Cost of Living in Thailand: Living Expenses in Thailand per month

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From January 1 to February 19, 2024, Thailand recorded 5.32 million foreign arrivals, generating over 254 billion Baht. One of the top five markets was India

If you’re an Indian student thinking of moving to Thailand, now is the perfect time! Thailand’s beautiful Nai Harn Beach, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant city life make it an attractive destination for students. Understanding the cost of living in Thailand is crucial to making the most of your experience.

Cities like Chiang Mai and Hua Hin are particularly inexpensive and favoured by students. The cost of living in these cities is significantly lower than in Bangkok. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Chiang Mai ranges from INR 15,000 to INR 30,000, compared to INR 25,000 to INR 50,000 in Bangkok! These cities also offer a range of affordable dining and entertainment options, further reducing living costs.

Without any further ado, let us take you through everything you need to know about the cost of living in Thailand!

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Cost of Living in Thailand – Key Highlights

Average Thailand Monthly ExpensesINR 50K – INR 1.5L for a single person per month
Cost of living in Thailand vs IndiaOnly 36% more expensive than India
Cost of living in BangkokAround INR 55K
Cost of living in Chiang MaiAround INR 43K
Cost of living in PattayaINR 33K – INR 73K
Top Universities in ThailandChulalongkorn University
Mahidol University
Chiang Mai University
Average Tuition FeeINR 1L – INR 7L per year for international students
Scholarships to Reduce Cost of Studying in ThailandAsian Institute of Technology Fellowships
Graduate Scholarship for International Students
EMBL Fellowships

Why Choose Thailand?

World-Class Education: Thailand offers a range of international schools and universities known for their high academic standards and diverse programs, making it an ideal destination for international students. For instance, Mahidol University is ranked among the top 100 universities in Asia.

Affordable Living Costs: Compared to Western countries, Thailand provides a lower cost of living while maintaining a good quality of life. Housing, food, and transportation are significantly cheaper, with monthly living costs ranging from INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,000 for a single person.

High Quality of Life: Thailand consistently ranks high in global quality of life indices, offering residents a vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and modern amenities. Bangkok was ranked the 9th most livable city in Asia by Mercer in 2023.

Student-Friendly Environment: Thai cities provide a welcoming and supportive environment for students with numerous amenities, cultural activities, and vibrant student communities. Chiang Mai, in particular, is known for its student-friendly atmosphere and affordable living.

Robust Healthcare Services: The country boasts a comprehensive healthcare system with public and private options, ensuring all residents access to quality medical care. The World Health Organization ranks Thailand’s healthcare system in the top 50 globally.

Pathways to Employment: Graduating from Thai institutions opens doors to excellent career prospects both within Thailand and internationally, thanks to the country’s growing economy and business connections. International students can work part-time, earning between INR 200 to INR 500 per hour, providing valuable work experience.

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Cost of Living in Thailand: Living Expenses in Thailand per month

Living Expenses in Thailand – Housing Cost

Cost of Living in Thailand: Living Expenses in Thailand per month

Understanding the cost of living in Thailand is crucial for Indian students planning to study there. Housing expenses are a significant part of the budget. In Bangkok, renting a one-bedroom apartment can range from INR 25,000 to INR 50,000 per month, while in more affordable cities like Chiang Mai, the cost ranges from INR 15,000 to INR 30,000 per month.

Top 5 Cities in Thailand

The housing market in Thailand varies widely, particularly between Bangkok and other cities. This comparison clarifies living expenses in Thailand for international students, helping you make informed decisions. Rents in Bangkok start from as low as INR 25K a month!

CityRent (1-bedroom apartment)
BangkokINR 25K – INR 50K
Chiang MaiINR 15K – INR 30K
PhuketINR 20K – INR 40K
PattayaINR 18K – INR 35K
Hua HinINR 17K – INR 33K

Affordable Housing Options

For Indian students looking for more affordable housing options, there are several avenues to explore. Student housing provided by Thai universities and organisations like Thai Student Housing can significantly reduce costs, with monthly rent ranging from INR 10,000 to INR 20,000. Shared apartments are another budget-friendly option, costing between INR 12,000 and INR 25,000 per month. You can bring down your living expenses by at least 60% by choosing these alternate living options!

Housing OptionCost Range perMonth
Student HousingFoundationsINR 10K – INR 20K
Shared ApartmentsINR 12K – INR 25K
Co-Living SpacesStarting at INR 15K

Additional Housing Expenses

When calculating the cost of living in Thailand per month, it’s essential to include additional housing expenses. These can add up quickly and impact your overall budget. For Indian students, monthly utility costs such as electricity, water, and internet typically range from INR 3,000 to INR 8,000. Therefore, it’s important to budget for these expenses to avoid any surprises. Including these additional costs, your ideal monthly utility bill should be planned for around INR 3,500 to INR 9,500.

