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Cost of living 2018 in Thailand

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Thailand.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Thailand will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Thailand?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Thailand?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Thailand?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Thailand?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

No replies? :(

Maybe someone else will come along with their budget soon but I can’t help because I don’t live like that. :|

I live in Chiang Mai. The same question, to a degree, was presented to me today.

Generally speaking housing could cost between let's say 8 k - 20 k baht. You could go upscale for in the range of 30 k baht, or even 65 k baht and higher. A 12 month lease helps with pricing. I'm moving into a 1,500 sq. ft. house in a gated community at 15 k baht a month, furnished. My water is 60 baht a month, cell phone 299 baht, cable and fiber optics less then 900 baht. I go to a whole sale market for some of my groceries. Two chicken breasts, without bone or fat, cost between 50 - 60 baht. A kilo of good seized shrimp runs about 270 baht. A pork loin center cut runs less then 200 baht a kilo. Generally vegetables, 2 0r 3 types, and seasoning with the meat runs less then 50 baht. A large Leo costs between 54 - 110 baht.

From what I've seen posted one can live comfortably for 30 k - 60 k a month. One major difference is how much of a western standard do you want to maintain. You can live a western standard at 30 k baht, but that would have to include eating Thai food and shopping more in the Thai style. Your choice.

Have costs/prices risen noticeably in the past year?

The price is £125 for oa (retirement) visa now and only multiple entry,no single entry anymore..

Actual prices in Thailand havent risen much in 10 years , but exchange rates have changed dramatically,  i recall when £1 was 76 bt  now its around 44 bt,   making the real cost almost double in approx 15 years

Terrymedlicott :

Actual prices in Thailand havent risen much in 10 years , but exchange rates have changed dramatically,  i recall when £1 was 76 bt  now its around 44 bt,   making the real cost almost double in approx 15 years

The Dollar-Baht exchange rate has varied between 30 and 35 over ten years. I wouldn't call this too earth-shaking, especially since inflation within Thailand probably has more effect on prices. And apparently that hasn't been above 1% recently.

Keep in mind, 1997 economically in Thailand was a crazy year to compare anything to.

From my observations inflation hasn't been an issue, for Farangs. I did see one example with Sung Taos in Chiang Mai. Previously a Sung Tao price started at 20 baht. Within the past few months that price jumped to 30 baht. For a Thai that is significant, not so for a Farang. There's a new beer tax. The same applies to that tax. I think there's been increases in cigarette tax but the same applies. There is inflation, including with rents, but not so remarkable for the Farang.

My understanding is that the average Thai monthly income is between $500 - 600 a month (US). The inflation does adversely affect the average Thai. It also limits some of the inflation. You can only squeeze so hard before you find that there is no blood in it. Generally speaking the average Farang's income is twice that. As such the impact is not significant. Then there are those Farang's whose income is four times that and they are like George Bush (senior) who has no idea of the price of milk.

We use around 500.000 baht every year, It have be the same for us the years we being together.
The 5 month in the start when i was single, I use 28.000 - 30.000 baht pr month.(in 2011)

The last 2.5 years i use some of my saving on top of that, To fix the house we got from my Wife father to live in, As he want us to have a place to live in, And this house have all ways being plan to be my wife's when her father died.
But he want us to have it now and not wait for him to died.
We finish that in Dec 2017, So now back to "normal".

We going to buy a car in the furture, So the be some more money pr month to cover that, When that time come.

Compare to my home country Denmark, Thailand is still very cheap to live in.

Kindly.

Perhaps I should make a point of clarification. I am a single man without extensive obligations. My actual budget for living expenses in Thailand is 30 k, sometimes 35 k, baht. I live very comfortably on that budget. I do maintain a house in the US and travel back there and others things. All of that is on a different budget. Clarification!

The recent tax applied to alcohol and tobacco  caused a price drop on some cigarettes. Lm slim down to 60 from 72. Evasive action you might say.

Our monthly household water use bill is 120b.

Our household drinking water bill is about 600 baht. Aproximately 72 x 2l bottles
Internet - 800 baht
Maintenance fees for the area we live in 150 baht
Rent - 9k baht
Electricity between 550-700
Gasoline about 600
Food shopping big c/tesco 10k 2-3 trips.
Food ordering 4000
Alcohol. Max 1200 baht
Cigarettes 1000
Medical stuff 1000
Phone bill 100 baht a month
Car insurance 1150 baht per month


AVG spend on living per month 32500.

Not including non essentials. Clothes, trips etc.

Jon1967 :

The price is £125 for oa (retirement) visa now and only multiple entry,no single entry anymore..

Is it 125pound a year ?

