Expat Days: Making a Life in Thailand

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Read on our shipping to Thailand article to find out more information. If you decide to bring your belongings to Thailand then check out Siam Relocation. They offer flexible packages designed to meet your budget. And they have door-to-door service, which means they pack, insure, export, import, and unpack your belongings so you can enjoy your transition to Thailand.

Or you could follow in the footsteps of TielandtoThailand , who sold everything before coming to Thailand and started fresh. There are certain items that are cheap and accessible here in Thailand. I dread how many copies of my driving license, passport and degree certificate there are floating around various government offices.

If possible, bring original copies with you. This may change in the future so keep updated on this via media or your embassy. You should sign, date, and double-line strikethrough any photocopied documents. Write a sentence stating what this signed copy is for as well. This way if there are any dishonest people who get hold of these copies they will be unable to use them. This means you should plan to spend at least the first few days in a hotel or short term apartment.

These days there are more international flights arriving in Phuket and Chiang Mai but most people will still arrive in Bangkok. I recommend booking at least a few nights in a Bangkok hotel to get your bearings and figure out the lie of the land. To speed up the process of finding a long-term rental, contact a real estate agent. And if you do happen to find a long-term rental, and you plan on shipping your things to Thailand, then consider reaching out to Siam Relocation. For a short-term rental, good websites to look for a place to stay in Thailand are Agoda.

I also met a few people who arrived in Thailand and stayed in a hostel while looking for a job, and they all commented the lack of privacy and facilities made things hard for them. Most people spend at least a few days or weeks in a hotel to start with before looking at more permanent accommodation. There are some great guides on this site to look at so I wont go into too much detail here. First, take a look at our Bangkok Apartments guide. It shows how to rent a place and potential pitfalls during the process. For those looking for something more long term we also have a guide for buying a condo.


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The best choice is leasing a land and house for thirty or sixty years. Sure there are a couple of ways around this but the risk, hassle and potential downsides outweigh these in my opinion. Renting a house is simple. Property websites list rental houses. DDProperty is a great example and also in tourist locations there will be real estate agents out there who can help. Should you get a job before you get to Thailand? This is what you, as a future Thailand expat, have to weight out.

If you are a digital nomad that already have your own clients, you should take a look at Iglu. They have a visa assistant that allow you to work legally in Thailand without having to get a new job here. But if you still need to find a job, check out Working in Thailand for Kindle on Amazon. You can also read our Getting a Job In Thailand article.

It shows useful ways to get a job and the opportunities available here. Then I changed visas after getting hired. Schools look for teachers among the field of expats residing in Thailand. In the future there may become ways to work online in Thailand under new Smart Visa plans. In general taxes in Thailand are low. The main problem I have with Thailand is the lack of tax income means they cannot invest in facilities which would make the country a better place.

Like other countries, you can take advantage of taxable deductions in Thailand. Popular choices include buying LTFs , paying for life insurance, and purchasing a condo. Foreign workers and Thais get the same deductions. This includes a temporary tax deduction on purchases in malls, hotels, and restaurants registered with VAT. You could claim any purchase with a value of up to 15, Baht. Please check the revenue department website for more info. To give a quick overview of how I deal with my taxes in Thailand. My income varies each month depending on the amount of work I do.

But when I first arrived in Thailand I had a three-month job paying 34, baht a month. That meant I paid baht social security and zero taxes on the income as my yearly amount was , baht. My next job had a salary of 55, baht a month and after social security and tax I received around 50, baht.

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Now I earn between 68, to , baht and the amount I receive is around 6, to 8, baht less after paying tax and social security. My employer takes care of my taxes. That would cover me if I was doing more freelance work or was making money on renting out properties. Thailand does have double tax treaties with many countries, you should check with your own tax department to check on this. The Thai tax year runs from 1st January to 31st December. For all income made from companies outside of Thailand, he sends all his invoices to his tax service, who handles his taxes at the end of the year.

Since tax filing between each person is vastly different, I would recommend you to get in touch with an expert such as Olivier from Abroad. Thinking about Living in Thailand? When visiting on a tourist visa things life is easy in Thailand.

