Cost of Living in Chiang Mai

Cost of Living Index (Excl.Rent): 38.88
Rent Index: 12.55
Groceries Index: 46.27
Restaurants Index: 19.14
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: 26.38
Local Purchasing Power: 38.94
Restaurants [ Edit ] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 50.00 ฿ 40.00-60.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 500.00 ฿ 300.00-700.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 150.00 ฿ 120.00-200.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 54.00 ฿ 45.00-90.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 100.00 ฿ 65.00-130.00
Cappuccino (regular) 58.50 ฿ 50.00-70.00
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 18.29 ฿ 15.00-25.00
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 9.00 ฿ 7.00-10.00
Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 165.72 ฿ 98.42-200.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 32.51 ฿ 30.00-35.00
Rice (white), (1 lb) 15.37 ฿ 9.07-22.68
Eggs (12) 50.87 ฿ 42.00-60.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 341.78 ฿ 145.15-453.59
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 46.94 ฿ 27.22-80.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 155.01 ฿ 113.40-226.80
Apples (1 lb) 34.60 ฿ 24.95-43.09
Banana (1 lb) 15.71 ฿ 10.00-22.68
Oranges (1 lb) 24.55 ฿ 15.00-36.29
Tomato (1 lb) 13.29 ฿ 9.07-18.14
Potato (1 lb) 16.48 ฿ 13.61-23.59
Onion (1 lb) 13.31 ฿ 10.00-15.42
Lettuce (1 head) 22.88 ฿ 15.00-30.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 13.64 ฿ 12.00-15.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 400.00 ฿ 300.00-800.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 48.56 ฿ 37.00-55.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 81.25 ฿ 60.00-120.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 92.50 ฿ 85.00-120.00
Transportation [ Edit ] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 20.00 ฿ 20.00-20.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 1,000.00 ฿ 800.00-1,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 35.00 ฿ 30.00-37.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 24.14 ฿ 12.87-30.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 200.00 ฿ 200.00-300.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 98.22 ฿ 90.66-113.56
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 650,000.00 ฿ 475,000.00-800,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 1,472.53 ฿ 850.00-2,125.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 1.55 ฿ 1.00-2.00
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 598.50 ฿ 500.00-699.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 1,052.38 ฿ 833.33-1,500.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 107.50 ฿ 50.00-200.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 150.00 ฿ 120.00-200.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 1,944.44 ฿ 800.00-3,500.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 1,171.43 ฿ 700.00-2,500.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 3,011.11 ฿ 2,000.00-4,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 1,725.00 ฿ 900.00-2,500.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 10,921.44 ฿ 7,000.00-15,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 6,659.26 ฿ 4,800.00-10,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 27,642.86 ฿ 20,000.00-35,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 16,812.50 ฿ 12,000.00-20,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 5,458.01 ฿ 3,716.09-6,503.16
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 3,402.55 ฿ 1,672.24-4,645.11
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 13,399.92 ฿ 8,500.00-20,000.00
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 6.39 5.00-7.00

Prices in Chiang Mai, Thailand

These data are based on 1022 entries in the past 18 months from 120 different contributors.
Last update: May, 2016
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32 Comments so far
#Raenu on Jan 02, 2016 :
Hello everyone
I am planning to build up 10 rooms longstay at my place for retirees.
My background was an operating room nurse.
Kindly contact me back for any question you need about long stay in Chiang Mai.
Raenu Chaichanan (Toi)
#Terry on Dec 30, 2015 :
I am 67 diabetic man. I am retired and receive $1850.00 per month, but would like to spend no more than $1000 dollars or less per month. also do you know how much health insurance cost. thanks for your help
#john on Sep 20, 2015 :
#steve, you don't know anything. 7,000 for a studio? You obviously have been taken for a ride by the real estate agents. Those are farang/lame dupe over-payer prices. I'm paying 2,200 baht a month for a nice, brand new studio apartment in CM. I've lived in Thailand for many years and know the local prices.
#john on Sep 20, 2015 :
6800 for an apartment? Nonsense. Paid 3500 baht/month for a brand new studio apartment when I lived there. Had air-conditioning and free wifi. You can even pay even less for fan/shell units(~1,000-2,500 a month).
#Jimmyy boy on Aug 07, 2015 :
I have a 1500 pension and need to rent a 2 bedroom apartment / condo/ villa with a maid service.
Is this possible in Chiang Mia?
#Caroline on Jun 17, 2015 :
I am thinking to do a student exchange to Chiang Mai, can someone please help me and tell me more or less how much is the living cost ? on accomodation, food and transport per month in Chiang Mai? I will como como from New Zealand thanks
#GLENN HAFFNER on Mar 30, 2015 :
to carol- you are going to live very well--apartments are cheaper than can survive on 900 usd a month, and save a few dollars. There appears to be a renters market, as opposed to a landlords market, now. good luck and don't worry--my only concern is that the transportation system is poorer than bangkok!!
#Carol on Feb 27, 2015 :
Hi, I am 55 yrs old, with a bad back.i have been seriously looking at chaing mai as a place to retire to. Ihave $ a month guaranteed income from ssi currently. Is this enough to live on?? In a few years i will also be able to collect my Canadian pension, probably not to much, but i will be happy to collect it.
Thank you for any info.
#chaf on Dec 14, 2014 :
new house 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 1 kitchen 2 carpark for rent 185 usd per month

