Thailand – the land of smiles, is a realm of glorious weather, paradisaical beauty and a comparatively cheap cost of living; an attractive combination that makes it a hotbed for British expatriates.
An estimated 45,000 Britons enjoy the relaxed lifestyle and cheap cost of living offered in Thailand, with the latter being a particularly big selling point.
Life in Thailand is estimated to be 35.30% cheaper than the average cost of living in the UK – with rent being a whopping 49.91% lower. On the food front, the average cost of a meal at a basic restaurant in Thailand will only set you back £1.38, compared to the UK’s £12 average, according to statistics from Numbeo.
Beyond the monetary implications, a great deal of Thailand’s appeal can be found in its culture and environment.
For those interested in hiking and exploration, the sprawling nature reserves that cover Thailand’s landscapes and the hidden exotic islands that dot the coastline will definitely not disappoint.
Hiking routes range from paths that wind through pristine rainforests and misty, towering mountains to steady coastline strolls along picture-perfect beaches. For the history-buff, on the other hand, Thailand features an abundance of strikingly vibrant cultural relics like ancient temples and shrines with flamboyant Buddhist décor.
Conversely, the cities offer a very different pace of life, with Bangkok being famous for its flashy high-octane nightlife and celebrations like the Loy Krathong; where people gather around lakes, canals and rivers to release small lotus rafts decorated with candles and flowers into the water (the sight of thousands of these floating at night is quite remarkable).
When visiting Thailand as a British passport holder you will not require a visa – you’re free to stay for 30 days. Moving to Thailand, however, will require a visa.
Generally speaking, those who expatriate to Thailand do so by using a tourist visa, which is valid for 60 days, or a non-immigrant visa (valid for 90 days) which can then be extended. A non-immigrant visa can be extended for a year for things like business, education, retirement or marriage.
For longer-term stays one can then consider applying for residency or a work permit – foreign nationals require a non-immigration visa to secure a work permit.
For those not looking to retire in Thailand, teaching English is one of the most popular employment options – many expats move to Thailand and begin teaching English before transitioning into other careers.
To teach in Thailand you will require a TEFL certificate, (unless you want to teach as a volunteer), which can be acquired through a number of courses. Some courses offer the training, practical experience and even eventual job placement.
It’s also worth getting involved in the various Thai expat communities available, as jobs will often pop up on these portals and word of mouth can prove very useful.
Not being able to speak Thai isn’t necessarily a problem, as English is fairly widely spoken.
We hope you enjoyed our little introduction to moving to Thailand. If you’re planning a move abroad in the near future, get in touch if you’d like to talk through your currency transfer options.
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