Problems to Live in Thailand

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Problems to live in Thailand

From the hustle and bustle of Thai cities, to its halcyon beaches and casual style of living, Thailand is moving up higher on the expat list of top destinations. Over the last few decades, Thailand has attracted foreigner’s especially young professionals to work, stay long periods of time to explore the country, or settle popular areas like Phuket, Pattaya, Rayong and Chiang Mai. In addition, Thailand has always been a dream holiday destination for the traveler within the Southeast Asian region. The nationalities of expatriates include Europeans, Russians, Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese. However, the dream of living in Thailand for many of them has turned sour due to some challenges they face.


As in many other developing countries, Thailand has plenty of bureaucratic processes that can easily become the cause of headaches for many newcomers. Though Thailand’s immigration laws make it relatively easy for many visitors to come to the country, trying to obtain a long-term visa and stay in Thailand can be much more difficult. Going through complicated, lengthy processes to get a Thai visa, or going through any required paperwork in the country can be an inconvenience for many. Moreover, tightening of entry and visa regulations over the last two years is turning away people from the borders who they suspect are living or working in Thailand on short term visas. Persons who overstay are being banned them from re-entering Thailand for between one and 10 years.


Many expats have reportedly found it quite difficult to overcome the language barrier in Thailand. Even though English is widely taught in schools, many residents struggle to speak the language smoothly, or else; do not feel comfortable conversing in English. Especially if you are doing business in Thailand, you need to learn Thai to do basic paperwork; otherwise, you have to find a good lawyer to complete all the process on your behalf. Expats are advised to learn at least the fundamentals of Thai language in order to find life in Thailand considerably less challenging.

Traffic jams

The continuous traffic jams on the busy roads of the city is making driving quite a intimidating and challenging experience. The traffic jams not only kill time but also tend to affect the efficiency of emergency healthcare services. Ambulances can rarely respond in a timely manner. Other difficulties that expats can experience are related to different manners in driving, and general road safety standards. The silver lining is that main Thai cities count with a fairly good public transport consisting of taxis, tuk-tuks, trains and affordable bus services.

 Political instability.

Thailand has a tumultuous history of unrest taking numerous military coups in account, which is more than any other Asian country in modern history. Thailand also spent decades under military rule. Multiple bombing incidents took place in a number of Thai locations on August 11 and 12, 2016, including Hua Hin, Trang, Surat Thani, and Phuket. It is advised for residents and travelers to monitor the state department’s website on a regular basis, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.


Thailand is imagined as a paradise of of white-sand beaches beneath endless, sunny skies. But imagination and reality is not quite the same. At least half the year is dominated by hot, humid and rainy weather condition. Thailand can be uncomfortably sticky, with 100°-plus temperatures for weeks at a time.

Public healthcare

Comparing to the developed countries, public healthcare in Thailand can be considered underfunded and understaffed, not sufficient to cater for everyone, especially in largely populated cities like Bangkok. In spite of these problems, the standards of care are generally of high quality. Thailand also has a number of health problems that expats should be aware of before traveling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. Depending on the duration of your stay and what you will be doing, the CDC suggests some travelers to get vaccinated against hepatitis B, , malaria, rabies etc. To fight the challenges of public healthcare, most expats opt for a private plan or an international health policy, which can offer shorter waiting times and grant access to the best healthcare services.

Poor internet connection

Broadband is readily available in major cities and towns, but many expats find the speed of connection disappointing in comparison to their previous experience. Recent network tests  have found the Thailand’s average broadband Internet speed to be 19.9 megabits per second which is nowhere near to the speed of Singapore (121.7 mbps) and Hong Kong (102.6 mbps). In the US the UK, the average broadband speed ranges between 30 and 36 mbps, which is why many expats find Internet connection in Thailand to be quite slow. This is however expected to change in the near future as new initiatives to improve connection are taking place. The government is also emphasizing to install thousands of new free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country over the next years.

Cultural differences

Though Thai culture is very adaptable with an eclectic diversity, it can also create botheration for expatriates. Playing loud music by neighbors during the day or midnight is a common phenomenon in Thailand. This things are culturally acceptable and publicly appreciated in Thailand whereas some foreigners make complaints about these issues.

Being known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand has a lot to offer, and it can be a suitable place to start a new life. However, it is not free from some disadvantages as well. On the plus side, the country’s low cost of living, natural beauty and exotic cuisine tempt many foreigners from around the world. Downsides include months of hot, sticky weather, numerous health concerns and a long history of political upheaval. These things should be taken into account seriously if you have a long term plan to settle down in Thailand.

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