Cost of Living in Thailand

Thailand is a place where the dream of backpacking and digital nomading takes life. Every backpacker and digital nomader has probably started their journeys in Thailand. But today’s article isn’t about Thailand the tourist place, but it’s about Thailand the place to live in. 

Is it worth living in Thailand? What are the rental rates like? How much would food cost? 

We answer all your questions in this post about the cost of living in Thailand. 

Expats living in Thailand is not anything new. In fact, it’s been a long followed tradition for many expats to retire in Thailand. The most important factor is how far the dollar has gone. If you take  the retirement funds and move it to Thailand, you can enjoy a much more luxurious life and lifestyle compared to countries like the USA and UK. 

Without further ado, let’s understand the costs. 

Rent in Thailand

The first and most important expense is rent. Rent is probably the biggest of the expenses and let’s get that over with. Like most places, Rent in Thailand depends on the place you stay in. If you are staying in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, there will be considerable differences in the amounts. 

On average, the rental cost in Bangkok is about $400 a month for a small one bedroom apartment. Of course there are much bigger options such as a western-style apartment condos that would be a bit more expensive at around $1000 a month. 

Chiang Mai on the other hand will have the same accommodation for $200 a month making it markedly cheaper than the capital city. 

Food Cost in Thailand

Food in Thailand is ridiculously cheap. Thai food is also one of the tastiest in the world. Eating out in Thailand is ridiculously cheap. You can easily get a meal with a non-alcoholic drink for about $3. Even if you don’t cook and eat out three times a day, your expense won’t be more than $400 a month. If you choose to cook your food at home, then here are the costs for essential ingredients. 

ItemsIndicative Cost in USD
White Bread1.21
Eggs (12)1.63
Onion (300g)1.04

Travel Cost in Thailand

Travelling around Thailand can be a menace, especially in Bangkok because of the ridiculous traffic. You can get a monthly pass for 1000 Baht which is pretty reasonable. A taxi fare would cost you about 25 Baht at a minimum. If you are looking for a quicker transport service, then you can consider a Grab bike taxi that would cost you anywhere from 10 Baht to 50 Baht to go around. Transport is relatively cheap in Thailand. 

Utilities Cost in Thailand

Although the prices of utilities in Bangkok has increased, it’s still reasonably priced. If you look at the main expenses such as Electricity, Water, Air Conditioning, Garbage and other services, it would cost you about 2500 Baht for all these expenses. That would translate to $81, which is ridiculously cheap when you compare it to other cities. 

Gym Membership in Thailand 

We cover gym memberships in different countries because it always tells you how expensive a city is. If you go to countries like Singapore, you will have to pay hundreds of dollars for a simple gym membership. In Thailand, things are different. You can buy a gym membership for only $20 to $25. 

It all depends on the type of membership you want, but they are all reasonably cheap. 

Entertainment Cost in Thailand

Thailand is a happening place. There is no limit to what you can do there. If you want a great nightlife, then you probably can’t beat Bangkok. It has a thriving night life that is ridiculously cheap. You can also frequent the massage parlours with some of the cheapest massages in the world. You can relax with a Thai massage. 

The price of alcohol depends on the establishment, but you can get drinks as cheap as 100 Baht ($3) for a simple gin drink or whiskey drink. A higher end bar would serve you special cocktails for 600 Baht and so on! 

So if it cheap? It’s definitely reasonably priced 

One of the Best Destinations in South East Asia 

Thailand is a very special place. It’s located in the centre of South East Asia with major locations such as the Philippines, Singapore in close proximity. For a few hundred bucks, you can fly to over 50 top destinations for cheap. 

There are many opportunities in Thailand that has cropped up recently and it has a thriving outsourcing business that is building up. 

In terms of running a business, you can get a work visa in Thailand and setup shop. A lot of expats from the US, UK move to Thailand and retire in this beautiful country! 

This offers much cheaper renting options compared to cities like Singapore. So even if you are running your business out of Thailand, it works out to be much cheaper. 

Hospital and Healthcare Expenses in Thailand

Bangkok has an amazing healthcare system with a lot of top of the line hospitals. These facilities are some of the best and they are much cheaper compared to that of the first world nations like US, UK and Australia. 

There are a few tourists who travel to Thailand for healthcare tourism. There is no dearth of good quality healthcare in Thailand. Also a lot of the medicines in Thailand can be bought over the counter without having to get a doctors prescription. 

Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand 

Thailand is a beautiful place with respectful people. They are fundamentally happy and hospitable people. They respect all cultures. Here are a few do’s and dont’s in Thailand. 

  1. Make sure to be nice, respectful and always smile. In Thailand, everybody smiles as a mark of hospitality
  2. Wear appropriate clothing in appropriate settings such as temples. Wear long clothes and don’t wear anything exposing. 
  3. Don’t get too drunk and cause a ruckus. You will be thrown out without question. 
  4. Keep a sunscreen handy as well as a mosquito repellant 
  5. If you aren’t used to Asian food, then make sure to carry medicine for your stomach 

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