I understand people who are living at Thailand quite cheerfully on $800/month. They are not residing in Bangkok, a huge city with the maximum cost of living in Thailand. $800 is a small tight even for Chiang Mai, the early cultural city of 1.6 million at which I live. However, also for $800 you are able to live comfortably at a country town.
For $1200/month you can live comfortably in Chiang Mai and also do OK at Bangkok if you seek bargains.
Just how much that may you spend on accommodation? Your choices are wide.
For the previous six months I have been living in a studio flat in a สมัครเรียน ราชภัฏ working-class portion of Chiangmai. It is chilled by a fan, the furniture is below IKEA’s standards and also the mattress is awful, but I slept soundly enough. Rent, water and electricity cost me 70 (2,100 Baht)/ month.
I rented it because I had been writing a book on the people we Westerners rarely match: Running Thais. (Response: far more joyful than many wealthy people).
Next month I will move back into my own condo-Thais call them moo baan-from the mountains on the border of a 1000 Km-deep woods that runs right into Burma. It’s a fresh, fully furnished, air-conditioned bedroom + study + family room + large modern bath, with good viewsplus an extensive balcony, along with good cross-ventilation. Ten minutes from town, it’s on a quiet street away from some other critical traffic, together with 24-hour gated security. It’s an incredibly substantial degree of structure and finish. I rented it specifically because it is really fine looking. The cost? $230/month, including boundless, highspeed Internet.
This is the sort of place that a lot of retired Westerners can get you’ll buy (starting at $50,000) or rent whenever they come here. If you want to be nearer into the oldtown of Chiangmai (it surely is old: 700 years) expect to pay for more as you’re competing with tourists.
A buddy who lives a few blocks from me personally is renting a classic wooden Thai house (they resemble gingerbread houses). Two floors, with glistening rosewood floors, three bedrooms and maid quarters. He pays $300/month. He is near to a busy road and has no security, however he does have a wonderful yard.
Before you jump onto another plane to Thailand, be cautioned: Thai cooking centers are usually extremely limited, because Thais prefer to consume or get take out in their way home. The kitchen is typically an extremely cramped countertop-the kind you still find in 1950s-vintage los-angeles houses. Perhaps not a stove. Cooking inside with gas is almost unknown. You make use of an electric countertop range, which really is a bit tough for serious cooks.
So in the event that you want to cook, create a point of telling your own realtor which you desire the complete Western kitchen. They exist, though they are usually assembled in to more upscale, standalone homes which are especially created for farangs (foreigners) and upwardly mobile Thais who would like to impress and impress their pals.
Anything you decide on, you’ll be delighted at the quality of your brand new Thai home… and surprised at the purchase price.
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