Which place is cheaper, Pattaya or Chiang Mai?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
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.
Chiang Mai is a friendly, cultural, and welcoming city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, and hiking.
Pattaya is a high energy, colorful, and active resort city. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.
Tourists will generally find more to do in Chiang Mai than Pattaya. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Chiang Mai is very popular for its museums, food, historical sights, hiking, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Pattaya attracts visitors for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. Chiang Mai is famous for its lively night market, historical temples, local cuisine, and cultural rainforest treks. It is also well known for Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Pattaya is famous for its beautiful beaches, plethora of amusement parks, and its party town reputation.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Chiang Mai is terrific for its historical sights. Also, Pattaya is not as popular, but is still a nice resort city for its sights and museums.
The museums and tourist attractions in Chiang Mai are world-renowned. The city is filled with culture and you'll find many beautiful temples in the area. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a mountain-top temple that is an iconic landmark in the city. Other famous sights include Doi Inthanon and Wat Chedi Luang.
If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Pattaya. There are several cultural attractions near town such as the Sanctuary of Truth, Wat Yansangwararam, and Wat Phra Yai (the Big Buddha).
Chiang Mai is terrific for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Pattaya is not as popular, but is still a nice resort city for its local cuisine and restaurants.
Many restaurants in Chiang Mai have been singled out for their culinary prowess. For many, this city offers some of the best food in all of Thailand. The cuisine is influenced by nearby Burma and China, with ginger and turmeric often used. Curries tend to be a bit milder and dishes are often served with sticky rice. Famous dishes around town include Khao Soi, Larb Kua, and Sai Oua. Cooking classes are also very popular around town and the courses often include a trip to a market.
Dining out in Pattaya is an experience not to be missed. Street food is what this city is all about. You'll find streets lined with restaurants, but you'll also find snacks and other culinary treats at every corner. Khao Gaeng (curried rice with meat or vegetables), Kai Jeow (omelet over rice), and Moo Ping (grilled pork) are among the favorites.
Pattaya is a world-class destination for nightlife. Also, Chiang Mai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife and partying.
People head to Pattaya just to party. Despite a promotional campaign to promote family vacations, this city still holds tight to its party hard reputation. You'll find live bands, international DJs, and rooftop parties any night of the week.
Chiang Mai offers plenty to do in the evening. It is the largest city in Northern Thailand, so it has the most active nightlife scene in the area. Whatever your style, you can find something to do at night here. Many people head to the riverside to drink and listen to music. You'll also find clubs concentrated around Nimmanhaemin Road and Loy Kroh Road. There's also the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, which is packed with stalls and people sampling food and drinks.
Pattaya is a great resort city for its luxury resorts. However, Chiang Mai is not a resort destination.
There are plenty of resorts in Pattaya to choose from. If you're looking for built-up, all-the-frills, beach resorts, then this is your place. It's a touristy beach city with hotels are resorts that line the waterfront.
Chiang Mai is not a resort destination.
Pattaya is a good destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Chiang Mai is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Pattaya. There are snorkeling and dive excursions that leave from town, or you could throw on a mask and snorkel and look for marine life right off the beach.
Chiang Mai is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
Pattaya is a great resort city for its beaches. However, Chiang Mai is not a beach destination.
Many people visit Pattaya for it's beautiful beaches. There are countless white sand beaches in the area that range from party-focused, to romantic, to family-friendly. The blue waters and silky sand have long made this one of the most popular beach areas in Thailand.
Chiang Mai is not a beach destination.
Chiang Mai is a great city for its old town. However, Pattaya does not have a historic old town.
Chiang Mai is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. The old city is about 1.5 square kilometers in size and it has four gates, one on each side. The most famous area is Sunday Walking Street, which comes to life at 4pm every day when it is lined with stalls and filled with people.
Pattaya does not have a historic old town.
Chiang Mai is terrific for hiking. However, Pattaya is not a hiking destination.
Around Chiang Mai visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Many people use this city as a base for a trekking excursion into the surrounding countryside. The land is lush and beautiful and many treks also expose you to the welcoming Hilltribe people of Northern Thailand. Treks can be organized at almost any hotel or hostel as well the many tour agencies around town.
Pattaya is not a hiking destination.
Chiang Mai is terrific for its shopping opportunities. Also, Pattaya is not as popular, but is still a nice resort city for its shopping areas.
Known for shopping, Chiang Mai draws large crowds to its stores. The city is famous for its night markets, which run every night of the year until around midnight. You'll find the streets packed with people and vendors, rain or shine. This is a great place to search for local handicrafts and try some of the city's famous street food. Popular items to buy include rice boxes, silk, and Thai sky lanterns.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Pattaya. The city is filled with markets, malls, bazaars, and street vendors that sells everything from clothes and bathing suits, to Thai crafts or local foods.
Both Chiang Mai and Pattaya are very good family-friendly destinations.
Chiang Mai is a very family-friendly destination. This city is very friendly and welcoming to kids. There are many cultural and adventurous activities that the whole family can enjoy. One of the most popular kid-friendly places to visit is the Elephant Sanctuary, where kids can get up close and personal with these beautiful animals. Kids will also enjoy heading into the countryside to trek or visit one of Thailand’s Hilltribes. The cultural experience and opportunity to meet a diversity of kids will be an experience your children will never forget. In town, a cooking class is a popular option for budding foodies.
