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Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation


Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation
Koh Samui prices for housing, food, transportation

When a person wants to live in a more acceptable for themselves conditions, it is rather understandable. On the wave of interest for the countries, which may temporarily and cheaply become your second home, such articles as "10 places where you can live on a dime" are growing in popularity. In most cases these lists of countries are topped by Thailand.

There might be a false impression that Thailand is a country of minimum expenses and anyone can live here all year-round without thinking about getting a proper visa and so on. Such articles point out that one can live in Thailand for a penny, just because of the fact that renting a house here is cheaper than renting a one bedroom studio apartment somewhere in the capital city of your country, food is sold here on every corner and costs less than a dollar per serving. Only some authors honestly suggest that such rates are not available everywhere in the country, basically the farther to the north of the country it is and the more remotely from the resorts it is located, the cheaper the prices will be.

North and northeast of Thailand are attractive because they still retain the atmosphere of the old Siam - the locals are not yet spoiled by the attention of tourists and their money and the nature is just as beautiful as the landscapes of the popular resorts. However, most likely, you would not want to live there. There are, of course, those who like that lifestyle, but in our experience, our compatriots prefer to settle close to the sea, in a place where you can hear English speech, and where it takes maximum half an hour to get to a large supermarket or a hospital. Families with children would still need schools and kindergartens and not just the usual ones but international. Therefore, when planning a vacation or wintering by the sea in Thailand you will most likely be interested to know more not about the understated prices of Isaan and northern Thailand villages, but of those real prices of Koh Samui.

In contrast to the northern remote places, Koh Samui is a well-known, popular and expensive resort island. If you want to spend a holiday or a winter in Thailand, on the shore of the all year round warm sea and not in a mountain village, we should focus not on the articles in popular magazines, but on the information from those who live there. Below we will briefly describe about the prices on the island of Koh Samui, and then it is up to you decide the budget of your trip, according to your needs and preferences.

Speaking very simply, the basic expenses of an average family can be grouped into several blocks:

1.    Accommodation;
2.    Food;
3.    Transport;
4.    Children's education;
5.    Visa matters;
6.    Insurance and medical expenses.

The last three points have been described in details in the relevant sections of our website. Please note that here in Thailand you have two additional but mandatory expenditures such as health insurance and visa. Ignoring the first may as a result cost you too much and the violation of the visa regime will guarantee to result in large fines, blacklisting, deportation or imprisonment.

Expenses for entertainment, including alcohol and tobacco, clothing and footwear, personal hygiene and household chemicals, cell phones and Internet, shall not be considered here in this article as most of them are rather insignificant and has little effect on the overall picture of the budget. Moreover if to go into such details describing all the possible prices on the island, a few will be able to read this article up till the end.

For the sake of objectivity we have given two different types of price for each item, cheap and more expensive.

1. Housing in Koh Samui

In addition to the cost of renting a house there are utility expenses, which are included in the rental price only in hotels and some villas and apartments. For example, the cost of electricity may be one or five or even fifteen thousand baht per month depending on the number of air conditioners, their power and intensity of their use, as well as the rates per kW since not all of them are the same, ranging from 3.5 to 10 baht per kW.

Inexpensive housing options.

Renting a house.

Actually, there are houses of different levels on the island, there are some that you would not call inexpensive. But if you're going to stay there for the whole long winter, your budget is limited, and the availability of the kitchen is fundamentally important, you should consider renting a house on Koh Samui. Prices are mainly in the range of 8 to 30 thousand baht per month for a house with one bedroom so the average cost of a similar house with the same average level of comfort can be considered 15,000 baht.

Prices in Koh Samui significantly depend on the season. In high season, as compared with low season the same house will cost 20-40% more expensive. And if you want to find a good option for an adequate price then for the high season you need to book a house minimum six months in advance.

For people who came here up to one month, rental prices for the houses will be comparable with the cost of living in a hotel on Koh Samui. Room prices in decent but budget hotels start at 600 baht per day.

Apartment rentals.

Apartments - a slightly different type of property on Samui. Apartment prices are higher than those for the houses, and there are very few options. What we call here apartments are flats located in an aparthotel (condominium) in a gated area, with a set of services provided, such as cleaning, security, swimming pool and gym. The cost of renting an apartment with one bedroom starts from 15 to 25 thousand baht per month (long-term lease).

Luxury housing options.

Renting a villa on Koh Samui

Samui villas rental prices start at 40,000 baht per month with long term rental of an unpretentious option with a couple of bedrooms, and are increasing up to infinity. You can reduce costs by renting a several bedroom villa along with families of friends or relatives. The level of housing here is no doubt different in terms of comfort. Some of the villas come with a free car transfer that partially reduces transportation costs. With the onset of the high season on Koh Samui the prices for villas are increasing..


