Heading for Thailand? If you’ve already got your booking for a boutique resort in Chiang Mai, then you’re well on your way to one of Thailand’s cultural centres, and the hotspot for travellers on the northern end of the country.
If you’re headed there, these tips might be of some use to you.
- Eat local.
- Chiang Mai is known for having some of the country’s best street found, with dishes costing around 25-50 THB. If you’re looking for a restaurant, take note that they cost 80THB for a main course with drink. Eat local foods, because Western cuisine starts off at 170 THB, and only gets more expensive from there. Beers from bars cost 60 THB, whilst just hopping over to the nearest convenience store will cost half that.
- It’s a bargain.
- The markets of Chiang Mai are a bargainer’s home turf. Markets generally give out high first prices, since the place is a shopping destination, so get ready to haggle and, if need be, walk away from bad transactions.
- Is it in the budget?
- If you’re aiming for the lowest spending, you’ll be staying at hostels, rarely eating at restaurants, if ever, and going for street food, and using the local songthaew (pick-up trucks that act as shared taxis). Doing that will put your budget at around 1000THB, but if you’re eating in restaurants, or staying in a boutique resort in Chiang Mai, then expect costs to go up. As always, have some money set aside for emergencies.
- The more the merrier.
- There are two ways to save reduce on costs with friends. First is by booking group excursions; booking things like day tours or cooking classes as a group can cut down on costs since the price per head gets chopped down. Another is with Uber rideshares. Uber is already a cheaper alternative to the local taxis for those not willing to pay for one or wait for a bus. The Uber Pool option lets people share rides to cut down on costs. If you don’t have friends to travel with, don’t be afraid to make new ones, not just to lighten the load on your wallet, but to also meet new people and experience new things.