Choosing a retirement destination is not always an easy decision. A warm climate, low cost of living, wonderful beaches, and friendly residents are just a few factors that bring joy to the faces of those seeking a new home in a foreign land. And a healthy lifestyle is a top priority for many. When it comes to healthy living, it is difficult to beat the tropical paradise of Thailand.
1. Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Throughout Thailand, locally grown produce is available in bustling street markets for a fraction of the cost you would pay at home. While living in this exotic country we have fallen in love with the huge variety of exotic fruit, many types of which we had never seen before. Mangos, mangosteens, rambutans, durian, dragon fruit, guava, pomello…the list goes on… There are over 20 varieties of bananas alone! It’s not difficult to chomp your way through the day on this plentiful supply of gorgeous tasting fruit. And your body will love you for it.
2. Healthy Thai Dishes!
It should be no surprise that there has been a surge of Thai restaurants popping up around the world. It is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, as well as one of the healthiest. With an emphasis on lightly prepared fresh fruit and vegetables combined with small amounts of flavorful meat or fish, it is hard to beat. Popular dishes such as mango with sticky rice, pad Thai, massaman curry, green curry, and tam yong goong—along with a host of others—can be bought for less than a couple of dollars at many smaller restaurants and street vendors.
3. A Massage a Day Keeps the Doctor Away…
Spend a day anywhere in the country and you will soon discover that massages are a way of life in Thailand. For less than $10, we can be pummeled or pampered for an hour or two. For twice that, we can spend an afternoon at a wonderful spa. Massages relieve stress, encourage relaxation, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure. Studies continue to prove the physical, and emotional benefits of even a single massage therapy session, so just imagine the effect of weekly visits!
4. Relax on the Beach
With over 2,000 miles of coastline and 8,000 tropical islands, Thailand offers visitors a wide variety of beaches to choose from. They vary from small, secluded coves, to stretches full of noisy, wild partying tourists. You can party ‘till you drop at the Full Moon Party on Ko Phangan, or colorful and crowded Patong Beach—the party capital of Phuket. But if you are searching for tranquil relaxation, head to locations such as Sairee Beach on Ko Tao, or one of the many more laidback beaches on Koh Samui.
5. A Breath of Fresh Air
Thailand’s year-round sunshine and tropical climate are conducive to outdoor living. White-water rafting, hiking, bird-watching, and snorkeling are only a few of the activities that keep residents outdoors. Those seeking a more active lifestyle would love the northern Lanna cultural center of Chiang Mai. Several national parks are located within easy driving distance of the city where cascading waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, and winding mountain roads entice you to get out and about on a regular basis.
Bonus: An Emphasis on Prevention
Many expats rely on prevention rather than spending huge amounts of money on international health insurance. With a healthy lifestyle, it is easy to ward off major problems down the road. Comprehensive annual physical checkups are inexpensive. We paid less than $300 to have everything prodded and tested. This included ultrasound, EKG, copious blood work, and other tests too numerous to mention. We also received a large printed report with an analysis of each test and an unrushed consultation by a local specialist.
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