Thailand

  Koh Samui, Thailand  

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

 

For years, its warm climate, relatively inexpensive cost of living and laidback lifestyle have attracted tourists and expats from around the world for both short-term and long-term stays.

Some of the world's most beautiful beaches are located in the south of the country. From the bustling seaside resorts of Koh Samui and Pattaya, to the more tranquil islands of Phi Phi and Lanta, there is something for everyone who dreams of retirement in the tropics. Some expats prefer to live in the smaller villages that dot the coastlines on both sides of the country, where accommodation costs are much less expensive and life is slower paced. It is still possible to find furnished townhouse and condo rentals within five minutes of the beach for less than $500 per month.

Bangkok is the center of the country, both geographically and financially. From a small trading post in the 15th century to a metropolitan area with a population of over 14 million, this massive city dwarfs Thailand's other urban centers. Some foreign retirees have chosen to live in this populous capital and enjoy the hubbub atmosphere of the city. The colorful markets, modern shopping malls, numerous entertainment venues and efficient transit system are just a few of its inherent benefits.

Other expats prefer the serenity and inexpensive lifestyle of Chiang Mai in the northern part of the country. The "old city," now the center of a sprawling metropolis, is surrounded by a deep moat and remnants of a wall that once offered protection against the armies of the Mongol Empire. This Lanna cultural center of Thailand boasts over 300 colorful Buddhist temples, and several universities and technical colleges. Chiang Mai appeals to many expats because it has managed to retain its local traditions and culture while providing all the modern amenities that are sought after by its newest residents.

Although lacking in beaches, the northern part of Thailand is dotted with several large national parks. Here you will find Doi Inthanon National Park, where the highest mountain peak in the country is located. Those who enjoy the outdoors flock to this area of the country to partake in mountain biking, hiking, camping and touring the local mountain roads to visit the many interesting hillside tribe villages.

As with most other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand is alive with festivals throughout the year. During the Loi Krathong festival, thousands of people throughout the country assemble floating banana-leaf containers decorated with incense sticks, flowers and a candle, and float them on local waterways. This coincides with the Yi Peng festival in northern Thailand where thousands of glowing rice paper lanterns are released into the sky to produce a spectacular sight. The annual Chiang Mai flower festival showcases the flora and fauna of the region. The highlight of this celebration is the flower festival parade that draws thousands of tourists each year to the city.

Thailand is a great place to live—full- or part-time. After spending time in the country, many expats are told by their friends that they look 10 years younger. With the wonderful weather, great food, inexpensive healthcare and friendly local residents, it is not difficult to understand why many choose to call Thailand their second home.

 

Get Your Free Thailand Report Now

 

Learn more about Thailand and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.

Simply enter your email address below to sign up for IL’s free daily postcards and we'll also send you a Free Thailand Report - Thailand: Live Like Royalty in the Land of Smiles.

 

Get Your Free Report Here


Fast Facts About Thailand

Thailand
  • Population: 67,091,089
  • 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
  • Time Zone: UTC+07
  • Language: Thai
  • Country Code: +66

Archives

Page-3---Koh-Samui---Credit-MJ_Prototype-Istock

Asia’s Well-Endowed Landscapes

Throughout Asia, natural formations resembling female and male genitalia are a common fascination. I have visited two such sites during my travels over the last few years. My recent trip along the coast of Koh Samui, in southern Thailand, led me to a couple of fascinating rock formations known as Hin Ta and Hin Yai (grandfather and grandmother).

Page-4---Street-musician-Tr

Easy Travel to Cuba, Thailand’s Monster Catfish, and Much More

Conjure up images of Thailand and you probably think of white-sand beaches and golden temples. Buthead into the countryside surrounding the northern city of Chiang Mai and you will find lakes stocked with the Mekong giant catfish waiting for your line and bait. The largest catch recorded in Thailand in the wild weighed in at 646 pounds.

Page-33---Koh-Tao-Thailand-

Living The Island Life on Koh Tao, Thailand

The small island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is one of those places that people never want to leave. With azure bays, secluded coves, great restaurants, and a friendly community vibe, it’s no surprise that Australian Tim Severino stayed and made it home.

Hanoi, Vietnam

“Retiring Early Overseas Gave Me A Richer, More Rewarding Life”

We have always loved to travel; my husband David and I. Annual holidays gave us the perfect excuse. We first explored the U.S. on epic road trips, then Mexico, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Each time we returned, it was back to the “real world” of too much work and not enough play. Returning from our last holiday in 2003, I realized that I just wasn’t ready for it to end. We had visited Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia on a whirlwind trip. It wasn’t enough for me and it was during that flight home that I made a decision…I realized that I didn’t want to work at my full-time job as a registered nurse until I was 65. I didn’t want to wait to retire and hope that I would be healthy enough to travel and do all the things that I wanted to do before it was too late.

