If you’re looking for an affordable place to live in Thailand, you’re in luck. There are plenty of cheap places to choose from, whether you want to be in the city, country, or by a beach. Here’s a look at some of the cheapest places to live in Thailand.

Chiang Mai

Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand offers an affordable and comfortable lifestyle.

Nestled between mountains and rice paddies, the city is full of incredible natural sights that remind its residents of Thailand’s stunning beauty.

Moreover, the city’s atmosphere is saturated with its vibrant and distinct Northern Thai (or Lanna) culture, further amplifying its laid-back vibes.

Chiang Mai has been increasingly popular among digital nomads, who are drawn to its strong community and access to everything from its mountains to fabulous food markets.

The bustling city offers plenty of opportunities for both work and play — there’s no shortage of things to do in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is the cheapest city in Thailand which has a large expat community. You can live very comfortably for around $800 a month.

We’d recommend Chiang Mai to almost anyone. It’s a city, but a small one; it’s cheap, but there’s no sacrifice in quality.

If you’re new to Thailand and don’t know where to start, this is the place.

If you’re interested in living in the North, check out our Guide to Northern Thailand.


Living in Kanchanaburi is a unique experience.

Nestled in Central (specifically Western) Thailand, it offers breathtaking vistas and the calm beauty of nature.

The River Kwai (Yes, the one with the bridge) makes it an even more delightful place to explore and call home.

It’s only a few hours from Bangkok, meaning you’re connected to one of the largest metropolises in Southeast Asia

It is no wonder why plenty of people retire here; the low cost of living and peaceful atmosphere is hard to find anywhere else.

Plus, with the abundance of activities to do—from its fascinating history to exploring its dense jungles crammed with wildlife—Kanchanaburi is undoubtedly one of the best places in the area.

Living in Kanchanaburi isn’t simply just a beautiful backdrop; it provides a pleasant environment suitable for all kinds of people looking for something exciting and new.

Expect a similar cost of living to Chiang Mai. Well under a thousand dollars a month will enable a pretty awesome lifestyle.

Koh Chang is one of the cheapest islands in Thailand
Koh Chang is one of the cheapest islands in Thailand

Koh Chang

Living in Koh Chang is a dream for many: an affordable island and a promise of tropical adventures.

Despite falling under the same realm as other great Thai travel destinations, Koh Chang is special in its own right. There are stunning mountains and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature.

Almost the entire island is forested and there are only a few small communities along the coast.

Living in Koh Chang offers an undeniably tranquil atmosphere compared to other touristed islands. Being off the beaten path, it avoids most short-term holidaymakers.

And even with its increasingly higher popularity, it still maintains affordability – especially for an island.

As far as islands go, Koh Chang is one of the cheapest in Thailand and low cost aside, it is still my favorite.

Expect to spend around $1000 a month, but this varies a lot as everything is shipped from the mainland so goods can be expensive.

Nakhon Phanom

Continuing on with the theme of stunning locations, we arrive at Nakhon Phanom.

I am convinced the more beautiful a town’s landscape, the more affordable its cost of living.

Located in Isan*, the town overlooks the Mekong river into Laos with a stunning backdrop of Thakhek Province’s mountains.

The town has around 14,000 people, but it feels smaller. Nakhon Phanom has some Vietnamese influence and the presence of a US Airforce base during the Vietnam war gives the town some historical significance.

Located in Isan, the area is known for its delicious cuisine, great people, and lack of tourists.

The region is hot, drier than the rest of Thailand, and generally poorer.

This area may not be home to many expats, but those who have chosen to settle here all seem to love it.

If you want a more Thai/rural lifestyle, Nakhon Phanom is a great place. There aren’t many rentals listed online, so get there, find a place you like and negotiate a long-term rate.

Expect it to be a bit cheaper than Chiang Mai, $700 US a month can be done if you don’t require anything fancy.

*If you aren’t familiar with Thailand, we have a quick guide to the four regions of Thailand.

Hua Hin is an affordable and beautiful place to live.
An affordable and beautiful place to live, consider visiting Hua Hin.

Hua Hin

Hua Hin is a great option for anyone who wants a beautiful beach town with all the modern conveniences.

Being on the mainland, Hua Hin is saved from island pricing and is still an affordable place to live.

Since the royal family built their summer home near Hua Hin 100 years ago, the area has become a popular weekend retreat for Bangkok natives.

The main town has plenty of great condos at very agreeable prices. It’s worth checking out the smaller nearby beach towns to see what you prefer.

The cost of living here can be as low or high as you please. Expect to spend around $1000 a month, but you can definitely live cheaper.


The first capital of the original Thai kingdom, Sukhothai is a unique and affordable place to live.

We absolutely recommend a visit, the 800-year-old ancient city is photogenic and beautiful. Massive temples and lakes and countless other fascinating historical sites cover the area.

The town is on a floodplain but there are stunning mountains to the north and west of the city to explore.

There are actually two Sukhothais, Old Sukhothai is the aforementioned ancient city, and New Sukhothai is the newer, larger town 8km to its east.

Sukhothai, and many other less-visited provincial capitals, are very cheap and similar to one another. The town has around 35,000 people.

Expect to spend as little as $700 a month if you aren’t drinking and eating western food all the time.

The Cheapest Places to Live in Thailand

If you’re looking for the cheapest places to live in Thailand, anywhere on this list is a great start.

From stunning beaches to lush mountains, and buzzing cities to quaint towns, there is something for everyone in Thailand.

If you’re getting ready to make the leap, or not sure if you can, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help get you sorted.

Want to move to Thailand?

If you’re interested in moving to Thailand but are unsure about a few things – visas, banking, safety, scams, dating, accommodation and more.

Check out our premium Thailand guide: The Need to Know of Moving to Thailand

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