Living in Thailand for $1000

The last time I was living in Thailand I gave myself a monthly budget of $1,000 per month to live on, I will show you how even today in 2014 you can be living in Thailand for $1,000 per month or less and have fun.

Want to get laid in Thailand for free, then read this article.

I have previous documented the cost of things in Bangkok and my monthly budget in Bangkok. This blog post gives a breakdown of my costs in Thailand to a even greater extent and showing you all how I managed to live in Thailand for under $1000 a month.

If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand and need help, check out my Thai friend’s website here, she may be able to help you out.

 Cost of apartments in Thailand

The rental of apartments in Thailand can be anything from $100 to $3000+ per month depending on your needs. Since we are discussing about living in Thailand for $1,000 a month, I will only go into detail about apartments in the $300 per month or less range.

For $250-$350 a month in Bangkok, you can expect to get yourself a studio apartment with a bathroom, balcony, air con fridge and WiFi in a close to central part of town. Not right in the center, but not so far away either that it will take hours to get anywhere. Don’t expect this apartment to be kitted out with the latest furniture or having amazing features, just a basic clean room. Room sizes to be around 27-33sq meters. Here are some Bangkok apartments in that price range.

If you don’t mind living further away from central Bangkok (for argument sake, lets say Asoke is central), in areas such as Mo chit, Lad Prao, Udom Suk, for the same price you could get a much bigger room, with more amenities, perhaps even a gym and a pool for that price. The only downside being that you now live further away from the center.

When I was living in Thailand, I spent $350 per month for a studio apartment in Ekkamai.

Total so far $350

Cost of transportation in Thailand 

One of the best thing about living in Thailand (Bangkok mostly ) is the cheap transportation. Taxi start at 35 baht, the BTS and MRT are pretty cheap, so are local buses and motosi taxis. Since I lived in Ekkamai, and everything I wanted to do was nearby I bought myself a bicycle from the Big C.

Most places I wanted to go were in cycling distance. I would spend around $20-40 per month on transportation costs while living in Thailand because of my bicycle. You could also look into buying a scooter in Thailand, but I didn’t want to risk my life 🙂 .

taxi in bangkok

Phuket is the exception where taxi prices are almost 900% higher than anything you would expect to pay in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Pattaya.

Total so far $380

The cost of food in Thailand

If you live in a studio apartment close to the center of Bangkok, chance are you wont have a cooker or oven, just a microwave, so 90% of what I ate in Thailand was bought from  street stalls or restaurants.  I would only make myself cereal and sandwiches, the rest I would eat out, the rest I would usually go to Soi 38.

The average cost of a meal in Bangkok if you want to eat on the street is 30-50 baht, inside a restaurant maybe 60baht upwards depending. If you want to go and eat western food then food prices rises higher to about 100baht+ per dish.

Thong lo Manogs

I would usually end up spending around 250 baht a day on food overall, which came to about 4 meals including sandwiches and cereal. When living in Thailand my average meal was priced around 40baht, but once or so a week I would visit a new restaurant and eat there, which would sent me back 200-700 baht. My overall monthly food budget was around $250 per month while living in Thailand.

Total so far $630

Cost of activities in Thailand 

Almost daily I would either be playing football, tennis or hitting one of the many Bangkok gyms to get swole. Tennis courts were fairly cheap at 30 baht per hour each, I also paid 20 baht per session at my gym. My gym was pretty rough though, no aircon, machines that were not safe, damaged weights and benches. But whatever, I just go to lift. A pretty boy gym with all the newest weights and machines is going to set you back 1,500-2,000 baht per month.

Living in Thailand on a $1,000 budget means you have to be a little bit smart, a normal cinema ticket in Bangkok costs 250 baht, but if you visit the Major Cineplex website, if you wait 2-3 weeks for a new release to get moved down in the ranks, the same movie ticket can be purchased for 100 baht. I think overall activates cost me about 2,500 baht per month.

Total so far $715

Drinking and going to night clubs in Thailand

For some people living in Thailand, what they spend in a month on going out, is higher than all other costs combined, so be careful on how much you drink. I would tend to go out once a week in a group of 5-7 people, the more people in the group, the cheaper the night out will be. I never went to go go bars as the novelty wears off pretty quick and they are a great place to spend money, fast.

I would also opt for buying bottles in clubs as they are much better value then buying individual drinks. The nightclubs in Bangkok also offer free entry on certain dates, so it is wise to know what days they are. I think on average each month I spent about 3,000-5,000 baht on going out to bars and clubs when I was living in Thailand

Total so far: $855

The cost of Thai girls

This is one area of spending that could break anyone’s budget, the price of getting a Thai bar girl in Bangkok can vary from 500 baht to several thousand baht. If you plan to be living in Thailand for $1,000 a month and want to pay for Thai girls, I would suggest widening your budget, or moving to a much cheaper city in Thailand, such as Chiang Mai. If you get yourself one girl a week at the going rate of 1,000 baht, that’s $140 a month of your budget, add buying her food, taxi fare and other things maybe make it $180~.

