Beautiful temple Bangkok Thailand

Cost of Living in Bangkok, Thailand – One Month’s Spend for Travellers, Retirees and Nomads

Are you planning an extended stay in Bangkok, Thailand? Wondering how much a month in Bangkok might cost? One of Thailand’s most fascinating cities has a lot to offer in the way of oustanding cultural experiences and affordable living. It’s also a common destination for travellers and retired people. We stayed in a small district of Bangkok called On Nut.

When we decided to travel the world full-time, we set a monthly budget for ourselves of $2000 Canadian dollars (about $1,600 USD) per month. We know that it will vary depending on where we are in the world, but we plan to stick to it as best we can and hope it all evens out in the end.

All figures below will be in US dollars. All costs are for both of us combined as a couple, not per person.

Let’s see how our cost of living compared to our budget:

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Accommodations

We use AirBnb for most of our accommodation for a few reasons. First, hosts tend to give substantial discounts when booking for at least 28 days. Our plan is slow travel so this AirBnb discount works great with our plans.

Second, when you use AirBnb, your internet, electricity, gas etc. are included in the total cost paid, so there are no surprises.

Finally, booking with AirBnb allows us to earn credit card reward points (we love free travel points! learn more here. We can also book in our home currency on AirBnb.ca to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.

We had a very simple one bedroom apartment in Bangkok located in an area a bit outside of the core of the city called On Nut. Bangkok is a massive city with lots of options and we didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of the tourist traps. We put some research in and while we did encounter several expats in the On Nut area, they were more long term residents than tourists.

While our AirBnb was simple, it had all of the amenities one would need for a long term stay. A well stocked kitchen, comfortable large bed and blazing fast wifi. The condo complex we stayed in also had a pool and a full gym. Easily accessible to Bangkok’s state of the art metro station and tons of shopping and food options nearby. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again in the future . Click here to see the AirBnb!

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $488 USD

If you’re looking for other accommodations in the heart of Bangkok, check these great deals:

  • Luxury AccommodationsFour Seasons Bangkok– Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and garden in Bangkok. This property also boasts rooms with a view of the Chao Phraya River.
  • Mid Range Accommodations – JW Marriott Bangkok – Comfortably furnished, elegant rooms at JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. Located on Sukhumvit 2, it is just a 5-minute walk from Ploenchit and Nana BTS Skytrain stations. This luxurious city retreat offers a pampering spa and an outdoor pool. While part of Marriott’s luxury collection you may surprised how good the rates can be on this property
  • Budget AccommodationsBaan Wanchart– Boasting a shared lounge, garden and views of garden, Baan Wanchart is set in Bangkok, less than 1 km from Khao San Road. Located around 1.1 km from Wat Saket, the hostel with free WiFi is also 1.6 km away from Bangkok National Museum. Wat Pho is 3.1 km from the hostel and Jim Thompson House is 3.8 km away.

Or check here for the latest deals on Booking.com

Activities

There is so much to do in Bangkok that it is hard to even start describing it all. This was not our first time in Bangkok so we did a few things out of the norm. Such as spending a day visiting animal cafes. Yes, there are multiple cafes in Bangkok where you can hang out with dogs, racoons, meerkats and even arctic foxes. We also decided to spend a day wondering some of Bangkoks amazing green spaces. But these only scratch the surface of things to do in one of our favourite cities in the world

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $170 USD

Looking for some the popular tourist attractions in Bangkok? We would highly recommend some of these tours

Dining and Groceries

During our time in Bangkok we did nothing but eat. Not only is it one of our favourite cities in the world it quite possibly may be our favourite cuisine in the world. Check out one of our many food tours we filmed during our time in Bangkok below for some of our top picks!

Want to take the food tour in the video below? You won’t regret it! We tried 22 dishes on this tour that we would never have found otherwise. We can’t recommend this tour enough: Old Siam Bangkok Food Tour with A Chef’s Tour

Total Cost for Dining out for One Month: $332 USD

In most of the cities we visit, we tend to do a fair amount of cooking at our AirBnb, In Bangkok that was not the case. Dining out is so affordable that we did so almost every day. When we first arrived we did a large grocery store run and found the prices in the mega Lotus shopping centre to be substantially higher than what we could eat out for. So outside of toiletries, several salads and drinking water, we didn’t do a lot of grocery shopping.

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $310 USD

Cell Phone Plans in Thailand

We purchased an unlimited data package that was valid for 30 days when we arrived at the airport from DTAC. The service is outstanding although you can buy these much cheaper outside of the airport if you can go without data on arrival

Total Cost for Phone and Data for one Month: $27 USD

Transportation

The Metro system in Bangkok is outstanding, with multiple metro lines within the city and pretty much all of them interconnecting at some point. Which makes getting around the city a breeze. There will be times that a taxi will be needed, so if using a taxi just insist before getting that they turn the metre on. If they refuse, and this will happen from time to time, just walk away and find another one. All of the metred taxis were cheaper for us than what we were quoted by grab (the uber equivalent). And most of the time we couldn’t even get a grab. We would always get the “all our drivers are busy” message when trying to order.

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $86 USD

Visas

We entered Thailand on the on the visa exemption program, which if your country is included in the exemption list, then you get 30 days in country visa free. We opted to extend our visas for an additional 30 days while in country so the cost reflects the 30 day extensions for each of us.

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $105

Miscellaneous Expenses

This category covers pretty much everything that’s not included above. We choose to include alcohol in miscellaneous, because we do enjoy a beer or a bottle of wine from time to time while hanging around the Airbnb. You might not drink and if you are planning a budget you can easily omit this cost. For us, alcohol makes up about 60% of this category. This month it also included a haircut and some clothing for Angela.

Total Miscellaneous Costs for one month: $134

One thing we can’t live without while on the road full time – Saves us lots of money too!

Totals

Spreadsheet of costs for one month

Cost of Living for One Month in Bangkok, Thailand

Looking at the table above, you can see that we were a little over budget. $1652 USD works out to a little over $2200 CAD. Still, We are extremely pleased with this. It feels great to confirm what we always expected – living abroad can be much cheaper than in your home country. These numbers were about 1/3 of what our typical expenses would have been in Canada for one month.

Have you lived in Thailand for any length of time? Were your numbers similar to our cost of living for one month in Bangkok? Do you have any other tips for potential travellers? Leave a comment and let us know. We would love to hear from you.

Featured Image by: Photo by Worachat Sodsri on Unsplash

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