Top Things To Know Before Moving To Thailand

27 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Moving to Thailand 

Thailand is a country that has a lot to offer ex-pats. From its stunning beaches and delicious food to its friendly people and affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder why so many people are drawn to the idea of moving there. However, before making the move, there are some things you need to know. In this blog post, we will discuss the Top things to know before moving to Thailand.

Thailand is a country that many people dream of living in. It has delicious food and interesting culture. But before you pack your bags and head to Thailand, there are some things you should know about the country that can make your transition easier.

Key Takeaways

  • English is widely spoken in most major cities, making it easier for foreigners to adapt to life in Thailand.
  • Thailand is a beautiful country with friendly people, great food, and vibrant culture. It’s also very affordable as well.
  • It’s important to know how much money you’ll need to live comfortably in Thailand, and which areas are more affordable than others.
Top Things To Know Before Moving To Thailand

Are you ready to leave your home country for Thailand?

Are you ready to leave your home country for Thailand?

Thai culture and the Thai language can be very different from yours, and it may take some time to get used to. Here are 27 things that you need to know before moving to Thailand.

Deciding Where to Live in Thailand is an important start

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s also an incredible place to live if you’re looking for a warm climate, friendly people, and a chance to start over. But before you begin your new life in Thailand, there are some things you should know.

Deciding where to live in Thailand is an important start. You must find a place that is both beautiful and practical—you don’t want to have your dream home turn into a nightmare when it comes time for maintenance or repairs! 

Things You Wish I’d Known Before Moving to Thailand

1. Expats love to help each other (There’s a growing community)

Thailand ex-pats are one of the most popular spots for ex-pat life to move to, so you’ll find a lot of people who want to help you out. If you’ve experienced culture shock or are new to the country, there are plenty of resources available for you. The more you get involved in the ex-pat community, the more connections and friends you’ll make—and that’s one of the best things about moving abroad!

2. Deal in Cash if Possible

This is one of the biggest mistakes that I made when I first moved to Thailand. I thought the best way to save money was to get a bank account, but in reality, it’s better to use cash. There are many reasons why this is true, but the biggest one is that it’s hard to budget your money when you’re using a credit card. You might think you’ll only spend $200 on groceries each week, but then you realize that you’re spending $150 on other things too. Being able to see your actual cash at the end of each day helps prevent this from happening.

Additionally, keep a substantial amount of cash on hand before opening a Thai bank account. If moving to Thailand, you should also consider completing your foreign exchange.

3. Internet here is fast and affordable

The internet in Thailand is fast, reliable, and cheap. It’s one of the reasons I chose to move here. The internet is usually so slow in most places that you can’t even watch videos on YouTube without buffering every two minutes.

4. Moving Can Change Your Life

You might find yourself in a new city, working for an international company, making friends with people from all over the world… and you might even end up falling in love with a local!

But moving to a different country isn’t just about having fun—it’s also about getting serious. When you move to Thailand, you’ll be starting your life over again. You’ll have the chance to make new choices and find new opportunities that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

You won’t be able to do everything at once, but it’s important not to let this overwhelm you. Take things one step at a time, and soon enough you’ll be living your dream Thai life!

5. Quality Can Still Be Found In ‘Developing Nations’.

When I first started thinking about moving to Thailand, I was worried that it would be difficult to find quality products there. I thought that the country’s status as an “emerging market” would mean that everything would be cheap and poorly made.

This was far from true! While it’s true that you can find cheaper versions of most things in Thailand, the quality of those products is often good enough for their intended use. In fact, some of them are even better than their American counterparts.

6. Apply for a Thai Visa in Advance

If you’re planning to move to Thailand, one thing that’s going to help you get settled in faster is applying for a Thai visa in advance. You can do this by visiting the Thai embassy (get a tourist visa first) or consulate in your country and applying there—or you can do it online. Either way, applying for your visa in advance will save you time once you arrive.

7. Make sure you have enough money on hand

Thailand is known for its budget-friendly living costs. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re financially prepared for your move before you leave your home country. The cost of living in Thailand is much lower than what you may be used to at home, but it’s still important to consider that there will be expenses that come up along the way (like a plane ticket).

8. Bangkok has everything you need

You’ll learn that pretty quickly when you move here. You’ll find yourself wanting a lot of things—a community, a job, a relationship, etc.—and you won’t be able to find them right away or even at all. That’s just the way it goes when you move to a new place.