Cost TypeCost Range per Month
ElectricityINR 2K – INR 5K
DepositsUsually, one to three months’ rent

Significant Variation in Costs Between Urban and Rural Areas

The cost of living in Thailand varies significantly between urban centres like Bangkok and rural areas such as Chiang Rai and Nakhon Ratchasima. For Indian students, choosing the right location can make a big difference in their budget. In Bangkok, monthly expenses for a single person can range from INR 50,000 to INR 1.5L, while in rural areas, costs can be as low as INR 30,000 to INR 70,000. Urban areas like Bangkok and Phuket offer more amenities and vibrant city life but at a higher cost, whereas rural areas provide a quieter, more affordable lifestyle with rents as low as INR 8,000 to INR 15,000 per month.

AreaRent (1-bedroom apartment)
UrbanINR 25K – INR 50K
SuburbanINR 15K – INR 30K
RuralINR 10K – INR 20K

Cost of Living in Thailand for Indian Students

Choosing Thailand for your higher education promises rich academic and cultural experiences. However, for Indian students, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the cost of living in this Southeast Asian nation to ensure a smooth and financially manageable stay. Thailand is celebrated for its affordable living costs, safe environment, and high quality of life. Cities like Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen are particularly student-friendly and affordable, with living costs significantly lower than Bangkok. For example, Chiang Mai was ranked the second most affordable city in Asia for students in 2023 by QS Best Student Cities. 

Average Prices for Basic Grocery Items

Basic grocery items are, on average, only 30% more expensive than in India, making your food budget realistic and achievable. For example, a litre of milk costs around INR 60 in Thailand compared to INR 45 in India, and a dozen eggs are priced at approximately INR 100 in Thailand versus INR 80 in India. Despite these differences, overall grocery costs remain manageable. Additionally, local markets in Thailand offer fresh produce at competitive prices, which can further help in keeping your food expenses within budget.

ItemAverage Price (INR)
Milk (1 litre)INR 60
Eggs (12)INR 100
Bread (500g)INR 50
Rice (1 kg)INR 70
Chicken (1 kg)INR 150
Apples (1 kg)INR 120
Potatoes (1 kg)INR 40
Tomatoes (1 kg)INR 60
Onions (1 kg)INR 50
Bananas (1 kg)INR 45
Cheese (1 kg)INR 400
Bottle of water (1.5 litres)INR 20

Monthly Costs for Energy, Internet, and Mobile Plans

Energy and internet bills in Thailand are quite affordable, typically ranging from INR 1,000 to INR 2,000 per month each. For instance, Thailand’s average electricity rate is around INR 4.5 per kWh, making it one of the more economical options in Southeast Asia. Additionally, a 60 Mbps broadband connection costs about INR 1,200 per month, placing Thailand in the top 20 countries for affordable internet according to a 2023 worldwide broadband price comparison.

UtilityAverage Monthly Cost (INR)
EnergyINR 2K
InternetINR 1K – INR 2K
Mobile PlanINR 500 – INR 1K

Costs of Bus Passes, Petrol Prices, and Electric Car Charging

Getting a monthly bus pass might be the best cost-saving decision you can make as a student; it can cost you as little as INR 1,000 per month for all your transportation via bus. In fact, Bangkok’s public transport system is highly efficient and widely used, with over 3 million passengers relying on buses daily. This affordable option not only helps you save money but also allows you to navigate the city easily and conveniently.

ExpenseAverage Cost (INR)
Monthly Bus PassINR 1K – INR 2K
Petrol (1 litre)INR 90
Electric Car ChargingINR 10 per kWh

Tuition Fees for Higher Education for International Students

Did you know that Thai tuition fees are, on average, 20% cheaper than some of the most expensive universities in India? For instance, while top Indian universities might charge between INR 6 lakhs to INR 10 lakhs per year for tuition, Thai universities like Chulalongkorn and Mahidol have annual fees ranging from INR 2 lakhs to INR 7 lakhs. This significant cost difference makes Thailand an attractive destination for Indian students seeking quality education at a more affordable price.