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You get stamped in and out by immigration at the airport or border. You must go to the immigration center where you live. Different immigration centers have different standards and policies. For example, I now report in Nonthanburi and they insist on a filled in TM30 form, or house registration and landlord declaration of foreign guest. It makes things confusing but you have to go with the flow and get through it the best you can. If working for a mid-large sized company they should offer this service for you free of charge and I tell you it makes the experience so much better. For my yearly visa I need a health check up and the doctor asked me how often I travel by bus which seemed a weird question.

She told me from my lung x-ray she saw deterioration due to pollution—most likely traffic related. I used to travel by bus twice a day and it scared me to see how bus travel affected my lungs. Travel insurance only works when you just only move here for a short period of time.

After that, you need to get a health insurance which is different between expats. Those from backgrounds where healthcare is free tend to think less about purchasing health insurance. But other expats treat it like a usual expense. Working in Thailand will give you access to some kind of health insurance but the quality and coverage varies. So you should get a health checkup every year. You can get a checkup at any hospital, really. But I recommend Bumrungrad. They have all the latest medical equipment.

Their staff speaks English. And they have a very short wait time. You can even schedule your health checkup before you get to Thailand. Basic Thai social security covers treatment in government hospitals and often huge waiting lists. Many lower paying jobs offer accident insurance. This will cover you for 2, baht a day in a hospital, 2, baht a year for dental, and around 5, baht for other procedures. To give you an idea, a teacher I worked with got food poisoning and spent three days in a famous city center hospital, her bill was 90, baht.

Her work insurance covered 9, baht of it leaving her to make up the rest. I recently took a new job. They offered me this even though the pay was a little higher than the last position. If your job do not provide any health insurance at all, you can look up ACS. Pollution can affect you, especially when living in the city centers.

Moving To Thailand: A Guide for Expats to Live Here

Something I miss doing is walking around as, with the poor quality of sidewalks, the pollution makes it an unbearable situation to be by the road for longer than necessary. Cooks add sugar to everything. Cooks also use preservatives and MSG. Over the Thai new year week there are often multiple accidents leading to deaths and year on year these continue despite action to reduce drink driving. My social life revolves around eating and drinking as these are two of my favorite things to do in Thailand.

I loved a cold pint when in London but it sure does taste better here in the evening after a hot day! People I speak to still do this due to the low alcohol prices and tempting year long warm evenings. Mental health is a serious concern for expats here.

Being so far away from family and friends does affect you at times. Every expat has those days when they miss home or wish they could pop out and see someone they miss. There are fitness choices in Thailand. Take a look at our Fitness in Bangkok article and know the same choices are available around the country. One thing people want to do when arriving is to set up their phone and internet.

They are all the same and offer a variety of plans based on whether the internet or calls are more important for you.

Moving To Thailand: A Guide for Expats to Live Here

For around baht a month you can get a package with a decent amount of internet data and a hundred or so minutes of call time. Home internet is more dependent on where you live and the services offered in the region. Most internet companies try to sell you an internet and TV package. It works out at around baht a month but this will include a few English channels. The internet speeds are increasing and for your baht a month you should expect at least 50 MB connection speeds, simple TV package, and phone internet for 4 GB.

If TV is your thing then prepare to pay what you would back home to get movies and live premium TV sports, western channels etc. You can also get Netflix Thailand. It starts around baht a month up to baht for the 4K version. I use this instead of expensive cable TV choices. In my first few weeks there were surprises and things I needed to adapt to. I had been to Thailand a couple of times before for vacation and my last job at a travel company but now I was here for the long term and I felt a little lost at the start. My first job shocked me.

I had read Thai people were friendly and I thought as much about the employees at the first company I worked for, they seemed happy with me and helpful. They would not say no to my requests but they had no intention of following through or would deny me via email or Line rather than face to face. This part of Thai culture, not always saying what you mean, still catches me out from time to time and you have to be aware that the famous Thai smile is sometimes there to hide another emotion. My first few weeks in Thailand were a vacation but after a while I had to settle into working life and this process proved hard for me.

