Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

Living in Thailand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Thailand. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Thailand?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Thailand, they said:

"I think the best advise is to make sure you have a way of earning money that does not involve having to find work here - unless you are an English teacher. If you can find an opportunity to work remotely, that is best. If you are from the US, there is a 12 hour time difference. This actually works to your advantage because you can answer emails in the morning and then again at night. This allows you to respond promptly to clients and also allows you to enjoy the entire day without distractions (as everyone in the US is sleeping). A new law is requiring all expat to enroll in an insurance plan. I would have advised that anyway, but it is now mandatory. I would also say, bring less clothes than you think you need and bring more of your favorite cosmetics and linens. There are many knock-offs in Thailand in the cosmetic offerings and more likely than not, you will be buying an inferior product. It is also hard to find good quality sheets and towels and even pillows, so I recommend bringing your own. Good quality water shoes and practical shoes are also hard to find and when you do, quite expensive," said another expat in Ao Nang (Krabi).

"First, you need to have an independent source of income. To secure a one-year visa here you need to have about $23,000 held in a Thai bank or show proof of at least $1,800 in monthly income. Second, Hua Hin is somewhat difficult to get to, as you have to fly into Bangkok and then take a bus for 3 hours to Hua Hin. As to what to bring, Hua Hin has most, if not all, of what you will need. Western-style housing, food, clothes, appliances, etc., are all available. And while Hua Hin has some party areas, the town is pretty quiet, as you would expect from a primarily retirement community," added another expat who made the move to Hua Hin.

"Make a trip or two to visit for several days at a minimum before even considering a move. There are aspects of living here that even those who have prepared may not anticipate without firsthand experience," explained one expat living in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

"Rent for one year before buying or renting long term. The city is very diverse and there are hundreds of housing communities to choose from. Make sure to visit all of the 7 international schools because each is very unique. If you have a family, also pick up the Sanook Book (www.sanookbook.com)," mentioned another in Chiang Mai.

"Check out the English language newspaper - it'll give you LOTS of insight - even classified about rental houses, jobs and more at www.Phuketgazette.com Amd check out this site: www.Phuketdelight.com for information about life and living and working on the island You WILL love it here," explained one expat who made the move to Phuket.

"Thailand has good weather, great food and friendly people. The expat population is small and friendly and the Thais are welcoming so it's easy to make friends and become a part of the local society. The shopping and resources are quite good and world class stores are located a short and cheap plane flight away. If you are working for a local company the wages will be substantially lower than in your home country, but the cost of living is so low, you will be able to live comfortably. As with any overseas assignment, come here with a tolerant attitude. Learning the language helps but it is more important to understand and accept the new culture," said one expat living in Songkhla, Thailand.

Expats in Thailand may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in Thailand may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

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For expats in Thailand, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

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Thailand Forum Thailand Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Thailand.

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Expats in Thailand share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in Thailand. Advice about hospitals in Thailand, the availability of prescription medicines, using Tricare in Thailand and more.

Cost of Living in ThailandCost of Living in Thailand

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Thailand.

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