CategoryTuition Fees (per year, INR)
Bachelor’s ProgramsINR 2L – INR 5L
Master’s ProgramsINR 4L – INR 7L
Doctoral ProgramsINR 2L – INR 6L

Top Universities in Thailand with their Tuition Fees

Considering higher education in Thailand? This Southeast Asian nation boasts a world-class education system, consistently ranking high for academic excellence and innovation. For example, Mahidol University is renowned for its medical program and ranks in the top 100 globally for life sciences. Chulalongkorn University is ranked among the top 50 universities in Asia and offers over 100 international programs.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi is recognized for its engineering and technology programs, ranking in the top 400 worldwide. 

UniversityTuition Fees for International Students (per year, rounded)
Chulalongkorn UniversityINR 1.6L – INR 3.2L
Mahidol UniversityINR 43K per credit
Chiang Mai UniversityINR 1.6L – INR 3.9L
Kasetsart UniversityINR 1.4L – INR 2.1L per semester
King Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiStarting from INR 1.15L
Thammasat UniversityINR 2.3L – INR 3.65L per semester
Bangkok UniversityApprox. INR 13L

Affordable Universities in Thailand

Thailand is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, but it also offers a wealth of affordable educational opportunities. 

From bustling cities to serene campuses nestled in nature, Thailand’s universities provide a diverse range of programs at costs that are accessible to both local and international students. 

If you’re considering pursuing higher education in this vibrant country, here are five universities where you can receive a quality education without breaking the bank.

UniversityAnnual Tuition Fee (INR)
Suranaree University of TechnologyINR 23,800
Walailak UniversityINR 71,100 – INR 3L
Naresuan UniversityINR 85,600 – INR 95,000
Ubon Ratchathani UniversityINR 92,700 – INR 2.2L
Mae Fah Luang UniversityINR 1.5L – INR 2.1L

Popular Courses and Fees

Here is a breakdown of the most popular courses and the fees you can expect! It is, on average, 20% cheaper than most expensive Indian universities and there are several scholarships available that you can explore as you read ahead!

Chulalongkorn University

  • Humanities: INR 1.6L per year
  • Science: INR 2.0L per year
  • Law: INR 2.4L per year
  • Medicine: INR 3.2L per year

Mahidol University

  • Engineering: INR 43K per credit
  • Business: INR 43K per credit
  • Arts & Design: INR 43K per credit

Chiang Mai University

  • Science: INR 1.6L per year
  • Business: INR 2.5L per year
  • Law: INR 3.0L per year
  • Humanities: INR 3.9L per year

Kasetsart University

  • Technology: INR 2.8L – INR 4.2L per year
  • Health: INR 2.8L – INR 4.2L per year
  • Social Sciences: INR 2.8L – INR 4.2L per year

The King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

  • Engineering: Starting from INR 1.15L per year
  • Business: Starting from INR 1.15L per year
  • Medicine: Starting from INR 1.15L per year

Thammasat University

  • Technology: INR 4.6L – INR 7.3L per year
  • Business: INR 4.6L – INR 7.3L per year

Bangkok University

  • Business: Approx. INR 13L per year
  • Economics: Approx. INR 13L per year

Navigating the cost of living as a student in Thailand can be challenging, but part-time jobs offer a practical solution. With the minimum wage in Thailand set at approximately INR 750, students can significantly offset their living expenses by working part-time.

Part-time Jobs for Students to Reduce Cost of Living in Thailand

According to recent surveys, over 30% of international students in Thailand take up part-time work to support themselves financially. Popular part-time roles, such as retail assistants and waiters, not only help students manage their budgets but also provide valuable work experience in a new cultural setting. Here are some common part-time jobs that can help students reduce their living costs in Thailand.

Job RoleAverage Monthly Salary (INR)
Retail AssistantINR 22,000 – INR 44,000
Waiter/BaristaINR 33,000 – INR 55,000
Teaching AssistantINR 44,000 – INR 66,000
Library AssistantINR 22,000 – INR 33,000
Customer Service RepresentativeINR 33,000 – INR 55,000

List of Top Recruiters in Thailand

  1. CP Group: Charoen Pokphand Group is one of the largest conglomerates in Thailand, with interests in agriculture, telecommunications, and retail.
  2. PTT Public Company Limited: Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas company is a major employer, particularly for those in the engineering and energy sectors.
  3. Siam Cement Group (SCG): A leading business conglomerate with interests in construction, packaging, and chemicals.
  4. Bangkok Bank: One of the largest commercial banks in Thailand, offering numerous opportunities in finance and banking.
  5. Thai Airways International: The national airline of Thailand, providing careers in aviation, customer service, and logistics.
  6. Central Group: A prominent retail and real estate company, managing various shopping malls, department stores, and hotels.
  7. True Corporation: A major telecommunications company offering roles in IT, customer service, and media.
  8. Advanced Info Service (AIS): Leading mobile network operator, providing opportunities in telecommunications and customer service.
  9. BDO Thailand: A global network of public accounting firms providing audit, tax, and advisory services.
  10. Toyota Motor Thailand: One of the biggest automobile manufacturers in Thailand, offering careers in engineering, manufacturing, and sales.

