Advice for British Expats Moving to Thailand

It is easy to let life in Thailand consume you and to lose contact with everything British.

2/2/202422 min read

1. Preparing for the Move

Things to consider before leaving Great Britain are how to move your possessions and valuables abroad and have sufficient means of financial income in the interim before having a job secured in Bangkok. You should also consider different storage options before your possessions are prepared to be sent over, as well as arrange for your valuables to be stored securely while you are not present in your new residence. It is beneficial to also be familiar with, the rules and regulations about shipping, and what items are prohibited from being sent, to avoid any complications once all possessions have been sent. If you are currently working or have worked in Great Britain for 5 years or more then I recommend checking the amount of pension you have saved until now and if you are able to transfer it to Thailand. Although the standard of living here is cheap it is not free, so do not forget to account any extra costs when planning your retirement.

1.1 Researching the Culture and Customs

Thais are famously friendly, but there are many customs and traditions related to meeting and greeting, dining and socialising, which can be quite different from those in the UK. Some of these customs may seem baffling or silly to some expats, but they are deeply ingrained and should be respected. For this reason, before you make a move to Thailand it is recommended to engage in some thorough research to the culture and customs of the country in order to avoid making a cultural faux pas.

1.2 Understanding Visa Requirements

British nationals can enter Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa upon arrival by air. For those entering by land border, visa-free entry is for 15 days. If you wish to enter Thailand for a longer period of time you will need a visa. This is especially important if you will be working within the country, as will your family members. There are seven different types of visa you can apply for: Tourist Visa, Non-Immigrant Visa, Education Visa, Retiring Visa, Business Visa, Elite Visa, and Diplomatic/ Official Visa. Each visa type has different requirements in order to be eligible to apply, often requiring various documents to be presented and an application fee to be paid. Each visa allows different periods of stay in the country and may also allow the holder to a re-entry permit if they wish to leave Thailand during their stay. The process can often be quite complicated, so make sure you research thoroughly or take advantage of the many services available to expats.

1.3 Finding Accommodation Options

Where to start looking for a house or a flat will depend on your budget and if you will be working in Thailand, to save yourself time and hassle, consider having a company help you. In all cases, try asking expats who have already been in the country for a few years, they know where the "bad" places to live are. Many expats are more than happy to answer a few questions about your move, and advice is free.

1.4 Learning Basic Thai Phrases

If you are planning to stay in Thailand for a decent amount of time, learning the basics of Thai phrases is a tricky task but it will improve your experience. It is a good idea to learn as much as you can before you get there, and then continue your learning while in the country. Think about trying to get a Thai pen pal, using online language exchange websites, or mixing with local people when you have arrived. That way you can pick up some local phrases while also teaching them your language. Learning Thai can be incredibly tricky because the tone of voice you use when saying a word can change the entire meaning of that word. But, if you are lucky, you will find that many people in Thailand will also speak a good level of English.

1.5 Arranging Health Insurance

You will need to obtain health insurance that will cover you for the duration of your stay in Thailand. It is unclear whether foreigners are allowed to use the public health service in Thailand for free. You will not be covered by the NHS as soon as you leave the UK so it is crucial to arrange expat health insurance so that you are not left without coverage if something goes wrong. Insurance can provide peace of mind and help you avoid major costs if you have to visit the doctor or dentist. Make sure you purchase health insurance that is valid both for travel and for the duration of your intended stay.

2. Settling In

When you arrive in Thailand, it is important that you register with your local embassy or consulate. This will give them a record of your whereabouts and a means of getting in touch with you in case of an emergency. In order to do this, you will need to provide the following documentation: your passport, a passport-sized photograph of yourself, and either your arrival card or travel schedule. You may also be asked to fill in a brief online form. For more information on the specifics of this process, please refer to the immigration section of your embassy or consulate’s website, as registration procedures and required documents vary between different countries.

2.1 Registering with the Local Authorities

Ensure you bring your passport, four passport-sized photographs, and your housing registration documents. All of these documents will be presented to the immigration officer and you will be given a date for a short interview with them. If that goes well, they will issue you with a certificate of residence which will be useful when it comes to applying for long-term visas, work permits, and other official documents.

2.2 Opening a Bank Account

Thai banks are well known for their responsive customer service and some, such as Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank, have branches that are equipped to work with English-speaking customers. To open a bank account, one must present their passport as proof of identity, and can also expect to undergo a credit check similar to the process required for opening an account in the UK. It is typical to be asked for a referral letter from your employer or someone you know in order to open an account however there are options even if you are unable to get one.

