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Phuket Cost of Living 'Much Higher Now'

Phuket Cost of Living 'Much Higher Now'

Saturday, December 10, 2011
PHUKET: Living on Phuket is so expensive that 500 baht a day would probably be more appropriate than the 300 baht minimum wage proposed for introduction from April 1, the Senate Committee on Labor was told yesterday.

And the committee rekindled a longstanding Phuket mystery: If Burmese workers come to Phuket as families, and if their children are forbidden from attending Thai schools, where do they go during the day?

Members of the committee cited an interest in human rights and wanted to know how Phuket cared for immigrants and coped with associated social stability, crime, education and health.

Committee members said that while there was a complex schools system for illegal Burmese children in Ranong, a province north of Phuket, there appeared to be no underground education network on Phuket.

Questions about other aspects of the treatment of Burmese on Phuket largely remained unanswered, although it's well-known that Burmese are treated at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City, where temporary beds are often placed in elevator foyers when conditions become crowded.

It was a surprise to have the committee ask about the Rohingya - at least one boatload arrived on Phuket earlier this year and other boatloads continue to arrive along the coast, both to the north and south of Phuket.

A Phuket police representative told the committee that Rohingya were not a Phuket issue because they were usually heading for Malaysia or Indonesia.

On the issue of the minimum wage, the committee heard that Phuket had almost full employment, with the official unemployment rate just 0.5 percent.

But with a motorcycle taxi ride to work likely to cost 50 baht each way, plus accommodation and meals, even 400 baht or 500 baht a day could sometimes seem inadequate on Phuket, the committee was told.

What Phuket needed most was skilled labor in the tourism sector, the committee was told.

A minimum wage might help people with low education in Thailand's agricultural regions but it would not have much application on Phuket, the committee heard.

About 60,000 Burmese were currently registered to work legally on Phuket. The committee expressed concern about the children of Burmese, born on Phuket.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


This i do agree with. I put up with the high prices on Phuket for 6 years and now moved to Chiang Mai..Apart from much nicer people here the cost of accommodation, public transport and fresh food , both cooked and fresh is way, way lower than Phuket.They really do need at least 500 baht daily to live reasonably there.In the time i was there costs have continually risen and the average wage has not. Shameful IMO!!!

Posted by davidj949 on December 10, 2011 15:34


Thanks for a more balanced article.

Posted by J on December 10, 2011 16:12


Nobody would ever use a motorbike taxi to commute to work if they are in a low income wage bracket. To pay off a motorbike of your own can cost as little as 500 baht per month, so this "fantasy person" they talk about does not exist. ALL companies hiring large number of burmese workers provide both accommodation and transportation for the workers. I see this every morning at the end of my soi, a large number of burmese being picked up in the morning at 8 and dropped off at 6 PM. Most hotels do the same for their staff, provide both transportation and living and usually also at least one meal per day. Otherwise there would be absolutely nobody to work at these places, or they would really have to earn 500 baht per day.

Posted by christian on December 10, 2011 17:06


In what reality do Nussara Lem live in?
300 tbh is just too much for one day for a simple worker here! that's around 8400tbh a month!

But if you always had money then it can be difficult to understand how people can survive on lower wages!

Posted by Mr Schneider on December 11, 2011 16:21


The Burmese staff in my restaurant receive, and are happy with, 150 baht a day each. To pay them more would mean I have to increase my prices to my clients, and my pride is to serve excellent food at a very fair price. I understand Thai workers demand often more money, but Burmese work often for 150 or 200 a day and that is a lot more than they would get in Burma. Salary in Burma is 50 to 100 baht a day or equivalent in their money.

Posted by Guillaume on December 12, 2011 05:23


@ Guillaume. Our Myanmar staff receive 350 Bt/day and free food, which is as much as we'd pay any Thai working and living in Phuket. Would you work for 150 and be HAPPY with it? Kee niow jing jing.

Posted by agogohome on December 15, 2011 08:49


agogo, well some of my staff are working for me 5 years already and they have a great working environment, always happy and laughing and chatting at work. I am not going to stop to pay your staff what you want, so you don't stop me to pay my staff what I want, ok? Does your restaurant menu start from 70 baht for a big plate of full meal including meat like mine? No, I think not.

Posted by Guillaume on December 17, 2011 22:47

Wednesday May 18, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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