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.
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.
Begin your holiday season in earnest in Mexico City with a huge Christmas Market running throughout December. In amongst the stalls, piñatas and ice rinks you’ll find the world’s tallest Christmas tree. In Europe, Christmas markets large and small brim with handicrafts, mulled wine and seasonal fare, but Germany is king of them all.
I never tire of Bangkok. I’ve been coming here for years and although the city itself has changed, a new building here, a shopping center there, the essential feel of the place hasn’t changed at all…and that’s what I love about it. There’s something in the air in Thailand’s capital. It’s a city for city lovers…partygoers…travelers and adventure-seekers. It’s crammed with exotic, bustling markets…17th-century temples…art-deco hotels and has fast-food stalls on every corner. For 24 hours of the day, people are living and making a living all around you.
Experience the Day of the Dead in Mexico on November 1 when people gather to honor their departed love ones with big parties across the country. If you’re in India the ﬁrst two weeks of November, then head to the capital, Delhi, where you’ll ﬁnd music, theater, dance, ﬁlm, and poetry in 50 venues across the city for the Delhi International Arts Festival.
- Teaching English in Thailand…and the Life it Comes With
Posted on October 16, 2012 by Chris Clancy
As much as I love my job teaching English in Thailand, one of the best things about it is the three months’ holidays I get every year. I use this time to travel around Thailand or to neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
- A Relaxed and Fun Lifestyle in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Posted on October 10, 2012 by Greg Miller
In 2011, I pulled up stakes in California and made Chiang Mai, Thailand my permanent home. My goal: to change my lifestyle, live a calmer existence, eat better, become healthier, do only what I think is worthwhile, and live a happier life. And while I haven’t yet achieved everything on my agenda, I’m headed down the right road.
When my wife and I operated a Thai restaurant near San Francisco, we decorated it by putting Thai artwork on the walls. It was beautiful, and added to the ambiance of the restaurant. Then we had an idea. We started putting a few discreet signs up that the artwork was for sale—and people started snapping it up. Our extra business became very profitable. We already traveled to Thailand…
- Inside Asia: Low Costs, Good Living, Exotic Adventure
Posted on September 27, 2012 by Jennifer Stevens
Americans knew little of Cambodia until, in 1924, a stalwart Titanic survivor, Helen Churchill Candee, published her adventures there in a book called, Angkor the Magnificent. “We think we have exposed and investigated the secret places of the whole round globe,” she says, “when there comes word of a new one, and not only a secret place but a place full of secrets.”
For about a decade, I split my time between Chiang Mai, Thailand, and a hectic business life in the U.S. Chiang Mai was my sanctuary from the stress of living and doing business at home. A city full of temples—some over 700 years old—I found it peaceful, the people friendly and the climate ideal.
When my husband Skip and I boarded the plane with a one-way ticket to Cambodia, we weren’t quite sure what we were heading to. We were sure, however, what we were leaving behind: our lovely home in a seaside town in Massachusetts, our friends, Skip’s well-paid job, my small business, and a comfortable existence.
Ao Nang beach on mainland Thailand is known for its white sands, crystal-clear blue waters, and the limestone cliffs that rise majestically from the sea. There, 83 different islands sit just offshore in the bay. You can hire a local boat to explore, find a deserted beach, or go rock climbing or sea kayaking at nearby Railay Beach.
Part of being a travel writer is about finding a special place that can give you a unique experience far removed from the mainstream. It’s about buying a plane ticket to a destination of your choosing and letting fate decide what kind of adventure will dictate your course of action. After spending a few days in Bangkok, Thailand I purchased a flight to the tropical, hilly island of Phuket.
- Live Large for Less on the Exotic Islands of South East Asia 2012
Posted on July 31, 2012 by International Living
White sands, the scent of spices, the call of the east. Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, these fabled lands of South East Asia still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas.
Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia is the best resource available to help you get to know this paradise that is South-East Asia.
My neighbors will be among the 500,000 visitors in London this month for the Olympics. With these friends in mind, I’ve kept an eye out for other diversions they’d enjoy—attractions beyond “bucket list” items like the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or the Harry Potter studio tour. Trouble is, so much advice is standard-issue: Heathrow Airport tips…special museum exhibits…
I ’ve always been attracted to the madness and energy of Bangkok. There’s something in the air in Thailand’s capital. Crammed with exotic sights, bustling markets, old temples, art-deco hotels and fast-food stalls on every corner, its rivers packed with boat trafﬁc, and people everywhere… If you love cities, you’ll love Bangkok.
Sahara Calling: Africa’s Desert Delivery Service often referred to as the “Blue Men,” for their indigo-colored robes, the Tuareg tribesmen of the Southern Sahara have worked the trans-desert trade routes for thousands of years.
- Most Exciting Haven: Entertainment and Amenities
Posted on December 20, 2011 by International Living
France came in joint second place in this category, thanks in large part to its rich, fascinating culture. But you don’t need number-crunchers to tell you its bon vivant lifestyle is special. Step off a plane and you’ll experience it first-hand. It’s impossible to enumerate the joy of lingering for hours over dinner and a bottle of red wine in a Parisian brasserie…
About nine years ago I traveled to Thailand for a vacation…and I immediately fell in love with the place. The food, the culture, the beaches, the friendliness of the people…but most of all, the weather. Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles.” I think the Thais are so happy because every morning when they wake up they see the sun shining in their windows.
Popular as the Thai islands are, if you know where to look, you can still find the Thailand of old—warm, turquoise waters…banks of vibrant coral…chalk-white sand…friendly locals—only minus the masses. I came across one such place during a recent trip around Southeast Asia. I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but it’s an island called Koh Lipe.
From steaks in Buenos Aires to tapas in Madrid, some cities are worth visiting for the food alone. Below, our writers give their tips and recommendations for eating well in 10 of the world’s culinary capitals. First up is Bangkok. Bangkok’s lower Sukhumvit Road area is an oft-missed foodie’s paradise.
Glass-flat turquoise water winks and sparkles then washes powder-white sand. This might just be the nicest beach I have seen. Considering I spend up to half my time scouting real estate opportunities, most of them beach, that says a lot.
Can you really make a living as a freelance copywriter from anywhere in the world? Well… consider this. I live on a small island in Thailand. It’s called Koh Phangan. And even on a tiny tropical island in Thailand like here, you can get solid, reliable, fast-enough Internet access.
My butler, dressed in a gold-leafed, mandarin-collared waistcoat, hands me a Jim Beam and Coke on the rocks. A woman wearing an elaborate silk gown bows her head as I enter the restaurant. A crooning piano player launches into “As Time Goes By” in a dimly-lit lounge bar next door…
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