Travel Expense Report: Thailand

We lived really, really well in Chiang Mai, Thailand – and without scrimping! Twice a day we went out for coffee and restaurant meals. We enjoyed lots of delicious fresh tropical fruit and had massages twice a week. We have found a place where with a long term rental agreement we could live very comfortably for less than $1500 a month!Our first month we spent $1589.39 or $52.98/day (including dental check up and cleanings for $19.58 each).

Our second month we spent $1504.67 or $50.16/day by decreasing our accommodation and scooter rental expense.

The combined average total of 2 Months in Chiang Mai and 3 days in Bangkok came to $3,285.69 or $52.15 a day.

Per day charges:      1st mon.   2nd mon.   Bangkok   Avg. 

Accommodation:     $20.43        $17.15          $36.70        $19.65

Food:                         $16.02        $16.91         $18.39         $16.55

Transportation:        $4.17           $3.01          $1.20           $3.48

Entertainment:         $3.57            $6.12          $5.23           $4.86

Miscellaneous:         $5.05           $3.21           $0.0            $3.93

Visas:                         $3.68           $3.68          $3.68          $3.68

Arriving in Thailand by air, US citizens can enter visa exempt for 30 days. Instead of going to Cambodia or Vietnam (both countries that require visas) and returning to Thailand, we visited the Immigration Office for a 30 day visa extension for 1900 baht each. That left us 4 days short. One option would’ve been to return to Immigration to request a 7-day extension for another 1900 baht each, but we decided to pay the overstay fine at the airport:  500 baht per person per day. Total visa expense for our 64-day stay came to $221 plus some expense for passport photos and photocopying.

We have been told we can apply for a 12-month Non-O Retirement Visa for 3500 baht, less than what we paid for our 64-day stay!

Not included: The $400.80 paid to United Airlines to purchase miles to book award tickets from Tel Aviv to Chiang Mai and $130 for our Air Asia flight to Bangkok. We also spent about $80 in clothing and gifts.

We paid about $1.70 for this deliciously ripe ready to eat pineapple, papaya and watermelon.

Bottled water is cheap in Thailand. These purified water stations are located alongside the road.

There are many massage pavillions for just under $5 an hour on the sidewalks to more luxurious and expensive spas. The price increases due to the ambience but the quality of massage remains consistant

For our final Thai massage these 2 ladies gave us a full 2-hour Thai massage. It came to $25 for both of us including gratuity!

North Condo Serene Lake is modern and has a beautiful clubhouse; the dressing room doors and lockers are digitally controlled.


I see a business opportunity for someone to help with the English translations before they print the signs and menus.

This little girl put herself to sleep on this makeshift bed while her mama sewed at her market stand.

Another Thai woman entrepreneur. Her restaurant made the best Drunken Noodles!

A return to Thailand will have to wait. We are settling down in Milwaukie, a Portland, Oregon suburb. We have a car, a 9-month lease on a 700 square foot apartment and some work to keep us occupied.

Meet You in the Morning next week!

6 responses to “Travel Expense Report: Thailand

  1. Did you get any kind of overstay stamp in your passport? What was the process for paying the overstay fee? I’m in Chiang Mai and I’m looking facing a one day overstay when I leave next week. Just curious what I’ll be heading into.


    • Hi Matthew,
      Yes, when we went through passport control they pulled us aside to another office and told us the amount to pay, gave us a receipt and stamped our passport. It’s in Thai, but I see the number “2000” handwritten in ink, the amount I paid. They are efficient! For long overstays of several years they are prohibiting return to the Kingdom for a period of 1-5 years depending on the length of the overstay! You have to pay cash! They count the day you’re leaving so what I thought was a 3-day overstay they counted as 4. I just remembered, I read that they forgive a 1-day overstay. Let me know how it goes. Where are you off to next?


      • Thanks for the response. We are going to end up overstaying by just 13 hours. Heading to Siem Reap next on our way into Vietnam for 3 weeks.


  2. Pingback: Tiger Kingdom | Meet You In The Morning·

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