One colleague I worked with called in sick at least once a week and as his calls were after midday it was obvious he was out partying all night. At my first job people treated their position as an excuse to get a long term visa and, in honesty, the main reason I took that job was so I could have another 6 months in the country, get paid a little bit and then travel at weekends.

My decision to move to an international company changed my mindset and allowed me to focus more on work and, after around five months, feel I was here to work rather than on a vacation. The first Thai word I learned was mai bpen rai, or never mind. I found there was a never mind attitude from lots of people here in Thailand, both locals, and foreigners. If you come an hour late — never mind.

A workman comes to fix something in your condo and leaves everything dirty and messy — never mind. I still find this frustrating but rather than getting angry as I did in the past I now accept this. Finally adapting to living in a developing country was hard. Sure when you visit the tourist regions you do get good facilities and environments but outside of these it can be shocking to see the poverty and poor quality facilities in some parts of Thailand.

It was shocking dealing with people living in metal huts whilst Ferraris drove past. There were also pleasant things I experienced in my first few months like food, climate, and sports to name but a few. And after working through the above challenges I was happier with life here in Thailand. Because he had a house in America, a long-term career, and other loose ends to tie up, it took him longer to make the leap.

As the time to move to Thailand neared, he started making small steps. Below is a list of things he did. His wife had family in Thailand. So they lived with them for the first four months. During those four months, he found work and adapted to living in Thailand full time. Health checkups in Thailand are a lot cheaper than they are in the West. Having been here for over four years I understand a fair amount about Thai culture but not everything. There are still things which happen that surprise me. Thais respect their elders in all situations. This means the social order may be different than from your own country.

Young people will greet their elders with a wai, the traditional Thai greeting, which elders return. Older people get to make decisions and give advice to the younger people in the family. It seems to me some Thai people do things to please the older members of their families such as when choosing degree subjects or thinking about career moves.

Often there are certain visual or situational clues they give. Many families are conservative, but this is changing with the younger generation. Asking a partner to move in before marriage might prove hard, especially among traditional families. But, as in every country, there are certain people who will try and take advantage of you as they will see you as a tourist.

I linked to an article about potential travel scams in Thailand. It includes things like overcharging for transport or problems with damage to jet skis and these could affect your as an expat. Be careful with bar girls and prostitutes, who can cause trouble for tourists and expats. The Thais love the royal family. Pictures of kings and queens grace buildings and roads.

This was a very interesting collection. The writing is strong and comfortable at the same time. Not only was it an enjoyable read, but I learned a LOT from this book. It led me to seek out more from this writer and I haven't been disappointed yet. As a former journalist, I appreciate the way Rosse is able to blend journalistic elements with elements we associate with fiction.

A very conversational tone. I definitely recommend this book. One person found this helpful.

Reprogram Your Life – Shut Down the Cold and Restart by Moving to Tropical Thailand

These are light, yet insightful, anecdotes on Thai culture from an American writer who lived a long time in Thailand and produced hundreds of articles and essays on his observations there. The tone is generally light and the humor self-deprecating but this does not diminish the genuine glimpses it gives into what it's like to be a Westerner in Thailand. This one comes recommended for those with an interest in Thailand or the type of humorous essay of observation which seems to be a disappearing art.

Steve Rosse has spent many decades perfecting the craft of writing. The problem I have with this book is that I find the writing somewhat craven. Too much pandering to the Thais with superficial criticism that is supposed to be read lightly and found amusing. More hilarious, though, is the author's lack of self-awareness and lack of depth given to his subject the way Thais treat farang. This book will go down well with many foreigners who deal with Thai ways by asking no questions and enjoying the superficial charm of its women.

For others, who like more depth to their life, a rather irritating collection of columns. Fun, informative, and insightful stories about life in the Land of Smiles. Steve Rosse is one of the best writers out of Thailand and once you pick this book up, you will finish it wanting more.

Don't let the cover art put you off, this book is gold. See all 5 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Making a Life in Thailand. Set up a giveaway. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us.

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