Bangkok Podcast: Cost of Living in Bangkok

2017-10-18T21:47:58+07:00August 1st, 2012|Bangkok Podcast Season 1, Expat Experiences|7 Comments

Bangkok Podcast 74: Cost of Living

This episode of Bangkok Podcast is sponsored by Bangkok Tree House an environmentally friendly retreat in the heart of Phrapradaeng, a lush expanse of jungle just across the river from Bangkok.

If you’ve been following the Thai news over the past few months, you might have heard about a big constitutional court crises a few weeks ago. As with many things in Thailand lately, it was a very he said/she said kind of debate with very high stakes. People were predicting doom! Riots! Chaos! Cats and dogs living together! Thankfully, in a very Thai outcome, the court came down squarely in the middle so that neither side won and neither side lost.

It might come as a shock, but neither Tony nor Greg are scholars of Thai politics or law, but they know someone who is! For the first part of the show we welcome our friend Saksith Saiyasombut, a blogger, journalist and all-around nice guy who has reported extensively on the uh, entertaining Thai political scene over the past few years. He joins us on Skype from Germany (excuse the fuzzy call quality) and fills us in on what exactly the hubbub was about, what the decision means, and what happens next.

The other topic we wanted to get into for this show is something that we get asked a lot – just how expensive is it to live in Bangkok? Dreams of $5 hotels rooms and $1 feasts still somehow fill the brains of the never-ending stream of visitors, but unfortunately, price-wise, Bangkok ain’t what it was 20 years ago. Today, it’s a major Asian metropolis, a global transport hub, and home to big industry and big money. Tony and Greg go over what it takes to live in Bangkok from month-to-month with a comfortable western lifestyle. From groceries to entertainment to rent to maids, there’s a lot to take into account.

We are also happy to mention our partnership with Coconuts Bangkok, the city’s newest news and reviews website, which we browse to see what people are talking about. Head on over and see the most up to date information on everything Bangkok.

We also wanted to send a big thanks to our sponsor, the Bangkok Treehouse, an environmentally friendly retreat in the heart of Phrapradaeng, a lush expanse of jungle just across the river from Bangkok. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place to escape the city, with awesome food and some pretty badass surroundings. As they say on their website, it’s a view with a room, a very apt description.

Also listen for our cool new remixed intro music by Q-Bar’s legendary DJ Octo. DJ Octo was a past guest on Bangkok Podcast and now has his own podcast called Q-Bar Live which keeps you up to date on all the activities at Bangkok’s hottest club. Make sure to give it a listen at Q-Bar Live


  1. Jan August 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Sorry guys but its not true that a 7 mb/s internet connection only deliveries 3 mb/s. You get the speed that you pay for. I know it’s fashionable to bitch about True etc but over all they deliver what you pay for pretty much.

    • Anthony August 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      You mean it depends on where you live right? Because anyone who lives in Bangkok knows that internet speeds vary all over the city and can even vary building to building. I had the TOT 3mb/s plan and I never saw those speeds. Average would be around 1 to 1.5 but I never saw anything close to what they advertised. Also what was frustrating is that True and TOT severely limit upload capacity, typically to less than 1mb/s

  2. Jan August 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    You don’t need a contract to have the same conditions that Tony mentioned. I use a 350 baht per month for 1GB data volume package that covers all my needs, you can get unlimited for 800 baht as well. I just don’t use it that much. As for recharge, you can setup auto recharge with a thai bank account, so every time i run under my limit i make an auto recharge. So at the end you basically the only difference between contract is the time you get charged.

  3. Cyril August 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Interesting podcast. I think you missed though some important costs like medical insurance -which is important in particular for people retiring in Bkk- and other insurances, taxes, banking costs, visas and renewals…

  4. LeaJ October 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    What about the super markets? What sort of monopoly does Tops Market have in the Bangkok market?

  5. Travis January 10, 2013 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I think Bangkok is a city with a lot of flexibility regarding cost of living. Throughout the years I have lived here I have gone from months as high as 120,000 and others as low as 15,000.

    It really depends on your individual lifestyle and your knowledge of the city.

    For me, I am happy around the 40-60k mark. As someone fairly young, single, with zero dependents.

  6. Axel March 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Well, I do appreciate the attempt to explain to people, that the city isnt cheap. Expats often have wrong views on the topic.

    That said, Bangkok is a place you can go around and do many things. I saw a nice room a bit out of downtown for 600 baht/ month and thought it was good for a student – albeit a bit off.

    Internet – it will be important to understand that international web site access is different from local access. Most ISPs will give you what subscribe to and it will work in that way on all sites in Thailand (what many Thai people actually want), but clearly international bandwidth is expensive and here ISPs tend to overscubribe. For instance in Singapore you can get 150MBPs with only 15MBPS international bandwidth for 3000 THB/month. If you get 3MBPs in Bangkok with 1.5 MBPS international bandwidth = all good. 🙂

    … and by the way resent your comments on “Thai style apartments” and giving an example of cockroaches … I sincerely hope that was a slip.

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