A much sensible suggestion would be to find your self a Thai girl would be to use one of the many Thai dating sites or read my post on how to find a girlfriend in Bangkok night clubs, or how to get a Thai Girlfriend.

Total so far: $855

Misc items and massages

Other more boring things I would spend money on was just every day misc items such as toothbrushes, socks, toilet paper and what not. I would also get myself a than massage once a week for 150baht, sometimes I’d “splash” out and get myself two. These costs combined is another 1,000 baht or so.

Total so far: $885

Things I have not mentioned about living in Thailand

You also need to take into consideration travel insurance and healthcare costs as well as Visa runs. On the months I had to do my visa runs, sometimes I still managed to keep within my budget of $1,000 per month living in Thailand.

I am very frugal with my money and I always try to get the best value I can find, it will takes you a few months to get used to Thailand and found out what to get cheaper where and how to get it. But even today in 2014 it is quite possible to live in Thailand for under $1,000 per month.

The prices above were based on living in Bangkok, Thailand, if you want to move to Chiang Mai or Pattaya, I would suspect to reduce the costs about by about 5-15%, and if you want to live in Phuket, maybe increase them by 5-15%.

If you have any questions about my  costs for living in Thailand, please leave a comment and I will answer any questions you may have.

13 thoughts on “Living in Thailand for $1000

  1. Dimitri Vegas
    12 April, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I spent 1.5k on girls 5 days a week, that’s 20×1.5kbaht= 30k baht/month on hookers.
    Think I were somewhere around $2k-2.5k/ month.
    Prob smarter to get a thai gf then buying hookers everyday

    1. 14 April, 2014 at 6:08 am

      yeah maybe, but variety is the spice of life.

  2. Luke Dennison
    15 April, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    How old are you man you seem my age (21). I wan’t to go live in chaing mai near the university (livingthai says rent is bout 4500-5000 for a room like urs there).

    I’m super frugal too, so I’d rather save and pay for my rent 6 months in advance, would i save a lot of money on rent that way?



    PS. I read all of your new posts now i like your style.

    1. 16 April, 2014 at 3:45 am

      nah that sounds about right for CM. That would get you a basic studio with aircon and en suite.

      It depends on the condo, if you commit to 6 months you can shave off 500 baht per month, depends on the place. It will be laid out in the price plan. Dont expect them to deviate from what the sheet says, they wont, no matter what. If you go sub let a room, well then you have more room to negotiate.

      for a longer lease, you sign a contract (6months/12), and your usually expected to pay 2 months up front with a deposit. Then ever month after you pay the rent. I would not advise paying all 6 months in one go, this is Thailand, anything can happen.

  3. harrison ford
    16 April, 2014 at 9:58 am

    any plans to go back to thailand? and whats the master plan #stralia for the next year?

    im thinking of making the leap from office life to thai life for a year but the thought of going alone is daunting………….

    how much was your flight tickets and visa costs?


    1. 16 April, 2014 at 10:21 am

      I should be back in November for a while, visa costs around £50 for a trouble entry tourist visa. 1 way flight cost me £350.

  4. Like Mike
    16 April, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    sup bros
    Harrison Ford, you can meet many people.
    One way ticket from from Oslo or Stockholm to Bangkok you can find as cheap as £110-160, one way ticket. Norwegian. 10hrs direct flight.
    Harvie. I heard it’s easy enough to get a job labouring on a building site in Perth without any experience, for $20hr, and you don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere and do farmwork. Then you can play live poker on weekends or online.

    1. 19 April, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Hi Mike, maybe a few years ago, not the case now. However I will be back in Thailand shortly

  5. Mark
    31 March, 2015 at 6:18 am

    so you spend over 70,000baht a month? this aint budgeting dude.

    1. 2 April, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Ahh sheeeet.

  6. Shawny
    4 June, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I was looking to move to Koh Chang and stay in a bungalow for £150 roughly (7000 baht) a month plus bills and budgeting for £500 a month, there are plenty of food markets to get fresh produce and live cheaply like the Thai`s do.
    Problem is getting a long term visa as I`m 43 and not Thai retirement age which is 50 for farangs.
    Don’t fancy the visa runs every month as they are wise to this now, any ideas on how to get a long term visa??

    1. 5 June, 2015 at 4:09 am

      You option is to get a tourist visa. Which is valid for 60 days and you can extend for another 30 days (90 in total)

    2. 10 July, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Get an education visa. Study Thai or take a Muay Thai class? Sham marriage with a bar girl? If I were to stay long term I’d go for those options. Can’t do the tourist visa thing for years.

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