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

Should you visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Chiang Mai and Pattaya. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Chiang Mai or Pattaya?

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.

Pattaya

Go where the locals go. If that is your vacation motto, you will want to take a look at the popular weekend getaway of Pattaya, Thailand. This seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand is just outside of Bangkok, and full of resorts, beer bars and beaches.

Hosting more than five million visitors a year, Pattaya is easily accessed from the capital and the airport. Keep in mind, the sex tourism industry is still a large money earner for this city, but efforts by local authorities have created resorts and attractions for families and vacationers from all around the world.

Which city is cheaper, Pattaya or Chiang Mai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Mai is $35, while the average daily cost in Pattaya is $52. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chiang Mai and Pattaya in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Mai $20
    Pattaya $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Mai $40
    Pattaya $38
Compare Hotels in Chiang Mai and Pattaya

Looking for a hotel in Chiang Mai or Pattaya? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Chiang Mai


Hotels in Pattaya


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Mai $2.84
    Pattaya $9.14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.07
  • Moped Rental
    $4.80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Mai

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

  • Chiang Mai Airport Private Transfer - Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai: $218
  • Zipline Adventure at Chiang Mai with Return Transfer: $200
  • Sukhotha Private Transfer To Chiang Mai Town: $200
  • Chiang Mai's Top 3 Activities with Return Airport Transfers: $166
  • Chiang Mai Airport Taxi Private Transfer - Pai, Mae Hong Son: $145
  • Chiang Mai Private Transfer To Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai: $136
  • Private Airport Transfer to or from Chiang Rai: $117
  • Chiangmai Private Tour and Transfer with Professional driver: $109
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Roundtrip Transfer: $70
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $70
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $70
  • Dragonflight Zipline in Chiang Mai (including round trip transfer): $68

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pattaya

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

  • Bangkok: To/From Pattaya 1-Way Private Luxury Transfers: $241
  • Private Van Transfer from Pattaya City Center - Hua Hin City Center: $160
  • Private Car Transfer Pattaya City - Hua Hin City Beach: $137
  • Private Taxi Transfer Pattaya City Beach Thailand to Siem Reap City Cambodia: $123
  • Private Transfer: BKK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $100
  • BKK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Private Transfer: $100
  • DMK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Private Transfer: $85
  • Private Transfer: DMK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $85
  • Private Transfer: Pattaya to Bangkok: $82
  • Private Departure Transfer: Pattaya to Bangkok Airport - 3 PAX: $79
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya Hotel to DMK Airport: $73
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport: $73

Is it cheaper to fly into Chiang Mai or Pattaya?

Prices for flights to both Pattaya 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Chiang Mai $7.97
    Pattaya $17
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)
    $5.20
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
    $0.64
  • Casual Breakfast
    $1.07
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.33
  • Mangoes
    $0.80
  • Coffee
    $1.33

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pattaya

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

  • Drink Drunk Drunk night & Sunset landmark selfie with Dinner: $56

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Mai $9.82
    Pattaya $16
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
    $35
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.60
  • Kratong Lessons
    $2.67
  • Pedicure
    $4.00
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)
    $4.80

Tours and Activities in Chiang Mai

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

  • 1 Day Doi Inthanon Private tour ( Hiking and Sightseeing ): $118
  • 1 Day Private Sightseeing Tour at Doi Inthanon: $115
  • 1 Day Private Tour Morning Buddhist Almsgiving , Doi Suthep ,White Temple: $144
  • 1 Day Private Tour The Best Temples and Northern Food Style in Chiang Mai: $94
  • 1 Day Private Tour to The Best Hidden Trekking and The Temple: $134
  • 1 Day Sukhothai Historical Park from Chiang Mai Private Tour: $180
  • 1 Day Tour - Samoeng Loop Highlights: $241
  • 1 Day Tour – Doi Inthanon, Riding High: $255
  • 1 day Private Tour to Unseen Temple in Lampang: $122
  • 1-Day Bike and River Kayak Adventure from Chiang Mai: $66
  • 2 Day Trekking Tour: $100
  • 2 Days 1 Night Pai+Lod Cave Private Tour: $177

Tours and Activities in Pattaya

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

  • 3-Hour Mini Siam Tour in Pattaya: $55
  • Admission Ticket to Ramayana Water Park in Pattaya: $41
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $16
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $21
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show Admission Tickets: $19
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $17
  • Art in Paradise Pattaya Entrance (Ticket Only): $9.09
  • Art in Paradise at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Art in Paradise in Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Bangkok Temples Private Tour from Pattaya – Full Day: $150
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) & Sanctuary of Truth Private Tour from Pattaya –Full Day: $85
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) Tours with Lunch: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Mai $5.28
    Pattaya $6.40
Typical Alcohol prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Wine
    $2.67


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chiang Mai and Pattaya, we can see that Pattaya 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 Pattaya would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pattaya than you might in Chiang Mai.


