Cost of living in Chiang Mai


Last edited: August 30, 2017 at 08:18:26

Chiang Mai is arguably one of the cheapest places in the world to live in. You can get a local meal on the street for just 30 baht (approximately USD 1). On the other hand, if you tend to be attached to some Western hobbies and food, you may pay a higher than expected bill. So all-in-all, it all depends on what consumer goods you put inside your basket, as economists say.

COST ESTIMATE OF LIVING IN CHIANG MAI

Here's a cost estimate for 3 different kind of budgets.

BUDGET VS. BASKET LOW

LOW: "LIVING ON A SHOESTRING"

MEDIUM

MEDIUM: "FAIR BUDGET"

HIGH HIGH: "LUXURY"
monthly budget
(in USD)
  USD 300-470   USD 470-940   USD 940+
monthly budget
(in THB)
  THB 9,500-15,000   THB 15,000-30,000   THB 30,000
housing Thai style apartment THB 2,000-3,000 better apartment, condo or house THB 4,000-10,000 luxury apartment, condo or house THB 10,000- 25,000
utitlities (water, electricity)   THB 500   THB 1,500   THB 2,000+
internet shared THB 100-200 private line THB 630 faster line THB 900+
transport 2nd hand scooter THB 1,000-2,000 new scooter THB 2,000-3,000 car THB 2,000-4,000
food, coffee basic THB 6,000-9,000 moderate THB 9,000-15,000 luxury THB 15,000+
entertainment mostly free THB 1,000-2,000 parties, drinking THB 2,000-4,000 indulging THB 4,000+
healthcare & insurance at home THB 0 some fixes THB 1,000 well-protected THB 3,000
visa and trips never leave in 1 year THB 1,500 some trips THB 3,000-5,000 several fun trips THB 5,000+
special expenditures Thai lessons, buy stuff THB 1,000 + fitness membership THB 2,000-4,000 + golf membership THB 4,000+

Of course, this is just a rough estimate and example of what lifestyle you could lead for which budget.
There are costs which are a one time expenditure, such as the purchase of a scooter (and which in theory you could depreciate over time, but there's no need to make things too complicated here). Also, there are costs such as a health insurance, which you may have at home or purchase here.

What costs you have entirely depend on you, what kind of things you buy. Live on noodles and you'll last long, buy a pack of Swiss muesli or specially imported stuff from Europe and your bill will mount much higher.

Some guys even keep an explicit budget of fun things like drinking, going out and buying girls, in that case you can easily double your spending. Other guys brag about or make a sport out of living as cheap as possible (www.trektheworld.tv/travel-chiang-mai-thailand-budget-money-saving, but I wouldn't be proud of it).

Living cost at very cheap levels in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai resident proud to live on USD 7 per day

The truth however is that the majority of local Thai are probably living off a budget of less than THB 10,000 per month, so in theory you can too. From their perspective, anything on top of that is in fact pure luxury.

Overall, for probably the majority of foreigners living in Chiang Mai a monthly budget of up to THB 15,000 is considered moderate, up to THB 30,000 is fair, and any figure above that is comparative luxury.

Cost of living in other places in Thailand

Similar budgets for Pattaya, Bangkok and Phuket are probably higher by some 50%, 100% and 150% respectively, compared to Chiang Mai. In Bangkok you'll spend much more money on a decent place to live, on transport and on reasonable food. In Phuket nearly all prices are much much higher than in Chiang Mai.
Other places in Thailand such as Chiang Rai, Udon Thani etc. are probably at about the same cost level, at least they can't be much cheaper because the market isn't as competitive and you may pay even more for imported goods.


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RB Posted on December 10, 2016 at 09:02:20
I would atleast double the amounts. Living in luxury with 30K baht...what a joke!