A lot of people who have been on vacation to Thailand decide later on that they would love to move there. This is unsurprising, since it is such a beautiful, welcoming country with such amicable people. Additionally, it is reasonably affordable and full of natural beauty, culture and history. Also, the people of Thailand are proud of their history and are known for their friendly attitude. The strong Buddhist and Hindu influences are really noticeable with the celebration and revering of multiculturalism in the country. All year long, there are festivals and parties to enjoy, which means you will never spend a moment bored there.
The Thai Expat Community
The expat community in Thailand is very diverse. There are people from all walks of life, from hippies living in communes to business executives and retirees. People love the Thai lifestyle, which is relaxed and chilled out and the beauty of the country is fantastic. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well. One of these is that it is almost impossible to ever own a piece of land or even a home here, and the visa regulations are very stringent. However, if you are happy to deal with this, then you may end up being able to live in a pleasant climate and have a very interesting lifestyle.
The Cost of Living
One of the things that attract so many people to Thailand is the low cost of living. The most expensive component of your regular expenses in Thailand will be your rent, and this will vary greatly depending on where you choose to live and what type of house you want. However, compared to what you might pay in rent in your own country, it is still very cheap and affordable, so you might choose a property that is slightly more luxurious than what you are used to.
The price of food also varies, with local restaurants serving very cheap local dishes. Indeed, most locals eat out for all their meals, because it is cheaper to do so than to cook at home. However, if you want to eat food that you would be able to get at home, you can expect to pay as much for it as you would at home as well. Wine is very expensive, but you can get local spirits and beer for next to no money.
Thai is the national language of Thailand. However, there are some very small minorities who speak Lao, Chinese, Malay and Khmer. Most people in Thailand speak English to some degree.
Career Opportunities for Expats in Thailand
There is not much work out there for expats in Thailand. The available work are usually the result of an internal company move or they have been found before relocating. But if you are happy to work in restaurants and bars, you should be able to find something but don’t expect to earn a lot. The majority of expats go to Thailand either to start their own business, or they teach English.
A Few More Things You Need to Know
There are a few more things you need to know in order to make sure you don’t get a culture shock when you arrive in your new home. First of all, double or even triple parking is the order of the day. What people usually do is leave their vehicles in neutral, so you can simply push them out the way if you want to get out. Feel free to do the same, which does mean that it would be unlikely that your vehicle will be in the same place where you originally left it when you return to it.
If, as a foreigner, you are involved in a road accident, it will almost automatically be presumed that it is your fault. The logic for this is that it is your presence that caused the accident in the first place. Had you not been there, the accident would not have happened.
If you rent a property, your landlord has to pay the 12.5% property tax. So he may try to get you to pay for this by incorporating it in your rent. Look out for this in other words.
The word for foreigner in Thai is “farang.” You will be called this regularly. Indeed, people who know you and know your name will often still call you farang.
The monarchy is held sacred to the Thai. You cannot criticize them or the royal institution in any way. If you do, you could be in very serious trouble as it is actually against the law. In moments of happiness, the Thai will always thank their King.