Cost of Living in Thailand Over the Last 8 Years
I have been living in Thailand for some time and I have certainly seen things change in that time and I don’t feel that it is a cheap place to live or cheap as it used to be at the very least – not that I am complaining! I arrived in 2008 and at that time the exchange rate for sterling was around THB69 and for the dollar about THB33 so for us Brits at least it made a big difference.
I small bottle of Singha could be purchased for around THB30 in many open air bars and street food was around the THB20 mark. Basic food items such as bread and milk from convenience stores and supermarkets were marginally cheaper than what they are today in terms of baht prices although the falling value of sterling has impacted rather more heavily meaning the cost in real terms (if you receive most of your income in pounds) has gone up significantly.
Property prices have also not moved a great deal in this time in the popular areas although some areas that had previously been waste lands have seen prices rise to similar levels as their traditional popular counterparts. This appears to be the case in all the popular tourist destinations with concerns about over supply being a large factor in this.
Cars another item that tends to hold their price in Thailand (according to Thai Autobook) although the number of cars sold annually has increased by around 50% over the last 10 years. It is believed that a standard 4 year old car is around THB200,000 cheaper than a new model although the infamous ‘car scheme’ may be an important factor in this!
Smoking is another popular pastime in Thailand and the range in the different prices of cigarettes is extraordinary – 73% difference between the cheapest and most expensive brand (reference Tobacco Atlas). Marlboro Lights (for a carton) were THB630 in 7 Eleven back in 2008 making them less than GBP10 and less than US$20 something that would surely be appealing to smokers in west! A further 20% could be saved at the time if you were to purchase them Duty Free.
This is obviously just a snapshot as we all know that inflation exists almost everywhere but sometimes it is interesting just to look back out of curiosity and see what we used to pay and the influence of the exchange rate at the time. I know I would certainly appreciate THB69 to the pound again but those days are just a distant memory!