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Moving to Thailand: A Comprehensive Guide to Relocating to Bangkok

Information about Thailand

Thailand in Brief

 

  • Population: 70 million people live in Thailand

 

  • Capital: Bangkok with over 11 million inhabitants

 

  • Name: Kingdom of Thailand (former Siam)

 

  • Government: Constitutional Monarchy. The Thai chief of state is King Vajiralongkorn.

 

  • Official Language: Thai

 

  • Religion: Buddhism (95%)

 

  • Life expectancy: 76 years

 

  • Literacy rate: 93% (population over 15 years who can read and write)

 

  • Currency: 1 Baht = 100 Satangs

 

  • National Anthem: “Phleng Chat Thai”

 

  • National SymbolGaruda (mythical figure that is half bird and half man)

 

  • National animal: elephant

 

  • National colours: red, white and blue

 

  • National Day: 2 July – Birthday of King Vajiralongkorn, who was born in 1952

 

  • History: Thailand’s first people are the Mon and Khmer and later came the Tai, who migrated from southern China to Vietnam and then into Laos and northern Thailand. The first Thai kingdom was established in the 14th century. The country was known as Siam until 1939.

 

Boasting a population of around 70 million, Thailand lies at the heart of Southeast Asia and is bordered by Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. It has an illustrious history that dates back to the 13th century when it was known as Siam. Bangkok continues to be its vibrant capital city today.

 

Thailand is an inviting country, renowned for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles and lively culture. Whether you want to explore the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, experience the stunning beaches in Phuket or take a journey through Thailand’s lush jungle and mountains, it is sure to be a trip you’ll never forget.

 

Thailand has become a magnet for tourists and investors from all over the world who come to experience this exotic paradise each year. The official currency is baht; one US dollar currently trades at approximately 36.48 baht. English is spoken in many cities in addition to the main language Thai.

 

The official religion is Buddhism, and the country remains a monarchy to this day.

 

Thailand also offers a range of cultural experiences, from temples and Buddhist shrines to unique local dishes and traditional festivals. Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this incredible country!

 

 

Culture

 

When visiting Thailand as a tourist, you will experience an entirely new culture. But if you’re planning on relocating to Bangkok then it’s essential to become acquainted with their history and customs for your family to properly adjust. Even though retaining your own home culture within the confines of your family is possible, preparing yourself beforehand can only benefit this transition.

 

Whether you’re in your own country or abroad, it’s essential to show respect for the local customs and traditions. Hereby a few examples:

 

Thai Wai
Thai Wai

1) In Thailand, instead of shaking hands, people greet each other with the traditional Wai gesture.

2) Wearing a bikini away from the beach is seen as inappropriate.

3) It is considered disrespectful to point at something with your foot, so it’s best to avoid this gesture.

4) Many homes and workplaces may require you to take off your shoes before entering — check near the door if there are any other pairs of shoes present — and then follow suit if so required.

 

By adhering to these cultural norms while traveling overseas, you will foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding between yourself and locals alike!

 

Remember that actually living in another country will present you with a whole different picture of the place than a tourist resort would. With a little research, you will be able to understand the local customs, respect their culture and be welcomed in your new home.

 

Bangkok
Bangkok

 

Why move to Bangkok?

 

Bangkok is also named Krung Thep (“City of gods”), the capital of Thailand, one of the most popular cities in Southeast Asia and a great destination for those looking to relocate to a new city. With over 10 million inhabitants, it is the most populous city in Thailand and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. With its thriving economy, an abundance of entertainment opportunities, delicious local cuisine, and friendly people, it’s no wonder why so many people choose Bangkok as their home away from home.

 

Here are some highlights when relocating to Bangkok:

 

  • The cost of living in Bangkok is relatively low compared to your home country.
  • Bangkok has one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia, with plenty of restaurants, rooftop bars/ bars, and clubs.
  • The city is also home to numerous parks, offering plenty of spaces for relaxation and leisure time.
  • For those who enjoy shopping, Bangkok has no shortage of malls and markets selling both local and international brands.
  • Bangkok provides great access to other cities in the region, including Chiang Mai and Phuket etc
  • Bangkok is known for its delicious local cuisine, offering a wide variety of dishes to suit any taste bud.
  • Numerous of cultural attractions and landmarks, from ancient temples to modern art galleries.
  • Finally, Bangkok has a renowned healthcare system, with world-class facilities and services available to residents.

 

With its exciting mix of attractions, affordable cost of living, and excellent access to other cities in the region, it’s no wonder why Bangkok is such a popular destination for those looking to relocate.

 

For those interested in relocating to Bangkok, there are a few things to keep in mind.

 

First, make sure to do your research on the various neighborhoods in Bangkok and compare the International Schools in Bangkok before you move. Additionally, be aware of the current visa requirements for foreign nationals looking to live and work in Thailand.

 

Finally, be sure to set a budget for your move so you can ensure you have all the necessary funds for a successful transition.

