Raising a Family in Thailand as an Expat

Raising a Family in Thailand as an Expat

Are you considering moving to Thailand with your family? Are you curious about what it is like raising children as an ex-pat in this unique, vibrant country? For many people and families, living in Thailand brings exciting new opportunities and experiences. From the exquisite cuisine and tropical beaches to the ancient temples and welcoming locals – many find comfort and satisfaction in being a part of this culture.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring raising a family in Thailand as an expat. We’ll also discuss finding accommodation, navigating schools (as well as international schools), adapting lifestyles to local customs, and dealing with potential language barriers – plus plenty more topics filled with helpful advice from those who have taken that leap. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about making such a move!

Thailand is a safe and fantastic place to raise an expat family! The Thai people are friendly, loving, and adore children. There is so much to explore and experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Thai culture is very different from other cultures, so you have to adapt to it.
  • You need to have medical insurance or healthcare insurance for emergency purposes when you’re living in Thailand as an ex-pat to better take care of your family’s health.
  •  It’s important to learn to manage your time so that you can spend enough time with your family and still have time for yourself (and exercise).
Raising a Family in Thailand as an Expat

Living in Thailand as an expatriate family can be both exciting and challenging. For those looking to move their family abroad to this vibrant Southeast Asian country, the rewards are immense — from its breathtaking natural beauty and renowned cuisine to the low cost of living and affordable healthcare. However, along with the obvious benefits come several challenges, ranging from adapting to a new language and culture to finding suitable housing and schooling options for your children.

That’s why we created this blog – to offer valuable insight into raising a family in Thailand as an ex-pat. By detailing everything from visa requirements, like tourist visas, education visas, and medical insurance, to job market updates and how best to take advantage of the unique local lifestyle, our goal is to equip you with the resources you need to make your Thai experience as positive as possible.

Preparing for the Move

Researching the country and culture

Thailand has a rich and varied culture, so it is important to research the country’s history and culture before moving there. This can help you understand the people and their traditions, which will help you adapt more easily.

In addition to learning about Thailand’s history, it is also important to learn about its customs and traditions so that you can fit in with your new neighbors. Some of these customs include aspects such as dress and food etiquette as well as more serious religious beliefs such as Buddhism (which is practiced by many people), Christianism, and many more. If you don’t know these things already, then research them before moving to Thailand so that you don’t get into trouble later on.

Preparing children for the move

Moving from one country to another is a challenging experience for most people especially when you’re dealing with a large family. It means leaving behind your home and friends, having your life disrupted, and having to learn about a new culture, environment, and language.

To make matters worse, there are often many things that you will have to pack up yourself, which means more work and stress on top of all that. If you are moving with children, this process will be even more difficult than it would be if you were alone. Children need stability in their lives so they don’t become upset or homesick while they adjust to their new surroundings. 

Moving to a new country can be daunting, especially for children who don’t yet understand the culture or customs. Therefore, it is important that the family provide support and guidance during this transition period. Beyond providing emotional security, parents should also ensure their kids develop good values like responsibility and discipline as well as learn about Thai etiquette so they are better equipped when starting out in their new environment. Doing so will encourage smooth integration into society while allowing them to make meaningful connections with those around them regardless of background.

Finding suitable housing and schools

Finding the right housing and schools in Thailand can be a daunting challenge, but with a little research and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. From large cities to small towns, there is no shortage of options when it comes to habitats and educational institutions. Whether renting or buying, finding the best place to live that meets your affordability and quality standards should always be first priority. Besides mitigating expenses, it is important to consider what type of school suits your child’s needs – from their learning style to their extracurricular pursuits – as making sure they have the foundation for success is key.

Doing research on neighborhoods, and crime rates will help you make the best-informed decision for your family.

When it comes to education, Thailand offers one of the best education facilities in the world. They also have International Schools which offer English programs (EP), and there are also private and public schools around places of Thailand such as Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and the like. There are many prestigious schools to choose from and if you are having a hard time choosing the best school for your children, you can your options here.

