From the golden beaches..to the fabulous food...and friendly people....it's easy to see why Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. It's also the land of affordable living. The country has a lot of options. Some foreign retirees choose to live in the hubbub atmosphere of Bangkok. Some live in the north of Thailand where life is quiet, peaceful, and very inexpensive. Others choose the south for its beautiful beaches.
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Population:67,091,089 (July 2012 est.)
Capital City: Bangkok
Climate: Tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
Read the articles below for more information on Thailand.
- Five Expat Havens in Thailand Offer Low Costs and a High Quality of Life
Posted on November 20, 2013 by Laura Doyle
“Thailand is one of the world’s most popular locales for good living abroad,” says InternationalLiving.com writer Heather Van Deest, who has lived there with her family for the past eight years. “For pennies on the dollar expats gain a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences, including affordable, high-quality medical care.”
There’s a lot to love about Bangkok, one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting and exotic cities. You can get world-class cuisine, enjoy a pulsing nightlife, and access high-quality, affordable medical care. And there’s the superb shopping or the option of a day trip to the beach.
If you are working an average job in the U.S., you might be just like I was a few years ago. I was working a 9-to-5 desk job at a bank, spending what little daylight hours I had running errands, cooking and cleaning up, and preparing for it all to start over again. Like most people, I had a yearning for adventure deep in the pit of my stomach, and didn’t know how to “fix” it.
I’ve lived in Thailand with my family for eight years now and there’s something special about this corner of the world. It’s an exotic place—orange-robed monks collect alms at dawn—yet it’s easy to live a comfortable lifestyle, similar to that of the West, but without the headaches and extra expense. We dine out on delicious Thai food, go to the cinema, or, at a moment’s notice, take off for a beach weekend.
- Great Pay, Great Lifestyle…the Benefits of Copywriting
Posted on November 1, 2013 by Jason Gaspero
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. “Jason,” my friend Brad told me. “I know you can work from anywhere in the world.” He was right. Freelance copywriters like me can make a living—and often a very good living (in excess of six-figures per year)—from just about anywhere in the world. All you need are the secrets to writing a simple sales letter, a laptop, and an Internet connection…and you’re good to go.
“And I know,” Brad said, “that you’ve never been to Thailand.”
According to Fidelity Investments in 2012, those aged 55 and older had an average balance of $143,300 in their 401k account. But is this enough to retire on? Maybe not in the U.S., but retiring overseas can be much more affordable than retiring in the U.S.
Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.
It’s easy to see why people flock to Thailand for the ultimate in sea, sand, and sun. with miles of white-sand beaches, lush jungle, and crystal-blue waters, the kingdom’s southern islands are, for many, paradise on earth. whether you snorkel and swim the day away, explore hidden emerald bays by sea kayak, or simply lounge on your choice of palm-fringed beaches, you won’t be disappointed.
- A Very Affordable Beach Lifestyle in Phuket, Thailand
Posted on October 15, 2013 by Heather Van Deest
Nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of Phuket, especially when approaching the region by air…the sparkling, turquoise waters and jungle-topped mountains, the rocky outcrops and white-sand beaches. The country’s largest island is paradise for many expats.
- The Top Three Best Places to Retire Overseas For a Low Cost of Living
Posted on October 7, 2013 by International Living
Your quality of life could vastly improve if you retire overseas…and you could spend much less than you ever thought possible. In IL’s Annual Retirement Index 2013, 23 countries are covered ranking the best destinations to retire overseas today. Cost of living is one of eight categories in this Index and is an important factor for many who are considering overseas retirement.
- Seven of the World’s Best Islands for Good-Value Living
Posted on October 4, 2013 by Laura Doyle
The Caribbean island of Roatan is great for good-value, laid-back living in the sun. It’s a good pick for anybody who likes to dive, snorkel, swing in a hammock or sit with feet in the sand. Thirty-five miles off the coast of Northern Honduras, English is widely spoken. That, along with an established expat community, makes it a relatively easy place to settle in.
Islands are places where the stars shine bright at night. Out in the ocean, a profound quiet exists (no traffic jams, hassled commuters, sirens). And because not everything is always so easy to get on an island, one tends to care less about “getting” at all. Life really does become simpler. That stretch of water that separates an island from the mainland is nature’s moat. It keeps these places special…apart.
Islands are places where the stars shine bright at night. Out in the ocean, a profound quiet exists. There are no traffic jams, hassled commuters, or sirens. And because not everything is always so easy to get on an island, one tends to care less about “getting” at all. Life really does become simpler.
The Phra Singh temple is just one of the 300 or so Buddhist temples that you’ll find in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. The elegant temple library and exquisite murals in the 700-year-old shrine make it one of the city’s most visited sites. But it isn’t the only thing attracting people.
- Thailand’s Best Expat Havens—Where Modern Comforts and Low Costs Meet
Posted on September 19, 2013 by Heather Van Deest
Thailand is one of the world’s most popular locales for good living abroad. And there are lots of reasons why. For pennies on the dollar you get a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences, including affordable, high quality medical care.
Bangkok, Thailand is No. 1 on Time magazine’s 2013 list of the world’s most visited cities. Maybe the tourism ministry was right…going with the slogan “Amazing Thailand.” So what is it about this country that’s so alluring? Beyond the temples and beaches, it is my everyday existence. For example, the daily commute to work…
Starting in a new country is a mix of the familiar, the new, and the weird. When I settled in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I discovered all three. And, as I wandered through the country’s cultural thickets,I kept track of my mistakes.
