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

Should you visit Chiang Mai or Pattaya?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. 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.

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 $42, while the average daily cost in Pattaya is $62. 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 Pattaya in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Chiang Mai, $48 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Chiang Mai, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $24, such as in a hostel.

Travelers usually pay around $44 for a double occupancy room in Pattaya If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Mai $24
    Pattaya $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Mai $48
    Pattaya $44

Food

The average traveler spends about $9.57 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.

Food in Pattaya costs travelers about $21 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chiang Mai $9.57
    Pattaya $21
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)
    $6.24
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
    $0.77
  • Casual Breakfast
    $1.28
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.40
  • Mangoes
    $0.96
  • Coffee
    $1.60

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
  • Full-Day Cooking Class Including Market Tour from Chiang Mai: $35
  • Khantoke Dinner with Show: $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

Local Transportation

To get around in Chiang Mai, the average visitor spends $3.40 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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Pattaya than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Pattaya on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Mai $3.40
    Pattaya $11
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.28
  • Moped Rental
    $5.76

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
  • Chiangmai Private Tour and Transfer with Professional driver: $109
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $70
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $70
  • Chiang Mai Zoo Admission Ticket with Roundtrip Transfer: $70
  • Dragonflight Zipline in Chiang Mai (including round trip transfer): $68
  • Easy Go Chiang Mai Room with Transfer WOW price: $59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pattaya

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

  • 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
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bangkok to/from Pattaya: $73

Entertainment

In Chiang Mai, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

Sightseeing expenses in Pattaya, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $19 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Mai $12
    Pattaya $19
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
    $42
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.92
  • Kratong Lessons
    $3.20
  • Pedicure
    $4.80
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)
    $5.76

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: $21
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $16
  • 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

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 $6.34.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Pattaya, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.68.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Mai $6.34
    Pattaya $7.68
Typical Alcohol prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Wine
    $3.20


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.

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Chiang Mai vs. Pattaya Travel Comparison

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