John

Working in Chiang Mai

Monthly Earnings 29,000

Q1. How much do you earn from teaching per month?

29,000 (most schools in Chiang Mai offer B25,000 as the norm!)

Q2. How much of that can you realistically save per month?

Zero

Q3. How much do you pay for your accommodation and what do you live in exactly (house, apartment, condo)?

6,000

Q4. What do you spend a month on the following things?

Transportation

3,000

Utility bills

2,500

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

12,000

Nightlife and drinking

4,000

Books, computers

500

Q5. How would you summarize your standard of living in one sentence?

I exist.

Q6. What do you consider to be a real 'bargain' here?

Crap food.

Q7. In your opinion, how much money does anyone need to earn here in order to survive?

For a single person who doesn't have a life B20,000. To have a life then B30,000. For a family with a good lifestyle at least B40,000.

Phil's analysis and comment

John sounds a little bit jaded and I don't blame him. I would hate to live in Chiang Mai on 29,000 baht a month. Numerous people have tried to convince me down the years that Chiang Mai is substantially cheaper to live in than Bangkok but I've never bought into it. And any teacher with the experience of looking for work in Chiang Mai will tell you how low the salaries seem to be (generally)
Chiang Mai would be a fantastic place to retire to for someone who's made their money but surviving up there as a common or garden TEFLer can't be easy.


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