The Cost Of Living In Thailand

The Cost of Living In Thailand

Thailand is a pretty affordable country to live in, as say, compared to Australia. Still there is no comparison between the cost of living in Thailand, and that of Sydney. You can buy fresh food and meat for a fraction of the cost, and local fish is amazingly cheap. Beer remains a low cost staple, and going out for a couple of drinks at night will not break the bank.

However, prices are creeping up, and as the years progress living in Thailand is fast becoming more and more expensive. If you desire a respectable standard of living in Thailand, you will need more money just to survive. The good old days of a really good bargain, and really cheap living, are perhaps gone forever….

Thailand Is No Longer Dirt Cheap

Possessing a million a year to suffice your lifestyle in Thailand is not enough actually when you live in some of the cities or tourist areas like Bangkok, Phuket or Koh Samui. Especially with the current exchange rate. Many more foreigners are feeling the pinch, as pensions suffer and the cost of living increases.

  • 30,000 B a month was more than enough to cover living expenses about a decade ago.
  • That amount is now just enough to cover most basic necessities.

Rent was only about 10,000 B, back then, food was cheap, as were transport costs.

Fast forward to the current day, where prices of both living and commodities have gone through the roof.

  • Internet and cable services are also an indispensible though expensive necessity.
  • Rent now costs about twenty thousand baht per month.
  • Water and food are also an expensive necessity.

If you are satisfied with a simple lifestyle then maybe alright now…

Some people CAN live on far less. You will debate on the costs because you tend you keep yours down. But not everyone wants to live like  a local, in low cost accommadation, or by eating street food and drinking Chang. To have to scrimp and save and do without the fun, costly extras, makes life dull and boring. So do you contemplate leaving Thailand to seek out cheaper places to live in the region? Or do you make do? Are you finding that you have less and less pleasurable, yet expensive ‘luxuries’?

 Is Thailand Still Affordable?

Yes, you can survive with that amount. But comfort and fun is an entirely debatable issue!

Thais spend less than this amount but they are pretty happy and satisfied.  There are foreigners living with this amount too, but determining how contented they are is inexplicable.  It is impossible to look for suitable and safe condo or an apartment in Bangkok  for less than ten thousand baht.

Well you can… if you want to wake up at three in the morning because your flat mate has just bought another Thai girlfriend home…

What can you get for thirty thousand baht?

A life of sacrifice? Where you eat street food, drink iced coffee worth 10 baht, and take public transport. If you like taking the bus or walking to get to your destination, you’ll be OK. But will you get bored with the simple lifestyle and eventually need to venture out of your comfort zone and embrace  that you’re really not happy? Maybe.

Australians living in Thailand are able to adapt and take on a more local way of life.  They can eat the food and embrace the culture, but eventually saturation point will be reached and they go back to the way they were eating fries, cheeseburgers and chips.  This reality goes beyond age, race and also income bracket.  Westerners are mostly not used to the simple lifestyle and most if not all can only survive knowing the Western way of living.

In conclusion, it actually boils down to the sort of existence you wanted for as long as you can sustain and afford it which can mean experiencing a quasi-Western lifestyle. You might live mostly cook at home, and eat out rarely, but when you do you eat in expensive restaurants. You might live in a modest condo, but when you holiday you stay 5 star. You might substitute that taxis for the sky-train on most occasions, but when you are really in need of one, you’ll take a taxi and not think anything of it.

It’s a matter of finding a balance and what works for you. Either that, or of looking for cheaper places to live… Cambodia anyone…?


On September 20, 2010, posted in: Living in Thailand by
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