A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Chiang Rai vs. Bangkok

Should you visit Chiang Rai or Bangkok?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Chiang Rai or Bangkok, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Chiang Rai

If you find yourself dreaming of a vacation in Northern Thailand, consider the metropolitan city of Chiang Rai. This centrally located capital of the Chiang Rai province provides an excellent home base for exploring the surrounding areas. While it serves well as a home base, it has its own charms worth wandering.


Bangkok: a name synonymous with all things exotic. The vibrant and exciting capital of Thailand is not just a hub for Southeast Asia, but also a destination into itself. Known for an active nightlife and party scene, as well as great food, historic temples, and busy markets, Bangkok offers a diversity to entertain even the most experienced travelers.

Which city is cheaper, Bangkok or Chiang Rai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Rai is $36, while the average daily cost in Bangkok is $67. 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 Rai and Bangkok in more detail.


The prices for places to stay in Chiang Rai can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $16, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $32.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Bangkok is $72. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Rai $16
    Bangkok $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Rai $32
    Bangkok $72


On average, meal and food prices in Chiang Rai cost around $11 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.40.

The average traveler spends about $16 per day in Bangkok 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 Meals for one day
    Chiang Rai $11
    Bangkok $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chiang Rai

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

  • Thai Cooking Class: $51
  • Chiang Rai Private Cooking Class - Cooking With Ann: $52
  • 1 Day Trekking Group Tour With Bamboo Cooking / Chiang Rai: $60
  • Chiang Rai by Night with Show, Dinner and Trishaw Ride: $73
  • Chiang Rai City Tour with Dinner and Show: $73
  • Thai Lanna Cooking Class: $87

Typical Food prices in Bangkok

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Bangkok:

  • Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (for Two)
  • Casual Lunch of Prawns (for Two)
  • 2 Rotis (Bread)
  • Mango & Sticky Rice
  • Lunch at KFC (for Two)
  • Pad Thai
  • Airport Lunch for 2
  • Lunch for 2

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bangkok

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bangkok.

  • Silom Village Authentic Thai Dinner and Performance Ticket: $17
  • Baiyoke Observation Deck with Lunch/Dinner Buffet: $23
  • Luxurious Afternoon Tea or Dinner at the Erawan Tea Rooms: $26
  • Skip the Line: Baiyoke Sky Hotel Observation Deck Ticket with Lunch or Dinner: $26
  • Bangkok Thai Classical Dance with Thai Set Dinner Ticket: $27
  • Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show Tour With Optional Dinner.: $31
  • Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show With Optional Dinner & Transfers: $31
  • 2-Hour Dinner & Shows on White Orchid River Cruise: $32
  • Skip the Line:Bangkok Calypso Cabaret Show Ticket w/(optional) Dinner &Transfers: $32
  • Bangkok Dinner Cruise on Chao Phraya River: $34
  • Dinner Cruise on Chao Phraya River in Bangkok (Optional Transfers): $34
  • Bangkok White Orchid Dinner Cruise: $34

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Chiang Rai than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $2.97 on transportation in Chiang Rai on average per day.

The cost of a taxi ride in Bangkok is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.57 per person, per day, on local transportation in Bangkok.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Rai $2.97
    Bangkok $4.57
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Rai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Chiang Rai:

  • Bus to White Temple

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Rai

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

  • Arrival Chiangmai Airport Private Transfer to Chiangrai Hotels: $145
  • Chiang Rai Airport Shared Arrival Transfer: $17
  • Chiang Rai Airport Shared Departure Transfer: $17
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Chiang Rai International Airport to Hotel: $19
  • Private Transfer from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai: $75
  • Transfer in Chiang Rai: $34

Typical Local Transportation prices in Bangkok

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

  • Tuk Tuk to bus station
  • Skytrain Ticket
  • Chao Phraya River Express Ticket
  • Ferry Ride
  • Taxi From Airport
  • Short Taxi Ride
  • Boat Taxi
  • Trains to airport

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bangkok

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bangkok:

