Chiang Mai Thailand cost of living for a couple

So, it’s been a long while since my last expense report, I’m no longer in Chiang Mai now but still have my expenses saved away, I’m putting them up for future reference.

This is for our second 30 days in Chiang Mai, it’s said your first month somewhere is always the most expensive, this was true for us, as our second month was much lower. Below are my previous expense reports.

Note: these prices are the total for 2 people, doing this trip solo would be half the prices, except for the accommodation.

chiangmai-expense2

Chiang Mai expenses

Chiang Mai Trip Expenses

  • Accommodation + electricity £168.15
  • Memberships (GYM – Co-working) £171.15
  • Food, entertainment, living etc £366.58

Total £705.88
Cost per person £352.94
Cost per day (per person) £11.76

As you can see, our month was much cheaper than our first month, had it not been for our memberships which consisted of 2 x 3 month gym memberships and 1 x 3 month co-working space membership, our expenses would have been even more lower. Our cost of living was no where near as low as that of an average Thai, but we’re on holidays after all, even still, we managed to make a profit this month by doing zero work.

ma-ploy

Maploy Pad Thai Nimman

By our second month we’d knew all the best places to eat and drink but had also basically cut alcohol down to less than once a week, we cut back on alcohol not too save cash, but simply because we felt no need to numb our minds, life was positively stimulating enough that drinking alcohol just made life less enjoyable.

Now you might think “but why? do you not enjoy alcohol” and the answer is “yes”, but life was better not drinking, imagine you have a choice of a crap movie or a good movie? why choose the movie that you know you’ll enjoy less?, I was far too happy to find alcohol enjoyable, so simply avoided it.

 

 

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How to book Baan Thai Chiang Mai serviced apartment online

Baan Thai sign

Baan Thai sign

Whenever I mention on a Chiang Mai group online that I’m currently staying in the Baan Thai serviced apartments in the Nimman area of Chiang Mai, I always get someone private messaging me asking how to book online. The simple answer is, you don’t, you turn up and speak to reception in person, if there is a room free you book it straight away, if there isn’t, you find somewhere else until a room becomes available.

I have however managed to help a person book a room before he arrived in Thailand, I done this by placing a 1,000 Baht deposit for him, he was a mate I know from the UK, who came here to code with me for a month.

Before coming to Chiang Mai I read about Baan Thai online on Travel Dave’s blog, his article is more informative than what I’m writing here, except for the price has now changed.

Baan Thai Nimman

Baan Thai Nimman

As of October 2015 the price for a month has increased to 6,000 Baht, at the time of writing this, that price converts to £109.50. On top of this you’ll need to pay utilities, how much utilities cost will depend on how much you use the air conditioner.

Personally I use it almost every night, my room is in Baan Thai B and faces towards the pool, beyond the pool is Baan Thai A and then the road, the noise isn’t too loud during the night, but I prefer to have the balcony doors closed, this greatly reduces air circulation, so to counter this I put on the AC, it keeps the room nice and cool of course, but it also creates a constant white noise that prevents me from ever hearing outside noises.

Our most recent month came to £168 in total for the room including utilities, this isn’t bad, but you could find a room for close to half this around Nimman, however it wouldn’t have a pool or the same friendly Baan Thai vibe. Baan Thai is full of foreigners, many are digital nomads, others are retirees. You’ll quickly recognise the other tenants around town at either a Gym, local co-working space, or at one of the many local bars/cafes.

Baan Thai B

Baan Thai B

Baan Thai is directly under the flight path, if I happen to be around, I’ll usually be in the pool, from the pool you can watch the planes fly overhead, not just commercial planes, but also the fighter jets from the Thai Air-force, floating in the pool watching them roar across the sky in groups of three, I consider to be part of my morning ritual.

Overall I consider Baan Thai to be relatively quiet, there isn’t any bars near by that are open beyond midnight, however, if you’re an early riser and light sleeper, you’ll probably want to turn on the AC and shut the doors.

For the 6,000 baht a month, we get our room cleaned weekly, we also pay separately for laundry to be collected when needed, the cost of laundry is 40 baht (£0.73) per kilogram. As a couple, our weekly laundry cost averages around £3.20, it’s collected at 15:30 each day and returned the same time the following day. If you wanted to keep your costs low you could do your laundry yourself at near by laundrettes for roughly half the price. For me though, never having to worry about cooking, cleaning or laundry is a great time saver which allows me to get on with other things in life.

Cake in Wanz Cafe

Cake in Wanz Cafe

The Nimman area has a ton of Cafes and Restaurants, our two favourites on our street are Zood Zood for a good selection of tasty meals as well as their Butterfly Pea Water, and Wanz Cafe for a mixture of Wifi usage and Ice Green Tea consumption, Wanz is also a bar at night and Motor cycle mechanic during the day, the cafe has a motor cycle theme, the coffee tables each have a motor cycle engine as part of their frame. I’ve not been to Wanz in the evening, so I can’t really comment on the bar or food, but the cakes in the day time Cafe are good enough for my palate.

Chiang Mai Noodles in Zood Zood

Chiang Mai Noodles in Zood Zood

Our other favourite local place to eat and relax with some music is D-fine, it is however two streets over from our street, so roughly a two minute walk.

As already mentioned this area has a lot of places, the three I’ve mentioned here I’m sure aren’t the best, they’re just places we’ve enjoyed and often frequent for some normality in life.

Another place I feel worth mentioning is Salad Concept, Salad is a great break from eating Thai every day and this place is clearly the best in the area.

So to get a bit back on topic, if you’re wanting to stay in Baan Thai, either you’ll need to have someone already there place a deposit for you, or you’ll need to book a cheap hotel for your first night and spend a day walking around Nimman, this is what we did, we walked into every serviced apartment place we could find, besides from the location, the swimming pool at Baan Thai is what won the place over for us, its huge and the perfect size for laps.

flowers

Who doesn’t like flowers?

Often I’ll read people on groups say “what is their number, if they don’t have a website I’ll ring them and book that way”, don’t waste your time, why would they take a booking from someone on the other side of the world when someone will simply walk in that day and pay a cash deposit?. Rooms aren’t vacant for more than a day in Baan Thai, but rooms become vacant frequently as people are always moving in and out. Minimum stay is one month.

My favourite street food vendors are just around the corner, out the front of either Tesco or 711, they are Mr Moustache and Pad Thai Maploy.

I hope this helps, best of luck.