Culinary Journey in Bangkok on the Cheap (<$10)

A Taste of Thai Food

Tasting Thai food while being in Thailand is very much a part of travel experience, one of the most important actually. If you are a food lover, Bangkok will be your best friend! You can taste various lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and discover new flavours and… do it on the cheap at the same time! The dishes prepared by street-side locals are stunning with their affordable prices, you can eat a lot and pay a little. Thai cuisine is very light, always fresh and seasoned with aromatic herbs. It has its temper and balance: you can either go for “spicy hot” or “spicy not” option, something you can’t do in Sri Lanka (for example).

Food on the Budget

Thai food is very affordable anywhere you go. However, visiting busy places full of tourists will definitely put the prices up. Therefore, try to avoid dining out at Khao San Road. Instead, take a bus, or longer walk, and head to some places where locals eat. You can find plenty of them, for example China town which is very cheap.

Here are some examples of products and their prices in Bangkok:

  • A typical take away Thai food (rice, vegetables, fried meat) 20-40 Baht
  • Western style food in tourist-orientated restaurant 150-400 Baht
  • Macdonald’s BigMac Meal 85 Baht for small, 92 for big
  • Grilled chicken with rice 30 Baht
  • 1.5 litre bottle of water 15 Baht
  • A bottle of beer 50-100 Baht
  • Chocolate bars 10-35 Baht
  • 20 cigarettes (Western brand) 48 Baht
  • 20 cigarettes (Thai brand) 18 Baht
See also  How to Manage Your Money for the Trip of a Lifetime

Our Food Cost

We spent $29 on our food during 3 days in Bangkok, which is approximately $10 per day for two people ($5 per person) including the drinks (Cez had 3 beers in a bar). We didn’t dine out in restaurants, we just went to local food markets and small shops to take some food away. We sometimes spent all day walking down the street looking for some decent and cheap meals. We tried almost everything, from noodle soups, grilled vegetable, Thai curry to some bugs, flies and grasshoppers. We never paid more than $4 per meal for two. Here are some selected meals we had during our stay with their prices.


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Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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13 thoughts on “Culinary Journey in Bangkok on the Cheap (<$10)”

  1. Avatar of Sally

    Great recommendations guys! I’ll definitely go for some of the dishes you had when I go to Bangkok next week. I will eat, eat and eat! Love the photos by the way.

    1. Avatar of Agness

      Hi Jeanette,

      Nothing to admire really. Some taste like crisps, some like chicken (as everyone says).

      You should certainly try. Asia is the best place for it.

      Safe travels,

  2. Avatar of Jessica Wray

    Awesome! I can’t WAIT to get back to traveling where the best food is also the cheapest. Here in Korea it’s hard for me to go cheap. The street food, though delicious is really greasy and there isn’t much variety after a while. Thai food is my favorite too :) Great post for people heading to SE Asia for the first time!

    1. Avatar of Agness

      China is pretty the same in terms of food. There is a variety of dishes and street food, but it’s indeed very greasy. Thai food is mostly either boiled or grilled, so you don’t need to feel guilty when you overeat :-). Thanks Jess!

  3. Avatar of Alyona (@alyonatravels)

    Bugs and worms!!! OMG :) We are going to Thailand in several weeks. Can’t wait for it! It’s really cool that the food is so cheap! Though I am a bit concerned about the hygiene of the local food, as many people say that, for example, when they cook fish or meat, it is not really fresh, bcs it is kept all day long in the warmth without a fridge…Is it really so?

    1. Avatar of Agness

      Yes, it’s true. Sometimes the meat and fish is under-cooked so be careful when eating the street food. In general, we were not afraid of anything and we ate everything including the bugs and worms. It was a great experience. The hygiene is really bad, sometimes you watch locals prepare it and you are like “Actually, I’m not that hungry” :-P. Try some bugs!! They are crispy and yummy :-))))

      1. Avatar of Agness

        Ach! What could I do to make you eat bugs, grasshoppers and worms? You have to try it, otherwise you can’t call yourself an adventurer :P

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