Thailand offers so much to travelers, there is heaps of history and culture, and countless places to visit from bustling cities to the sedate countryside.
Visitors can spend a short vacation, or they can backpack and make extended trips to the region. However, the question most often posed from either camp is, how much does it cost to live in Thailand?
To come up with the answer takes a little more than just saying the Thailand cost of living is cheap.
There are a few factors to consider, but before diving in, you can find it is easy to stretch your budget on your trip to Thailand and be comfy, or you can live like a king if you so wish.
Many people travel to Thailand cheap, so read on, and you learn all you need to know about living in Thailand, no matter how long your duration of stay.
Is Thailand Considered a Poor Country?
There is a bit of a misconception. Thailand as a country isn’t poor and is one of the more developed economic regions in that particular part of the world.
The cost of living Thailand offers lower compared to other countries, yet it also has higher living standards than some of its neighbors.
The most significant reason it is deemed as poor is the imbalance between the cities and urban areas, while the majority of people live and work in rural Thailand.
Is Thailand Safe?
The cost of living in Thailand is often seen as the country is unsafe. However, this isn’t the case, although visitors do need to take some caution when visiting Thailand.
Assaults are rare, yet it is the petty scams that can catch most visitors off-guard. What appears to be genuine can lull a traveler into a false sense of security. Add in the taxis that travel further than needed or the sightseeing trips that are not legitimate.
Theft can happen anywhere, so anyone should only carry copies of travel documents while making sure they have a safe location on their person for money, passports, and credit cards.
Years ago, things may have been very different, but because there is so much Thailand tourism, it is much safer.
Are Things Cheaper in Thailand?
If you are looking for cheap Thailand vacations, you should not take the country as a whole, and think everything is cheap in Thailand.
An excellent example of this; before finding the cost of living. Is to compare Chiang Mai prices against those in Bangkok.
If you check consumer prices, restaurant meals (not counting street food), and shopping for groceries, Bangkok works out between 15 and 25% more expensive.
If you calculate Bangkok prices to the rural areas, then the difference will be even more extreme.
In comparison to prices from other countries, things are cheaper by far when you convert the USD or other currency to the Thai Baht.
You can calculate the rate in many places, but they will have rights reserved, and prices will vary.
Street food will be very cheap in comparison to regular fast foods back home.
How Cheap is Thailand?
You can get around 30 Baht per $1. When you look at a list of things to compare, you can see to live, Thailand is much cheaper for the majority of things.
The average restaurant in Bangkok costs 650 baht for a three-course meal for two. In USA prices, it converts to nearly 1,600 baht.
McDonald’s in the US is 30% more expensive than Thailand. Market foods see between a 50% and 250% increase in the USA as opposed to in Thailand. The closest thing in price is red meat, but this is the same around many Asian countries and isn’t limited to Thai prices.
Thai food all the way through is cheaper when it is homegrown, imports do rise considerably.
Luxury items like a taxi, beer, cigarettes will all be cheaper, yet there are a few things where the US can be more competitive. Gasoline, imported beer, and purchasing new vehicles because of import taxes.
How Much Money Do You Need Per Day in Thailand?
When traveling to Thailand, this is what people always want to know. What would it cost per day, and per night to live in Thailand for the duration of their trip?
The best way to understand how much you need is to take the average for the kind of vacation western individuals often take.
While it will include Bangkok, there will also be lots of traveling to local rural areas where it is far cheaper.
Here is a rough breakdown of what you can expect to pay in Baht per adult traveling to Thailand for a period of three weeks.
|Accommodation (A mix of bungalows to rent on the beach, jungle huts and guesthouses. Add more for hotels)||13,000|
|Drinks - can vary depending on how much you drink||10,000|
|Public transport around Thailand (buses, cabs, and trains)||1,500|
|Ferries to various islands||2,000|
|Medicines, personal care (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)||2,500|
|Food (includes a mix of restaurants and street food and drinking water)||12,000|
|Work related (internet etc.)||1,000|
|Activities (Hiking, snorkeling, etc.)||2,500|
The above works out to just under $1,400 for the period and is what you’d expect to pay for one person, although this can vary in each direction depending on the place you are, the months of the year you travel, and what expenses you can rack up heading toward your destination.
If you calculate this back into USD, you can see (with exchange rates) that it works out around $60 per day, although sharing rooms and some planning, you can generally reduce the cost for even better value.