  • oneway transfer service Bangkok-Hua hin: $85
  • VIP Bus Transfers between Bangkok and Chiang Mai: $28
  • Transfer from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok Hotel: $45
  • Transfer from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Rayong Province: $99
  • Transfer from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Pattaya: $68
  • Transfer from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Koh Chang: $150
  • Transfer from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to HuaHin: $85
  • Transfer from Don Mueang (DMK) Airport to Bangkok city: $31
  • Transfer from DMK Donmuaeng International Airport to BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport: $34
  • Transfer from Bangkok Hotel to Suvarnabhumi Airport: $45
  • Transfer from Bangkok Airport to Bangkok Hotel by Deluxe Vehicle: $135
  • Transfer from BKK Suvarnabhumi International Airport to khao Yai National Park: $85


Sightseeing expenses in Chiang Rai, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $6.88 per day, per person.

Entertainment and activities in Bangkok typically cost an average of $13 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 Rai $6.88
    Bangkok $13

Tours and Activities in Chiang Rai

For Chiang Rai, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Sightseeing Join Tour Chiang Rai / Pick up only in Chiang Rai: $37
  • Join Tour One Day Chiang Rai , White Temple& Blue temple & Black House: $41
  • Half Day Cycling Tour to the White temple: $51
  • Private Temple Tour Chiang Rai Include Entry Fees / Pick Up Only In Chiang Rai: $56
  • Half-Day Tour Highlights of Chiang Rai: $59
  • Chiang Rai City and Temples Tour: $61
  • Chiang Rai Food & Night Market Walking Tour with Local Host: $68
  • Chaing Rai food & night market walking tour with local host: $69
  • Chaing Rai food & night market walking tour with local host: $69
  • Half Day Chiang Rai City Tour with White Temple & Wat Phra Kaew: $70
  • Chiang Rai Food & Night Market Walking Tour with Local Host: $70
  • Chiang Rai Walking Night Tour : Food & Night Market with Local Host: $70

Typical Entertainment prices in Bangkok

Here are a few typical costs in Bangkok for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Movie Ticket
  • Grand Palace Entrance Ticket
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) Ticket
  • Dusit Zoo Entrance Fee (for Two)
  • Club Cover Charge
  • Thai Boxing Tickets (for Two)
  • Fish Pedicure
  • Wat Pho entrance ticket
  • Siriraj Museum (2)

Tours and Activities in Bangkok

Here are a few actual costs in Bangkok for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • "Phra Nakorn Khiri and Kui Buri adventure in 1 day" (Private trip): $322
  • "Two Day one Night for River Kwai Adventure" (Private): $442
  • 04 DAYS CENTRAL HIGHLIGHTS - Joint Tour: $692
  • 1-day Bangkok Old Town Tuk Tuk Tour - Sawasdee Tuk Tuk: $102
  • 10 Hours Private Tour Ayuttaya: $140
  • 11-Day Thailand Tour to Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phuket: $2,921
  • 12-Day Tour Through Cambodia from Bangkok to Saigon: $1,165
  • 2 Days Private Tour To Ayutthaya' World Heritage Site: $428
  • 2-Day River Kwai Experience from Bangkok: $262
  • 2-Day River Kwai Floathouse Experience from Bangkok: $346
  • 2-Day River Kwai Jungle Rafts Experience from Bangkok: $231
  • 2-Day River Kwai and Kanchanaburi Tour from Bangkok: $228


Typically, people visiting Chiang Rai spend on average $7.76 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Bangkok may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.59 per day on alcoholic beverages.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Rai $7.76
    Bangkok $7.59

Typical Alcohol prices in Bangkok

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

  • Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Bangkok

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Bangkok:

  • 4-Hour Sukhumvit Bar Crawl: $7.50
  • 4-Hour Thonglor Bar Crawl: $20
  • Guided Bar Crawl: $21
  • From Khao Yai Wine Tasting by Bike: $359

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chiang Rai and Bangkok, we can see that Bangkok is more expensive. And not only is Chiang Rai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chiang Rai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chiang Rai 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 Bangkok would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bangkok than you might in Chiang Rai.

Budget Your Trip

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Chiang Rai vs. Bangkok Travel Comparison

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