Cost of Living – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Can YOU Survive on $500 Per Month Pension in Thailand?

VIDEO I just made at the end of 2017:

A guy I know did a video of him and his wife going through groceries they bought in Thailand to give us an idea of the cost of living. I think it would be helpful for expats considering moving over to Thailand to see what kind of things are available in the markets – and how much they cost. This is in Chiang Mai, where the prices might be higher than a smaller city like Trang, Ubon, or similar city.

Matt moved over from the US with his wife and baby boy. They’re making a run at staying long-term, I wish them luck.


Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

6 thoughts on “Cost of Living – Chiang Mai, Thailand”

  1. Curtis : 12000, that’s 37 000 baht ! … if you can’t live with 37000 baht in thailand, I don’tk now how you manage your money !
    Even in BKK, where life cost “a lot”, you can find a decent place to live at 5000 baht per month, and if you eat mostly local, you won’t spend more than 300 baht per day on average. If you eat street food mainly you can spend around 100 baht per day…
    Leave you a lot of money for other things
    Then if you want to stay in a really nice place, eat foreigner food, it would cost you a bit more than this…

    What I forgot in this equation is transportation, and it can be actually one of the most expensive thing here, but it will depends on where you live and the mean of transportation that you like…
    Taxi are definitely cheap compared to USA or Europe, but if it’s the only thing you use, then you end up spending a lot of money on it. Especially compared to the money you’ll spend on other things… In bangkok, a 45 minutes ride cost me 400 baht, 12$, not bad, but for a bit less than this I took the bus from Bangkok to Khon Kaen (6 hours) by bus, and the bus had video, snacks and huge seats…

  2. Hey Matt…thanks for the video….it really does help to see what a 100.oo bucks buys….I am currently living in Costa Rica but may come that way in september 2011 so I would love to hear anything you would like to share… I sure if you have the time i could come up with a few thousand questions..ha ha …. but mostly I need to know if I can live on say 1200.00 dollars a month?? thanks so much for your time …i hope to hear from you soon!!!

  3. Yeah, we don’t eat from the store all the time. I just wanted to give people some ideas about how much some everyday common things went for. I am pretty sure Vern has a similar video as well. I did find Dorito’s up here so have no fear, they are here sometimes.

    1. I don’t remember a video I did like that… I’ve talked about bread at Makro… and that’s about it. You found Doritoes? Excellent. They are sometimes in Makro – amidst the 85 kinds of Thai snacks – you might find Doritos and pretzels called “Saltletts “mini brezel” with sea salt… really decent – and I’m so addicted to them, having not had them for about the first 5 years of life in Thailand.

  4. of course it’s more expensive to live here if you want to eat farang food and not eat like the Thais.

    1. It definitely is – FAR more expensive… as I’ve said too many times before… my wife and I – a few years back, lived on 9,000 THB per month for way over a year. We ate a lot of soup and 25 baht rice plates. Wasn’t bad either. I basically still eat that way today – but she does make me spaghetti, taco shells, and other Thai foods I like…

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