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Moving to Thailand? A Guide to Thailand Living, An Expat’s Complete Guide

Why Move to Thailand?

There are dozens of reasons to move to Thailand, not the least of which is that it is a diverse place that’s welcoming for virtually everyone. Thailand has a wonderful reputation as an expat destination and is knowing for embracing with open arms students, retirees, families, and young professionals all alike. 
If the welcoming culture weren’t enough to draw you in, it’s also worth noting that living in Thailand is incredibly cheap compared to many other parts of the world. Rentals are generally easy to find, the food is delicious, fresh, and inexpensive, and recreation is never more than an arm’s reach away. 
What’s more, Thailand is rich in cultural celebrations, festivals, parades, and festivals, which many expats love to take part in. Many Thai citizens speak English and the weather in this beautiful location is hot and humid throughout the year.

The Paperwork You’ll Need

While Thailand is paradise in many ways, the process of getting a visa can be difficult at best. The country is notorious for its red tape and people who want a visa will have to be prepared to fight for it. 
Before you start planning your move in earnest, you should take the proactive step of contacting a Thai Embassy or Consulate to figure out which visa you’ll need and what you’ll need to present to officials in the way of documentation or paperwork. 
As is true with many companies, Thailand offers many different types of visas and the first step to getting your paperwork in line will be to determine which visas are right for you.  Regardless of which visa you’re after, however, you’ll be required to present the following forms of documentation:

Now that you know what documentation is needed for a Thai visa, let’s talk about the different types of Thai visas. Here are two of the most popular:

Because Thai visa paperwork can be complex to navigate, it’s always a good idea to speak with an expert before applying for your Thai visa. This can help you avoid mistakes and ensure your visa comes through as quickly and easily as possible.

Finding Housing in Thailand

The experience of finding housing in Thailand varies depending on what you’re looking for. While purchasing property is complex and expensive in many places, renting is simple and often affordable, depending of course, on where you want to live. 
When you set out to find housing in Thailand, don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Thai real estate agent. In addition to helping you navigate the complex Thai housing market, a Thai real estate agent will also be able to help you recognize fair prices and get a good deal on housing.

The 5 Best Places to Live in Thailand

1. Chiang Mai
Located in the rolling foothills of Thailand’s Northern country, Chiang Mai is a little-known destination that offers a temperate climate and a high quality of life for people who take up residence here. 
Some of the most outstanding features of this quaint little village are the Buddhist temples that dot its center, many of which are nearly a thousand years old. Don’t let its historic appeal fool you, though, Chiang Mai is a modern place that’s not lacking any of the amenities expats want. Within walking distance from most rentals in the area are beautiful cafes, outdoor restaurants, and upscale movie theatres. The area also boasts two malls and a hospital. 
Rentals here are cheap and easy to find and expats who move here report enjoying the quality of life and the pace afforded by this beautiful village. 

2. Koh Samui
For expats who want a true beachside paradise, Koh Samui is the perfect place to look. Tropical, warm, and rimmed by turquoise beaches, Koh Samui is the ideal place to settle down and enjoy life. Cheaper than many other places in Thailand, Koh Samui is a tourist town that offers many of the same amenities as other, busier parts of Thailand.
While you may assume that the beachside location would make this city expensive to set up shop in, this simply isn’t true. Rentals here are inexpensive and it’s easy for expats to find work in the tourist and beachside industries.

3. Bangkok
Bangkok rose to prominence as a Chinese trading port with a history of hustle and bustle. Today, Bangkok stands out as one of the most popular expat destinations in the world. One of the most modern cities in historic Thailand, Bangkok features glistening, luxury hotels, public transit, and hundreds of high-quality restaurant, pub, shopping, and café options on virtually every one of the city’s streets. 
As a main expat destination, Bangkok has a high concentration of foreigners, which makes it a very diverse and inclusive place. While real estate is more expensive here than it is in more rural areas, expats will still find a high quality of life and affordable prices in Bangkok.

4. Hua Hin
While it’s not one of the best-known cities in Thailand, Hua Hin is indeed one of the prettiest. Established as a fishing village, this pretty little city became a little-known escape for many high-class American families in the 1920s Today, Hua Hin is a sleepy beachside village offering beautiful views of the water and plenty of mouthwatering restaurants to try out. 
What’s more, real estate prices are cheap here and it’s easy to find a furnished rental with breathtaking views for just a few hundred dollars a month.

5. Phuket
Phuket is known as one of the most beautiful areas in Thailand, which is a large statement considering this is one of the most breathtaking countries in the world! Rich with beachside attractions, stretches of white sand, and plenty of awe-inspiring water views, Phuket is a gorgeous place to settle down and enjoy a slow pace of life. The city offers some of Thailand’s best seafood and is famous for its varied and exciting shopping and dining scene. 

The Weather in Thailand

Those looking to enjoy a tropical paradise will love Thailand. The weather here is overwhelmingly warm and tropical and, with the exception of the monsoons stretching between June and November, it’s rare to have a day that’s less than flawless in this beautiful country. 
If the heat starts to get you down, it’s easy to cool off with a refreshing ocean breeze in one of Thailand’s many coastal villages.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Thailand

While moving to Thailand may sound like a dream come true, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of such a big move before you make it. With that in mind, here are the biggest pros and cons of moving to Thailand:

Pros

Cons

Moving to Thailand: An Expat’s Paradise

For many people, moving to Thailand is a dream come true. Between the beautiful waterfront attractions and the cheap real estate and housing, it’s easy to see why Thailand has become such a popular tourist and expat destination.
Regardless of where you come from or what you’re hoping to find in Thailand, it’s safe to assume that it exists here and that building a new life will be simple and enjoyable. In addition to being exceedingly welcoming, Thailand also has a reputation for being a very diverse and active place where it’s easy for expats to get established within the culture. 
When it comes to job opportunities, they vary depending upon where you choose to live in Thailand. Working in the tourism or restaurant industry is always an option, as is teaching English or tutoring in Thai schools or privately in Thai households. While it may be somewhat difficult to find work in major Thai companies, it’s always possible to find work in varying sectors of the economy, and many expats choose to teach to utilize their skills while also playing an important role in Thai society. 
By being prepared for the move to Thailand and understanding what goes into a move to Thailand, it’s easier to enjoy a streamlined experience and a more effortless move, regardless of your motives. While Thailand stands out as a beachside paradise for many people around the world, it’s also a lovely place to live and families, retirees, young professionals, and students alike will all find something to love in this beautiful and scenic place.