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

Should you visit Pai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Pai and Nakhon Ratchasima. 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.


As the lush green mountains adorn the blue horizon amidst its creamy clouds, Pai, in northern Thailand, works as one of the many hubs for some of the world's most exciting cultural adventures and natural wonders. Within this small town just north of the Mae Hong Son Province, near the Myanmar border, Pai lays on the Pai River and holds a population of no more than 2,500. Despite its geographical insignificance, this town attracts a wide array of tourists. From breathtaking waterfalls to relaxing hot springs, you will find yourself astonished at how much this little city holds within its borders.

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 Pai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Pai is $54, while the average daily cost in Nakhon Ratchasima is $34. 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 Pai and Nakhon Ratchasima in more detail.


For a normal double-occupancy room in Pai, $24 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Pai, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $12, such as in a hostel.

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
    Pai $12
    Nakhon Ratchasima $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Pai $24
    Nakhon Ratchasima $34

Local Transportation

To get around in Pai, the average visitor spends $31 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 Nakhon Ratchasima than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $3.83 on transportation in Nakhon Ratchasima on average per day.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Pai $31
    Nakhon Ratchasima $3.83

Typical Local Transportation prices in Nakhon Ratchasima

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

  • Tuk Tuk
  • Bus to Vientiane

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nakhon Ratchasima

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

  • Private Transfer from Nakhon Ratchasima to Ayutthaya: $174

Is it cheaper to fly into Pai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Prices for flights to both Nakhon Ratchasima and Pai 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.


Pai food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

On average, meal and food prices in Nakhon Ratchasima cost around $13 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 $5.20.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Pai $18
    Nakhon Ratchasima $13


In Pai, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $34 per person, per day.

Sightseeing expenses in Nakhon Ratchasima, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $4.94 per day, per person.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Pai $34
    Nakhon Ratchasima $4.94

Tours and Activities in Pai

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

  • Private Like-a-Local Tour of Rome: $65
  • Private Rome City Tour with Expert Local Guide: $130


Typically, people visiting Pai spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Nakhon Ratchasima spend on average $8.66 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Pai $11
    Nakhon Ratchasima $8.66

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

Budget Your Trip

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Pai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima Travel Comparison

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