I am considering a mini-retirement (6 to 8 months) and wonder if anyone has some insights on a few questions:
- Does anyone have any recommendations on a trustworthy and dependable real-estate agent that we could pay to help us find a house to rent?
- What are the areas of the country that you would recommend? Low crime, reasonably affordable, and outside of the big cities would be a must. We'd like to be within a 15-30 minute drive of a nice beach (or closer if possible), and would prefer our home to be somewhat secluded if that is at all feasible. Are there areas like this in this country?
- What would be the biggest 3 or 4 adjustments that we'd have to make moving up out of the states (we live currently in Utah)?
- What is the housing like in this country? We'd be looking to rent a full house...large enough for 7 people (2 adults and 5 children) and I'm wondering if these types of homes are easy to find for rent.
- I would be able to tele-commute for work, so I'd need reliable high-speed internet? Would this be available in the places recommended?
- How hard is it to get a Visa or temp. residence permit?
- What could we expect by way of living expenses? Rent, food, etc. About how much less would the cost of living be as compared with the U.S.?
- How critical would it be to learn the language? Is it possible to get around with English?
- Is crime anything we'd want to be concerned about (more than here in the states, for example)?
- We're considering a number of countries: Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Thialand, Cambodia, and perhaps Vietnam. Any insights into the pro's vs. con's of any of these?
Thanks a ton in advance!
My comments follow your questionjs:
Hello all! I am considering a mini-retirement (6 to 8 months) and wonder if anyone has some insights on a few questions:
• First, there are no extensions of stay for “mini-retirement” here, so if you are talking about a long vacation, then I recommend that you contact the nearest Thai Embassy or consulate to get the latest rules on which type of visas allow a stay of 6-8 months. The rules are changing on tourist visas in August , and I do not want to give you bad information. In addition your country of origin may have special rules or restrictions. You can find contact information for embassies and consulates at http://www.thaiembassy.org/main/ or just search for Thai embassies and consulates.
Does anyone have any recommendations on a trustworthy and dependable real-estate agent that we could pay to help us find a house to rent?
• It is hard to make recommendations on real estate agents without knowing where you plan to stay. I’d recommend coming here, staying in a hotel or similar until you learn your way around and then decide where to live. Then you will be better able to seek suitable accommodations. You can get information on hotels and homes, anmd apartments and conos at www.agoda.com and www.bookings.com You may even find that something like beach hotels or beach bungalows meet your needs and in many cases long term rates are available. I do not recommend making any long term commitments in advance, since what you get might not be what you want, and you will be obligated to meet the terms of any contract.
What are the areas of the country that you would recommend? Low crime, reasonably affordable, and outside of the big cities would be a must. We'd like to be within a 15-30 minute drive of a nice beach (or closer if possible), and would prefer our home to be somewhat secluded if that is at all feasible. Are there areas like this in this country?
• I do not live in or near a beach area, so I will not try to give you any specific recommendations. From what I have read lately, there seems to be a bit of a crime increase in Phuket, but that does not mean in every part of that area, and Phuket is a very beautiful beach location. Thailand has a very long cvoastline, and there are other beach areas which you might want to look into: Prachuab-khirikhan/Hua Hin, Pattaya/Jpmthien, Krabi, Rayong, are also be worth looking into. As for reasonably affordable, that means many different things to different people. The cost of accommodations and living expenses runs from very low to very high. So in any of the areas I mentioned above you will probably find something to suit your budget and other needs.
What would be the biggest 3 or 4 adjustments that we'd have to make moving up out of the states (we live currently in Utah)?
• Coming from Utah, the biggest adjustment is likely to be the weather, as this is a tropical climate. There are essentially 3 seasons, the hot season, the rainy-hot season, and the cool season, and the months n which these seasons occur depend on where you live. Temperatures range from as low as 12C (abt 54F) in the north of the country to a rare 40C (abt 104F) in some other parts of the co9untry. Air-conditioning is readily available. I’ve seen this temperature range for almost 40 years. Also, generally speaking, the sea breezes make the resort areas cooler than in the city where I live (Bangkok)
• Thai behavior is different from what you are used to at home. If you decide to make Thailand your choice of countries for this vacation, then send me a private message (PM) on this site and I will send you a paper I wrote on the Do’s and Don’t’s for Thailand. Some foreigners have a problem accepting that things are different here, and thus their behavior can get them in trouble.
• Don’t expect Thailand to change for you.
• In Thai there are no words that specifically mean “Yes” and “No”. So when you think that someone said “yes”, they may just be acknowledging that you said something, and may not even understand what you said.
• The nominal per capita income in Thailand (less than $6000/year) is much lower than in the USA, although the PPP per capita income is quite a bit higher than the nominal. This means that the Thai on average are less affluent than foreign visitors. Thus do not be surprised at two tier pricing for such things as tourist attractions.
• If you are not familiar with the Thai language, it helps a lot to learn a few phrases. The Thai like it when foreigners at least try to learn some of the Thai language, but don’t be upset if they laugh, as the Thai are generally a fun loving people. Being a tonal language, Thai can be daunting for some.
• Control one’s temper at all times. Getting angry can have unpleasant results.
• Always show respect for Thai Royalty and avoid committing Lèse-majesté
• Thailand is a Buddhist country, so it is imperative to avoid showing disrespect for Buddha images. Children need to be told in no uncertain terms not to climb on or deface images of Buddha or they will find themselves in trouble.
• Again, my list of Dos and Don’ts has much more guidance.
What is the housing like in this country? We'd be looking to rent a full house...large enough for 7 people (2 adults and 5 children) and I'm wondering if these types of homes are easy to find for rent.
• Finding a large home for rent in a secluded area might be difficult in a beach area, but you can search the web for something like Thailand houses for rent and see what you come up with. However, this is why I recommend that you send a little time in the area you want to live before entering into any contracts.
I would be able to tele-commute for work, so I'd need reliable high-speed internet?
• In many areas there is high speed Internet available, but not necessarily country-wide. Here are some of the major ISPs and you can look at their sites to see what they offer.
• A. CSLoxinfo www.csloxinfo,com
• B. True Visions http://www.trueinternet.co.th/ENG/home.html
• You can find out more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_Thailand
Would this be available in the places recommended?
• You would need to check witjh the ISPs for the area you select.
How hard is it to get a Visa or temp. residence permit?
• There are no temporary residence visas. If you are planning to do any business with Thailand, then you might be able to get a business visa. Other types of visas are for education and tourists. Check with your nearest consulate http://188.8.131.52/dcdp/?q=consulate_general, and there is an honorary Thai consul in UTAH (SALT LAKE CITY)
• ROYAL THAI HONORARY CONSULATE
• Administrative Office
• 8th Ave. & C St.
• Salt Lake City, Utah 84143
• Tel. 801-408-1901
• or the Thai Embassy in Washington DC http://184.108.40.206/dcdp/ for your options. Tourism is a high priority for the incumbent Thai government (The National Co0uncil for Peace and Order – NCPO) , so there may be some special offers available. The NCPO is working in close cooperation with the private sector to restore confidence in Thailand as a great tourist destination, which it was anyway, since the recent political turmoil did not affect most tourist areas.
What could we expect by way of living expenses? Rent, food, etc. About how much less would the cost of living be as compared with the U.S.?
• The cost of living in Thailand can be much lower than in the USA, but as with the USA, it depends on where you live, and the same applies here. For example, if you eat Thai food all the time, your food costs should be significantly less than od in the uSA. But Thai food is quite spicy for the most part, and thus there may be higher costs of the blander foreign food, especially when it or its ingredients are imported.
• Of you provide some examples of what your family likes, it might be easier to do a comparison.
How critical would it be to learn the language? Is it possible to get around with English?
• The main language used in Thailand is called Central Thai, and it is required for Thai throughout the country as the national language. While English is widely spoken, learning some of the Thai language will be very helpful, as fluent English speakers may not always be available. There are plenty of phrase books available at bookstores here, and it would pay to gtet a copy or two of Robertson’s Practical English Thai Dictionary before coming here. It uses an excellent transliteration system making pronunciation more accurate. http://www.amazon.com/Robertsons-Practical-English-thai-Dictionary-Robertson/dp/080480706X
• Amazon also has phrasebooks available, but they may be less expensive here.
Is crime anything we'd want to be concerned about (more than here in the states, for example)?
• This is hard to answer since crime rates vary all over the USA by wide degrees. If the crime rate in your part of Utah is very low compared to the crime rate in Washington, D.C. and/or Chicago, then expect Thailand to be mre like home in that respect. Having been here for almost 40 years, I nhave never felt unsafe or threatened in Bangkok, as long as I avoid dark lanes at night. The best way to learn about potential crime is from the expats in the area you decide to live in.
We're considering a number of countries: Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Thialand, Cambodia, and perhaps Vietnam. Any insights into the pro's vs. con's of any of these?
• I have spent time in all three Asian countries, but prefer Thailand. Others may prefer Cambodia or Vietnam. And since the USA is inviting in the world illegally, some of those central American countries might find themselves begging for people to come live there.
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you ask many questions...
please , consider to come for long vacation and visit many places in thailand , because you can find all: very busy attractive for tourists cities(hua hin, Pattaya, samui, Phuket) all expensive (not Pattaya, but this city is only for sex tourism, sea very dirty)..
you like very contry sides: isaan or north, but a little alone in cities and no sea until 600km mini
cheap, beautiful with variate coast, capital for sea food and pineapple, close to burma's boarder(15km) on the sea with security on the beaches with army place, restauants very good (max 8_10 usd) , little community european and american people, very typical, land and rent cheaper than all the coast, no risk for tsunami(gulf of thailand) ...this is what i have chosen :PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN
you can rent or buy land or house...we are at 700m from 1 of the beaches..in coconut garden
you can stay with retired visa 6month renew 1 time, and than every year if you are more than 50 years old
connection to me : thail.fra @gmail.com