Pattaya is a very kid-friendly city. Kids will love the amusement parks, water parks, and cultural parks. Highlights for families include Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, Ramayana Water Park, and Mini Siam. For something totally unique, check out the ice sculptures at Frost Magical Ice of Siam and for something cultural and fun you can head to Legend Siam Pattaya. Despite local efforts to promote family-friendly activities, it's important to remember that the city does still has a party town reputation. There are areas that you should avoid with kids.
Chiang Mai is a great city for its romantic activities. Also, Pattaya is not as popular, but is still a nice resort city for couples.
Chiang Mai is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Trekking, rafting, temples, and some of the best food in Thailand all make this city a popular destination for a couple's getaway. The region is perfect for adventurous couples who want to experience more of the authentic side of Thailand.
Pattaya is a good city for couples to visit. There are many beach-oriented activities around town like boat rides and water sports. You could also enjoy a spa day or simply lounge on the beach and soak up the sun for the day.
Chiang Mai is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Pattaya is not as popular, but is still a nice resort city for backpackers.
With so many budget-friendly offerings, Chiang Mai is extremely popular for backpackers. This is one of the biggest backpacker mecca's in Southeast Asia, and you'll find the city flooded with budget travelers out to experience it all. There are countless hostels and budget hotels available and most will organize treks and activities for guests. It's easy to meet other backpackers and many visitors end up staying longer than they planned. Prices in Northern Thailand are also much more affordable than many other areas.
Plenty of backpackers visit Pattaya. While it used to be a party town, these days Pattaya is more of a family destination that's filled with amusement parks and family-friendly resorts. Backpackers will still find hostels and budget accommodation, but that backpacker atmosphere isn't what it used to be.
Chiang Mai and Pattaya both offer nice public transit to get you around.
While Chiang Mai offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Transportation options include red songthaew (converted pick-up trucks), buses, and tuk-tuks.
Pattaya has a few public transit options. The baht bus (songthaew) is the cheapest way to get around town. These are colorful pickup trucks with seats in the back. There are also motorbike taxis as well as regular taxis.
Chiang Mai is a city with good options for its high level of walkability. However, Pattaya is not known for its ease of walking around.
Chiang Mai is a somewhat walkable place. Although there are a few walking streets, the city can get very crowded and many places are easier to access with a tuk tuk or taxi.
Pattaya is generally not very walkable. There's a walking street, as well as several walkable areas, but the city is relatively large and you'll likely want to catch a ride most places.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chiang Mai and Pattaya. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Chiang Mai than in Pattaya. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Chiang Mai, and 2-3 days is enough time in Pattaya.
Families should spend more time in Chiang Mai than Pattaya. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chiang Mai, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Chiang Mai than Pattaya. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Chiang Mai that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chiang Mai than Pattaya if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Chiang Mai.
Because Chiang Mai is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the colorful resort city of Pattaya, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
Because Chiang Mai is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Chiang Mai has to offer.
With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the destination of Pattaya, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this resort city.
Chiang Mai is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Chiang Mai has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Pattaya, a popular resort city, is full of activities for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chiang Mai. Because Chiang Mai is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Pattaya is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Mai is $46, while the average daily cost in Pattaya is $68. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chiang Mai and Pattaya in more detail.
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.
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Some typical examples of transportation costs in Chiang Mai are as follows:
Also for Chiang Mai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Also for Pattaya, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Chiang Mai:
For Chiang Mai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Pattaya, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Chiang Mai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chiang Mai.
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Pattaya.
Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Chiang Mai are as follows:
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.
Chiang Mai is bigger, and its population is about 10.3 times larger than the population of Pattaya. When comparing the population of Chiang Mai vs. Pattaya, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.
Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.
Both Pattaya and Chiang Mai are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Chiang Mai throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Pattaya because of the warm climate and sunshine 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. Chiang Mai gets 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.
Chiang Mai usually receives less sunshine than Pattaya during summer. Chiang Mai gets 146 hours of sunny skies, while Pattaya receives 176 hours of full sun in the summer.
In the summer, Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Pattaya. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chiang Mai in July average around 30°C (86°F), and Pattaya averages at about 29°C (84°F).
Both Pattaya and Chiang Mai during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Pattaya year-round.
November to February is the dry season in Chiang Mai. December to April is the dry season in Pattaya. June to October is the rainy season in Pattaya. 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. Daily temperatures in Chiang Mai average around 29°C (83°F), and Pattaya fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).
The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Chiang Mai and Pattaya. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Chiang Mai year-round. Pattaya attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.
November to February in Chiang Mai is the dry season. In January, Chiang Mai usually receives less rain than Pattaya. Chiang Mai gets 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain, while Pattaya receives 23 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.
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. Chiang Mai gets 283 hours of sunny skies, while Pattaya receives 276 hours of full sun in the winter.
Chiang Mai is cooler than Pattaya in the winter. The daily temperature in Chiang Mai averages around 23°C (74°F) in January, and Pattaya fluctuates around 27°C (80°F).
The spring brings many poeple to Chiang Mai as well as Pattaya. Chiang Mai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Pattaya throughout the year.
June to September in Chiang Mai is the rainy season. Also, December to April in Pattaya is the dry season. June to October in Pattaya 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 average around 31°C (88°F), and Pattaya averages at about 30°C (86°F).
|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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