Chiang Mai is one of the most unique places in Thailand. There's a beautiful mix of the old and the new. It's a place full of opportunities and things to do. From old temples, amazing historical sites, mountains, and nature, it's got it all! All of that makes it a great place to live for locals and expats. If you were looking into moving to Chaing Mai, you might want to know the cost of living in Chiang Mai in 2022, and that's exactly what we're going to be talking about in this post!
We've been living in Chiang Mai for the past few months, and we've gathered all the information you'd need to figure out local and expat living costs in Chiang Mai, so let's jump right into it!
Accommodation is one of the most important aspects of moving somewhere for a long period of time. We had the option of living in different parts of Chiang Mai, and we decided to stay in Suthep, close to Chiang Mai University. We chose this region as it sits in the heart of the city and in close proximity to all the points of interest such as coffee shops, touristic sites, hospitals, barbers, nail salons, dental clinics, restaurants, street food and so much more.
The condo we stayed at was perfect for our needs, and at the same time very affordable.
For a long stay of 2 months and over, with negotiation, it costs around 10,000 Baht (approx. $300) for the whole apartment, including utilities and wifi! If you are looking to stay annually, you can even get the apartment as low as 8,000 Baht (approx. $240) excluding electricity and Wifi.
Since there's a lot to do in Chiang Mai, transport costs are good to keep note of. We didn't really want to commit to getting a car because the costs can tally up, as a car rental could cost from 800 Baht (approx. $24) per day. Renting a car would be preferable if you are looking to travel long distances, or for a weekend trip, but for daily use, and shorter distances they can be covered by scooter. So we opted for bike rentals! We rented out a Yamaha GT 125cc from Zippy Bike Rentals, which cost us 2500 Baht (approx. $75) a month. The best part about renting a scooter is that topping up the entire fuel tank only comes up to 100 Baht (approx. $3) and can last you for days!
Thailand is all about food. But that is also a tricky territory because you have to buy the food from the right place! While there are tons of supermarkets all over, they're kind of aimed at expats that come over with lots of money to spend. The key here is to always buy food from where the locals buy it, which is the local markets. Some markets like the fish market open up in the early hours of the day, while the rest of the markets, where they sell meat products, fruit and vegetables, or cooked food are open during the night too. Food for two people for almost a week ended up costing us under 500 Baht (approx $15), which is even less than one average meal in the States!
If you are to go out, you can easily get a nice, heavy portion for one person for around 50 Baht (approx. $1.50), and drinks are only around 30 Baht (approx. $0,90) a pop! So whether you're a cook at home or someone that likes to eat out a lot, food won't be a major expense!
A gym could be a little bit pricey in Chiang Mai. However, most apartment complexes do have their own gym and pool, like the one we stayed in. For a full equipped gym, you could find one for around 1500 Baht (approx. $45) a month. Or if you would like to try some Muay Thai Classes in Chiang Mai, you can find one from 2000 Baht (approx. $60) per person per month.
Coffee shops mean everything to us, that's where we usually start our day. We opt for good coffee which is not ridiculously priced and a good working environment.
It was surprising how cheap it really was! In the more touristy regions, you'll find coffee for around 60 - 80 Baht (approx. $1.80 - $2.40), but there are cheaper options near Chiang Mai University. They're half the price and at times even tastier! So on average, one cup costs us around 30 Baht (approx. $0,90 cents) each!
Usually, when the cost of living in an area is low, there are other costs that make up for it. Things like grooming are usually considered an afterthought, luxuries if you will, so you can expect them to be really expensive. However, it's not like that in Chiang Mai! I go to Two Beautiful Nails to get my nails done, and it costs around 250 Baht (approx. $7.50) for a full set of gel nails!
For men, a nice, luxurious haircut is around 400 Baht (approx. $12) for the full experience! We highly recommend, The Cutler.
Dental care is very important to us. One thing in Chiang Mai we had noticed is that there are so many dental clinics to choose from. We found one almost every 200 meters in the Suthep area. After some thorough research, we found Dental joy+ clinic, near Chiang Mai University. They were very professional, efficient, and also quick to reply to our inquires. We went with a full checkup and cleaning service, and it only came up to around 1000 Baht (approx. $30)! Keeping up with your dental hygiene in Chiang Mai is really affordable, and of high-quality. It had been one of the best dental-care experiences away from home and during our stay in Chiang Mai!
An annual health check is important to ensure everything is functioning as it should. In my case, I didn't have time to set an appointment before leaving Japan, so I said, let me try it out in Chiang Mai. I went to All Gen Medicare, it is located next to Wat Chai Si Phum temple in Chiang Mai Old town. They had a promotion of cervical check up + cervical cancer screening + breast cancer examination, and it only came up to 990 Baht (approx. $29). They were very professional, inspecting everything in detail, and also, both receptionists and doctors spoke very good English. For my cervical cancer screening, the results were sent to my email after 2 weeks.
All Set to Make The Move!
Now that you know all the general living costs in Chiang Mai, along with the Digital Nomad living costs in Chiang Mai, Thailand 2022, you have all the basic information to get you started! Now all that's left for you to do is get out there and make it happen for yourself!