A Brief Guide to Living in Krabi Thailand

This guide to Living in Krabi will walk you through what it’s like to live in the resort town and the general cost of living that you can expect to pay.
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Thailand is one of those locations that gets under your skin and makes you want to soak in the exotic smells and revel in the laughter and friendliness of the Thai people. I’m often asked where I would choose to live if I could be resident anywhere in the world. My answer is simple… Living in Krabi Thailand would be my one and only go to place for my retirement.

Living in Krabi Thailand
Krabi is a Gateway to Koh Phi Phi and Other Amazing Islands

Thailand As an Expat Destination

The country sports beautiful mountainous terrain, modern eclectic cities, and relaxing island and beach retreats. It literally has every sort of climate, other than snow, that you might be looking for. It also has enviable levels of western medical service (for expats), and the general cost of living is cheap.

Subsequently, expats typically flood to the Kingdom in the hope of forging a better life at a, much reduce, cheaper cost. Typically, you find expats split into 3 distinct groups, those that like the laid-back island life, Bangkok city dwellers, and northern Chiang Mai expats.

The Kingdom accepts them all readily and retirement visas are actually quite easy to come by as long as you are least 50 and have some income behind you.

Why Should You Consider Living in Krabi Thailand

If you are looking for a relaxed and inexpensive beach lifestyle, then Krabi is the destination for you. The town and beach areas have not yet been over-developed and, despite being ‘touristy’ it still retains its sleepy beachside resort vibe.

Krabi town, and the resort area Aonang, provide almost everything you will require for services. In particular, Aonang has a plethora of small, family run, restaurants and cafes which serve a variety of Western and Thai cuisine.

Additionally, it can be very cheap to live and retire in the area with accommodation options to fit almost all budgets. I’ll cover the general cost of living in a different section but, suffice to say, you can live quite well on as little as US$2k per month.

Ultimately, the place is a relaxing beachside resort without the mass over-tourism that is evident in places such as Spain and Portugal.

General Living Costs for Krabi

Krabi can be cheap to live in
Krabi is Cheap to Live in and the Local Markets Are Great Value

As mentioned, it is fairly cheap to live in Krabi and there are options that will suit everything from the budget conscious all the way to the high-end wealthy nomad. I’ve broken down a small list below that fits my general experience in the township.

Thai BahtU.S. Dollar
Accommodation (Monthly Rental)  
1-Bedroom in City Centre6,000$164.00
Restaurants  
Meal – Budget Place70.00$1.91
Meal – Mid Range – 2 people500.00$13.67
Local Beer 500ml90.00$2.46
Food  
Milk – 1 liter40.00$1.09
Loaf of Bread40.00$1.09
Rice – 1kg42.50$1.16
Chicken Fillets – 1kg92.50$2.52
Local Cheese – 1kg950.00$25.98
Utilities  
Electricity/Heating/Cooling/Water1,600.00$43.75
Internet – unlimited 60mbps733.00$20.04
General Costs of Living in Krabi Thailand

Obviously, this guide is my personal experience and how you live your life, and spend your money, is likely to have a massive impact on what your monthly living budget is. However, if you throw in some medical care, clothes, and entertainment, I think you can see that you could live very well on US$2k a month. Not extravagant…but well.

Entertainment in Krabi

entertainment options in thailand krabi
Krabi Has Lots of Entertainment Options

Krabi is definitely not known for its raging party scene or anything like that. However, it does have a small yet lively expat orientated scene in Aonang. There is a small strip of bars and live bands, and it can make for an enjoyable night out once in a while.

You will find that most of the entertainment in Krabi revolves around sporting clubs with expatriates typically identifying with a single sport/club. Organized outings are common, and most friends’ groups are developed from within these clubs.

You will find it relatively easy to meet people given the concentration of night life in a small area. However, developing lasting friendships can be somewhat more difficult due to the transitory nature of the area.

I would also caution about drinking too much alcohol whilst in Thailand. The nation is blessed with few rules in this regard which means it can be easy to overindulge on a regular basis. This can lead to dependency and is, often, a common reason for expats leaving Thailand. Do yourself a favor and don’t base your socializing solely around booze.

Hospitals and Medical Care – Living in Krabi Thailand

Small medical clinics are relatively plentiful in the Krabi area, and they are suitable for general treatment. There is a 120-bed hospital in Krabi Town which offers a range of treatment, but I would not consider it a ‘Full Service’ operation. For any major issues, your best bet is international hospitals in Phuket which is around 2-3 hours away.

Medical services can be a mixed bag in Thailand, and I would often choose to travel up to Bangkok, to attend Bumrungrad International Hospital, for any of my required treatments.

International Transport Connections

Thankfully, Krabi has a small international airport that offers regional connections within Asia. It does not have the scope of flights that Phuket or Bangkok offer but you can still use it as a hub to get to places such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai.

The airport is relatively close to Krabi Town and the ease of access means that it is relatively easy to travel both within Thailand and abroad.

Banking Facilities

banking in krabi
There Are Many Local Banking Options

Most of the major Thai banks have branches scattered around the Aonang area and they are, typically, quite foreigner friendly. Having said that, you will need to demonstrate some sort of substantive residency or retirement visa for them to open an account for you. Things have tightened up over the past few years and the days of obtaining an account on a tourist visa are long gone.

The local banks provide many of the same amenities you would expect from their Western counterparts, and you can expect to be issued with a debit/ATM card as well as a passbook for your bank records.

Final Points & Key Takeaways About Living in Krabi Thailand

I really wish I could explain to you what a joy it is to live in Krabi where time slips by without too much in the way of hassles or trouble. It’s one of the few places in the world that I feel just absolutely relaxed as I sip my coffee and read my newspaper at the local café.

If you are considering relocating to Krabi I would recommend you book a short trip there first to get a taste of the flavor of the township. It isn’t for everyone and is relatively small and likely doesn’t have the large nightlife entertainment zones if that is what you are seeking.

Regardless, Krabi is one of the few places where you can live a very comfortable life with not a lot of money. Accommodation, food, and medical care are cheap and, reasonably, plentiful and you will have no problems accessing what you need as a foreigner.

Best of luck in any potential move you might make and please feel free to drop us a line here at the The Roving Entrepreneur and let us know how you are getting on with your new life.

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