One of the questions that I am asked the most is how much does it cost to live in Pattaya full-time. Having lived in Pattaya for four years, I can give you a general range, but of course it is going to depend on the kind of lifestyle that you live. It’s possible to live quite frugal here, but also if you wish to live a lavish lifestyle you can of course spend as much money as you like.
I would guesstimate that an average person would be able to live very comfortably for $1000 a month in Pattaya. I know many people who only spend half of that and still live quite well. Once you live here for a while, it becomes easier to find the bargains and learn how to whittle down your costs.
I live very frugally, as it just comes natural to me to do so, and I enjoy living a minimalist lifestyle. I don’t want to be a slave to any employer, and would rather live my life slowly with time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. So I watch what I spend and choose wisely.
It seems to me that compared to the United States, both the housing and vehicle costs in Pattaya are areas where you can save a substantial amount of money, comparatively. This is if you drive a motorbike instead of a full-size car, which the vast majority of people do here.
For example, I sold my $15,000 SUV when I left America, and replaced it with a $400 old motorbike. Instead of $1000 a year for vehicle insurance in the states, I spend an incredibly low $9 a year for insurance. And old Bessie gets me everywhere I need to go in Pattaya with no worries.
You can also save quite a bit of money on your housing if you’d like to. You can rent an apartment with air conditioning, TV, Internet, refrigerator, bed, and furniture for as little as hundred dollars a month. A nice house in a good location and be rented for about $300 a month. That is quite a bit cheaper than back home and allows for substantial savings.
Food costs are maybe a little bit cheaper here, but not by too much. Food in the grocery stores is just a bit less expensive, but restaurants are quite a bit less expensive especially if you eat Thai food. Local Thai food only costs a dollar or two for a meal at an outdoor restaurant, and elaborate all-you-can-eat buffets cost about $5-$10. You can reference my post on all-you-can-eat buffets in Pattaya for more information on that.
Oh, another thing that is ridiculously inexpensive here as compared to the states is medical care. The doctor I go to only charges me a dollar or two to see him. You can also walk in any pharmacy and tell them what is wrong with you, and they will set you up with a prescription to help you out. There are public clinics here that are very inexpensive, which is just unavailable back home.
Hospital visits are also so cheap here. I have been to all three of the big hospitals here multiple times and you would not believe how little it costs. Depending on what is wrong with you and whether you go to a public or private hospital, in my experience the total cost including prescription drugs has ranged from $12-$200. I would’ve expected the same to cost me thousands of dollars back in the states.
The water bill for my condo costs an unbelievably low two dollars per month. Electricity rates are about the same as they are back home, but with the tropical weather here you will use more electricity for the air conditioner. I have a high-speed DSL wireless router in my room and it costs about $20 per month.
Gas or petrol for your vehicle is actually bit more expensive, but since I’ve got the motorbike that gets about 70 miles per gallon, thankfully I don’t have to buy very much of it. A gallon of gas costs about $5-$6 per gallon here. But if you don’t want to own a motorbike, they are motorbike taxis all over the city that will take you anywhere for a about a dollar.
That’s all I can think of for now, but as you can see, the cost of living is really inexpensive here in Pattaya. If you have a question or comment about anything specific, just ask in the comments section below.