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I have been to Thailand this January, and I was quite happy with the country. I'm planning to go there again for a longer trip, for about 2-3 months.

I did some research on Apartments, but in terms of their charging pattern, I have a few questions and preferably some tips/hints will be much appreciated.

  • How much a normal Fan apartment, somewhat near the MRT/BTS costs? I did some research first, and I could find apartments ranging from 2,000 THB to 20,000 THB. I'm looking for a calm one, with a bathroom, and with furniture (a bed, cupboard or some closet, a table, a chair)
  • How do they usually pay for utilities? I found that water and electricity costs 18 and 7 THB respectively per unit. What are the usual billing unit in Thailand ? (In my country, 1 cubic meter of water is a unit, and as for electricity, 1 kWh is a unit).
  • How safe it is to stay in an apartment ? I have a travel insurance, and some emergency fund. If I stay legally, are there anything I must worry about?
  • I love their street food for dinner but how long-term staying people get their meals? I'm not looking for western food. Is it reliable to eat street food everyday?
  • Are there any taxes or any other compulsory payments for long term stays?

I know there is an expatriates site in SE network but I'm not really looking to settle down there, marry a Thai or work there. I am a freelancer, working all over the Internet and my money will stay in bank account in my country and I will pull occasionally from a thai bank. I already have a bank account there (Savings account - pass book + Visa debit).

I'm aware that prices are different in North (cheaper) and south is expensive. I'm looking for somewhere nearby Bangkok city, so kindly note I am looking for something more relevant to Bangkok. I will be in Chiang Mai and the southern Krabi for some time but I'll be paying the 3 month cost for the apartment.

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First I'm Thai and I'm from Bangkok so I know the cost of living there pretty well.

You can get an 'OK' apartment around 4,000 - 5,000 bath around Lad Prao MRT or somewhere further and you can walk. It's going to be very expensive if you want to find somewhere around 'Siam' or 'Si Lom' because it's quite central. For the safety, I would say it depends if you lock your room pretty well and the apartment you're renting they have a security guard or a keypad lock with CCTV. Then it's pretty safe. However, it's not 100% safe same as anywhere in the world. If you're willing to spend some more you can get a 'nice' apartment with air-condition around 8,000 - 12,000 next to BTS.

For the bills, it depends on the owners of the apartment. You might pay it by the meter which you can pay in 7-11 shops, or you can give money to the landlord and they will take care of it for you. The later one will be a bit more expensive because they might round up the unit/bath to be 5 bath. Usually, for a room with one fan, fridge, a TV and a computer, I'd say around 500-1000 bath. Water bill should be expensive, it should be around 50-100 bath.

For the food, if you don't cook you can eat street food every day which what we usually do anyway. A meal would be around 35-50 bath depends on what you ordered.

For transportation, for BTS a SmartPass for 50 trips is 800 bath. http://www.bts.co.th/customer/en/01-conditions-thirtyday-student.aspx

You can live comfortably in Bangkok for 12,000 - 15,000 bath. I would say that. And that's how much a normal student who just graduated from the university earn in BKK as well.

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    Thank you very much! I have been in Ramkhamhaeng and Pratunam for 2 weeks and it was quite good (I paid per-night prices). I was OK with street food and food packs in 7-Elevens but I wasn't sure if that's what locals do everyday. Very helpful. Thanks a lot Noppanit. – Ayesh K Apr 8 '14 at 19:39
  • We don't eat food from 7-11 everyday. It's quite expensive. We usually go to one of those street food stalls. – toy Apr 9 '14 at 8:54
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    I used to eat a lot of pad thai and rice meals too. You helped me a lot to figure out these sir. Thanks a lot. – Ayesh K Apr 9 '14 at 10:48
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I think you should start by looking at these several websites which could help you compare the cost of living in one city in comparison to another. The best one I have found and used for my travels (it has been quite accurate in its findings) is Expatistan.

Another good site is Numbeo. They have also provided me with resonable numbers in the past. Even though I have been to Bangkok, I have never lived there, so your question regarding housing and electricity bills is something I cannot personally answer.

Food is relatively cheap in Bangkok and street food scene is massive. If you are vegetarian though, it may sometimes get a little bit difficult. Otherwise, you are looking at prices like ~50 to 100 THB for each dish of street food. I think a comparison is more important that absolute prices, so try the websites.

Here is another good link which provides some good information.

  • Thank you very much Aditya. I did some comparison with the Numbeo and their details about my own country is pretty accurate so I'm sure the Thailand information are accurate too. Thank you very much for your great help :) – Ayesh K Apr 8 '14 at 19:40
  • @AyeshK No worries! I'm glad I could help. – Aditya Somani Apr 9 '14 at 6:22

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