Thailand Fast Facts

Thailand koi samui Thailand

Population: 68,200,824

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+7

Language: Thai 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8%

Country Code: 66

Coastline: 3,219km

Thailand: Luxury Living in the Land of Smiles

For years, its warm climate, inexpensive cost of living, and laidback lifestyle in Thailand 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

koh-samui-thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand

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.

From the Archives of Thailand

How Taking the Overseas Plunge Turned Doubters to Supporters

How Taking the Overseas Plunge Turned Doubters to Supporters

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Exactly what do you hope to accomplish from this?” asked my mother-in-law, when we told her our plans to take off overseas. The simple truth was, we had no idea what—if anything—we hoped to accomplish. What we did know was that, for us, it was time to follow our dreams of leaving our traditional jobs and the rat race far behind...

Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia: Three Great Destinations to Live in Southeast Asia

Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia: Three Great Destinations to Live in Southeast Asia

Beach Living
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September 12, 2018

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.

How Blogging Works and How to Make Money From Blogging

How Blogging Works and How to Make Money From Blogging

Do you dream of ditching the boss...enjoying more freedom in life...and not being ruled by the clock? Do you want the freedom to travel...to take a lazy lunch on a hillside...to savor fine wine and fresh olives in an outdoor café...to spend weeks exploring warm, white-sand beaches? If you answered yes to those questions...

Teaching English in Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam

Teaching English in Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam

With more than one billion people learning English worldwide today, there are huge opportunities for English teachers. In fact, demand for native English teachers and those with experience and/or qualifications is as high as ever. And, these jobs are available in virtually all countries where English is not the first language...