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What it Takes for Expats to Live in Thailand
The quality of life for expats living in Thailand is one of the main reasons why they move there to work or retire. This is also because the income or pensions of Westerners could buy a whole lot more in Thailand. Moreover, Thailand is also an industrialized country that would surely appeal to expats as the country offers everything from shopping, great food, infrastructure, and a superb mass transit system (in Bangkok, at least).
Expats living in Thailand will find that living accommodations are suited to their various needs. An expatriate can choose to live the Western lifestyle, a frugal lifestyle, or a middle-of-the-road lifestyle. One can live a frugal lifestyle on $800 to $1,000 a month in Thailand. This lifestyle can be characterized by renting a modern and furnished house in a provincial setting like Nong Kai, Karat, or Surin.
On a frugal budget, an expatriate can even eat out Thai food daily as Western food is slightly pricier. On this budget, one can buy Thai supermarket goods, visit a bar once or twice weekly, or occasionally drinking local beer.
In the middle-of-the-road lifestyle, an expatriate can spend from $1,250 to $1,500 monthly. On this budget, an expat can rent a modern and furnished house in civilized areas outside Bangkok like Koh Samui or Phuket. One can also eat out Thai food everyday, occasionally purchase a luxury item, visit a bar more than two times weekly, and drink local beer.
For the Western lifestyle, one can expect to spend from $2,000 and upwards. On this budget, one can rent a fully-equipped and modern apartment in the heart of Bangkok. On a Western budget, one can dine out on fancy restaurants offering fusion and Western cuisine, buying imported goods from the supermarket, visiting swanky nightclubs, and drinking imported beer.
However, if one wishes to socialize more with other expatriates, the cost of living may be higher. If immersion in Thai culture is what one needs, the cost of living is considerably cheaper.
In Bangkok, one can rent a 3-bedoom place for around 20,000 baht. For 1,000 baht, two can enjoy a good meal in a fancy restaurant. It takes 300 baht for two people to enjoy in a Thai café. In bars, a bottle of imported beer costs 200 baht and a bottle of local beer costs 120 baht. If one skimps on going to bars and buy beers only at supermarkets or at the nearest 7-11 convenience store, then these beers cost less.
Expats living in Thailand would find life there simpler. Moreover, the eclectic lifestyle and the balmy weather are things that are seriously considered by expats. The people in Thailand are also friendly to Westerners and other nationalities. In Bangkok, at least, there are many modern conveniences to offer like entertainment, shopping, and business centers.
An expat will not run out of things to do in Thailand. On vacations, expats and their families can enjoy the views, see wildlife not found in the West, and enjoy the pristine white sand beaches.