Downsides To Living In Thailand

Downsides To Living In Thailand (And How To Overcome Them) 

If you’re thinking of moving to Thailand, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides. Living in a foreign country can be a great experience, but there are some things you need to know before making the move. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common downsides to living In Thailand, and how to overcome them.

For most ex-pats, the disadvantages are easily balanced by all the upsides of living in Thailand but depending on your circumstances and personality, you may find some of these issues more problematic than others.

Key Takeaways

  • In thai culture, It’s easy to feel like you’ve landed on a different planet (because of culture shock) when you move to Thailand. But with time, you will adjust and feel more at home.
  • It’s hot, it’s humid, and thai cuisine (like pad Thai) is completely different from what you’re used to. You’ll have to adapt your eating habits and learn how to deal with the heat. But once you do, Thailand will be an incredible place for you to live
  • Learning Thai can be difficult for foreigners who are used to speaking English all the time. But if you get a Thai tutor or take some classes, it won’t be long before you’re speaking like a native.
Downsides To Living In Thailand

Living in Thailand has many benefits, but it also has some downsides

Throwing your stuff in a suitcase and moving to Thailand is a dream of many people. But there are some downsides to living in Thailand that you should be aware of before making the move. There are many things that you need to consider before moving to Thailand. You can’t just pick up your stuff and move there without knowing what you are getting yourself into.

Here are some reasons why living in Thailand can be difficult

1. Imports are expensive

Thai food and gas are among the cheapest in the world, and other local goods are about the same price. Expats can live quite comfortably on a small budget if they stick to the local produce and avoid expensive imports like Western food and some types of alcohol.

Train rides, tuk-tuks, and taxis can all get you around the country quickly and affordably. Expats should exercise caution in popular tourist destinations, as some cab companies may charge a premium to passengers who speak English. Before getting in the cab, it’s a good idea to haggle over the fare with the driver.

2. The farang price

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a resident of Thailand; you will always be seen as a “farang” by the natives. You can make wonderful friends and have a wonderful time here depending on your personality and the way you interact with people, but there is a limit to true integration. This restriction isn’t as severe as in xenophobic nations like Japan, but it’s also not as lax as in international, multicultural hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the advanced nations of the West.

While this may not bother you at first, it can become a problem if you plan to make Thailand your permanent home and the locals continue to treat you differently after you’ve been mixing with them for some time.

3. There are also uncomfortable extremes

Living in Thailand is a beautiful, adventurous experience. But there are also uncomfortable extremes. The heat can be stifling, and the humidity can be suffocating. The traffic is crazy, and the pollution can be thick.

4. The Weather

Living in Thailand can be difficult. There are some incredibly uncomfortable extremes, and it’s not easy to find the right balance. The weather can be really hot, and sometimes the rainy season can be tough. The latter can make it hard to get around if you don’t have your own car or motorcycle.

5. It can be expensive

In terms of travel costs, Thailand ranks near the bottom of the list. Thailand is a very affordable vacation spot, though it isn’t quite as inexpensive as some of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Backpackers who visit Thailand can have a memorable experience without breaking the bank. There are also plenty of fun and inexpensive things to do in Thailand, and visitors can splurge a little at mid-range hotels and restaurants.

The country also provides the ultimate luxury travel for those with more disposable income, and the cost is not prohibitive.

6. Confusion about Visa

The visa situation in Thailand is one of the most confusing you’ll find. There are multiple visas that can be issued to foreigners, each with its own set of restrictions and time limits. It’s important to know which visa you have before you travel to Thailand, and it’s also extremely important to keep track of how long you can stay on your current visa. If you overstay your visa, you could find yourself deported from Thailand.

To understand more about the visas in Thailand, I wrote an article here so that you can understand the different types of visas, how long they are valid for, and what you can do with them. The article also covers some of the confusion around visa requirements and regulations in Thailand.

7. The language barrier

Thai is a tonal language, which means that the same word can make a different meaning depending on how it’s spoken. This makes it difficult for foreigners to learn Thai and converse with locals

8. Crime & Violence

There is less of a need to worry about being a victim of violent crime in Bangkok and other Thai cities than there is in many U.S. cities, but crimes of opportunity like pickpocketing, purse snatching, and burglary do occur. Local markets, tourist attractions, and public transportation hubs are all places to be extra vigilant when out and about.

Pickpockets and thieves who cut into purses or bags with a razor have stolen passports, wallets, and other valuables from many American tourists at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, in the area of Khao San Road, and other areas. All over Thailand, American tourists have been robbed after hiring commercial sex workers. Even on long-distance bus routes, thieves target unsuspecting passengers.

It’s possible that victims of theft from outside the country will be told they need to travel several miles to the nearest Tourist Police station in order to file a report. In some cases, the police may charge a fee of around 50 baht if you request a police report.

9. Corruption

Corruption is a big problem in Thailand. The Thai government and police forces are notorious for corruption, and many Thais have reported being extorted by police or other officials.

The Thai government is also notoriously corrupt. It’s common for foreigners to be overcharged for goods and services by Thai vendors, as well as by their own employers. Paying bribes is not uncommon, either—although it’s also not required in many situations.

If you’re planning on living in Thailand, know that this kind of corruption will almost certainly affect your decision-making process at some point or another.

