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 country famous, Thailand has much to offer everyone.
Although some may find the year-round tropical weather too hot and humid for their liking, others welcome it with open arms after escaping from the snow and cold of more northern climates. With a low cost of living, high quality healthcare at an affordable price, and a wide variety of available real estate to choose from, it is easy to be tempted by the Land of Smiles.
Numerous airlines provide daily flights to many cities in the United States and Canada, as well as to most other popular worldwide destinations. With its central location in Southeast Asia, Thailand is an ideal base for exploring other nearby countries.
Where to Live in Thailand
There is no real concentration of expats in any one part of the country. They are fairly spread out from one end of Thailand to the other.
Some head north to the city of Chiang Mai where the nights are cooler for most of the year. While the rest of the country is still basking in the heat during the winter months, temperatures in this part of the country can dip to 60 F or less in the evenings. Here expats enjoy a wide variety of restaurants, art galleries, traditional crafts, and numerous outdoor markets. It is easy to stock up on locally grown coffee, produce, and more for bargain basement prices.
Bangkok attracts those who prefer the chaos and excitement of a large urban metropolis. The city is well known for its vibrant street life, cultural landmarks, exciting nightlife, and fabulous array of dining choices. Although more expensive than other locations, it is still possible to find real estate to suit a variety of budgets.
Famous coastal resort areas such as Phuket and Pattaya continue to draw expats in large numbers who are looking for that dream retirement on the beach. Although many of these areas are now over commercialized, it is still possible to find the more traditional Thailand of years past by moving a few kilometers away from the more popular tourist spots. The Thai beachside resort town of Hua Hin is only a two or three hour drive south of Bangkok and still fairly laid back compared to its more commercialized counterparts. Even near the coast, a little homework before hand can result in a relatively low cost of living.
In Thailand, “mai ben rai” is a popular expression among the locals. It means “no worries” and it does not take long for newcomers to buy into this daily outlook on life.