Friday, October 14, 2011

So what does it cost to live in Thailand?

So what does it cost to live in Thailand?

Of course that question is loaded with variables (especially rent), but for us, who needed a wall/door separating the bedroom from the living area (bonus two bathrooms)....around 28 000 - 32 000 Baht per month in total, for both, for everything.
Our abode was far from the Taj Mahal, but was decent and about 1.5 km from the city walls/moat. Near to two main roads, which made hailing a songthaew or tuk tuk easy. Also, we were 100 metres away from a major shopping mall.
When we first arrived we had to spend a little on set up costs, like a scooter, helmets, towels, kitchen equipment, bed sheets, soft pillows and padding for the mattress etc.

For those interested, here's a brief random breakdown of some of those expenses. For those who are not, even though I'm writing in the past tense, we still have a week to go before we leave Chiang Mai via the 'Place of olives', 'City of angels'....Bangkok.

*PS. There's a currency converter at the bottom right hand side of this blog.

Cost in Baht
Rent – monthly
Approx. 1.5 km from city moat. 1 bedroom, 1 living room with kitchenette, 2 bathrooms. Modest.
Water – monthly
2 people – no washing machine
Electricity – monthly
Running electric fan only, toaster, kettle, induction cooker occasionally
Electricity – monthly
1200 – 2000
As above, but including nightly and some daytime air conditioning
Mid range packet of 20
Beer Leo
Large bottle from 7 - Eleven
Beer Leo
60 +
Large bottle at restaurant
Milk – fresh
2 litre bottle from supermarket
500 grams
30 – 40
Small Western style loaf – no sugar
Bread roll
Multi grain, small – from supermarket
Moccona instant – from supermarket
Cup of coffee
30 – 60
Depending on where you buy it
Medium size – Pre cut and packaged – from supermarket. Approx. 500 gram
Per Kg – Pre cut and packaged – from supermarket
Rambutan (Lychee)
Per Kg – from local market
Fruit - various
Pre cut from street vendors. Approx. 150 each
170 +
Per Kg – packaged – from supermarket
Natural low fat 150 gram
25 – 30
Per Kg
Honey peanuts
45 gram packet
30 – 60
Per meal – eating at road stalls or local style restaurants. Usually rice, noodle or soup dishes.
Steak, chips, salad
160 – 200
Restaurant. Some road side stalls prepare a small version, without chips for around 60 Baht
80 - 200 +
For two people
Regular promotions – 3 x 750 ml bottles – 445 Baht per litre
390 – 440
2 litres South African Mont Claire Shiraz/Cab Sav – 220 Baht per litre
Sang Som Thai Rum 700 ml
Toilet paper
6 pack
Fuel - petrol
Per litre
Fuel per week
110 cc automatic scooter – around town
150 ml pump spray
Hair band
10 – 30
Thongs/flip flops/scuffs
40 – 60

200 – 400
Medium range
150 – 250
Low cost department stores, markets
T Shirt
80 – 150
Low cost department stores, markets
Shorts/long pants
150 – 250
Low cost department stores, markets
Mr Muscle
500 ml multi purpose cleaner
60 – 100
Per week at our local laundry. 3 – 6 baht per item, even for a bed sheet. Double price for ironing.
Per small load at hotel. Coin operated using your own detergent.
Cook top
One pot (induction cooker) – Tesco Lotus
Electric Kettle
Mid range 1.8 litre

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Keith said... Best Blogger Tips

Hello Snap, Thanks for the numbers. I was wondering if the 32,000 included your Thai classes?

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Keith No, unfortunately not and thanks, I'd forgotten about that. The course with one year visa support was 25,000. Add a trip to Laos and initial visa fee (I forget) plus two (1,900 Baht each) extension applications.

Keith said... Best Blogger Tips

@Snap Thanks so if I budget about 2,000 Baht a month for Thai class I should be safe? It is still a few years away before I can retire but I think about the budget a lot. I hope it will not take me 5 years of Thai classes but I think I will give myself 5 years of trying before giving up.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Keith I had to pay 15,000 up front. Then, the school sent off my application to MOE. If had beenrefused, they would have refunded that money. As I wasn't, I then paid the balance of 10,000. You can opt for shorter courses (pay less), however I don't think they offer visa support.

I think 5 years is a realistic time frame for learning Thai...or giving up ;)

Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap, this list will come in handy for those mulling over a year in Thailand. Or, a guy coming to stay for good (I admire how little they can get away with).

My first couple of years in Thailand I kept to a tight budget but I've eased up considerably. For one, groceries have gone up a fair bit. For the other, I'm getting picky about the meat I consume. I don't like the idea of hormones added to my food so I buy from a short list of companies.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Catherine Yes, can always do it cheaper (or the skies the limit), especially foodwise. Cooking at home maybe more expensive, but at least you know what quality of food you're consuming. If there is a next time, I'd be getting a place with a proper-ish kitchen. On the odd occasion I have cooked here, I've bought, at least the meat, from a supermarket...probably not always hormone free, but it looks/smells better that most at the markets.

Come to think of it, some of those meat tables in the supermarkets can be a little on the nose sometimes.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Catherine if you have time (ha ha ha) any preferred food companies you could suggest would be great :)...or perhaps a post on WLT?

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Sort of sad seeing my bedroom on your blog aka your lounge room :(
- thanks again for having me for those 10 days, looking forward to catching up back here in Oz, you will have to come over now you are use to travelling about. lol (How long till you pack your bags and head off again)

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@jj Was a pleasure having you. It was nice to see CM through new eyes again :) Already packing, sorting, cleaning as I go...backing out slowly toward the front door.

Will land on the 26th.

Lani said... Best Blogger Tips

Very nice. Useful for those who budget and everyone should!

Can't believe it's been a year already. So you're going, eh? It's been an adventure, let me know if you two are up for a goodbye meal!


Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Lani the year has flown by...maybe that's just because I'm getting old! Will be in touch :)

Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap - I'm sad to read the show is nearly over but at least it's been a relatively cheap one. There's a big difference in living in Thailand to holidaying there. I reckon a month's vacation in Thailand would set me back at least 90,000 baht.

Your post provides great information for those wanting to know the cost of living in the Land of Smiles and I hope you've got your keywords just right, because if you have then this post is going to get one hell of a lot of search hits.

...backing out slowly toward the front door....nice words.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Martyn, I agree that holidaying is much different than living. 90,000 baht for one month sounds on the realistic (sensible side)to me.

I've added some more keywords at your suggestion, however, I'm not really too worried if the searches miss me...just doin' this for fun ;)

...the front door is a lot closer than it used to be!

Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips


Don't slam the door shut.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Martyn definitely no slamming ;)

Philip said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Snap,

I'll miss your blog. Thailand can get a hold of you. I reckon you will be back?!

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Philip anything is possible :) I'll probably still blog a little even when back in Australia...after all, you can have adventures anywhere!