But don’t worry! The Capital city of Bangkok has everything you need: good Thai food, nice weather, and coffee shops on every corner where you can sit with your laptop and get some work done. It’s got great nightlife and beautiful tropical beaches if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s also got some really cool museums if museums are more your thing. And if none of those things appeal to you, there are also plenty of temples around town where you can go meditate quietly in peace (or at least try).

9. Learn a Few Thai Phrases and Words

If you’re moving to Thailand, there are a few things you should know before you go. One of those things is how to say a few Thai phrases and words. This will help you communicate with locals and make your time in the country more enjoyable.

Thai people are generally very friendly and welcoming of foreigners, but it can be helpful to know a few key phrases when meeting new people. In addition to being polite, these phrases will help you feel more comfortable during your time in Thailand.

10. It is essential to have medical insurance

Thailand is a beautiful and exciting country, but it’s important to keep in mind that you could experience some serious health issues while living here. If you don’t have health insurance, you’re going to be paying out of pocket for any treatment or care you receive. The cost of medical care in Thailand can be extremely high, so try to get some coverage before you move here!

11. There is much more to Bangkok Than Red-Light Streets

Let me start by saying: there is much more to Bangkok than its red-light streets. It’s a big city, and the red-light district is just one of many neighborhoods. You’ll find that there are actually quite a few other areas where you can live comfortably—and safely—as a foreigner.

12. The locals usually consider foreigners to be wealthy

This means that if you’re a backpacker or budget traveler, you may get approached by people who want to sell you things or offer to do things for you in exchange for money. You can politely decline these offers, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t rudeness—it’s just how Thai culture is.

13. You’ll be fine without knowing Thai (Especially in Bangkok)

You won’t need to speak Thai to get by in Bangkok, but you’ll want to learn the basics soon after you arrive.

Thailand has a very different culture from what you’re probably used to, so it’s important to understand some of these differences before you move here.

The language barrier can make it difficult at first, but learning the basics will help make things easier for you.

14. There’s excellent Healthcare

The healthcare in Thailand is excellent. There are plenty of hospitals, clinics, and doctors available for you to get your medical needs taken care of. It’s important to remember that you will be paying more than you would at home, but it’s worth it because the quality of care is high.

15. The Head Is Sacred

Thailand is a country with many rules and customs, but one of the most important ones is that you should never touch someone on the head. It’s a sign of respect—and if you accidentally bump into someone, or even touch them inadvertently, you need to apologize immediately.

16. Scamming is Common

Thailand has a reputation for being a safe, welcoming country for foreigners. But this doesn’t mean that everyone who lives there is going, to be honest, and upstanding. In fact, scammers are common in Thailand and can be very convincing.

17. Taxis sometimes try to take advantage of foreigners

There’s a reason why it’s such a popular destination: the beaches are gorgeous, the food is amazing, and there are countless ways to explore and experience the culture. But before you get your heart set on living in Bangkok or Chiang Mai or Phuket… there are some things about life in Thailand that might surprise you.

For example? Taxis sometimes try to take advantage of foreigners. A taxi driver can ask for an absurd amount of money for a ride that should cost only $2-$3 (or less), simply because he knows that many tourists won’t know any better—and if they do know better, they probably don’t speak enough Thai to argue with him about it.

18. Thai Politics Can Be Volatile

It’s a good idea to keep up with the news, especially if you’re planning on moving to Thailand or working with Thai people. There are protests happening almost every day and they can get pretty violent. If you see one happening nearby, it’s a good idea to stay away from it and call the police if you feel unsafe.

19. Having Comfy Sandals Is Convenient

I know that this may seem like a strange thing to put on a list of things you wish you’d known before moving to Thailand, but trust me: having comfy sandals is so, so important. Like, I’m not even joking here—you might not think it’s a big deal until you start walking around the city in your non-slip shoes and realize how uncomfortable it is. The pavement is just so hot that it starts to burn your feet, and then you have no choice but to take off your shoes and walk barefoot through whatever sludge or grime is on the street.

20. They Use a Different Calendar

When you move to Thailand, you’re going to have to get used to all sorts of new things—including the calendar. The Thai calendar doesn’t follow the same rules as Western countries’ calendars, and that can be pretty confusing if you’re not used to it.

21. Wai is now people greet each other

The wai may be used as a greeting, but it isn’t the equivalent of saying “hello” and there are times when the use of the wai would be inappropriate.

Thai people use different types of wai for different situations, and Thai culture dictates that the social inferior always initiates the gesture.

