How I’m Livin’: Pattaya CRIBS

August 6, 2008 by  

Alright, so the display photo for this post isn’t actually my room – it’s sort of a common area for the residence. Anyone staying here can use the room to chill. I’m actually sitting in that room right now as I’m typing this. Ooh… there we go – one of the gogo girls just walked by. She wants to play pool but “maybe later” I said, “have to work”. Yeah, life is rough :)Anyway, it seems that the most common questions I’m getting about living and training in Thailand are regarding the expenses. I figured I’d do a post strictly about what sort of monthly expenses you can expect and of course, how to cut costs. Believe it or not, I’m on a pretty tight budget myself.

I’ll start off by saying that the average Thai person in this area works full time and earns around $200-300 a month (sometimes not even that). The people in other regions of Thailand earn a lot less but this is somewhat of a touristy area so there’s more opportunity. I should note that just because a Thai person can get by on $300 a month, it doesn’t mean you can. As a foreigner, you pay a premium to visit this country.

When you go shopping here, very rarely will you see a set price on the items. The Thai’s pay one price, the foreigners pay another. It’s possible for us “falangs” (foreigners) to get the Thai price, but you have to be able to speak a little bit of Thai and convince them that you actually live here.

Accommodation Costs

Like anywhere else in the world, accommodation costs vary depending on how nice your residence is. The Thai people will often find a room that costs 4000-6000baht a month and 2..3..sometimes 4 of them will share, and split the cost of the room. For 4000 baht a month, you can find a basic, yet decent fan-room that’s liveable. Add about 2000 baht to that upping it to 6000 and you can find something with an air conditioner and a TV.

Now, as a foreigner, it’s tough to find such deals. They’re out there though if you look hard enough and negotiate a long term rent (especially during “low season”). Low season months are humid & rainy and high season months are sunny and clear. The weather is at it’s best here when it’s at it’s worse in the western cities that experience the cold winters (for me, it’s Canada).

When paying such low rents (4000-6000baht), you’ll need to keep in mind that your electric and water costs are not included. What a lot of places do (especially to foreigners), is advertise the low monthly rent to get you to sign, then charge you inflated electricity costs. I was checking out this one apartment here in Pattaya (R-Conn Residence) and they advertised a monthly rent of 10,900 baht per month, but they billed the electric costs at 8baht per unit. The real cost for electric is more around 5 baht per unit so you have to be careful with that. It’s a scam!

Right now I’m paying 12,000 baht per month (all inclusive) for a great place with everything I need and more. Everything is brand new and my room has a comfortable bed, TV, DVD player, hot water, safe and most importantly, WIFI internet so I can keep these logs up to date. Here’s a video tour I took for you guys to see..

As I mentioned in another post, the selling point for me wasn’t JUST the room. The fact that there’s about 20-30 hot coyote dancers around here every night didn’t hurt my decision. Here’s a quick clip I took of lower level of the building. Disregard the girl with the big ass that’s dancing like a duck though.. haha. Oh, and the girl on the far left (the one that’s giving me the look of death at the start), she’s the “stage 5 clinger” I was talking about in my last post.

Food Costs

Another thing I love about Thailand is the food (as if the beautiful women, nice weather, great training and friendly people weren’t enough). Here, if you want “western food”, you’re going to pay western prices. It’s Thailand, so I stick to the Thai food. “When in Rome” .. right?

Finding cheap meals in Thailand is an easy task. There’s roadside stalls set up pretty much everywhere selling everything from BBQ chicken skewers to .. well .. bugs! They eat some unusual things here but I suppose it’s the norm to them.

The skewers sell for 10 baht each (which is about 33 cents) and you have a choice of chicken, beef, pork and even hot dogs.

The stands are everywhere. I’m not going to lie, some of the food looks a little sketchy but I’m a picky eater and even I can find things that I like. There’s this one place down the road that sells a place of chicken & rice with a bowl of soup on the side for 30 baht (about 95 cents). Here’s the stand..

Cost of Training

This is pretty straight forward. Different gyms charge different rates. Just check the gyms website to see how much they charge. The average is between 6000-8000 baht per month. Anything less than 6000 baht is cheap and anything over 8000 is pretty expensive. Keep in mind though, this will usually get you two-a-days and included in every session is personal pad-time with your trainer. Just think of how much that would cost back at home? It’s worth it, trust me.

Cost of Entertainment

You just came for the training (sure you did). Even if that’s so, this is Thailand. There’s a lot of temptation to go out and party. I say, train hard during the week, party hard during the weekend. Even the Thai’s take Sunday off, so you can go out and have a good time on Saturday nights. It’s part of the experience of living in a different country. And I have to say, the experience of having hundreds of hot Thai girls screaming “sexy man”, “handsome man” at you from all angles is pretty cool (even if they’re just after your money).

A night out can be done cheaply here with ease. They sell alcohol everywhere in Thailand and it’s legal to explore the streets with a beer in your hand. I just hit 7-11 and grab a San Miguel light for about a dollar. Or, if I’m out early enough, you can just hit happy hour and get dollar drinks at one of the bars. The local stuff is cheap (Singha, Tiger, Sangsom).

What’ll get you though is when an unbelievably hot Thai girl comes to sit with you and requests a “lady drink”. Think of it like buying a girl a drink at the club in your home country only the cost of “lady drinks” here are jacked up so the girls can earn a commission off them. If you only go out once a week or two (like I do), then whatever, buy the damn lady-drinks and support the economy.. they’re still only around 4-5 dollars (about the same or even less than you’d pay back at home).

Cost of Transportation

The longer you stay here, the less you’ll end up paying for transportation. By western standards, the transport in Thailand is unbelievably cheap so you’ll overpay and still be amazed at what a good deal you think you’re getting. If you’re staying in Phuket, you’ll want to avoid the “Tuk Tuk’s” because a) they’re overpriced and b) the drivers are Thai mafia. That was the first piece of advise that was offered to me during my first visit to Thailand “be nice to the Tuk Tuk drivers” because yes, they can make you “disappear”.

I find that the best (but not the safest) mode of transport is motorbike taxi. You can get pretty much anywhere you want for less than 100 baht. I pay 100 baht to get to Sityodtong from where I am and it’s a LONG way out. Here in Pattaya, they also have what I like to call “baht busses”.

These busses just drive all over (usually at random) and when you see one, you just wave it down and hop on the back. When you get to where you’re going, you just ring the bell, hop off and pass the driver 10 baht. The only downside to these “baht busses” are that the stops aren’t announced so you really have to know the area (which I don’t .. yet).

Cost of Relaxation

I have to mention the massages because they’re one of my favourite things about coming to Thailand. After a hard day of training, your muscles ache and you feel like you’re about to die. Well, after a nice foot or oil massage, you’ll feel as good as new. There’s more massage parlours around here than convenience stores so you’ll be able to find one of every block. The average cost of a 1 hour foot massage is about 200 baht and for an oil massage, about 300 baht. Don’t worry, that’s only about 7-10 dollars. I got a foot massage the other day and she even went so far as to cut my toe-nails. They really take care of you here. And if you opt for the oil massage (which I highly recommend), you may just get an offer for an “additional service” which of course, like everything else in Thailand, is “up to you”.

If there’s anything I left out, just leave a comment below and let me know.


THINKING OF GOING TO THAILAND TO TRAIN?

I’ve developed a 70 page guide that profiles everything you need to know about training in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. In the manual, I discuss the visa issues, the Muay Thai camps, the different areas, the transportation, the food, the culture and customs, the girls, the scams, the safety issues and most importantly, how to save a ton of cash along the way!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE


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Comments

18 Responses to “How I’m Livin’: Pattaya CRIBS”

  1. Chief on August 8th, 2008 1:15 am

    I was just there from 5 – 25 July. I think that bar in the video is Club Blu. Are you staying at Jasmine Mansion? That area, Soi Buakaow, is a good place to stay. A bit cheaper then some places in Pattaya and has a vibrant nightlight of its own. I enjoyed many of the very nice farang restaurants in that area. No need to go to walking street….you having right there in your bad yard.

    Sounds like you have a good start there. If someone where to follow in your footsteps I would suggest that around 30,000 – 40,000 bahts per month would be a good budget to plan for. So for every 1,000USD you can save up would equal one month (not exactly – but a good guide). I think that is why it would be important for anybody planning this to work your ass off for several months before you leave. Get a job (or two) work overtime, work the weekends. Every 1,000USD means you can stay another month. Put all your money in a bank and us an ATM card to draw out your money. There are ATMs everywhere in Thailand.

    Sounds like there are some interesting perks in staying at that apartment, nice. The place looks good, basic room, clean, has everything you need. The thing I love about Thailand is everything is new and exciting. Just walking down the road to get some food and you will see something interesting. Being on your computer and seeing a little thai bird walking by giving you the eye….that some great experiences you will never forget. Unlike our home countries where everything is boring in which nothing new or exciting ever happens.

    I got a question for you. I will stay there two months next year. Is it unusual to have older guys taking lessons? I will be 41, in moderately good shape with some martial arts experience. In the vid I did not see anybody with grey hair, lol. I assume if I can pay for lessons they will train me….but do you see any older farang there training?

    I have been there many times….and I had no idea getting a one year visa was that easy. Do you still have to do visa runs to the border every 90 days?

    Take care,

    Chief

  2. admin on August 8th, 2008 4:14 am

    Chief,

    Excellent comments and you’re dead on when you said that just going for a walk in Thailand can be very exciting. You never know what you’re going to see/encounter. In Canada, everyday was pretty much exactly the same. You knew exactly what to expect but that’s for sure not the case here in Thailand. I love it!

    30,000-40,000 baht is exactly right. I find that I’m spending more around 40,000 baht but that’s because it costs me around 500 baht per day to train. The training itself is only 250 baht but Sityodtong is far so it’s a 100 motorbike taxi ride to get there and another 100 baht to get home. In addition to that, I give my trainer a 50 baht tip each time.

    For the training, I don’t see any 41 year olds. Heck, I’m prob. the oldest guy training there and I’m only 25. You’d most likely find more 41 year olds training at the more touristy camps like Fairtex however, with that being said, if you showed up, they’d happily train you. I highly recommend that you take the lessons. It’s the best workout I’ve ever done and while it’s very intense, it’s really fun at the same time so it’s easy to do. I actually look forward to going each day. It sure beats running sprints on the treadmill : )

    With the education visa I have, I don’t have to leave the country. I can renew it right here in Thailand every 3 months. I think I just have to show that I’m still training and I’m all good.

    Oh, and I’m not staying at Jasmine Mansion, I’m actually staying in the apartments above club blue. They’re brand new and I’m pretty happy with the place. The room is small, but it’s clean and comfortable so no complaints from me.

    Thanks for your feedback,

    Bill

  3. Bulgari on August 9th, 2008 12:43 am

    Hey dude,

    Im currently looking for a camp to train in. Can you please elaborate what the differences between the clubs are other than price? Could you name your top 6 choices for training camp in Thailand and the reasons for that. Thanks

  4. jack on August 9th, 2008 6:28 am

    so i got a question, how much do the thai girls charge for sex, on average

  5. admin on August 10th, 2008 8:25 am

    To Bulgari,

    I really can’t rate the camps just yet since my journey is only starting and I haven’t experienced them all. When are you planning on going? I’ll be training at dozens of camps and I’ll be posting the reviews on here so hopefully by the time you go, you’ll know exactly where to go and what to expect.

    To Jack,

    Honestly, it depends on how old & fat you are. The more unappealing you are, the more the girls will ask for. I’ve even seen guys get rejected by the prostitutes regardless of how much money they offer.

    To answer your question though, it’ll range from between 30-90 bucks (1000-3000baht (depending on how long you take them and how much they like you). If you’re young, good-looking and you give off a good vibe, you may not even have to pay. But that’s the same as anywhere else in the world, if the girl likes you, she’ll deal with you.

  6. Josh on August 14th, 2008 10:11 am

    hey I am so happy to have found someone that is doing exactly what your doing, I think its a great way to teach ppl that may not know so much about thailand and where to go or how to get started. My good friend and trainning partner of mine are planning to save about $3500 canadian dollars to stay for about 3 months, which apparently works out give or take a week or two im sure. We both have a few amature fights here in Hamilton Ontario and I’ve been told that one can find fights in thailand pretty well nightly, after trainning for a month or so do you think the thai’s would have any problem finding us fights with the natives aswell as other ”falangs”, with us being ” competent fighters” of course. I would love to have 3-4 fights during my stay in thailand.. again do you think this would be possible? aswell as do you know if they require bloodwork?

    thanks
    Josh

  7. admin on August 14th, 2008 10:26 am

    Josh,

    First off, thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you like the site. As for finding fights, you will have absolutely no problem finding fights here. I’ll be honest. I’m not that good. I mean, I’m decent, but am I good enough to fight yet? Definitely not.

    Even my trainer at Sityodtong (which is a very respected camp) said he wanted me to fight in 3-4 weeks. Things like that really make you question what’s in it for them. I mean, I know I’m not ready. I gas out during my padwork and he wants me to fight in a few weeks? Naw man. I think they get some sort of compensation if their students take fights.

    I’m going to fight while I’m here but it’s going to be when I feel I’m ready, not when some money-hungry Thai guy wants to make a few bucks off me. But for you guys, if you’re already experienced and ready, for sure, you can take 3-4 fights each while you’re here.

    As for the bloodwork, honestly, I don’t think they do any testing (which sort of throws me off). I mean, this is Thailand, HIV rates are higher here than in Canada and who knows if you’re opponent has been shagging the Thai prosties without a condom..

    I’m not 100% sure on the testing thing so let me ask around and I’ll get back to you on that. I suppose if you wanted to fight, you could just get in contact with your opponent and do the testing on your own. Give yourselves the peace of mind..

    When are you thinking of coming and what camp are you thinking of training at?

    Bill

  8. Josh on August 16th, 2008 7:05 am

    josh

    Well as of right now we are just ”pinching our pennys” so to speak untill we get closer to the amount we need, we are both very serious about going although we have not looked into alot of gyms which is why we both thought it was awsome that we could simply track you and your comments aswell as pictures and videos. So mainly we will be influenced alot based on your comments as a fellow canadian im sure we would probly share similar opinions for the most part. Atleast from what i can gather from your pictures and videos i can agree with what you say and so hopefully by following the commments you leave for certain gyms aswell of our own research im certain we will be able to find a good gym aswell as a decent place to stay for our time there. if you could give any tips tho to make it alil easier that you wish somone would have told you when you first arrived that would be great! ( I’d rather not hop in a mofia run cab company )
    I think any info you could give us would be very helpfull

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RAZRHANDS

    If you had a chance you can find 3 of my fights here, I only put them up to give you an idea of where i stand because the same as you, I’d rather not be ”thrown to the dogs” thinking that these guys would have my general health in mind

    thanks again
    josh

  9. faisal on August 19th, 2008 7:33 am

    sup buddy

    I’ve been told that its a good idea to buy or hire a little scooter to get you around…is that a good idea cus im plannin on goin for about 6 months? and what would the costs be looking like for that long of a stay in the end (like in dollars or GBP)

    good luck on your training and have a good time

  10. admin on August 19th, 2008 8:47 am

    Motorbikes (scooters) are the most popular mode of transportation here in Thailand. With that being said, the leading cause of death is also motorbike accidents. About 50% of the Thai people I’ve met have some sort of visable scar somewhere and when I ask them what happened, the answer is always “motorbike”.

    You can rent motorbikes all over the place. The average rate is around 3000 baht per month and the gas is very cheap. They’re fun, but unless you’ve had experience driving motorbikes in your home country, they can be pretty dangerous. Not only that, there’s hardly any rules on the road here and people are wreckless drivers.

    I guess it all depends. If you’re going to be living in a rural area open roads and not much traffic, then by all means, rent a motorbike. However, if you’re living in a busy area with lots of traffic etc. You might be better off just hopping on the back of a “motorbike taxi” and let the experienced Thai’s do the driving. They’re very cheap also.

    If you’re planning on living here for 6 months, my advise to you would be to come with a little bit more money than you THINK you’re going to spend. There’s always unexpected expenses that pop up. It also depends where you’re staying. Chiang Mai is cheaper than Phuket etc.

    I’d say, on average, budget for around 1500 baht per day (rent, food, training, transportation) and throw in a little bit extra for the weekends if you’re planning on going out .. (you will).

    So, 1500 baht per day .. 30 days a month .. 45,000 baht per month .. around 1500US ..

    Write back and tell me exactly where you’re planning on training/living so I can get back to you with a more accurate quote..

  11. faisal on August 21st, 2008 6:34 am

    thanks for the info

    im not sure what camp im going to im plannin for the future and my goal date is feb 2010 im checkin out your thread on BB.com and ill see what you have to say about your experience about the areas and camps and take it from there

  12. Scorpion Muay Thai Gym Review | Fight Passport on September 3rd, 2008 1:41 pm

    [...] that I know my way around, it’s actually very convenient to get to since it’s on the baht bus route – which is a major reason why I’ve been going [...]

  13. Ling on January 7th, 2009 11:58 pm

    Pattaya Accomodation

    Hi Bill,

    Just came back from a short trip to Pattaya, and was wondering if you have any tips on how to go about looking for accomdation for 1 month in april? Eg. websites etc?

    Your apartment looked real sweet though!

    Ling.

  14. SAYER OF ALL KNOWER OF SOME on September 16th, 2009 6:06 pm

    LOS ANGELAS MUAY THAI U.S.A..

    JUST HOW MUCH PREVIOUS EXPERIANCE DOES ONE NEED TO TRULY WARRENT VISTITING AND PAYING POSSIABLE HIGH PRICES OF A TRIP ABROAD.

    WHY WOULD THE BASICS BE ANY BETTER TOUGHT IN THAI LAND THAN AT HOME??

    HOW CAN SOME ONE NOT SPEAKING YOUR LANGUANGE BETTER EXPLAINE WHAT SHOULD BE FUNDIMENTALS AND LEARNED EARLY ON AND AT HOME.
    **MORE SO WITH A HUGE LANGUAGE GAP HOW CAN MOST LEARN ANY SUBTLE AND VERY INTRICATE MOVES .. A VIDEO COULD BE BETTER THAN A TRIP…

    2009 AND A WORLD RESSESSION AND SOME GUYS WANT TO TRAVEL TO TRAINE AND IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY DONT HAVE DEEP MUAY THAI EXPERIANCE TO START WITH.

    HOW MUCH DIRT AND JUNK WILL ANY ONE TAKE A BAD CAMP ..IS REALLY ALL SO GOOD???

    I THINK A FIGHTER GOING TO TRAIN IN THAI LAND SHOULD GO WITH SEVERAL FRIENDS NEVER ALONE .. VIDEO RECORD EVERY THING THEY LEARN AND DO AND PRACTICE ..

    GO AHEAD AND HAVE YOUR FUN ..ITS YOUR LIVE ..LIVE IT THE WAY YOU WANT TO …

  15. max on November 11th, 2009 3:40 am

    alrite man, first of all i just wanna say this is a great website and thanks for putting all the effort in so someone like me (clueless)can see some of the in’s and outs of living and training in Thailand. I’m currently a student at university in england on the first year of a 3 year degree. The thing is i like the degree but i hate the place i live in , it’s always been a dream of mine to train in thailand and i feel if i don ‘t pursue it now ill regret it forever. i was just wondering how much english money would be required for a 6 month trip to thailand? pounds would be helpful but dollars is great as i can more easily covert from dollars than baht. I have moderate experience in grappling but limited striking knowledge would this matter?? thanks in advance
    max

  16. Our Classy Week in Pattaya | Fight Passport on November 23rd, 2009 8:15 am

    [...] were staying in the apartments above club blue because I had stayed there before and I was happy with the room, the price, the location and the service. It’s right in the center [...]

  17. Scorpion Muay Thai Gym Review | Fight Passport on June 4th, 2011 10:24 pm

    [...] that I know my way around, it’s actually very convenient to get to since it’s on the baht bus route – which is a major reason why I’ve been going [...]

  18. GC on August 9th, 2011 2:21 pm

    First of all, GREAT site. I have learned so much from your posts and videos that you supply. In about 20 days I am leaving Toronto, Canada, and heading to Thailand for 4 months, and am planning on training at Sityodtong.
    Where did you stay in Pattaya while training there? I am looking into Eastiny Pattaya Resort, but think it could def. add up after a while. All in all, would you still recommend Sityodtong after all your experience(s) throughout other gyms?
    You wrote that you tipped your pad holder. Is it customary to always tip after a workout?

    Much Thanks,
    GC

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