some thoughts from Dozer
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How Much does it Cost to live in Thailand?

feedback from Jeff T

I love this site, I’m thinking of moving to Thailand when I’m done here in Iraq in 2 to 3 years and would like to find out everything I can about building a home there and living there in general. I don’t ant to spend over 35,000 in us dollars for housing and I figured about 10,000 for a vehicle if this is not possible let me know, I’m also thinking around 1000 to 1500 us per month is enough to live on. Any help would be great.

What are you doing in Iraq? I for one would love to hear about it, if you write up some of your adventures, I’ll post it to the non-construction part of this blog. Whatever your post is, hang in there!!

The bad news is costs are starting to rise in Thailand now due to the high cost of fuel. The government is keeping a cap on costs, but the increases that we’ve seen so far have started to effect the cost of goods. Also, land costs are going up. The good news is that, that being said, the cool thai house prototype cost roughly 1,000,000 baht + land cost of 200,000 baht = 1,200,000 baht. If I was doing it again I could easily take maybe 100,000 to 200,000 baht out of the cost. So, your house budget is in line with reality, you can get set up for 35,000 USD (appx. 1,400,000 baht). Advice: rent first and spend some time getting acclimated before buying or building.

Auto: There is real low depreciation on used vehicles here. Everything favors the new car buyer, it really doesn’t pay to buy a used car (too expensive). Not only that, there are a lot of ways to get screwed on a used car, but with a new car no problems (generally). Also, pickup trucks are comparatively cheap, compared to sedans. A new Nissan pickup with a 3.0 liter engine is about 560,000 baht, a base model with a 2.5 liter engine runs under 500,000 baht. A nice sedan auto can run easily over 1,000,000 baht. A new Nissan NV (a mini pickup) was about 450,000 baht. On the auto budget I would allow 600,000 baht (15,000 USD). Advice: buy new. Pickup trucks are a great bargain. Avoid the 2.5 liter engines as they suck bigtime.

Monthly: There are a relatively large number of Expat teachers living in Bangkok on a salary of around 30,000 baht a month. Thais themselves that go to work in Bangkok manage to pay rent food and send money up country all on a salary of 5,000 baht or so a month. My guess is that living the average expat lifestyle would consume about 50,000 baht a month for everything (about 1,250 USD). Check out these links about living costs which I found interesting–> how much to live in Bangkok by stickman and how much to live in Thailand? John Irvin. Advice: get yourself setup to have more than what you think you’ll need. The land of smiles isn’t nearly as fun if you’re broke!


  1. Living expenses are around half the amount quoted above if you live up country in thai style

    biggest hazards are motorcycles medical emergencies bar girls booze barrackroom bs other falangs

    dont ever buy a secondhand car, a new cab pick up is a good bet, never get a 4wd, the front end is crap Isuzu, toyota are the best, avoid the turbo diesel buy your land on a 30 years lease in your name read this site every week, have fun

  2. The man speaks from experience :-) I would however add to the things to watch out for.

    1. Save your large aluminum cans. You’ll need at least four; one for each leg of your bed (add al little water and oil). A good nites sleep makes up for a lot of getting used too when you first go native. The little red ants will really make you miserable.

    2. Check the water in the cans. Don’t leave it up to your teelak.

    3. Take a reality check on the prices of houses, bothfrom the construction standpoint, buying a ready-made, or a condo. All in all, IF you had no bills to pay, including petrol (gasoline) $1,500 would have gotten you through in the 60s, I don’t believe that’s enough now. BUT, that depends on what your living standard is.

    4. Oh yeah, building and having the land to build on are strange bed-fellows. I sugest if you are really seriou sabout living in the LOS that you purchase your land pronto. If you change your mind in 2 – 3 years at least you will be able to get your investment back plus a profit.

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