10. Social Issues

Thailand is a developing country, and many of its citizens are not well-educated or financially stable. This means that you may come into contact with poverty, homelessness, and other social issues while living in Thailand. While many Thais are hardworking and friendly people, it’s important to remember that Thailand is not the same as Western countries like the United States.

11. Road Safety

No matter where an ex-pat ends up living in Thailand, road safety will be a primary concern. Thailand is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for accidents, with many happening on the roads.

Reckless driving and a lack of awareness surrounding drunk driving are likely the main culprits for low road safety in Bangkok. If possible, pedestrians should use overpasses to cross roads. It’s also important to be mindful of motorcycles using walkways meant for pedestrians – this is a common occurrence in an effort to avoid traffic jams.

Expats intent on driving in Thailand are advised to drive defensively and to obey traffic laws, even if no one else seems to be doing so.

12. Fewer Resources

The resources available to ex-pats in Thailand are generally much less extensive than those found in other developed countries. There are fewer educational facilities, medical centers, and social services for ex-pats in Thailand.

13. Prostitution Issues

While prostitution is illegal, it is still a major issue in Thailand. Many men have been arrested for soliciting prostitutes, and foreign women are often regarded as easy targets for Thai men looking for sex.

14. Starting a business here

Starting a business in Thailand can be difficult. There are so many rules and regulations that you will need to be prepared for, and it can be difficult to know how to navigate the system. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when opening a business in Thailand. Here in this article I wrote I discuss facts and information that can help you in your process of opening a business in Thailand.

Despite the above problems, Thailand remains an excellent place to live

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia, with a rich culture and friendly people. It has stunning beaches, mountains, and islands that are perfect for exploring. The food is delicious and there are plenty of activities for all ages. It is a reasonably safe country.

How to Overcome These Issues when Living in Thailand

Living in Thailand can be a dream come true. The country is beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, the food is delicious, and the weather is lovely. But just because it’s a dream come true doesn’t mean it’s always easy to live there.

Here are some tips for overcoming some of the challenges of living in this beautiful country:

Network and make connections with the community

In Thailand, it’s important to network and make connections with people in your community. This is a good way to learn more about your surroundings and find out what’s happening in the area. It can also help you feel more connected and less isolated.

Research from other people that been living here for a long time

Research the area you want to live in, it’s vital to know what you’re getting into before you move there. You’ll also get an idea of the local community, which can be really helpful when looking for places to rent or buy.

Getting around can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the area, so make sure you do your research on public transport and other modes of transport available to locals (including taxis).

It’s also worth checking out some Thai restaurants in the area – this will give you an idea of what kind of food is served there and whether there are any local favorites that might make life easier for you once you’ve settled down!

Adapt to or simply change your living environment

When you live in Thailand, you may have to adapt to or simply change your living environment. You may find yourself in a place where the culture is different from what you are used to. In this case, you should try to keep an open mind and learn as much as possible about these differences. You will be able to enjoy your time in Thailand more if you learn about their culture and customs.

Seek help when you need it

Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You may find that the language barrier is difficult to overcome, especially at first. If you do not know how to communicate with others, ask someone who does speak English or Thai for help.

Downsides To Living In Thailand FAQs

What is the attitude of the Thai people?

People from Thailand are known for their laid-back attitudes, friendliness, self-assurance, complacency, politeness, laid-back attitudes, discretion, modesty, cheerfulness, neatness, cleanliness, respect, and gratitude. obedient, loyal, and distinct in character. In the same way that it is valued in other South East Asia cultures, maintaining one’s dignity is essential.

Does Thailand suffer from poverty?

As of October 21, 2022, Thailand has made significant strides in lessening poverty rates, plummeting from 58% in 1990 to 6.8% twenty years later in 2020. The decrease was a result of both rapid economic growth and transformation. Even though progress has been made, 79% of the impoverished population still resides in rural areas; with the majority being agricultural households, and traditional thai housing than modern thai architecture.

What are Thai people known for?

Thailand is well-known for the friendly and outgoing nature of both its culture and its people, qualities that have earned the country the nickname “the Land of Smiles.” Rice paddies and ornate temples can be found strewn about in and around bustling, cosmopolitan cities, which is a reflection of the varied landscapes and ways of life in the region.

Does Thailand have a high crime rate?

Crimes of violence committed against non-native speakers of a language are uncommon. Nevertheless, homicides, rapes, and assaults do take place. The nighttime is when these crimes occur most frequently. The majority of victims, both male and female, have been drinking prior to the attack and are frequently alone or separated from other people who were traveling with them.

What is considered rude in Thailand?

It is best to be mindful of our body language, especially when in the presence of others. Pointing with one’s index finger or toes can come across as rude and disrespectful; therefore it is suggested that people situate themselves so as not to inadvertently point at somebody else. To further demonstrate respect for those around us, we should avoid placing feet on tables and pillows – a sign of disrespect in many cultures (and in Thailand).


If you can manage to overcome these challenges, living in Thailand is an incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll be able to enjoy all the country has to offer, from its stunning beaches and delicious food to its friendly people and rich culture. So don’t let a few downsides stop you from giving Thailand a chance – it really is worth it.

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