Koh Samui Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Koh Samui, Thailand

One Month’s Spend for Travelers, Retirees and Nomads

Planning an extended stay in Koh Samui? Wondering what the cost of living in Koh Samui might be? One of Thailand’s most fascinating cities has a lot to offer in the way of outstanding cultural experiences and affordable living. Also, it’s a common destination for travelers, digital nomads and retirees. .

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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Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Accommodations

We spent four weeks in Koh Samui at this AirBnb and it had it’s positives and negatives. The unit itself was fine, but the location is a bit out of the way of anything. Having not known anything about Koh Samui we had no idea where to stay and this was within budget. Like they say, beggars can’t be choosy. We did not make a Cost of living video for our time in Koh Samui. This is where we made the decision to start phasing them out.

With hindsight being 20/20 we would have paid a bit more to stay in a more centralized location but that’s on us. As this month unfolded things seemed to go from bad to worse, but more about that later. For now let’s focus on the AirBnb in question.

We stayed in the Bo Put area of Koh Samui, and as mentioned there is really nothing within close proximity. You can walk to things in 20 minutes or so, but we were here during an extremely hot time so Songthaew’s (local public transportation) or taxis became a necessity. Yes, you can rent scooters to get around and parking is provided at the complex of this AirBnb.

The complex where the unit is located is quite run down. If I remember correctly, it was less than 10 years old and looked like it could have been 50 years old. The pool was open and operational but borderline green without a lot of maintenance happening during our entire 4 weeks.

The unit itself was large and spacious and the host was accommodating. While it was a studio it had a large living area. The kitchen was basic with a washing machine which is important for us. The unit also included a nice size balcony to sit on and see views of the Gulf. The bathroom had a large soaker tub and a separate shower. The hot water heater was not very good but it was so hot during our stay we barely even noticed it.

If you’re interested in checking out the unit you can find it here. Replay 60sqm Seaview Studio

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $508

Looking for short term accommodations? Check these great deals:

  • Luxury Accommodations: – SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort – Excellent resort located along Koh Samui’s Choeng Mon Beach. Rooms come with private balconies or terraces and outdoor bathrooms. Amenities include cable TV, a DVD player and tea/coffee making facilities. Some villas feature a private pool with a sundeck.
  • Mid-Range Accommodations: – U Samui – U Samui features a swimming pool, restaurant, fitness centre and bar and is located on Bangrak Beach. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with all sea view Rooms.
  • Budget Accommodations: – Samui Zenity – Samui Zenity is located near Maenam beach and local activities (restaurant, local markets, bar) and the hotel provides a free shuttle service to and from Maenam Beach

Or check here for the latest deals on Booking.com

Wondering about SE Asian cities Cost of Living? Check out our Bangkok Cost of Living Here

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Activities

This ended up a stressful month for us as you will learn throughout this post. But we did rent a car one day to tour the island and hang out at the beach a bit. We saw sites such as the Koh Samui Big Buddha, Lad Koh Viewpoint, Silver Beach (some call it the best beach on Koh Samui) and the Grandfather and Grandmother Rock (you have to see it to understand the hilarity behind it).

The Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram was a sight to behold and really gave us something to think about. And the golden pagoda at Wat Phra Chedi Laem is so peaceful. The cost below includes the rental car, gas, and parking during our stops

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $40

Check out our day out in Koh Samui here:

Looking for some fun things to do? We would highly recommend some of these tours:

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Dining and Restaurants

We ate a lot during our time in Koh Samui as we really started to focus on shifting our content to be more food related. Thailand has amazing food everywhere and Koh Samui is no exception. There is a reason Thai is my favourite cuisine in the world.

Our prices here include Grab deliveries, food tour expenses for the sake of a video and meals we enjoyed out on our own. Prices can range anywhere from $4 a meal to eleventy billion dollars if you are going after western food with alcoholic pairings.

If you’re looking for food options or cooking classes in Koh Samui check out some the most highly rated ones here:

Total Cost for Dining out for One Month: $450

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Groceries

This month was a bit different for us due to some injuries we sustained . While we ate out a lot, we did a lot of cooking at home while we recovered from the injuries. We stocked up as much as we could in shot as the grocery store was around a 20 minute card ride from where we stayed

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $306

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Cell Phones

We topped up our DTAC data packages, so it was a small amount as usual for mobile data The AirBnb had excellent wifi so we use that when at home

Total Cost for Phone and Data for one Month: $19

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Transportation

This is where I finally tell you the story of the injuries. To cut to the chase, when we arrived in Koh Samui we rented a scooter for the entire 4 weeks. On the first day we decided to stock up on supplies and drove out to the grocery store I mentioned earlier. When leaving the grocery store a torrential downpour came out of nowhere and I crashed the scooter. More like I was run off the road by an idiot but nothing I could do at that point.

We both sustained injuries. Angela not too bad but I had a nice sized gash in my left thigh and some road burn. The accident put both of us out of commission for over a week.

Needless to say, we paid for all of the damages to the scooter and the rental company was very fair in their pricing. Still though, it was an expense we were not expecting. This category reflects the rental and repairs of the scooter as well as several taxis and Songthaew’s we took during the rest of stay.

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $233

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – Visas

We did have to pay 1900 thai Bhat for visa extensions but we included that in our Bangkok Cost of Living breakdown. So this month, it was $0

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $0

Cost of Living in Koh Samui – 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 haircuts, some clothes for Angela and a new pair of shorts for me

Total Miscellaneous Costs for one month: $51

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


Total Cost of Living for One Month in Koh Samui, Thailand

Looking at the table above, you can see that we were well over budget. $1720 USD works out to a little over $2,346 CAD. Of course the scooter rental and repair adds a huge chunk of that. However, 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 Koh Samui for any length of time? Were your numbers similar to our cost of living for one month in Koh Samui? Do you have any other tips for potential travelers? Leave a comment and let us know. We would love to hear from you.



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