Living in Thailand offers expats a life in a beautiful country that has amazing natural landscapes, exotic beach islands, national parks, nature reserves and historical cities. The people of Thailand are well known for their friendly nature and they are extremely proud of their rich cultural heritage. The culture and lifestyle of the people living in Thailand is influenced by their Buddhist or Hindu religions and their ethnic and cultural diversity is heavily celebrated and revered. There are a multitude of colorful festivals and events held throughout the year, which means that there’s always something happening for expats to enjoy.
Thailand as an Expat Destination
There is a very diverse expat community in Thailand, which includes retirees, executive managers, students, teachers and business owners. People are attracted to the lifestyle here, which affords them a relaxed way of life in a beautiful location. There are, however, some drawbacks to locating yourself here as an expat. Property and land ownership is virtually impossible and visa regulations can be cumbersome. If you are prepared to face such difficulties however you can be guaranteed an interesting lifestyle in a very pleasant climate.
Cost of living in Thailand
The cost of living in Thailand is cheap when compared with many other countries throughout the world. When it comes to property, location is the key and the cost of property will vary enormously according to where you wish to live. Despite this, rent is generally cheap when compared with western nations.
Expatriates observe a big difference in the price of Thai and western food here. The local restaurants are extremely cheap and the majority of local people eat out on a daily basis because it is cheaper than cooking at home. The price of western food, however, will largely be on a par with the price of food in the west. Wine is very expensive here but beer and local spirits can be purchased at a very low price.
The principal language spoken in Thailand is Thai, with significant minorities speaking Chinese, Lao, Khmer and Malay. A large percentage of the Thai population speaks English.
Hot and humid. Heavy monsoons occur from July through to November.
Living in Thailand: Expat Job and Career Opportunities
There are some job opportunities available for expats but these are usually only available via internal company transfers or are jobs that are secured from their home country prior to arriving in Thailand. People who are willing to work in bars or restaurants will find it relatively easy to find a job providing that they are prepared to work for a very low salary. Many expats move to Thailand to start their own business or to teach English, both of which are highly feasible options.
Key Facts Every Expat Should Know About Living in Thailand
- It is very common for the Thai people to double or triple park and they often leave their cars in neutral so that the owner of the car that has been blocked in can push the car out of the way. Don’t be surprised if you return from a visit to the beach to find a car parked in front of your own, you’ll be expected to push it out of the way like everyone else.
- Foreigners who are involved in any type of road accident will often automatically be held responsible for the accident. This is based on the fact that as a foreigner your presence in Thailand was the cause of the accident; if you hadn’t been in Thailand there would have been no incident.
- The landlord is legally responsible for paying property tax, which is 12.5 percent annually. Some landlords do expect their tenant to pay this though and so you should always check the tax procedures carefully when you sign the lease.
- Thai people call westerners ‘farang’ (foreigner) They will often call you this even if they know your real first name.
- Thai people are very serious about their monarchy and you should never pass any criticism against this institution. Portraits and images are expected to be treated with respect or you may find yourself in serious trouble.
Living Thailand: City Guides
Expat Info Desk currently has a city guide available for living in Bangkok. This exhaustive relocation guide contains everything you need to know about relocating to this Thai city and will assist you to:
- relocate efficiently and effectively with minimum stress.
- settle in to your new life quickly and easily and find the help and assistance you need, when you need it.
- identify areas to live in that suit your lifestyle and budget.
- find the right places to meet like-minded people.
- find schools that are suitable for your children and their learning needs.
- ensure that your family get the most of their experiences abroad.
- prepare for the new culture in advance and avoid any cultural traps.
- deal with any transition challenges.
- cut through red tape and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
Unlike a book, Expat Info Desk expat guides are regularly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the information is accurate and reliable and because the guides are written by real expats who live and work in Bangkok, you can be assured that you are accessing the information that you need as written by people who really are in the know.