2.3 Obtaining a Thai SIM Card

Once you’ve found a place to stay and a bank account, your next step will be obtaining a SIM card. In Thailand, three companies offer prepaid SIM cards: AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove. They tend to be relatively cheap - but you should be aware that you cannot get a SIM card without your passport. This is because there is a law that requires mobile phone users to be registered with their identification – and used for security issues. Therefore, privat individuals can't purchase sim cards for others. Be aware that shops like 7-11 may refuse to sell you a sim card even if you have your passport, so it is advised to go to proper stores like the ones at the airport.

2.4 Exploring Transportation Options

Most major cities in Thailand have their own public transport system to make getting around easy. Busses, taxis and tuk-tuks are the most common transport types and relatively affordable to use. Public busses are the cheapest option and are available in most parts of the country. To use these services, expats must be familiar with Thai script as all the destinations are generally written in Thai on signboards. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and the BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) run through Bangkok and provide an affordable and efficient mode of transport. The MRT is especially convenient and is used by a large number to bypass the traffic in the city. Other cities such as Chiang Mai and Phuket are said to be planning their own light rail system in the near future.

2.5 Familiarizing Yourself with Local Markets

Once you know where the close markets are, you will be need to find your way around the closest one to your place, be aware that you can still buy groceries from convenience stores, but do not forget to get used to the routine and get the opportunity of strolling around and see the real south-east Asia street life and range of products that you can get in the local markets. Firstly, note that do not reply on the supermarkets cause the products will be more expensive there, also be sure to do a really good food shop and buy non-perishable goods in weekly markets. A good tip is buying local products, as imported goods are marked up significantly. Do not feel shy or afraid to try the products that you see, many of these are worth knowing and displaying in your refrigerator facility.

3. Navigating Daily Life

Moving to a new country can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. This is particularly true if you have moved to a country with an entirely different culture to your own. It is therefore important that you make all attempts to understand Thai culture in order to make it easier to assimilate into everyday life. Fortunately, Thais tend to be very forgiving of foreigners who make cultural faux pas, but you will be rewarded for making the effort to understand Thai etiquette and social norms.

3.1 Understanding Thai Etiquette and Social Norms

The third chapter of this guide concerns what any prospective expatriate should know prior to making the move. It looks at the key things to be aware of in daily life and provides advice on how best to prepare for and then deal with some of the big changes that lay ahead. In the first section we look at Thai etiquette and social norms and provide some guidance on the do’s and don’t in the Land of Smiles. To some, Thai social customs may seem to be somewhat relaxed - at least when compared to traditional European standards - but there are a number of customs which must be observed.

3.2 Finding English-Speaking Services

It is not always easy finding services offered in English and within the expat community, but they are out there if you know where to look. The leading English language publications include the Bangkok Post, the Phuket Gazette and The Nation; these all feature comprehensive 'what's on' guides, restaurant reviews, property features, job adverts and classifieds, as well as world news, current affairs and happenings in the neighboring expat communities. Each edition offers guides to all local events, and lists all local business. If you are in Pattaya, there is an English-language weekly, the Pattaya Mail that has good coverage of local events and activities. The newest means of finding these services is by an expat blog; look for local Internet forums, magazines and web sites with a focus on Thailand’s expat community where you can find real life experiences and reviews of restaurants, shops, services and more.

3.3 Dealing with Currency Exchange

The Thai currency is the Baht. There are 100 Satangs in a Baht. In everyday terms - 20 Baht is £1 and 50 Baht is approximately $1.50. It’s valuable to always check the current rates and calculate these in your national currency. The finest place to get money is either a money exchange or a bank as they will offer decent exchange rates, and attempts will not sell fake notes that are common with street vendors. Always be aware of the possible fees involved with the exchanges. Always inform your bank before arriving in the country so they do not block your cards as potential fraudulent activities. It is good advice to store money in different places. Also avoid carrying too much cash on you. ATM machines are prevalent and normally have fees of around 150b. Trying to monitor this and withdraw as little as possible is the better method to avoid increasing fees.

