Thailand is a rather inexpensive country and the cost of living is low, especially when it comes to accommodation and food.
These low prices have attracted many foreigners over the years to relocate themselves to Bangkok or other cities and provinces of Thailand.
As a foreigner you will have to live with the fact that prices might be higher as for locals.
A good example is the National Park, where the entry fee for Thai citizens costs 20 Baht whereas for a foreigner it is an astonishing 500 Baht!
Accommodation – places to stay
Apartments and studios in Bangkok vary from around 3,500 – 50,000 Baht per month, depending on condition, location and size.
Since Thailand is a hot country you will probably have the air-conditioner running most of the time, consuming a lot of electricity.
Electricity bills vary from 2,000 – 8,000 Baht per month.
Before getting a nice apartment think about how much you will be spending just for electricity alone.
Some venues, such as apartment hotels, go low on the room rates but compensate that with unbelievable high electricity bills (high cost per unit of electricity).
Water bills are by far much cheaper and come up to about 100 Baht per month.
It is advised to always check how much you are going to pay for electricity and beware if the price is over 10 Baht per unit.
Transportation – getting around in Bangkok
While transportation in Bangkok is rather inexpensive, considering the distance of certain destinations, it may cost you more than you think.
Taxis in Bangkok are cheap and convenient but can get quite pricey when used on a daily basis.
Although public transportation such as Bangkok’s MRT metro or the BTS skytrain are the best and most convenient alternatives, they do not cover all areas of Bangkok, leaving you no other choice than using public buses or taxis.
Single journey tickets are priced from 10 to 60 Baht.
A normal Taxi journey through the city will cost about 120 Baht – with traffic up to 200 Baht. You can always request the driver to take the toll way or highway during rush hours.
The toll way fee usually does not exceed 80 Baht. Prices vary depending on the distance of the toll way.
Alimentation – the meals and drinks
Thai food is affordable and tasty but eating similar based dishes every day can get boring.
Like many foreigners staying in Thailand, they start to look for alternative dishes that remind them of their home far away.
Foreign food can be found everywhere throughout Bangkok, especially along Sukhumvit Road.
For European and American dishes, prices vary from 200 to 1,000 Baht per meal.
Mexican, Indian, Middle-Eastern, and Japanese food are also priced around that range.
Comparing this to the 50 Baht Thai meals you can get it might sound expensive. But every now and then, it is nice to have a meal that is traditional to your home country.
Socializing – bowling, cinema, karaoke, pubs, and clubs
Bangkok in its design offers high-class lounges that host social events.
Karaoke places, usually next to bowling runways found in any major shopping malls, are one of the most modern venues in Asia to go to.
Singing with your friends while enjoying a delicious meal is very popular amongst the younger generation.
In fact, managers and supervisors occasionally invite their subordinates to a karaoke night where they eat delicious meals, drink cold beer, and just purely enjoy themselves. This is part of the modern Thai culture.
Watching a movie will cost you around 160 to 200 Baht per ticket for a normal seat.
List of prices for various popular activities in Bangkok
Clubbing: min. 500 Baht per Person
Cinema: 160 Baht for regular seats, up to 500 Baht for VIP seats
Pub: around 100 Baht per beer, 2,000 Baht for a bottle of whiskey
Bowling: 300-500 Baht per person
Karaoke: about 400 Baht per hour
Go-karting: 800 Baht per 15-30 min
Jet-skiing: 1,200 Baht per 30 min
*Note that these prices are average estimates. Different locations have different prices. But this should give you are rough idea of its costs.
Studying in Thailand – accommodation and necessity
If you are a student at one of Bangkok’s universities and live by yourself, you should have at least 30,000 Baht per month ($1000) in order to live comfortably.
In fact, even 20,000 Baht a month would do the trick.
Example expenses per month for a typical student:
Apartment (incl. electricity & water): 10,000 Baht
Transportation: 6,000 Baht
Food: 8,000 Baht
Mobile: 1,000 Baht
Social Events: 8,000 Baht
Other: 4,000 Baht