Cost of Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Whoever has visited Thailand has experienced a truly unique country where everyone can find something to love.

Making a decision to relocate to Thailand is not a difficult task, but choosing a place where to settle there, the place you will call your new home, can cause doubts and trouble.

Chiang Mai is a great place here due to the fact that it is on the list of cheaper cities to visit and settle in Thailand.



When you choose a restaurant to go for a meal, bear in mind the fact that international cuisine, such as the occasional Western meal would cost you quite a bit, while local food can be found at a more reasonable and affordable prices.

Do not get surprised by the fact that a bottle of bear is more expensive than your meal.



In order to be able to balance your budget, it is better to avoid going to restaurants offering Western or local foods, as it will have a great impact on your budget, but consider cooking your own food made of groceries purchased at the local markets or in supermarkets offering discounts.



Chiang Mai is not a huge city, so you will be able to either walk, ride a bike or a scooter here, thus saving a lot on transportation.

If you prefer using public transport system, you will pay approximately $30 for a monthly pass which is not too expensive.



In Chang Mai nearly all apartments offer Wi-Fi and the Internet connection is better than many other places, while the price is very reasonable.

In general, utilities are not expensive and not so much of the monthly budget is spent on them.

Sports and leisure


It is important to note that entertainment budget for Chiang Mai depends on your preferences, as people have distinct ways of spending their leisure time.

Cinema tickets and one hour of tennis have almost equal prices, while monthly exercising in the gym would cost you more than $30.

Clothing and shoes


People who have lived in numerous other places around the world might find Chang Mai not so expensive place to shop for clothes, but for its residents, buying designer clothing items would not be inexpensive.

There are stores all over the city offering quality apparel, but very little money is spent on that.

Rent per month


Chiang Mai offers apartments both in the city center and out of it, and which one you will choose depends on your preferences.

Apartments in the suburbs are cheaper as you will have to pay only $200 a month, while the same size one will cost you $350 in the main areas of the city.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Chiang Mai

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.60
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.24
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.30
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $7.42
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.12
Eggs (12) $1.44
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.96
Monthly Pass $31.97
Gasoline $3.66
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $60.01
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.05
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $22.19
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $33.56
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $4.71
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $4.79
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $61.89
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $22.11
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $90.53
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $341.76
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $237.53
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $730.51

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Chiang Mai?

When you look at other people’s budgets, it is understandable that everyone includes different things as their monthly spendings.

This depends on what they prioritize in their lives, but one is sure, food is necessary and of utmost importance in every person’s life, so it is not unusual that it is the greatest expense.

Other two crucial costs here are the rent, utilities and transportation.

All the others are non-essential and can be avoided if there is not enough money left for them.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Chiang Mai: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Chang Mai works well for solo travelers looking for not so large apartment which will be in line with their budget.

However, if you are coming with a family, it would be possible to live a decent life here only if you earn above the average salary, due to the fact that rent will take you more than you can earn.

Buying a property is not suggested here, as mortgage interest rates are not low.

You can benefit from living in Chiang Mai if your budget is high enough to cover all the expenses and even allow you to put some money aside.

Average Salary$483.60
Minimum Wage$255
Mortgage Interest Rate4.51%

Cost of Living by City in Thailand

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Bangkok 53.61
Chiang Mai 40.53
Pattaya 42.53
Phuket 46.98

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