Living in Thailand as an expatriate is generally a very pleasant experience. The Thai people are laid back and friendly and the infrastructure is extensive and continues to develop quickly. It is an easy place to relax and live a relatively stress-free life.

Communication is easy, even without knowledge of Thai (though it is obviously very useful to pick up a few basic words and phrases). Many locals speak some English (and some are very proficient), particularly in areas with a lot of foreigners. Thais are very accommodating and will make the effort to communicate with you, even when there is a language barrier

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Thailand has a highly developed agriculture system, so food is inexpensive and delicious, with top quality fresh produce available in traditional open markets, modern supermarkets and countless local, international and seafood restaurants.

In grocery stores such as Villa Market or Foodland, both of which are available in Bangkok and Pattaya, every imaginable food speciality from around the world can be found: from Swiss cervelat sausage to German Weisswurst, and from French Dijon mustard to Italian Parma ham, US Prime Beef and NZ lamb chops.

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Foreign products of all sorts, such as designer labels, luxury home furnishings and Western foods are widely available, especially in urban and tourist areas.

Bangkok and Pattaya are Meccas for the foreign shopper with few familiar comforts that can’t be found.

Home ownership is excellent value and for the price of a small urban flat back home, one can enjoy a spacious residence with a private pool. Domestic help is very inexpensive, so you needn’t concern yourself with tedious household chores.

Banking transactions are constantly improving; you can access foreign accounts with ATM cards and it is easy to transfer larger amounts of money, particularly for businesses.

Infrastructure such as electricity, water, phone & internet, post & couriers, cable television and transportation are all modern and reliable.

Many foreigners living in Thailand choose to drive their own vehicles (though driving in downtown Bangkok takes a little getting used to). GPS satellite navigation systems are available, covering all but the most obscure roads. However, it is also possible to enjoy the luxury of an occasional or regular driver at minimal cost, freeing you up to talk on the phone or read and you need not worry about parking or alcohol consumption. 

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In day-to-day expat life, crime is less of a problem than in many western countries; particularly violent crimes between strangers such as muggings or vandalism. Conflicts are very easy to avoid and foreigners are frequently amazed at how much safer the streets are at night than in their home country.

Media is available in several languages, particularly English, with two English language national dailies, plus foreign newspapers, magazines and books conveniently available. Cable TV features many English language channels, including BBC, CNN, and several focusing on sport, so you can stay abreast of events and your favourite teams back home.