 

With a little preparation and research, relocating to Bangkok can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

 

Grand Palace Bangkok
Grand Palace Bangkok

 

Moving to Bangkok:

 

Moving overseas is usually one of the biggest decisions and transitions in life. There are many factors to consider and incorporate, and if the whole process isn’t properly thought through and planned, then your overseas dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. There are often details you forget, both when moving out of your previous home and when moving into your home in Thailand.

 

To help you avoid mistakes and experience a smooth transition as possible, here are some mistakes expats make when relocating abroad.

 

  • Lack of Research

 

Research is the most important part of relocating abroad. As it’s such a big move, it is vital for you to know absolutely everything well in advance.

 

Important aspects to look into include:

 

  • What you can/can’t take with you – e.g., your wine cellar will be too costly to move to Thailand.
  • Start looking into international removals firms as early as possible. It’s important to know the ins and outs of everything.
  • Pricing and budgeting – How much will the flight cost? How much will school cost, etc.?
  • Accommodation – Will you need to downsize? What areas are best to live in?
  • Are you able to take your pet(s) with you? What vaccines/medical documents do they need?

 

  • Poor Organization

 

Poor organization is often an aspect that causes expats to make mistakes. As soon as you know when you’re moving and where to, you should start organizing things such as the relocation of your belongings, what you’re going to take with you, and what you’re going to leave behind.

 

The earlier this is done, the better, as you’ll be less inclined to make further mistakes if everything is organized and sorted well in advance. Will you put some objects in storage and transport only some abroad?

 

  • Time Management

 

Although you may have planned to move to Bangkok months in advance, you’ll be surprised how quickly your moving date can approach. For this reason, it is important for you to manage your time effectively. Start getting things done early and only leave tasks until the last minute if they cannot be done earlier.

 

Once you have arrived, you may be surprised at how long certain things take, for example, how long it will take for your shipped belongings to arrive. For this reason, it is important to manage your time effectively.

 

  • Removal Company

 

If you’re sending a large majority of your stuff with a removal company, there is a possibility that you’ll arrive before your belongings do. Therefore, it is important to factor this into your packing. Your suitcases should include every day and work clothes, as well as toiletries, etc. To be safe, you should pack clothes to last you a few weeks; that way, you’ll be covered if your belongings are delayed for any reason. In addition to this, pack sensibly. Don’t move your entire winter wardrobe to Thailand.

 

The organization of your removal company is an important factor in your international move. As you may be sending the entirety of your belongings, it’s important to know that they are in the best hands.

 

Many expats often choose the cheapest option due to the other high costs they may already be experiencing. This usually isn’t the best approach. Instead, you should look into factors such as previous customer feedback and ratings, experience, and, most importantly, what kind of insurance the company offers. It’s also important to maintain good lines of communication between yourself and the relocation company, so they are aware of what is happening if you want to add or remove some stuff, as they normally charge you for the allocated space.

 

  • Insufficient Budget

 

Expats often underestimate how much it’ll cost to relocate. Moving abroad contains many variables, so as part of your research and organization, you should start budgeting early. You should also have some money saved to cover anything unexpected that may occur.

 

Will you move your money from abroad? It is sensible to open a local bank account to help with day-to-day banking. It is a question whether you should close your bank account(s) in your home country. If you have ongoing transactions in your home country (for example, direct debits or income from rental properties or social income), it would be best to keep the account open. You will be surprised to learn that some Nordic banks will force you to close your Bank accounts even if you would like to keep them, please re-check this with your local bank beforehand.

 

Relocating Pets to Bangkok
Relocating Pets to Bangkok

 

  • Pet Relocation to Bangkok

 

If you have a pet and you want to take it with you, it’s important to start planning your pet’s relocation as soon as possible. Once you have confirmed your destination, you will need to get your pet microchipped by your vet. After that, your pet should be immunized against rabies at least 21 days before you plan to travel. It’s advisable to seek help from a professional animal transportation company that can provide you with practical advice on how to transfer your pet safely. More details information in our blog Relocating Pets to Bangkok

 

  • Insurance

 

It’s important to know that your social security benefits in your home country won’t be of any help if you need medical care in Thailand. To ensure you’re covered, consider getting travel insurance for the first three months of your stay in Thailand. This will give you enough time to find a more permanent solution. Keep in mind that unlike in your home country, you won’t have a regular doctor or GP in Thailand. Instead, you can choose a hospital and go there for a check-up so they can have your medical records. While medical insurance is important, it’s not the only type of insurance you need. Be sure to also insure your property, and get personal liability insurance as well as insurance for your car or motorcycle.

 

  • Change of Postal Mail

 

It’s crucial to ensure that you don’t miss any important mail. Therefore, it is recommended to set up mail redirection at the Post Office as soon as you know where you will be residing. Although there are charges associated with this service, the Post Office will redirect your mail for up to twelve months.

 

  • Pros and cons of moving to Thailand

 

Moving to Thailand can be a rewarding experience, but it may not necessarily be the right choice for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of making the move to Thailand.

 

 

Thai Food
Thai Food

 

Pros:

Beautiful landscapes: From its stunning beaches and forests/ mountains to its vibrant cities and ancient temples, Thailand has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation spot or an exciting new adventure, Thailand has plenty to offer.

