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Need help Narrowing Down Where to Stay in Thailand


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Let's start with the basics. Wife and I are moving to Thailand Nov 2022 (if reopening goes as hoped).

 

We want to live no more than 2 hours from Samut Songkram where the majority of our family lives. I told my wife I'm pretty comfortable anywhere so long as I have amazing internet (as I am a gamer, content creator, and writer with doing a little remote work for a legal office on the side) and I would like to live as local as possible. So what do I mean by local? Here's a quick list.

 

Fresh market / wet market within a close distance

House (2br) preferred, condo if not a shoebox

Don't want to be surrounded by McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. (I can stay here in the US for that.)

Prefer a local community to encourage me to use to what Thai I've learned.

Did I mention amazing internet. 1 GB down 750 MB up if possible

Local eateries, parks, and/or beaches

Definitely away from tourist areas.

 

Looking at Rayong, Sattahip, and maybe Bangsaen. Heard Pattaya Darkside as it balances local life without the tourist flare, but close enough of course if that's your thing. While we are able to do 1000-1500 USD for a place, that's not why we're moving abroad. I figure if we can cut that cost down between 300-700, we move those savings to our retirement/investment accounts.

 

Basically I want to live as local as possible while still maintaining my tech geek lifestyle. (If that makes sense.)  

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Your main problem is your internet requirements. The more "local" and outside heavily populated paths you live, the less choices for internet you will have, both with regards to providers and speed. Also, the more local you live, the less reliable your internet service tends to be, and it might take hours for the local provider to fix it, if i.e. a transformer did blow up in the middle of nowhere. Remember, Thailand is still a country with majority of cables overhead, and falling trees, lightening etc. are main concerns for people who "need" fast and reliable internet. 

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OP, you will have no problem fulfilling your wish list in most populated centres in Thailand.

As much as you think you would be happy living in a local Thai community, reality is somewhat different.

Any of the areas you mention from Rayong through to Bangsaen would suit your needs and still have some western infrastructure, services, expats, if the need arises.

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49 minutes ago, KannikaP said:

I have a different experience. Live in a village 30km from the city of Phitsanulok. Surrounded by trees and rice fields.

I have 1000/500 Gb/s optic directly to my router from 3BB. Very few problems and good customer service if ever needed.

By November 2022 everything should hopefully have improved, not only in internet, but everything including the USD/THB exchange rate..

Well as of today the exchange was "up" to 33.5.  Not the same as 43 or so on my first trip in 2004, but getting palatable.

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1 hour ago, chrisandsu said:

Personally I like Ban Chang. Has a great balance of working Thais and enough to do . Also close enough to pattaya if you need to go there . Couldn’t tell you about the internet connection though .

Agree.....just spent 9 weeks there at East Star Golf.......very nice.

 

Internet was 180 ish.

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1 hour ago, KannikaP said:

I have a different experience. Live in a village 30km from the city of Phitsanulok. Surrounded by trees and rice fields.

I have 1000/500 Gb/s optic directly to my router from 3BB. Very few problems and good customer service if ever needed.

That looks to be the provider I would want to go through. I just need to make sure they service the area(s) in which we're interested. And I know 1000 Mbps seems like a lot of bandwidth, but when you're talking about running two gaming laptops, a smart TV, a NAS, and installing wireless speakers throughout the property the bandwidth requirements become a bit large. 

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23 minutes ago, ozfarang said:

Depending on the traffic through Bangkok the trip would be 3 to 4 hours.

I know Bangkok travel all to well and will do everything humanly possible to avoid driving anywhere close. Would have to look for an alternate route. Or do a bit longer drive to avoid that traffic nightmare. Stayed in Hua Hin a few times. Haven't been to Cha-am, so would need to look more into that.

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44 minutes ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

That looks to be the provider I would want to go through. I just need to make sure they service the area(s) in which we're interested. And I know 1000 Mbps seems like a lot of bandwidth, but when you're talking about running two gaming laptops, a smart TV, a NAS, and installing wireless speakers throughout the property the bandwidth requirements become a bit large. 

Wireless speakers will take very little, if any, bandwidth. If you do not play the gaming PCs when you are watching the Smart TV, you should be OK with 1000Mb/s, which is only the speed inside Thailand. Connect anywhere outside and the speed decreases drastically.

Edited by KannikaP
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2 hours ago, KannikaP said:

I have a different experience. Live in a village 30km from the city of Phitsanulok. Surrounded by trees and rice fields.

I have 1000/500 Gb/s optic directly to my router from 3BB. Very few problems and good customer service if ever needed.

By November 2022 everything should hopefully have improved, not only in internet, but everything including the USD/THB exchange rate..

Sorry, I meant 1000/500 Mb/s.

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14 minutes ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

No worries. I knew what you meant. Those speeds would be perfect. And yeah, I would be selective with what's been used when during times I'm using wireless.

Better to use Ehternet cables wherever possible as WiFi also cuts down speed drastically. 

We also have AIS 4G mobile data connections for Bht 200 a month per phone. Handy when the 3BB goes down or power goes off.

