Most affordable city to live in Thailand
Thailand can be a very expensive place to live, or it can be one of the most affordable places to live. The disparity is usually comes from the city you live in Thailand. Of course if you live in the far east of Thailands isaan region the cost of living is extremely low, however living in the middle of Bangkok city you could find that Thailand is very expensive.
Most westerners don't want to live in the far reaches of the country just because it's a cheap place to live, you can still get good value for money while having all the benefits and attractions of a big city. Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city, and while Bangkok dwarfs Chiang Mai, it still has a huge expat community.
Why Chiang Mai is the cheapest and most affordable city to live in Thailand
Chiang Mai is located in the northern most part of Thailand, it has a huge vast regions of arable land so fruit and vegetables are a plenty and cheap too. Living in Chiang Mai is also extremely affordable, apartments you can rent from as little as $40 USD a month! Typical street side food you can buy from less than a $1 per meal and nearly half the cost of the same meal in Bangkok.
Chiang Mai is such an affordable place to live you can honestly live in Chiang Mai on $10 a day. That must be why there are 20,000 westerners retired and living in Chiang Mai because it's so cheap to live there.
Some things that are not affordable for this most affordable city in Thailand are clothing items. Decent clothes are only found in the major Central department store near the Chiang Mai Airport. The prices here are very expensive especially designer clothes and shoes. It's almost always cheaper to go to bangkok buy your clothes while on vacation there and bring them back to Chiang Mai more affordable that way too.