When is the best time to visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya in the Summer?

Both Pattaya and Chiang Mai are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Pattaya because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

The rainy season in Chiang Mai is June to September. It's quite rainy in Chiang Mai. In July, Chiang Mai usually receives more rain than Pattaya. At this time of the year, Chiang Mai gets 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain.

Chiang Mai usually receives less sunshine than Pattaya during summer. At this time of the year, Chiang Mai gets 146 hours of sunny skies, while Pattaya receives 176 hours of full sun.

In the summer, Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Pattaya. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chiang Mai in July are around 30°C (86°F), and Pattaya is about 29°C (84°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chiang Mai 30°C (86°F) 
    Pattaya 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya in the Autumn?

Both Pattaya and Chiang Mai during the autumn are popular places to visit. Chiang Mai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Pattaya attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

November to February is the dry season in Chiang Mai. Pattaya gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai usually gets less rain in October than Pattaya. Chiang Mai gets 122 mm (4.8 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 258 mm (10.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Pattaya, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Chiang Mai. In the autumn, Chiang Mai often gets more sunshine than Pattaya. Chiang Mai gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Pattaya receives 206 hours of full sun.

In October, Chiang Mai is generally around the same temperature as Pattaya. Temperatures in Chiang Mai average around 29°C (83°F), and Pattaya stays around 28°C (82°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chiang Mai 29°C (83°F) 
    Pattaya 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Chiang Mai and Pattaya. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Chiang Mai throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Pattaya throughout the year.

November to February in Chiang Mai is the dry season. In January, Chiang Mai usually receives less rain than Pattaya. At this time of the year, Chiang Mai gets 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Pattaya this time of the year. In Chiang Mai, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chiang Mai usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Pattaya during winter. At this time of the year, Chiang Mai gets 283 hours of sunny skies, while Pattaya receives 276 hours of full sun.

Chiang Mai is cooler than Pattaya in the winter. The temperature in Chiang Mai is usually 23°C (74°F) in January, and Pattaya stays around 27°C (80°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chiang Mai 23°C (74°F) 
    Pattaya 27°C (80°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Chiang Mai as well as Pattaya. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Pattaya because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

June to September in Chiang Mai is the rainy season. Chiang Mai usually gets less rain in April than Pattaya. Chiang Mai gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Pattaya. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chiang Mai this time of the year. In the spring, Chiang Mai often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Pattaya. Chiang Mai gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Pattaya receives 262 hours of full sun.

The heat can be very extreme in Chiang Mai. In the spring, Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Pattaya. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chiang Mai in April are around 31°C (88°F), and Pattaya is about 30°C (86°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chiang Mai 31°C (88°F) 
    Pattaya 30°C (86°F)

Typical Weather for Pattaya and Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Pattaya
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (74°F) 7 mm (0.3 in) 27°C (80°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Feb 26°C (78°F) 5 mm (0.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 29°C (83°F) 13 mm (0.5 in) 29°C (85°F) 62 mm (2.5 in)
Apr 31°C (88°F) 50 mm (2 in) 30°C (86°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
May 31°C (87°F) 158 mm (6.2 in) 30°C (85°F) 202 mm (7.9 in)
Jun 30°C (86°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 29°C (85°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
Jul 30°C (86°F) 161 mm (6.3 in) 29°C (84°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 29°C (85°F) 236 mm (9.3 in) 29°C (84°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Sep 29°C (85°F) 228 mm (9 in) 28°C (83°F) 232 mm (9.1 in)
Oct 29°C (83°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 27°C (81°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dec 24°C (75°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 27°C (80°F) 16 mm (0.6 in)


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Chiang Mai vs. Pattaya Travel Comparison

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