next to maejo university about 20 minute from center of chiangmai city

available in 2015
#Mr.Timothy Baxter on Nov 19, 2014 :
My wife and I are looking for wheel chair accessable living in a smaller town outside of Changmai.We are looking to rent a place for 500 usd per month or less.Can you give us any information?
#Dustin st.louis on Aug 24, 2014 :
I need to make oney for my wife and son iam in canada if I sent 1000$ cash chiang mai could we both 2ork something out profitable?
#Aster Tan on Aug 12, 2014 :
Hi everyone,

I just came back from Chiang Mai on a business trip. I am working on a very interesting project in Chiang Mai. Located 10 mins from the airport. We are going to launch the project for sale in Sept'14. Is a condominium with facilities. Price starts from US$78K or S$99K for 1 bedroom apartment. I am also be arranging a tour to Chiang Mai to view the project. People who are interested to join the tour trip will get special discount for hotel stay by the developer.

Chiang Mai is great place for retirement. Everything is generally very cheap. Daily expenses, transportation, food...People are friendly..Great shopping centre... Brand like Robinson, Espirit, Mango, Guess, Uniqlo, Swarovski, KFC, Swensens Ice Cream, Pizza Hut are all flooding Chiang Mai now...Nice cooling weather during year end...Excellent for mountain hiking...

Anyone who's interested can let me know on more details.

#joe d on Jan 01, 2014 :
Hey gonna be moving to chiang mai, or lower beach area. Looking for low crime, nicer weather in country, very easy going ppl, 420 friendly area, looking to budg
#steve on Oct 12, 2013 :
you can not get a 1 bedroom for 8,000 baht a month, not in Chiang Mai. Studio's rent for about 7,000b a month and 1 bedroom is about 13,000.
#nelson peh on Sep 14, 2013 :
i am planning to move my family to chiangmai. I have 2 children age 7 n 5. Can anyone suggest to me which school is ralatively cheap and teaches in english. Which area is best to live in. Thank you.
#nelson on Sep 14, 2013 :
I am thinking of moving my family (children - 7 and 5 yrs old) to chiangmai. Can anyone suggest which school is ralatively cheap, and teaches in english?
And which area is the best to live in. Buget is @ 50000 bhts p/month..
thank you
#Hylton on Sep 01, 2013 :
I am contemplating retiring in Chaing Mai,I am 51 yrs old. I would be buying a condo and a new vehicle and am budgeting on all of my total living expenses being $1000.00 -$1200 US a month.
I like the odd beer and my needs are simple. I would plan on renting my condo between November through February so I could drive throughout Asia.Do you feel this is achievable.Could you reply via email as well pls. Thanks so much for your articles.
Regards Hylton Smith[New Zealand]
#Greg on Aug 28, 2013 :
Hello all... I'm a 30 year old disabled combat vet on a fixed income of 3500/month US.. how well can I live in a place like Chang mai with that income?
#Gerard on Jul 14, 2013 :
I survive on 36000 baht a month including rent and I am having a ball, in fact most months I save money a I get to know my way around. Chiang Rai is a lot cheaper. Rent in Chiang Rai works out at 94 usd a month for a decent 2 bedroomed place, you just have to have enough money at the start to carry you until you find these places. I don't really drink much and I don't smoke and I socialise the Thai way. Hope all this helps you
#Gerard on Jul 14, 2013 :
Isadora you'll do fine on that money just have a little bit extra for start up costs like a months deposit on a place to live and depending on the supplier a downpayment for your utilities ( this is quiet a common practice in Ireland also). Stay away from the crazy bars, there are lots of bars in Chiang Mai where the more seasoned expats hang out and where you can enjoy a casual drink and meet new friends without the hassle of a drunken crowd ( this is the same everywhere ). I am moving to Mae Sot purely for the convenience of border visa runs and I got a job a a volunteer there also. So I am looking forward to a new experience. Good luck
#Gerard on Jul 14, 2013 :
Hi Peter why don't you stay at home, the noise you speak about from the Temples is part of there culture. You are yet another farang who expects western standards at a cheaper cost, you won't find it here. if you expect a cheaper version of your own country stay at home and find a small town or village to live in, preferably as far away from the rest of us as possible. Chiang Mai and her people are beautiful and fun loving but if you want something more sedate and cheaper try Chiand Rai. Chiang Rai is no doubt the next up and coming expats destination in Thailand. The further south you go ( nearer the beaches) the more expensive it gets but if jungles and mountains are your thing then go north.
#Jazz on Jul 12, 2013 :
A place called home and good for retired at Tao's residence, Chiang Mai THAILAND
Contact Jazz 6683-765-4430 /
#peter on Jul 09, 2013 :
Rain and smog are the two main negatives for Chiang Mai (around March, for the latter, and up to Oct.for the former.