Living in Thailand can be both rewarding and stimulating; you just need to allow yourself enough time to make the smartest choice regarding housing and schooling choices.

Securing work and health insurance

In Thailand, working as a foreigner is not illegal and as a matter of fact, you can apply for many job opportunities such as the following:

  • Teaching
  • Digital: Web Developer, Marketing Expert
  • Real Estate Agent/Manager
  • Diving Instructor
  • Freelance writer
  • International Development Worker

There are still a lot of job opportunities for ex-pats in Thailand. All you have to do is to apply and be careful of the rules and regulations imposed on ex-pats in Thailand. On the other hand, it’s important that you also take care of your medical needs before you move them there. Health Insurance is a way to protect yourself and your family. If you are moving to Thailand, you must know that there are many things that can happen when you are there.

You or your family may get sick or injured and need medical care. You also need to know how much it will cost for you to be covered by insurance. Keep in mind that there are only two types of health insurance in Thailand, public and private. There are also for working ex-pats and for those who want to avail of premium health insurance. 

If you’re having trouble finding an appropriate job for you in Thailand, make sure to read this article to help you out!

Daily Life and Culture

Understanding Thai customs and traditions

Thai customs and traditions are an important part of Thai society. The more you understand Thai culture, the more comfortable and confident you will be when moving to Thailand. Moreover, Thai customs vary from region to region, but there are certain typical elements that can be found throughout all of them. 

So, here are some things that you should know about Thai customs and traditions:

1. Thais have a very strong sense of family. They will do anything they can to support their family members, especially if they are in need. This is why they are such great nurses and doctors.

2. Thais have a lot of respect for elders and it is expected that they will show respect towards them as well. However, this doesn’t mean that Thais don’t like younger people or that they don’t care about them; in fact, you might be surprised at how much younger Thais love their parents!

3. You are not allowed to touch someone’s head without their permission. This is because they considered the head as a sacred part of the body.

Navigating daily life and necessities

Navigating daily life and necessities in Thailand as an ex-pat can be a challenge. It’s important to learn how to order food, open bank accounts and get medical care. While it’s not that hard to figure out these things in Thailand, you will definitely need some help if you don’t speak Thai.

As an ex-pat, it’s also important to know the area where you live in order to get around on the streets and the public transportation system. This is especially true if you don’t speak Thai or read Thai letters well. If you don’t know how to figure out bus schedules, for example, then try asking using a smartphone app like Google Maps or Waze for the meantime if you don’t know any basic knowledge about the Thai language.

If possible, try eating local Thai dishes instead of American ones. They’re often cheaper than American food and better for your health too! If not possible, eat only what’s available at your hostel or hotel — that way it will be easier for everyone involved if there’s not enough food available for everyone else! Moreover, if you’re on a tight budget, you can also take advantage of public transportation offered in Thailand like Tuktuk, The Songthaew, buses, and many more!

Making connections with local communities

Connecting with a community can be done by attending meetings or classes that are held by different groups or organizations. You can also participate in activities such as volunteering or donating money to charity. 

Making connections with the local community is something that all ex-pats should do, especially those who have just arrived in Thailand. When you start working in Thailand, there may be times when you feel like you don’t know anyone, but this feeling will pass after a while. It’s best to get involved with community events as soon as possible so that you can meet new people and make friends quickly!

Tips for language and communication

When talking about language, it is not just enough to say that Thai is the most important language in Thailand. If you want to understand what people are saying, then it is also necessary to learn some Thai words and phrases. There are many resources on the internet where you can find Thai lessons, audio courses, books, and even apps that teach you how to speak Thai. 

Other tips include the following:

  • You should always greet with “wai”- this is a gesture of placing both palms together while bowing down. This shows respect to the people you greet.
  • Always take care of your shoes.
  • Speak gently.
  • Be respectful at all times.

