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Moving to Thailand - A Home Away From Home

月曜日 , 02 3月 2020 ARTICLES

The world is getting smaller, international travel is not as exclusive as it used to be. The idea of uprooting your home to move to a distant land of excitement and wonder isn’t a far away fantasy. As one of the most visited countries in the world, Thailand is naturally a top choice for those looking to find a home away from home. Beautiful beaches, sunny skies, delicious food, rich culture and friendly locals. This is the image most people have when they think of Thailand. It’s clear that Thailand is a great place for a vacation, but what about actually living in the country? What does the country have to offer? What challenges will you face if you make the move to Thailand?

 

The Epicentre of Southeast Asia

What makes Thailand attractive as a country to live in is its geographical location. Located in the centre of Southeast Asia, Thailand is well-connected to all other countries in the region. One of the leading hubs for commerce and tourism in Asia, Thailand will be boosting its connectivity with the upcoming Bang Sue Central Station. The station will be the largest transport hub in the region and will serve as the epicentre of East Asia’s train network.

Its central location has created a unique mix of cultures across different regions. Lanna culture in the North and Isan culture in the Northeast draws influence from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. On the other hand, hints of Chinese culture is evident in the central region while Malay and Indonesian influence can be seen in Southern Thailand. You will be spoilt for choice when deciding on a neighbourhood to live in. Each locale has its own unique vibe and character. Learn about the various enclaves in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Pattaya here.

 

Relatively Lower Cost of Living

Thailand Cost of Living

Other than being a multicultural melting pot of Southeast Asia, the cost of living in Thailand is a huge plus point for foreign expatriates and retirees. Enjoying relatively low inflation rates of under 1% since 2015, the cost of living in Thailand is 40% lower than the US. The minimum budget required to live comfortably in Thailand varies from city to city, with Bangkok being the most expensive. If you lead a low maintenance lifestyle and are not fussy about your accommodation, you can get by on just 650 USD a month.

Compared to neighbouring countries, it doesn’t seem like the most affordable option to relocate to. However, you should keep in mind that high speed internet, public transport and mobile connectivity may not be as readily available outside of Thailand. The country is equipped with a relatively strong and well-developed infrastructure. This is especially important for those who plan on working during their stay in Thailand.

 

Affordable Quality Healthcare

Recent virus outbreaks have raised concerns over international travel. It’s only natural to worry if you can receive adequate treatment in the country you plan on relocating to. Thankfully, Thailand consistently ranks among the top 10 medical tourism destinations in the world. The kingdom is also home to a wide range of world-class hospitals with state-of-the-art facilities and highly-qualified practitioners. The best part is that these healthcare services won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Most of the procedures in Thailand cost 50% - 75% less than the same treatments in Europe and the US. If you’re looking to save even more money, there are many comprehensive healthcare plans for you to choose from.

Thailand is also gaining a name for itself as a country that specialises in elderly care. Not only is Thailand home to many foreign retirees, it also faces a domestic ageing population. To address the changing needs of Thai society, initiatives are being taken to create world-class facilities for the elderly. Developing a name for itself as the prime destination for specialist procedures, Thailand is renowned for affordable and quality treatments and services like eldercare, anti-ageing, fertility, wellness programmes, rehabilitation and cosmetic surgery.

 

Thriving Expat Community

Another important consideration is the presence of an expatriate community in your ideal relocation destination. Transplanting yourself in a foreign land does not need to be a daunting endeavour. Having a strong and supportive community of like-minded individuals with similar shared experiences can smoothen the transition. Thailand has a vibrant and thriving community of expats and retirees, heavily involved in local activities and philanthropy. There are various sub-groups, societies and clubs that can cater to all interests and hobbies. If you’re planning on bringing your children over with you, you can rest assured that they will have access to exceptional international schools across the country. They’ll have opportunities to immerse themselves in Thailand with the wide range of social excursions, sports clubs and study groups available.

To top it all off, the locals are famed for their hospitality. Known as “The Land of Smiles”, you’ll see why the title is well-deserved as you encounter one friendly local after another. Ingrained with a strong sense of community and mutual respect, Thai locals are always ready with a warm greeting, willing to offer assistance.

 

Tips for Moving To Thailand

Collectively, all signs are pointing towards living your life in Thailand. With a decision firmly placed, how do you make the move? Firstly, make sure that you find the correct non-immigrant visa category to apply for. There are many different categories that include business activity, education, investment, retirement and more. Prepare a completed application form, a valid passport, two recent passport-sized photographs, a recent bank statement and other required documents relevant to the category of application.

While you’re waiting for your visa to be approved, it would definitely be helpful to prepare yourself before you make the move. Pick up some basic Thai and learn about the culture of Thailand. Understand the customs, the social taboos and the traditions. If your relocation is not sponsored by a company, it would be in your best interest to sign up for a local health insurance plan.

The final step is to find the right neighbourhood that suits your style and vibe. From the verdant nature of Chiang Mai’s hills, to the party beaches of Phuket, every neighbourhood has its own unique character. Visit our Discover Thailand platform to pick the locale that suits you best. You’re well on your way to finding your perfect home in Thailand!

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