Expats looking for a new country to call home are often looking for something lacking from where they currently live. Whether that something is a rich new culture, friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, or modern cities, Thailand has it all.
Long popular among expats from all over Europe, Australia, and the United States, Thailand is a historic nation on the brink of growth, offering modern amenities and living options at affordable prices. Expats can buy or rent a condo or home in Thailand for a fraction of what it would cost in other nations. Bangkok in particular offers affordable city living, without the need to sacrifice the amenities that other global cities have to offer.
If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand, but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading for some top advice.
Get the Right Thailand Visa
As is true when moving to any new country, it’s important to make sure that you apply for the correct visa. The Thai government offers a number of visa options that vary in length and purpose, including options for those looking to study or retire in Thailand, or to move there for an extended period of time. To enjoy life here long-term it makes sense to get a legitimate visa. There are countless stories of people attempting to stay for extended periods on tourist visas only to be looking over their shoulders and have to disrupt their lifestyle here when doing ‘visa runs’. Not to mention the ones that get refused entry on the way back. If you want to stay long-term do so legally, and you will enjoy a happier and more fulfilling life here, without feeling like you can’t mix with Thai society fully.
Learn at Least a Few Key Thai Phrases
While many people, and especially business owners, in Thailand speak English, there’s no better way to make a great impression than by knowing a few words of your new acquaintances native tongue. Thailand’s many markets are a great place to score a deal or experience some of the local culture, and bartering is a common practice. Being able to barter in Thai might just help you score an even better price.
Check the Local Markets
Speaking of markets, another tip for anyone considering calling Thailand home should learn where the markets are in their chosen city. While there are plenty of malls and supermarkets across Thailand, shopping the markets first is a great way to meet locals, experience the local culture, and find products at a fraction of what they’d cost in a store. Furniture and home goods, as well as grocery items, clothing, souvenirs, and more can be found in Thailand’s indoor and outdoor markets.
Image Credit showing parking in Bangkok: Thai Visa
Prepare For Culture Shocks
If you move to any new country, you have to learn to adjust to the local culture and it’s quirks. Thailand is no exception. For instance, it isn’t uncommon in Thailand for locals to double or triple park, trapping other vehicles into their spots. However, it’s also common for locals to leave their cars in neutral when they park like this, that way the owner of the trapped car can push the other vehicle out of the way. Forums and websites for expats living in Thailand are a great place to visit to learn about other quirks such as this. Some are quite humorous but living in the country and living long-term without learning the culture could lead to some offence. Thais by their nature are more understanding towards foreigners when it comes to understanding the culture – they’re also very open to teaching anyone interested in learning their way of life.
Don’t Just Mix With Expats
So many people come to live in Thailand and surround themselves in an ‘expat bubble’. Of course, it’s easier to mix with people that speak your language, and hangout together, but by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and making new Thai friends you can experience Thailand as you’ve never seen it before. You will be introduced to people and places that you have probably never visited and will never find on a Google search of ‘Ten Top Things To Do In Thailand’. It’s also a great way to learn the language (you can teach each other) and further enhance your knowledge of the culture.
Explore Beyond Where You Live
Thailand is home to a number of unique and interesting landscapes, from tranquil rainforests to pristine beaches, bustling cities, ancient temples, and more. Whether you choose to buy or rent a house or condo in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, or elsewhere in the country, be sure to take advantage of all that Thailand has to offer. A completely new and exciting destination is usually only a couple of hours away. Living in Bangkok and working hard all week can be intense. But a one hour flight, short drive or train journey could lead you to thinking you are on holiday every single weekend.
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