Everyone knows Thailand for its affordable cost of living and traveling. There are many of you who might be planning your travel or looking to get on the recent digital nomad and remote working trend.
In this article, we will examine the cost of living in Thailand for both short and long term stay. We will be mostly using the cost of living in Bangkok as a reference, so if you are planning to visit or live in smaller cities, the cost will be relatively cheaper.
Table of Contents
Daily cost of living in Thailand
Food and beverage
There is a wide range of options for eating out in Thailand. You can select from street side vendors, local to fine dining restaurants. For this reason, a meal in Thailand can cost anywhere between THB 50 all the way to THB 500+ per meal per person.
Inexpensive meals from local vendors and restaurants that Thais typically consume generally cost between THB 50 – THB 100. Eating in a mall can take this cost up to THB 100 to THB 300 per meal.
Taking low cost to the extreme, if you home cook using local ingredients for the whole month, the meal cost per day can be around THB 120 per day according to Picodi.
A scrumptious meal at a local market generally cost between THB 50 to THB 100.
Main modes of transportation in Thailand include driving, public bus, sky/underground train, taxi and motorcycle.
BTS and MTR can cost between THB 40 – THB 60 per trip if you are going from the suburbs into the city center. If you are traveling 2 trips a day, the average cost would be around THB 80 – THB 120.
Public buses are a more affordable traveling option. It can cost between THB 8 to THB 30 per trip, however we do not recommend this mode of transport to foreign visitors.
Taxi fare in Thailand starts at THB 35, then it will charge you by increment of THB 5 – THB 10 per km depending on the distance. A taxi ride from city center to Suvarnabhumi airport would cost around THB 200 to THB 400 (around 20 to 30 km). We would recommend taking Grab instead of taxi if you want a more transparent price and less likelihood of getting scammed. Read more about traveling safely in Thailand in our other article.
The cost of driving using a private car is more complicated, we will cover this in another aticle.
Other living expenditure in Thailand for short term stay
There is a great selection of hotels, hostels and Airbnbs in Thailand. The market is competitive, which means you can always find a good bargain whether you are looking for a budget or luxurious stay.
Hostels are suitable for a budget stay, and the accommodation can cost as little as THB 150 per night. You can also get a private hostel room for THB 500 to THB 800 per night.
The price range of a hotel room in Thailand is quite large. A decent 3-star hotel can cost around THB 500 – THB 600 per night, with a 4-star hotel costing up to THB 800 to THB 1,000 per night. Based on our experience, a 5-star hotel can cost anywhere between THB 1,000+ to THB 5,000+. There are also many boutique options for a 5-star hotel, beyond your big chain options. For example, we stayed at the Hansar Bangkok, a 5-star boutique which was amazing and did not cost much more compared to 4-star alternatives from large hotel chains.
Photo from our last stay at Hansar Bangkok – the room was hip and came with some in-door greenery.
Mobile and internet package
It is hard to get by without the internet, especially if you are not used to the city. Surely you’ll need to access your Google map or your Grab app, right?
You can get many tourist internet packages on pre-paid sim cards that typically cost around THB 150 to THB 600. The costs depend on your duration of stay (THB 150 for 4 days and THB 600 for 15 days).
Other cost of living in Thailand for longer term stay
Are you looking to stay in Thailand for multiple months for extended vacation or remote working? If the answer is yes, there are a few costs that you should be aware of (and prepare to pay!)
There are a lot of apartment and condominium rental options. Your rental will greatly be depending on the location and the quality of the place you are looking to rent.
Based on our experience, monthly rent for a 30-35 sqm, fully furnished apartment in Bangkok city center can be anywhere between THB 8,000 to THB 25,000. You can think of the city center as the area within a few BTS stops from business/shopping districts like Silom, Asoke, or Ratchada.
It is also possible to pay a much lower rent if you are not staying in Bangkok or staying in the suburb of Bangkok. However, you should also be aware of the lack of convenience and also lower English proficiency as you move away from the city center.
Our one bed room apartment is equipped with pool facility. It is located in the city center, and is within minutes of walk to a BTS station.
The cost of electricity and water for 1 to 2 people should generally be between THB 1,000 to THB 2,000 per month. But this cost will definitely be higher if you have unique needs like bitcoin mining (electricity cost) or having a large garden/pool (water cost).
Mobile and internet packages
A good postpaid mobile plan can cost between THB 350 to THB 700 per month. Such a plan typically includes unlimited 4G data.
Home internet packages are generally affordable. Moreover, extra discounts are available if you sign-up through your apartment or use the same provider as your mobile phone. In general, this would cost around THB 300 to THB 800 per month.
Thailand offers one of the best healthcare services in Asia. In fact Thailand was ranked in the top 10 countries with the most efficient healthcare system in the world by Bloomberg in 2020.
While Thailand has quality healthcare to offer, the cost to access “premium” healthcare services in private hospitals can be costly. Therefore, you may need to consider getting health insurance during your stay in Thailand.
On the topic of health insurance, the premium in Thailand can cost anywhere between THB 5,000 to THB 20,000+ per year.
How much is the cost of living in Thailand in each month?
The beauty of living in Thailand is that the cost of living in Thailand can be low or high depending on your lifestyle. The cost of living in Thailand can be very low if you are budget-conscious (but there are still plenty to enjoy). The country, however, also offers an extra level of comfort and luxury for those who seek for them and are willing to pay for them.
In general, your monthly expenditure can range widely between THB 10,000 to THB 60,000 per person during the stay.
Go and read other posts that we have on the land of Smiles 🙂