Is Thailand still a cheap country?

Thai bank notes & coins
When I came to live here about 13 years ago, I made my money in Euro's and life became very comfortable especially due to the very good exchange rate of the Euro to the Thai baht. Due to the current exchange rate life becomes a bit expensive, especially if you do not live the way a upcountry Thai farmer is living. So I was looking about what my daily costs would while living in my country of origin. I mean like shopping at BigC of Lotus .... my shopping-cart would be about 20% cheaper in my home country! And then I am not talking about a good bottle of wine or Belgium beers.

Since about a year there is Ikea in Thailand, their product are not made in Europe. But still the price of many of their products are here in Thailand about twice the price as in Europe. Cars made in Thailand are becoming in about the same price-class as in my home country, although I know that road-tax and insurance would kill me in my home country. And imported motorbikes and cars have always been more expensive as in Europe (hahaha to protect the Thai (monopoly) car industry ). And although gasoline is still very cheap in compare to my home country, it is actually expensive for an normal Thai average salary. A small bottle of Seang Som used to be about 70 thb and is now about 120 thb.

There are some things that are still more or less the same price. The taxi-meters are still the same price but as life has become more expensive someone is losing income. When I started driving a car about 9 years ago diesel was about 15thb/litre .... now it is 30thb! And the price of the taxi-meter is still the same!

To give you the answer .... I think Thailand is not that cheap anymore and I think prices will continue to rise as also the living standard of Thai people will rise.

Update 2019 : In the years Thailand has become more expensive and with the current exchange rate even more more expensive.

Update 2020 : And the trend of 2019 is continuing in 2020.

One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

The journey of Traveling 2 Thailand did begin with One Night in Bangkok in 1985 and since 2009 it became a personal non-commercial travel blog as inspiration for traveling & motorbike riding in Thailand. Made just for the sheer love of traveling and sharing experience about traveling in South-East Asia. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy!