Working out a budget for your stay in Phuket isn’t always easy. Living costs vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, the kind of food you eat, the type of accommodation you prefer and how you get around.

We recently interviewed a few of our students and staff to find out how much they spend each month on average on basic living costs. Today we spoke with David, who has been taking our Easy Going Thai course for 5 months.

Patong Beach, Thailand

“Having stayed in Patong for 3 months during 2012 I considered retiring to Thailand but wanted to know whether I could live there as a “normal” person as opposed to being a tourist. I chose that in 2013, I would reside for 6 months prior to making a decision. My choice was to live in a hotel until I found suitable accommodation before moving into it. To further clarify my position, I have a professional background, have worked hard for 30 years and wanted to maintain a particular standard of lifestyle re: living quarters, diet etc. in retirement.”

How much do you spend each month on the following:

  • Accommodation: “I stayed in a hotel for the first 28 days for 1500 Baht/day (breakfast included). I then moved to a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, living room, kitchenette, balcony on 5th floor of a 7 story apartment block on the outskirts of Patong near Kathu Hill. There is manned security at night, a swipe card access to lift and swimming pool. By scooter I can access Patong Language School, Jungcelon/Bangla within 5-7 min. Access to Kathu/Phuket Town and Kamala/Surin beach is simple, as it is just off the main road. It’s in a quiet location (apart from call to prayers a few times a day which after a while you do not hear). My rent is 28,000 Baht per month.”
  • Utility bills: “On average I pay around 700 Baht for water, 1,150 Baht for electricity and 500 Baht for TV/Internet each month.”
  • Transportation: “I either walk, ride my mountain bike or travel by scooter. I decided to rent the scooter for now, since I’ll only be studying for 6 months (I’ll buy one when I come back to live). I pay 3,000 Baht per month for rental, 400 Baht for fuel and about 500 Baht for repairs.”
  • Food: “About 24,000 Baht per month. I eat breakfast at home but everything else is outside. Why bother cooking when so much variety is easily attained at whatever cost you want? I am going to include my weekly grocery expense here as it includes tea, coffee, bread, milk, cheese, biscuits fruits, juices, drinks etc as well as cleaning products. Eating out can be variable. Every Tuesday evening I meet with friends and dine at an Italian Restaurant and take a bottle of reasonable red wine, in addition I would also eat at other establishments on other occasions. I am also quite happy eating at Banzaan Market or many of the local food carts. My per day cost for meals apart from breakfast is variable it could be as little as 120 Baht and up to 2000 Baht (wine may make up to 1000-1500 baht of this).”
  • Nightlife and entertainment: “During the initial 3 months, I probably went out about 4 nights per week, mainly to bars where I would have a few beers and spend a bit of cash with the ladies on drinks etc. I’ve slowed down a bit in this area now but still spend a similar amount eating more regularly at some pretty good restaurants outside of Patong. Around 40,000 Baht per month.”
  • Extras: “Mobile phone, 900 Baht per month. One-off expenses along the way include a washing machine (6,500 Baht), mountain bike (18,000 Baht), additional travel (13,000 Baht), medical bills (23,000 Baht) and clothing/misc. (10,000 Baht).”