Thailand has always been one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It is now rapidly becoming a premier location for expats. Thailand has a growing expat community that can be seen all around the country. Thailand has a central location in the Southeast Asia region which makes it perfect for a lot of companies to open up new offices around the country. Thailand, itself, has a lot to offer that make it such an attractive place for expats to relocate to. From the low cost of living, rich culture, and overall modern way of life, many people are now choosing Thailand and more particularly Bangkok to live and work.
Why Relocate in Thailand?
Thailand has a very large expat population. It’s estimated more than two million expats currently living in Thailand. Expats come from all around the world to live and experience Thailand, including people from around Europe, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. Estimates put the total foreign residents at around 2.5 million people out of a total population of around 70 million. Many Western expats move here for a temporary job posting, while others make the move for a higher quality of life.
One of the benefits to relocating to Thailand is that it gives you access to a range of lifestyles. You can choose to live in a modern metropolis to experience the busy city life. Or you can choose to live a more laidback lifestyle on one of the many islands or rural areas. The most popular destination for expats in Thailand is the capital, Bangkok. Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand. It’s where you’ll find the biggest part of the expat community because of most of the corporate offices located there. Another rising city for expatriates in Thailand is Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is another city known for its cultural heritage and history while offerning modern facilities to a growing tech and entrepreneur scene.
For expats not interested in Thailand’s city life, one of the upcoming areas are islands such as Phuket and Koh Samui. Those are among the largest islands in Thailand with more than enough leisure activities to complement the relaxed atmosphere and plenty of business opportunities.
Thailand is often referred to as the ‘Land of Smiles’. Anyone who has been to Thailand can confirm how happy people generally are who live in the country. This is both locals and expats. Thailand is one of the best places to live in the entire world. It ranks #1 in terms of how happy their residents are, beating out other popular countries such as Japan, Iceland, Singapore, Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Why is Thailand so Attractive for Expats?
Thailand has plenty to offer around the entire country that makes it an ideal place for expats to relocate. A major factor that expats love about Thailand is the overall lifestyle. Although your lifestyle will vary whether in Bangkok or on one of the islands, you can always find pleasure in the country.
Most expats live in and around Bangkok. Bangkok is where you will find lots of unique experiences, from the cultural attractions, dining, shopping, entertainment, and much more. Thailand has a rich culture and some of the most famous landmarks can be seen around Bangkok including temples, statues, etc. Bangkok is a popular tourist destination as well so there is an abundance of street food and restaurants serving many local Thai favorite dishes to international food choices. This is a city that comes to life at night, being a hub for nightlife in Thailand. You can easily find a place to wind down after a long week of working.
Expats living in a more laidback place like Phuket, Koh Samui or Hua Hin have a completely different experience. While you can find cities with similar entertainment and lifestyle features as Bangkok here, the beach lifestyle is really what attracts expats to living here. Phuket and Koh Samui have some of the best beaches in Thailand that constantly draw expats to live and relax near them. Hua Hin offers lots of leisure options in terms of golfing, sightseeing, hotels, food and shopping.
Thailand Cost of Living for Expats
Perhaps the most talked about reason for expats living in Thailand is the cost of living. Even in a place like Bangkok, you can live very comfortably for a fraction of what you’d spend in other major cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, New York, London or Paris. Living in Thailand will give you a lot more value for your money.
Some expats come to Thailand on assignment from their employer or work on a freelance basis. Others choose to work for one of the countless international companies here. Expats in Thailand usually have salaries that allow them to experience the best parts of Thailand while saving money.
Bangkok, while being more expensive than the provinces in terms of buying and renting property, is still great value compared to other major cities in Asia and around the world. Expats can find various housing types, such as condos, townhouses and villas, within a wide budget range. For example, expats can rent a condo within a budget of $1000 to $10,000USD per month, depending on the age of the project, size of the unit, the location of the building, the level of luxury, and the grade of facilities available. There will be a considerable price difference for older units compared to more recent ones.
Leisure and entertainment, shopping and healthcare
Bangkok is world-renowned for it’s entertainment scene, as the options are endless for all tastes and budgets. The city has some of the world’s best rooftop bars such as Vertigo, Sirocco, Park Society, Escape, Long Table which are superb for a post-work drink to watch the sunset, and restaurants of all types to cater for any preference and budget. Perhaps best known for it’s cuisine, Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, is home to Michelin star restaurants and a vast number of hole-in-the-wall establishments, and everything in between. Leisure in Thai culture is centered around food, and you’ll have no problem finding a taste of home if you prefer.
Shopping in Bangkok comes in all shapes and sizes too: from the massive air-conditioned malls you’ll find throughout the city, to the street stalls and flea markets selling everything you could imagine. Most recognizable brands have many branches in Thailand and you will normally find those in the malls of Central Group, Mall Group, or Gaysorn. But the experience of a Thai market should not be avoided, as any Thai market will be bustling with the activity of it’s patrons, where wholesale clothing is sold alongside delicious street food and electronics.
Transportation and services
Bangkok has an infamous reputation for it’s traffic, stemming from the lack of city-planning as the city grows larger and the multitude of cars on the road. However the roads can be avoided easily, as most of the areas where expats choose to live are close to the public transport lines such as the Skytrain (BTS) and the underground (MRT). Most of the major areas of Bangkok are serviced by these lines, and Bangkok’s authorities are expanding them to include the metropolitan areas surrounding the city. For those who prefer to avoid public transportation, they will have multiple options such as taxis, grabtaxi, moto taxi and the notorious Tuk-Tuks.
Security and crime
Thailand has historically been a low-crime country, and Bangkok is consistently ranked as one of the safer major cities in the world, boasting low violent crime rates, thanks to, among other things, the abundance of security personnel throughout the city. Nearly every condo project and housing estate is equipped with a 24-hour security presence. The law enforcement agencies in Thailand are responsive and helpful for the most part but there has been a history of corruption that is being slowly eradicated by the government.
Bangkok is the center for expats living in Thailand. Sense Property Group is the perfect place to start when looking for a place to live in Bangkok. This platform offers lots of resources for expats thinking about coming to Thailand. You can choose to rent a house or an apartment in Bangkok, which is common for expats only planning to live here temporary for a couple years. There are also options to buy property in Bangkok and other popular destinations in Thailand. Our specialty is assisting expats with relocating to Bangkok. Our Bangkok property agents specialize in providing relocation services to expatriates that relocate alone or with their families.