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Thailand? - 12000 THB

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Thailand?  ---

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?- not use

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? for bread - 35-5- THB

What is your monthly budget for groceries? - around 10000-12000 THB

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Thailand? -- not used

How much do you pay for health insurance per month? - around 3500 THB

How much does childcare cost on average per month?  - 5000

What is your child's schooling budget per month?  3000 THB , online

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? 4000 THB

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? 2500-4000 THB

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?  1000 THB + 800 THB Home Wi-fi

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?  200 THB

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? 40-50 THB

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 300 THB

How much does a gym membership cost in Thailand? free

Regards,

A few times I've come across health insurance in Chiang Mai from CIGNA. Generally speaking that policy is about $2,500 US a year.

To see a doctor I have come across three prices. Going to a clinic off the street runs 100 - 150 baht. These are usually doctors who work in a hospital and run a clinic on their off hours. One hospital I went to charged 250 baht for a specialist, another upscale hospital charged 500 baht for a specialist.

7 - 11 has these mini frozen meals that cost 30 - 40 baht. They are tasty and will heat for you, as a snack on the go.

I live and work in Phaya Thai area. I only answered what I could as I've only been here for around 2 months:

Apartment or a house: 1BR good condominium with gym and pool: 13,000 Baht
Public transportation: Motorbike starts at 20 Baht, Trains at 30-50 Baht, Taxi/Uber/GrabTaxi 100-300 depending on distance.
Electricity/gas/water etc., per month: around for 1000 Baht for electricity. Water is less than 100 Baht
Internet subscription (20/10mbps) for 2 people: 450 Baht
Mobile phone bill: Starts at 300 Baht/month depending on your description
Lunch on weekdays: Starts at 40 Baht/day
Coffee: 40-60 Baht

I have lived in Thailand on and off for years. Longest stay was 2 years straight.
I have never rented an apartment or house, eat good food and live in motels and travel extensively.
I bought a pickup there 10 years ago. So burn up the road.
My expenses are about 50-70 thousand baht a month.

Hi-  The best part of Thailand is you can live comfortably on just about any budget. 

Apartments from 8000 BAHT to 80,000 BAHT
Food from Gourmet to Street food from 100 BAHT a day to 10,000 BAHT a day.
Train and motorbike service is cheap and easy to get around.  Car service and drivers also available. 
Club scene from beers to bottle service- the Nightlife happens every night. 

The best part of Bangkok is you get to make the experience exactly what you want on your budget and enjoy all Bangkok can offer.

Don't forget that Farang always pay more then Thai people.  It's a tradition they want to keep 555

There are a few things in which a Farang can spend like a Thai. Also dressing down instead of up when shopping helps with non department stores. In addition having a Thai price or shop for you definitely helps. But at face value, yes there is a two tier system. One more thing when buying merchandise, ask if that is their best price. It's not unusual that a Thai will lower the price by 10%. If you develop some knowledge and skills you can lower the price by 30%.

Hi ,


The price comments I read here I have never known . Been living on Koh Samui for 19 years . The prices of nearly everything have been rised 4 double since we arrived .
A full gasoline tank went from 400 to 2000 Bht.
Electricity per month is always around 5000 B
Housing has become very  expensive here , nothing under 10K unless you are happy with a 1 room in all place , and very small. A 2 room house is easily 20K ,if your lucky to find that price .
Streetfood is still cheap , but compared with Bangkok it s double price .
Mobile costs by AIS is around 400-700B /month
Internet by TOT 1200 B / month for 150MB
Visa and workpermit costs are 200€ visa workpermit renewal per year 8000B
New Cars can be bought on downpayments with tisco bank at 0% for around 10-15 K per month , depends on what car .
Many expats have left and they still are , cause of the cost of living and not enough work opportunities.

Bill, I whole-heartedly agree! Bargaining, in many countries, it's as much of a social dance that's sometimes expected, instead of simply a trade of goods.

Genevieve, with all due respects, it looks like you're living in a paradise that's been "discovered". :(

tonysilly :

Don't forget that Farang always pay more then (than) Thai people.  It's a tradition they want to keep 555

I immediately lose interest in or respect for anyone who trots out the old ‘Farangs are always in the wrong’ and ‘Farangs always pay more’  nonsense.  Those kinds of comments, I suppose, are aimed at making one appear worldly or knowledgable about Thailand but instead put you in a very specific box, in my opinion.

I love the way people exclude many major expenses from their quoted budgets.  Setup costs and major purchases along with travel and health expenses can make a very large dent in some of these subsistence budgets.

Im in Ubon Ratchathani (actually Warin Chamrab just south of Ubon) for reference.  Been here 2 months.

>>How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Thailand?
A 2 bed 'house' is about 3000B in a quiet street.  My GF owns her's so I live rent free, yay :)

>>How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Thailand?
The house I'm in is about 600K- 700K Baht.  A more western style house would be about 1+ mill here.

>>How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Scooter and car so no need.

