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General Cost of Living & Training in Thailand

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Hi, Sylvie/Admin. I'm Ruan from South Africa. I totally fell in love with Muay Thai since the first time I saw it. Your video's and informative reads has helped me a lot in my journey. My biggest dream is living and training in Thailand, even if it's just for a few months. Can you maybe give me some info on what the cost of living and training in Thailand is? What would be the cheapest? I don't worry about luxury.

Would one maybe be able to do something on the sideline as well if you decide to stay longer to earn some extra money to pay for expenses like the gym?

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3 hours ago, Tyler Byers said:

Cost of living and training are HIGHLY variable. Thailand is a big country and different camps have different priorities (some are purely commercial, others are a little more traditional). Just living in different cities is going to skew your budget in large directions. I tell people that if you can't afford $1,200-$1,400 USD a month without including your airfare then don't bother to come long term. You can absolutely get by on less money, but life happens so it is better to be prepared.

That whole post was a killer post Tyler.

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17 hours ago, Ruan said:

Can you maybe give me some info on what the cost of living and training in Thailand is? What would be the cheapest?

Tyler's post above is pretty damn good. I would just throw in that Chiang Mai is going to be substantially lower cost than Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket, while still being a major city with all those amenities or conveniences that are probably necessary for a first time visit. Costs can creep high in Chiang Mai of course, if you go an expensive route, and they can be low in BKK or Pattaya if you really know how to pick and choose, but the overall economy in Chiang Mai is just more affordable (and I imagine that if you are very frugal there you can do even better than elsewhere). It's also a burgeoning gym and fight scene, with lots of small stadiums, and new gyms opening up all the time, along with the dependable names.

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Budgeting for unexpected costs is a really good tip. You never know when you suddenly have a pretty hefty expense. Additionally, I've seen countless guys come through who have a pretty reasonable budget for themselves, then leave after only a month because they've blown through their nest egg by eating western food every day, fending off boredom by going to movies or out drinking or whatever else they didn't budget in because they thought they could get by on a simple life and simply didn't follow that plan.

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For long term? Also factor in hospital money. You'll for sure get sick or injured, or both. Also bring a kilo of painkillers with you to save money on that side of things once there. 

Another thing that's worth doing is make up your own med kit. Gauze, pads, cotton balls, saline solution, voltaren, iodine, betadine, whatever you want.

 

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8 hours ago, Oliver said:

Also factor in hospital money. You'll for sure get sick or injured, or both.

8 hours ago, Oliver said:

Another thing that's worth doing is make up your own med kit. Gauze, pads, cotton balls, saline solution, voltaren, iodine, betadine, whatever you want.

This is great advice as well. I can and have taken care of all my injuries that are training related, but most people don't have the medical training to do that. That being said, I still ended up in the hospital after being bit by a mosquito and getting dengue fever twice lol. Luckily for me I was in Isaan and was able to keep costs on the lower end by staying in the local hospital, but that was a massive unexpected dent in my budget. Not to mention there aren't always doctors at fights, so if you get cut, guess who's paying for their own stitches (and probably didn't get paid enough from the fight to cover the hospital cost lol). 

 

 

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:01 PM, Ruan said:

Hi, Sylvie/Admin. I'm Ruan from South Africa. I totally fell in love with Muay Thai since the first time I saw it. Your video's and informative reads has helped me a lot in my journey. My biggest dream is living and training in Thailand, even if it's just for a few months. Can you maybe give me some info on what the cost of living and training in Thailand is? What would be the cheapest? I don't worry about luxury.

Would one maybe be able to do something on the sideline as well if you decide to stay longer to earn some extra money to pay for expenses like the gym?

I agree with what has been said above. Just to add a few things.

Prices in Bangkok can be roughly compared to Cape Town, but more expensive than Pretoria for example. International food and wine being more expensive than SA, especially wine (bottle of 2 oceans is like 230 rand, insane).  

In Bangkok you have to factor in transportation, it is getting a bit cooler at the moment due to the rains but the humidity simply makes you sweat a lot. A single journey with the skytrain or metro is around 15 rand. 15 minute walk would cost around 10 rand if you hop on a bike taxi. Cheapest option is regular taxi, however can get a bit tricky if you do not speak any thai and do not know the city very well. The second cheapest option is Grab motorbike (Asia's Uber). I use it everyday and it works fine, I pay around 45 rand (3.50USD) for a 15-20  minute ride. If you live elsewhere, for example on an island or in the north, renting a motorbike would be a good option and usually pretty affordable. Traffic in Bangkok can be a bit hectic. All in all, best option is to live within walking distance of the gym if possible. 

In Thailand it is very easy to go for the budget option. Cheap food from food stalls is delicious and the best option in case you do not care about msg or sugar in your food. The same with accommodation, plenty decent options available in all price ranges and more luxurious options will also be cheaper than SA. You do not have to be too concerned with safety when choosing a place to live. Obviously, do not be stupid, but Thailand is way safer than SA. For example, the taxis do not even lock the car doors while they drive you and nothing will happen to you while waiting for the robot to turn green other than that you either get super sweaty on the back of a bike or you stress out because traffic soooooo slow during peak hours. 

Thailand feels very cheap, but at the same time you find yourself constantly spending money as you depend on others for daily services and food. Especially in Bangkok where you will be in and out of 7/11s most of the time. 

To have a more controlled budget it might be a good idea to choose a gym package with training, accommodation and food. However, this will also likely be more expensive than arrange everything while in Thailand. Training fees and a place to live will be your biggest expenses. Training 2 sessions a day will cost you around 300-500 USD/month. 

Regarding earning some extra money by working. I have friends who have been able to increase their travel budget by working extra as a PT or some kind of fitness instructor gig or getting free training by helping out at the gym with social media or admin or similar. But this is not an option I would count on. 

There's a Thai Embassy in Pretoria and their visa clerk has been very helpful to me in the past. Happy to DM her contact details in case you need. 

 

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1 hour ago, LengLeng said:

Thailand feels very cheap, but at the same time you find yourself constantly spending money as you depend on others for daily services and food. Especially in Bangkok where you will be in and out of 7/11s most of the time.

This is so true. It's the little stuff that will chip away at your budget really quickly. 20 baht here and 20 baht there doesn't seem like much, but it adds up really quickly.

Supplements are another hidden expense to consider. Protien powder, BCAAs, vitamins, etc. cost an arm and a leg in Thailand. I'm not big on supplements, but some folks take them religiously so it is something to factor in while making your budget. A 5lb tub of quality protien will cost around 2,900 baht. That's about a one month supply if you are drinking a shake a day.

 

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Hey everyone that added some advice I just want to say thank you and I appreciate it. It helps a lot in me doing my research and being sure what I would need and how much I would need. Thanks.

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