22. Thai Lastnames are often very long

This is extremely intriguing. In Thailand, family names are so lengthy and distinctive because unrelated individuals are not permitted to have the same surname. I find it so perplexing that so many westerners have the same last names, such as Smith or Jones. Typically, if you share the same last name in this city, you are related (like distant cousins).

Additionally, it is so simple for individuals to create their own surnames. This is due to religious and occasionally personal superstitious beliefs. The procedure for changing one’s name is straightforward, and Thai law makes it possible and even simple to do so multiple times. 

Top Things To Know Before Moving To Thailand

What Parents Need to Know Before Moving Their Family to Thailand

23. Be realistic and intentionally search for problems

Before you move to Thailand, make sure that you are realistic about what your new life will be like. This includes being aware of the challenges faced by ex-pats in Thailand, as well as the benefits. If you’re going to live in Thailand, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you make the move.

24. Get practical about the details and find support

You’re going to have questions, and you’re going to have concerns. That’s normal. But don’t get bogged down by them—it’ll just make the move feel more overwhelming than it needs to be. Instead, come up with a list of things you can do right now to make the move easier, so that when you arrive in Thailand, you can focus on adjusting.

Some of those things might include:

  • Start learning some Thai phrases now so that you can communicate with your kids as soon as possible.
  • If possible, find someone who has already moved their family to Thailand so that they can give you advice and support along the way.

25. Research the right schools their children will attend 

Moving to Thailand is a big decision. It’s not quite as simple as finding the right home, but it’s still important that you do your research before settling down in a new place.

One of the most important things for parents to consider when moving their family is how well their children will fit into the local school system. This is something you probably won’t have time to get answers to until after you’ve already moved, so take some time now to find out what kind of education your children will be receiving once they start attending classes in Thailand.

Look into different schools and ask questions about their education programs. You’ll want to know what kinds of resources are available at each school, as well as what sort of student body they have. For example, some schools specialize in helping international students adjust to life in Thailand while others focus on providing an excellent education for Thai students only.

There are many great options for families who want their children to receive an exceptional education in Thailand. Get started on your search today!

Additional Tips when Moving to Thailand 

Here are some tips for making your trip to Thailand even better:

1) Don’t forget your passport, visa, and other documents.

2) Make sure to bring a lot of sunscreen and bug spray—the heat and humidity make it easier for mosquitoes and other bugs to survive here.

3) If you’re moving to Thailand permanently (and not just for vacation), make sure you have enough money saved up so that you can afford living expenses until you find a job in the country.

4) Plan ahead for your first visit to the grocery store. It will be different than what you’re used to in America (or wherever else), so make sure that you know where everything is and what everything costs before shopping sprees become a part of your daily life.

Top Things To Know Before Moving To Thailand FAQs

Is Thailand a good place to move to?

Thailand provides a great quality of life at affordable prices. The country has warm weather year-round and easy access to modern comforts like medical care, which is high-quality yet inexpensive.

How much money do you need to move to Thailand?

You can live comfortably in Thailand on a budget of $2,000 per month. Not as much money if you’re in states or in other countries.

Location will have a significant impact on your monthly expenses; a view of rice paddies from your balcony will be less expensive than a view of crashing waves on a sandy beach. And a contemporary condo in one of Bangkok’s many thriving neighborhoods will not come cheap.

In many locations, there are still numerous opportunities to live a quality life on a modest budget.

Is Thailand friendly to foreigners?

Yes! Thailand is one of the most foreigner-friendly countries in the world, and it’s easy to see why.

The Thai people are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and they’ll be sure to make you feel right at home. They’re also some of the most hospitable people on Earth, so you won’t have trouble finding a place to stay or eat—even if you’re traveling with a large group or have special dietary needs!

What is the safest city in Thailand?

Krabi. Krabi, located on the southwestern coast of Thailand, is a tranquil, secluded town with beautiful beaches that is frequently cited as one of the safest places to live in Thailand. The cost of living and crime rate is low, whereas the number of cafes and other amenities is abundant.

Can I live in Thailand permanently?

It is possible for foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Thailand and live there indefinitely. This residency does not require an extension and is very convenient for individuals who wish to establish permanent residency in Thailand.


Moving to Thailand can be a great decision for many people. The cost of living is affordable, the weather is warm year-round, and the Thai people are incredibly friendly and hospitable. If you’re thinking about making the move, be sure to do your research and plan ahead so that you can make the most of your new life in Thailand!

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