Noise of silly Buddhist temples' dongs and chants and dogs are a pain if you happen to live close-by. Sadly, these are everywhere. I guess monks don't understand the simple notion of not bothering other people!

Prices as described here are quite accurate, though they can be lowered subtantially if you do your own cooking, which can be a bonus, unless you find a decent shop that does NOT add MSG or salt to everything! Buying a 100 cc to 150 cc scooter is worth it at 15,000 to 30,000 BAhts NEW.
#isadora on Jun 18, 2013 :
im planning to move to chiang mai,and would like to know if 40,000 baht a month comfortablw with housing/ food/healthcare and utilities/ dont know how much is healthcare in chiang mai monthly.please provide more info, trying to see my budget.plz e mail me,, thanks,isadora
#Richard on Jun 08, 2013 :
I've been researching retirement and have decided on Chiang Mai. I would appreciate any information concerning my move and any communications such as expat postings. Thanks, Richard Scott
#Tim on Apr 27, 2013 :
patricia white: My wife and I have been in Chiang Mai for 6 months now. I can tell you that you can live like a Queen (and King) for $2000 a month!

Good luck,
#patricia white on Apr 18, 2013 :
I will be retiring soon and would like to live in Chiang Mai for about 2 years. My fiancee will be attending medical school and we'll be living mostly on my retirement. My retirement is approximately $7200 monthly (USA dollars) but since I have other commitments would like to budget for $2,000 monthly. So, is this amount manageable monthly for decent accommodations for 2?
Really would appreciate some positive feedback and which areas to search for 2 bedroom safe apartments.
#Ger on Feb 13, 2013 :
Thank David, great information . I too live quite simply and I don't drink or smoke. However I do like dining out and I think with so many english speaking expasts in Chiang Mai I should have no problem settling down. What do you think? Sorry for not getting back until now.
#David on Dec 18, 2012 :
Sounds like more than enough money. Of course everyone lives a bit differently, and I tend toward cheap as humanly possible. But still...!

I worked as a teacher in Chiang Mai for 9 months last year. My rent was 3500 including power and internet. You can eat out for 30 to 60 baht no problem, and a 750 ml beer is 60 baht.

I wasn't going to many expensive restaurants or doing any significant shopping, plus I had a bicycle so my transportation costs were nil, but to balance that out I did a fair amount of drinking. So... my monthly budget was $15,000 a month and I often spent something closer to $12,000.

Add in fancy meals and nicer accommodations, and 38,000 baht will be quite comfortable.

PS 30 baht = 1 USD
#Ger Roche on Nov 06, 2012 :
Hello Folks, I am hoping you can help me. I am a 55 year old Irishman looking to retire to Thailand. I have picked Chiang Mai as my favourite place to set up home initially. I have a budget of 38000 baht a month ( at current rates). My wishlist is for a one or 2 bedroomed place in a good and convenient area of the city. I will not have transport so I will need to be within walking distance of bars, malls, restuarant, a gym and whatever else you can think of. I like to walk and I would like to get involved with a charity. I don't know how doable all this is on my budget and I would welcome any advice and comments.
My email is Thank you
#Marcus on Jul 29, 2012 :
hi I'm living in Tokyo and thinking of a change and looking for a cleaner Environment.. I have a budget of about Aus$500 a week..I hope this is enough...I want to keep active by doing some cycling..some people have mentioned that some of the smaller cities are even cheaper than Chiang Mai..can someone give some advice about moving and the cost of living and the names of those smaller cities...
#Jack on Jun 17, 2012 :
Having been in and out of Chiang Mai for the past 10 years, I would say that the estimates are probably pretty fair for the newcomer. However, after one has been there for a while prices come down somewhat lower. The food prices that you have listed are higher than I pay by a substantial amount. For example you can find a noodle shop that sells bowls of soup with rice noodles (excellent), pork, cilantro & bean sprouts for 10 baht (35 cents). A plate of spring roles will double the price, and fill you completely. I also know people who rent 2,000 square foot houses and have maids for less than $400/month. Then, if you leave Chiang Mai and head out to the smaller but lovely cities, prices fall a great deal.

It's a great place if you like rain!

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