Top 5 High-Paying Jobs That Breakeven Initial Investment in Studying

Investing in higher education can be expensive, but certain high-paying jobs in Thailand can help you recoup your costs quickly. 

Thailand’s growing economy and demand for skilled professionals offer excellent opportunities for graduates to secure well-paying positions. For instance, the average salary for a Software Engineer in Thailand is approximately INR 25,00,000 per year, which can help you break even on your educational investment within 1 to 2 years. 

Here’s a list of top job titles in Thailand with their average annual salary:

Job RoleAverage Annual Salary (INR)Time to Breakeven (Years)
Software EngineerINR 15,00,000 – INR 25,00,0001 – 2 years
Financial AnalystINR 12,00,000 – INR 20,00,0001.5 – 2.5 years
Medical Professional (Doctor)INR 18,00,000 – INR 30,00,0001 – 2 years
Marketing ManagerINR 10,00,000 – INR 18,00,0001.5 – 3 years
Data ScientistINR 15,00,000 – INR 22,00,0001 – 2 years

How to Reduce the Cost of Living in Thailand for Indian Students

Navigating the cost of living in Thailand requires a strategic approach to ensure financial stability and a comfortable lifestyle. For Indian students and expatriates, managing finances effectively is crucial.

By implementing practical budgeting strategies, such as tracking expenses with apps, choosing shared accommodations, and shopping at local markets, individuals can significantly reduce costs. For instance, local markets often offer fresh produce at prices 20-30% lower than supermarkets. Additionally, taking advantage of affordable public transportation, with monthly bus passes costing around INR 1,000, can help save money. Bangkok’s Skytrain and MRT systems are also economical and efficient, with monthly passes ranging from INR 1,500 to INR 3,000.

Cost of Living in Thailand: Living Expenses in Thailand per month

Scholarships for Indian Students to Reduce Cost of Studying

  • Apply for Thai Government Scholarships: The Royal Thai Government Scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs for international students, significantly reducing the financial burden.
  • Seek University-Specific Scholarships: Many Thai universities, such as Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University, offer scholarships specifically for international students.
  • Explore ASEAN Scholarships: Scholarships like the ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship and the AUN/SEED-Net Scholarships are available for students from ASEAN countries, including India. These scholarships often cover full tuition and provide additional allowances for living expenses.
  • Utilise External Scholarships: Look for scholarships from international organisations and Indian foundations that support students studying abroad. Scholarships from organisations like the Tata Trusts or the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation can provide additional financial support to cover living costs in Thailand.

Effective Budgeting Strategies for Affordable Living

  • Create a detailed budget outlining your monthly income and expenses.
  • Prioritise essential expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries.
  • Allocate a portion of your income to savings and emergency funds.
  • Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your spending and identify areas for improvement.

Tips for Saving on Accommodation, Groceries, and Transport

  • Consider shared accommodation or student housing to reduce rent costs.
  • Shop at budget-friendly grocery stores and plan meals to minimise food expenses.
  • Opt for public transportation or cycling to save on commuting costs.
  • Look for discounts, loyalty programs, and second-hand options for furniture and clothing.

Encouragement for Distinguishing Between Necessary and Discretionary Spending

  • Differentiate between needs and wants to prioritise essential expenses.
  • Limit impulse purchases and unnecessary luxuries to stay within budget.
  • Practise mindful spending by evaluating the value of each purchase.
  • Set financial goals and reward yourself for achieving savings milestones.

To Conclude:

Are you convinced by Thailand’s natural beauty, top-ranked universities, and exceptional quality of life? While Thailand might have a lower cost of living than many Western countries, it still offers a strong social safety net, excellent public services, and a culture prioritising well-being.

  • Affordable Living Costs: Thailand offers a lower cost of living compared to many Western countries, with a range of INR 50,000 to INR 1.5L per month for a single person.
  • Groceries and Dining: Monthly grocery expenses range from INR 20,000 to INR 30,000 while dining out can cost between INR 300 and INR 4,000 depending on the meal.
  • Public Transportation: Inexpensive and efficient public transportation, with monthly costs between INR 1,000 and INR 3,000.
  • Education Costs: Tuition fees for international students range from INR 2L to INR 7L annually, with many top universities to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Is Thailand expensive to live in?

