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Cost Of Living In Chiang Mai For Expats in 2024

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    As somebody who has been living in Chiang Mai for over five years, it’s about time we discuss one of the most popular questions that revolve around the cost of living in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    One of the great things about the cost of living in Chiang Mai is that Chiang Mai has a lifestyle for every kind of person. Whether you are looking for a luxurious lifestyle or are looking to save a bunch of money, you will find it here easily in Chiang Mai.

    Overall Cost Of Living in Chiang Mai

    The overall cost will depend on several factors heavily connected to a person’s individual lifestyle. Nonetheless, many expats live comfortably in Chiang Mai for less than $1000 (GBP – 720,  AUD -1230 830 EUROS) per month. This includes all lifestyle costs, including rent, food, and transportation.

    But as mentioned, the overall cost of living will depend on a person’s lifestyle. $1000 is a good target to aim for as this will include everything you will need, including some luxuries.

    If you are looking to live more luxurious in Chiang Mai, then a budget of $1500 will be enough. This total cost is based upon a large two-bedroom apartment, vehicle renting, and other extra extras such as insurance.

    When looking at the overall costs of living in Chiang Mai, if you are looking to save money, this can also be done very quickly in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai has won several awards over the last few years, and it is the cheapest city in Thailand.

    How Much Is Rent In Chiang Mai

    Rent has always been very cheap in Chiang Mai, but during the recent pandemic, prices dropped even further. A small one-bedroom condominium unit can be purchased for around 7K-8K Thai baht. A large family can purchase a larger rental property for around 12K-15K Thai baht (Prices are based on a monthly rate).

    Rental costs do differ around the city but only slightly. If the location is very important to you, it is unlikely you will need to pay a lot more to have your chosen location.

    One of the great things about living in Chiang Mai is that there are many highways connected to large condominiums and apartments, which means it takes next to no time to travel around the city.

    You also can purchase a condominium in Chiang Mai, and many expats decide upon this option. Many one-bedroom apartments range between 2 to 3 million baht in Chiang Mai, and two-bedroom apartments tend to be anywhere from 3 to 5 million. But as this is Chiang Mai, prices can be found much less.

    Food Costs In Chiang Mai

    Whether you are a vegan, meat eater, lactose intolerant individual, or have any other food requirements, you will have no problems finding high-quality and low-cost foods in Chiang Mai.

    Many traditional Thai dishes are served around Chiang Mai. Eating traditional dishes in Thailand will always be much cheaper than ordering foreign foods.

    A typical delicacy in Chiang Mai is boiled chicken and rice. 50-60 baht will typically cover the costs of the meal, including a drink and soup. Western food such as hamburgers or pizza is more expensive. A burger with fries and a drink typically costs around 150 to 300 baht.

    When looking at food costs in Chiang Mai, it’s essential to see that many individuals eat out every day as food costs are incredibly low. There are many stores such as 7/11 and Tesco’s around Chiang Mai. Western items are sometimes slightly higher in supermarkets than in the West, so to save time and money, it’s a lot simpler to eat out.

    Fitness & Leisure Chiang Mai

    There are many different options for fitness around the city. If you are on a budget, one of the great things about living in Chiang Mai is that they often have weekly free events such as yoga and dancing, which are conducted in the nimman area of the city (same area as Jetts gym).

    Jetts gym, for instance, has a total monthly price of 1500 Thai baht; however, this is one of the most expensive gyms in the area. There are much cheaper options and even free outside gyms in parks around the city.

    Leisure activities can range in price but depend on the level of tourism. During COVID-19, prices for a lot of leisure activities dropped dramatically. For example, a one-hour painting class was reaching 600 baht before the impact of covid, and now classes are around 250.

    If you enjoy the nightlife and are looking at partying in Chiang Mai, you will not be disappointed as many clubs and bars have excellent prices and excellent drinks.

    Depending on the country you are living in, you may find that alcoholic drinks are incredibly weak. In Chiang Mai, this is not the case often a glass of vodka, and Red Bull, for example, will include two or three shots of vodka, so you may find yourself feeling quite relaxed very quickly.  

    Laundry & Cleaning costs in Chiang Mai

    Laundry prices in Chiang Mai are the cheapest I’ve ever come across. There is a service called Chiang Mai laundry, which picks up your clothes, washes them, and irons them ready to be dropped off the next day, which is an incredibly low rate.  Many businesses are offering a similar service for a similar price.

    Every two weeks I give them a small suitcase of washing and the total price is around 500 baht. They base their price on the weight and not the number of items meaning that it’s a much cheaper service than laundry services such as ones in Bangkok.

    Transportation Costs in Chiang Mai

    There are several options for transportation in Chiang Mai. One of the most popular is to rent a motorcycle which is often extremely easy to do on sites such as Facebook.

    HipCheapCharlie Motobike rental is an excellent company for motorbike rentals. A friend of mine rents a scooter as it costs around 2000 baht each month. His motorbike is only a few years old, and it is not a superbike, but it is a sporty model. In other words, you may be able to find a different model at a lower price. Alternatively, there are many other companies on Facebook that offer this service.

    Grab is another option which is the Uber of Thailand. Whatever you need, whether that is a restaurant delivery, An SUV, an electric bike, etc., you will be able to find it on grab easily. grab is best on longer journeys. A one-mile journey can cost around 70 to 80 baht depending on the time of day, but a five-mile journey can cost around 200 baht (prices vary).  

    How Much Money Do You Need To Live In Chaing Mai?

    Cost Of Living Chiang Mai – Chiang Mai is the cheapest area in Thailand that includes a high-quality standard of living. In other words, you will be able to find a much cheaper area, but it will not include the benefits that the city of Chiang Mai offers.

    Chiang Mai has a slightly different vibe from the rest of Thailand. It is more of a relaxed and independent area. Some who have been used to living in urban areas such as Bangkok have stated that it is slower, but this is expected.

    If you are trying to save a lot of money, you will live in Chiang Mai for much less than $1000. Some claim that it is possible to live on 600 to $700.00 a month in Chiang Mai, and this is correct, but there will be some lifestyle sacrifices to take into account.

    Rest assured, if you have $1000 a month (GBP – 720,  AUD – 1230, EUR – 830), you will have no problem living comfortably in Chiang Mai. If you have slightly more money, such as $1500, this would be ideal as you can afford to buy many added extras such as insurance and have many hundreds saved to invest or send back home.

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