A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Chiang Mai vs. Ayutthaya for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chiang Mai or Ayutthaya?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is both the cultural center of northern Thailand and a launching point for trips into the rural areas, small towns, and lush jungles of the country's northern regions. Known for great food, historic temples, arts and crafts, and a lively night market, Chiang Mai is a very popular destination for travelers. In some areas, tourists and ex-pats dominate, but it's quite easy to get away from the tourist scene and into the real culture of Thailand, as Chiang Mai (and the surrounding countryside) is quite large.


Once the largest city in the world, Ayutthaya, is the example of an ancient capital within a modern city. Located in the central plains of Thailand, this spot is ideally located between China, India and the Malay Archipelago creating the perfect place for trade in Asia. Eighteenth century maps from Holland and France show golden palaces, large ceremony spots and trading vessels from all over the world. Suddenly, in 1767, Ayutthaya experienced a tragic fall from grace with a Burmese invasion burning much of the city to the ground.

Which city is cheaper, Ayutthaya or Chiang Mai?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Mai is $39, while the average daily cost in Ayutthaya is $55. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya in more detail.


For a normal double-occupancy room in Chiang Mai, $46 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Chiang Mai, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $23, such as in a hostel.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $18. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ayutthaya the cost is $36 on average.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Mai $23
    Ayutthaya $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Mai $46
    Ayutthaya $36


The average traveler spends about $9.02 per day in Chiang Mai for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

Ayutthaya food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Chiang Mai $9.02
    Ayutthaya $18
Typical Food prices in Chiang Mai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Chiang Mai:

  • Sit Down Dinner (for One)
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
  • Casual Breakfast
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
  • Mangoes
  • Coffee

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

For Chiang Mai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Evening Thai cooking class by Aromdii Cooking School: $27
  • Half Day Cooking Class Including Market Tour from Chiang Mai: $28
  • Private Dining: Thai family dinner in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Thai Khantoke Dinner & Cultural Dance Show with Transfers: $29
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner & Cultural Dance Show Tour: $29
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show at Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $29
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show in Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $29
  • Authentic Lanna Dinner and Shows (Khan Toke) in Chiang Mai: $30
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show at Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $34
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai: $34
  • Khantoke Dinner with Show: $35
  • Full-Day Cooking Class Including Market Tour from Chiang Mai: $35

Typical Food prices in Ayutthaya

Some typical examples of dining costs in Ayutthaya are as follows:

  • Lunch for 2
  • Ice Cream
  • Breakfast for 2
  • Breakfast for 2

Local Transportation

To get around in Chiang Mai, the average visitor spends $3.21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The cost of a taxi ride in Ayutthaya is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $24 per person, per day, on local transportation in Ayutthaya.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Mai $3.21
    Ayutthaya $24
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Chiang Mai are as follows:

  • Tuk Tuk Ride
  • Moped Rental

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Mai

Also for Chiang Mai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Chiang Mai Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer: $6.81
  • Chiang Mai Shared Arrival or Departure Transfer: $6.81
  • Chiang Mai Airport Departure – Shared Transfer: $6.81
  • Private Airport Transfer in Chiang Mai to/from Chiangmai Town: $11
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX): $13
  • Chiang Mai Airport transfer: $14
  • Chiang Mai International Airport Departure Shared Transfer: $14
  • Chiang Mai International Airport Arrival Shared Transfer: $14
  • Chiang Mai International Airport: Private Hotel Transfer: $15
  • Chiang Mai Airport Departure – Private Transfer from Hotel to Airport: $15
  • Chiang Mai Airport Arrival – Private Transfer from Airport to Hotel: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer in Chiang Mai to/from Mae Rim Hotel: $18

Typical Local Transportation prices in Ayutthaya

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Ayutthaya are as follows:

  • River Ferry Crossing

Is it cheaper to fly into Chiang Mai or Ayutthaya?

Prices for flights to both Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.


In Chiang Mai, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $11 per person, per day.

Entertainment and activities in Ayutthaya typically cost an average of $24 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Mai $11
    Ayutthaya $24
Typical Entertainment prices in Chiang Mai

For Chiang Mai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:

  • Thai Cooking Class
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
  • Kratong Lessons
  • Pedicure
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)

Tours and Activities in Chiang Mai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chiang Mai.

  • Skip the Line: Siam Dragon Cabaret Show -Ticket Only: $16
  • Skip the Line: Chiang Mai Art in Paradise Admission Ticket: $17
  • Grand Canyon Water Park Ticket: $20
  • DON'T miss this halfday tour! Doi suthep temple + Hmong village - must visit!!: $20
  • Amazing Night tour ! Wat umong & Doi suthep at Night - Top Must visit place: $20
  • Miracle Cabaret Chiang Mai Ticket: $21
  • Thapae Boxing Stadium Ticket in Chiang Mai: $22
  • Chiang Mai's Thapae Muay Thai Boxing Stadium Ticket: $23
  • Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium Ticket: $27
  • 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour: $29
  • Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour: $29
  • Traditional Handicraft Craftsmanship Tour from Chiang Mai: $29

Typical Entertainment prices in Ayutthaya

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Ayutthaya are as follows:

  • Temple Entrances (2)
  • Wat Entrance

Tours and Activities in Ayutthaya

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ayutthaya are as follows:

  • Ayutthaya Day Tour: $57
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour By Car: $157
  • Ayutthaya Temples & Eco-Farm Private Tour from Bangkok: $175
  • Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In with minivan and come back with cruise: $96
  • Bangkok Ayutthaya Private Sunset Boat Tour: $82
  • Colors of UNESCO Heritage 6 hour Bicycle Tour: $56
  • Private : Ayutthaya Ancient Temples Day Tour: $112
  • Private : Ayutthaya Temples & Floating Market Day Tour: $119
  • Shore Excursion from Laem Cha Bang Port to Ayutthaya (Private tour): $262


Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Chiang Mai, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.97.

The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Ayutthaya per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Mai $5.97
    Ayutthaya $16
Typical Alcohol prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Chiang Mai are as follows:

  • Wine

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya, we can see that Ayutthaya is more expensive. And not only is Chiang Mai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chiang Mai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chiang Mai and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ayutthaya would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ayutthaya than you might in Chiang Mai.

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Chiang Mai vs. Ayutthaya Travel Comparison

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