Family and Children’s Activities

Finding family-friendly activities and events

The biggest challenge for finding family-friendly activities in Thailand is that it’s a country that has many cultures, so you have to look at all of the different cultures and make a decision about what’s best for your family.

Luckily, Thailand does have several events that are specifically geared toward families with children. There are festivals and fairs where families can enjoy some entertainment together. There are also tours that take place through exotic locations like the beach or jungle where kids can play in nature or learn about other cultures.

Such activities are Wan Dek (Children’s Day) which is usually celebrated on the second Saturday of January. This activity’s highlight is giving gifts to children as well as love. This is not exclusive to Thais but can be celebrated even with ex-pats. Other activities include going to museums, parks, and many more!

The most important thing is that you should use these activities as an opportunity for you to spend time with your kids while learning about other cultures or enjoying something new together as a family unit.

Opportunities for children’s education and growth

Education is one of the most important and valuable things that you can have. It is important to start your kids early on with education if you move to Thailand while they are young because it will help them in the future when they are old enough to get a job. If you don’t teach your child when they are young then they won’t have any knowledge about life or how things work. They may even end up going through some problems when they need to find a job.

The education system in Thailand is very good, especially for ex-pats who are planning to stay here for a long time. There are many great schools around places such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai that offer English classes for kids and adults alike. Above all, the school fees are reasonable and there are many scholarships available depending on what level of education you want your child to get at their school or college level.

If you want your kids to get ahead in life then having them attend Thai public schools is a good idea because they will learn how to speak Thai, how to write Thai, how to read Thai and how to do math problems etc. while they’re attending classes every day during their school years there in Thailand.

Outdoor recreation and sports

Thailand is a great place for outdoor recreation and sports. In fact, there are many activities that you can do here. Some of these include:

Hiking – Thailand has some beautiful hiking trails that you can use to get some fresh air and exercise while exploring the countryside. Most of these trails take you through villages or farms where you can meet local people, learn about their culture, and experience their hospitality.

Mountain Biking – Thailand is home to some amazing mountain biking trails which will provide you with an adrenaline rush while exploring the natural beauty of this country. You will also get to see some stunning scenery along the way which makes it even more fun!

Local attractions and sights to see

The first and most obvious thing to do is to get out of the city and explore the country. The capital, Bangkok, is a major stop on the tourist trail, but there are other places that are equally worth visiting.

Escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for a more relaxed feel in Chiang Mai. With its lush rolling green hills, towering mountains, as well as plenty of schools, shops, and social clubs – it’s no wonder this Thai city is known worldwide both for its picturesque beauty and vibrant ex-pat community. Explore historic sites on your journey to discover why Chiang Mai has become so beloved!

This is one of the most affordable cities in Thailand, with rental and utilities costs being almost fifty percent less expensive than they are in Bangkok.

Other popular places that you along with your family must visit include the following:

  • Lumpini Park
  • Chiang Mai’s Old City
  • Ayutthaya
  • Koh Samui
  • Phuket
  • Sukhothai

Healthcare and Safety

Understanding the healthcare system in Thailand

Thailand’s healthcare system is a mixture of public and private services. Public hospitals, which are funded by the government, provide health care at a low cost to most citizens. Private hospitals are run by individuals or organizations and can range from large general hospitals to small clinics.

If you’re an ex-pat living in Thailand, you are required to have medical insurance in case something happens to you and your family. Although medical fees in Thailand are more affordable compared to the US, having medical insurance will save you from all the stress. Don’t worry because applying for or purchasing medical insurance or healthcare insurance in Thailand is easy.

Finding a reputable healthcare provider

Healthcare in Thailand is a bit of a mixed bag. While some hospitals are state-run and well-regarded, others are low-quality and overpriced. There are also a number of private hospitals that offer excellent care at reasonable prices.

