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Cost of living in Thailand only 550 USD a month?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Cost of living in Thailand only 550 USD a month?

Postby Banano » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:38 am

http://www.retire-on-550-month.com/cost ... angmai.php

A single person can live here comfortably on $550 US a month.

For two people the amount will increase by $128 for food, $66 for dinner/entertainment outings, $8 swimming, mall movie theatre add $8, and laundry and miscellaneous add $60 for a total of $820 monthly.


This sounds amazing, bang for buck, beats PH . Has anyone put this to the test and tried to live with 550 per month?



What are the girls like from Chiang mai compared to other parts of Thailand? are they dark skinned ot lighter, big ass, bigg breasts or more towards flat side?

CM seems to be popular with expats, its more popular than other sides of thailand when it comes to permanent living...of course exclude Phuket and Pattaya, they are madness, Im sick of going to thailand and paying astronomical prices in these tourist hot spots, i just feel im gettin ripped off on every corner and there is no value in it anymore.

Winston can you live in AC on 550 a month or thats pushin it?
Is there a reason why you never tried to live in thailand since its prbbly cheaper than PH and girls are the same when it comes to friendliness and approachability
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Postby ph_visitor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:49 am

Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.
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Re: Cost of living in Thailand -550 USD a month?

Postby Repatriate » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:01 am

Banano wrote:http://www.retire-on-550-month.com/costofliving_chiangmai.php

A single person can live here comfortably on $550 US a month.

For two people the amount will increase by $128 for food, $66 for dinner/entertainment outings, $8 swimming, mall movie theatre add $8, and laundry and miscellaneous add $60 for a total of $820 monthly.


This sounds amazing, bang for buck, beats PH . Has anyone put this to the test and tried to live with 550 per month?

I pay 9000 baht per month for my condo in Bangkok (that's rougly $290) at today's exchange rate of about 31 baht to $1. It's only a 1 br place but it's a brand new building with great security, a nice big swimming pool, fitness room, and a 5 minute walk to a big shopping mall. My monthly electric bill is 700 baht with air con on when I sleep and the water bill is only 200 baht for 3 months. I can walk 5 minutes and catch a flick at a state of the art theater for 150-190 baht. Home High speed 8 mbs internet 599 baht.


Food is my biggest expense by far and I eat out quite often. Here's a breakdown of my costs:

When I do Grocery shopping- about 1000-1500 baht each trip. About $32 This lasts me the whole week and usually half of what i'm buying is western style food like spaghetti, canned italian plum tomatoes, snacks, local veggies, meat, etc..

Eating out. A nice suki/hot pot buffet (Shabu shi) is roughly 340-400 baht per person. That's about $11 bucks or so for a reasonably decent quality buffet that has salmon sashimi, sushi rolls, fresh vegetables, and all you can eat meat. At nicer Thai family owned restaurants I usually don't spend over 800 baht for two. In Cafe's and smaller restaurants your bill won't go over 300-400 baht for two and that's if you order 4-5 dishes.

Thai street food is ridiculously cheap and good. Thai food certainly isn't the trash cuisine they call food in the Philippines. Thai cuisine is truly world class. Thai style Hainan chicken rice is only 25-35 baht ($1) a plate. Made to order stuff like Tom Yum Goong (prawn soup) is only 75-100 baht depending on size. Many single dishes like Fried rice, pad thai, etc.. are only 25-35 baht at local street stalls and done to a good standard. A whole pineapple cut in half for you is 25-40 baht from a fruit cart.

Let's put it this way..Singapore is famous for its street food and I just got back from there. I still think Bangkok has better street food (and cuisine overall) than Singapore and it's also a way better value.

Transportation is dirt cheap here. A taxi is 35 baht + meter. So you usually end up paying only 90-150 baht to go across town if you don't get stuck in traffic. The subway and skytrain are all cheap too. The riverboat is only 15 baht for the express boat.