3.4 Managing Utilities and Bills

Having electricity, gas, and water will be essential when adjusting to life in Thailand. We recommend that, where possible, you speak to others in the local expat community for provider recommendations. When moving into an existing property, you should ask your landlord or the previous tenants which suppliers they use. This will save a lot of hassle in establishment. For your reference, we have compiled end-supplier contact details in this section. It is important to note that, like in the UK, contracts should be signed only after reading the small print. For example, some providers charge to install and uninstall utilities.

3.5 Getting to Know the Local Cuisine

Street food is a great way to discover local dishes and you will find almost all of the tourist centers, albeit sometimes with a slightly different touch. Don't be afraid to try new things. There is a very good chance that you will like it, and it's not high stakes - the portions tend to be small and the cost tends to be low. If you don't like the crispy crickets in Chiang Mai that everyone is trying, it will only be a quick lesson learned that they're not your favorite!

4. Healthcare and Safety

Healthcare in Thailand is significantly cheaper than it is in the UK. There are plenty of good hospitals, many of which have very good relationships with hospitals in the west, with some doctors even being trained in the UK and the US. Clinics are widely available and being used by locals they are very reasonably priced.. Dental healthcare usually is not covered by your standard health insurance so take that into consideration if you need a lot of dental care. Thailand is a safe place to live but remember that the political situation can be volatile so it’s best to stay informed. Natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes are not covered by insurance so this is something to bear in mind. Remember if you are involved in an accident, you are not covered by your international insurance if you are riding a motorbike without a helmet.

4.1 Finding English-Speaking Doctors and Hospitals

See a doctor is ‘I need a doctor’. As with other organisations, the standard emergency services number is 112 In addition to the standard phone number for ambulances, Bangkok Hospital has a free 24-hour emergency only hotline called ‘Bangkok Hospital Hotline’. This hotline number is Khr (2) 310 (C.G. 000 or 1719 local calls within Bangkoka \Thantage and 1771 for International calls. This hotline w be connected to the Bangkok Hospital ambulaneceergency medical techni ians to your location as quiekly aspouqii§fy.

4.2 Understanding the Healthcare System in Thailand

There is both public and private healthcare in Thailand. The public healthcare system is known to be much cheaper than the private one, since the Thai government has put in place a healthcare scheme that allows nearly 50 million uninsured residents to gain access for a very low price or for free. Most western expats in Thailand use the private healthcare sector, though few have private health insurance. Most private hospitals have English speakers available and doctors that have been trained in the west. The international hospitals in the bigger cities are said to be of a very high standard for both general doctors and specialists. The nurses are also fairly well trained; however at the rural hospitals there may not be any English speakers available.

4.3 Staying Safe in Thailand

Register with the British embassy or consulate in Thailand as soon as possible. They can provide you with valuable advice when necessary, as well as help if you find yourself in legal, financial, or medical trouble. Also, you should give someone back in the UK a photocopy of your passport, visa, and any other important documents. If you do lose them, it’s much easier to replace them if you have someone who can send a copy to you. In order to come to Thailand, British people need a visa. Most people opt for a 60 day ‘tourist’ visa.

4.4 Obtaining Travel Insurance

If you are moving to Thailand, it is very important that you obtain private travel insurance. At the very minimum, you will require travel insurance for the duration of your Thailand business visa. There are plenty of local companies and banks that offer insurance packages, so you should have no trouble finding the right one for you. Prices are significantly cheaper than in the United Kingdom, with more offerings with health insurance. Nevertheless, ensuring that you have a policy prepared well in advance of your arrival into Thailand will guarantee a smoother immigration process. It is essential that you read the small print in the insurance documents, to make sure you are getting the coverage you need. Although there are limitations before travel insurance kicks in, it is advisable to have private insurance from the day you arrive in Thailand.

4.5 Knowing Emergency Contact Numbers

In Thailand, the emergency number is 191, which connects you to the police. The fire department’s emergency number is 199, and you can dial 1155 if you have any kind of medical emergency. Nevertheless, if you require consular assistance, you will need to contact your local embassy. The British Embassy in Thailand’s telephone number is +66 (0) 2305 8333. Please keep these numbers on you at all times in case you need them in an emergency.

5. Working and Doing Business in Thailand

It’s important that Brits moving to Thailand understand that regulations and work permits are associated with expat possibilities. Working without the right permit or visa can lead to serious penalties along with fines and deportation. The Thailand Board of Investment offers incentives to foreign businesses, which includes English language schools, hospitals, tourism, export companies and restaurants. Small companies or sole traders are currently able to apply for the Baht-A- Month (Bt30,000) work permit. The regulations are that the individual or company hiring the foreign worker takes responsibility of applying for the work permit. On the gay scene, educators can access work in Thailand relatively easily, but only if they have the right levels and qualifications.

