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Wheelchair accessibility

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RedZen
5/5/2019 21:47 EST

I am strongly considering moving to Asia. Thailand being at the top of my list.

Projected time is between 1 & 2 years from now. I will be moving alone.

First and most importantly, I am trying to find more information on wheelchair accessibility. I would most likely be in or near Bangkok. If anyone here happens to know more on this subject, I would love to hear from you.

Specifically: wheelchair accessible apartments, sidewalks, shops, restaurants, etc… Are there ramps, elevators, curb cuts on sidewalks and so fourth.

Second concern is cost of living. I am on disability but do plan on working at least part time to help supplement my income. I’ve already learned that I can continue receiving my SS benefits abroad but need a better idea about what the average cost of living would be for a single person in a studio in or near Bangkok. My living requirements are very simple. As long as it’s wheelchair accessible and has AC and laundry facilities, I’m good. Is it possible to get by on $1,000 per month for the basics?

Third, transportation. Are MTS and BTS wheelchair accessible? What about Taxis?

Last but not least, healthcare. I take immunosuppressive medication for a recent kidney transplant and also require a monthly infusion which is currently done in a hospital where I currently live. How does the hospitals compare to that of the United States?

Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide any info on these subjects.

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ken24
5/5/2019 23:52 EST

Very Challenging for you on many fronts...

Bkk is not particularly handicap friendly... your budget seems way light - the hospitals - private ones are great but are not near as cheap as they were... and you may not meet long term visa requirements.. you cannot work w/o a work permit and there is little work for foreigners beyond English teaching... you cannot get a retirement visa w/$1000 a month income - - unless you have $20k ++ to deposit in a Thai bank...

Sorry Red - please check with others but from what I see, it is not going to be easy for you.

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RedZen
5/6/2019 05:56 EST

Thank you for your reply Ken.

You've pointed things out that I haven't considered yet. Visas, work permits, etc. Will definitely need to do a lot more research and maybe consider other alternatives.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

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hawkesk
5/6/2019 09:34 EST

Thailand is defined as a "developing country." I don't believe I've ever seen a street corner that was wheelchair accessible. The sidewalk from the overhead rail (BTS) to the US embassy is barely navigable under regular circumstances., and the BTS has no elevators. Bangkok is not a pedestrian-friendly city. It has also become an absolute nightmare for visas. There have been a number of expats taking advantage of loose requirements and, in typical government response, the government has overreacted by making it quite difficult. I'd recommend a hard pass at this time.

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hawkesk
5/6/2019 11:33 EST

Oh - I didn't see your budget in your post. $1000/month? Absolutely forget about Thailand, you would not have a happy life on that budget,

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RedZen
5/6/2019 21:22 EST

Thanks hawkesk.

Yes, the more I dig around online, I see what you mean.

I'm guessing the lack of wheelchair access is likely the same in other parts of Asia like Vietnam, PI, Malaysia, etc.

Oh well. Back to square one for me. Thanks again for your insights. I really appreciate it.

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