Thailand

Living and Working in Thailand

Temple in Chiang Mai, ThailandKingdom of Thailand, commonly known as Thailand is a county in Southeast Asia and nested in the middle of the Indochinese Peninsula. Historically Thailand was also known as Siam. This country is famous for its tropical beaches, luxurious royal palaces, ancient ruins, and temples displaying statues of Buddha. Thailand is the country which has never been colonized by a European Power. Here you will experience beautiful nature, delicious mangoes and strict rules about bad conversation on its monarchy. Bangkok, the capital city is a largest and an ultramodern cityscape with ornate shrines and vibrant street life. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia and to the west by the Andaman Sea and some part of Myanmar. Thailand also shares maritime borders with Vietnam to the southeast and Indonesia and India to the southwest. Here you will experience the beautiful weather, white beaches with turquoise, blue waters and monuments. This country is on almost every person’s bucket list as this has gained very much popularity amongst foreign residents especially due to its massages and beaches.

Thailand is a good place to live as it has mountains, scenic beaches, major cities and villages; something for all people. This land is good for adventure enthusiasts and these adventures are can change lives. Thailand is famous for Bangkok, a magical city popular for canals, Thai massages and mangoes, amongst foreigners. Expats who immigrate to Thailand are not always sure what to expect from this country, but they are surprised by the uniqueness and culture. Thailand has tropical climate and has access to the modern comforts and conveniences with affordable and high quality medical care. Thai food is amazing, the prices are affordable and the culture is vibrant. This country is a Buddhist state with full sovereignty and you can freely practice your own religion affairs here. Culture here is a mixture of strong Indian influences, Chinese traditions and rituals that are uniquely Thai. This is called as the “land of thousand smiles” in Southeast Asia. You can find a job here as it is a famous tourist spot and many tourists come to visit all year round. However, it will be tricky to work here without having international professional contacts. Bangkok is one of the major cities, where most of the foreigners visit. People do converse in English at the tourist destination and near the coastal areas. There are several international companies working here and in continuous search of deserving candidates all year round. Online search for jobs will also be helpful.

Traveling information

Thailand has eased out all travel restrictions that were imposed due to Covid-19 and welcomes all international travelers into the country freely. However, as on January’2023, the authorities highly recommended that travelers obtain Travel Insurance. Such insurance will cover accidents and illnesses including Covid-19. 

Thai Visa is essential to travel to Thailand, unless you belong to any of the 64 country which has bilateral agreement with Thailand to enter without Visa for tourism purpose. The Visa exemption stay period is also extended up to 45 days as per Thailand CCSA since October’ 22 and will be in effect till 31st March’2023. The visa exemption however must meet the required criteria. They also announced that the Visa on Arrival stay period will be valid for 30 days and will be in effect until 31st March’2023. Under the Visa on Arrival scheme, 19 countries are listed whose citizens can enter Thailand with a valid passport without getting prior tourist visa in their country of origin. They will be issued Visa on Arrival only if they meet the requirements. Please find the detailed requirements on thaiembassy.com.  

Thailand can be reached by air from major cities from around the world. Thai Airways is the national carrier. There are 7 international and 28 domestic airports in Thailand. The Bangkok or the Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the largest & the busiest in the country and has direct flights to major destinations across Asia, Australia and Europe. The Phuket International Airport is a best option if travelers want to visit the beaches straight away. 

The second option to reach Thailand is by water from Bali in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Bangkok Port and Port of Phuket are stops of certain cruises from Europe and Australia. Thailand cruises sail during the month of November and March when the climate is best. 

You can travel to Thailand by road from Myanmar, Singapore and Malaysia. There is a road connectivity from India to Thailand via the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral highway, which starts from Manipur in northeastern part of India and is approximately 3,200 km drive. The only international train route to Thailand is from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. You can take a Train from Singapore to Thailand, which travels via Kuala Lumpur.

People

Citizens and nationals of Thailand are called Thai people. There are many ethnicities in this country, making it a multicultural nation with a diversity of languages, cultural and religious beliefs. Ethnic groups are Thai 37%, Thai Lao 25%, Lanna 8%, Dambro 8%, Thai Chinese 10%, Khemer 3%, Karen 2%, others 7%. Most of the population is native Thai while others are from foreign origin, like Chinese and Indian. Religions followed by Thai people are Buddhism 93.5%, Islam 5.4%, Christianity 1.13%, Hinduism 0.02% and no religion 0.003%. These people are regarded as being superstitious, mystical and enjoy humor. They are conservative, and values about family and social conduct have a prominent position in their lives. Their traditional culture promotes to live with love and peace. There are many different varieties of customs, music, food, and traditional colorful dresses in their culture. They have their personality like they are friendly and have strong values. They have a sense of community. Thai people love food; as a result there are many Thai delicacies famous all over the world. Art is loved and appreciated amongst locals. Many Thai movies, music and series are famous all over the world. There are some famous indigenous arts like muay Thai (kick boxing), Thai dance, makruk (Thai chess), Likay) popular folk theatre and nang yai (shadow play).