The most boring and predictable option of vacation on Samui would be a hotel. There is a huge variety of hotels and resorts on the island and the room prices in some hotels are pretty high. If you do not take into account a simple bungalow for 600 baht per night, then a comfortable stay in a hotel on Koh Samui can cost from 9 to 90 thousand baht per night.

2. Food prices on Koh Samui.

For those who have recently arrived to the island the price for food at first may seem ridiculous. The average bill in a Thai restaurant for two - 300 baht, one dish - 50 baht, fruit shake - 40 baht, coconuts on the market - 20 baht, mango in the season - from 30 baht per kg, pineapples - 25-30 baht apiece. This feeling of cheapness remains as long as you do not get into one of the hypermarkets (Big-C, Top's Market or Tesco Lotus) or in Makro. And that's where you will find that in addition to cheap local products there is a number of traditional Europeans goods that are much more expensive than those you are used to have on a daily basis.

There are several small shops with noticeably higher prices. It is usually a place with a small range of products from a particular country. For example, «ITALASIA» at Bophut offers cheeses, wines and olives from Italy.

Each hypermarket has a pair of isles with the products that are of interest to us, foreigners, rather than to the residents of Southeast Asia. And the prices are just going through the roof and the assortment in stores may vary widely. Some vegetables or fruit (mainly seasonal, local) are cheaper at the food markets, but the overall picture is like this - in retail stores on Koh Samui the prices for staple foods are the same.
Here is a list of prices for basic foods also familiar to locals:

  • Potatoes - from 25 baht / kg.
  • Tomatoes - 27 baht / kg. for local and 65 baht / kg. for imported,
  • Onions - from 35 baht / kg.
  • Cabbage - 29 baht / kg.
  • Apples - 10 baht / pcs.
  • Oranges - from 65 baht / kg.
  • Flour - 35 baht per kg.
  • Sugar - 25 baht / kg.
  • Meat (pork) - from 120 baht / kg.
  • Meat (chicken fillet without bones) - 80-100 baht / kg.
  • Fish - from 80-100 baht / kg.
  • Milk - 45 baht / 830 ml., 89 baht for 2 liters,
  • Yogurt - 12 baht / unit.
  • Eggs - 90 baht / 30 pieces
  • Sunflower oil - 75 baht / liters,
  • Vegetable (palm, soybean and so on.) Butter - from 45 baht / liters,
  • Butter - 80 baht / a pack of 200 gr.,
  • Drinking water - about 40 baht per 5 liters. (there is a delivery of drinking water - 18 baht per 20 liters.)
  • White bread for toasting - 33 baht
  • Rice - from 150 baht per 5 kg.

And here are the prices for the products not yet popular among Thais and often of a foreign production:

  • Meat (beef) - about 400 baht / kg.
  • Cheese - from 360 baht / kg. for local cheeses and starting from 1000 baht / kg. for the imported,
  • Kefir - 100 baht / 0.5L,
  • Instant coffee, freeze-dried - from 200 to 700 baht for a can of 100 g.,
  • Smoked Sausage - from 600 to 1000 and higher THB / kg.
  • Smoked meat - about 1,500 baht / kg.
  • Buckwheat - 130 baht / kg.
  • Salami - 1700 baht / kg.
  • Parma ham - 2900 baht / kg.
  • Black bread - about 150 baht for a small loaf of bread or a pack of imported vacuum packed.

According to those who live on the island for a long time, the expenses for food on Koh Samui are really mitigated by the fact that the main products here are cheap. But only on one condition - you have to give up or greatly reduce the consumption of those products that you are used to in your country, these are considered exotic in Thailand and are rather expensive..
If you do not wish to change your food preferences and eating habits, be prepared for the fact that in Thailand the cost of your food basket will increase significantly.

3. Transportation costs.

Cheap options for moving around the island.

On foot.

You will incur minimum transportation costs if you rent a house in walking distance to one of the supermarkets or markets and in relative proximity to the sea. That is, for a relaxing stay in one place, without traveling around the island, you just have to settle between the sea and shops, thereby reducing the need for transport. And there aren't many of such options..


Songthaew is an inexpensive way to travel around the island. You can read more about this kind of transport in a separate article. On Koh Samui the prices for a trip on a songthaew start from 20 baht per person.

Renting a scooter (motorbike).

Another inexpensive way of traveling on Koh Samui can be considered a rented scooter. The monthly rental prices are between 3500 and 5500 baht, depending on the model. Scooter is enough for trips to the store, to the beach and for exploring the island. Small volume engine saves fuel, as Samui gasoline prices are around 40 baht per liter. It will only be inexpensive in case if you have driving license, driving skills and a good insurance in case of an accident.

Buying a scooter (motorbike).