>>How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Rice: approx 35B per kilo, Fresh noodles from market: 25 per kilo. Bread from 7/11:  35b ?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
>> Budget ?? Whats that?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Thailand?
>> Im currently getting a root canal done on a tooth.  Cost about 8000 B.  (1/3 of what it would cost back home).

>>How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
I paid $NZ900 for a year so thats about $US50 per month but thats all inclusive, not just health.

>>How much does childcare cost on average per month?
Cant break that down - he eats a lot!

>>What is your child's schooling budget per month?
900 B

>>How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Car about 1500B once a month, scooter 90B about twice a week.

>>How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Water: 100 B, Electricity: 750 B

>>How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
Internet : 800B unlimited fibre (excellent), Phone about 450B (unlimited data, no calls)

>>How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?
Varies but lunch for 2 - fried rice etc - 35B each.

>>How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
55B for a latte

>>How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
160B

>>How much does a gym membership cost in Thailand?
1000 B - almost the same as I paid in New Zealand.

VF

To each his own! For someone who has to have Christmas dinner at Le Meridian - you speak poorly for those who could use constructive information.

I pay $500 for a 2br 1ba apt. Has a small kitchen, but adequate. Living room is wall to wall ocean. I'm on the 14th floor. Its furnished nicely.
Elec is $40-150 depending on the wife running the ac. We pay wifi $22 mo. They pay water. We have a girl friday that cleans the place including the bedding for $15.
Groceries are ok, maybe $300_400 mo. We eat out one meal a day. The Thai govt causes us the most. Bc they stopped allowing dependents on retirement visas, my wife and baby fly out every 60 days. Its bogus, and an uneasy feeling to wait at the *@#/ airport for 7hrs. That runs about $350 all up. Sucks.
We might leave bc of that one thing. VN is much easier, cleaner and cheaper.

I don’t have to have dinner there but I was invited by friends so I went and enjoyed myself, with no apologies .  No one tried to rip me off or charge me extra because I am a farang.  I never pay more for normal services, except at national parks, and that happens infrequently enough I don’t mind paying a little extra if I am with my wife or Thai friends.  I know the price in advance and I am often pleasantly surprised to find I pay less than expected.

I don't find it constructive to have an adversarial relationship with Thais and go about accusing them of being dishonest.  If those are the kind of people one is dealing with, it says a lot about how and where someone lives.  Most retail outlets and restaurants have posted prices, even the outdoor markets for the most part, have signs.  People don't try to cheat me and don't run around with a chip on my shoulder expecting them to do so.

bill kip :

VF

To each his own! For someone who has to have Christmas dinner at Le Meridian - you speak poorly for those who could use constructive information.

Cost of living depends on your life style! But for my wife and I.......
We own our own house so no rent but (all costs monthly):

2500 Monthly gated village community fee
7000 Maid salary
3000 Petrol/Diesel (two cars)
4000 Various insurances
3000 Bicycle maintenance (we are both avid cyclists covering 2000+km each per month)
4000 Coffee bars and stops in shops when cycling
2500 Medical
10000 Food/Rimping/Market/Macro
1000 Gardener
1500 Electric
400 Water
1000 Phones
1200 Internet
5000 Mother-in-law
Extras: Clothes. Odd house repairs and painting. Travel. Car Maintenance. Hairdresser + beauty products (don't ask!). Books from Amazon.

Cracks starting to appear.

I do not account for set up costs or medical budgets as they are not in my monthly outgoing budget. Believe I read somewhere recently about a farang in a village who broke his wrist and paid a whopping great fee to get medical care as he was uninsured. Forgot his name but I'm sure he will not make same mistake twice.

We have other budgets like future fund and holiday fund etc. Not included in month to month cost of living.

Not difficult to ensure you get charged the same but in some instances it is unavoidable or in some cases not worth the discussion to object. I just observe or wait for others to be served first if unsure.

Markets tend to be where pricing can be sketchy for me. Fruit seller once charged me 80 baht for some fruit but a week later I got more for 40 in another stall in same market.

I never purchased from the rip off fruit seller again and I am pretty sure she regretted it as I always made a point to walk past her stall with fruits and we shared a smile and hers was sheepish.

Nothing to be embarressed about  just a little mistake that one made early on.

There can be some notable swings in market prices which have absolutely nothing to do with being a farang or being cheated.  Certain festivals up demand causing price fluctuations and the first fruit of the season will be more expensive until the bulk of the harvest hits the market. 

Rudeness or poor quality are more likely reasons for me to avoid a particular vendor.  There is nothing wrong with checking the quality and price of different vendors before assuming one is out to take advantage of you because of your skin color.

If someone broke their wrist, I would likely consider it an accident rather than a mistake.  As for medical insurance, having it or not having it, is more of a choice.  (This farang in a village has never broken his wrist and has chosen not to have medical insurance.)

The price swings due to time of etc is common knowledge and a universal theme.

At markets etc you can be over charged regardless of who you look like and your demeanour.

As a wise chap said the purchase of goods is a bit of a dance which requires a push and if a market trader does not recognise you they may charge more.

To suggest it is being rude for the price hike is extremely narrow.

The markets will try and charge more to anyone. The day I got charged too much for some fruit I spoke to my partner who laughed and told me I was overcharged, we then laughed together and I went back 2 days later and purchased at half the price.

These little mistakes have helped me learn and are vital for me and id suspect most people. Of course not everyone is most people.

No one said anything about a price hike being rude.  Rudeness this is a matter of behavior and manners.

villagefarang :
tonysilly :

Don't forget that Farang always pay more then (than) Thai people.  It's a tradition they want to keep 555

I immediately lose interest in or respect for anyone who trots out the old ‘Farangs are always in the wrong’ and ‘Farangs always pay more’  nonsense.  Those kinds of comments, I suppose, are aimed at making one appear worldly or knowledgable about Thailand but instead put you in a very specific box, in my opinion.



I have to agree on this.

For me i got cheap price then Thai more then i have to pay more then Thai over the years here.
Special in the start when i have to buy cloth here.
A very good friend of me take me to the shop he being use for +10 years before i come, And i got same price as him, Many time when i return to the shop, I stand and look / see what Thai pay for shirts and they pay 50-100 baht more for 1 a shirt, Then we have to pay.
Even so we both buy them in big size (Me 3 XL and my friend 4 XL) that normally cost more then a size S or M that i see Thai buy.

Last week we go and get new ID Card for my Thai wife, She have to pay 100 baht.
Samt time i apply and got my "Pink ID Card for Foreigners" for free. :-)


I do disagree on startup cost a lot, I think it is up to people.
When i move here in start 2011, I have to pay 5.000 baht to get the place i rent, Full furnished.
Only thing i have to buy was a microwave, If remember correct 2.400 baht.
I use around 4.000-5.000 baht on cloth, And that all i have to use.
But i like to bicycle, So i buy a bicycle all so.

But if one have to buy / build a house, Buy all furniture, Then yes it cost a lot.
I know we use a lot of money when moving into our house here, Clean the house, paint it our self.
Furniture for our house, Then come a new Bathroom and a new toilet for guest.
Paint the house and wall out side, And a new garden.
But one Dont need to do that starting out.

Kindly.

VF

Again and again you are being presented with issues in which you are losing it. The guy who said that you are changing is absolutely correct and accurate. You should be on this site helping people, not promoting your own malice or kingly life style. Not everyone has had the ability to have 40 years of history with Thailand, of have a wife 20 years younger, or live an estate style of living, or want to participate in aristocratic eating style. Age should give the ability to exercise patience and understanding, not intolerance of lack of understanding. Do you have any grand children?

Please reread what you just wrote.  Talk about intolerance and lack of understanding!  If you don’t like my point of view or my lifestyle just ignore me or insult me in private messages rather than on the open forum.

Not sure what grand children have to do with anything but since you asked, neither my wife nor I have ever had any children.  I have never been divorced either if you are interested.

I was out hiking in the mountains again today, taking pictures and visiting with other people on the trail.  While everyone else rode a 4x4 to the trailhead, we parked at the bottom and walked the whole way, much to the amazement of the people who passed us on the ride up.  My lifestyle is far from malicious, kingly or aristocratic but I guess I am not exactly a bum either and I do march to the beat of a different drummer.

I've read some of your stuff and the same thing seems to get said at some point or another.

Like that interview with expat focus where you deliberately evaded questions and provided not one iota of useful advice and some brave lady pulled you up about it and you laid into her and anyone who disagrees with you.

The running theme is you are always right and you have a rebuttal for everything.

You cannot handle criticism or other people's ideas one little bit and you have the gall to claim you make zero mistakes.

I am sorry but this is and pretty much every forum is a basis to help other people and share experiences.  Quotes such as " my expat path cannot be reproduced" sum you up well and guess what I do believe they are your words.

What's the point of being online and being this character I wonder. You seem to be anti expat if I may say and I spotted it a long time ago and I'm pleased others have started to realise it too.

You seem to derive joy from these encounters online.

I know you like to go on a bit and you like to share your days like they are heaven. For you and your wife I hope they are but for me and my family, Mrs and son, we do the normal stuff that families do and that may sound boring to many but I cherish every moment and would not trade it for anything and I do mean anything. But some lovely pictures and memories you capture.

If a street vendor senses that you're interested in bargaining, he will throw a provocatively high price at you. That's the starting price. You are expected to counter-offer about half, although the real expectation is of a social interaction. It's not rude.
If a vendor throw his (lower) "final price" at you right away, then it's because either he's too tired or doesn't think you'd understand.

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