Job offers in Thailand

To get a job in Thailand is possible according to the Thai government. Foreign expertise is allowed, expatriates can be hired, and all firms including multinationals, are in continuous search of deserving candidates. Foreign workers require a valid visa or work permit and an offer letter from the Thai employer to get employment in Thailand and their employing company must have a work permit to employ foreigners. Work permit is issued by the Department of Employment, and Ministry of Labour. These permits can take weeks or months to process. This country gives preference always first to the Thai nationals in employment. Expats are not allowed to work on a tourist or business visa. Foreign citizens are allowed to own their own business in Thailand. Although getting work is possible here with the help of your network of international professional contacts. Many multinational companies are hiring westerners, so this is a good place to get job. Some of the most popular jobs are School Teachers, Yoga/Fitness Teacher, Art Teacher (Music, Dance, Singing, etc), Physiotherapists, Dive instructors, etc. The in-demand jobs are Sales Executive, Duty designer, Associate Manager, etc. To get a job in this country you will need a work visa which will expire after a certain time and which you have to renew. High paying jobs are considered of having near about or above the average salary, which is approx THB 2-4 million. Most common payout is around THB 20-40K.

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate in Thailand was 1.37% in the second quarter of the year 2022, it fell down to 1.23% in the third quarter of year 2022 as the local covid-19 pandemic improved. This was the lowest figure since the first quarter of year 2020. The number of jobless persons decreased to 491.41 from 546.59. At the same time, the number of employed people was increased to 39565.99 from 39010.92, especially in agriculture, tourism, construction, food and beverages sectors. Unemployment rate is the share of labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment. Jobless rate in this country is low due to the rising economic activity. Many new job opportunities are being created, hence the jobless rate is decreasing with a good pace making room for immigrants for greater job opportunities.  

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy of Thailand

The economy of Thailand is a developing economy. This is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and is considered as one of the emerging market economies. This is an upper-middle income country. Thailand’s economy is dependent on export which is for about sixty percent of the country’s GDP. Thailand is a newly industrialized country and the eighth largest economy of Asia according to the World Bank. The industrial and service sectors are the main sectors in the Thai gross domestic product (GDP). Economy here is fairly, stable economy with continuous growth over the past few years. Growth of the economy is depended on, service sector, agriculture and tourism industry. GDP rank of Thailand is 27th in nominal GDP and 24th in (PPP) in the year 2022. Thailand’s agricultural sector contributes 8.4% of GDP, the trade and logistics and communication sectors produce 13.4% and 9.8% of GDP respectively. The construction and mining sector adds 4.3% to the GDP. Other service sectors like finance, education, hotel and restaurant sectors account for 24.9%.  Main industries are automobiles and automotive parts, financial services, electric appliances and components, tourism, cement, auto manufacturing, heavy and light industries, appliances, computers, furniture, plastic, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, tobacco and beverages. Goods exported are machinery, electronics, food and wood, chemicals and plastics, automobiles and automotive parts, stone and glass, textiles and furniture. Export partners are China, USA, Japan, Hong Kong and Others.

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners

Renting

Foreigners can rent a property in Thailand and get vast options of accommodation. Any type of visa holder, even a tourist visa (expired within three months) can rent a home or condo as a holiday property or for a long term with a suitable visa.  Expats working here can ask their employer for assistance. Renting a property is mostly preferable by the expats here. The only thing you need is a valid passport and money to pay your dues. Two months refundable security deposit and one month rent is to be paid in advance. The security deposit is refunded once you vacate the property in good condition and all the outstanding bills are paid. There are several residential properties available on rent which are listed on the property portals to choose from.

Lease agreements are made directly with the owner. Property close to the beach is pricey. Prices in the major cities are comparatively higher than the rural areas. Ask for help from a Thai friend or hire an adviser to look through the contract to ensure a clear understanding of the agreement. 

