Thailand has long been considered one of the best budget-friendly destinations in the world. It’s safe for solo travelers, has activities for all types of adventurers and is very easy on the bank account.
I wanted to share a fun-filled day that I had in Krabi, Thailand to show how easy it is to explore on as little as $20 a day. I noted how much I spent throughout the day so it’s easy to follow along. I’m still baffled by how inexpensive everything was!
Note: The currency exchange rate used is approximately ฿33 Thai Baht to $1 US Dollar
My Thai travel buddy, Apple, and I started the day off early in Aonang and rented a scooter for 24 hours (฿75 baht / $2.30 each). We stopped to grab breakfast at a locals restaurant before hitting the road and indulged in Thai iced coffees (my fav), seafood noodle soup, watermelon, and rice (฿60 baht / $1.80 each).
Yes. You read right. Soup for breakfast. Welcome to Thailand!
After stopping to fill up the tank (฿50 baht / $1.50 each), we drove about 45 km through winding jungle roads to the Tiger Cave Temple. We only had to stop about 5 times to ask for directions. Thank goodness for Apple and her smooth talking Thai!
Total spent so far: ฿185 baht / $5.60
Once we got to the Tiger Cave Temple, we checked out the actual cave (FREE) and decided to climb the 1,237 stairs to the top of the mountain to check out the massive golden Buddha shrine and the incredible view looking down on Krabi.
Let’s just say it was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve ever done.
Each step was about twice as high as it was wide. So, we were literally side stepping up the side of the mountain.
To add to the challenge, the humidity was NOT on our side!
We got about halfway up when we were met by a bunch of monkeys. There had been warning signs everywhere advising tourists to avoid them and not feed because they are very territorial. So what do I do as a naive monkey lover? I stop for a photoshoot with a monkey and her tiny little baby.
Next thing I know, a glass bottle hits my shoulder and shatters everywhere!
A monkey had ran behind me and had thrown a glass bottle left by a construction worker at me (and I don’t think he was aiming for my shoulder)! We started sprinting up the stairs without looking back and just about fainted from exhaustion.
Note: Warning signs are not suggestions.
I have no idea how long it took us to actually reach the top, probably an hour, or maybe even two, but when we got there it was all worth it! We had a 360 degree view of the tropical mountains that stretched all the way to the ocean. We removed our shoes and walked around to pay respect to the beautiful giant golden statues and enjoy the cool breeze.
After a major trek back down the mountain, we took the longest ride EVER back to Aonang. We pulled over for a quick meet and greet with some elephants and got back to our journey. Shortly after getting back on the road, a storm came in so we pulled over until the rain subsided.
We hit the road again and, I won’t say we were lost, we just didn’t know where we were going.
We stopped along the side of a random road for a bite to eat at a little hut packed with locals that had just finished up a days work. It was a typical thai street food establishment, with local women making delicious food for local workers.
It was the best meal I ate in Thailand!
We got pumpkin and coconut soup, prawn and tofu spring rolls, fish cakes with sweet chili sauce, Pad Thai with prawns and a virgin coconut to sip on. We grabbed some red bean and coconut dessert and sweet virgin coconut spring roll balls with coconut milk for takeaway.
ALL of this cost us only ฿50 baht / $1.50 each.
Total spent so far: ฿235 baht / $7
We made a stop at a little jewelry shop where I scored some beautiful pearl earrings (฿150 baht / $4.50). We then stumbled upon a local market bustling with activity. Local vendors were selling everything from clothes to food.
I happened to find some more awesome jewelry (three pairs of earrings for ฿110 baht / $3.30) and grabbed a bottle of fresh carrot juice for the morning (฿20 baht / $.60).
We eventually made it back to Aonang for the sunset and gladly returned the scooter. We walked around town one last time before reaching the hotel and I picked up a few souvenir bracelets for my loves back home (฿130 baht / $4).
The total spent on an adventurous and fun-filled day, including my new Thai jewelry, TONS of Thai food, a 24 hour scooter rental and gas… drum roll please… is…