Living in Thailand: the good and the bad

After one or more trips to the land of smiles, you may want to go live in Thailand, here is an article to show you the good and bad sides to help you make your decision.

The good and bad sides of life in Thailand

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding to move to Thailand.

Why consider life in Thailand?

After one or more trips, it is almost impossible not to fall under the spell of its inhabitants, their smiles, and kindness.

Rare are the countries where we are so well received, and it is often the smiles that are most lacking on the return trip.

The cost of living

The cost of living in Thailand is much lower than what you will find in most countries of the world, even among poorer neighbors, life is more expensive!

Except for alcohol and cigarettes, which are much more taxed than in neighboring countries: Laos and Cambodia.

You can rent a cheap house in the countryside or find a large apartment near the city center for an affordable price (except in Bangkok).

You have access to delicious and inexpensive Thai dishes; you can afford Thai massages for a few euros, go out for a drink or several drinks without breaking the bank and have a lot of exciting and inexpensive activities to do.

In short, you can have an incomparable quality of life without having to be rich.

But since it’s cheap, we tend to spend a lot, and the money can go very quickly, you have to know how to control yourself!

And if life is cheap, unfortunately, without a special visa (see below) you will not be able to stay there for long and to get these visas; they ask to see a certain amount on the account.

Security in Thailand

Security is another advantage of living in this country.

There is a lower level of crime than one would expect, even in large cities.

I don’t know if there is a safer country than Thailand, be careful, I don’t mean there is no crime, but we very rarely face it.

24-hour shopping and nightlife in cities make streets bright and safe at all times, as long as you stick to significant transportation infrastructure and high-traffic areas.

As in any other place, you should use your common sense to determine what you need to do to stay safe.

It should not prevent you from keeping an eye on your valuables.

The main danger in the country is the road, that’s where you have to be the most careful, especially if you use a motorcycle, in which case you should consider taking out insurance.


Thailand is a modern country; it is very easy to move quickly through the major cities of the whole country, whether by plane, train, bus, boat…

Few countries are so easy to travel to, and the cost of transport is also meager!

See on this subject: Transport in Thailand

There are ultra-modern hospitals in all the major cities of the country and even sometimes in small towns and tourist villages.

There are many mobile phone operators, wifi everywhere (which is not necessarily good) and it is easy to communicate via the Internet in the many cybercafés.

What visa to live in Thailand?

If you ask yourself, “how long can I live in Thailand?”, it will depend on your country of nationality, your budget, and your occupation.

Many visitors obtain a 90-day entry visa to Thailand, which can be extended if you apply for a work, student, or retirement visa.

If you have a big budget to stay away from work, the best thing is to get a student visa that allows you to stay for one year and learn the language.

Then you will have a better understanding of the country and its inhabitants and your installation, depending on your projects, will be more comfortable.

See: Visas for Thailand: the different types

Student visa in Thailand (ED visa), description and list of schools

Social life in Thailand

Living in Thailand is a multicultural experience, where you will meet different types of people.

As long as you are respectful and open-minded, you will have no trouble making new friends.

But it is good, as before settling in any country, to learn more about culture, about customs, so as not to make any mistakes, especially since Asian culture is very different from Western culture.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to read:
Do’s and don’ts in Thailand, the essential things to know

There are also many other expatriates in Thailand in the cities, due to the country’s popularity as a place to settle.

So when you move to a big city, you quickly find yourself with many friends of different nationalities.

Cultural challenges

Of course, living well in Thailand will require some adaptation.

It can be difficult to navigate in a new country if you do not speak the language.

If you are in the country, the food may be different from what you are used to, and it may be difficult to order food when you can’t read the menus.

There are also many very spicy dishes, and when Thai friends invite you, it can be a real shock to your taste buds and stomach.

But it’s a matter of habit, at first I was very sensitive to chili pepper, to turn red after a bite, but after eating a little spicy every day, I can now eat a Som Tam (papaya salad often very hot) without crying!

There are also social habits to get used to, such as the Wai and other polite social gestures.

See :
Wai: how to greet, thank and show respect in Thailand
Understand the Thai smile

Some people see them as disadvantages, but others are happy to learn a new culture and become comfortable despite cultural barriers.

But it is important to know that if you are the angry type, you will be badly seen and rejected in Thailand, it is a behavior accepted in the West but not in the country of smiles.

If this is your case, you may make enemies, and it is better to avoid the country, you will be better off in Cambodia!

Living in Thailand the food
The delicious Thai cuisine

Where to live in Thailand

A common question concerns the best places to live in Thailand.

Of course, Bangkok is known to most foreigners when they enter the country.

It is the right choice if you like big cities and are looking for western comfort.

It is the place where there is more work for foreigners, but life, especially housing, is more expensive there than elsewhere.

Chiang Mai is another option for travelers, it is the city that attracts the most expatriates, the cost of living is cheaper than in Bangkok or the south, people more welcoming and the climate fresher.

Those who love the beach may want to try one of the southern islands, such as Phuket and its many beaches.

See: The ten most beautiful beaches of Phuket

But you should know that in addition to the pleasant climate and beautiful beaches, life is more expensive and the inhabitants, many of whom come from poorer regions to earn money, are a little less welcoming than elsewhere.

The same is true for Pattaya, the most famous seaside resort in the country, a large part of its population comes from other regions to earn money from tourism.

You don’t need to live in one of the biggest cities to have a good time; there can be many advantages to choosing a small town close to a big city where you can go when you need it.

Living in a small town or village can be a great experience, if you want to immerse yourself in the Thai culture, want to learn the language and customs.

If you know and respect the culture, you will be very well received.

Afterward, it is difficult to know which are the best cities to live in Thailand, because all places have their charm, it is according to what you are looking for.

See Thailand: travel guide, what to see, where to go

Languages Speak in Thailand

If you want to live well in Thailand, then you have to learn the language, which is not that difficult, much easier than Chinese or Vietnamese.

Also, learning a foreign language protects against Alzheimer’s according to doctors!

Isan is the most impoverished region in the country, and many people go to work in other cities, that’s why you’ll hear Isan talking everywhere.

English is spoken and understood throughout Thailand, but more in cities than in rural or remote areas.

Almost all road signs are translated into English (more or less successfully), except in the North East or Issan (although it is improving)

Source:; Photos 1: Florian Wehde; photo 2: Hanny Naibaho[/su_note]

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