Buying

Foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. However, they can purchase a condos or apartment without owning the land on which its built on, but this is quite tricky. Expats can make up to only 40% of the apartment block or condo’s total unit. The FET Thor Tor 3 Form or Foreign Exchange and Transaction Form have to be prepared by a Thai bank when a foreign national is buying a condo. Buying a property is easy for the expats if the estate transaction is approved by the government. The prices may vary depending on the location of the property, its size, infrasture, amneties etc. Apart from the house rent you will also need to pay the several taxes and fees. 

If a foreign national marries a Thai citizen and chooses to opt for joint ownership of the condo, the property will be registered under the maximum 49% foreigners share of the complex. The only exception to this rule is if the Thai partner provides a legal binding letter of confirmation stating that the entire money paid for the condo belongs to him/her. Foreigners can own a property in Bali on lease agreements for 30 years which has a twenty year extensions. Long term lease is also an option to own a property in Thailand.

For more information please visit: silkestate.io  and towncountryproperty.com

Climate

The climate in Thailand is tropical in most of the parts of this country. As a result the weather is hot and humid all year round. During the hottest months, temperature goes to 40°C and in winter time also you can expect it to be approx 30°C. At night temperature cools off and measures till 10°C. Temperature varies a little from region to region. There is relatively minor change in the length of daylight hours from one season to another. There are only two seasons in Thailand’s southern region – Rainy and Dry. In rest of the regions like North, Northeast and Central part there are three seasons. The weather is affected by the monsoon winds in most of the country.

Summer Season: This season dwells from the month of March to June. There is little rainfall, high humidity and temperature goes till 40°C. 

Rainy Season: This season lasts from the month of July to October. This doesn’t mean 4 months of constant rain, though. In the morning it is sunny with thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the afternoon or evening. 

Winter Season: This season starts from the month of February and ends in the month of November. This is not an icy, snowy winter as it is in many countries; this is when Thailand cools off. Temperature dwells between 30-35°C. 

For more information please visit: reachtoteachrecruiting.com

Languages

The official language of Thailand is Central Thai or commonly known as Thai. This language is Thai Chinese which is widely spoken throughout the country. There are seventy other languages spoken in Thailand. Sixty two minority languages are officially recognized and international languages primarily spoken are Arabic, Standard Chinese, French, German, Burmese, Karen, English, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Khmer, Malay, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Japanese and Vietnamese, etc. These are spoken by international residents, immigrants and refugees. There are several sign languages used by deaf and mute people like Ban Khor Sign Language, Chiangmai Sign Language, Old Bangkok Sign Language, and Thai Sign Language. Thai people are bilingual and some are multilingual. They also speak English as a second language in most of the Thailand. English is spoken in the capital city Bangkok and many tourist places, as English speaking foreigners can be seen all year round. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Traffic

Thailand is considered to be the most dangerous country to drive with its chaotic traffic especially in the capital city Bangkok. Being the world’s top tourist destination, Bangkok has over 22.7 million visitors from around the world each year. Its own population coupled with an increasing number of vehicles makes the streets very congested and crowded. It has the greatest road traffic mortality rates in the world. If you are from a country where people strictly follow traffic rules, you will be amazed to see many careless drivers here break rules, which adds to the road traffic problems. For more detailed information, please visit: driving-in-thailand.com

Some important things to know before you decide to drive in Thailand: 

  • People drive on the left side of the road.
  • In Thailand if someone flashes the headlights it means they are not stopping and they want you to move away and give them way.
  • Cutting people off and overtaking is very common
  • Be alert of bicycles, motorbikes and stray dogs who suddenly appear into the road.
  • Traffic during night is very congested
  • Minivans drivers are known for reckless and fast driving and has caused many accidents. Minivans are common convenient and cheap mode of transport available in Thailand.
  • Emergency numbers in case of accident is 1155, For Ambulance it is 1554 and 191 for Police.

 Important traffic rules in Thailand: 

  • For Driver’s license one must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Speed Limit for city roads is 60 km/hr. Rural roads its 90 kph., on highway its 120 kph.
  • For Renting a car one must be 21 years old, however it may be different for some rental company.
  • For a tourist or an Expat an International Driving Permit (IDP) or Thai Driver’s License. Always carry these documents along with the passport.
  • For Drivers and Passengers seatbelt are compulsory
  • Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited and may incur huge fine and also imprisonment.
  • Use of mobile phone while driving is not allowed except with hands-free.