The best way to find a good doctor or hospital is to ask around with other ex-pats who have been through the process before you. They’ll be able to give you recommendations for local doctors and hospitals that work well for them, as well as describe any issues they’ve encountered.

Safety and security tips for families

Thailand is a very safe country. But there are risks, like in any other country. The most important thing is to do your research and be aware of the areas you want to visit.

Here are some safety and security tips for families in Thailand:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Don’t display any kind of expensive jewelry or items that can be easily stolen (e.g., laptops, cell phones). 
  • Keep track of your children at all times. 
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view in vehicles or on boats (even if locked).
  • Don’t walk alone at night, even if it’s dark outside (especially in tourist areas). 
  • Avoid isolated places at night if possible (unless they’re well-lit). 
  • Watch out for pickpockets on beaches and in crowded areas like markets, train stations, etc. 
  • Make sure you have a good quality travel insurance policy before leaving home.

Preparing for natural disasters and emergencies

There are a number of natural disasters that can affect Thailand, including tropical cyclones and typhoons. If you’re an ex-pat living in Thailand, then it is important to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for natural disasters in Thailand:

1. Get an evacuation plan together so that you know where your family and friends will go if they need help during an evacuation. It is better to research or familiarize yourself with your new home.

2. Store enough food and water for each member of the family at home so that they don’t have to leave their homes during a disaster.

3. Make sure each member of your family knows how to use the fire extinguisher in case there is ever a fire at home.

4. Keep a first aid kit with any medications you may need during an emergency situation so that no one has to go without medical care if needed during an emergency situation or natural disaster.

Challenges and Solutions

Common challenges faced by ex-pat families in Thailand

Thailand is a country where you can find everything that you need. The culture and lifestyle of the Thai people are warm, welcoming, and hospitable. The food is delicious, the climate is quite ideal, and living here is fairly easy.

However, it’s important to be aware of some common challenges faced by ex-pat families in Thailand, especially if you have children. These include:

1. Education for your children will be expensive if you live in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. This can be especially challenging if your children are international students who have to pay tuition fees each month. However, there are many options available for international school and there are scholarships available for them too.

2. Expensive accommodation. Although the cost of living still varies from place to place, other expatriates find the cost of living in Bangkok high, especially for those who have to pay for school fees, health care, and other expenses. Another reason is that most Thais take charged ex-pats unjustly thinking that they have a lot of money.

3. The language barrier. Thai is the national language and most people speak it well. If your family members are not proficient in speaking Thai, they may struggle to get their point across and feel frustrated. However, this can be overcome through practice and patience.

Balancing work and family life

Balancing work and family life as ex-pats in Thailand is a complex task, and it’s not an easy one. Living in Thailand means that you have to find the right balance between time spent at home with your loved ones, and time spent working.

It’s important that you don’t get too caught up in work and forget about the rest of your life. Take care of yourself and make sure that you spend quality time with your family, friends, and even yourself. This will help you become a better parent, spouse, and friend, which will help you be a more productive person overall.

If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, take a nap during the day or try some new ways to relax during the day such as meditation or yoga classes. These activities can help improve your health and well-being as well as give you energy for the rest of the day!

Dealing with homesickness and culture shock

Homesickness and culture shock are two of the most common issues ex-pats face when they move to Thailand.

Homesickness can be a very devastating feeling, causing you to feel like you have lost your identity. Homesickness can make it difficult for people to settle into their new lives and make friends but there are ways to cope with homesickness.

On the other hand, culture shock is when a person living in a different country feels isolated from the people around them because of their new environment or culture. Culture shock can be caused by many things such as eating habits, religion, language, and customs.

It can also be caused by moving countries as well as being away from family members who may have moved elsewhere. There are several steps that you can take if you are experiencing culture shock while living in Thailand:

  • Learn more about Thai culture – this will help you understand what is happening around you and how it affects your life.
  • Talk about your feelings – share your frustrations with others so that they can understand what’s going on for you.
  • Stay connected with friends and relatives back home – keep in touch with them via social media or email so that they know what’s going on in your life.

