Living in Thailand
Thailand is a well-known destination in South-east Asia. Thailand has something for every kind of traveller.
Expats moving to Thailand are sure to be fascinated by the sparkling beaches, striking landscapes and the enigmatic culture of the country.
Finding a job in cities other than Bangkok is a challenge for expats. This is the reason why Bangkok has the maximum number of expats in the country.
Street food in Thailand is not expensive. A quick snack from a street stall selling BBQ chicken, pork on sticks, papaya salad or some other Thai delicacy is affordable.
A full meal of rice and vegetables from a street-side vendor can effortlessly fit your food budget.
Thailand also has a range of upmarket restaurants in the main cities offering multi-course meals. This experience can be quite expensive.
For drinks, locally brewed beers are cheaper than pricey wines. Imported alcohols can be quite expensive.
When in Thailand, these are some cultural norms you must follow
1. Show utmost respect to the Thai national anthem. It is broadcasted on television twice a day. Stand to attention out of respect wherever the anthem is being played.
2. The Thai royal family is highly revered by the local population, therefore, show great respect for them.
3. The ‘head’ is considered as scared part of the body in Thailand. It is to be treated with utmost respect. Don't pass any objects over someone's head.
4. Take off shoes while entering homes and buildings that have an image of Lord Buddha inside.
To ensure your own safety, follow these rules
1. Keep a close eye on your purses and bags in crowded places.
2. Beware of thieves who ride the motorcycle and grab the victim’s bag as they pass.
3. Restrict the use of your credit or debit cards to well-established businesses. Skimming devices on legitimate ATMs to steal debit cards and pin numbers is a common crime in Thailand.
4. Take extra care of important documents like your passport, visa, work permit, etc. that could be used for identity theft.
Some interesting facts about Thailand
1. It is the only country in Southeast Asia that wasn't colonized by a Western power.
2. Thailand is called the Golf Capital of Asia with beautiful courses that attract a larger number of golfers from around the world.
3. Thailand is made up of over 1430 islands.
Politics in Thailand
The revolution in 1932 brought an end to absolute monarchy. The unitary government of the kingdom of Thailand is also known as the Royal Thai Government (RTG). After the foundation of the Chakri dynasty and the city of Bangkok in 1782, the country emerged as the modern nation-state. It is the only country in south-east Asia to have escaped colonial rule. The Buddhist religion, the monarchy, and the military have helped shape its society and politics.
Economy of Thailand
Thailand is the world's 22nd largest export economy. It is a newly industrialized country with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product (GDP).
The industrial sector is dominated by the automobiles and automotive parts industry at 11%. The agricultural sector has a major contribution from rice, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, and rubber. Beverages and tobacco also contribute to the economy immensely.
Buying and renting property in Thailand
The rental houses in Thailand are many and often at good prices.
Types of accommodation available for rent ranges from high-rise apartment buildings, seaside shacks, condominium complexes, to stand-alone houses on large plots.
Use local newspapers, property pages, and the Internet to look for Thai real estate. If not this way then look for the appealing areas and explore the neighbourhood to find out the properties that are up for rent.
Estate agents with their knowledge can make your rental process easy.
The best part is that it is usually free for tenants. Why? Because they receive a commission from the landlords.
Hiring an estate agent is always the best idea because they will draw up a legal rental agreement between both parties which will ensure safety for both the parties.
Before renting a property, take plenty of photos of the property. Inspect the property with the landlord. Point out issues, if any, to the owner. This inspection is a must to avoid hassles while regaining your deposit at the end of the lease.
Electricity, water, and telephone bills are to be borne by tenants. Electricity is expensive and therefore try to save it.
Foreigners can own an apartment only in complexes that have less than a certain percentage of foreign ownership.
In addition to paying the purchase price of the property, the foreign tenant must also invest in Thai government authorized investment for a certain period of time.
Visa and immigration
The education system in Thailand works this way...
Education in Thailand is the government’s responsibility. It is provided through the ministry of education.
Kindergarten years are from two to three years of age. The primary school education runs for 6 years. Expats have to compulsorily go to private or international school because public schools are keen on nationality.
Private bilingual schools are an affordable option for expats because international schools or private school are expensive.
If your child is born in Thailand, or has a parent who is of Thai descent, he/she is eligible for free education provided by the Government.
There are quite a few international schools in Thailand which focus on western curricula.
They are also equipped to prepare your child for SAT, A-level, IGCSE and IB exams. Bangkok and Pattaya are stocked with a large variety of international schools whereas rural areas have limited options.
Weather in Thailand
Thailand has a tropical climate. Its seasonal wind during monsoon brings heavy precipitation.
It has a pleasant climate in November, January, and February.
Its temperatures are fairly consistent throughout the year, ranging between 74°F (23°C) and 86°F (30°C).
The weather is divided into three seasons
- the cold season from November to February
- the hot season from March to May
- the rainy season from June to October
The cool season is the best time to visit. However December holidays are busy with inflated prices.
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