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.
- A Bounty of Choice Overseas Today Delivers Plenty of Options
Posted on April 23, 2014 by Jennifer Stevens
Everybody comes to the “Where overseas?” question with his own set of preferences. This one wants beach, that one cool weather. This woman wants to be four hours from home. And that guy is looking for a place to dock a sailboat.
When you’re pinpointing your ideal destination, start with list of what’s most important to you. And understand: No place is perfect. You have to prioritize. For a community she loves, “madame must-be-close-to-home” might just stretch her travel time to four-and-a-half hours.
Thailand easily ranks as one of Southeast Asia’s most liveable countries. From modern amenities and top-notch medical care to affordable costs and a year-round tropical climate, expats in “the land of smiles” enjoy a lifestyle they’d only dream about back in their home countries.
- IL Calender of Events: “You Could be Living in Paradise”
Posted on April 23, 2014 by International Living
White-sand beaches…majestic mountains…historic colonial cities in Latin America…small-town Europe…whatever you dream about can be your reality a lot faster, more affordably, and easily than you probably imagine.
- Live in Chiang Mai, Thailand for $1,200 – or Less – a Month
Posted on April 9, 2014 by Heather Van Deest
There’s no shortage of natural beauty in northern Thailand. There are dozens of rivers like the Mae Ping, which originates in the forest-clad Daen Lao mountain range and flows down through the temple-laden city of Chiang Mai. Waterfalls gush into fertile valleys like Mae Sa, where you’ll find elephant camps, orchid farms, and miles of lush jungle. This is a peaceful—some might say serene—part of the country, where for very little money you can enjoy a high level of comfort. With just $1,200 a month a couple won’t want for much, and that includes rent.
I happen to think that I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. Not only do I live in Malaysia, a beautiful country on so many levels, but also I love what I do. I travel at will, pretty much at the drop of a hat. I’ve enjoyed complimentary meals and hotel upgrades along the way.
- Thailand’s Three Best Mountain Towns for Simple Living
Posted on March 20, 2014 by Heather Van Deest
There’s no shortage of natural beauty in northern Thailand. There are dozens of rivers like the Mae Ping, which originates in the forest-clad Daen Lao mountain range and flows down through the temple-laden city of Chiang Mai. Waterfalls gush into fertile valleys like Mae Sa, where you’ll find elephant camps, orchid farms, and miles of lush jungle.
Asia beckons for many reasons. Tropical islands with white-sand beaches, lush rain forests filled with fragrant blooms, tree-covered misty mountains, and—if you’re more a big-city type—some of the most frenetic cities on earth, a heady mix of the ultra-modern and exotic traditions.
- Tango in the Park, Markets on the Street…the Fun is Out There
Posted on March 18, 2014 by Suchi Rudra
Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.
A symphony of monks chanted as we sat kneeling on the grass. I held the wire rim of my enormous cylindrical paper lantern and waited for the cue. Finally, in one synchronized movement, a sea of hands—belonging to individuals from countless countries and cultures—let go.
- Find the Perfect Place to Live…and Put Some Money in Your Pocket
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Suzan Haskins
Figuring out how to make some extra money doing something you love is a wonderful thing. And many of my fellow expats are doing exactly that. If you’re looking for inspiration, I’d like to share some of those stories with you. In fact, we know of so many such stories that my husband Dan and I devoted an entire chapter of a new book we’ve written to this exact topic. (More about that in a moment.)
- Escape to a Tropical Island (and Live on $1,500 a Month)
Posted on February 5, 2014 by Keith Hockton
Thomas O’Neal had never been to Malaysia. In fact he hadn’t been anywhere in Asia, which made his sudden decision to move to the tropical island of Penang a brave one. “I figured that I’d take a chance and move lock, stock, and barrel. I could have just visited but where is the fun in that? After just a few months here I love it. It’s home for me now. New York has changed over the years and although I’ll always be a New Yorker I needed to travel.”
- Work Anywhere, Earn Plenty…the Perfect Portable Career
Posted on February 5, 2014 by Jason Gaspero
Thanks to the location independence my career provides, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of making a living from some truly amazing locations all over the world. Places like the top deck of a ferry crossing the Gulf of Thailand at sunrise…in the sleeping cabin of a night train on the way to Sapa, Vietnam…in a pub on Dublin’s Temple Bar…
Exhilarating, comfortable, and affordable are just some of the ways expats describe their life in Asia. For those looking to relocate in Asia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia are among the best places to live. The low cost of living, excellent health care and stunning scenery are some of the reasons why many expats choose to start a new life in Asia.
One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I’ve just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.
There is no time clock but you work 24-7… No cubicle but you must have a computer… Your commute occasionally takes 10 to 12 hours, and sometimes it takes days off your calendar. You must be fluent in hand gestures and you better have a strong stomach and a good memory.
- Bangkok’s Best Neighborhoods from $1,020 a Month Renting
Posted on January 20, 2014 by Heather Van Deest
Bangkok tops the list as one of the world’s most-visited cities, with its gilded temples, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous cuisine. And that dash of the exotic is complemented by affordability and modern comforts. In Bangkok you can eat spicy Thai food from a street-side stall for a couple of bucks or take your pick from hundreds of upscale restaurants offering multi-course meals that won’t break the bank.
- In Pictures: The World’s Best Retirement Havens in 2014
Posted on January 5, 2014 by Annie Power
For more than 30 years, International Living has been researching the best retirement havens in the world…and every January the Annual Global Retirement Index is released—highlighting the best places for you to retire. This Index ranks the top 24 countries in the world for retirement in 8 categories. The top 10 countries that feature on the list this year each bring spectacular benefits for retirees living overseas—from great health care and ideal climates to a low cost of living and financial perks for retirees. Starting with number 10, here are our top retirement havens for 2014.
On a lazy weekend afternoon when I was 13, I thumbed through my school geography text book, pausing from time to time to admire the amazing photographs of some of the wonders of the world. I was inspired. So began my dream fantasy to visit these wonderful places myself. Today that’s exactly what I do.
Thai cuisine is known the world over for its delicious, distinctive flavors. In fact, the phrase “Have you eaten yet?” is a typical friendly greeting among Thais. It’s no surprise, then, that Thailand’s urban capital of Bangkok is known as a foodie paradise, especially when it comes to regional and national cuisine prepared and sold from stalls lining the city streets.
The organic food industry is growing steadily each year, as consumers across the globe demand access to healthy and pesticide-free produce, meat, and other foods. Thailand is no exception to this growing trend, especially in the country’s urban, high-population areas of Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
For almost three years while teaching English abroad I also imported and exported goods between North America and Asia, mainly China and Thailand. It was the perfect supplement to my teaching income and a good way to enjoy some local travel. Here’s what I learned and how you can get started:
- 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.”
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