Many people ask me – what is it so special about Thailand? Well, where do I begin… Life in Thailand is a synonymous with easy-going, relaxed, happy and welcoming. Thailand offers unparalleled value for money, access to incredible natural beauty of local beaches, national parks and pristine islands, as well as one of the best culinary variety in the world.
As someone who spent 12 years living and working in the Land of Smiles, as well as travelled extensively to over 50 countries, I can firmly say that Thailand is one of the most diverse, unique and welcoming countries in the world.
If you love Asian culture and thinking of relocating to either work remotely or retire, here are the top reasons why Thailand should be on the top of your list.
Cost of living in Thailand is way lower than in many other countries. For example, you can rent a studio condo in Pattaya for $200-300 per month and for $300-500 in Phuket. Larger families may opt to rent a house and the monthly budget for average unit in Pattaya will not exceed $800. Other expenses such as meals, entertainment, travelling and other lifestyle expenses are considerably lower than in Europe or North America but only if you are comfortable eating local food and consumer local beer (which is awesome and very delicious). Average cost of the lunch will be between $2 (street food or foodcourt) and $5-7 (local restaurant). For disclosure - I personally never cooked in Thailand and my kitchen was mostly to store my favourite fruits, snacks and wines (wines are mostly imported and actually are quite expensive). Best part of living in Thailand for me was the opportunity to travel around Asia on a very small budget - regional flight between Bangkok and Bali with Air Asia is between $50-100 which makes Thailand a perfect hub to explore vibrant and unique Asian destinations.
Incredible food, relaxing massage and spa treatments, vibrant festivals and golden temples - these are just some cultural experiences that make this country so unique and spectacular. Trust me - you will never be bored in Thailand, every day you can explore something new and unknown. My favourite weekend activity was to make last-minute plans to visit lesser-known local communities. Every such trip is unique and creates unforgettable experiences and memories of local cooking, planting rice, creating beautiful flower garlands, attending cultural events and just dancing with locals. Travelling across Thailand and to other Asian destinations is very affordable - Air Asia https://www.airasia.com or other domestic carrier charges $30-50 one-way domestically and $50-100 to various regional destination in Asia. I managed to not only explore local Thai culture but also discover many other amazing places such as Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India.
SPORTS & LEISURE
There are over 250 golf courses in Thailand which makes it a perfect and very affordable destination for golf-lovers. Yachting, sailing, snorkelling, diving and other water sports are easily accessible in Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and other beachfront destinations. Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai) is a perfect destination for hiking and mountain biking. Rock climbing enthusiasts will enjoy incredible limestone karst of Krabi. Every modern condominium in Thailand offers state of the art gyms and fitness centres, yoga and pilates studios are also widely available. Best part of living in Thailand is that this country offers fantastic lifestyle for every interest and budget.
REAL ESTATE & INVESTMENT
Foreigners can own freehold condominiums and apartments in Thailand as long as their unit is within a 49% foreign quota within the Condominium juristic person. Long story short - vacation or investment property in Thailand is very affordable (compared to other similar destinations), the maintenance fees are very low , and property tax in many cases does not apply. All major hotel chains offer investment opportunities with professional management services and guaranteed rental income. Two important considerations are - decide what type of property you are looking for (for your personal use, for investment or both), and ensure that you work with trusted consultant or agent who will be able to to explain all details, prepare the documents and oversee the entire process. ELL team is based in Thailand and in North America to help you finding your perfect Thailand home, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local culture and customs mostly influenced by Buddhism have remained untouched for centuries as Thailand hasn't been colonized even at the time when all neighbouring countries became European colonies. Thais are very tolerant, welcoming and easy-going who value foreign expats for their contribution into the national economy and development of the country. Members of LGBTQ+ community will feel safe and welcomed in Thailand - local residents are very tolerant and there are many exciting lifestyle and entertainment destinations for gays and lesbians. LGBTQ+ folks can learn more about destinations, experiences and lifestyle in Thailand at https://gothaibefree.com.
VISAS & IMMIGRATION
Some folks complain that Thailand's entry regulations are quite strict which I may agree with when it comes to work permits and visas. But there are other easy ways for those who is not planning to work in the country - long-stay and retirement visas. Those 50+ can apply for up to 10-year retirement visas that usually are quote straightforward and easy to obtain. Business people and entrepreneurs can apply for Non-B visas, and in case they will actively work in their own company, work permit can also be arranged. I strongly recommend using trusted local lawyer and advisors for all your long-stay visas. ELL network of specialists in Thailand can help with this, just contact us at email@example.com
Thailand like many other countries in South-East Asia has 3 distinctive seasons - dry (our winter, Nov-Mar), hot (April-May) and rainy (June-Oct). Seasonality slightly differs across various regions of Thailand, but the temperature never really goes below +20C (except of some northern mountainous locations). It is well known that the best time to visit is during dry season, but honestly rainy season offers its own benefits - less tourists and many hotel and airline deals. Summer season (April-May) is when temperatures are going up but it is also the time of Songkran Festival, a spectacular water festival also known as 'Thai New Year'. Thailand is beautiful at any time of the year, and you can forget about buying heavy coats and boots - in case you suddenly miss a snow, just jump on a Air Asia and fly to Japan for a weekend.
Thailand's hospitals are like luxury 5* hotels - you will be treated like a VIP every time you enter the lobby. Many doctors and physicians in Thai hospitals have western degrees and practice, and all private hospitals offer the latest state of the art technologies. Just make sure to purchase your medical health insurance. For expats I suggest purchasing local insurance such as AXA or hospital-specific coverage. Leading hospital groups in Thailand are Bangkok Hospital (multiple branches in various locations across country), Bumrungrad Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, BNH Hospital.