‘Don’t do it’: Expats reveal surprising advice for moving to Thailand

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There are an estimated 55,000 British expats in Thailand with many choosing to settle in the capital of Bangkok or near the beach. As part of the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, expats shared their surprising advice for life in Thailand.

British expats can expect to experience a very different climate once they’ve moved to Thailand.

The weather is hot and humid all year round but Thailand does experience monsoon storms in the rainy season.

One expat said the weather gives residents the chance to enjoy an “outdoor lifestyle”.

They said: “It can allow you to become more family centred. Enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. You’ll find you’re healthier, more privileged, more financially independent and there’ll be exciting personal business challenges ahead.”

Thailand is an extremely beautiful country and expats will be able to relax on some of the country’s stunning beaches.

In normal times, more than one million British people visit Thailand for a holiday every year.

Many choose to visit one of the country’s popular beach resorts such as those in Koh Samui and Pattaya City.

However, one expat said newcomers need to realise living in Thailand could be very different from their tourist experience.

They said: “Don’t make the decision to move based on your holiday experience! Living in Thailand is completely different to holidaying there. Do your research first.”

It’s a good idea for any potential expat to do their research before relocating to a new country.

Shouting or displaying strong emotions is considered rude in Thai culture and expats will need to show respect if they want to move to Thailand.
One expat said: “Respect Thai culture and don’t show anger.”

Thailand is often known as the Land of Smiles and many Thai people believe it’s important to always be polite and try to help strangers where possible.

Bureaucracy and administration are a necessary evil faced by British expats moving overseas.

Thailand is no exception. One expat said: “Use legal firms for visa applications.”

Experts including lawyers can help expats understand the legal requirements for living in Thailand.

The expat added: “Travel via coaches, plane or train in the countryside. Taxis are fine in Bangkok etc. but use meter only.”

In some cases, expats or tourists can end up being overcharged if the taxi isn’t operated with a meter.

There’s so much to discover in Thailand some expats might struggle to see it all even if they live there.

One expat said: “The temples are amazing, as are major shopping centres, museums, zoos etc.

“Find English speaking Thai friends and they will show you how to enjoy the place much more.”

Building relationships with local residents will often help expats to settle in quickly and discover the secrets of their new home.

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