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Living in Thailand guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Thailand.

Our selection of articles for expatriation in Thailand

Resident permit in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The country's friendly climate, stunning landscapes ...

Traveling to Thailand

Tourism is a significant economic driver in Thailand, and so far in 2024, the country attracted nearly 20 million tourists. By ...

Getting married in Thailand

The kingdom of Thailand is a stunningly beautiful wedding destination. Its crystal clear beaches, lush green wildernesses, and ...

Starting a business in Thailand

Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia and the 26th-largest economy in the world. It offers many business ...

Working in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai's ethnic diversity, breathtaking scenery, and the multitude of festivals and attractions attract more ...

Working in Pattaya

Pattaya may not be as idyllic as some of Thailand's other beach destinations. However, it is still one of the most popular ...

Things to do with your family in Bangkok

Discover the best places in Bangkok where you can have a great time with your family. It may not always be thought of as a ...

Must-eat authentic foods in Bangkok

Bangkok street food is one of the things that keeps travelers coming back to Bangkok. The abundance of heavenly aromas and ...

Understanding the work environment in Bangkok

Thai people are incredibly friendly and approachable. If one wants to stay and work in Thailand, then learning about its culture ...

Bangkok's networking etiquette

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and most people are friendly, especially in Bangkok. It also has a rich culture ...

Developing your social circle in Bangkok

Traveling around and finding things in Bangkok will be hard at first, but it will be great to enjoy it if you're ...

Adjusting to the local culture in Bangkok

When traveling, every country and city has its own cultural differences. Thailand may be known as the Land of Smiles; it is also ...

Dating in Thailand

Thailand is one of the top destinations in the world when it comes to travel, but not only that. In recent years, the country has ...

Discovering Bangkok

Bangkok is a place for an open mind with the fewest expectations, as the city has a lot to offer. It might be overwhelming at ...

Enjoying the outdoors and nature in Bangkok

Bangkok's breathtaking sights never disappoint. Many activities can be enjoyed, whether inside or outside the city. No ...

About Thailand

Divided into 76 provinces, Thailand covers an area of 513,120km² and shares land borders with Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Its buzzing capital of Bangkok ' with its extensive entertainment, shopping, cultural and gastronomic options ' is the main attraction, and the city serves as a central travel hub in the region.

Thailand's climate

Thailand has a tropical climate with two main seasons ' a dry season and a wet season. However, these can vary depending on which part of the country you are in. The dry season generally lasts from November to May, and it can get extremely hot between March and May. Then the south-west monsoons can be expected from May to October, but the rain tends to fall in heavy, short bursts, so you will still enjoy the sunshine during this period.

However, in most parts of the country at most times of the year, it is often hot and humid compared to western climates, although it can be cooler up in the jungles and hills in the north.

Demography of Thailand

According to the World Bank's data bank, there were 71.6 million people living in Thailand at the end of 2023, and the highest population density can be found in Bangkok where there are over 9 million people.

Most people in Thailand practice Buddhism, although the country's southernmost provinces have a population of about 80% Malay-speaking Muslims and there is an ongoing ethnic conflict and separatist insurgency in this region.

Languages in Thailand

The official language of Thailand is a tonal language called Thai ' sometimes referred to as Siamese Thai, Central Thai or even Bangkok Thai ' and is taught in most schools. While almost everyone will understand this, many different ethnic and regional dialects are also still spoken. These are of particular tone in the north, north-east and south of the country.

Written Thai is based on an alphabet adopted from the Khmers in Cambodia, which is said to have been standardised during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng. Fortunately for expats, road signs are written in both Thai and English.

English is also considered to be a second language to many citizens, especially those living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and on the islands, as a result of the booming tourism industry in these places. Words and expressions of a Thai-English hybrid have started to emerge amongst the younger generation, and this way of speaking is referred to as Tinglish or Thaiglish.

Politics in Thailand

The end of the absolute monarchy in Thailand was in 1932 when Thailand became a constitutional monarchy, whereby the King's legal authority was largely curtailed to that of Head of State. Since this date, the Prime Minister has been responsible for managing government affairs, but the monarchy remains a deeply revered institution.

Thai politics have been highly polarized, and there have been various clashes and shifts between representative government and authoritarian rule since 1932. Many people argue that, in spite of frequent changes in government, coups and mass uprisings, the monarchy ' which was the moral authority of the nation under the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej ' helped to maintain a degree of peace, unity and stability. King Bhumibol was very popular with his people and held great sway over his seven-decade reign but, after decades of political turmoil, a coup in May 2014 resulted in the military taking control of the government towards the end of his life.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who leads the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC), seized power in this coup from an elected civilian government, and was appointed Prime Minister by the military-appointed parliament. Thailand's military has seized power 12 times since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932.

King Bhumibol passed away in October 2016 at the age of 88 as the world's longest reigning monarch, and his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, known as King Rama X, who is the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, was proclaimed King in a ceremony that took place 50 days after his father's death.

The constitution has recently been altered at the request of the new king, and the changes restore royal influence over essential procedures and at times of severe political crisis. This new chapter introduces a different electoral system and, under the new system, experts believe that Thailand is more likely to have fractious coalition governments, and membership of the Senate will essentially be determined by the military-elected government and be bound to follow the military's 20-year blueprint for Thailand.

Thailand's economy

Thailand's economic growth rate and status among leading powers in the region have arguably slowed as a result of the recent political swing between the military and civilian rule, as well as sluggish global and domestic demand. However, it is still South-East Asia's second-largest economy, and it is making progress in reducing poverty. In January 2024, a new minimum wage of THB 330 to THB 370 was introduced, as well as new tax reforms that were designed to lower rates of middle-income earners. There is relatively low inflation and low unemployment, and government spending on infrastructure has helped to give the economy a boost.

Thailand had a GDP of USD549 billion in 2024, and the Thai economy is expected to grow by 2% to 3% by 2025 now that tourism has returned to normal. The country is highly dependent on its industry and service sectors; and exports ' including processed foods, electronics, automobiles and parts, and agricultural commodities ' account for about two-thirds of its GDP. Tourism and foreign investment also play an invaluable role.

Social life in Thailand

Due to their Buddhist religion, which preaches humility and modesty, the Thais are mildly conservative in most parts of their life. They understand the world and the variations in views and behaviours around them. They understand distinct cultures and aliens, so uncommon behaviors are recognised in general.

The cost of living in Thailand

The cost of living in Thailand is undepictable, depending on the place you live in. It will also vary according to the level of comfort and lifestyle you prefer. For the average person, it will cost around $800/month. Also, if you are looking for luxurious living, around $1,000-$1,500/month would suffice - these already includes the rent, food, internet access, leisure, and shopping.

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Quick Information

Capital : Bangkok
Official Languages : Thai
Currency : Baht
Area : 514000 Km2
Population : 71600000
Calling Code : +66
Timezone : Asia/Bangkok