    A: Thailand is known for its affordable living costs compared to many Western countries. While some areas, like the cost of living in Bangkok, can be pricier, there are plenty of ways to live economically. Living expenses in Thailand can start from as low as INR 30K to INR 40K. By creating a budget and exploring affordable housing options like shared apartments or student housing, you can manage your cost of living in Thailand effectively.

  • Q: How much does it cost to live in Thailand per month?

    A: The monthly cost of living in Thailand varies depending on your lifestyle choices and the city you live in. Generally, expect a range of INR 50,000 to INR 1.5L for a single person and INR 1,.2L to INR 2.5L for a family of four. Accommodation is a major expense, so finding affordable options is key. Consider location—Bangkok will likely be pricier than smaller towns.

  • Q: What is the cost of living in Thailand for a single person?

    A: The cost of living in Thailand for a single person can range from INR 50,000 to INR 1.5L per month. This depends on your lifestyle choices, including accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment. By exploring affordable housing options like shared apartments and utilising public transportation, you can keep your costs down.

  • Q: Which are the popular courses to study in Thailand?

    A: Thailand offers a wide range of programs in various fields. Some popular choices for international students include:
    Business & Management
    Engineering & Technology
    Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
    Environmental Sciences
    Social Sciences & Education

  • Q: What are the top universities in Thailand?

    A: Thailand boasts several world-renowned universities, including:
    Chulalongkorn University
    Mahidol University
    Chiang Mai University
    Kasetsart University
    Thammasat University

  • Q: What is the cost of living in Thailand for an Indian family?

    A: The cost of living for an Indian family in Thailand can range from INR 1L to INR 2.5L per month. This depends on factors like the number of family members, their ages, and lifestyle choices. Accommodation will be a significant expense, so finding a family-friendly apartment in a budget-conscious location is crucial. Remember, with careful planning and budgeting, Thailand can be a comfortable place to raise a family.

  • Q: Is Thailand a good place for Indian students?

    A: Thailand is a fantastic option for Indian students! The education system is top-notch, with affordable tuition fees for international students. The safe and clean environment makes it an attractive destination. While the living costs might seem high, remember there are ways to manage them. Student housing, shared apartments, and co-living spaces (prices ranging from INR 10K to 1NR 15K) offer significant savings on rent, especially in major cities. Additionally, public transportation and planning your meals can help keep your monthly expenses in check.

  • Q: Can international students work part-time in Thailand?

    A: Yes, international students in Thailand with a valid student visa can typically work part-time. This generally allows for around 20 hours per week during semesters, giving you valuable work experience alongside your studies. During university breaks, you can work full-time if needed. Working part-time offers a fantastic opportunity to gain practical skills, boost your resume, and improve your Thai language proficiency by interacting with colleagues and customers.

  • Q: How much do students earn in Thailand?

    A: The wages for part-time student jobs in Thailand can vary depending on several factors, including the industry, your level of experience, and the location of your job. Generally, you can expect to earn somewhere in the range of INR 200 to INR 500 per hour.

  • Q: What are some affordable housing options for students in Thailand?

    A: Students in Thailand can find affordable housing through various options designed to fit their budget. Student housing foundations provide accommodations at significantly lower rates compared to private rentals. Student housing, shared apartments, and co-living spaces (prices ranging from INR 10K to 1NR 15K). Additionally, modern co-living spaces offer furnished rooms with shared amenities, which can be more budget-friendly. These options help students manage their expenses while enjoying a comfortable living environment.

  • Q: What is the cost of living in Thailand vs India?

    A: Generally, the cost of living in Thailand is higher than in India. While daily expenses like groceries and public transportation might be affordable in both countries, housing and dining out are typically more expensive in Thailand. In Thailand, renting a one-bedroom apartment in a city centre can range from INR 15,000 to INR 50,000, whereas in India, similar accommodations might cost between INR 10,000 to INR 30,000. Housing in Thailand’s urban areas, especially in Bangkok, is significantly pricier than in most Indian cities.

  • Q: How do education costs for international students compare between Thailand and India?

    A: Education costs for international students are higher in Thailand than in India. Annual tuition fees for international students in Thailand range from INR 2L to INR 7L, depending on the program and university. In India, international students can expect to pay between INR 1Lto INR 8L per year. Thailand boasts a world-class education system, consistently ranking high for academic excellence and innovation. Thai universities attract international students with their strong programs, cutting-edge research facilities, and focus on practical learning.

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