A quick dive on my cost of living in Bangkok
I know a lot of you think that Thailand is cheap. And it’s not completely false. But it’s not as cheap as you can think, especially when you live in Bangkok. Let me give you an idea of what my cost of living in Bangkok look like. 🇹🇭
Even though the value for money and the lifestyle you have is great in Bangkok, it’s getting more expensive overtime.
But the good thing remain the large range of options you have. For everything you want to do or buy, you can choose how much you’re willing to spend. From street food to Michelin Restaurants, from a single room to a penthouse… it's pretty much up to you to decide how much you want to spend monthly depending on how much you can afford of course.
To give you an idea, here's what my cost of living in Bangkok look like.
I’ve breakdown my cost of living in Bangkok in 5 main expenses
*to keep it readable and short*
- Accommodation 🏠
- Transportation 🏍
- Food 🌭
- Party/Clubs 🎉
- Visa 🛂
(there’s a lot more you can be looking at here, like a few days traveling in the country, etc… but I will focus only on the cost of living in Bangkok in this post.)
Here’s what living in Bangkok cost me:
Accommodation in Bangkok
You find an endless possibilities here. From a single room off the main streets at 5,000฿ to a single room in a brand new condo with a Gym, a Pool and probably a nice rooftop starting from 15,000++. 🏢
It depends what you’re looking for. 🤔
For me, as I don’t spend that much time home and I don’t fancy those big condos with pool and gym, I keep it simple. 😇
I’ve got a friend that rent me an appartement in his townhouse. 🏠
The location is great, just 10 minutes drive from my co-working space (20 minutes with traffic 🙈) and it’s close to most of the main hotels and clubs where my customers go. 🤗
For over 60 square meters, a large living room and a bedroom, I pay 10,000฿ + 1,000฿ for utilities. 💸
That’s only 11,000฿ per month. Not bad.
Transportation in Bangkok
You could commute with taxis or the BTS and MRT (the Skytrain and Subway) but honestly unless you’re living close to your work, you’re looking at a lot of time stuck in traffic and at least 200฿ a day.
For me, a motorbike is the best way to get around Bangkok. 🏍
I bought one for 28,000THB and every month I spend about 500THB in gas (only). And I drive every day.
If you add a few repairs here and there, that's an extra 1,000฿ per month. (Especially for me)
And that’s super convenient.
Of course it’s not for everyone, I can understand a lot of people wouldn’t feel like driving here in Bangkok. But honestly, once you get used to it and how people drive, it’s really not that bad. 😈
Oh yeah and I don’t drive when I go out. For obvious reasons. 😵 And sometime I take a cab when I have stuff to carry.
I’m looking at maybe up to 2,000฿ a month, with my motorbike 95% of the time, a few cab rides, some motorbike taxi and BTS here and there.
Transportation in Bangkok: 2,000 ฿
Eating Daily in Bangkok
That’s the part that can easily double or triple from one day to another. 🙃
In a regular day, I never cook. I get food from 7/Eleven, Supermarkets, street food and sometime delivery.
When sticking to Thai Food, I’m looking at about 500฿/day. Roughly.
Then a good restaurant about once a week, with Wine or Cocktails, that's around 4,000฿/month.
Total for Food in Bangkok: 19,000฿
Party and Drinks in Bangkok
There’s always something going on in Bangkok! 🔥
It's great for business and when you got friends in town. Not that much when you're on a budget. 😂
Now, how much you spend is really different from one person to another. It depends how much you drink, the kind of venue...
I can go to Khao San Road and get wasted with a 1,000฿ and get some change left for the cab home.
Or go in bars and clubs in Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 11, RCA or even Sathorn and end up spending 3,000฿ a night. That's if I don't go to an after party spot.
It will cost me the same for a Pool Party in Bangkok. With one everything Saturday, the temptation is pretty high.
Usually my budget there vary from a month to another, depending on how much money I got to spare and how many event we host.
In average I maybe go out once a week so that add up to another 12,000THB per month.
Party in Bangkok: 12,000฿
Visa in Thailand
If you’re an expat, that’s an expense you can’t avoid and that you can’t neglect either. 💰💰💰
Between the visa itself and the visa run you’re often looking at over 30,000฿ a year. 🙈
I had tourist visas (x2), a Student Visa of 9 months with Thai Classes (25,000THB + Visa cost + Extensions + Visa Run, total about 45,000THB).
Now I’m on a business visa under my company. I'm basically an employee of my own business.
In total it cost me about 10,000THB per month for a 12 months visa. That includes taxes, the cost of the visa, the extension and the visa run.
Visa in Thailand : 10,000฿
Breakdown of my cost of living in Bangkok:
Party and Drinks: 12,000฿
💸TOTAL💸 = 54,000฿
That’s about what I used to spend in Tours when I was living in France. I know that’s not a big city or Paris. So I guess for the same kind of money, it's better to live in Bangkok.
Also, my lifestyle here is way better.
I don’t cook, I could pay someone to do my laundry, I go for a massage every other weeks (in a good place, it cost me around 500฿). I have a great apartment and I can manage to go out quite a lot.
What would be your cost of living in Bangkok?
Of course, that only apply to me. 😇
But I would say, that’s the minimum you mean for a quality life in Bangkok.
Can you live with less? Sure. But what's the point of living in Bangkok if you can't take part of the events and make the most of it?
Now honestly, If I was making more money, I’ll probably be spending about 100,000฿ a month.
Basically I would move to a bigger townhouse, in a Thai neighborhood.
Try more restaurants and bars. And probably get wasted twice more.
Above 100,000++ that’s money for travels and savings.
I don’t see how you can spend that much money in Bangkok.
Oh, unless you get that sick penthouse overlooking the city, with a jacuzzi and naked…. 🍑🍑🍑
Then I guess you can 😂😂
Here's a really interesting piece by BK Magazine on how the cost of living is compared to other big cities: