Phuket has a large population density of Farangs, permanent residents and people who spent most of the year on the island. It has the highest per capita income outside of BKK therefore the cost of living increases accordingly.
Even though Thailand is considered to be a cheap country to live in to experience this you need to adopt living like Thais do which might not suit everybody. Most foreigners especially in Bangkok and Phuket therefore prefer are more luxurious choice of lifestyle.
Rent costs in Phuket
It depends where on the island you want to live. A studio apartment in Phuket Town can cost as little as 3,000 baht a month. For that price, you won’t get much – a bed, wardrobe, fan and bland bathroom. For around 4,000-6,000 baht a month you may get cable TV, air-con, hot water and nicer furnishings, and maybe even a little kitchenette. Nearer the beach, expect to pay a minimum of 5,000 baht a month for a bare-bones studio apartment in Patong, and from 20,000 baht or more for a well-appointed, multi-room apartment with a beach view.
Houses in Phuket are generally good value but also here it depends what you like and where you prefer to stay. A good furnished regular house or so called townhouse you can easily get for around 15 K unfurnished even for around 10 K. Of course if you prefer property near the sea or with more than 3 bedrooms there is no limit on how much you could possibly spend.
Cost of Food in Phuket
Phuket has wide range of restaurants and countless opportunities to eat in local markets or food stalls. Being an tropical island of course Phuket offers a wide range of seafood restaurants. You can start to get your daily meal for not more than 30 to 50 THB and there is no limit upon your desires. Normally western style dinners start at around 400 THB where for local thai food you can get a meal for two for around 200 THB.
Cost of Beverage in Phuket
As entertainment and drinks go together this is a very important point for Phuket. In normal street pubs or restaurants normally you pay as little as 30 THB for a soft drink or bottled water. Local beers like Singha or Chang will be around 60 THB in the supermarket and are sold for around 120 THB in Restaurant and nightlife establishments. Liquors and cocktails go for around 140 to 250 THB depending on the location.
Phone and internet costs in Phuket
Internet cafes generally charge 20 baht an hour in town and 30-60 baht an hour near the beaches. A cheap mobile phone can be had for 800 baht, SIM card 100 baht, with top-up cards to be found at any convenience store. The rate varies from network to network, but is usually as little as one or two baht a minute. DTAC has one of the lowest rates, while 1-2-Call has the best coverage. If you have a work permit or Thai ‘sponsor’ then you can get a subscriber account that will offer more competitive rates.
Internet services within hotels are often unreasonably expensive (though more and more are getting the plot and offering free wi-fi), while some cafes around the island offer free WiFi or for a minimal charge. ADSL is also widely available if you are in a populated and well-developed area, with rates from 600 baht a month for a flaky 10meg connection. For more remote areas that do not yet have internet cabling, an air card (or CDMA modem from CAT) is a good option – it’s also portable, but doesn’t work everywhere in Thailand. The modem costs about 10,000 baht and the service is around 850 baht a month.
Cost of getting around Phuket
Phuket is a fair-sized island and walking from place to place can take time. The most efficient means of transport is a motorbike. Rentals are readily available and cost about 3,000 baht per month, which includes insurance. Honda motorbikes are very reliable and the cost of maintenance is low (250 baht to change a tyre, 120 baht for a tune-up and oil change). Be warned, though, that Phuket’s roads are chaotic and many a farang bears the scars of a motorbike accident.
If that’s not enough reason to always wear a helmet, remember that helmet laws are about the only traffic laws regularly enforced. One 300-500 baht fine is enough for most people to learn that lesson. A second-hand scooter is around 20,000 baht, while a new one is upwards of 40,000 baht. Larger motorcycles cost 35,000-65,000 baht used and upwards of 80,000 new, but come without registration since the import duties are almost as much as the value of the vehicle.
Entertainment costs in Phuket
Movies cost about 100 baht for a basic seat, while VIP seats at Central (reclining seat with blanket, drinks and popcorn included) are 500 baht. Bowling is 80-100 baht a game (not including shoe rental). The only discos that charge a cover are in Patong, and not all of them do. The cost is 100-400 baht and includes a drink. ‘Female company’ for a night is negotiable, but usually 1,500-3,000 baht.
Cost of buying Phuket property
Apartments in Phuket generally start at around a million baht for a small studio, while a two-bedroom condominium starts at four million. Houses in the many developments springing up around the island can be had from around 3 million baht, but you are paying a price for the prestige of living in them. Undeveloped land in Phuket costs around one million baht per rai (1,600 square metres) in the sticks, up to 30 million in the most desirable locations but, despite what some property dealers tell you, it is not legally possible for foreigners to own land and the maximum enforceable land lease is 30 years. Phuket has become an international property focus point in Asia and villas and, at the very top end, large luxury villas in prime locations sell for as much as US$10million. Due to the recent economic situation there are many properties for more than a resioanable price on the market.
Cost of computers in Phuket
They are made in Thailand and generally cheap, with brands such as Acer, ASUS and Lenovo from 12,000 to 30,000 baht, depending on spec. Laptops are widely sold and are roughly 25 per cent more expensive for a similar spec model.
Courses costs in Phuket
A month-long, 120-hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course costs US$1,600 including accommodation. Thai lessons are 5,900 baht for a 20-hour one-on-one course, with discounts available for small groups. A one-day Thai cooking course costs 1,000 baht per person and a PADI Open Water diving certification (four days) is 9,000-12,000 baht
Phuket healthcare costs
A visit to the doctor will cost from 500 baht for a simple check-up or consultation. Likewise, dental work is cheap, yet competent, with a cleaning costing around 800 baht. Private hospitals in Phuket are up to international standards, with competent doctors and excellent facilities. Bupa, AIA and other international companies have local operations offering suitable health from about 20,000 baht a year.