With its vibrant city life, idyllic and karst countryside and crystal clear waters, Thailand is a top travel destination for very, very good reasons. Tourism is one of the country’s primary points of income, and it’s made a large effort to maintain its reputation as a country that welcomes travelers with open arms. In fact, according to the Telegraph, the Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Your first time visiting can be a huge culture shock, and there are definitely some things to avoid in Bangkok. The West is not the East – and in many ways, this place is not the East. It’s an amalgamation, a blend, an unintended consequence of years of foreign influence and a culture of ancient traditions, modern expectations and a generation that does its best to thrive in the modern interconnected world.
You’ll experience some of the purest and most saturated hedonism on the planet, and barely 12 hours later you’ll be breathing in the tranquility of the old capital city – a ruin of monuments and buildings standing stark against a green landscape and the clear blue sky.
One long trip in any direction from the city center can put you on white-sand beaches, in the middle of deep jungles, or by waterfalls. With the right guide, you can dodge the tourist traps and meet the locals – and if you’re fearless, you can embrace the local spirit and learn what it’s like to live in a nation where, amidst political unrest, economic fluctuations, meaningless traffic laws and daily crackdowns, people still manage to live and enjoy their lives like almost nowhere else.
For the Traveler
There are loads of accommodations to choose from in Thailand. As a tourist’s haven, you won’t have a hard time finding a place to sleep – whether that’s a fancy hotel, a much cheaper local chain, an inn, a hostel, or a shared apartment (or an Airbnb). For the adventurous,you can even look into Couchsurfing or a homestay where you can stay with locals and get the real Thailand experience!
The best places to live for those with a budget are closest to what every traveler needs the most when getting around: food, and public transport. Living near cheap markets can be an exciting way to get your breakfast fresh off the streets every morning – and trust me, you’ll want to dabble in amazingness that the streets will have to offer.
However, if you’re planning to stay longer than the roughly three months that a free visa from a Western country will allow, you’ll perhaps want to come up with some other living arrangements. In fact, we loved Thailand so much that we decided to get ourselves an apartment and live in Chiang Mai like a local, while teaching English!
Living in Thailand
The trick to enjoying yourself in a country as vibrant and contradictory as the nation is to go with the flow – and to love the flow. It’s unexpected, and requires a little flexibility – but despite the dangers, hundreds of thousands of expats have learned to live in Thailand through directories like DD Property, and make it their home, and countless more travelers pour in on an annual basis to take in the country’s spirit. But every one of them needs to find a place to stay – and although Thailand is quite a large country, getting a good place to stay can be a little tough to do.
Hotels, hostels, inns, motels and countless other short term accommodations are plenty in Thailand – but finding something a little more concrete is a more involved process. The real estate market is exhaustive, especially in the market for condominiums. Condos in Thailand have always been a great opportunity for expats – whether as an ideal location to rent out, or for those who are looking at scoring a little bit of an investment alongside their travels and adventures.
Getting a condo is a great investment if you grab it while it’s fresh. Buying into the condominium market involves getting your piece of a large building – that comes with rules, regulations, and restrictions. However, condos can sell quickly – according to Colliers, the market on second-hand condos is doing particularly well.
That said, condos are not the best option for someone looking to live most affordably. You can get into better opportunities within the city when living in a condominium unit – but if your goal is to live the simple life, then getting away from the city without losing sight of its convenient benefits is what you’ll want.
That’s why there are other options around. From private houses in subdivisions outside the city center, to townhouses for an even better price, or an apartment closer to Bangkok’s public tram system and your fastest form of travel to any place – while rent in Bangkok’s hottest corners is much higher than a few kilometers out of the city’s comforts, it can be worth it if you’re taking up work.