Moving to Thailand
Best known as a beautiful, affordable and exotic tourist destination, expats moving to Thailand often get to enjoy paradise on a more permanent basis, even with recent instability in the country.
While the political tensions that accompanied the military coup in 2014 continue to simmer, making safety in Thailand an important consideration for expats, there are signs that the country is stabilising. The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has made great efforts to reassure investors and tourists, and has made the economy and tourism two of its top priorities.
A warm and welcoming Thai culture, striking landscapes and a chance to experience a truly different way of life make living in Thailand both interesting and comfortable for many expats.
Finding work that pays well can, however, be a major challenge for expats who want to live in Thailand. The majority of job opportunities in the country can be found in Bangkok, with many new arrivals descending upon the already bustling Thai capital for this reason.
While most expats are willing to put up with the notorious traffic in Bangkok, others fan out into less populated and more indigenous regions.
There are, however, clear differences between rural and urban environments in the kingdom. Rural living in Thailand often lacks modern amenities, while urban environments are on overdrive, inundating expats with noise pollution and a lack of space, making it difficult to find a balance.
Although less popular than living in Bangkok, some expats scatter across the northern regions such as Chiang Mai to enjoy a quiet and more traditional Thai lifestyle.
Most of the expats that don’t want to live in Bangkok's concrete jungle do, however, end up in the beach resorts of Krabi and Phuket. Here, tourism-related jobs and idyllic beaches lure retirees and expat workers alike. Another popular option for expats wanting to work in Thailand is teaching English.
These sectors often don’t enable expats to enjoy a standard of living they may have been used to back home, but many of the expats who live in Thailand actively choose to live a simpler life.
Thai businesses often prefer hiring local professionals, and as a result most high-paying opportunities for expats are found through overseas transfers.
One of the greatest attractions in Thailand is its diversity, from Bangkok’s neon lights to Buddhist temples set against awe-inspiring natural settings. Whether wanting to enjoy their retirement, work in its booming medical tourism industry or supplement a long-term vacation with English teaching, expats are faced with a world of possibility in a single country.
Expats are, nonetheless, advised to keep up to date on current events when considering a move to Thailand.