 

Cost of living: Although rent and utilities are increasing in some cities, overall, the cost of living and transportation are still relatively low compared to other countries.

 

Great food: From fresh seafood to classic Thai dishes, Thailand has some of the best cuisines in the world and there are also many international restaurants in Bangkok.

 

 

 

 

Cons:

 

Thai Language
Thai Language

 

– Language barrier: English is not as widely spoken in Thailand as in other countries, so if you don’t speak the Thai language, it can be difficult to navigate on your own.

 

– Cultural norms: As a visitor in Thailand, it’s important to be aware of and respect the local customs and cultural norms.

 

– Climate: Thailand is generally hot and humid throughout the year, so it’s important to be prepared for the weather.

 

-Traffic Jams: Bangkok is among the world’s most congested cities, leading to immense traffic jams that can make navigating around town during rush hour a daunting task.

 

Weighing all these pros and cons can help you decide if moving to Thailand/ Moving to Bangkok is the right decision for you. It’s important to carefully consider your needs and what will make you happiest.

 

  • Language

 

If you plan to live in Thailand for six months or more, it’s highly recommended that you find a Thai language course. It’s important to do this as soon as possible since relying on friends and taxi drivers to teach you basic phrases like “turn left,” “turn right,” and “where is the restroom” won’t be enough in the long run. Your progress in learning Thai will eventually stop if you don’t adopt a structured approach. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to enroll in a course that teaches you how to read Thai. Learning to read Thai isn’t as difficult as you might think.

 

“Thai” is the national and official language of Thailand, spoken and understood by all Thai people. However, for many, their local dialect will remain their primary language. Although most words are the same, these dialects will have a distinct sound, and several words may differ significantly from standard Thai.

 

The Thai language is tonal and uses a unique script with more characters than the Western alphabet. It also has three relational markers that help Thai readers understand pronunciation. Some Thai words have roots in Pali, Sanskrit, and Old Khmer, while others have been assimilated from Chinese.

 

Recently, many English words have been adopted, though their pronunciation can be difficult to recognize. The Thai word for all white-skinned foreigners, “farang”, comes from the country France, pronounced “Farangcet” in Thai.

 

If you need online translation between Thai and English, Google Translate is a reliable option. Another free service that’s highly recommended is https://thai2english.com

 

 

BTS Map Bangkok
BTS Map Bangkok

 

  • Transportation in Bangkok

 

Bangkok offers a wide variety of transportation options for tourists and locals alike. The city has an extensive public transport network that includes the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, Chao Phraya Express Boat, and extensive bus lines. Taxis are also readily available throughout the city and can be booked online or hailed from the street. For those looking for a more private option, ride-sharing services such as Grab/ Bold are a popular choice.

 

Lastly, Bangkok has a network of motorcycle taxis that offer an inexpensive way to get around. No matter your travel needs, Bangkok’s transportation system can help you reach your destination quickly and conveniently. Please find the MRT and BTS map below.

 

 

Lumphini Park Bangkok
Lumphini Park Bangkok
  • Public Parks in Bangkok

 

Bangkok is home to a multitude of serene public parks that serve as green oases amidst the city’s skyscrapers.

 

 

  • Healthcare in Bangkok

 

Bangkok has a robust healthcare system, offering quality medical care for both locals and visitors to the city. Expats can access the same health services as Thai citizens and can take advantage of Bangkok hospitals that specialize in international treatments. The majority of Bangkok hospitals have registration desks staffed by English-speaking personnel so navigating the process is relatively easy.

 

Health Insurance in Thailand

 

Health insurance is essential for expats living in Bangkok as medical costs can be quite expensive. It is important to compare health insurance plans and find the best coverage for your needs. Most Bangkok hospitals accept major health insurance providers and there are a range of international companies that offer policies tailored to expats living in Bangkok. To ensure you have the best coverage for your needs, it is important to read up on the health insurance options available and make sure you understand what is covered.

 

Having proper health insurance is crucial when living in Thailand. If you are legally employed in Thailand, you will have access to free public healthcare through the state social security scheme. It is mandatory for both Thai citizens and expats working in the country to contribute 5% of their salaries to the scheme.

 

Once enrolled in the public healthcare system, you will be assigned a hospital where you can receive free treatment. You will need to present your Social Security Number and ID for verification. Although public health insurance generally works well, it does have some drawbacks. You may experience longer waiting times and you won’t have the ability to choose your doctor.

 

If you are not eligible for public health insurance or prefer a wider range of coverage, you can purchase private health insurance. You will typically have two options: a domestic plan, which covers only Thailand, or an international plan, which also covers you abroad.

 

Private healthcare in Thailand is highly effective and provides access to modern hospitals and facilities. You will also have the freedom to choose your preferred doctors and find English-speaking personnel quite easily.

 

It is crucial to have your medical insurance documents with you whenever you seek medical care in Thailand. If you are ever admitted to the hospital, you will be required to pay upfront for any treatment and then be reimbursed by your insurance. Most hospitals will accept international private medical insurance, but you will be responsible for any services not covered by your insurance before you can be discharged from the hospital.