Alcohol at 7-11 is 46-60 baht each for a big 40 oz style bottle. Liquor varies from 250 baht for 750ml (Sangsom whiskey) to 600 baht bottles of Johnny red. The locally produced Thai beers and liquor are pretty cheap. If you're a drunk Thailand will kill you. :lol:

I spend about $600 a month since I don't hit nightlife much or engage in p4p because I have a g/f. If I were to do the whole p4p thing regularly I imagine i'd be spending up to $1000 a month total which is still modest.


What are the girls like from Chiang mai compared to other parts of Thailand? are they dark skinned ot lighter, big ass, bigg breasts or more towards flat side?

Tall and lighter skin. Chinese looking. Chiang Mai girls and southern Thais (not the muslim malay ones) are known to have the best looking Thai girls. If you look at the pricey massage parlors that cater towards free wheeling upper class Thais the models are almost always from Chiang Mai.


I lived in Chiang Mai for a month before. It's much smaller than Bangkok and it's definitely a bit cheaper but not by far. There's not an awful lot to do there. The nightlife is alright but unless you speak Thai you won't get very far. You can do p4p there but it's not as pervasive as it is in Bangkok. It's more of a place for older expats to retire with their Thai wives or younger guys to enjoy a more laid back city.


I will vouch that the cost and quality of living in Thailand can be very nice for $1000. I really do think Thailand is superior to the Philippines and most of SE Asia in just about every way concerning cost/quality of living.
Last edited by Repatriate on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:16 am

ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


This isn't true at all. With $2000 a month you could live far better than even your standard middle class American eating out every day and going on weekend plane trips to beach destinations. Hell I can even give a cost break down of what $2000 a month could get you. There's no exaggeration when it comes to Thailand it really is pretty great for daily living.
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Postby ph_visitor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:31 am

Repatriate wrote:
ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


This isn't true at all. With $2000 a month you could live far better than even your standard middle class American eating out every day and going on weekend plane trips to beach destinations. Hell I can even give a cost break down of what $2000 a month could get you. There's no exaggeration when it comes to Thailand it really is pretty great for daily living.


Sorry, but considering my budgeted expenses for the past week in the Philippines vs. what you guys claim, I simply don't believe you.

You guys say one thing, and then I experience another.

Since guys cannot rent a house when they first arrive, they will eat out and rent a cheap room.

In the RP that's $1,500 USD per month, barest of minimums and I would apply the same multiplier to Thailand.
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Postby Rock » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:53 am

ph_visitor wrote:
Repatriate wrote:
ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


This isn't true at all. With $2000 a month you could live far better than even your standard middle class American eating out every day and going on weekend plane trips to beach destinations. Hell I can even give a cost break down of what $2000 a month could get you. There's no exaggeration when it comes to Thailand it really is pretty great for daily living.


Sorry, but considering my budgeted expenses for the past week in the Philippines vs. what you guys claim, I simply don't believe you.

You guys say one thing, and then I experience another.

Since guys cannot rent a house when they first arrive, they will eat out and rent a cheap room.

In the RP that's $1,500 USD per month, barest of minimums and I would apply the same multiplier to Thailand.


When u go to country as ST visitor, costs are naturally much higher cus:
- u have to stay in hotels or other ST options
- u tend to gravitate towards options geared for tourists
- u don't have local knowledge on best value options

U keep going on about how cheap China is. Last time I was in Shekou, hotels were not cheap at around US$60 per night and the street P4P (geared for western tourists and maybe expats in the area) was rough looking, older, and quoting RMB500+ starting bids. But if I stayed longer (7 days plus), I could have saved big on accommodation. If I lived there, I would figure out the value for money options for everything over time. Don't compare apples to oranges. Being based in country is much different than traveling there as tourist. Another example: hotels in Taiwan are very expensive but annual leases are quite cheap.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:57 pm

ph_visitor wrote:
Repatriate wrote:
ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


This isn't true at all. With $2000 a month you could live far better than even your standard middle class American eating out every day and going on weekend plane trips to beach destinations. Hell I can even give a cost break down of what $2000 a month could get you. There's no exaggeration when it comes to Thailand it really is pretty great for daily living.