Tips for maintaining mental and physical well-being

It is important to maintain your mental and physical well-being as an ex-pat in Thailand. Here are some tips for you:

1. Eat a balanced diet. Eat healthy food that will keep your body strong and make you feel energetic all day long. You will also want to drink plenty of water so that your body can function properly

2. Exercise regularly to keep your body in shape, especially the spine and neck areas that are prone to injury if not used properly.

3. Keep a journal and write down all your thoughts and feelings, whether good or bad, so you can reflect on them later on when things get tough. This is also known as ‘mindfulness’.

4. Get enough rest at night by going to bed early and getting up early in the morning before anyone else does so that you have time for yourself before having to start work or school again for another day at school or work!

5. Think about how you can make your life in Thailand a little easier. This is a good time to consider the things that you need to do better, or how you can simplify your life. It’s important to enjoy being there in Thailand, but it is also essential to not get stuck in a rut.

What are the benefits of raising a family in Thailand?

How can ex-pat families prepare for the move to Thailand?

When you are moving to Thailand, you will need to come up with a plan for your family. Do not just pack up and head out of the country without any plans or arrangements. You should have a clear idea of how your family will be supported while they are in Thailand and what they will need to get started. This includes finding a place to stay, carrying all the important documents, applying for medical health insurance, familiarizing yourself with Thai culture, and researching the job market. You should also consider the finances of moving to Thailand and plan out how you will ensure that your family is supported financially while living there.

What are some common challenges faced by ex-pat families in Thailand?

With all its diverse cultures, Thailand is a thrilling place to live – but for expatriates and their families, it can also be fraught with considerable challenges. Language barriers are the most significant hurdle; whilst English may be widely spoken in some areas, understanding other local dialects is an absolute must if you’re going to get by.

Money troubles shouldn’t go overlooked either; even gaining employment isn’t always enough when salaries aren’t meeting ex-pat expenses or they need financial help from friends back home. Significant family changes should also not overlook culture clashes between locals and foreigners that require greater accommodation as well managing many everyday duties such as education of children, organized household chores, and timely bill payments!

Public health care is free, but it is not very convenient. You will have to wait a long time before you see a doctor. There are many private clinics and hospitals that offer better service and faster treatment than public hospitals.

Private clinics can be expensive, but they offer a wide range of medical services at reasonable prices. Some private clinics even provide more advanced treatment than some public hospitals.

What activities and opportunities are available for families and children in Thailand? 

There are many activities and opportunities in Thailand for families and children.

Activities that are generally available to families include:

  • The opportunity to eat Thai food at local restaurants.
  • The chance to enjoy Thai culture by visiting temples, learning about Thai culture and history, or participating in traditional festivals and celebrations.
  • The ability to take a tour of nearby islands such as Phuket or Ko Samui with your family and friends.


Moving to a foreign country is an exciting but daunting endeavor for families. From researching the destination country and investigating its culture to preparing the children for a major lifestyle change, there are countless factors and considerations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, securing housing and schools, obtaining health insurance, and securing employment opportunities pose their own set of challenges. 

During my time spent in Thailand with my family, I faced these common struggles as well as others particular to my personal situation. 

Ex-pat families should step into their new lives abroad with a balanced mindset and outlook, ready to immerse themselves in the culture. To make this transition smoother, mastering the language of your host country allows for easier communication; connecting with local ex-pats or natives helps you learn more details about everyday life that can’t be found on tourist sites; understanding how locals balance work and leisure time lets ex-pat households settle in quickly while still enjoying all there is to experience!

Are you looking to give your family a change of scenery in life? Thailand could be the perfect place! With opportunities abroad that will help take things up to another level, it’s time to pack your bags and experience this one-of-a-kind destination. Sign up for our newsletter today so you can stay informed on all the tips, tricks, and resources available during this trip!

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