Koh Samui, Thailand

The Perfect Solution to These Baby Boomer Regrets

A recent British Airways survey of 2,000 baby boomers found that their biggest regrets in life are working too much and not traveling enough. This hit home for me, first because I’m a baby boomer myself. I was born between 1946 and 1961. It also struck a chord with me because, for the past 15 years, I’ve been working for an outfit that directly addresses both these issues.

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Appreciating Life in This Enchanting, Low-Cost City

“I found myself out of work a few years back and, at my age (62), it wasn’t looking like I would find anything suitable, so it was a bit of a dilemma,” explains Paul Jones.
“Fortunately, I made a few small property investments, which I was able to get a decent return on, so there was enough cash in the kitty to explore my options. I could have stayed at home but I’d had enough of big-city living and was looking for something different.”

Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Three Day Trips from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Get out into this spectacular countryside, where Lanna culture is king, and see all its hidden treasures first-hand. Whether you rent a car or scooter, hire a driver for the day, or sign up for an organized tour, plan on a trip outside Chiang Mai’s city limits while you’re in the area.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Thailand Fast Facts

Once known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand is a long, skinny country running over 1,400 miles in length from top to toe. It shares borders with Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The capital is Bangkok. The time zone is GMT +7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time). Thailand has a […]

costa-rica

$5,000 a Month to Blog Around the World

Imagine a life where you get to travel, earn enough to live, and enjoy doing what you love. Samantha Wei and Yeison Kim are based in Costa Rica and earn a living from blogging about their adventures. Their blog now generates a healthy income averaging more than $5,000 each month in revenue.

Isla-Mujeres

Dreaming of Tropical Islands in the Sun…

My wife, Suzan Haskins, and I do a lot of traveling. So we often find ourselves on the way to places. We find ourselves in airports. In taxis and shuttles. In planes and buses. In snow-bound cities and towns for holidays and family functions.

Mt.-Fuji-

10 of The Most Beautiful Places in Asia

Asia covers a lot of land area and encompasses hundreds of natural scenic wonders. Towering mountains, white-sand beaches, and virgin rainforest parks make up some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Asia. Below are 10 worth your consideration.

Hua-Hin

Rent by the Beach in Thailand from $500 a Month

It’s difficult to beat the beauty of Thailand’s white-sand beaches, often with a backdrop of jungle-topped mountains in the distance. Living on, or near, the expansive coast of this tropical paradise could be your dream retirement. Although more expensive than living in less well-traveled areas, the cost of living can still be surprisingly inexpensive for a life of year-round warm weather and spectacular scenery.

Chiang-Mai-Thailand

$266 a Month Rent in a City Where Splurging is Easy

The last couple of years have been the most adventuresome of my life. Inspired by my wife, Bonnie, we’ve been pursuing our dream of seeing the world for the last two years. But a number of months ago, we decided it would be nice to settle down for a while…and found the perfect place in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Japan-Stocks-chart

Big Returns on Video Games, China’s Stock Market and Much More…

The chart shows the price returns on Japan’s TOPIX Stock Price Index for each month of the year (in Japan’s currency, the yen)… Two other trends quickly pop out at you when you look at the chart: How poorly Japanese stocks do in the summer and fall, and how well they do early in the year. The returns from May to November look pretty darn bad. And the returns from January through April look pretty darn good.

Page-13---Nong---Credit--ge

An Affordable, Sustainable Lifestyle in Thailand

When most people think of retiring to Thailand, they think of relaxing on white, sandy beaches or enjoying the spectacular sunsets from their beachside condos in Phuket, Koh Samui, or one of the many tropical islands that dot the Kingdom’s coastlines. Not so Carl Barrow, who has found his own personal-retirement Shangri-La on a farm in Isaan province.

Thailand

The Tropical Island of Koh Samui

Koh Samui, a 88-square-mile gem in the Gulf of Thailand is situated about 400 miles south of Bangkok and is a tropical island that offers just about everything an expat could need. It’s warm and balmy 12 months a year. English is widely understood everywhere. There’s a thriving expat community. The hospitals and healthcare options are of high-quality. And it’s still a big-time bargain when compared to other well-developed tropical islands worldwide.

Thailand

Thailand: The Land of Festivals

Thailand really is the land of festivals. There seems to be a different major holiday every month. And Chiang Mai is the place to celebrate most of them. For some reason, tourists gravitate to this part of the country by the thousands to partake in everything from Songkran to the Lantern Festival. Like the rest of the world, Thailand celebrates New Years Eve and New Years Day with parties, fireworks and everything else that goes along with this crazy part of the year on December 31 and January 1.

best places to retire

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2016

Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting.

