT

Food and Drinks: $5

Total: $18

Get Me to the Beach (16th)

To me there wasn’t much to see in Krabi Town and I was aching to go to the beach. My destination was Koh Phi Phi, but I decided to stay on Railay Island for a night. I was so quiet and secluded, and I decided to get a private bungalow for the evening.

Long boat to Railay Island: 100 TBT

Diamond Resort Bungalow with Fan: $15 (low season)

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $28

30 days in thailand
Koh Phi Phi Pier

On to Koh Phi Phi

Railay was a little pricey and everyone was raving about Koh Phi Phi, so I decided to head there the next morning. I took a cruise boat there which was pretty comfortable and affordable. I was shocked by how busy Phi Phi was, and I struggled to find a hostel in my price range. I walked around for nearly an hour before I settled on B Place.

Boat from Railay to Phi Phi: 450 TBT

B Place Hostel 6 person dorm with AC: 300 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Total: $33

Koh Phi Phi Chill

See  Places, Things, and Letting Go

As usual, I took another day to myself to explore Koh Phi Phi. There were a lot of restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops, but far less beach than I expected. The monsoons were especially prevalent here, as it went to blazing hot to pouring down rain in a matter of minutes. I did find a place with amazing (and cheap) pad thai, though!

Hostel: 300 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Total: $20

Boat Tour to Maya Bay

I wanted to see all the surrounding beaches, so I joined another all-day tour. This long boat took us to Monkey Beach, Maya Bay, and other locations to go snorkeling. It included a light breakfast lunch and some of the best beach views in Thailand. Looking back, this may not have been the best deal, as it was a very exhausting day. It may be possible to save money by getting a private boat with other travelers.

Boat tour: approx. 1200 TBT

Food and drink: $5

Hostel: 300 TBT

Total: $50

30 day thailand itinerary
A view of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi Chill Day

Another day exploring Koh Phi Phi

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: 300 TBT

Total: $20

Sea, Land, and Sea to Koh Tao (2 days)

In the morning, I caught a boat back to Krabi, took a bus to the ferry, and then took the night boat to Koh Tao. I arrived in Koh Tao around 6am, a little lost and disoriented. It was too early for the hostels to be open, so I killed some time until I found a nice private room with a pool. Yessss.

Ferry, Bus, and Nightboat: 1150 TBT

Ban’s Diving Resort private room, one night: 900 TBT

Food and Drink: $15

Total: 76$ / 2 = $38

First full Day on Koh Tao

Koh Tao quickly became my favorite location of the entire trip. I was so peaceful, beautiful, and relaxed. The weather was wonderful, and there wasn’t the crazy party scene that there was on Phi Phi (although it still existed).

Food and drinks: $10

CK Hostel 8 person dorm: $10

Total: $20

Hiking to the Viewpoint

I decided to be ambition and hike to the other side of island… but I got completely lost. I went all the way back and met some people along the way. We hiked up to the viewpoint (most exhausting hike of my life) and ended the day eating Mexican food by the beach. That evening they left the island and it was hard to say good bye.

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: $10

Total: $20

Tummy Troubles

Not much to report on these few days on Koh Tao, as I spent a lot of my time in bed with tummy troubles. I tried to be ambitious and go kayaking, but my body wouldn’t allow it. I got some rest and ate rice and fruit.

Hostel (2 nights): $20

Food and drinks (2 days): $10

Total: $30 / 2 = $15


After finally feeling well enough to get out of bed, I did something spontaneous and signed up for a rock climbing course. I spent some time working on my tan and nervously awaited the next day when my class would begin.

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

Rock Climbing (25th)

My course began at around 10 am and included learning how to tie knots, what terms to use, and how to belay for others. We took a break for lunch and returned for a full 5 hours of climbing. It was super exhausting but the adrenaline rush was amazing! I ended the night watching the fire jugglers on the beach.

Goodtime Adventures Rock Climbing course: 1300 TBT

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $60

30 days in thailand
Learning how to rock climb on Koh Tao

Relaxin’ for Days

I spent several days relaxing on Koh Tao, meeting new friends, and going snorkeling. I was supposed to leave Koh Tao on the 27th to travel to Bangkok, Phnom Pehn, and then to Seattle. That got extended, so I ended up leaving Koh Tao on the 2nd of October.

28th: Snorkeling

I walked to the other side of the island (about 1.5 hours) to go snorkeling.

Snorkel rental: 100 TBT

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $23

29th: More rock climbing

Climbing: free with my friend


Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

30 day Thailand itinerary
Trying Korean BBQ for the very first time!

30th: Walk to the Viewpoint

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: $10

Total: $20

1st: Koh Nang Yuan

Hostel: $10

Boat to Island: 200 TBT

Took free boat back to Koh Tao

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $26

2nd: Saying Goodbye to Koh Tao (one day, one night)

A lot of tears were shed on that boat ride away from the island. I had so many different emotions… I was sad to leave but excited to go home. I tried to continue looking forward. It was a weird feeling leaving a place that had begun to feel like home.

Ferry, Bus combo to Bangkok: 600 TBT

Taxi from bus station to airport: $10

Food and drinks: $15

Total: $43

3rd: Fly Home


Total spent: $2,128


30 day thailand itinerary

30 days in thailand





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