Cost of Living in the Land of Smile

Living in Thailand, generally speaking, is not pricey. Although prices have definitely gone up in the past ten years, it is still decent.

Prices may differ though from place to place depending on the density of foreign visitors the place have. The likes of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Koh Lipeh, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket are expensive unless you know the right places that sell meals at a local rate. Major cities like Bangkok, ChiangMai, ChiangRai, and Hatyai have fairly minimal rate per meal. The province of Songkhla has surprisingly higher rate at about 10 baht more. For instance, a 50-55 baht meal in Hatyai is about 60-65 baht in Songkhla. Even items on sale in grocers and thrift shops are 10 baht more expensive than Hatyai. Well they say, the oil rig companies are to be blamed for this.

Speaking of oil, gasoline prices had been a roller coaster. It fluctuated greatly in the past seven years or at least since I got conscious of oil prices due to necessity. Sixteen baht was lowest so far and that was in 2008 to 2009, I just couldn’t be certain of the date but it was definitely within these years. It was a ¬†great time but a short lived one. After that, it has gone up and down, with 27 baht as the priciest so far in 2016.

We have gone to several places, eaten at restaurants, and shopped at local market and grocers, one important thing we observed, once sellers know that you are a foreigner they would jack up the price. So friendly tips, it is best to buy at places where prices are displayed. It happened to us countless times and we saw it happened to “Phalangs” right before our eyes.

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4 thoughts on “Cost of Living in the Land of Smile

  1. Elle, is it a state school or international school you work in?

    If it’s an international school, they provide an expat package, which includes health insurance, flight costs, and full scholarship for your children to study there. Some top tier schools will also provide you with accommodation costs too.

    The most important benefit for us would be the full scholarship as we have two kids who would otherwise pay. Salary, we are not too concerned about.

    1. Hi Leo. Wow, that’s awesome. I have worked in an international school before but they did not offer this kind of package. I guess this depends on the school. You’re lucky. Please keep me posted.

  2. Hi Mitchelle

    We are a family of four who fell in love with Chiang Mai when we visited last year. Which part of Thailand are you based?

    We are looking to move to Chiang Mai in a year or two’s time. Need to put the kids into international school, and my wife right now is getting experience to become a teacher, so she can work there (with the aim of expat package so kids study free). Are you teaching English in Thailand?

    1. Hi Leo,
      Yes, I’m an English teacher in the South of Thailand.
      Chiang Mai is a great place to move to. I hope you’ll have a great time there.
      Anyway, could you tell me more about expat package? This seems new.

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