Cost of Living in Chiang Mai – Hang Dong Food Market

Cost of living in Chiang Mai and Shopping at Local Markets

Before we came to Thailand we wanted to know the cost of living in Chiang Mai, to help work out our budgets and how much money we would need to bring with us.  However we found it difficult to find the answers we were looking for.

This is just a quick glance into the cost of living in Chiang Mai.

Basically you can chose how you want to live in Thailand, extravagantly or cheaply.
The extravagant dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, dinner for two at a small cafe/restaurant can cost around 200 baht (£4.00) without alcohol.  Eating out in Thailand is cheap compared to some other countries, but when you times that amount, every day, 2 or 3 times a day, your soon spending 3000 baht and counting a week (£60) just on food.  Much more if you want to go to bigger restaurants/hotels.

Now of course, this is cheap compared to eating out that much in the UK.
However we tell ourselves, we are living in Thailand now, not the UK.

On holiday, it’s a different story, you want to eat out and go to new places every day, which you absolutely should as there are so many great places to eat.  
I’m talking about actually living here in Thailand, not just visiting for a holiday.

We have a house with a well equipped kitchen, it would be silly not to use it, saving a meal out for maybe once or twice a week or a special occasion.
Like we would do at home in the UK.

We soon discovered on moving into our new house, the local food market at Hang Dong. It’s a great place and I enjoy going there and buying our food.  
I can’t say I feel the same way about Tesco’s or the other big supermarkets though!

cost of living in chiang mai

The Hang Dong food market is an experience in itself for a taste of Real Thailand.  Local farmers and their families sell their produce, rows of fresh vegetables, fruits, rice and eggs.

cost of living in chiang mai

There’s also a raw meat section, where if you think you can handle it, have a walk through, the smells and sights in here are not for the weak bellied though.

Last week on our visit to the market, this is what we came away with:

cost of living in chiang mai

2 kilos of rice
Bunch of 16 small bananas
10 fresh eggs
6 cartons of coconut milk (1.5 litres in total)
4 large onions
2 large carrots
4 large potatoes
Bunch of yard long beans (like green beans, but a yard in length!) 
1 bag of homemade green Thai curry paste
Large bunch of spring onions
1 whole fresh pineapple, cut and ready to eat
2 banana bread muffins (only 1 in the image, as the other one got devoured before we even arrived home!!!) 

The total cost for all of this: 335 Thai Baht = £6.70 (at the time of writing!)

We got a total of 6 lunches & dinners out of this stuff for the cost of not even 2 meals out.  Its worth living like a local sometimes! 

cost of living in chiang mai

How to get to the Hang Dong food market:
From Central Airport Plaza, head south on the highway 108 toward Mae Hong Son & Hang Dong.
Keep driving south, passing Tesco Lotus, Big C and the Toyota garage. Eventually the highway 108 changes from 2 lanes into one lane, start indicating right and look out for a large green sign with Thai writing that looks like this:

cost of living in chiang mai

You will see the market as you turn right at the green sign.

cost of living in chiang mai

Follow this one way road to its end, where you will see arrows on the road:

cost of living in chiang mai

Turn right here and immediately right again into a car park for Hang Dong food market.

cost of living in chiang mai

This is a link to the area on Google maps: 
Hang Dong Map  

I should also mention that the covered market is open everyday and there is a lot more than just food for sale.  Clothes, gold jewellery, hardware, home ware, toiletries, a pharmacy and some things that looked a lot like ancient wooden dildos!

Bear in mind, that very few of the vendors will speak English, so I would recommend learning a few Thai basics if you intend to buy things, for example, ‘hello’ ‘how much’ & ‘thank you’ is a good place to start. 
A website we have found helpful is it has audio clips over most of the words and phrases so you can get the correct pronunciation. 

Learning the numbers 1-10 plus 50 & 100 has been very useful for us.
If you get stuck ‘can you write it down’ can be handy to know!

Go and have a look around!  

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*Other Useful information

Pet Friendly Hotels in other parts of Thailand? – Looking for Pet Friendly Hotels in other parts of Thailand?
Bringing a dog to Thailand – The ins and outs of Exporting a dog from the UK to Thailand.
Info we have categorized under Pets – Other Posts Related to Edens Dog Life in Thailand. Including cute dog videos and some Pet Friendly Hotel reviews too.


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Jmayel, Sacha & Eden El-Haj

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