As it is anywhere in the world, the cost of living is relative and can vary wildly on this established tourism island and much depends on the chosen lifestyle. But consider that the cost of living in Phuket, where there are endless white-sandy beaches is around 50% less than the overpopulated hustle and bustle of New York. Of course, eating in a fine-dining restaurant where the going rate for a Pad Thai is THB400 compared to a simpler traditional Thai venue at THB40 will determine the personal value for money.
Wallet | Credit: Allef Vinicius on Unsplash
Accommodation is an interesting variable. Relatively small traditional Thai houses can command a rent of THB10,000 each month, there are plenty of mid-range apartments and villas for THB35 – 55,000, some even with a shared or small private swimming pool. Contemporary open-plan spaces with gigantic infinity pools in the chicest areas can mean the need for bottomless pockets. The real estate for sale in Phuket is much the same; there are little enclaves of gated communities across the island which offer security and privacy.
World over utility bills such as electricity, internet, fuel and transportation costs will be much the same, accommodation and food costs vary depending on locale. It's these latter expenses that control the cost of living in Phuket. For cost-effective shopping, then there are endless local markets that are bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish or the more expensive supermarkets such as Villa Market which target ex-pats with their imported fayre.
Shopping | Credit: freestocks on Unsplash
Phuket is no-longer a backpackers dream. With the introduction of one of the busiest international airports in Thailand and the reputation of being Asia's leading beach destination that boasts its own millionaire's mile, the island is never short of tourists. Luxury living and villas are certainly here to stay for the foreseeable future. Phuket has established itself as a tourist and business hub. It has an established collection of educational facilities that offer international curriculums, sporting and wellness facilities, the arts and various festivals across the island.
Phuket can easily be divided into north and south, east and west quadrants that each boast their own micro-communities. The south-western area is by far the most active and expensive and more suited to those that prefer a busier lifestyle. Gyms, restaurants and other hi-society facilities are more freely available here. In contrast, the northern coast, the gateway to the mainland, remains more traditional with small fishing villages and fewer facilities.
Living on the largest tropical island in Thailand offers incredible benefits, it's temperate climate, world-friendly people, range of facilities and pace of life is ideal for many different demographics of people; there truly is something for everyone.