Sorry, but considering my budgeted expenses for the past week in the Philippines vs. what you guys claim, I simply don't believe you.

You guys say one thing, and then I experience another.

Since guys cannot rent a house when they first arrive, they will eat out and rent a cheap room.

In the RP that's $1,500 USD per month, barest of minimums and I would apply the same multiplier to Thailand.

Ok, think what you want. I've lived here for 5 years going on 6 now and I know BKK like the back of my hand. I can even tell you specific food stalls, restaurants, websites, condos, and hotels to go to for maximum value and even the best time to buy plane tickets and book trips for stuff like diving.

Even as a fairly clueless tourist way back in '05 the baht was 41-43 to the $1 and it was even cheaper than it is now. That was back when I was hitting the nightlife, serial dating, and doing the whole p4p thing too. Come to think of it, it was pretty sick what kind of value I was getting back then.

Thai culture can be a pain in the ass but one thing I do think they got right is a very good living standard for the middle/upper class. If you come as a middle class westerner you can live a pretty nice material life here.


Infrastructure is pretty good in Thailand unless you're going to the hillbilly countryside. Even in the sticks things cost a lot less because most villagers grow their own food supply aka self sufficiency economics.

Things in Thailand are just different from the Philippines. From my understanding most of the land in the PI is owned by the wealthy plantation elite and industrialists who ruthlessly exploit the poor. They also drive commodity prices way up with economic brinksmanship against their own people.

In Thailand many rural poor actually own their own land and house in most cases and can grow, fish, and sell all they want. There are villages that are really bad off here too but they are usually the exception rather than the rule.

Thailands rural resources are much more evenly distributed.
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Postby ph_visitor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:17 pm

Rock wrote:
ph_visitor wrote:
Repatriate wrote:
ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


This isn't true at all. With $2000 a month you could live far better than even your standard middle class American eating out every day and going on weekend plane trips to beach destinations. Hell I can even give a cost break down of what $2000 a month could get you. There's no exaggeration when it comes to Thailand it really is pretty great for daily living.


Sorry, but considering my budgeted expenses for the past week in the Philippines vs. what you guys claim, I simply don't believe you.

You guys say one thing, and then I experience another.

Since guys cannot rent a house when they first arrive, they will eat out and rent a cheap room.

In the RP that's $1,500 USD per month, barest of minimums and I would apply the same multiplier to Thailand.


When u go to country as ST visitor, costs are naturally much higher cus:
- u have to stay in hotels or other ST options
- u tend to gravitate towards options geared for tourists
- u don't have local knowledge on best value options

U keep going on about how cheap China is. Last time I was in Shekou, hotels were not cheap at around US$60 per night and the street P4P (geared for western tourists and maybe expats in the area) was rough looking, older, and quoting RMB500+ starting bids.


p4p is 300 to 500 RMB or 1800 php which considering the total cost in the RP of barfine, girl tip, drinks and the next day, is cheaper. Even ST just the fine, tip and drinks is more than the PRC or HK.

Last time I was in Shekou, hotels were not cheap at around US$60 per night...


Hotels are 128 to 298 CNY ($20 to $50 and the $50 is expensive) all over China. These hotels are literally on every block of every city. Just grab your bags and begin to walk and you will find one within 500 meters.

Modest hotel rooms in Hong Kong are 200 to 600 HKD per day. That's 1,100 php to 3,300 php. Since Hong Kong is a developed nation with an income per capita of 24 to 12X times the RP, having hotels at the lower end that are cheaper than the RP makes zero sense.
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Postby ph_visitor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Repatriate wrote:Things in Thailand are just different from the Philippines. From my understanding most of the land in the PI is owned by the wealthy plantation elite and industrialists who ruthlessly exploit the poor. They also drive commodity prices way up with economic brinksmanship against their own people.


Yeah, I don't care WHY it's more expensive than Hong Kong (really, now. HONG KONG IS CHEAPER???).

