A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Chiang Rai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chiang Rai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Chiang Rai or Nakhon Ratchasima, 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.

Nakhon Ratchasima

If you're planning on traveling from Bangkok to Isaan, you'll likely make Nakhon Ratchasima your pit stop or home base. However, there is so much more to this sprawling metropolis than just a layover. Underneath the chaos of it all, is a charming and traditional Thai city.

Which city is cheaper, Nakhon Ratchasima or Chiang Rai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Rai is $35, while the average daily cost in Nakhon Ratchasima is $35. 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 Nakhon Ratchasima in more detail.



Accommodation

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 prices for places to stay in Nakhon Ratchasima can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $17, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $34.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Rai $16
    Nakhon Ratchasima $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Rai $32
    Nakhon Ratchasima $34

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Chiang Rai cost around $10 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 $4.00.

On average, meal and food prices in Nakhon Ratchasima cost around $14 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 $5.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chiang Rai $10
    Nakhon Ratchasima $14

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 Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Yanui Cape Sunset Catamaran Tour in Phuket with Dinner by We Love Andaman: $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nakhon Ratchasima

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

  • Thai Akha Kitchen Cooking Class & Local Market Tour: $23
  • Tom Yum Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Asia Scenic Thai Cooking Class: $25
  • Siamese Cookery House Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok: $26
  • InFusion Cooking Classes in Koh Samui: $26
  • Sompong Thai Cooking Class: $27
  • Galangal Cooking Class with Market Tour in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Lanna Smile Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: $29
  • Pum Thai Cooking Class in Patong Beach: $31
  • Chocolate Cooking Class at SO Sofitel Bangkok: $31
  • Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: $31
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy: $31

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 $2.86 on transportation in Chiang Rai on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Nakhon Ratchasima than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.04 on transportation in Nakhon Ratchasima on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Rai $2.86
    Nakhon Ratchasima $4.04
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
    $1.22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Rai

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

  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test by Nabon Inter Medical Clinic in Phuket (Transfer arranged by TTD): $21
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Transfer in Chiang Rai: $34
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Phuket with Transfers: $22
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Chiang Mai with Transfers: $5.59
  • Shared Airport Bus Transfer Phuket : $3.09
  • Samui Airport Transfers (USM) for Koh Samui and More: $15
  • Private Transfer from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai: $75
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya, and More by Oriental Holiday: $17
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok Areas by TTD: $20
  • Private Phuket International Airport (HKT) Transfers for Phuket and Nearby Areas by TTD: $22
  • Private Krabi (KBV) or Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Krabi, Phuket, and More by TTD: $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in Nakhon Ratchasima

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Nakhon Ratchasima:


  • Tuk Tuk
    $1.53
  • Bus to Vientiane
    $1.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nakhon Ratchasima

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

  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test by Nabon Inter Medical Clinic in Phuket (Transfer arranged by TTD): $21
  • [Next Day Result] COVID-19 RT-PCR Test by Bangkok Hospital Phuket (Transfer Arranged by TTD): $105
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Phuket with Transfers: $22
  • Tiger Kingdom Ticket in Chiang Mai with Transfers: $5.59
  • Shared Airport Bus Transfer Phuket : $3.09
  • Samui Airport Transfers (USM) for Koh Samui and More: $15
  • Private Transfer from Nakhon Ratchasima to Ayutthaya: $174
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya, and More by Oriental Holiday: $17
  • Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok Areas by TTD: $20
  • Private Phuket International Airport (HKT) Transfers for Phuket and Nearby Areas by TTD: $22
  • Private Krabi (KBV) or Phuket Airport Transfers (HKT) for Krabi, Phuket, and More by TTD: $15
  • Private Don Mueang Airport (DMK) Transfers for Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Ayutthaya: $18

Is it cheaper to fly into Chiang Rai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Prices for flights to both Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Rai 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Chiang Rai, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $6.62 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Nakhon Ratchasima, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $5.21 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Rai $6.62
    Nakhon Ratchasima $5.21

Tours and Activities in Chiang Rai

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

Tours and Activities in Nakhon Ratchasima

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

  • 4 Island Day Tour by Speedboat or Longtail Boat from Lanta Island: $31
  • ATV Half Day Adventure in Pattaya: $28
  • Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More by AK Travel: $33
  • Aquaria Phuket Ticket: $4.95
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa In and Night Market Visit┬áby TTD: $31
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok with Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and Market Visit: $35
  • Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour from Siam Paragon by TTD: $28
  • Dii Wellness Med Spa Experience by Divana at Central Embassy BTS Ploenchit: $62
  • Go Bangkok e-Scooter Tour: $46
  • Indoor Go Karting Experience by EasyKart Bangkok: $13
  • Krabi Koh Klang Cultural Day Tour by TTD: $74
  • Krabi Sunrise Tour with Breakfast and Kayaking at Klong Nam Sai: $33

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Chiang Rai spend on average $7.46 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Nakhon Ratchasima spend on average $9.12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Rai $7.46
    Nakhon Ratchasima $9.12

Sample the Local Flavors in Chiang Rai

Also in Chiang Rai, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Nakhon Ratchasima

Also in Nakhon Ratchasima, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • PB Valley Vineyard and Wine Tasting Tour in Khao Yai: $22
  • Bangkok Pub Crawl by Pub Crawls Thailand: $22


When comparing the travel costs between Chiang Rai and Nakhon Ratchasima, we can see that Nakhon Ratchasima is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Chiang Rai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima Travel Comparison

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