Thailand: A Haven for Expatriates
Ready to hang up your boots? Want a change of scenery after retirement? Do you want to be an expatriate? If you answered yes to everything, then Thailand may be the perfect country for you!
Boasting wide stretches of tropical beaches, lush forests, and the ultramodern capital, Bangkok, Thailand has become a popular attraction for tourists and expatriates alike. If you are considering moving there, then our quick start guide will prove invaluable to you.
Where Exactly in Thailand?
There are several regions in Thailand catered to different lifestyles. Whether you want to relax on the beach or have an urban life, Thailand has something for everyone.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and its economic center. A sprawling metropolis, the skyline of Bangkok is simply breathtaking. Malls, parks, and waterways fill every inch of the city. If you want an urban lifestyle, then Bangkok may be the perfect place for you.
Chiang Mai is located in the northern part of the country. It offers scenic mountain ranges and lush national parks. If mother nature is your drug, then Chiang Mai is the place for you.
The largest island in the country, Phukhet, is home to over 600,000 residents. Beach lovers rejoice because Phukhet has beaches in all kinds of flavor.
Hua Hin is a resort town and hosts huge events on a regular basis. It is kind of an international getaway spot for expatriates from all over the world. There is never a dull moment in Hua Hin.
No matter where you decide to live in Thailand, you will need a good place to stay and a change of clothes. You want to keep your apartment clean and clothes fresh, so knowing a good cleaning service company is vital. DO 4 YOU is such a company, and they are a one-stop solution. What’s even better is that they have an app you can download on your phone. Just place your order from the app, and their staff will take care of all the cleaning for you!
The All-Important VISA
If you are an expatriate, your best bet is applying for a retirement VISA. Typically, you will need a letter signed by a Thai Bank showing you have at least $23,000 or a monthly income of $1,900. This is enough to let immigration know you are serious about moving to Thailand.
If you do not want to live permanently in Thailand, then consider applying for a tourist visa. Tourists are usually granted 60 days to explore the country with an option to extend it by another 30 days. Consider all of your options carefully before making a decision.
Seek Out the Expat Community
There are many things you need to take care of when moving to a new country. You might be wondering where the local hospital, grocery shops, train stations, and more are. Figuring all of this out on your own can be downright scary.
The expats living in Thailand are very friendly and always willing to help you. They have been living there for a while and can answer all of your burning questions. Who knows? You might make some really good friends along the way as well!
Medical Insurance and Healthcare
Medical insurance should be a top priority for you when you move to Thailand. Healthcare costs can get crazy expensive if you are not prepared. Many companies provide medical insurance, and you should purchase a plan as soon as you are settled in.
There are numerous hospitals in Thailand. While the big private ones can be expensive, there are clinics that provide the same services but cheaper. You can find pharmacies on almost every street, and medicine is affordable.
Pack Your Necessities
Certain items are cheap in Thailand, while others are not. Since you are moving into a foreign country, it is a good idea to take your favorite and necessary belongings. This will save you from unnecessary, and sometimes expensive, trips to the local shops.
Be sure to pack any medication you might need. Extra socks and other clothing items will prove to be invaluable during the first few days. If you have pets, pack a decent supply of food for them as well. Try to pack clothes for the season you are arriving in. After settling in, you can prepare for the coming seasons without much effort.
What to Do Once You are in Thailand
Once you are in Thailand, the possibilities are endless. Before you go running off into the wind, there are some things that need to be set up. Finding an apartment or a condo will be priority number one. The expat community can help you in this situation. If you have kids, then look for schools close to your residence.
Other places you should look out for are the local hospital, public transportation stations, and grocery shops. You are going to call this place home for the next few years, so it is better to start making it feel like one.
Keep Your Important Documents Close
Always remember you are a visitor in the country. Even if you have a permanent visa, it does not mean you are a resident. Your passport essentially works as an identification card, and you should keep it somewhere very safe. Other important documents like driving license, birth certificate, and medical insurance card should be kept safe as well.
Practice the Thai Language
This one is optional but can greatly help you get more acquainted with the locals. Not everyone you run into will speak fluent English much less any other language. Simply learning the common phrases will go a long way. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you get started. You can even buy small handbooks at local shops that do a good job.
Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles.’ If you are looking for a country with a rich culture, great people, and scenic views, you cannot go wrong with Thailand. Start planning for the future today!