1 August 2016

Amy Lou - Expat in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Amy Lou - Expat in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Amy Lou is a 25-year-old English teacher who currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is originally from Nottingham, United Kingdom. She travelled to Thailand before attending University, and liked the country so much that she decided to return after graduation.

Amy has been living in Thailand for two years now with her fiancée, and enjoys the country, stating that it is a beautiful land with plenty of opportunity for personal growth and a cheap cost of living. However, at first, she noted that it was difficult to deal with the bureaucracies that came with obtaining visas and other important paperwork. “The formalities are a pain,” she said, adding that “a more efficient system still needs to be implemented.” On the other hand, Amy said that it is easy to make friends in Thailand, as she has made friends with other expats and tourists by attending events.

Like many expats, Amy has found a challenge in dealing with the official papers and paperwork required for her relocation overseas.  To save time, money and energy, it is advised that expats consider getting assistance from professional immigration services which can help speed up the processing of paperwork and other necessary documents. Another way for soon-to-be expats to prepare for a move overseas is by getting relocation services which offer visa processing services aside from providing packing assistance for your items.

Find out more about Amy Lou’s experiences in Thailand in her full interview below.

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: Nottingham, UK 

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A:  I enjoyed Thailand so much when I traveled around before University that I decided to go back. 

Q: Where are you living now?

A: I’m living in Chiang Mai, in a lovely house with a big garden and a balcony.

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: I enjoyed Thailand so much when I traveled around before University that I decided to go back.

Q: How long have you been living in Thailand?

A: 2 years ‘full time’ and, about another year on top of that in separate visits 

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Thailand?

A: Discovering the bad stuff that’s kept hidden from tourists for the first time, and being shocked.

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in Thailand? What was your experience with these?

A: The formalities are a pain, and a more efficient system still needs to be implemented… but what exists is nothing that would make me want to leave. 

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I’m living with my fiancé.

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Thailand? How did you manage to find a social circle in Thailand?

A: It is easy to meet people, but a lot harder to hold onto friendships, because Chiang Mai is a very transient city. I meet people through Couchsurfing, attending events and going out. They’re mostly foreign expats and travelers. 

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: Get a motorbike and explore the countryside around Chiang Mai. It’s my favourite thing about living here!

Q: How does the cost of living in Thailand compared to your home?

A: A coffee frappe costs £1.40 while a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs 58p. For an expensive restaurant, a meal would cost £10. A bottle of wine is cheap, decent wine from the supermarket costs £7.50 while a pack of cigarettes costs £1.50.

 

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in Thailand?

A: I find it/them exciting, frustrating, beautiful, baffling, joyful and, at times, pretty bad. 

Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Thailand?

A: Positives: beautiful land, plenty of opportunity for personal growth, good food, cheap cost of living, (mostly) friendly people. Negatives: domestic violence, racism and censorship.

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: Yes.

Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Talk to them on Facebook or Skype. Visit home occasionally. Keep telling them to come and visit me. 

Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: There are things I want to do, but I have no plans yet.

Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: Homesickness – for family, friends and a great live music scene more than for England itself! 

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in Thailand?

A: Get your own transportation, drive safely and explore! 

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Thailand?

A: I write a blog about Northern Thailand! www.mychiangmaieverything.com . I also love 8 Miles From Home’s videos of Northern Thailand – they’re stunning: www.8milesfromhome.com.