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1 hour ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

That looks to be the provider I would want to go through. I just need to make sure they service the area(s) in which we're interested. And I know 1000 Mbps seems like a lot of bandwidth, but when you're talking about running two gaming laptops, a smart TV, a NAS, and installing wireless speakers throughout the property the bandwidth requirements become a bit large. 

A NAS or wireless speakers are not using any of your internet bandwidth. Most of the time, streaming or online games doesn't use that much bandwidth (10-20 Mbps). Downloads use bandwidth.

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16 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:

A NAS or wireless speakers are not using any of your internet bandwidth. Most of the time, streaming or online games doesn't use that much bandwidth (10-20 Mbps). Downloads use bandwidth.

True for the most part. The NAS contains my 3K movie and 1.4K Music collection I plan to bring with me. (I run a Plex server for the kids and grandkids.) Will also need to account for the bandwidth loss using a VPN for the outgoing connections. I also want to be able to access the media when we're traveling throughout Thailand. And we upload about 4 videos a week to our gaming YouTube channel. So I think we should be good for the most part.

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12 minutes ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

True for the most part. The NAS contains my 3K movie and 1.4K Music collection I plan to bring with me. (I run a Plex server for the kids and grandkids.) Will also need to account for the bandwidth loss using a VPN for the outgoing connections. I also want to be able to access the media when we're traveling throughout Thailand. And we upload about 4 videos a week to our gaming YouTube channel. So I think we should be good for the most part.

Three thousand movies??? Watching just ONE per day will take you 8.22 years! Why save all those 'old' movies when you can torrent them easily. 

You can access media anywhere in Thailand, in fact almost anywhere in the World with a phone and an internet data connection.

 

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1 hour ago, Thunglom said:

I take it you will be buying some form of 4 wheeled transport?

Yeah, we'll start off with a motorbike for local travel, but 4 wheels are a must outside of that.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. It sounds like the best thing to do would be pick a place for 6-12 months and use that time to travel to different provinces to get a sense of the vibe.  So our year one adventures will be settling on a base of operations it seems.

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12 hours ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

Good point. Will add that to our list. 

I was thinking also Petchburi would answer your conditions quite well ... Cha Am too in many ways, but much further south.

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3 hours ago, HappyGoLuckyLife said:

Yeah, we'll start off with a motorbike for local travel, but 4 wheels are a must outside of that.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. It sounds like the best thing to do would be pick a place for 6-12 months and use that time to travel to different provinces to get a sense of the vibe.  So our year one adventures will be settling on a base of operations it seems.

I presume you have visas and work permits or retirement visas lined up.

If you are renting obviously you get better deals the longer you stay but it makes sense to get to know and area first before you commit long term.

You need to take into account the climate too. 

Cental Thailand has the best - shorter lighter wet season etc....you might want to check your location area for flooding.

 

As for transport, I'd leave two wheels behind ASAP - do you have 2-wheel experience? 73% of all fatalities on Thai roads are riders/passengers of 2-wheelers.

You'll need to get 2 licences - one for cars, one for bikes. I kept a bike in reserve but seldom used it unless my truck was off the road.

 

 

have you spent much time in Thailand before?

 

Edited by Thunglom
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7 minutes ago, Thunglom said:

I presume you have visas and work permits or retirement visas lined up.

 

Going to go with a Non-Imm O based on marriage. Wife is Thai national.

 

7 minutes ago, Thunglom said:

If you are renting obviously you get better deals the longer you stay but it makes sense to get to know and area first before you commit long term.

Renting for quite sometime (several years) before deciding where to rest my bones. I will be 50 when we move, so I have a lot in the tank and want to explore our options before settling on a forever home.

 

9 minutes ago, Thunglom said:

Cental Thailand has the best - shorter lighter wet season etc....you might want to check your location area for flooding.

Hell yea! I've seen the videos of areas hit by the flooding caused by the rainy season.

 

10 minutes ago, Thunglom said:

As for transport, I'd leave two wheels behind ASAP - do you have 2-wheel experience? 73% of all fatalities on Thai roads are riders/passengers of 2-wheelers.

You'll need to get 2 licences - one for cars, one for bikes. I kept a bike in reserve but seldom used it unless my truck was off the road.

Yes @ experience and having to get two licenses. For us, 2 wheels are for local shopping, etc. Going through the hassle of driving a car just to hit the wet market doesn't appeal to me. Would rather walk or bike. But anything longer than that a car is a must have of us.

 

12 minutes ago, Thunglom said:

have you spent much time in Thailand before?

Couple of years off an on. It was either move to Thailand or Japan (my original plan before meeting wife 20 years ago). We have family in Thailand and Japan is only 6 hours away by plane. LOL.

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8 minutes ago, Kinnock said:

Local feel, but only an hour from Bangkok.  Great wet market, good restaurants, not far from a Central Mall if you want modern facilities, good internet, plus some condos and town houses with a sea view.

You're ticking off all my boxes here. LOL. This list is getting longer.

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