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Japanese Expats Guide: The cost of traveling to Thailand in 2023

How much does it cost to travel to Thailand for 3-4 days?

Until ten years ago, Thailand was said to be the best choice for budget travelers from Japan due to its low prices. However, due to economic development in recent years and accompanying price rises, rising international air ticket prices, and further depreciation of the yen, it is no longer possible to go cheaply from Japan.

Then, how much money is necessary to go on a weekend trip to Thailand- for about 3 nights?

Firstly, there is the air ticket. A round trip ticket to Bangkok from Tokyo costs approximately 40,000 to 150,000 yen. The cheapest time is in the off-season, where it is possible to get a flight in the 30,000-yen range. However, most of the cheap air tickets are LCC connecting flights that take time, so they are not suitable for short-term trips to Thailand.

A normal economy ticket can be affordable and costs about 100,000 yen. It is not uncommon for the price to exceed 200,000 yen during the year-end such as New Year or long holidays.

Secondly, there is the hotel accommodation. Fortunately, there are many affordable and easy accommodations in Thailand, and it is possible to stay from around 2,000 yen per night. In addition, 4–5-star luxury hotels are generally cheaper in Thailand than in Japan, Europe and the United States, starting from the 20,000-yen range.

If you want to keep the costs down, a mid-range hotel for around 7,000 to 8,000 yen would be ideal.

Thirdly and importantly, there is the delicious Thai food. While there are many reasonably priced and delicious food stalls in Thailand, so compared to Europe and the United States, food & beverage is cheap. A normal lunch costs less than 1,000 yen, and dinner costs 3,000 yen to fill you up.

Fourthly, there is the tourism, local sightseeing and transportation expenses. Luckily, taxis in Thailand are considerably much cheaper than in Japan, starting at 40 baht (about 155 yen). Taxi service from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city costs less than 2,000 yen, so if there are multiple people, it may be more reasonable than taking the train or bus. In addition, Thailand’s has many of these famous “tuk-tuks”, but many of them are aimed at tourists. Tuk Tuk prices are often negotiable, so it may be difficult to negotiate for new tourists. It’s often useful to travel with a frequent traveler or someone who can speak Thai.

Sightseeing in Thailand if you only visit temples, etc., it is generally very affordable. The entrance fee for each place is about 100 to 500 baht, so if you convert it to Japanese yen, it will be about 400 to 2000 yen. A renowned Thai massage will cost 200-300 baht (about 700-1100 yen) if you get it at a general massage parlor, while higher end massage outlets would cost the same or more than in Japan. Same goes for the nightlife. It is important to research enough information in advance from the internet to plan your local destinations.

So far, the total cost of a three-night trip, excluding souvenirs, can be from 100,000 yen in the off-season to 200,000 yen in the peak season.

For Japanese passport holders, if you travel to Thailand for sightseeing purposes, you do not need a visa and can stay within 30 days.

However, if you are thinking about staying in Thailand for a long time or moving to Thailand in the future, there is also a Thailand-specific privilege visa membership program called Thailand Elite Visa. It’s considered a long-term residency visa in Thailand, allowing Thai Elite members to be able to live in Thailand from 5-20 years, depending on the membership. As a Thailand Elite member, you’ll also receive additional support such as fast track airport immigration, dependent visas for your long stay family members, discounts at premiere restaurants & outlets, and allowing you and your family an even more comfortable stay in Thailand.

Stay in Thailand long-term.
With a Privilege Entry Visa
that is valid from
5 years up to 20 years.

Stay in Thailand long-term.
With a Privilege Entry Visa
that is valid from
5 years up to 20 years.

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Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for Thai elite visa?
The applicant/the Member must have and maintain to have the following qualifications: Being allowed to stay in Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws or any related law of Thailand.(no overstay record) Holding foreign passport. Not having been sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment in any countries except for an offense committed through negligence. Not having been adjudicated bankrupt. Not having been declared as a person of unsound mind incompetence, or quasi incompetent.
How long can I stay in Thailand with Elite Visa?
Thailand Elite offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of your visa during the validity of the membership. Each time a member goes through the Thai immigration, he/she will automatically get a one-year visa stamp in his/her passport until expiration of the membership. If the member happens to stay for more than 1-year consecutively in Thailand, then a simple renewal at the immigration office will grant another 1-year visa stamp.
Is Thailand Elite a scam?
The Thailand Elite Visa is a program initiated and approved by the Royal Thai government in 2003. The Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd, which runs the Elite Visa program is a fully owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. ThaiElite-Express empowered by HLG Law Firm is an authorized sale agent.
Can I work with Thailand Elite?
After becoming an Elite member and obtaining your Thailand Elite Visa, you can apply anytime to a non-immigrant business visa and a work permit allowing you to work in Thailand. You also have the option of applying to the Elite Flexible Plus, invest at least 1 million USD in Thailand either in real estate, a limited or public company, or in stock exchange, and be granted a work permit.
How do I pay for Thailand Elite?
The payment is required only after submission of your application, the immigration background check by the Thai immigration, and receipt of the Approval Letter by email. Applicants could then choose to proceed to their membership fee by local or overseas bank transfer, credit card or depositing money to Thailand Elite bank account directly.
Is the Thailand Elite visa for Digital Nomads?
The Thailand Elite Visa is perfectly suitable for Digital Nomads. As business or retirement visas are not necessary a good match for digital nomads, the Elite Visa answers to all nomads with numerous privileges to cater members’ needs. With very little documentation needed, as well as the flexibility of applying from anywhere, regardless abroad, on arrival, or within Thailand. The process is seamless and fast. Moreover, from a study by The Instant Group, Bangkok has recently been voted as the world’s second-best city to work in as a digital nomad (best city in Asia). This is down to the innumerable benefits in which Bangkok brings, which are but not limited to; Internet broadband speed, culture, scenery, transportation, weather, affordability, cuisine, and more. Having already welcomed 35 million digital nomads from all over the world, in 2021, it’s forecasted that there would be more arrivals to the Land of Smiles with constant technological and infrastructure improvements.
What is the long term visa available in Thailand?
Applying to a Thailand Elite program is a viable and easy solution to stay and live for a long period of time in Thailand. Only Thailand Elite can offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of the visa during the validity of the applicant membership. As of today, all other non-immigrant visa options are limited to a validity period of 1 or 2 years.
Thailand elite vs Retirement Visa
To retire in Thailand, the Elite Visa is a worry-free option compared to the Retirement Visa from the application, during holding period to the renewable. At the application time, for an Elite, the documentation is minimal, and no medical insurance nor proof of funds is required for instance. During the holding period, Elite members enjoy numerous privileges such as an assistance for their 90 days report, a fast track at the airport immigration, the lounge access and airport limousine, assistance in opening a bank account in local or foreign currency, a 24/7 call center and much more. The Elite Visa offers you an easy renewable of the Privilege Entry Visa for the duration of your membership.
What is the long term visa available in Thailand?
Applying to a Thailand Elite program is a viable and easy solution to stay and live for a long period of time in Thailand. Only Thailand Elite can offer a 5,10 or 20 years membership and ensure the renewal of the visa during the validity of the applicant membership. As of today, all other non-immigrant visa options are limited to a validity period of 1 or 2 years.
Is the Thailand Elite Visa legit?
The Thailand Elite Visa is a legal and legit program under Thai law to stay long-term in Thailand. The “Thailand Elite” is operated by Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd. It has been initiated in 2003 by the Royal Thai Government itself. The company is fully owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

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