Is Thailand Really Cheap?
It is amazing how many times over the years I have read how cheap Thailand is and certainly some things are but I really don’t think it applies to everything – not anymore anyway. I have read all sorts of reports about people saying that they can live comfortably on THB30,000 a month but surely this depends as much on where you live as much as how you want to live? I would argue that in most of Bangkok and indeed Pattaya the AVERAGE man would really struggle to live on this amount unless you own your own property.
I don’t dispute that rent is far cheaper in Thailand than it is in most places in the West but finding somewhere for less than THB10,000 a month in Pattaya, close to public transport maybe difficult. I don’t dispute for one second that these places exist, but would they be close to public transport – if not you need your own transport which could prove costly on a THB30,000 budget or you will need to take taxis with the same end result. The question of whether you really want to live in THB5,000 a month room is probably best ignored at this stage.
So if we were to assume that you were living in a THB10,000 a month room, you then have water and electric – let’s say THB1,000 per month. You also have a mobile phone so for arguments sake we shall say that is THB1,000 as well. Of course you are sensible so you have reasonable medical insurance so if we could pick a random amount of THB3,000 a month (realistically this could be a lot more of a lot less but this is not a bad average). Now we are left with THB15,000 or THB500 a day – doesn’t sound too bad does it?
You are very frugal with your money and only spend THB200 a day on food and drink – we shall be realistic and say this is an average and every meal isn’t Pad Kapow and every drink isn’t from the water vending machine. You live in Pattaya so let’s assume that you like the occasional drink in a cheap bar. You like the football so on Saturday’s you drink a little more than average and you go somewhere slightly more expensive so if we said an AVERAGE of 4 drinks a day at THB60 that would seem pretty reasonable. This leaves you THB60 a day.
This THB60 a day needs to be spent on any medication you may take, taxis, any tips and laundry. You really don’t have much left for anything else so is life in Thailand (or Pattaya) really cheap?