Thailand loses its ‘cheap living’ reputation – Numbeo

Many of Thailand’s most popular tourist and retiree destinations are becoming the most expensive places in Southeast Asia to settle down, being beaten by Malaysian and Indonesia counterparts.

The cost of living survey was conducted by comparison site Numbeo.

Comparing the region’s top 18 destinations, Numbeo lists Bangkok as the second most expensive city after Singapore.

But Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai aren’t far behind in fourth, fifth and sixth place ahead of Malaysian island Penang in eighth place and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, in ninth place. Third placed Phnom Penh was another surprise coming in with a higher cost of living than the three popular Thai destinations.

The cheapest cities in the cost of living index were Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (14th), Surabaya, Indonesia (15th), Cebu, Philippines (16th), Bandung, Indonesia (17th) and Davao, Philippines (18th).

The survey challenges Thailand’s ambitions to attract more  foreign retirees as even Chiang Mai, a popular choice for long-stay retirees, turns out to be considerably more expensive than cities in Malaysia where  rules for visa and land ownership are much more liberal.

1. Singapore

Four-person family monthly costs: 85,801.01 baht (3,701.04S$) without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 23,955.75 baht (1,033.33S$) without rent.
Cost of living index in Singapore is 58.08% higher than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 113th out of 438 cities in the world.
Singapore has a cost of living index of 69.38.

2. Bangkok

Four-person family monthly costs: 75,851.11 baht without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 21,017.40 baht without rent.
Cost of living index in Bangkok is 28.97% higher than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 212th out of 438 cities in the world.
Bangkok has a cost of living index of 56.60.

3. Phnom Penh

Four-person family monthly costs: 62,678.04 baht (1,992.94$) without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 17,607.87 baht (559.87$) without rent.
Cost of living index in Phnom Penh is 7.22% higher than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 258th out of 438 cities in the world.
Phnom Penh has a cost of living index of 47.06.

4. Pattaya

Four-person family monthly costs: 60,832.93 baht without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 17,124.97 baht without rent.
Cost of living index in Pattaya is 7.45% higher than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 257th out of 438 cities in the world.
Pattaya has a cost of living index of 47.16.

5. Phuket

Four-person family monthly costs: 59,252.24 baht without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 16,825.81 baht without rent.
Cost of living index in Phuket is 3.47% higher than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 271st out of 438 cities in the world.
Phuket has a cost of living index of 45.41.

6. Chiang Mai

Four-person family monthly costs: 58,357.60 baht without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 16,248.11 baht without rent.
Cost of living index in Chiang Mai is 22.46% lower than in Bangkok.
Cost of living rank 281st out of 438 cities in the world.
Chiang Mai has a cost of living index of 43.89.

7. Jakarta

Four-person family monthly costs: 58,254.79 baht (25,847,621.44Rp) without rent).
A single person monthly costs: 16,952.60 baht (7,521,858.76Rp) without rent.
Cost of living index in Jakarta is 1.61% lower than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 285th out of 438 cities in the world.
Jakarta has a cost of living index of 43.18.

8. Penang

Four-person family monthly costs: 55,021.51 baht (7,118.70RM) without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 15,234.92 baht (1,971.10RM) without rent.
Cost of living index in Penang is 2.32% lower than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 286th out of 438 cities in the world.
Penang has a cost of living index of 42.87.

9. Kuala Lumpur

Four-person family monthly costs: 55,600.29 baht (7,193.59RM) without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 15,596.31 baht (2,017.86RM) without rent.
Cost of living index in Kuala Lumpur is 3.89% lower than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 291st out of 438 cities in the world.
Kuala Lumpur has a cost of living index of 42.18.

10. Bali

Four-person family monthly costs: 55,857.68 baht (24,784,024.62Rp) without rent.
A single person monthly costs: 15,789.08 baht (7,005,608.83Rp) without rent.
Cost of living index in Bali is 4.50% lower than in Chiang Mai.
Cost of living rank 292th out of 438 cities in the world.
Bali has a cost of living index of 41.92.

Numbeo compares cost of living across all regions by studying factors such as transport, clothes and shoes, sports and leisure activities, markets, food, utilities, rents, and restaurants.Methodology

Cost of Living Index (Excl. Rent) is a relative indicator of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities. Cost of Living Index doesn’t include accommodation expenses such as rent or mortgage. If a city has a Cost of Living Index of 120, it means Numbeo estimates it is 20% more expensive than New York (excluding rent).

Rent Index is an estimation of prices of renting apartments in the city compared to New York City. If Rent index is 80, Numbeo estimates that price of rents in that city is on an average 20% less than the price in New York.

Groceries Index is an estimation of grocery prices in the city compared to New York City. To calculate this section, Numbeo uses weights of items in the “Markets” section for each city.

Restaurants Index is a comparison of prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars compared to NYC.

Cost of Living Plus Rent Index is an estimation of consumer goods prices including rent comparing to New York City.

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