Steps to get a Thai Driver’s License: 

  1. The following documents are required:
    1. Medical certificate – Can be obtained from a local clinic or hospital.
    2. Work Permit or Residence certificate – Form TM30 to be filled with landlord’s signature and 2 passport size photos to get local residence proof of address.
    3. Passport
  1. Apply for the Thai License and Submit the documents at the Provisional Land Transport office and get the documents checked at the information desk.
  2. Once the documents are checked and verified, color blindness and reaction time tests are required to be done.
  3. Once these tests are cleared, Lectures or Sessions on Safety and traffic rules in Thailand needs to be attended. Following this sessions, you need to appear for a 50 questions written test. Only after clearing the written test, you are allowed to give the driving test. Retest are done if you do not clear the test.
  4. Once you clear the test, pay the fees and you get your license.

Currency 

The Thai Baht (THB) is the official currency of Thailand. The symbol used to represent the currency is ฿. The Baht is divided into 100 Satang. The currency is issued by the Bank of Thailand, which is the Central Bank of Thailand. The currency was originally called the Tical, the present name “Baht” is the Thai name given since the 19th century. Baht is doing strong currently with the USD exchange rate of 31 baht for every dollar. 

The paper currency is available in the following denominations:
฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1,000

Coins are available in the following denominations:
1 satang, 5 satang, 50 satang, 10 satang, 25 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10

Baht is the only currency used in Thailand,  not even US dollars. There is no significant diffrence between the offshore and onshore exchange rates, however the best exchange rate can be obtained once you arrive in Thailand. Foreigners and tourists must have their passports for Banks and Money Exchangers and ID cards for Thai citizens while exchanging money.  We found this article helpful, where you can find out the best place to get a good exchange rate once you arrive in Thailand, to read please visit: fanclubthailand.co.uk

Payment Transaction

Thailand is developing  at a very fast pace and therefore all types of payment systems are available and working. The e-commerce business is blooming significantly in recent years in Thailand. Payment methods like cash, cards or online payment are widely used. Cash, the oldest payment method, used by almost every person as there are many small vendors and shops, those only use cash. 

Payments at the bigger shops, supermarkets and hotels can be done by international credit/debit cards which are widely accepted here. Payments can also be done online for goods and services. You can also pay online for taxi fares, food delivery services. Revolut is popular amongst locals. If the card is lost, Revolut will send you a new card to your address in Thailand. Digital wallets are another great option for the foreigners in the Land of Smiles. 

PromptPay is an e-payment and a national payment system. It’s is being used since 2017 and has an aim to reduce the usage of cash. More than fifty million people are registered to use it. Payment system has transformed over the time with the advanced technology. There are many other ways to make and receive payments, like QR codes. 

List of online payment methods in Thailand: 

  • TrueMoney
  • Rabbit Line Pay
  • AirPay
  • mPay
  • GrabPay
  • PromptPay
  • UnionPay
  • Revolut

 For more information visit: theblondtravels.com and ayden.com 

Cost of living

Thailand is cheaper than many European and American Countries. Cost of living here is less than forty percent countries in the world. Major cities like Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai are expensive than rural areas. In Thailand two factors determine the cost of living, your baseline cost which is fixed monthly expenses and your personal lifestyles which adds to the basic costs. Many expats can live on a baseline of $650 a month in Chiang Mai and $750 in Bangkok, excluding visas, insurance which will add a hundred dollar or so. The estimated average cost of living for a single person in Thailand is ฿47,500 and with family of four people it will be ฿97,000 approx.      

Here are some products mentioned below to get a clear idea of the cost of living in Thailand:

Product

Quantity

Amount in (baht)(฿)

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

60.00

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

86.00

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

54.00

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

60.00

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

195.00

Fast food meal

Combo

256.00

Bread

2 loaf

40.00

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

556.00

Cleaning help

Hourly

266.00

Public transport ticket

Monthly

2,607.00

Doctor

Short visit

890.00

Movie Tickets

For 2

2,508.00

Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 2 people in (900 sqft) flat

2,285.00

Utilities (heating, gas, electricity)

1 month, 1 people in  (450 sqft) flat

1,600.00

For more information, please visit: www.expatistan.com

Apartment Rent 

Metropolitan Thai cities are pricey as renting a one-bedroom apartment, near coastal areas or in the main area costs around as much as a two-bedroom apartment outside the city center. For short term stay, there are many web portals helping you get your accommodation. Immigrants or expats consider it profitable. There are websites which help you plan several appointments and accompany you to select the best apartment or condo. They also take care of the lease agreement with the owner. 

The elements that must be specified in the lease agreement are as following:

  • Duration of the lease
  • Start of the lease
  • Rent
  • Amount of security deposit (generally for 2 months)
  • Extra services included in the lease
  • Inventory
  • Passport copy of Tenants

Tourist destinations like Bangkok have the expensive apartments followed by Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. 

