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Nicest/cheapest beach city to live in Thailand

Hi All

I am planning to move to Thailand in the near future. What would be the cheapest beautiful beach city to live in Thailand.

Me and my wife are also planning to do some English teaching there.

Let me Know what you think. :)

Nicest, cheapest and beautiful don't typically go together but I would venture a guess that you might find the Hua Hin area acceptable, or doable, so that is my recommendation.

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Thank you villagefarang. I would keep that in mind! :)

I came across a place today. It's called Cha Am. It's about 15 miles up the beach from Hua Hin. Supposedly it is more affordable then Hua Hin. But both Cha Am and Hua Hin can get crowded on the weekends from Weekend warriors from Bangkok, so I am told. Much of the Hua Hin beach area is private because many resorts butt up to the beach. Those resorts are generally expensive. During the past year  I went there for a few days. As is the case with any beach resort area it is beautiful and can be very expensive. I was at one resort, by accident. I sat on the patio enjoying the view and had 2 beers and 2 appetizers - 1071 baht. If you look up JC on youtube you should be able to find some videos on Cha Am. I'm going to look into it for my next jaunt.

Thanks Bill

I will certainly investigate Cha am.

Do you know how the English teaching job opportunities look like there?

No I don't, I just heard about it yesterday. Last night I did look up some videos on youtube by JC. Hua Hin is down the road from Cha Am, which seems like a more upscale version of Cha Am. There might be some schools there, because of the up scaled hotel and possible English speaking tourism. This is all conjecture on my part but there might be some more in depth information on a web search. I did see one post on this forum where a man lives in Hua Hin (and his is Swiss). During my mini visit to Hua Hin I did come across English speaking Swiss community. (What that has to do with anything I don't know yet.) 

Chiang Mai has a ton of schools, but do you want to live in Chiang Mai. My understanding is that salaries in Chiang Mai can range from 20 k - 60 k baht a month. A college degree is a plus but not an absolute necessity, but it would also help relative to salary.

Thanks for the information Bill. :)

1) For those "not in the know" ... ChaAm is the poor man's equivalent of Hua Hin.
That is, HH is for the rich and CA is for the poorer, average Thais. So no respectable, privileged Thai would want to live there - they rather be in the more prestigious HH (where the king's summer palace is). So you choose your location - ghetto or gated community?
2) HH is mainly a retirement locale for most foreigners and the big draw is the golf courses there, particularly Black Mountain. Otherwise - boring - nothing to see, nothing to do - well there's the beach but how much beach can you take?
3) As for teaching opportunity there, It's far and few. I've only found one English lessons school in town while trying to locate some for my gf. And they are staffed by Thai university personnel.
4) There are heaps of other much nicer and less expensive beach towns than HH (which is getting pricier by the day as I've noticed - especially the lodgings) - you just have to venture out and explore...

Thanks for the posting. The video that I looked at gave me your impression, poor man's beach.

Full moon parties aside, the rest of the month Koh Phangan to me is very underrated, very beautiful lots of nature great beaches very quiet most of the month

Hi JayG33

Thank you for the information. :)
Is there any teaching jobs on Koh Phangan?

How expensive is the cost of living there?

I just looked up Koh Phangan. In Cha Am the rooms started at 16 k baht, for 30 days. In Hua Hin they started at 19 k baht. In Koh Phagan the prices start at 33 k baht. That's little rich for my blood. Granted they are not lease prices, but with that kind of starting price I'm a little gun shy of those prices.

I agree Bill. :)

You are way off on pricing. First of all, virtually none of the local places to stay on the islands have a website, you just have to go drive around and find a place. Koh Samui is more expensive to stay than Phangan, and I pay 15k baht/month for a nice 2 bedroom house, furnished. Phangan houses are generally 10-15k/month for a 2 bedroom, less for a 1br. Forget comparing anything until you put your feet on the ground. If its beaches that you like, nothing in Hua Hin, Cha Am, Pranburi or anywhere near there is even 10% as nice as the beaches in Phangan, seriously. These types of forums are great for finding info about places like Singapore and Hong Kong, tons of listings for places in Bangkok online but outside of cities, especially in Thailand, forget the web, just go there rent a motorbike and see for yourself

Thank you for the advice Jay! I will do that. :)

How does the job opportunities look like there?

My thought, exactly.

Hey Bill gf and I driving around HH we saw a really nice place at the back of HH bt 4500 per month if you hunt around you can get reasonably low cost here. We have a bungalow bt 8.5k per month pay electric and water direct, it’s two bedrooms kitchen and two bathrooms good parking for the car.
When they say ch am low cost area have you seen what they sell properties at, not cheap.

The numbers I put out there were snap shot quotes. In looking I'm looking for a place in March for a month to get out of the smoke of Chaing Mai.

If you know of something affordable and in the beach area, I'd appreciate hearing about it. You could just pm me a message.

Yes I did see some of the for sale prices and yes, not cheap.

you can pay 3,000 a month to live On Samui or Phangan, but then you are pretty much living like a local. I have had my days with roughing it, and although I do not want to pay western prices for rent, which you can do easily in any of these areas, you can always find something decent. As for work, I have no idea

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