All I care is that it IS more expensive.

You might want to mention this.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:27 pm

ph_visitor wrote:
Repatriate wrote:Things in Thailand are just different from the Philippines. From my understanding most of the land in the PI is owned by the wealthy plantation elite and industrialists who ruthlessly exploit the poor. They also drive commodity prices way up with economic brinksmanship against their own people.


Yeah, I don't care WHY it's more expensive than Hong Kong (really, now. HONG KONG IS CHEAPER???).

All I care is that it IS more expensive.

You might want to mention this.

You're beating a dead horse. It's been mentioned many times already.
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Postby Rock » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:37 pm

ph_visitor wrote:
Modest hotel rooms in Hong Kong are 200 to 600 HKD per day. That's 1,100 php to 3,300 php. Since Hong Kong is a developed nation with an income per capita of 24 to 12X times the RP, having hotels at the lower end that are cheaper than the RP makes zero sense.


Assuming that all costs vary in direct proportion to a country's nominal or PPP GDP is the mistake you would expect from a naive simpleton who has never left his home country. But you're a seasoned expat so what gives? Costs for various products a services are driven by a myriad of factors. Sometimes, the poorest countries are most expensive.

Why for example:
- is property in central Mumbai so expensive by international standards even though India is a third world shithole?
- do Apple IPods or Sony Vaio computers cost over 3 times as much in Brazil than in the US or Hong Kong?
- does a given car cost so much more in Singapore than Japan?
- is the basic cost of living in urban Brazil similar to that in Paris?
- is property so much cheaper in medium sized American cities than in similar sized Taiwanese cities?
- are hotel rooms in Lagos priced at at least 5x times those of similar qualities in Bangkok?
- is the cost of living so much lower in Chicago than Zurich?
- does a European style meal in Port Au Prince cost so much more than in Santiago, Chile?

I could go on but I hope u get the point by now. Your 'zero sense' conclusion is based on very flawed assumptions regarding what ultimately drives prices. The why's do matter - costs are driven by multii-variable non-linear relationships. Moreover, a country is often relatively cheap for some things and expensive for others.

BTW, where do u stay in HK for HKD200 per night, a Chunking Mansion Hostel / Guesthouse?
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Postby Keyser » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:03 pm

ph_visitor wrote:Considering the 'Known facts' on the RP and what it really costs there, I would take $550 a month, with a huge grain of salt.

Start up and actual costs are likely closer to $2,000 USD per month.


Is this thread about the Philippines?

Have you ever been to Thailand?

Why would you presume that the cost of living in Thailand is similar to the Philippines?

For someone who claims to live in Asia, you really have only cited anecdotal evidence from HK and China... More likely a monger on a budget who is bitching about prices because you failed to do your homework...
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Postby Seeker » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:52 pm

I dunno how people cope living in Bangkok on $1000 a month. I made a fair bit more than that and I used to spend it all. A lot of it went on expensive food and drink. If I go back there, I'll be a bit more careful with my spending.

Thailand is much better value than the Philippines, you really can live a decent lifestyle there on not very much. To get the same quality in the PI would need a lot more money.
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Postby Winston » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:12 pm

Of course you can live in the PH on $400 or $500 a month. In AC, my rent was $130 a month, decent meals were $5, and the rest such as entertainment expenses, depend on what you do of course. Every two months, the visa extension cost was $70 - $100.

Use your common sense. Most Filipinos make less than $200 a month, yet they are able to survive. If they can, then why couldn't you live on $400 there? Duh.

Repatriate, how are you able to stay in Thailand? What kind of visa do you have?
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Re: Cost of living in Thailand only 550 USD a month?

Postby ph_visitor » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:52 am

Banano wrote:mall movie theatre add $8,


Well, again more misrepresentation.

Movie tickets are 225 to 255 pesos. Per person. So if you take your girl, or her friends, start adding it up. Candy, soda.

$8 for a ticket? In a third world country? Again, PRChina is the same price, but it is a much richer nation per capita.
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