Working in Chiang Mai

Monthly Earnings 47,000

Q1. How is that income broken down? (full-time salary, private students, on-line teaching, extra work, etc)

47,000 is my total salary, excluding a small amount for a pension fund.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

About 10,000.

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

I pay 10,000 baht a month for a two-bedroom house with a garden.

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


500 baht on gas each month for my motorcycle.

Utility bills

750 baht for water, electricity and internet.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I eat out every day so with a bit of supermarket shopping, this bill comes to about 10K.

Nightlife and drinking

I have a few beers at the weekend but it doesn't amount to more than a thousand a month.

Books, computers

Maybe 100 baht a month on a game for my playstation.

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

Perfect. I do much better than I did in Europe. I earned more money in Europe, but I seem to have more spare cash here.

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

Going out to eat. 40 Baht for really good dishes is amazing value.

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

As a foreigner in Chiang Mai, you need around 25,000 to survive and 35,000 to live fairly well.

Phil's analysis and comment

Chiang Mai is always a difficult place to analyze in terms of cost of living because I always feel that it has all the Western temptations and trappings of Bangkok but teacher salaries are generally not as high as they are in the capital. That said, Max's salary of 47K is very decent for Thailand's 'second city' and it's clearly enough to live relatively well on. 

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