Living in Thailand and Expatriation
The “Land of Smiles” is well known for its bright sunshine, beautiful beaches and magical temples. It is no wonder that today, Thailand hosts nearly 7 million expats from all over the world. The coronavirus epidemic has slowed down expatriation in Thailand a little because of economic difficulties, but in the long term, the development of Asia still encourages people to move to Thailand. Who doesn’t want to go to work in the sun? Enjoy a better quality of life? In any case, remember to
make sure you can fully enjoy your expatriation in Thailand ! For some visas, it is mandatory to have international health insurance and Mondassur can advise you on the most suitable insurance according to your visa in Thailand.
Do I need expatriate insurance in Thailand?
Although the healthcare system in Thailand is performing well, the costs of care in private clinics can be high, so it is highly advisable to take out expatriate health insurance for adequate coverage. Thailand continues to have a humid climate and mosquitoes are still present, which can transmit diseases such as dengue fever or malaria. It is therefore always recommended to consult your doctor before you leave to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
The expatriate insurance offered by Mondassur meets the many criteria of minimum medical coverage. Expats are guaranteed to be well covered all over the world and in Thailand. Mondassur offers you to study with you for free your current medical coverage and the different health insurances for Thailand according to your budget and needs.
Working in Thailand
If you want to move abroad and work in Thailand, you should know that some jobs are not allowed to foreigners. The decree in question, adopted in 1979 to protect the labour market for the benefit of locals, prohibits 39 professions for foreigners, including taxi drivers, street vendors, hairdressers, or even tourist guides. You can find the complete list of jobs prohibited to foreigners on the internet. If, however, you have obtained Thai citizenship, you will be able to claim these trades and be treated equally with another Thai citizen.
To work in Thailand, you will need a work permit, without which any professional activity is illegal. Teaching jobs are popular for expats, and salaries vary depending on experience and qualification, ranging from THB 30,000 to THB 100,000 per month (816 to 2,722 euros). It should also be noted that since April 1, 2021, the legal minimum wage in Thailand is 331 baht (about 9 euros) per day, which is equivalent to about 10,000 baht (about 280 euros) per month for full-time work.
How is Thai culture?
Thai culture is marked by the importance given to family and community. Thais have great respect for the elderly and they value kindness, politeness and hospitality. Buddhism is also very present in the daily life of Thais and many Buddhist temples can be visited throughout the country. Religious holidays are very much ingrained in Thai culture, such as Buddhist New Year or Songkran, where people throw water on each other to purify themselves. Traditional dance, music and art are also important elements of Thai culture.
How to send your children to school in Thailand?
Children’s schooling is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15. Public schools are free and the Thai school system operates as follows:
• Kindergarten over 3 years
• Primary school over 6 years • Secondary school (middle and high school) over 6 years.
For expatriates, you can enroll your child(ren) in public schools or in numerous and fee-paying international schools. In Bangkok alone, there are 40 international schools. However, tuition fees at these international schools can be quite high, ranging from €8,000 to €25,000 per year for a single enrolment, depending on the institution and the child’s academic level. Fees may also vary depending on additional options such as extracurricular activities, exam fees, school uniforms, and classroom supplies. In addition, some international schools may require payment of non-refundable tuition fees and deposit fees to secure the child’s place in school.
Staying in Thailand
If you are an expat in Thailand, there are several options for finding accommodation, such as company housing provided by certain companies, or by seeking advice from specialized real estate agencies or Facebook groups. Property prices are considered affordable for expats, although there has been a +1000% increase in land prices in Bangkok over the past 30 years.
Furnished accommodations are also common in Thailand, and expats can find many furnished apartments and houses to rent at reasonable prices. Utilities such as water, electricity, and internet are often included in the monthly rent, which can simplify managing finances. For a monthly rent of 350 to 500€ you can find very good apartments for two people, while large apartments with 3 to 4 bedrooms can cost between 1500 € and 2500 €.
What is the cost of living in Thailand?
The cost of living in Thailand is considered attractive to expats due to the affordable cost of accommodation, transportation and varied and accessible food. Meals outside are very cheap due to the prevalence of street food in Thailand, with meals costing around 100 baht (2.7 euros) at street stalls. However, the meal budget will be about the same as in more developed countries if you choose to eat in a Western restaurant. Shopping is also very easy to do in Thailand, with many small shops and supermarkets such as 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Big C, Tesco Lotus, Foodland or TopsMarket. However, it is important to note that imported food is often very expensive in supermarkets.
Driving in Thailand
To be able to drive in Thailand, you can apply for your international document valid for 3 years or convert your license to a Thai license.
As a reminder, on the roads in Thailand, we drive on the left! As in all Asia, road accidents in Thailand especially in 2 wheels are very common. Be careful and remember to take out health insurance covering these accidents !