The most popular question that we get asked here in Owl of Asia is; What is it like to live in Thailand as an expat? Is living in Thailand easy or difficult? These are some fascinating questions, so today we will be covering these questions by going through 9 things that I learned in my first year living in Thailand.
Suppose you are a regular reader of all of Asia. In that case, you will know that I always like to provide transparent and novelty content, and This is why through the list of “what it is like to live in Thailand as an expat,” I have included some eye-opening topics; let’s begin.
Table of Contents
9 Things I Learned Living In Thailand As An Expat
Price Discrimination In Thailand Is Real But Its Mostly On Cheaper Expenses
Unfortunately, we begin our list of what it is like to live in Thailand as an expat negatively. Price discrimination in Thailand is a very common and genuine experience. However, the good news is that even though price discrimination is genuine in Thailand, it is often on cheaper expenses such as local attractions.
Certain parts of Thailand are certainly not shy about price discrimination. Some expats I’ve spoken to justify it by saying that expats living in Thailand often have much more money and thus they should pay more. In contrast, others argue that price discrimination on any level is unacceptable.
Nonetheless, the good news is that if you have a driving license or you have more permanent citizenship in Thailand, showing your identification in most places will grant you local prices.
Many Locals Wear Their Heart On Their Sleeves
This is one of those subjects that is unique as it’s not something that is documented well online. In my experience, many Thais wear their heart on their sleeve in terms of dating. This is more true if you are dating outside of the city.
My best advice is, to be honest from the start when dating in Thailand. If you are dating somebody, they will likely build a connection with you, and relationships can build much quicker in Thailand than in other countries, in my experience.
If you are looking for a short-term dating experience, it is often not difficult to find. Being open and honest from the start allows you to find that perfect partner looking for something similar without anybody’s feelings being hurt.
It’s Possible To Live In Thailand For Less Than $1000
Previously we have spoken about the cost of living in Thailand, retiring in Thailand, and compared what it’s like to live in Thailand verse the UK.
Throughout these articles, we spoke in great depth about living in Thailand and expected costs; however, to summarise, where you are living in the country will have a significant effect on your overall cost of living as some areas are much cheaper than others.
If you are looking to live on less than $1000 each month, your best option is to live in the north. Two popular cities are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Both cities are charming, and living expenses are low. If you had a budget per month of $800 in Thailand, you could afford a lot more compared to living on the islands in the South.
Depression In Thailand Is Higher Than I Thought
Depression in Thailand is a sad topic, and it has been spoken about by many prominent names such as the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health, and many others. More recently, vice covered a documentary discussing the rates of suicide in Thailand.
Statistically speaking, the suicide rate in Thailand is one of the highest in South East Asia. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the inequality related to wealth, disability, and other factors.
This made our list of; what it is like to live in Thailand as an expat – because when we think of Thailand, we think of the land of smiles, but anybody may struggle with their mental health problems, including the land of smiles.
On Average Healthy Foods Are Cheap When Living In Thailand
One of the benefits of living in Thailand is that the average food costs of healthy and whole foods are much lower than in other countries. This is typical because many of the foods are grown locally.
Foods that you will find are cheaper in Thailand than in other countries, including fruit, vegetables, honey, nuts, seeds, etc. Still, surprisingly, some foods such as milk can be pretty expensive compared to other countries outside of South East Asia.
Alternatively, if you are looking to save money living in Thailand, especially when food shopping, a great option is to visit the local farmers market; negotiation is possible if you’re buying more oversized items in bulk.
It’s Much Harder For Business And Investment Compared To Other Countries.
If you have the cash, then starting a business in Thailand or investing may not be challenging for you; however, if your budget is tight and you are looking to start a budget or invest a little bit of money, then it can be challenging compared to other southeast Asian countries.
The requirements for setting up a business in Thailand are very high, and this is one reason many expats choose to invest or set up a business in other countries. Investment, however, is slightly easier in Thailand, especially if you have a bank account in Thailand, as many investments can be made through the bank.
You Can Live In Thailand For 20 Years With Their Premium Visa
A long-term visa is called the Thai Elite Visa. The Thai Elite Visa has many different terms, including a 5, 10, or 20-year visa. One thing to consider with a 20-year visa in Thailand is that costs are relatively high. A 20-year visa in Thailand at today’s current exchange is just under $70,000. Plus, an annual top-up fee of just under $700.
You also have an added option if you are looking for a long-term visa, which includes a family visa. The processing time may vary; however, on average, completion of the application can be as little as three weeks or as long as eight weeks.
Internet In Thailand Is Super Quick And Super Cheap
When looking at what it is like to live in Thailand as an expat, one thing I discovered was just how super quick and cheap the Internet was. I’m a big YouTuber. I watch YouTube several hours a day and had no problem streaming videos or watching movies.
This is important if you consider living in Thailand as an expat or a digital nomad, as the Internet is an essential tool. There are many different types of Internet providers in Thailand. One of my favorites, and perhaps the best in the country, is AIS. However, when looking at Internet strength, it is best to focus on your location.
This is because of your geographical location, which determines the strength of your Internet depending on your Internet provider. In other words, my location is perfect for AIS, but some providers do not work so well in this area, and vice versa, AIS Internet in Thailand does not work well in some areas compared to other providers.
Thailand Is Very Similar To The West
If you’ve never been to Thailand before, you are most likely wondering what it’s like, especially in terms of the people, but in fact, Thailand is very similar to the West in many ways.
Compare this to Japan, and it will almost feel like you are stepping foot on a different planet. Everything that you can imagine in your country is different in Japan. Even things you never thought would be different such as flavors and tastes of food.
What’s interesting when settling in a new country like Thailand is that you’ll discover that we all have the same problems in life. Our culture may be slightly different, and there may be some topics we see differently because of our conditioning throughout life. Still, at a fundamental level, a smile always means a smile.
So if you’re planning to move to Thailand, don’t be afraid to get involved with the people, get to know a new way of life, and ultimately enjoy your experience.
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