At first it might seem that buying a motorbike in a foreign country is not the smartest decision. Neither financially nor it terms of exploitation. That is true, if you come to Koh Samui for a month or even three. But when you are planning to stay in Samui for six months or longer, buying a scooter would be the most cost-effective option.
Here is an example. Renting a new Honda Click 125 will cost you 3500 baht / month. Over 6 months it will have cost you 21,000 baht. The price of a new Click is 55,000 baht and a half year old Honda Click in excellent condition can be easily sold for 37-45 thousand baht. So in the end the purchase and subsequent sale of a personal motorbike might turn up highly beneficial for you, not to mention the fact that it is rather rare to find a new scooter for rent..

Expensive options of moving around Koh Samui.


Until recently taxi has been considered an expensive option, as literally before the August of 2014 the prices for the trip were fixed, established by the taxi mafia and generally was not regulated by the state authorities. For example, a trip from one end of the island to the other would have cost you a tidy sum of 700 - 1000 baht, and to travel by taxi from one beach to another would have cost around 200 to 300 baht. Thanks to the actions of the military government that took over restoring order in various areas, including in the taxi business, in autumn of 2014 the prices for Samui taxi have dropped noticeably. Despite the fact that not all of the taxi drivers has yet started using the meter, finding reasons not to turn it on, it has become easier to bargain. And even the fixed prices are now lower than ever before. Read more about the current taxi prices in "Transport on Samui".

Renting a car.

The monthly cost of renting a car varies between 15 and 30 thousand baht, depending on the class of the car and the lease terms. Sometimes you may come across variants when a car is offered for 10-12 thousand, but it will not be the freshest car, most likely without insurance, and certainly you will not find such prices in the high season.

Buying a car.

The most luxurious option would be to buy a personal car. Prices for new cars start at 500 thousand baht for a simple SUV and 1 million for a nice Toyota Hilux VIGO, note that sedans in Thailand can cost as much as SUVs, or can be even more expensive. Used cars can be bought for 150 - 500 thousand baht but it is rather difficult to find a decent variant cheaper than 300 thousand baht..

Those planning to travel around the island of Koh Samui on a rented or purchased vehicle should note that gasoline prices in Thailand are pretty high. And on Koh Samui the prices are by 2-3 baht higher than in mainland Thailand.

The fuel prices on Samui (prices for October 2014):

- "Gasoline 95". highlighted in yellow at all filling stations, for sale at a price of about 45 baht per liter. The best and the preferred fuel for all gasoline engines, except those that are specifically designed for gasohol.
- "Green 91" - gasohol E10, based on 92-octane gasoline. Comprises 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol. For sale for about 36 baht per liter. The most popular budget fuel for most gasoline engines.
- "Orange 95" - gasohol E10 based on gasoline 95, for sale at a price of about 38 baht per liter. The primary but less budget fuel for most gasoline engines.
- "Light green E20" is a 92-octane gasoline with an ethanol content of 20%, is sold at a price of about 34 baht per liter. The most budget fuel for some specifically designed gasoline engines though it is not recommended for the normal gasoline engines..
- Diesel fuel is sold at a price of about 31 baht per liter.
- Gas is sold at a price of about 18 baht per liter.

In addition to the gas station, on Koh Samui one can often find "bottle filling" spots that stand along the road near the Thai restaurants, laundries or rental offices. A 1 liter bottle contains something flammable of the volume about 0.6 liters and is sold for 40 baht apiece. The price and the contents of such bottles are far from perfect, use it only in cases when there are no gas stations around..

With moderate driving around the island, including traffic jams and mountains, a full tank (green '91 gasohol) of a PCX150 (6 liters) lasts for a week. The cost of the spent fuel will be about 180 baht.

With moderate driving on a used sedan, in the same conditions and without the air conditioning an average cost of fuel will be about 1000-1500 baht per week.

A one-day long intensive sightseeing trip around the island with stops at all the important sights on TOYOTA VIOS type of car will cost about 500 baht.

Let's summarize

If you are planning to stay on Koh Samui rather long time and not for a two week vacation, you should prepare for the fact that in addition to the sea, the sun and the fruit, which will surely make your life better, you might have to deprive yourself of some particular things.
You can easily increase the cost of living in two and three times due to incorrectly chosen insurance, violation of the visa regime, regular purchases of imported products, on so on..

You can reduce your expenses significantly, particularly by following the advice of all sorts of travelers who get to Thailand by train and hitchhiking. It is also possible. In fact, besides the tourists, European pensioners and wealthy Thai landowners, the island is home to many migrant workers coming to Samui to work from the poor northern Thailand or Burma, as well as low-income residents, and they all live somewhere, eat something and buy clothes. But whether you would want this kind of life is up to you..

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