Unveiling the True Cost of Living in Bangkok: Is It Affordable?

By Jessie
Last Updated: April 22, 2023
Cost Of Living Bangkok

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Are you looking for an exciting new destination? A place with adventure, culture, and a low cost of living? Look no further than Bangkok. This bustling city is full of life and opportunity, allowing you to explore the world in an affordable way.

Staying long term in Bangkok, you’ll be able to experience all that this vibrant metropolis has to offer without breaking the bank. With its delicious street food, friendly locals, and plenty of entertainment options, Bangkok has become a popular destination for folks who crave freedom and adventure.

But what’s the real cost of living in Bangkok? In this article, we’ll uncover the facts about how much it costs to live in this amazing city. We’ll discuss where it’s cheapest to find housing, transportation costs, and the prices of day-to-day items so that you can make an informed decision about whether Bangkok is right for you. 

To get an idea of your average living expenses in Bangkok, we’ve put together a table below that breaks down the various monthly expenses:


  • Electricity: 500-1,200 baht/month
  • Water: 400-500 baht/month
  • Phone & Internet: 300-400 baht/month
  • Rent: 3,000-30,000 baht/month
  • Food & Beverages: 2,000-4,000 baht/month
  • Transportation: 300-1,000 baht/month
  • Entertainment & Shopping: 1,000-2,500 baht/month

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Accommodation & Living Expenses

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Finding the right accommodation in Bangkok can be both exciting and daunting. It’s a vibrant city with a wide range of living options, from city centre apartments to western-style condos – you’re sure to find something that suits your budget and lifestyle. Public transport is plentiful and cheap, so you won’t have to worry about getting around.

When it comes to renting an apartment, prices vary depending on size, location and amenities. A one bedroom apartment in the city centre can cost anywhere between 8,000 – 15,000 THB ($250 – $450 USD) per month. If you’re looking for more luxury, western-style apartments are available at a higher price range – usually starting at around 30,000 THB ($925 USD) per month.

No matter what type of accommodation you choose in Bangkok, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget and lifestyle. Whether it’s a city centre apartment or a western-style condo, there are plenty of options available for those looking for a new home in the bustling capital of Thailand.

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Electricity Cost In Bangkok

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″]Bangkok has relatively high electricity costs compared to other Southeast Asian cities. The average rate for electricity ranges from 4.5 to 5 Thai Baht per kilowatt-hour, which is equivalent to approximately 14 to 16 US cents. The rates vary depending on the consumption level and the time of day, with peak hours typically being from 1 pm to 4 pm and from 7 pm to 11 pm. Payment options include bank transfer, online payment, or paying at 7-Eleven stores.

A significant contributor to the high electricity bills in Bangkok is air conditioning. It’s a vital component of daily life due to the hot and humid weather in the city. During peak summer months, air conditioning can account for up to 60% of a household’s electricity consumption, which can be costly.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default” custom_margin=”50px||||false|false”]

Water Cost In Bangkok

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When you’re living in Bangkok, the cost of water is pretty low compared to other expenses in the city. The price you pay is based on how much water you consume, with a minimum charge of around 10 Thai Baht per month for the first 15 cubic meters. After that, the price goes up incrementally depending on how much water you use. The maximum rate is around 25 Thai Baht per cubic meter, which is about 80 US cents. You can pay your water bill each month using various methods, such as bank transfer or online payment.

One thing to keep in mind is the quality of the water. It’s generally safe to drink, but it’s recommended to use filtered or bottled water for drinking and cooking. The water comes from the Chao Phraya River, which is heavily polluted, but the water treatment plants do their best to clean it before it gets to you. Using bottled water can add up, so you might want to think about investing in a water filter to save some money.

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Also on Thailand: How Hard Is It To Learn Thai? Should You Learn This Language?

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Transportation Cost In Bangkok

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″]Bangkok is a bustling city filled with opportunities for travel and exploration. Getting around in Bangkok is relatively easy, with a variety of transportation options available to suit all budgets. With the average fare per person ranging from 15-20 baht (around 0.50 USD) for short trips to 100 baht (3.30 USD) for longer distances, transportation costs are not overly expensive.

For those looking to save money, Bangkok’s public transport system offers an excellent way to get around the city quickly and easily. The BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, Chao Phraya Express Boat and regular buses are all reliable and efficient ways to get around Bangkok without breaking the bank. For those who prefer getting around on two wheels, motorbike taxis and tuk-tuks are also widely available throughout the city.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default” custom_margin=”50px||||false|false”]

Internet Packages Cost In Bangkok

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If you’re looking for a speedy internet connection, there are several options available to choose from — and surprisingly, they aren’t as costly as one might think.

