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01st Nov 2023

‘I save almost £10k a year rent moving from London to Thailand – I live in a villa with a pool’


‘In the UK every person you meet is going through the system and not sure what they are doing’

A Brit moved to Thailand to live in a three-bedroom villa with a pool and jacuzzi as “it’s cheaper than London” – saving him almost £ 10k a year on rent.

Richard Klein decided to move to Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, in June 2023 after travelling Asia and falling in love with the country.

The 20-year-old quit his job as a compliance and emigrations officer after making more money as an Amazon seller – and realising he could work from anywhere online.

The ex-athlete has been travelling with his older sister, 29-year-old Santa, an artist, since October 2022 and they’ve both now settled in the backpacking hotspot.

Richard and Santa now live in a three-bedroom villa with a pool and spend £700 on rent, pay £2.50 for their water bill, and £25-£30 on electricity monthly.

His family had been paying around £1.5k a month for their home in Twickenham.

“I found in the UK every person you meet is going through the system and not sure what they are doing,” Richard said, adding that in Thailand people have the “ability to express yourself”.

“It’s cheaper and the weather is nice. There are lots of digital nomads here,” he added.

Richard started making money online alongside his corporate job and decided to travel to Europe in Summer 2021. After getting the travel bug, he backpacked around Asia before deciding to relocate permanently.

Richard and Santa say they could have found something much cheaper if they went for a smaller home, but are happy to pay £700 a month.

They are able to live in Thailand on educational visas – Richard is learning Muay Thai, to comply with his.

“There are no financial restrictions. It’s flexible. It’s brilliant – a much nicer environment,” Richard said.

“Chiang Mai has the hustle and the bustle and the nature.”

Richard said the cost of living is very cheap and a night out will cost him a maximum of £30, with shots of alcohol being just £1, and dinner about the same.

Richard is now sharing tips for other people to start a business online to encourage them to move out and work remotely.

He said: “Day to day it can get a bit lonely.

“It’s a very different walk of life.

“It’s a beautiful country. “I’m really glad I moved. I wouldn’t change it for the world, I don’t have any regrets.

“You feel alive out here.”

Richard plans to stay in Thailand for the next few years, as he also manages parties on several islands near Chiang Mai, but wants to keep travelling and living in other countries.

He said: “The world is your oyster.”

The breakdown

Cost of rent per month in Thailand – £700 for a three bed villa with a pool
Cost of rent per month in London – £1,500 for a family home

Bills in Thailand – £30 on water an electricity
Average cost of bills in London – £150 to £250 average on utility bills

Cost of a shot in Thailand – £1
Cost of a shot in London – £4 plus

Cost of a full meal in Thailand – £1
Cost of a full meal in London – £15+

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