5.1 Understanding Work Permits and Regulations

All foreigners need a work permit to be legally employed in the Kingdom of Thailand. The employer usually applies for it on the behalf of the employee. The requirements can vary depending on the appropriate visa and the nationality of the foreign citizen in question. Also the employer needs to take into account local laws and help the employee to meet them and keep them current. In addition, foreign citizens have to be very punctual to avoid the risk of being expelled and forbidden to come back. Finally, the work permits must be connected to the foreign citizen's passport, so it is necessary to check the expiry date on it.

5.2 Exploring Job Opportunities for Expats

To be successful in penetrating the local job market, Brits will need to have competitive skills and experience. Specific career fields such as manufacturing and engineering will wind restrictions if there is a Thai national who can do the job to the same standard. Language schools are always looking for new teachers so this is probably the easiest type of employment to find. To stand a better chance of getting their foot in the door, Brits should think about the places where they may encounter less competition. This can include very small towns, coastal locations or as stated above, major cities that are not well favoured by western expats. A good idea may be to teach online. There are people who make a very good income teaching English to students online.

5.3 Networking and Building Professional Relationships

Communication methods in Thailand differ greatly from those in the UK, the differences are plain to see, and a lot of them are down to the varying degrees of formality in each country. When it comes to building professional relationships in the UK, it is often recommended to keep your communication formal when dealing with people you are doing business with, and to expect a significant response only during business hours.

5.4 Setting Up a Business in Thailand

Setting up and managing a business is a big task for a foreigner in Thailand. Many expats choose to enlist the help of a local lawyer who can assist with the paperwork and liaise with the government. It is essential to have professional advice so that one does not end up on the wrong side of the law. It may be an idea to approach someone who has already started a venture in the country and ask for personal recommendations of lawyers, as there are so many law firms to choose from in Thailand.

5.5 Navigating Cultural Differences in the Workplace

The specific hierarchies and traditional working styles can be quite different in Thailand, and it is vital to understand the implications of these when working with colleagues. It can be particularly important to find a balance when in a position of authority as being overbearing and forceful can be counterproductive in a team environment, but so can being perceived as too relaxed and laissez-faire. Thai people have a very strong sense of face and a reticence to show public displays of emotion - especially anger - this can mean that often they avoid conflict and confrontation at all costs, which can sometimes be time-consuming in finding out exactly what is wrong. Being punctual (at least within reason!) is also important to Thais and, as in Western culture, it can be seen as rude or disrespectful to be late to a meeting or arranged place.

6. Exploring Thailand

Take your shoes off: yes, all of them! Whenever you visit temples, private homes and someone's shop, it's customary to remove your shoes. You may avoid embarrassment and quell the wrath of people by asking whether or not you should do this before you enter a building. If the answer is go barefoot, leave your shoes neatly outside, by the entrance. And if you're the proud owner of anything less than 100 pairs of flip-flop, now is the time to stock up!

6.1 Must-Visit Tourist Destinations

You must not miss the beautiful beaches of Phuket. This charming destination his known for luxurious beaches and dramatic sunset views. Huge numbers of tourists flock to the island every year. There are great opportunities to go snorkelling, diving, and exploring some remote islands off the coast. Bangla Night street is the perhaps the liveliest place to enjoy a night out. It is home to the island’s best and most renowned clubs and bars, although expect to pay more for drinks in this zone, as with many popular tourist destinations. The Phi Phi Islands and James Bond Island is a day trip that also should not be missed. Phi Phi is the home of Maya Bay beach, made famous from the iconic film “The Beach”, starring Leonard Di Caprio. The bay itself is the most exquisite piece of scenery in Thailand. The islands are a little over an $80 speed boat to from Phuket, but the journey is worth it. The James Bond Island tour contains no James Bond attractions, but is instead a scenic island that has been carved by the ocean over time into the distinct shape of a nail.

6.2 Experiencing Thai Festivals and Traditions

Another party to immerse in celebration is the Naga Fireball Festival or ‘Bang Fai Phaya Nark’ which happens around October every year in Nong Khai, situated just northeast of Thailand. It is alleged that the bright unexplained fireballs appear to rise from the Mekong River. The fiery spectacle is received well by both locals and outsiders as they believe it is action by mythical Naga that are lurking underwater. Legend tells that once upon a time, a God and the Naga agreed to celebrate their festival together. If they were to get along, the water would rise and flood the town, contributing to massive devastation.