For budget-minded expats, there are packages starting at just 750 Thai Baht (around $20 USD) per month. These packages include up to 20mbps download speed and 5mbps upload speed. For an extra 500 Thai Baht ($15 USD), you can upgrade to 50mbps download speed with 10mbps upload speed. In addition, many providers also offer free installation and discounts for signing up for longer contracts.

If you’re looking for reliable internet access in Bangkok, there are plenty of options available — even on a budget. Plus, by signing up for an internet package, you’ll have more time to learn Thai or explore all the city has to offer

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Food Cost In Bangkok

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Thai food and seasonal fruit is cheap. But if you love to eat, your food cost is going to be a big chunk of your living expense in Bangkok.

If you’re used to Western food and restaurants, then be prepared to spend more than you would expect. Eating out can be expensive and if you want to stick to a monthly budget, it’s best to cook your own meals. But don’t worry – there are plenty of delicious ingredients available in Bangkok and eating out is still an option if you know where to go.

Street food is another great way of saving money on food costs. From Pad Thai and fried rice dishes, to green curry and som tam (papaya salad), the options are endless! Prices are typically very affordable, so make sure you get out there and try as much as possible. Everyone has different spending habits when it comes to food, but it’s safe to say that most people can survive on a very reasonable budget for food in Bangkok. It’s not hard to eat well for less here.

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Entertainment & Recreation Cost In Bangkok

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As someone who has spent time in Bangkok, I can attest to the city’s vibrant entertainment and recreational offerings. Shopping is a popular activity, and there are plenty of options to suit different budgets and styles. From street markets to high-end boutiques, there’s something for everyone. I’ve personally enjoyed browsing the stalls at the Chatuchak Weekend Market and picking up unique souvenirs and gifts at reasonable prices. I’ve also had the chance to explore the luxurious Siam Paragon Mall, where I’ve admired the designer brands and indulged in some window shopping.

Bangkok’s nightlife scene is equally impressive, and I’ve had some memorable experiences during my nights out. I particularly enjoyed visiting a rooftop bar, where I sipped cocktails while taking in the stunning views of the city skyline. I also explored the red-light district, which offers a unique form of entertainment but can come with a higher price tag. Overall, Bangkok’s entertainment and recreational offerings are diverse and cater to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a day of shopping, Bangkok has something to offer.

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Sports & Gym Cost In Bangkok

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If you’re looking for sports and gym facilities in Bangkok, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of options available. Gym memberships are reasonably priced, with monthly fees ranging from around 30 to 60 US dollars. You can access a variety of exercise equipment, and some gyms even offer additional amenities such as saunas, steam rooms, and swimming pools. You can also take advantage of personal training services, classes, and fitness programs to help you achieve your fitness goals.

If you prefer working out in a group setting, you might want to check out fitness classes. Yoga, Pilates, and dance classes are popular, as well as more intense classes such as boxing and CrossFit. The cost of classes varies depending on the gym or fitness center, but on average, it’s about 15 US dollars per class. Some gyms offer discounts or package deals for multiple classes, so it’s worth checking out. Additionally, if you prefer outdoor activities, there are running clubs and cycling groups that you can join for free, providing a fun way to stay active while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Bangkok.

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Healthcare Cost In Bangkok

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″]When living in Bangkok, the cost of healthcare is something you should consider. Fortunately, it is quite affordable compared to other cities around the world. For expats on a tourist visa, healthcare costs are usually covered by their insurance. However, if you plan to stay long-term, then you should look into getting a local health insurance policy to cover any medical expenses that may arise.

The cost of healthcare in Bangkok is fairly reasonable when compared to other parts of the world. You can expect to pay about $100 USD per month for basic coverage with an acceptable quality of care. If you want more comprehensive coverage or need specialized care, then the costs will be higher. Additionally, air quality levels in Bangkok can be quite bad at times, so having good health insurance can help cover any medical expenses related to air pollution-related illnesses or allergies.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.7.7″ _module_preset=”default”]

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Want More Tips On Thailand?

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  • Thai Culture
  • Local Hotspots
  • Personal journeys

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Mobile Phone Cost In Bangkok

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As an avid explorer, I know how important it is to stay connected while traveling abroad. In Bangkok, getting a mobile phone is relatively easy and affordable. There are plenty of places to buy phones, including electronics stores, shopping malls, and street vendors. I recommend heading to MBK Center or Pantip Plaza, where you can find a range of phones at competitive prices. You can also purchase phones online from Lazada or Shopee, which offer convenient delivery options.

