Thailand is a Southeast Asian country that is around the size of California. It enjoys a nice space along the Indochina Peninsula while it borders Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
You’ll find over 2,000 miles of shoreline to explore in this country, which means you’ll get to enjoy white-sand beaches, emerald waters, and warm sunshine throughout most of the year. Adding in the temples, ancient ruins, and the food options available here, living in Thailand sounds like a dream come true.
Going through many of the international lists for the best places to retire in the world at present, you’ll find Thailand making it into the top 10 almost every time. Hundreds of thousands of ex-pats live here from all over the world while enjoying their retirement, freelancing opportunities, or the option to travel.
There is also a dark side of Thailand to put into consideration. Some children living here either run away from their circumstances or are abducted from their homes outrightly.
They are sold by traffickers to individuals who travel to this nation solely for child prostitution, and then allow both parties to leave. According to a report by the UN, children from all over southeast Asia come through the Kingdom because it is more profitable and easier to move them there.
Some of these children are as young as age 10.
There are several alluring features of living in Thailand while you also have to take note of the disadvantages. Here we have simplified the task of making a decision for you by listing both the pros and cons of living in Thailand.
Pros of Living in Thailand
1. Natural Beauty
If you’re keen on experiencing a grand outdoor adventure, then Thailand is the perfect place to call home. You’ll be getting to find beaches everywhere that deserve being on a postcard. The strange rock formations, towering limestone cliffs, and isolated islands all provide unique vistas that are worth exploring. You have the options to travel through the jungles, climb mountains, or rest next to a secluded waterfall.
Even the cities reflect their own versions of this beauty. There’s an intriguing mixture of ancient and modern Thai architecture that you can simply find in most communities. The markets within the Kingdom are often colorful, then there are the stunning gardens to ascertain.
2. Wide Variety of Housing Options
You will find that nearly any sort of housing that you might simply want to possess while living in Thailand is out there. You’ll have the option of renting an apartment, taking benefit of the traditional housing market, or spending a little more to live in a condo or at a resort.
Most ex-pats want to find a place somewhere near a city center as it makes it easier to run errands, but if you can find an area outside of the standard metro area, there are some incredible deals to seek out.
If as an ex-pat, you’re unable to talk Thai, then finding a reasonable place to settle is often a touch tricky when you make the choice to start out living in Thailand. If they have to haggle in English, some landlords (and market vendors) will automatically raise the worth. Renting an interpreter who can negotiate on your behalf is going to be helpful if you don’t know the language.
3. Incredible Food
Thai cuisine is among the foremost popular choices within the world today for a reason. Many of the dishes support the concept that opposite ingredients create an attraction.
You’ll find combinations of sweet items like coconut milk matching with chili paste, lime, and sugar, or other sweet and salty duos. With herbs and vegetables dominating the menu, natural ingredients are a staple. Once you start living here, you’ll find that it’s almost impossible to remain hungry as long as you are careful with the MSG in your food.
4. Fun Outdoors
Due to the number of travelers that come through the country throughout the year, the nightlife in Thailand always seems to be lively. If you would like to travel out and have an honest time when living here, then almost any night offers the potential for fun.
You’ll also get to see new art galleries within the city, you can head out to watch a movie, or take a stroll through the local market. There’s always something happening that doesn’t stretch your budget.
5. Friendly People
When you start living in Thailand, you’ll notice that everybody tries to be helpful. There are tons of smiles and friendly conversations waiting to happen. That can be a good thing if you find people who know what they are talking about when you ask a question.
You will also discover in cities like Bangkok that folks will pretend to possess the answers you would like. If someone doesn’t know where you ought to go, then they’ll point you in a random direction. As an ex-pat, some wish to offer you “VIP services,” which may be a code word for “scam”. Thailand isn’t an ideal country by any means, but it’s an area that a lot of people love.
Cons of Living in Thailand
Thailand has its justifiable share of days where the weather seems like it’s perfect. Once you start living here you’ll also discover that around 50% of some time are going to be stuck managing conditions that are hot and humid.
The rainy season can also create havoc when trying to make your way around. Although you would want to flee the thought of winter and shoveling snow, 70% humidity with 100F temperatures can also make you tired– and such days can last for several weeks at a time without giving you a break.
2. Health Issues Need to be Managed
You will want to make it certain that you’re up-to-date with all of your vaccinations before traveling to Thailand for any reason. If you’re planning to settle there full-time, then you’ll want to see your records for hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, varicella, MMR, DTAP, and polio.
The CDC within the US also recommends that you simply receive an inoculation for Japanese encephalitis, Hepatitis B, and malaria. Depending on where they decide to live, some people might also want to get a rabies vaccine.
Thailand is taken into account to be a fairly safe country for ex-pats. The number of physical attacks or issues with property theft isn’t as common as they’re within the developed world, but you’ll still have to take some precautions once you leave your home. Once you first move to this country, you’ll want to make sure that you’re simply not caught alone going into someone’s home or in a market by yourself to avoid potential problems.
The country features a long history of political unrest which will also stir up from time to time. In August 2016, there have been multiple bombings that happened throughout the country that killed four people and injured 37 others.
4. Language Barrier
Most ex-pats find that they have to rent an interpreter directly once they make the choice to start out living in Thailand. Although almost everyone within the urban areas can speak a minimum of a little bit of English, most locals don’t speak it all right.
The government tends to speak in Thai, as do most of the companies within the country, which suggests not having the ability to talk the Thai language can cause an alienating experience.
Make sure that you simply never sign a document unless you recognize exactly what it says, especially if you’re working with a landlord. Thai law allows for the execution of anyone who transports, carries, or uses drugs.
Although the utmost sentence isn’t usually applied to someone from the West, you don’t want to be signing a confession that lets somebody else off of the hook.
Thailand features a reputation for child prostitution due to the economic disparity that exists in some parts of the country. Some families rely on the sex trade through their children just to place food on their table.
According to what some people think, there’s less child prostitution involving Thai children among tourists now, and the acts involving prostitution of Thai children are usually among Thai people. Some also think that child prostitution in Thailand involving tourists now more often involves children from neighboring Asian countries.
Cost of Living in Thailand
Living in Thailand could mean having a simpler approach to life with many perks provided. But there are also some discomforting situations to consider. If you carefully weigh your options and make a decision to settle in the Kingdom, here are some basic costs of living listed out for you.
Rent could also be your biggest expense in Thailand, especially once you live in an enormous city like Bangkok or tourist destinations like Phuket and Pattaya. In fact, many ex-pats spend over 30% of their monthly income on rent alone.
When you ask fellow foreigners what proportion of rent they pay, expect to listen to different answers. Some people pay over 50,000 baht on rent, while some pay 30,000 baht. There also are people who pay around 15,000 baht and a few that pay but 5,000 baht a month.
In other words, the value of monthly rent varies hugely and depends on factors like location, sort of housing, and facilities offered.
For electricity, if you’re living alone in a condominium and leave the A/C on every night, you shouldn’t be paying more than 1,500 baht a month.
The cost of water is quite cheap in Thailand. So your water bill shouldn’t be more than 100 baht a month.
You can enjoy high-speed internet at home at 200 Mbps speeds, at around 600 baht a month.
The food cost in Thailand entirely depends on your choice of food and where you eat.
Meals cost only 40-50 baht on average in local food stalls and food courts. At this price range, you get one dish — more commonly, a bowl of noodles or an order of rice with meat and/or vegetables — with no sides.
If you normally eat regularly priced meals at mid-priced places, your food expenses should cost no more than 10,000 baht a month. But it’s possible to stay your food budget even lower if you often buy from local sellers — no more than 6,000 baht a month.