Expat Magazine

Cost of Living in Bangkok 2017

By Harvie

How much does it cost to live in Bangkok in 2017?

For the entire month of January I have jotted down every baht I spent and I’ve documented it all below.

Cost of living in Bangkok 2017

In the month of January I spent 42,252฿ (excluding visa and health insurance costs).

Here is the breakdown below of my living costs in Thong Lo, Bangkok.

Please note that my lifestyle in Bangkok is very chilled. I focus on exercise, work, socializing and eating well. The following breakdown is not of a partygoer or someone who is going out 2-3 per week drinking.

You can also read an older article where I lived in Bangkok on $770 month in 2016.

Rent – 24,200฿

My biggest cost is rent.

I pay 24,200฿ per month after bills for a 1-bed room apartment in Thong Lo.

  • Rent – 22,00฿
  • Electric and water – 1,400฿
  • True Wifi – 800฿

The condo has a pool, amazing view and a small gym. I am walking distance to my gym, massages, several western supermarkets, clubs, bars and public transport.

The same condo in On Nut or further out would cost you 15,000฿.

The reason I choose to stay here is because of convenience.

The BTS has become a sardine can with people pushing up against each other, and as I love to cook (see food costs below) I want to be next to Tops and Villa.

All my friends live in the area too, so it makes playing football or meeting up very easy.

I also have around 10-20 people visit me per year (I have friends brag) and living in Thong Lo makes it easier for hosting them.

Food – 10,804฿

My next biggest expense is food.

If I decided to do all my shopping at the Big C or Tesco Lotus my food budget would be half of what it is now.

However, I think the quality of food there isn’t great and I prefer to use western alternatives like Paleo Robbie.

Paleo Robbie

Once a month I’ll place an order at their online grocery for fish, beef, nut butter and chicken. The order usually comes to around 4,000฿ and that will last me 3-4 weeks.

Everyday stuff like eggs, milk, fruit and veg I pop to Villa, Tops or Foodland.

I choose not to eat street food for the reasons I’ve mentioned before, and am happy to pay more for quality produce.

Bangkok fruits

Avocados I buy from Bangkok Fruits, very cheap and very good value (440฿/KG).

Entertainment – 3,781฿

Entertainment involves any of the following:

  • Drinking with friends
  • Clubbing in Bangkok
  • Bar hopping
  • Dinner with friends

I had two people visit me in January and it’s why my entertainment costs are ‘so high‘.

I use quote marks because while for me that number is high, most people between the age of 25-30 are spending 10,000฿+ on entertainment each month, many spending more on drinking than their rent as I did when I first moved here.

craft beer

I think I went out around 5 times in January and didn’t get bottle service anywhere as we went to bars mostly.

Getting bottle service as a group is going to start off at around 1,500฿ each.

No hookers or blow in January sadly for me, although my friends who came got lucky:

hookers in bangkok hotel

Gym and football – 2,350฿

This includes my monthly gym membership and football which I play once per week.

Football in Bangkok

If you’re living in lower Sukhumvit you’ll be spending around 2,000฿ per month or more on a gym membership.

Head to On-nut or Tony’s Gym on soi 19 if you want something cheap.

Eating out 540฿

I don’t eat street food and when I eat it’s usually with my boys while we drink so most of the eating out has been merged with entrainment.

This 540฿ came from eating directly after playing football or when I couldn’t be bothered to cook.


I’m on a bit of a diet too as part of the New Year New Me thing and it’s why eating out is so low. I’m spending 4,000฿ or more a month on eating out usually.

Travel – 310฿

I live in Thong Lo so there’s very little need for me to spend too much on travel.

Most places I visit on a daily basis are walking distance, and it’s only 10฿ motorcycle to the end of the soi.

I remember when I lived in On-nut and I’d used to spend 2,000-3,000b in travel per month, sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for location to save on travel.

  • Bro-tip: Download Uber, it works like a charm in Bangkok.

Misc – 367฿

I spent 367฿ on random stuff like toilet paper, soap and stuff.

100฿ of the spend was for phone credit. I don’t buy a monthly package because when I’m outside I don’t want to be checking my Facebook newsfeed or emails every 10 minutes.

Is this how much it costs to live in Bangkok in 2017?

Yes and no.

It costs 42,000฿ per month to live in Thailand if your lifestyle is similar to mine.

A typical week for me is going to the gym 5 times per week to play badminton or squash, football once a week, a massage here or there and spending time reading or working.

I don’t really go to clubs that often (been there done that) and instead save it for my visa runs. The last two visa runs I did were to Singapore and Taiwan, both weren’t cheap and are not included in the living costs.


This week I’m going to Manila too which will cost me around 15,000-25,000฿.

I like to keep my lifestyle simple and healthy nowadays when living in Bangkok, and use the visa runs as a means to ‘let my hair down’.

If you love to party, bang Thai hookers or meet girls on Thai Cupid, then you could easily be spending 75,000฿+ per month.

On the other hand if you lived in a non-central area and cooked your own food, I think it is possible to live in Bangkok on 20,000฿ per month – not that I’d want to.

Visit the islands for a weekend and you’ll be spending 7,000฿+ for that mini holiday. When I add up all the costs I think my

When I add up all the costs I think my digital nomad life in Bangkok is closer to 60,000฿/month on average when factoring in holidays, visa costs and insurance.

How much are you spending per month living in Bangkok in 2017?

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