I lived comfortably in Thailand on a lot less than $1000/mo, and I wasn’t being all that frugal. I drank too much, ate out exclusively, smoked cigarettes and some ganja (only the former was expensive), went out to bars, and traveled on a lot of weekends. No hookers, but I could have sprung for it on occasion had I wanted to. I had a normal, respectable local girlfriend.
But I was in an unpopular city out in the cheap redneck Northeast, far from any tourist attractions, and it was over twenty years ago. I agree with others’ assessment that one needs to spend more than I did in the modern era.
I think you could still live tolerably on $12K in Thailand, but you have to be in the middle of nowhere and your standard of life will be much more rustic and shitty than it is now, even if you are in your mother’s basement. Thank you for listening to my TED talk.>t. Grandpa