My Pattaya Budget Breakdown
My monthly Pattaya budget was higher than any city I’ve lived in so far. I spent ~$1200 which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 33% more than I spend living in the Philippines or Cambodia.
I’m sure if I lived there long term I could get costs down to around $1100/month. I doubt I could have gone any lower then that and enjoyed life though. The main problem with Pattaya is that the ‘entertainment’ is a lot more expensive than in say Angeles City or Sihanoukville.
In Cambodia I was ‘going out’ maybe 18 nights a month and spending around $300 on entertainment. In Angeles City I would ‘go out’ 15 nights a month and spend around $250. In Pattaya I only went out 12 nights and spent almost $400.
That said I had a lot of fun there, but I was still spending more to get less. Though the average quality of my night out was better in Pattaya and that certainly counts for something.
This is where Thailand just kicks ass. My apartment was $330 a month on month to month rental and was probably the 2nd nicest place I have stayed in Asia. I could have probably even found a nicer place for less money if I had more time to search around.
It was located on the edge of Jomtien a short baht bus ride away from Walking Street. Overall I was very happy with the place and would gladly stay there again. In Thailand it is very easy to find a nice apartment for a good price.
I met a guy who said he was spending about $200/month on his room but it was quite far from the center of the city. He owned a motorbike which is something I never want to do. So even if you take off the cost of rent it would be somewhat offset by needing your own bike.
Western food is more expensive in Pattaya then it is in other Asian cities I have lived in. $5 meals are pretty hard to find. To balance it out you need to mix in some cheap meals and luckily Thailand has lots of those to offer.
In Jomtien there was a good Thai place right by the beach that had good pad Thai or crispy pork for under $3 a meal. Good cheap Thai food is all around so you can always find a cheap meal.
There was also a lot of cheap Indian food around. On the way back from Walking Street to the baht bus that lead to Jomtien there was a place with huge shwarmas for $2. This was a staple of my meals in Pattaya, add in a bag of chips and a coke and for $3 you had a full meal.
I was still able to eat for around $250 a month in Pattaya, but it was more of a struggle in other places. And it sucks being priced out of the market for so many of the better restaurants. In places like Angeles City and Cebu there are only a few restaurants that charge more than I am willing to spend. In Patts there were many.
The baht bus is another thing that Pattaya does right. They are constantly traveling around the city and you almost never have to wait long for the next one to come. For .33 cents I could be right next to Walking Street from my place in Jomtien in no time.
There are also lots of moto taxis around that are pretty cheap, but not as cheap as the baht bus. Still a dollar or three will get you to most places. An annoying thing about the moto taxis in Pattaya is that they will tell you 60 baht for a ride and then when you get to the place some will say they meant 60 baht for you and 60 for the girl. They know most guys will pay because they don’t wanna look cheap in front of the girl.
Mobile data is quite cheap as well so your internet bill won’t be to high as long as you aren’t streaming or downloading. My 3g stick was good enough for my internet needs. I didn’t even do a promo and my texting didn’t cost me much at all.
As with any city like Pattaya this is a hard one to predict because it is so person dependent. If you have no willpower Pattaya will eat your bankroll alive. If you have self control you can have a good time for a reasonable price, but that price will still be more than other places.
I thought of Pattaya as the Disney World of Asian entertainment cities. Is Disney World any nicer than Six Flags? Not really. It just has the name brand that you pay more for. Pattaya gets so many tourists it can set its own price and it’s higher than you will pay in other places.
I would say $350 would be about the bare minimum you should expect to spend there in a month if you are going to be partaking in the reason you will go to Pattaya for. That is if you aren’t hanging out in the gogos. There are plenty of girls at discos and on the beach. If you want to find them in the gogos then double or even triple the amount I proposed.
Overall Pattaya Budget
I think you need to spend a minimum of 1k/month to live in Pattaya and have any fun doing so. A Pattaya budget over $1500 would allow you to have a lot of fun. And the sky is really the limit for how much you can spend in a city like Pattaya.
Update – at the time $1000 was ~30k Baht, now it’s ~35k Baht, making things easier.
If you had a steady girlfriend or grinded dating sites like Thaifriendly or ThaiCupid for a normal girl you might be able to cut down on the ‘entertainment’ costs in your Pattaya budget. I didn’t have time as I was only there for a month.