So what’s the cost of living in Bangkok?
What’s The Cost of Living in Bangkok?
One of the great attractions of Thailand and Bangkok for entrepreneurs is you can live much cheaper than in Europe or North America – and still enjoy a very good standard of living.
I myself also spent some time living in Bangkok.
As is usually the case with capital cities, Bangkok is the most expensive part of Thailand, with the possible exception of the tourist resort of Phuket.
If you live in a town outside Bangkok, and especially in the north or north east, for example in Chiang Mai, then your outgoings will be a lot less, especially for accommodation.
It also depends on your lifestyle.
If you live as the average Western tourist does, eating mainly in tourist places in tourist areas, or eating mostly Western food, if you insist on air conditioning in your apartment, if you go everywhere by taxi – then you’ll find yourself spending amounts of money approaching what you spend back home.
But if you live more modestly, but still to a good standard – and this can be a higher standard than even back in Europe or the US, then you can spend a lot less in Bangkok than you will in North America or Europe.
Below I’ve put together a quick rundown on the cost of living in Bangkok.
These are based on my own experience of what I paid during my time in Bangkok.
It’s possible to pay less for these items and it’s also possible to pay more.
At the time of writing, the exchange rate was approx:
1 Euro = 39 Baht.
1 US Dollar = 30 Baht
1 UK Pound = 49 Baht
Here Are Some Typical Prices in Bangkok
Monthly rent for a decent one room apartment: 8-10,000 Baht.
That doesn’t the cost of air conditioning, that’s always extra.
Average meal at an indoor food court or street hawker kitchen: 40-80 baht.
You can get a great dish of 3 different portions of cooked veggie food with rice for around 50 Baht.
Large bowl of wan tan or fish ball noodle soup: 40-50 Baht
Coffee at a coffee shop or food court: 40-60 Baht. At Starbucks type chains you’ll pay double and more.
Half litre bottle of beer with meal or at a bar: 90 Baht. Small can of beer from shop: 25-35 Baht.
Can of Coke or similar soft drink from shop: 15-20 Baht
Coconut from street vendor: 15-25 Baht
Taxi fare: starts at 35 Baht. Typical inner city journey: 60-100 Baht.
Bus journey in city: 10-20 Baht.
Skytrain or Metro journey: typically 20-50 Baht. With multiple journey card about 20 Baht per journey.
River bus trip 30 minutes: 15 Baht.
Croissant from 7-11 chain: 12 Baht
Bunch of bananas: 20-30 Baht.
1.5 litre bottle of mineral water: 20-25 Baht. A 5 litre bottle of mineral water: 40 Baht. Or fill up with filtered water from serviced street dispensers for 5 Baht.
Wi-fi Internet for 1 month at home: 500-600 Baht.
Mobile phone SIM Card credit top-up: 100-200 Baht. Don’t have precise data to hand and it obviously depends on how many calls you make, but mine lasts a good month or so – and I use it for international calls.
Pair of good quality jeans 1000-2000 Baht plus, depending on brand. Replicas can cost half or less.
Pair of good quality sneakers: 1000-2500 Baht and more. Again, half or less for no-name brands and replicas.
T-shirt from street market: 100-200 Baht. Better quality double this or more. Quality Polo t-shirt 400-500 Baht.
Street market long sleeve shirt: 200-400 Baht. Better quality shirt double this.
Laundry: 75-150 Baht
As I said, these are general prices. You can pay more and you can pay less than this.
Like anywhere else, accommodation costs in Bangkok vary according to district as well as apartment quality.
Areas like Sukhumvit which have the highest proportion of expats and a large number of modern high-rise condo buildings and the like cost the most.
The rent I pay is for a one room studio apartment, furnished, serviced, with bathroom and shower unit, balcony and swimming pool. Skytrain (metro) station nearby. About 20 minutes from city centre.
Eating costs are based on the places the Thais tend to eat at, ie sit-down street pavement places and average indoor food courts. Some pavement places cost more, as do some food courts.
If you eat in the tourist areas frequented especially by Westerners, such as Banglamphoo and parts of Sukhumvit etc you can easily pay double or treble these prices.
Also there are plenty of expensive indoor restaurants to be found in Bangkok. Plus Indian food, Italian, Pizza or other western food all costs much more, as does Japanese and Korean food.