What is the living cost in Thailand?

For many people, living on a tropical island such as Koh Samui, in Thailand, would be a dream come true. However, it’s far more realistic than you might think! On average, the cost living in Thailand is 31.5% cheaper than that of the United States. (So, the luxury villas for sale in Koh Samui might be within your reach!) That is a significant difference in the grand scheme of things. Now, in order to put things into perspective for you, we’re going to explore the cost of living in Thailand. This post will include property rental and prices to buy, general travel expenses, education and how much you’ll likely need to afford a meal out every night! (which isn’t all that much!)

1 – Renting or buying property in Thailand

If you want to know how to buy property in Koh Samui, then you’ll find a wealth of resources out there which can take you through the motions. Or alternatively, there are plenty of options to rent for those of you who don’t quite have enough to invest or aren’t interested in owning property abroad.

Now, prices vary depending on what level of luxury you are looking for. If you were looking to buy a luxury villa or condo, you could be looking at anywhere between 3,000,000 & 30,000,000 THB (and beyond) Of course renting, you’d be looking at upwards of 40,000 THB a month for a luxury villa.

However, if you don’t have a huge budget and you’re looking for a simple 30 Sqm studio apartment, then you can find a rental for as little as 10-12,000 THB a month. Some houses in certain areas can go for even cheaper than that!

Of course, it’s all relative. – The fact that the general cost of living in Thailand is significantly cheaper (and property prices as well), enables you to afford much more in the way of luxury.

2 – Groceries and eating out in restaurants

Again, the prices of groceries and eating out very much depends on your personal taste. If you’re a lover of Thai food and you’re happy sat in a local street restaurant, then you can eat from as little as 50 THB! For those looking for a little more class, then there are a number of reputable 5-star restaurants which will be much more similarly priced to Western eateries.

When it comes to general groceries in Thailand, you’ll save a lot more money. Of course, there are certain products that you’ll miss from home which will have ‘luxury item’ and import tax on top. So, if you’re a big lover of peanut butter, expect to pay a fair amount more than you would at home.

However, for meat and vegetables from the local markets, you’ll save a ridiculous amount of money. Especially when you consider that the average cost to feed a family of 4 in the U.S is between $150 and $300. In Thailand, you can do a huge shop and stock up for as little as 2000 THB a week! (and that is without being careful)

3 – Education

The average cost for secondary level tuition fees in Thailand is 320,000 THB. Now, whilst this might be rather frustrating for those who can get free education back home; the quality of education in the international schools in Thailand is impeccable. Your children can receive a western education with some of the finest facilities.

4 – Travelling, transportation & hospitality

Getting around Thailand is cheap enough, again it all really depends on how you want to travel and how quickly you want to get there. For example, if you wanted to fly directly from Bangkok to Koh Samui, then you’d be looking at somewhere around the 7,600 THB mark.

If you live in a big city such as Bangkok, there are many ways to get around. You can catch a bus (anywhere from 10 THB); a motorcycle taxi (30-60 THB for most short trips); by car (approx. 9 THB /per 1KM); the BTS Skytrain or MRT (roughly 30 THB per journey); and so on. Simply put, it’s more than reasonable to get around.

Buying vehicles in Thailand is quite different to the UK or the US, for example. You will pay a fair amount more for a new and used vehicle in Thailand than you would back home. However, the option to rent is fairly straightforward and is often a preferred method for foreigners. You would be likely to pay anywhere between 700 and 3000 THB per day, depending on the model.

5 – Healthcare

The healthcare system in Thailand is rather expensive, though the quality of care is certainly improving, rapidly. Medical insurance is accessible and won’t cost a great deal, all things considered. It really depends on whether you’re just travelling through Thailand, if you’re only spending several months of the year here, or if you plan to stay indefinitely.

For basic health insurance cover, you’ll be looking at approximately $1000 USD a year, for people aged 30-35. Again, prices will vary depending on the level of cover that you require.


Across the board, Thailand is a lot cheaper than most other places. It’s all about perspective! For example: what you would spend on a 5-bedroom house in the U.K or America won’t be far off the luxury villas for sale in Koh Samui. – That and if you’re living on a stunning and naturally beautiful tropical island like Koh Samui; you can’t complain about paying that little bit extra for imported luxuries. Other than that; you’ll be living a life of luxury, for less!