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Phrom Thep Cape in Phuket, Thailand

Pros and Cons of Living in Thailand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Thailand.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Thailand?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Thailand responded:

"Phayao is in Northern Thailand, so it's a little cooler here. The people are genuine and caring. Many beautiful mountains and waterfalls to explore here," remarked another expat in Phayao.

"Bureaucracy is a real problem especially in dealing with Thai Immigration. The rules seem to change depending on which official you are dealing with," explained one expat living in Bangkok.

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What do expats in Thailand appreciate most about the local culture?

"Thai people are generally gracious and welcoming. They are extraordinarily tolerant. The food is marvelous. The cost of living is very low; medical care is inexpensive and excellent. There is very little crime. Older people are visible and respected. Humility, kindness, and generosity are valued," said another person in Chiang Mai.

"Few busybodies, do-gooders and bleeding hearts interfering in the lives of other people. Respect for elders," remarked another expat in Bangkok.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"The language. Without being able to speak Thai, one's social life depends upon other expats. Chiang Mai is very transient when it comes to expats. Many Westerners move here thinking it will be permanent but then cannot adapt culturally and move away. Single Western women looking for a dating life struggle to find partners," said another person in Chiang Mai.

"I didn't find anything particularly challenging, but I made up my mind that I would study the culture, behavioral characteristics to try and understand the differences, and there are many," remarked another expat in Bangkok.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Phrom Thep Cape in Phuket, Thailand

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