6.3 Trying Local Activities and Adventures

Making the most of public holidays and Thai festivals is essential for getting to know the country. Songkran is particularly famous, it's Thai New Year in April and what starts as a polite water fight quickly becomes a national knees up. Loi Kratong in November is another beautiful festival, which sees people gather by the river to float lanterns and candles, the idea being to let go of any ill will from the year gone by. If you spend any time off the islands, try to make your way to one of the national parks, and definitely don’t miss out on the famous viewpoint and lagoon in Koh Phi Phi.

6.4 Exploring Thai Cuisine Beyond the Basics

Several types of local food are definitely going to be on the far side of what you have got fully grown up. Basic Thai food can have been explained to the previous site in an exceedingly smart Thai eating place, however, Thai dishes are far wider in vary than those necessary and customary basics. Some mixes a range of flavors and textures to absolutely overwhelm the senses. Warung, sometime more accessible to British individual's food could also be their initial port of decision as that's what they understand and the way they need thought of Thailand.

6.5 Getting to Know the Thai Art and Culture Scene

Expats need to also remember to respect and show a genuine interest to the religion and its many symbols, which are very important in the life of the Thai people. By respecting Buddhism, expats would be able to create many great relationships and show the Thai people that they are living as a respected member of their communities. Only then will the expats be able to fully appreciate and dive into the incredibly rich culture of Thailand.

7. Managing Finances and Taxes

It is recommended that all expats should have a thorough understanding of both UK and Thai tax laws before making the move. The UK has a double taxation agreement with Thailand which means that you can potentially claim tax rebates from the country that you are living in while paying tax in your home country. That said, tax liabilities could potentially eat into your expat income and savings, and necessitate the need for you to hire an accountant shoulding your financial situation be complicated. Moreover, there are various savings schemes available in Thailand with which you can take advantage of, such as pension and investment schemes (equities, bonds, gold funds, etc), all of which have different tax implications and financial risks. It is therefore recommended that if you wish to take advantage of the savings allowances and secured insurance contracts offered in Thailand that you seek financial and tax advice.

7.1 Understanding Thai Tax System for Expats

If you are an expatriate, it's possible that you will have to pay taxes in your home country and the country you are currently living in. You need to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of tax laws in both countries to avoid accidentally avoiding taxes in either. The taxes you will have to pay as an expatriate are dependent on your tax status and which country you are living in. Some expatriates have to file a tax return and some do not. Expatriates who choose to have financial and tax help from a specialist firm should be confident that their employees and themselves would not be involved in, or associated with, any illegal activities.

7.2 Opening a Thai Bank Account for Foreigners

To open a Thai bank account as a US expat, you will have to show a letter from your embassy. When you visit your local embassy, request a letter that shows your passport details. Once you receive your letter of residence, you have to open a regular savings account or fixed deposit account. By establishing a working Thai bank account, the money destination account can be opened by the bank on your behalf. This is helpful for sending money back home and other general banking facilities.

7.3 Managing Personal Finances in Thailand

Following these things are important when managing your personal finances as an expat in Thailand: Unless you plan to live in Thailand permanently, your UK pension should be treated with care. Thailand has stringent money laundering laws and you will have to provide evidence of your sources of income when the money gets transferred to Thailand. You should take a lot of care with international bank transfers in Thailand, with security for transferring cash in to a Thai bank account being an essential safety quality. Never transfer all your money at once, you may be asked the origin of the money and requested that you provide documentation. It is a good idea to employ the services of a Thai speaking independent financial adviser to act on your behalf and try and ensure that you have your best interests in mind when it comes to your finances. Basic financial advice could really save you money, if they are independent and are not there to simply sell you third party finance deals. This is just one of a number of money savings tips that can be included in any review on managing personal finances in Thailand. Many people who live in Thailand on a simple tourist visa but are working full time and do not have a work permit tend to have a basic bank account with a Thai bank, in order to have salary payments deposited by bank transfer rather than in to a standard check account in to a UK account.

