Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Moving to Thailand



Moving to Thailand or any country for that matter should be something which must be thought about seriously.

Such a decision is one of the most life-changing ones you would ever make and should never be done by whim or frivolity. It is not enough to just be lured by the thought of living in a tropical paradise teeming with sun, sand, beaches and an exotic culture. You need to know the country a little deeper, have a basic grasp of its laws and understand enough of its people. You also need to look yourself squarely in the face and ask yourself some hard questions such as where you will live, how you would sustain yourself or your family, and more.

What do you need to know about Thailand?

It may comfort you to know that Thailand has twice in a row been named one of the favorite expat destinations in the world by the HSBC survey. This alone dispels many negative things you may have heard about this country. Food abounds, leisure is guaranteed, housing options run aplenty, medical institutions are world-class, business is vibrant, the people are generally kind and the culture is non-obtrusive.

It would be a major plus point if, before relocating to Thailand, you visit the country for a while and feel your way through the city you intend to live in. There’s nothing like first-hand information to give you insight about the place and its people.

How will you support yourself and your family in Thailand?

Never commit the mistake of setting out to a foreign country without having adequate money to support your stay and fall back on should things go awry. Ask yourself whether you could live the life you want given the income you have. At best, you need to have a job waiting for you in Thailand. If you intend to look for a job once you get there, you need to have enough money to cover your cost of living during your job-hunting days.

For retirees who wish to just rest from work, be sure your pension is enough to support your needs, including age-related medical conditions. Don’t forget to factor in the needs of your family as well, such as transportation, medical, leisure and educational expenses. If you read most expat forums, it is often recommended that you have to have at least 45,000 baht each month to live comfortably.

What visa do you need?

Before you move, make sure the length of your stay is guaranteed. There are some foreigners whose visas guarantee only 3 months’ worth of stay and they endure the hassle of having to run to neighbouring countries to have their visas stamped. The best way would still be to obtain a non-immigrant visa and work permit. Again, it cannot be overemphasised the need to have a job or a legitimate business as these are requirements during your visa application. Check the online Thai embassy website for the terms and conditions of obtaining a non-immigrant or working visa.

Where would you live?

It’s best to look around for a house the moment you arrive rather than worry about it before you move. You may initially want to stay in a fully-furnished serviced apartment while you look for or build permanent housing. The advantage with a serviced apartment is that though there may be an initial deposit required, at least you don’t have to make upfront payments for setting up utilities.

If and when you opt to make your own home, rrealisethat you have to pay the rent throughout your whole stay. You are also required to make a security deposit and pay for utility installations such as telephone, internet and cable lines. Fortunately, you could go the hassle-free way just buy a condominium unit. For many, this proves to be the most practical and comfortable option.

What are your banking options in Thailand?

To help you with your daily finances in Thailand, it would be best to open an international account before you even set out for Thailand. Only an international account can give you access to an array of online banking services which may be difficult to obtain with a Thai bank account.

Once you are in the country, expats also recommend opening a local bank account in order to do away with the exorbitant ATM fees being charged by international banking outlets. Take note, too, that when you apply for a local bank account, one of the requirements would be a working permit or long-term visa. It may also comfort you to know that most international credit cards can be used in most cities in Thailand.

What items do you need to bring to Thailand?

Most anything in the western world can be had in Thailand and at a much cheaper price at that. Probably the only things you may want to bring along are those high-end items or luxury brands you cannot part with.

Just like any other country, Thailand has its share of good and bad points. The issue all boils down to whether you really want what it has to offer and can live with its flaws.