Living Costs in Thailand
The cost of living in Thailand is very reasonable, particularly if you are able to adapt to a more ‘local’ lifestyle by shopping in neighborhood stores and can eat Thai food. Even the two largest cities, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are very affordable and great places to live and teach English.It is easy to find delicious and healthy meals for $2 to $4 with all the street food stalls and inexpensive restaurants. It’s quite possible to get by on US$200-$400 per month for food. Keep in mind that locals will be able to eat much cheaper. If you can stay away from Western food and alcohol, your food budget can easily take up your entire salary.
Apartments in Thailand
Importantly, it’s quite possible to find accommodation that is quite comfortable without eating up a large chunk of your monthly salary. Budget-level apartments can be found for as little as THB 3-4,000 (US$100-135) per month. Check out this post on Chiang Mai monthly apartments so see some of the options. However, even within this price range, it’s worth shopping around because they will range from quite shabby to clean and well-maintained. Basic furnishings, other than bed linens are usually included, although in some cases there might be no TV or fridge. Utilities are also quite cheap. Electricity, water, cable TV and an internet connection will cost just THB 1,500-2,000 (US$44-58) per month. This figure may increase to around THB 3,000 (US$100) per month if you are unable to acclimatize to the heat and humidity, and make moderate use of an air conditioner.
Local telephone calls are very cheap at THB 5 (US$0.15) per call. However, making overseas calls from a private line can be very expensive, often as much as THB 150 (US$4.35) per minute. It’s advisable to purchase discount calling cards for international calls or, better still, use Skype. Mobile phones are affordable, starting at THB 3,000 (US$87) and basic charges amount to about THB 500 (US$14.50) per month.
Local buses, without air-conditioning cost around THB 4 (US$0.12) per ride, while those with air-conditioning range from THB 6-16 (US$0.17-0.46) depending on distance. Taxis generally charge a flat-rate of THB 35 (US$1.10) and then THB 8 (US$0.23) per kilometer, however it can often be difficult to get them to use the meter. Motorbike taxis can be cheaper, particularly if you have good bargaining skills but they are also inherently more dangerous. Return flights from Bangkok to Phuket or Chiang Mai can be found for under THB 3,000 (US$100) while a one-way flight to Koh Samui is around THB 2,500 (US$83.00).
Imported food stuffs, clothes, toiletries and other goods are readily available throughout the country but prices are very expensive compared to local goods. However, they remain comparable to those found in North America and, in most cases, cheaper than those in the U.K.
Here are some example prices of common goods:
Assuming 30 THB = US$1 2013
Big Mac THB 50 (US$1.70)
Pizza Hut – large pizza THB 250 (US$8.30)
Beer – large bottle (supermarket) THB 35-65 (US$1.10-2.10)
Beer – large bottle (bar) THB 85-130 (US$2.90-4.2)
Movie Theatre THB 90-100 (US$3.00-3.30)
Cigarettes – local THB 30 (US$1)
Cigarettes – imported THB 45-60 (US$1.50-2.00)
Cappuccino – 40 – 70 THB (US$1.30-1.74)
Fruit Shake 20 to 60 THB (US$0.67-$2.00)
TEFL English teaching job listings in Thailand. New positions are added regularly so check back often.
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Thailand. Read More
The cost of living in Thailand is very reasonable, particularly if you are able to adapt to a more ‘local’ lifestyle. Read More
Information on visa requirements to teach English in Thailand. Read More
A good overview of the culture, customs and traditions of Thailand. Read More
After taking his CELTA training, TEFL teacher Johnny Ward, taught English in Thailand for 15 months. He shares information on finding a teaching position, living in Thailand and more in this interview. Read More
Amanda Dorough shares here experiences working and living in Thailand. She covers everything from finding a job, quality of life and travelling around Thailand in this interview. Read More
Thailand Tourism Site
Bangkok Post (News)
The Nation (News)
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