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Suddenly Phuket becomes the most expensive place to live and work

Phuket the Most Expensive Place to Live

Thursday, December 9, 2010
PHUKET is now officially the most expensive place in Thailand to live, even more expensive than Bangkok, with the basic daily wage of a laborer skyrocketting to 221 baht a day - a huge increase of 17 baht.

The official application was for an 11 baht increase, but the National Wage Committee today ruled that a greater increase was needed to keep pace with the cost of living on Phuket.

It's the first time that Phuket has moved past Bangkok and the capital's neighboring provinces, which will get a new daily wage entitlement of 215 baht a day from January 1.

The rate in Bangkok goes up from 206 baht, and is now six baht below Phuket. The average increase is just 11 baht, with workers in seven provinces only receiving an increase of eight baht a day.

Phuket needed an increase of more than twice that amount because of its higher costs of living as a tourist destination.

Phuket officials had asked for 11 baht, but the officials in Bangkok thought that workers on Phuket needed an extra six baht more just to keep up with rising costs.

Last year Phuket's increase of 10 baht was also the highest, but this year is the first time that Thailand's biggest island has become a more expensive place to live than Thailand's capital.

The Labor Department's permanent secretary, Somkiat Chayasriwong, announcing the new rates from January 1, said that Phuket's neighboring province of Phang Nga will gain 13 baht along with six other provinces.

Phang Nga's new rate is 186 baht while in Krabi the rate rises from 170 baht to 184 baht.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Makes me feel like a big spender paying my 4 lazy employees 384 baht per day.

Posted by kevin on December 9, 2010 18:40


Yeah, Phuket is really booming demanding an increase in the minimum wage. Whilst it won't affect many people as the standard wage is already 250-350 baht, the people that will feel it are those that are already on the brink.

Posted by Jimmy on December 9, 2010 19:50


remember, that is PER DAY not PER HOUR

Posted by J on December 10, 2010 01:05


Nothing surprising here. Phuket has been the most expensive place to live in Thailand for years. Nice of the National Wage Committee to acknowledge it.

Blame it on the tourists and the tuk-tuk "m****".

Posted by Mike Boyd on December 10, 2010 13:49

Editor Comment:

There is no evidence that people on the basic wage hail tuk-tuks, or that the National Wage Committee takes tuk-tuk fares into consideration. It's also hard to see how tourists can be held responsible for inflation. In fact, the cost of tourist accommodation and fares has come down.


Very funny Ed. But you know what I'm getting at. Tourists come here with their "holiday" money, spend it like water and the tuk-tuk m**** help them do it.

Perhaps a Torrey Canyon event off Patong beach might lower prices a bit.

Posted by Mike Boyd on December 10, 2010 14:13


Though I agree it's not correct to blame tourists for inflation, they do have a undeniable effect on price levels in tourist destinations.

Tourists in general have little or no knowledge of local price levels and are thus often overcharged. Tuk-Tuks being just one, although highly visible, example.

Lack of local authorities' oversight allows less than honest vendors get away with and accustomed to overcharging tourists. Soon they and others apply higher prices across the board. This happens in just about every tourist place I've been to, admittingly at a varying intensity but nevertheless isn't not a phenomenon unique to Phuket.

These overcharged prices do not show up in statistics because they are not the reported official prices. Thus the impact of tourists on official inflation figures is insignificant or nil.

In reality however it has a profound effect on actual street prices. Something that becomes evident during a short stroll around Patong, Kata or Karon.

Posted by Chris on December 10, 2010 22:37

Editor Comment:

And tourists who come on package holidays at lower and lower rates eventually realise the prices for everything else are far too high and move on to destinations where essentials are reasonable.


Hi, I'm regularly on Phuket since 1985. And usually stay in Patong Beach. My favorite hotel Andaman Club
I come since 1998. my last time was in May 2009. What struck me Patong (Phuket) considers itself the market. Each every Year later, the much money as Single, with the result since the Tsunami Hotel no longer filled with guests is.Terwijl for holiday goers eating out very cheap for Phuket is.Jammer that they have not earned the following in Hospitality Patong Beach and Karon that they stay away from Europe and other places in Asia (Bali) look up.
gr. mark

Posted by mark on January 13, 2011 04:08


The longer you stay the more you find out, until the daily wage of 221B almost seems reasonable in terms of Thailand. This is minimum wage for unskilled labour required by law. Other people have noted that the reality is that people usually get more than this.

It is common that although this is very low and one couldn't have very much fun on a wage like this. It would be possible to live on a wage like this and have food, clothes and shelter. Phuket and even Patong has a great range of things on offer. It is possible to stay in a guesthouse for a rent of 1500B per month, in the heart of Patong, and have a meal for 40B.

Posted by Ty on January 31, 2011 12:24


"Skyrocketing" all the way up to what is still less than what most people need to live a decent life. I could have sworn I heard that slavery was abolished years ago. Go figure!

Posted by Elliot on March 20, 2011 09:41

Wednesday July 24, 2024
Phuketwan - Your sweet Phuket, every day


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