July 11th, 2013/Travel/By /

Travel: How Much Does it Cost to Live in Bangkok?

It seems like visiting or living in Bangkok is a right of passage for an internet marketer.

I think Bangkok is popular because it’s an easy destination if you want to go somewhere exotic without the fear of getting kidnapped. It’s also very easy to get around since most people speak English.

I lived there for a year in 2011 and one of the most common questions I get is, how much does it cost to live there?

These are some approximations on how much I spent living in the middle of Bangkok. I think the biggest surprise I got from Bangkok is how modern the city is. They have an amazing skytrain, malls everywhere, and it seems like everyone has an iPhone. A lot of people think you can “live like a king” for $500 a month, so I wanna share with you how much I actually spent.

Rent:

Bangkok Condo

I paid around $1,100 a month for my 1 bedroom duplex.

Perks of the building: Pool, gym, 24/7 security, 2 minute walk to the nearest skytrain station, grocery store downstairs.

If you wanna see what’s available for your budget you can use websites such as MrRoomFinder or Craigslist. What I did was find an agent on Craigslist, and described what I wanted and how much I wanted to spend.

My best advice is to pay extra for a great location that’s close to a skytrain. I used the skytrain multiple, multiple times a day. If your walk to the BTS is 15 minutes from your condo, the time spent walking will add up.

if you’re visiting Bangkok and want a hotel, I usually book at Agoda and stay near the Sukhumvit area. $50 a night will get you a nice enough room.

Transportation:

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Bangkok’s skytrain system is very good and efficient. The main downside is it can get extremely crowded during peak hours. You can get a 50 trip pass for around $30.

Taxis are everywhere and super cheap. I don’t take them unless I have to because Bangkok has a lot of traffic.

$50 a month for BTS fees / Taxi. Big savings compared to a car / insurance / gas.

Clubbing:

13462541313aecec4df5831d259be6011b5defebf1Route 66 at RCA

Clubbing in Asia’s different from the west. Take the concept of tables. In America, tables will run around $2k+ and get you two bottle of alcohol and somewhere to sit.

In Thailand everyone has a table, kinda. It’s really small one that you stand around. You can get a Bottle of Black Label + mixers for $80. There’s not really dance floors in Thai clubs. Instead the vibe is more bring a group of friends, and socialize with each other.

Protip: Go clubbing in “RCA” or “Funkyvilla” if you wanna go where local girls party at. RCA is a street full of clubs; the two best are Route66 and Slim.

Food:

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Left to RIght: Mike, Vince Wong, The Asian Sensation, Misha, Thanh

You can get Thai street food for $1-2, but I wouldn’t make a habit of eating at those places too much. I don’t wanna eat food that’s sitting all day in 95 degree weather.

I would say food costs roughly half of what it does in America. A nice dinner that would cost me $120 in the states, would be around $60 in Bangkok.

Protip: Order food from ChefsXP. Delivery’s only $2 and comes in 40’ish minutes.

Buying Stuff:

You will be paying a premium for anything imported, around 30% more. Example: A Louis wallet that costs $400 in the states, would be around $650 in Bangkok.

Massages / Maids / Laundry

A 2 hour massage will run you around $15 including a tip (oh god please, no more happy ending jokes)

This is my favorite spot. http://www.healthlandspa.com/.

Maid I was paying $8 a visit and they would come twice a week. I found my maid by asking the condo owner for a reference.

Most condos don’t have washers / dryers. Instead you call someone to pick up your laundry, and they deliver it washed / ironed / folded in a few days. I was paying around $10 for each load.

Cell Phone / Internet

You can pay for cellphone usage in Thailand through monthly fixed rate, or by going to the 7-11 and buying prepaid cards. There’s no contracts, which also means you gotta buy phones at full price. Go with AIS for service.

Internet is roughly $40 a month and are decent speeds.

How Much Does it Cost?

In Bangkok I roughly spent $2,500 – $3,000 a month. It’s a lot cheaper than what I spent in America, and my quality of life’s higher.

$600 a month = do-able, but not comfortable at all
$1,000- $2,000 a month = average
$2,000+ = Living nice

If you get a chance, definitely visit Bangkok. I think it’s a great gateway city to the rest of Asia. I might be moving back so look me up if you wanna meet up.