Bangkok may have a reputation for intense heat, heavy traffic, and naughty nightlife— but don't let that mislead you. It is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities. Compared to other major Asian cities, it’s very affordable too.
Bangkok is one of the main financial hubs of South East Asia. This makes it an attractive location for independent entrepreneurs to network and launch their online business. Many expats from large, western cities make their way here to enjoy Bangkok’s metropolitan amenities while saving money.
So how much does it cost to live in Bangkok?
$600 per month is possible, but not comfortable.
$1,000- $2,000 per month is comfortable. Most nomads and expats I know live within this range.
$2,000+ per month and you can live large.
Cost of living in Bangkok can vary considerably depending on your own level of comfort and convenience. Your accommodation will be your largest expense. My advice is to pay extra for a great location that’s close to the Skytrain (BTS) or subway (MRT) and save time and money on transportation.
Nine hundred dollars US per month can get you a nice apartment in a trendy area near the Skytrain or subway line. Out a few stops, you can find similar accommodations for around $550 per month, and $300 per month will get you a simple studio.
Here’s a breakdown of what you might find:
Basic Studio: $150 – $300 USD
You can rent a small, very basic apartment in Bangkok for as low as $150. It will have its own bathroom with a shower and toilet. It should have a fridge, a fan, and a kitchen sink, but will not necessarily have a kitchen. The bed will likely be hard. And you will probably need a taxi to get to the nearest Skytrain or MRT stop.
Simple Apartment: $300 – $450. USD
Starting around $300 you can find a good quality studio apartment in central Bangkok within walking distance of the Skytrain or MRT. At this price, you can often find air conditioning, including Wi-Fi and English-speaking staff who work in the administrative section of the apartments.
Nice Apartment: $450 - $750 USD
Between $450 and $750 you can find quality one- and two-bedroom apartments that may have a gym, swimming pool, maid service, and other amenities.
Luxury Apartment $1000+ USD
Above $1000 you can live extremely well. Amenities may include 24/7 security and an amazing city view.
Here are some typical costs:
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant including drink $2.50
Domestic Beer $2.45
Cappuccino (medium) $2.54
Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) $84.
Internet (60 Mbps or More) $24.
Shopping in Bangkok
An endless variety of shopping experiences are all over the city and cater to all sorts of budgets.
There’s a multitude of Mega-Malls with brands from around the world and prices for every budget. And if you get tired of the malls, there are day markets, night markets and weekend markets where you can practice your bargaining skills.
You can get just about anything in Bangkok however you will be paying a premium for anything imported, around 20-30% more. Locally made items will likely be much cheaper than in your home country.
Getting Around Bangkok
The Skytrain and underground subway are fast and easy to use. Along the river and canals, taxi boats are a fast and unique way to get around. Taxis are cheap, but they can be a nightmare in the city due to the traffic. Motorbike taxis can zip through rush hour traffic with most trips being under a dollar.
You’ll probably spend $30 a month using the Skytrain and MRT if you are going to and from work, and maybe another $35 on taxis if you are out in the evenings. Taxis are cheap and plentiful but, you may get stuck in traffic. You can get a 50-trip pass for the Skytrain for around $30.
Thai people are generally very welcoming to foreigners visiting and living in their country. And residents from around the world gives it a cosmopolitan flair to mix with its rich history.
So, it is easy to see you can get a lot of quality living for a small amount of money in the city of Bangkok.