Thailand: The Expat’s Guide to Living in Paradise
If you fell in love with the colourful and mysterious culture of the Thai people and have decided to make this tropical paradise your home, you certainly wouldn’t be alone in your desire to experience the magical qualities that the Land of Smiles offers. In order to help prepare you for this epic adventure, here are a few important aspects to consider.
- Thai Language – The key to understanding Thai culture lies in the language, and if you are planning to live in The Kingdom, learning to speak Thai is vitally important. Outside of the major tourist areas, English is not widely spoken in Thailand, therefore, you will need to be able to communicate. Enrol in a basic course and remember to practice as often as you can, as this is a critical element of language learning that is often overlooked, and if you plan on setting up a business and hiring Thai people, it is critical that you can communicate effectively.
- Earning a Living – If you plan to reside and retire in Thailand, then earning a living is not an issue. You may opt to come on a Thailand long-term resident visa, or for everyone else with the matter of income, you can apply for skilled professions such as teaching English, provided you are degree qualified. Don’t expect a huge salary for teaching English, but you could live reasonably on $1,500 per month. While many expats live off their digital earnings, and with the advances in technology, many people work remotely or run an online business.
- Entrepreneurs – If you plan to set up your own business in Thailand, there are agents that handle BOI company registration in Bangkok, and they can ensure that your company is fully compliant with Thai law. If you are planning to invest in Thailand, this brings with it many benefits and by talking to an English-speaking Thai lawyer, you can discover how to make the most out of your company registration.
- Buddhism – Regardless of your religious beliefs, you should look into the main principles of Buddhism, as this will help you to gain a better understanding of Thai culture. It is, for example, considered impolite to express emotion in public, although things are changing, as Thai people absorb western ways and attitudes.
- Location – Thailand has it all; stunning beaches in the south, mountainous in the north, and the northeast has a culture all of its own. If you want to have access to creature comforts, one of the premier beach towns like Hua Hin have much to offer the expat. The southern islands of Phuket and Samui are both very popular with expats, and then there is Bangkok, which might be your home if you are moving into business circles.
It is important that you have adequate health insurance, as Thailand’s hospitals are far from cheap, and any online broker can quote you for a range of insurance packages that cover you while living in Thailand. With some research and planning, your experiences in Thailand will be positive and you will remain in the Land of Smiles for many years.