When it comes to phone plans, there are many options to choose from, depending on your needs and budget. For travelers, I recommend getting a prepaid SIM card, which you can purchase at the airport or any convenience store. These SIM cards usually come with data, call, and text packages that vary in duration and cost. For example, a 7-day SIM card with 2GB of data and unlimited calls and texts can cost around 150 Thai Baht, which is approximately 5 US dollars. You can also top up your SIM card as needed, depending on your usage.

Overall, mobile phone costs in Bangkok are relatively affordable, making it easy for explorers to stay connected while traveling. With so many options available, you can find a phone and plan that suits your needs and budget, whether you’re looking to stay in touch with loved ones, navigate the city, or simply stay connected on social media.

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Cable TV Cost In Bangkok

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Cable TV is a popular choice for entertainment, offering a range of international channels and programs. Most of the hotels in Bangkok provide cable TV services in their rooms, so you can stay entertained while relaxing after a long day of exploring. If you’re staying in a rental apartment or house, you can easily sign up for a cable TV package from any of the major providers such as True Vision, CTH, or AIS Play. The cost of cable TV in Bangkok varies depending on the package you choose, with basic packages starting at around 700 Thai Baht per month, which is approximately 22 US dollars.

For those who prefer streaming services, there are plenty of options available in Bangkok. One popular choice is Netflix, which offers a wide range of TV shows, movies, and documentaries. You can sign up for Netflix from anywhere in the world, but did you know that you can also purchase Netflix gift cards at 7-11 stores in Bangkok? These gift cards can be used to purchase or renew your Netflix subscription, making it a convenient and affordable option for travelers. So whether you prefer traditional cable TV or streaming services like Netflix, you’ll find plenty of options to keep you entertained during your stay in Bangkok

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Travel Cost In Bangkok (And Beyond)

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If you’re planning to travel outside of Bangkok, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of transportation options available. Whether you’re looking to explore the beaches in the south, the mountains in the north, or the historical sites in central Thailand, you can easily get there using planes, buses, vans, or trains.

If you’re short on time or want to avoid a long bus or van ride, flying is your best option. Bangkok has two airports – Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang – with numerous domestic flights departing daily to destinations throughout Thailand. You can book flights online from airlines such as Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and AirAsia, or through travel agencies.

For longer journeys, such as traveling to Chiang Mai in the north or Phuket in the south, you can also take an overnight train or bus, which can be a cost-effective option. Buses and vans depart from Bangkok’s Northern, Eastern, and Southern Bus Terminals, which can be accessed by public transportation or taxi. You can book tickets online or purchase them at the terminals.

Trains are also available, with daily departures from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station to destinations throughout Thailand. You can book tickets online, through travel agencies, or at the station.

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Other Miscellaneous Cost In Bangkok

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When it comes to cost of living in Bangkok, people often think that it’s too expensive. But the truth is that on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to make Bangkok an affordable city for expats and travelers. With a studio apartment costing around $300 per month, and regular expenses like groceries and transportation averaging just over $100, it’s easy to live comfortably in Bangkok on even a modest salary.

For those who want to live more lavishly – or what some call the “monthly baller budget” – you can find plenty of ways to do so without breaking the bank. There are dozens of trendy restaurants serving world-class cuisine at reasonable prices, as well as swanky rooftop bars where you can enjoy stunning views of the city skyline. Plus, Bangkok also ranks high on many nomad lists due to its vibrant nightlife and array of cultural attractions.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to experience all that this incredible city has to offer. You can find amazing deals on activities and entertainment if you know where to look, from discounted tickets at tourist attractions and free outdoor concerts in the parks, to happy hours at chic lounges and day trips out into the countryside.

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Is The Cost Of Living In Bangkok Affordable?

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Bangkok is one of the most affordable cities in the world! While prices have increased slightly in recent years, you’ll still find that your money goes a long way in Bangkok, allowing you to enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer without breaking the bank.

From food to transportation to accommodation, Bangkok offers a range of options at different price points to suit your budget. Street food is one of the best bargains in Bangkok, with delicious and filling meals available for as little as a few US dollars. Transportation is also affordable, with taxis, tuk-tuks, and public transportation available at reasonable prices.

And when it comes to accommodation, you can find everything from budget guesthouses to luxurious hotels at a fraction of the cost of other major cities. So don’t let concerns about the cost of living hold you back from exploring Bangkok – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable this exciting city can be.

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Our Top Luggage Pick

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Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX 3 Piece Set

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