Thailand: Expat Life in the “Land of Smiles”
Thousands of foreigners have settled in Thailand, in world-renowned resorts such as Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, and Phuket, in cities including Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai, and in the smaller towns of Hua Hin, Cha-am, and Pai. It’s rare to find a town in Thailand that doesn’t have at least a few foreign residents.
There’s a lot to like in Thailand: Breathtaking beaches, friendly locals, and well-established expat communities are just what’s on the surface. Beyond these attractions, Thailand boasts excellent health care (sometimes one-fifth the cost of U.S. health care) and easy retirement visa options.
A would-be retiree would have no trouble enjoying life here… there is a large and established expat community, plenty of golf courses, excellent medical and dental care, and all the services and amenities that an expat could want. Plus, the geography offers everything from misty mountains to pristine beaches.
The real kicker though, is the price. Thailand is arguably the cheapest place on Earth to live well. While affordable luxury is available, you can live on a very modest budget, thanks to US$1 pad thai lunches and US$11-a-night hotels (including breakfast and free WiFi).
Bangkok is a popular choice among retirees who appreciate its cosmopolitan flair, vast variety of entertainment venues, shopping, and warm, tropical climate. The city’s proximity to beach resorts is another plus. Pattaya and Cha-am are just two hours from the city, and the retirement haven of Hua Hin is less than three hours away.
Many foreigners come to Bangkok to work. The demand for English teachers is insatiable, as is the market for skilled employees in many other industries. If you have at least a bachelor’s degree and a willingness to work, you will have no difficulty finding a job in this city.