3 Tips for Moving to Thailand

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It was our dream for many years to travel the world and then settle in Thailand. We did it. We traveled through Europe, Taiwan, and finally made it to Thailand after a year of being on the road. There are so many reasons to move to this amazing country, low cost-of-living expenses, delicious food, wonderfully balmy hot weather, and a culture of helpful and kind people. There are so many more reasons to make your home in Thailand, but that is a post for another day.

It has been a year and a half now and I have some insight into what we should have done before and during our move.  So if you are planning to move to Thailand, here are the 3 things that I wish I would have known before moving here.

Visas, Visas, Visas

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It used to be that one could move to Thailand just by landing at the airport and leaving the country every month or three without issue. In fact some people lived in Thailand for YEARS by doing this. Those days are gone.

Nowadays, if you want to live in Thailand, you must have the right visa to be here. This is different for each country, so make sure to check the Thai embassy website for what you will need. If you do not have the correct visa, and leave the country for a visa run, you may not be let back in.  Believe me, the stress of worrying about getting back into the country without the right visa is not fun! Get the right visa before you leave your home country if possible, it is the easiest and best way!

 

Finding a house here is a very different experience

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A Thai house on the water?

In the States, or in my hometown I guess I should say (because America is huge and each city, let alone each State is  vastly different), when you go to find a place to live you are shown immaculately clean, tiny little houses that are being rented at exorbitant rates. Furnished places are practically unheard of. And pets…pffft, if they will actually even allow them, don’t even think about it without a HUGE deposit.

Here in Thailand, finding a house is like taking a stroll through the night market. Everything is inexpensive (in comparison to prices back home), there are numerous choices, and everything is a negotiation. You want furniture, it can be added for a bit more a month. Want a pool, how about having the maintenance thrown into the monthly rental price? Don’t want anything added or fixed? Ask for a lower payment. Owners here are willing to wheel-and-deal to rent you their house.

One IMPORTANT little note here though, when you look at the houses, most often they will be dusty and dirty. In fact, our new house had a dead rat decomposing in one of the bathrooms when we looked at it (the first 3 times!), but when we moved in the house was clean and ready to go.  Most owners will not put any time or effort into their rental until they know it will be rented out.

Flexibility is Key

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Okay, you don’t have to be this flexible, but close!

cannot stress this last point enough. This is key to moving anywhere really, but when you are moving to a foreign country you need to be flexible with others and yourself. It will take you some time to get used to the way things work here in Thailand.  

You will need to be patient and flexible when waiting for furniture delivery (though they usually do deliver and install for free) and for your internet to be set up. You will need to be flexible and save a whole day for drop-offs and deliveries, because even though they say they will be there between 2-4 pm that really means anytime that day.

Moving anywhere is a test of ones patience and fortitude, but in a place where you don’t speak the language or know the way things work, it is especially important to be flexible.


Now it’s your turn! Have you ever moved to a foreign country? How about to Thailand? What would you add to this list? What tips would you share about moving to where you live? Leave a comment and let’s chat!

photo credit: Books in Hall — So Many! via photopin (license)

  20 comments for “3 Tips for Moving to Thailand

  1. mamabyfire
    September 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    A dead rat?! Well, I guess I would be able to deal with that knowing how much lower the cost would be than here. I can see not wanting to clean until it’s rented out-while showing a house, they still get dirty.
    mamabyfire recently posted…Discovering Washington: The Wetlands at Theler CenterMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Yep. It was dead dead dead. But in my opinion I would much rather see a dead rat than a live one 🙂

  2. kemkem
    September 11, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    You are a brave soul! A rat?? I would be out of there so fast. Nothing l hate worse 🙂 . Good points you have there, especially flexibility..and patience…loads and loads of patience 🙂 .
    kemkem recently posted…Little Boy – Fab Friday Find FilmMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 12, 2015 at 7:10 am

      If the rat was alive it would have been a different story. A dead rat is a good rat. And there are a couple of neighborhood cats that seem to be keeping things in order along with our pup so far. No rats yet. :-/

  3. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    September 12, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I would be so nervous to get a house in a foreign country. I’m not sure I feel better now. :-). A rat! House Hunters International never showed this on their TV show!
    thehomeschoolingdoctor recently posted…More Fat Talks and Don’t Be a Tool.My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 12, 2015 at 7:07 am

