There’s no doubt about it – Thailand is a popular place for expats. The availability of relatively high-paying jobs, the low cost of living, the culture, the cuisine and the warm weather are all reasons that people choose to relocate to a Samui luxury villa or home in this beautiful Southeast Asian nation.
But as with any foreign destination, there are issues that expats will likely encounter when relocating to Thailand and staying in the country for the long term. These can range from finding a place where you can get your groceries (including that breakfast cereal from home that you really miss) to finding another job in the country to furnishing your Thai home.
If you’re struggling to find the resources you need to be comfortable in Thailand, here are 24 great resources that will help you enjoy your time:
1. Expat Info Desk
Unlike most travel guides, this one is written specifically for expats – not for tourists. It covers a lot of the basics, such as where to go on a Friday night and where to get great food. It also offers insights into how to commute, where to shop for basic household necessities, and where to find the best doctors and drug stores. In short, it covers all the info you need for day-to-day living in Thailand.
2. Time Out Bangkok
This valuable site offers information about entertainment in Thailand’s capital city, going well beyond the basics to include write-ups on upcoming events and weekend happenings. You can also use this resource to read reviews of new entertainment spaces and restaurants.
3. Transitions Abroad
This online magazine is packed with information and articles about working abroad worldwide. Its Thailand section features in-depth stories and first-hand accounts of working and living as an expat in the country.
4. Teak Door
This forum is for travelers and expats who are in Thailand, or who for those who are planning to go there. Many members are active daily, so you can usually get the answers you need to the questions you have pretty quickly.
This travel website is specifically focused on Southeast Asia, but it goes far beyond the usual info about where to stay and what to do. The site’s firsthand stories offer a glimpse into what it’s like to travel in – and live in – Thailand and the other nations in the region. There is also an active forum at Travelfish where you can hear directly from people who are already making their way in the country.
6. Lonely Planet
This is another worthwhile travel site that’s useful for expats, as well as tourists. Lonely Planet has so much information – curated from years and years of guidebook publications – that you should be able to find just about any piece of information that you’re looking for.
7. Ajarn Forum
This forum is especially popular with English teachers, although anybody can use it to find information about living in Thailand. Ajarn is especially useful if you’re looking for a teaching job to supplement your income of if you want to find out about cheap accommodations and expat meetups.
8. Thai Visa
This is arguably the best general information forum about living in and traveling to Thailand. It covers everything and is popular with expats, who can offer advice on things like finding accommodations and completing the legal paperwork required to live and work in Thailand.
This is a news site that translates Thai language stories into English. If you want to keep abreast of the latest political news and current events from a Thai perspective, it’s an invaluable resource.
10. The Nation
This English language newspaper covers events all across Thailand. It has all the different sections that other major newspapers have, so you can keep up with local stories, as well as stay abreast of what’s happening in other parts of the world.
11. Thai Travel News
This blog is geared towards travelers, but it is written from an expat’s perspective. As a result, you can use it to find great insider information about weekend getaway spots that aren’t necessarily known by mainstream tourists.
12. Bangkok Burger Blog
This niche blog serves up reviews and pictures of the best burger restaurants in Bangkok. It’s the perfect choice for those times when you simply must get out and enjoy a taste of home.
13. Eating Thai Food Guide
This comprehensive guide covers everything that you need to know to understand and enjoy Thai food.
We might be biased about this recommendation, but if you’re looking for tropical vacation experiences while in the country, check out Samujana’s collection of villas. The resort is an ideal weekend getaway choice for expats and tourists alike.
15. Siam Legal
If you’re planning to set up a business, buy property or get a long term work visa in Thailand, advisors like Siam Legal are a must. These professionals have loads of resources available to help you cut through the red tape and make various legal processes easier and more understandable. Their website has a lot of basic information that can prove useful – no matter what your exact situation is.
16. Expat Life
Expat Life is an online magazine with unique perspective: it’s geared entirely towards female expats in Thailand. The publication covers everything from business and employment advice to shopping and entertainment recommendations that will help female travelers in the region stay safe and comfortable.
17. Expats in Thailand
This site covers most of the basics that expats in Thailand need to know. If you’ve never lived abroad before and need to know where to start, start with this resource – and don’t be surprised if it becomes your go-to source for information on the country.
18. 1 Stop Chiang Mai
This site focuses specifically on Chiang Mai. With so much written about Bangkok and nearby destinations like Pattaya, Thailand’s large northern city often gets lost in the shuffle. This unfortunate, as it’s a great place to live and work. There’s less competition for jobs, the weather is cooler, and the city is less crowded, making it an ideal location for long-term expats.
19. 1 Stop Samui
1 Stop Chiang Mai’s sister site has plenty of info about living in Thailand’s most popular tropical island paradise. Check it out for recommendations on everything from things to do in Koh Samui to dining, accommodations, entertainment and more.
This is a site that is dedicated to living on and visiting Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island. If the island lifestyle is for you, you won’t want to miss this resource.
Yes, this wiki site is very basic, but if you need to know how to get around on the train or bus or where to stay on your first night in Thailand, it’s the first place you should look to find the information you need, without any added distractions.
When it comes to short-term accommodations, this is THE source for Southeast Asia. Rates are generally cheaper here than elsewhere online and you can often find and book budget accommodations that other sites don’t list.
Obviously, the Tourism Authority of Thailand website promotes travel inside the Kingdom, but don’t assume that all of its recommendations are biased. The site also offers plenty of interesting information and domestic destinations that other guides don’t cover.
24. Expat Arrivals
Finally, when it comes to covering the basics of expat life in Thailand, you can’t go wrong with the Expat Arrivals website. If you’re unfamiliar with Thailand or want to get a real grasp on what it’s like to live and work in the Kingdom, this is an invaluable resource.
With all of these resources, you should be able to answer most of the questions and concerns that you have about living in Thailand, leaving you free to enjoy your stay. Have a question that you don’t see answered here? Reach out to the Samujana staff, and our team members will be happy to assist!
Image: Huffington Post