How expensive is it living on an island in Thailand? I spent a few months on Koh Tao in 2020 and now I’m living on Koh Phangan. This post gives an insight into cost of living including accommodation, transport, food and activities.
Thailand has always been a country I liked to travel. I would’ve never imagined to call this place a temporary home. My first long stay was in 2020 from February til July. Click here and read more about my time on Koh Tao during Covid lockdown. The second time I came around with the intention to stay longer was in October 2021 when I entered through the Phuket sandbox program. This time I settled on Koh Phangan and got an insight into cost of living in Thailand.
The prices might vary in high season. However I think it can be a good reference for you. As everything in life the costs can be higher or lower depending on your standards and how you want to spend your time here. As I’m working remotely I wanted to pay for comfort but spend my money wisely at the same time.
Read more about my stay at Beachub Coworking on Koh Phangan.
How to find a long-term accommodation?
I usually book short-term accommodation through booking.com. But when it comes to long-term rentals (4 weeks+) there are different ways to do this. One option is to look on airbnb which will be the more expensive one though as you have to pay extra fees to the platform.
My recommended way is to go through Facebook and look for rental groups in your area. On Koh Tao for example there is the “Koh Tao rooms for rent” group where you can either put in a request or just scroll through the available accommodation. You then get in touch with the landlord, arrange a viewing and rent the place. Payment is in cash most of times and a deposit is required.
That’s how much I paid for accommodation
On Koh Tao I was staying in a one bed studio with a small kitchenette and balcony located in Mae Haad, which is the pier area. Cleaning twice a month, AC, water and electricity were included. Sometimes you pay extra for water as it’s quite expensive on Koh Tao. The place was quite big and I absolutely loved staying there. We also had a rooftop from where you could see the ocean and sunset every day. For this place I paid around 9,500 THB which then was around 230-250 €.
On Koh Phangan I stayed in a beach bungalow of Beachub coworking. The bungalow was basically a room with a kingsized bed, a desk, beautiful front porch and the best: right by the ocean. So we could hear the waves while falling asleep or go for a swim whenever we wanted. This accommodation also included the use of the coworking space. Electricity, water, wifi, AC and cleaning were also all included. For that we paid 12,000 THB a month. They also have cheaper and smaller versions which are best for one person.
Summing up the costs just stated very much depend on the season and availability. And also how much luxury and space you would like to have. If you don’t want to pay anything for accommodation it’s worth having a look on Facebook if there are options to house and petsit in exchange for living somewhere for free.
Scooters are the main transport when staying somewhere in Thailand. Other than that there are public buses, minivans, ferries or planes depending on where you go.
When staying longterm I’d probably recommend to buy one. However there are also monthly rentals starting from 2,000 THB (50 euros). One liter of fuel costs around 35 THB which is less than a euro.
Food costs also depend on how much you’re willing to spend. You can have good food and spend less than 3 euros a day.
I guess my cost was around 7‑15 euros per day just because I value healthy & nutritious food. It’s a mix between Thai and plant‑based dishes. For me spending money on food is worth it. In Asia I usually eat in restaurants and never cook as it’s very similar regarding the costs.
On top of your living costs I guess you also want to join activities. I’ll give you an insight into two of my favorite activities…
- Yoga classes are usually between 300‑400 THB (7 euros) for 1,5 hours.
- Two fun dives incl. guide and equipment cost between 2,500‑3,500 THB (60 euros)
There are many many more things to do. But also you can just join donation based yoga classes or get a snorkel set and see the underwater world for free.
Here are my top five activities on Koh Tao.
Cost of living in Thailand – Conclusion
Summing up the monthly costs we’re looking at are around 600‑700 euros for accommodation, food and transport and on top of that leisure money. Of course it can also be cheaper but also more expensive. This price range gives you a very comfortable life in Thailand. Everything above this would be luxury and posh for my standards.
Hope this short guide could give you a good insight about the cost of living in Thailand!