  • Fully furnished one-bedroom apartment in the city centre – approx. ฿10,900
  • Fully furnished one-bedroom apartment, outside city – approx. ฿22,970
  • Furnished studio apartment, two or three bedrooms in the city centre – approx. ฿36,940
  • Furnished studio apartment, two or three bedrooms, outside city – approx. ฿25,100

Property showing websites also mentions prices below so that you can choose according to your need and comfort.

For more info visit: expatistan.com and companyvauban.com

Taxes 

In Thailand taxes are managed by the Revenue Code, with the concept of self-assessment system and the Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance is responsible for administering taxes, imposed on regional and national levels. 

There are two types of taxes here:

  • Direct taxes
  • Indirect taxes

 Direct taxes:

  • Corporate income tax
  • Personal income tax
  • Petroleum tax

 Indirect tax:

  • Value added tax (VAT)
  • Specific business Tax
  • Land and building tax

 Important points to consider: 

  • After dwelling in Thailand for more than six months within a year, your income will be taxed with a progressive rate.
  • Income tax is paid by most individuals through monthly withheld by employers.
  • Tax has an important part in any country’s economy.
  • Personal income tax in Thailand is from 0% to about 35%.
  • Resident and non-resident both are subjected to pay income tax.
  • Value added tax (VAT) is mandatory on every purchase of goods in this country.
  • VAT rate is currently at 7% percent.
  • This is imposed on a person who conducts business in Thailand, like manufacturers, importers and retailers.

For more information please visit: aseanbriefing.com

Education 

International student willing to take academic education in Thailand must apply for a student visa. This can be obtained after arriving in the Land of Smiles and is valid for one year and can be extended for additional one year as per the need. However, many times the school that the student is planning to attend can help with the paperwork. Holding this visa means it is compulsory to take minimum three courses in Thailand. 

Prior to the arrival in Thailand, students must acquire an Education Visa (Non Immigrant ED visa) from the Thai Embassy in their native country. This is valid for only three months. The visa fee is THB 1,900.  This beautiful land has very diverse and open culture that promotes debates and discussions and encourages sustainable and holistic solutions to problem. Approx. 400 master’s degree programs in English are available for international students. Several higher education institutions are highly recommended, especially in the field of agriculture, law and Buddhist studies and energy as well as, many graduate programs are available in business and management in English. 

There are eighty public universities and seventy-one private higher education institutions in which, sixty-three are classified as limited admission universities, two as open admissions and fifteen are autonomous universities. Most of the higher educational institutes welcome foreign students as a result approx. 20K foreign students study in this country each year. Tuition and fees is different across universities and programs.

For more information please visit: masterstudies.com

Health Insurance 

Tourists and visitors, visiting Thailand for short or long period, are suggested to take up the travel or international medical insurance covering COVID-19 and other medical expenses, and providing minimum coverage. Diseases, accidents and illnesses are common in Thailand, plus it offers several risky adventurous sports. This nation provides high quality healthcare to expats and its residents. 

More than 99% of the population has access to the universal healthcare program. Hospitals and clinics have modern facilities and English speaking staff in the major cities like Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. However, in rural areas, healthcare services are limited and are run by volunteers. Local private health insurance is famous among the immigrants, sold by Thai companies and banks to the foreigners in Thailand. 

International health insurance plans for expats here offers a few additional benefits over local medical insurance plans. These plans have global coverage and provide protection to expats anywhere in the world. Moreover, these are more comprehensive and give access to a vast variety of healthcare facilities and doctors. 

For more information visit: internationalinsurance.com

Summary

Thailand, a county famous for its islands, subtropical climate, luxurious royal palaces, ancient ruins, and temples displaying statues of Buddha. This country serves lush green nature, delicious delicacies and has strict rules about bad conversation on its monarchy. Bangkok, the capital city is a largest and an ultramodern cityscape with ornate shrines and vibrant street life. Reaching here is easy and possible from anywhere in the world as there are many flights, ferries and road transports. Visa process is easy, renting and buying a property is possible and you can get one of the best education in Thailand. There are plenty of jobs available, as well as low jobless rate and emerging economy. This is an upper-middle income economic country with providing universal healthcare for its people. Nightlife is very attractive to tourists and immigrants with pubs and bars. Thailand has all the elements, which a person needs to lead a good enjoyable life especially those from different countries who come here only to travel and enjoy. Here you will experience the beautiful weather, white beaches with turquoise, blue waters and monuments. Thailand is on almost every person’s bucket list as this has gained very much popularity amongst foreign residents who love to travel here especially due to its massages and beaches.

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Translation of the documents

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