Will the Cost of Living in Bangkok be Bearable for You?

By Alice Ross | ASIA

Sep 07
As a real mega city, the capital of Thailand is suitable for all classes and offers various price ranges. If you are ready to spend lots of money, you will probably find plenty of temptations here, but even though you have a lower budget, you still could live well in this city. So, Bangkok, just like its other neighboring countries, could be a low cost city to live in if you pay attention to your costs and plan them carefully.


Here you will find information about the average monthly cost of living in Bangkok.They are divided into the main categories of costs which most people have. The prices are in THB which is Thai baht – the local currency and USD - United States dollars.
  • Accommodation
Just like in any other major cities, the location where you live affects your costs. If you insist on living in or near a Bangkok’s commercial area such as Sukhumvit Road, Silom and Siam Square, you should be prepared for high accommodation costs.
Still, you could just live close to the subway or the skytrain but relatively away from the commercial areas. Then, you will pay much less for rent. The general rule is that, the further afield, the lower the rent.
  • Food
Thailand Street Foods
Food in Bangkok is relatively cheap. Normally, local food is really cheaper than foreign one. If you choose to eat in a common Thai restaurant or buy food from street vendors, this will cost you about 30 – 90 THB or 0.95 – 2.85 USD for a plate. Foreign food, however, will not start lower than 80 THB or 2.55 USD or at a fast food spot.
  • Groceries
Buying food from groceries is much cheaper than eating something out. However, this is true here if you only buy some local products. The fruit and vegetable markets in Bangkok are incredibly cheap.
A kilogram of fruit usually costs about 30 to 80 THB or 0.95 to 2.55 USD. The price of an average bag of vegetables is about 30 to 80 THB or 0.95 to 2.55 USD and depends on the size of the bag.
  • Transport
Skytrain in Bangkok
Most people prefer to get around Bangkok on the skytrain (BTS) or by the subway (MRT). You will pay for such a ride about 30 THB or 0.95 USD. For buses you will have to give around 11 THB or 0.35 USD per trip. This is a convenient transport when there is not much traffic.
For canal and river boats you will pay about 15 THB or 0.50 USD per ride. These are the average prices and the trip will cost you more if the distance is bigger.
  • Taxis
The metered taxis of Bangkok start at 35 THB or 1.10 USD and then will charge you about 5 to 6 THB or 0.15 – 0.20 USD per kilometer. You can also take a tuk tuk which usually costs about the same, but most of the drivers often try to over charge the customers. Motorbike taxis are really convenient and often charge less than a metered taxi - about 20 THB or 0.65 USD per kilometer.
  • Entertainment
Khao San road in Bangkok
If you want to have a drink here, you will pay for a beer at the bar about 70-80 THB or 2.20 – 2.55 USD for the small bottle and about 120 to 150 THB or 3.80 – 4.75 USD for the big one. Wine is not a cheap pleasure here because of the high import duties. The cheapest bottle costs 280 THB or 8.85 USD at the grocery.
  • Healthcare
The city is a hub for medical tourism and has premium medical facilities. The Prices at the public hospitals and at the local clinics here are truly low. If you have basic health problems such as flu, cold, or food poisoning, you will have to pay about 400 THB or 13 USD. The private for-profit medical institutions hospitals will charge you for the same services at least 700 THB or 22 USD and the private non-profit hospitals - 400 THB or 13 USD for a medical consultation.
  • Government Obligations
Bath Thai
Unless you earn more than 150,000 THB or 4745 USD, you will be income tax except. The average monthly net salary here is 25,533.33 THB. If you earn up to 500,000 THB or 15,815 USD, you will have to pay a 10% tax rate.
You can survive in Bangkok with about 10,000 THB or 315 USD. 25,000 THB or 790 USD per month will ensure you some comfort and for above 45,000 THB or 1,425 USD you will have some spare money to spend on leisure. If you can rely on the 70,000 THB or 2,215 USD for one person per month, then you will be having a wonderful time in Bangkok.
These are my observations over the cost of living in Bangkok. If you have any questions, please comment.
If you want to cope with your finances while living in Bangkok, you should do the following:
  • Plan to spend at least 600 USD per month.
  • Be careful with your expenses
  • Find a stable job if you are planning to stay longer in the city.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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