Cost of living in Thailand – 2013
COST OF LIVING IN THAILAND
Cost of living in Thailand is an estimate based on general prices in 2013. You can live in basic comfort for about $850 per month. 1 USD is about 30 Thai bahts. For THB 25,000 ($850)you can live through a month anywhere in Thailand including Bangkok, cities which are less expensive are Chiang mai, Phitsanulok, Surat thani, the towns and provinces could be a lot cheaper than Bangkok or Chiang mai. The variation is not huge though. The standard of living in Thailand is high compared to most developing countries, you get more out of your buck here. One American friend of mine actually said that it is truly the land of the free, more than his own. Ok, so what can you do with THB 25,000?
Typical monthly budget in Thai bahts : Rent – 6000+food 6000+transport 4000+misc 4000 (movies or an occasional beer or a massage once a week)+ essentials 2000 (cosmetics, detergents, soaps and deodorants etc.)+THB 3000 spare cash for any other unaccounted needs.
Rent- 3000 – 15000 , this is the usual range for different types of accommodation. The most commonly available type of regular accommodation are apartments, strangely some Thais call them dormitories as well. what you get is a one room or 2 at the most, usually furnished with a bed, mattress, Air conditioning, chairs, sofa and a refrigerator. The included furniture varies from apartment to apartment, some may not include the refrigerator or a sofa and some offer extras for a price. Most apartments in Bangkok in the budget type where working class locals and some expats live would be in the range of THB 4000 – THB 10000, I would consider 6000 as a good rent for a decent apartment. Independent houses with more rooms cost THB8000+ .
Food – 6000: Most Thai apartments don’t have a kitchen, this is because it is cheaper to eat out every day. Well at least thats what they seem to think. Typically Thai food is cheaper than foreign food. you can get a breakfast for as little as THB 20 to THB 500 or more, I would consider THB 70 for toast, butter, jam and eggs with sausages or a rice porridge with pork for about THB50. Lunch would be around THB 70 for a fried rice, soup and desert. Dinner is also about THB 70 – 100 depending on what you eat. Options available are rice + curries, pad thai, grilled meats with sticky rice, burger at McDonalds, sandwitches etc. Cooking on your own can save a lot of money, if you can get an electric cooker or a microwave. 5KG bag of rice is THB200. If you are a rice eater that will take you through about 15 days or more. A bottle of cooking oil is about THB 40. Tomatoes and potatoes are about THB 30 a kg. Sausages are cheaper.
Transport – 4000: Renting a bike is the norm, it is practical and costs less, If you prefer a car then buy one. Using public transport is practical only in Bangkok, the city has buses, sky trains, ferries and Taxis. Most other towns don’t have so many options for public transport. Renting a bike will cost about 3000 or less a month, fill up the bike for 100 bahts and that should last a few days at least if not a week before refueling. A one way bus ticket in Bangkok can cost about 20 bahts or less. Ferries are cheaper. There are many bike rentals in Bangkok and Chiang mai. Another popular transport in Chiang mai are the Songtaews, these are also called the red taxi.
Misc – 4000: Watching a movie can set you back by about 200 or less, you can get a massage for an hour for the same price or get yourself a couple of beers. Thailand can never be boring, there is entertainment everywhere especially in Bangkok and Chiangmai. If you like hiking and trekking there is plenty to do. You could also take up any hobby or sport.
Prices of some common things in THB are :
Bread – ฿ 30.00 per loaf
Potato – ฿ 35.00/kg
Tomato – ฿ 39.00/kg
Chili – ฿ 15.00/100gm
Snow peas ฿ 160.00/kg
Apples – ฿ 59.00/pack of 6 fuji/washington apples
Chicken – ฿ 55.00 for 300 gms of packaged boneless chicken
Pork mince ฿ 45.00 for 300 gms of packaged mince
Ham – ฿ 60.00 per pack of Thai ham slices
Beef – ฿ 30.00
Red bull – ฿ 10.00
Chang beer ฿ 29.00 a can
Coffee – ฿ 13.00 a can of Nescafe or Birdy
Green tea ฿ 15.00 a bottle
Green tea – 15
Coffee – 30
loaf of bread – 25
Burger – 45
Pizza – 400
laundry – 30 for 10 kilos in the washing machine
domestic air ticket one way – 2500
Taxi ride – 35 minimum
Beer – 30
wine – 200 to 4000
Chicken – 110 a kilo
fried chicken – 130 a kilo
Pork – 100 a kilo
Cheese – 250 to 500 for 100 gm
TEFL course – 45000
International school fees – 5000 a month
cooking course – 5000
A pair of Jeans – 1000
shorts – 250 to 400
shoes – 500 to 5000
T-shirt – 200 onwards
Hair cut – 150 onwards
Diving trip – 4000