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Relocating to Thailand? A Guide for Working Expats

If you are about to embark on an expat posting and are lucky enough to be living and working in Thailand, this article was written with you in mind. Bangkok is home to many multi-national corporations and while your employer will take care of your visa status, there are many things that you will need to prepare.

  • Cultural Overview – Thai culture is unique in many ways and if you are living in Thailand and working with the local people, there are a few cultural aspects to understand. Thai people, for example, prefer an indirect method when it comes to airing their views and you are advised to read up on the cultural aspects of this unique Asian nation. There is a thing called ‘face’ in Thailand, whereby people avoid putting others in embarrassing situations and calling out a Thai employee in the presence of others will not result in a positive. It pays to do a little research into Thai culture if you are to be managing Thai workers, as this will enlighten you and avoid any serious misunderstandings.
  • Health Insurance – As in every part of the world, medical treatment can be very expensive in Thailand, and if you search online, you will find many packages on insurance for Thailand that range from basic to comprehensive cover. The online insurer has packages to suit every lifestyle and budget, plus your new employer might be able to help regarding the premiums.
  • Accommodation – If you are working in Bangkok, it is imperative that you live nearby the office, as the infamous Bangkok traffic jams are as real as night and day. There are nice condo units with a breath-taking view of the city that are luxurious by western standards and what’s more, they are very affordable.
  • Learning the Language – If you have been posted on a two-year tenure, it is well worth learning how to speak Thai, as English is not widely spoken among the local population. Enrolling in a private one on one Thai language course is a great idea, and your team will really appreciate that you take the time and effort to learn their language, and this will enhance your business relationship with those you work with.
  • Think Local Money – When you first arrive in Thailand, you will think that everything is so cheap, and in comparison to western prices, this is true, but you should quickly start thinking in Thai currency (baht) as soon as possible, which will help you make the transition to a much lower cost of living.

Thailand is a wonderful country, unique in many respects and in order to make the most of your stay, make sure you consider all of the above and your Thai experience is one that will remain etched in your memory forever. Many expats wish to extend their stay and some actually decide to permanently relocate to the mystical Land of Smiles that we know as Thailand.