I hear plenty of my Bangkok friends ranting about how expensive it is to live in Phuket and always wondered why; having live in both places, I can’t really say than one is more expensive than the other. As usual, this will be slightly subjective, so read it on with a grain of salt, but feel free to share your experience to contribute to the discussion.
Without further ado, let’s compare some of the most basic expenses between the two venues!
This will easily depend on the area of Bangkok or Phuket you decide to live in. The advantage of Phuket though, is that you can still find houses at a relatively low price. For example, you can find a two- to three-bedroom house in Chalong, in between Phuket Town and Nai Harn Beach, for approximately 15,000 baht a month, a sum just big enough to score you a one-bedroom condominium in Bangkok.
Of course, Bangkok greater metro area has its fair share of cheaper apartments to rent, but will then require you to spend a considerable amount of time in public transportation, which brings us to our second point of comparison:
Hands down, Bangkok is way cheaper than Phuket with regards to transportation. I won’t be able to compare the cost of MRT or BTS as the island isn’t equipped (yet) with such facilities, but it is easy to look at the cost of a metered taxi to understand why the Big Mango is winning this round.
Expect price three to four times higher in Phuket when moving from point A to point B, hence why a lot of people prefer to rent/buy their own vehicle to move around freely. Renting a bike in Phuket usually costs 2,500-3,000 baht a month.
If you are looking for a quick Pad Thai on the side of the road, then Bangkok will be a bit cheaper than Phuket, and you’ll end up paying 10-20 baht more on the island. For regular and high-end restaurants, the price would be similar to what you would pay in Bangkok.
At the end of the day, everyone has a different perception on what cheap and expensive means, and I am really interested to see what you have to say. Personally, I still prefer the quality of life I get when living in Phuket, even if that means I have to pay an exorbitant fare when using a taxi.
By Nattha Thepbamrung