The below is how much it cost us to live in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a full calendar month.
From the 7th February 2012 to the 7th March 2012.
There are many apartments on offer in Chiang Mai. Some that are a lot cheaper than the one that we stayed at, others that are way more expensive. There is no shortage of choice. We chose to stay at Ban Jed Yod as it was close to the dentist that we spent a lot of time at throughout the month and the apartment also had a proper desk and chair!
Divide the amounts in Baht by 30 to get an approximate amount in Australian or US dollars.
Ban Jed Yod – studio room, aircon, desk decent chair, wifi, cable tv, really hot shower, and kitchenette
9000 Baht for 7 February 2012 – 7 March 2012
14000 Baht for deposit (to get back at the end of the month)
Utilities cost: Water and Electricity
Water – 180 Baht for the month
Electricity – 1232 Baht for the month (This is a lot. We had the air-conditioner on more than was probably necessary)
Purchases to make our apartment a home for the month:
Kettle – was provided otherwise it would have cost around 250 Baht from Tesco's Supermarket.
Toaster – 250 Baht from Tesco's Supermarket
Plastic bowls – 4 – 39 Baht in total
Plastic Plates – 4 – 39 baht in total
Mugs x 2 – 25 Baht each (50 Baht)
Mat for the front door – 20 Baht
Liquid hand wash – doubles as hand wash, dishwashing detergent – 30 Baht
Clothes detergent – 79 Baht (had a washing machine to use!)
Toilet Paper x 12 Rolls – 60 Baht
Margarine – 80 Baht
Clean and comfortable bedding that included a fitted sheet, two pillow cases, two awesome pillows and a comforter duvet was provided.
We also had two sporks that we used for cutlery.
Manual Scooter – 2500 Baht per month
Petrol – 120 Baht per week just riding around town
Mobile / Cell Phone
We bought a smartphone ready sim that will give us both phone credit and 3G internet access and would spend around 100 Baht per week for phone / internet usage. This is on a bad week when we would GPS map a motorbike ride for example. (400 Baht per month)
Grocery Costs of what we bought regularly to eat (all approximate prices):
Bread – 17 Baht for a half loaf of multigrain bread (2 per week)
Milk – 39 Baht for 830mls of milk (1 per week)
Lipton Tea Bags – 70 Baht for 25 Teabags (2 per month)
Peanut Butter – Skippy – 80 Baht for 170gms (1 per month)
Strawberry Jam – 50 Baht for 400gms jar (1 per month)
As we don't cook anymore, we tend to eat out for lunch and dinner. Examples of food pricing is below. Prices vary if you eat at a roadside stall or in a restaurant.
Iced strong coffee with milk – 15 Baht to 85 Baht
Hot Latte made from proper coffee beans – 35 Baht to 80 Baht
Thai Chicken and Rice Dish – 25 Baht to 120 Baht
Thai Noodle Dish – 25 Baht to 120 Baht
Spaghetti Bolognaise – 39 Baht to 230 Baht
Japanese Ramen Soup – 39 Baht to 120 Baht
Sashimi Set – 59 Baht to 230 Baht
Steak and fries on a plate – 69 Baht to 250 Baht
Duck breast with peppercorn sauce, fries and salad – 59 Baht to 250 Baht
Glass of House white or red wine – 50 Baht to 150 Baht (same wine!)
Margarita cocktail – 80 Baht to 200 Baht
Living in Thailand can be very cheap if you want it to be. We didn't go to a lot of fancy restaurants but we were able to eat out every day, sometimes three meals a day plus snacks, and it was still very cheap. Our eating out budget would range from 150 Baht to 400 Baht per day for the two of us. If averaged out to 300 Baht per day, we would spend 9000 Baht per month for the two of us.
Total Expenditure for the calendar month:
9000 Baht – Apartment for the month
180 Baht – Water for the month
1232 Baht – Electricity for the month
647 Baht – Once off buying stuff for the apartment
2500 Baht – Transport for the month
480 Baht – Petrol for the scooter for the month
400 Baht – Mobile / Cell Phone Credit
562 Baht – Groceries for the month
9000 Baht – Eating out costs for the two of us
24001 Baht – The cost for a month living in Chiang Mai, Thailand (around about)
Converted to Australian Dollars = $800 for the month or $200 per week.
One notable thing missing from this list is a visa run. We have previously written a guide to doing a visa run from Chiang Mai
We lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand very comfortably! We could have taken a cheaper apartment for the month, used the air-conditioner less, ate less expensive food, went out less etcetera. But we didn't. And we were happy.