Page-4----Somoto-Canyon,-Nicaragua---Credit----Riderfoot-Dreamstime-com

Swimming Pigs and Evicted Mummies

Somoto Canyon is one of the oldest rock formations in Central America, and Northern Nicaragua’s most-impressive natural attraction. But it went undiscovered until 2004, when a team of Czech and Nicaraguan scientists stumbled upon this colossal natural wonder.

Page-20---Playa-Carrillo-Co

The World’s Top Retirement Havens for 2016

Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting.

Bangkok

Explore Bangkok’s Vast Weekend Market

Thai handicrafts, jewelry, handmade paper, ceramics, a plethora of textiles and handbags galore…you can find it all and more at Bangkok’s Weekend Market, known as Chatuchak or “JJ” for short. No trip to the Thai capital is complete without a visit to this massive 35-acre market located north of the city, where you can get your shopping fix as well as a big dose of Thai culture. Just don’t forget to bargain!

Hua-Hin

My Favorite Beach Town in Thailand

The famous white powdery sands that stretch around the islands of Phuket and Kho Phi Phi in southern Thailand have attracted international tourists for decades. But on the Gulf coast, just four hours from Bangkok is where you’ll find my favorite Thai beach town…Hua Hin.

Chiang-Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand

  Still an Expat Favorite…   It’s no secret that Chiang Mai has been a popular destination for several generations of tourists and expats. With its hundreds of golden temples, wide variety of international restaurants, stunning surrounding countryside and large choice of outdoor activities, this northern Thailand city has something to offer everyone.  And the […]

Thailand-lifestyle

Lifestyle in Thailand

Life is Good in the Land of Smiles Thailand continues to be one of the most popular destinations for tourists and retirees in Southeast Asia. Whether you are living in the steamy, urban capital of Bangkok, the northern Lanna city of Chiang Mai, or near one of the many spectacular beaches that have made the […]

Thailand-climate

Climate in Thailand

For the most part, Thailand has two climates…hot and hotter! However, there are three distinct seasons—the hot season from March to May, the rainy season from about June to October and the “cool” season from November to February. When living in a tropical country such as Thailand, the idea of cooler weather takes on a new meaning.

Thailand-temple

Your Perfect Retirement in Southeast Asia

Here you can have the adventure of a lifetime…and the comforts of a truly pampered lifestyle for pennies on the dollar. You can get in on one of the world’s most attractive retirement programs (it’s easy to qualify) and enjoy money-saving tax breaks…obtain a long-term visa…and live on an island with world-class beaches and a great culinary and arts scene…where you can rent an ultra-modern, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo for as little as $220 a month.

Chiang-Mai

Retire to This Low-Cost Thailand Haven For $1,500 a Month

“Every day is a new experience,” says Kate Dixon. “We live a 10-minute walk from one of the best food streets. For less than $10, we can both have a delicious Thai meal with a couple of beers. We rarely cook at home anymore, and go out on average once a week to a Western restaurant. Even then, we rarely pay more than $15 for the two of us.

Thailand

Exploring the East for Profitable Art and Craft Imports

Importing crafts and folk art is a great way to fund your travels or create an income living overseas. You get to bridge the gap between an artisan producer in an emerging country and a market back home that can afford to pay top prices for unique, high-quality products. In the process, you can mark-up the goods to create an income for yourself.

6-9-COVER-STORY-Nomads-1-(E

Performing Your Way to a Paycheck Overseas

Your voice could be your passport to an income overseas…and we’re not just talking about singing. Sure, if you can carry a tune, you can take that talent with you. Many expats make their money, or at least a supplementary income, from singing. Some even discover that carving out a singing career is easier overseas.

Southeast Asia

The Inside Scoop on Southeast Asia’s Best Festivals

One of the most diverse regions on Earth, Southeast Asia is home to a myriad of different religions and cultures, many of which trace back thousands of years. And every year, the unique cultures of the Far East manifest themselves in a variety of colorful festivals, all free of charge, the likes of which you will find nowhere else on the planet. Add to this some of the world’s best beaches and street food, and you have every reason to stop by this neck of the woods.

Social-Security-Infographic-test

More Retirees Than Ever Drawing Their Social Security Benefits Overseas

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Social Security Administration, U.S. retirees overseas received more than $3 billion in Social Security benefit payments in 2013—an increase of $160 million year-on-year, when compared to 2012. American retirees can receive Social Security benefit checks in almost every country in the world. Statistics reveal that Europe is home to the most U.S. retirees drawing their benefits abroad (154,238), followed by Canada and Mexico (95,767), and Asia (70,586).

Page-4---Phang-Nga-Bay-Thai

Tour Phang Nga Bay like Bond and Picnic with Sun Bears

When 007’s speedboat cut through the waters of Phang Nga Bay in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, he was zipping past some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world. Today you can tour this southern Thailand gem yourself. But with dramatic rock formations, turquoise lagoons, floating villages, and a vast array of exotic wildlife to view, you’ll need the whole day to fully appreciate it and a speedboat to see it all.