      It was nerve wracking at first, but turned out to be fairly easy.
      House hunters international Are usually looking for houses way out of our price range. 🙂
      It’s all about flexible and imagining the way the house could look. Our new house is amazing, pool, guesthouse, 2 kitchens, an oven, a dishwasher (practically unheard of here, so much so that the detergent is around $15 U.S. For 28 loads-yep, still hand washing.). It’s beautiful and was easy to see past the dead rat (especially after figuring out we are paying less than $900 U.S. A month in rent.) 🙂

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor
        September 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

        That’s awesome that you found such a nice place.—Handwashing is easier when it’s the light wear rather than jeans, sweaters, etc—On another note, do you know how I can see when you reply to my comments? I used to get notifications in my reader, but I don’t anymore from you. (I even tried re-following you in my reader.) Some blogger’s replies show up in my e-mail, but yours don’t. I’ve tried clicking to follow the comments, but I don’t get your reply and I do get all the other comments. I know you may not know what happened, but on the off chance you do…
        thehomeschoolingdoctor recently posted…More Fat Talks and Don’t Be a Tool.My Profile

        • andthreetogo
          September 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

          Hmmm… Let me research this. I will email you!

  4. Sue Slaght
    September 12, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Like others I don’t know if I could recover from the dead rat scene to move in. Your point about being flexible is well taken!
    Sue Slaght recently posted…A Zipline, a Bobsleigh and a Double Dose of AdrenalinMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      And often said hahah… It’s a hard lesson I have had to learn. Patience and flexibility are as foreign to me as living in another country haha

  5. Yvette @ Big Trouble in Little Nappies
    September 15, 2015 at 2:13 am

    That’s so funny about the dead rat! Well, funny as it was all cleared up when you moved in… 😉
    The houses look so lovely in Thailand – I remember when my sister spent a few months there years ago, she was in an amazing little pad right on the beach for practically pence per night! So different here in the UK when you can’t even get more than a grubby travel lodge for £70!

    I’m not moving to Thailand… but sort of wish I was! I hadn’t realised you were settling there – congrats lady! x
    Yvette @ Big Trouble in Little Nappies recently posted…Childbirth – Natural Vs MedicatedMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 15, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Thanks Yvette. We are settled as we will ever be at least. Lol. It’s a pretty awesome home base

  6. Chamisa
    September 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I guess if you know in advance that the places are going to be filthy, that is a huge plus (hence your post). Your new place sounds rad – a guesthouse and a pool?! I think I need to be booking tickets to Thailand (that is, if you are still clear of any of that rat’s little buddies..)!
    Chamisa recently posted…Snapshot: Alone in Dresden..with Kids – Part 1My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      No rats have shown their face so far! Jingle (our pup) and the neighborhood cats seem to be keeping them away. 😉 come visit! Just saw flights from SFO to Phuket for $500 round trip 🙂 lol

      • Chamisa
        September 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

        $500 is a steal! Too bad, SFO is a bit out of reach for us, though probably good for your family + friends :). But I’ve got my flight alerts on for SE Asia. You never know!
        Chamisa recently posted…Snapshot: One Day in Dresden with Kids – Part 2My Profile

        • andthreetogo
          September 18, 2015 at 8:49 am

          Here’s to hoping!

  7. Sha
    September 19, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I guess once you are used to the cost of living elsewhere, Thailand does seem quite affordable. Here, property in Singapore is crazy expensive even in the suburbs so I am definitely envious that you got such an awesome deal of a home, especially at the thought of that pool! Haha… 🙂
    Sha recently posted…Is it Worth Visiting Pinnacles in Perth?My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      September 20, 2015 at 7:48 am

      I was actually wondering about Singapore, because in Bangkok many of the apartment buildings have a pool. Is that the case in Singapore? Every time I have visited Singapore it’s been so hot. Seems like a necessity! 🙂

  8. Clara H
    September 28, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I love this post! I simply love the way you write and show people how informed you are, while helping them at the same time. The information here is pretty accurate IMO and I’m sure you give a lot of people a helping hand. I admire selfless people, especially the ones that share tips and/or experience on the internet. Thanks for existing and writing like a boss! 😉

    • andthreetogo
      September 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Wow! Thank you for your kind comment and compliment! Thank you for reading and commenting as well! Have a great day!

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