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Moving to Koh Phangan, Thailand | Expat Exchange
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Moving to Koh Phangan, Thailand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2023

Summary: Moving to Koh Phangan, Thailand? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Koh Phangan.

William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

What do I need to know before moving to Koh Phangan?

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

"Expats should be aware that Koh Phangan is a small island in Thailand known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant nightlife, particularly the Full Moon Party. The cost of living is relatively low, but it's essential to have a realistic budget that covers rent, utilities, food, and other expenses. It's crucial to secure a valid visa before moving to Koh Phangan, as overstaying can lead to fines and possible deportation. The most common visa types for expats are tourist visas, education visas, and non-immigrant visas. It's essential to research the requirements and limitations of each visa type. Healthcare facilities on the island are limited, so expats should consider purchasing comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation to the mainland or a nearby country with better facilities. It's also essential to be up-to-date on vaccinations and take precautions against mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria. The official language in Koh Phangan is Thai, and while many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning some basic Thai phrases can be helpful for daily life and building relationships with locals. The climate in Koh Phangan is tropical, with hot and humid weather throughout the year. There are three seasons: hot, rainy, and cool, but temperatures remain relatively high even during the cool season. Expats should be prepared for the heat and humidity and take precautions to stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun. Transportation on the island is primarily by motorbike, and expats should be cautious when driving, as road conditions can be poor, and accidents are common. It's essential to have a valid driver's license and wear a helmet at all times. Koh Phangan has a diverse food scene, with a mix of traditional Thai cuisine and international options. Expats should be open to trying new foods and be aware that Thai dishes can be quite spicy. It's also essential to practice good food safety, as foodborne illnesses can be common. The island has a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere, but it's essential to respect local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly, especially when visiting temples or other religious sites, and being mindful of the local etiquette, such as removing shoes before entering someone's home. Finally, it's essential to stay informed about local laws and regulations, as some activities that may be legal in your home country could be illegal in Thailand, such as gambling or drug use. Being aware of and respecting local laws will help ensure a smooth transition to life in Koh Phangan," remarked one expat in Koh Phangan, Thailand.

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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.

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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