- Robinson Crusoe-Style Retreats on 7 of the World’s Best Islands
Posted on August 20, 2013 by International Living
When you ask folks who live on an island what drew them to life on a curio of clay, they tend to respond by saying things like, “I can live simply without much interference.”
- Four Days on the Eastern and Oriental Express, Out of Bangkok
Posted on July 29, 2013 by Keith Hockton
If your idea of a dream vacation is traveling by train in absolute luxury, through some of the most romantic, historic and visually exciting cities in Asia, sampling the best local food along the way, then the Eastern & Oriental Express may be just the ticket.
- In Pictures: The Top Three Places to Live in Southeast Asia
Posted on July 15, 2013 by Laura Doyle
In Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia you can feast your eyes on tasty local cuisine, endless stretches of white-sand beaches, unspoiled Pacific coastline and immerse yourself in a whole new—stress-free—lifestyle.
- Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia: Three Great Destinations to Live in Southeast Asia
Posted on July 12, 2013 by International Living
Living in Southeast Asia is a lot easier than you probably think…it’s easier to get around, to get what you need, to find a community that will welcome you. While the distance may be intimidating, the reality on the ground is much less so than you may imagine. Expats living in this part of the world report that life is at once exhilarating, comfortable and affordable.
Years ago, I was certain I had found what every man or woman should seek: my own Shangri-La. On a whim, two of us—young and dashing U.S. Army lieutenants—headed for the hills of northern Thailand, to Chiang Mai. We were snatching a much longed-for leave from the wars and turmoil then storming across Asia.
- Bangkok is Southeast Asia’s Medical Center of Excellence
Posted on June 27, 2013 by Heather Van Deest
The first time I set foot in the lobby of one of Bangkok’s private, international hospitals, I felt like I’d entered a five-star hotel. There was a sky-high ceiling, plush chairs, and a trickling fountain.
- Turning Expat Experiences into Travel Cash in Thailand
Posted on June 27, 2013 by Godfree Roberts
In 2009 the financial crisis swallowed my California business and my home. After I paid off my employees I was left with only a Social-Security check. Where could I live comfortably on $1,240 a month while I rebuilt my fortunes? I did some research and decided on Thailand. Peaceful, warm, beautiful, prosperous, and welcoming to retirees, it offered me the best balance of lifestyle and affordability. I packed my belongings into duffel bags and bought a one-way ticket to Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand.
- The Weird and the Wonderful on Display in Southeast Asia
Posted on June 27, 2013 by Steenie Harvey
Night markets, floating markets, jade and pearl markets. Wet markets with fish you never imagined existed. Stalls selling ants’ eggs. Tuk-tuks, cyclo-rickshaws, and longboat journeys through the jungle.
No matter how small the world gets due to technology, Asia retains an exotic allure for North Americans. Maybe it’s the distance—on the other side of the globe. Or the huge variety of cultures, cuisines, languages, and ways of life.
My friend had some shocking advice about Thailand: “Spend as little time as you can in Bangkok,” he said. “It is just another dirty big city with nothing to offer but noise, pollution, and endless crowds.” I knew I wouldn’t take his advice because my research had told me otherwise. Bangkok is loaded with fascinating temples, palaces, historical locations and exotic things to see.
- What Life as an English Teacher in Thailand is Really Like
Posted on May 3, 2013 by Chris Clancy
Work doesn’t start until nearly 8.00 a.m. but I’m an early riser so I like to get up around 6.00 a.m. I’m greeted by the sun shining in my window.
There’s something strange going on in Brazil. You might call it a “schizophrenic economy.” Brazil is an economy of two halves. From the outside looking in, it’s a former star player plagued by socialist leaders with no understanding of free-market principles. But from the inside looking out, it’s a booming emerging market with record low jobless numbers, a strong currency, and high interest rates to keep the economy from overheating.
On April 1 only a fool would miss the feast on offer at Le Pince d’Or Crab Festival in Martinique, an island in the eastern Caribbean. In the capital of Fort-de-France, riverfront restaurants each set up a stall to sell matoutou (a spicy crab stew), as chefs compete to make the best bowl.
Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular countries for expats. It’s safe, women can travel alone without problems, the cost of living is low, and getting a retirement visa is simple. But buying property is tricky. Which is why so many expats in Asia rent instead of buy. Renting is easy, affordable, and sometimes the only way to live in a country. Plus, if you want to move on and try out a new place, you just pack up and hit the road.
- How to Try Out Life in Asia—Three Havens Where Renting is Easy
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Keith Hockton
Buying property anywhere as a foreigner always means jumping through a few hoops. But in Asia, there’s an added complication: Legal restrictions on how (and if) foreigners can buy property are common. It’s a big reason why so many expats in Asia rent instead of buy.
I’ve lived in Bangkok nearly 10 years now…and I only came here for a vacation. I loved it so much, though, that I had to find something that would allow me to stay long term. That something was teaching English. The pay is great, the kids are respectful, hard-working and fun, and there are so many jobs to choose from. But what I really love about my job and my life here, is the vacation time.
Take to the streets in Santiago, Chile, from January 3 to 20 for the Santiago a Mil international theater festival. You’ll find large-scale spectacles like “the noise of colors” extravaganza, a forest of paper giraffes, and outdoor performances of Romeo and Juliet.
Thailand is a steamy and tropical place, so when you arrive in the northern city of Chiang Mai, the cool and pleasant climate can come as a surprise. Nestling among the highest mountains in the country, Chiang Mai enjoys blissfully cool months from October straight through to January…the perfect time to visit.
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