Working in Koh Samui

Monthly Earnings 40,000

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

A 40,000 monthly salary is done by direct deposit into my bank account. I can earn an additional 400 baht per hour if I tutor local professionals from around the island twice per week in the evenings at the hotel training's townhouse spot.

Q2. How much money can you save each month?

I save about 8,000 baht a month on average.

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

I have a very clean, newish bungalow. It's surrounded by a nice garden and shares a large swimming pool with four other properties. The rent includes wifi and it's also furnished. it's one bedroom with a kitchen and living room, Western-style bathroom but with a shower in the middle with a drain in the floor. It's a nice location and I enjoy living there. I can walk to Mae Nam Beach in five minutes. I pay 7,000 baht a month.

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


I own two bikes - a Vespa and a bigger bike. The big bike cost me 6,000 Baht and the Vespa was 12,000. Both run great and I have local friends to fix them for almost free if I need repairs done.

Utility bills

Electric can vary and can get costly if I blast that air-con all day long. So electric on average is 1,800 and water is only 500 for some reason.

Food - both restaurants and supermarket shopping

I never cook at home though I warm up food in my kitchen all the time. I generally eat out every day. Working at hotels you typically get free meals off their menu and 4-star resort food in Samui is a nice perk. I also enjoy street food on Samui and the cost is reasonable wherever you go on the island.

Nightlife and drinking

I like to party. When you live anywhere you find 'your' spots and make them 'yours'. I can spend a lot of money on entertainment when friends are in town and we hop around the island, but if it's just me and local friends, then beers are 40-60 baht and you can get wild to the wee hours with some funny characters.

Books, computers

No books. I like on-line reads. and have not yet upgraded my phone from an Iphone 5S. It does the job for me. And the $300 dollar computer I bought from new is still going strong.

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

I have no overheads. My life in Arizona was good and some things I miss; other things I don't. At the moment, I'm just enjoying life on Samui for as long as I can. I grew up riding bikes but touch wood, I am yet to experience what it's like to end up in a Samui hospital due to a motorbike accident. Life is really good and my hotel job is not too taxing.

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

Thai food, going out and partying, travelling to other places and rent. I have been lucky enough to have time to visit neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and used Thailand as a convenient travel hub.

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

If you're not the partying tip, you could live on 20,000 baht a month down here, but for me 40K would be the bare minimum. Even with that amount, I'm aware that saving only 8,000 is not a lot. When you do a bit of travelling around neighboring countries, the costs can soon eat into your budget. You have to stash an emergency fund but it's easy to survive on Samui. This place is gold!

Phil's analysis and comment

You sound very happy Paul.  These hotel positions on tropical islands are dream jobs for many. They must be a great way to spend a year or two, especially if you have the benefits of hotel quality food thrown in.  You don't see these kinds of jobs advertised all that often but they are certainly around. It's often a case of being in the right place at the right time and keeping an eye open.

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