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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Jomtien, Thailand

May 02, 2016

Jomtien, Thailand

An expat in Thailand shares his thoughts on life in Thailand and his philosophy on being an expat anywhere. Read this brief report for cost of living impressions, how Thai people think of foreigners, and more.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

I was a sailor 1976-1980 traveling all around on the U.S.S. Enterprise (CVN 65). We received a LOT of "Stay out of trouble!" lectures.

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I speak enough Thai to get by at a restaurant or grocery store.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Oh HELL no!

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Ona scale of 1 to 10, about 2.5.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Went even further. Moved to another country and returned to Thailand after missing it!

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Wild and reckless fun!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Cost of living (particularly rent) is VERY low.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

No matter how hard you try, you will NEVER EVER EVER be accepted by Thai people. You will ALWAYS be an outsider. Xenophobia is the name of the game here.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Showed my feet a couple of times crossing my legs while sitting.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

You will never find a perfect place. Find one that you can tolerate and makes you happy.

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Comments about this Report

Sep 12, 2017 02:33

I did the same thing. Ten years in Thailand (half of those in Jomtien), got fed up with Thailand, moved to Mexico, back to Jomtien within 4 months. There is no perfect place and yes, you will ALWAYS be an outsider here, but the benefits far outweigh the troubles.

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