7.4 Seeking Professional Financial Advice

It is strongly recommended that anyone moving to or already living in Thailand seek professional advice from a financial adviser, accountant or tax expert to help manage their money. It is also advisable to ensure that any financial advisers or accountants are duly qualified and, where possible, have experience dealing with expatriate clients in Thailand. This is to ensure that all local and international tax implications are understood and prudently managed, as well as ensuring investments are compliant with local law and regulatory restrictions.

7.5 Filing Taxes as an Expat in Thailand

An annual financial year runs from January to December, with first quarter (January to March) ending April 30, second quarter (April to June) ending July 31, third quarter (July to September) ending October 31, and fourth quarter (October to December) ending January 31. Tax filing has to be cared for before the end pf the quarter. To file taxes, a taxpayer is given a Form PF-50 containing the following tax slips: salaries, rentals and services, dividends, debt securities, incomes as determined by the Revenue Code.Female taxpayers under the Head of Family Category are given a tax free amount of 30,000 Baht upon which they have to file taxes. Foreign income is be exempted if it is taxed abroad or has a pre-Nita agreement under section 59 of the revenue code. If the taxpayer has stayed in Thailand for less than 180 days, then foreign wages earned are exempted.

8. Maintaining Relationships and Connections

To keep those connections alive whilst living overseas and creating new connections, consider the following recommendations. If you’re in a relationship, make sure you are both well prepared for a long-distance relationship. Ensure you are both clear on how often you will communicate, how you will communicate and how frequently you will be visiting one another. Long-distance relationships can make some couples grow closer, but it can also cause distance. More often than not, it results in a very high level of trust and patience.

8.1 Connecting with Other Expats in Thailand

One of the easiest ways to connect with other expats in your community is through Facebook. In Bangkok, type "Bangkok Expats" into the search box , and you'll find groups like the Bangkok Expats, Expat Women in Bangkok and Bangkok Expats Parents. They all hold regular meet-ups, interactive sessions, networking evenings and various functions. These online communities are also a great source of information and support. Bangkok also has a well-established British Club, hosting various functions and events throughout the year. Life in Siam, the free monthly community magazine, dedicated to expats living and working in Thailand, often has guides to communities and tell readers how to get involved in local life.็

8.2 Building Relationships with Locals

When communicating with locals, remember that Thais are generally non-confrontational; they shy away from disagreeing or giving a negativity. smile covers a lot. However while discussing a difficult negotiation or disagreement, that is not the case. Listening to it even when a Thai disagree, they might smile disingenuously. The smile is not meant to convey agreement, but is meant to smooth over any potential conflict. Patience is the key to sounding posed and relaxed. Avoid raising your voice at Thais and if your opinions conflict, remain civil and calm.

8.3 Staying Connected with Friends and Family Back Home

Make an effort to contact your family the day after if you have not arranged a meeting for when you land. Wi-Fi signals in Thailand can be weak, especially in beach towns, so be prepared for these kinds of problems when planning regular talks. Fibre-optics are more widely used in the greater city. However, speeds may not always be too strong. In your own house, you would like an editound monitoring counterpart to many of those out there, who transfer sound data through their cellular signals, so that you maintain a connection which is slightly more secure than some other rivals. It's better to have the latest version of an app like WhatsApp, Skype, or Hostel - as it can enable you to manage all types of online connectivity requirements more conveniently.

8.4 Joining Social and Interest Groups

If you're looking to connect with a broader group in Thailand, joining social or interest groups can be a great way to jump in at the deep end and possibly meet like-minded people in the process. People move to Thailand for all sorts of reasons - some retire there, some work there, some study - and chances are, you'll find social groups along those interests. From golf societies to amateur dramatics groups, yoga retreats to book clubs, surfing courses to wine tasting events - there's sure to be something out there that sparks your interest. As well as social groups, Thailand also has strong religious communities and if you're a practising Christian, Buddhist or Moslem then joining a local group can be a nice way to meet people outside of the typical tourist and expat haunts.

8.5 Balancing Expatriate Life and Maintaining Ties with Britain

It is important to remember that the main intention of moving to Thailand is to broaden your horizons, experience a different culture, and then bring all the beautiful things you have encounters back with you to the United Kingdom. It is not time to become a stereotypical expatriate. There are no people stealing jobs, scrounging benefits, marrying for visas and then abandoning their spouses. Taking breaks from Thailand and returning to the United Kingdom at least once a year will help you maintain balance and truth to your story of why and how you moved to the Land of Smiles in the first place. Any of your loved ones will love to see and hear about your Thai experiences and more than likely, you will receive the same love and support.