Page-10-11---Hua-Hin-Thaila

Low-Cost Homes in Thailand’s Royal Beach Town

Blessed with some of the country’s best beaches—as well as great golfing—Hua Hin has been a Thai holiday hot-spot for almost 100 years. More recently, foreigners have also discovered everything this town of 80,000 people has to offer. New condo complexes and housing developments are springing up within a 10-mile radius, hand-in-hand with a burgeoning infrastructure of new malls, international restaurants, and tourist attractions that were much more difficult to find just a few years ago.

Page-34-35---Eleohants---Cr

The Five Best Day Trips From Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, in the heart of northern Thailand, has become popular among expats like me for its low cost of living and many attractions. An ancient city with over 300 exquisite temples, it’s culturally rich, vibrant, and offers a wide variety of things to do. But don’t limit yourself to the city. While Chiang Mai proper can keep you busy with its many cafés, cultural events, bookshops, and expat hangouts, some of the best discoveries lie in the foothills beyond the historic city center…

IL_KoSamui_-Tropical-Island

Paradise Awaits You in the East

Don’t let Southeast Asia’s “exotic” reputation fool you. Yes, this part of the world is rich with color and unfamiliar culture. But what you may not realize is that Southeast Asia is also one of the easiest places for English-speaking expats to get “set up” and start living very, very well…for a small fraction of what a comparable lifestyle would cost at home.

Thailand

Living Overseas…the Best Education of All

You must be really desperate to want to move to China!” said my 80-yearold mother as I broke the news of my new job. Actually, no; I wasn’t. At that time—almost 10 years ago—I had a great teaching position in rural British Columbia, with the end of my long career in sight. I was the kingpin in a small storefront school teaching all the local misfits, no boss looking over my shoulder, a decent salary, and enough regular holidays to keep me rejuvenated. So why did I decide to move?

Thailand

Make $1,000 a Month and Live With Little Luxuries

In 2012, Dani Leis quit her job and left Portland, Oregon for Thailand with nothing but a single duffel bag and a dream to start a new life. She fell in love with the northern city of Chiang Mai. “The people here are friendly, kind, and open-hearted,” says Dani “They enjoy a culture centered on sanuk, meaning to take pleasure in what you are doing.

roatan-sunset

Sail the World on Your Social Security

The place they now call home is a Cape Cod-style cottage on the hillside of a popular neighborhood. But this is a relatively recent development. For nearly two decades, they’ve been sailing around the world together. Years ago, they discovered that a sailing retirement was a lot easier (and cheaper) than they ever could have realized. And they didn’t need a vast amount of knowledge to get started.

hua-hin

Rent in Thailand’s Royal Resort Town for $500 a month

“The main attraction is the beach. People don’t come here to do stuff, they come here to relax,” says Canadian Robert Stanley, owner of Bobby’s Bar & Restaurant, a popular expat gathering place at the south end of the Thai beach town of Hua Hin. With a population of around 90,000 people, Hua Hin (pronounced “Wha Hin”) is around a three-hours’ drive south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand’s west coast. The country’s royal beach resort for almost 100 years, Hua Hin is also home to a community of between 3,000 and 5,000 expats.

chiang-mai-3

Excellent, Affordable Healthcare in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Along with being a low-cost and tropical retirement haven, Thailand has long been an international destination for medical tourism. Why? Because healthcare is low cost and excellent quality. I should know. I’m a retired Canadian schoolteacher living in the northern city of Chiang Mai, with personal experience of two hospitals here—one public and one private. In both I felt welcomed and unrushed. And in general I’ve found the health professionals in this city maintain a high quality of empathy and caring for all their patients.

Need a Way to Fund Your Life Overseas?

Before you go, sign up for our Fund Your Life Overseas e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on six portable careers you can earn with from anywhere in the world.

You’ll hear from us five times a week, showing you ways to earn that can hand you the freedom and flexibility to live anywhere… travel anytime… and fund the life of your dreams overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below
We Value Your Privacy
Click here for our Privacy Policy
×

Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

Announcing: The Best Places in the World to Retire for 2016

For the 25th year in a row, we’ve ranked, rated, compared, and contrasted the best retirement havens in the world.

I’d like to offer you International Living’s brand new Global Retirement Index today — FREE. Whatever you dream about, you can be sure that in our 2016 Global Retirement Index there’s a place where you could make it real.

With this special offer, you can get a copy of this brand-new Index immediately—FREE.

Get Access Today

×

Your Last Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Before you go sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you’ll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below
We Value Your Privacy
Click here for our Privacy Policy

×

Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below



We Value Your Privacy.