Cost of Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cost of Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand is one of the most favorite places of travelers whether hardcore or newbies.

Reason is the quality and cost of living is better than most places I’ve been to.. and cheaper prices at that. There were bits of changes the last time I was here 2 years ago. Examples are:

  • More buildings and malls are being built
  • Traffic is already being felt
  • My friends (both local and foreigner) have come and gone.. even some of my local friends go out from here .. which makes me a bit sad coz I miss hanging out with them while they were here.
Some things never change though
  • Lots of tourists from different parts of the world.. which includes the Chinese. I’m actually impressed they are walking in the streets, eating streetfood, and talking to locals in Thai language, blending it in like the locals. But really, you can find all kinds of nationalities here and that’s what I like about this beautiful city. You’ll see couch surfers from Spain, Russia, Germany, Australia, Ukraine and from Pinas in one table.

Some things never change though


  • Price of my favorite phad thai, phad see yuu and other local foods is still 25 – 40 baht.. Price of some sushi in the sunday market temple is still 5 baht
  • Posh dresses are still a bargain, specially if you know the places where you can get it. I couldn’t believe I got a posh blouse for only 50 baht
  • 20 baht song taew (red jeep) if you bargain right.. but that’s actually the normal price. If you got a higher price, you are ripped off.. except if your place is real far
  • Tuktuks are still way more expensive than song taews
  • You can find buffet for 100 baht.. best thing to do when you’re fasting and can only eat in the evenings :D

Other expenses worth noting are the following:

  • Coffee – 20-70 baht
  • Food- as low as 25 baht – 100 baht buffet
  • Internet – you don’t have to worry if the hotel have free wifi, but if you’ll be using an internet stick, prepare for 500 baht unlimited monthly internet
  • House/Apartment – 3000 – 5000 baht
  • Travel Insurance – 50 dollars for 2 weeks via worldnomads.. I know its expensive
  • Transport – better if you can drive around with a motorcycle/bicycle, otherwise, prepare to spend a regular of 20 – 40 baht per drive in the red song taew


I’ve been spending an average of 400-500 baht / day that includes transpo and shopping.. such a huge difference than when I was budgeting as a volunteer.. but the initial cost in the first month has the biggest expenses, it will definitely get cheaper if you stay in a place longer..

I’m still happy coz I’m in my favorite city.

I’m just afraid that next time I visit, tourists will double, which will make it more difficult for me to get a new home in my favorite city again the next time I visit… plus the higher the demand, the higher possibility prices will go up as well.. just like what happened in Boracay, or Bohol.

There goes the advantage of promoting a place too much xD

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