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If you were advising a retiree, which are the best places to move to in Thailand?


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by Mike Bridge


There have been masses of articles written on where expats tend to move across Asia, and certainly, the top spots would include Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and of course Thailand.


So, if you have now completed your initial research, and found that Thailand could be for you, you then need to decide where would be the best place to retire, in the country.


You can naturally make a list of your priorities to include good healthcare, the location, city, or rural, easy access to airports, etc.; etc.


However, it does not matter what all the information says in print or online, the bottom line is getting sound advice from other expats who have made the journey already.


Great Climate


For me as an expat living in Thailand, one of the key factors to where I lived included avoiding the pollution in Bangkok and finding somewhere that had a great climate with an excellent link to international airports.


Having done some research, I found out that islands such as Phuket, Samui, or Koh Chang tend to create their own micro-climates and can have extreme weather conditions.


Also, not sure I could cope with island fever syndrome too!


Northern Thailand can be very cold in the winter and so having tried Bangkok for three years, I eventually settled on living near Pattaya.


Not for the nightlife, but it did have a great climate almost all year round apart from the odd tropical downpour.


And for me having twenty-eight excellent golf courses on your doorstep helped too.


Selecting the best area 


By selecting Pattaya, not all expats automatically head for Pattaya city unless they crave for the nightlife and bustle.


You can still find quiet areas in London without living in Soho and the same applies to Pattaya.


Many expats live on what is called the darkside in villas by Mabprachan Lake, or in condominiums in Jomtien or further down the coast in Na Jomtien.


I chose an area called Pratamnak as it was sandwiched between Pattaya city and Jomtien and was mainly an area for residents rather than tourists.


It was still close to the shopping centres of Pattaya but without the noise.
 
Friends


I think the hardest task when you decide to settle in a new area, is creating a good circle of friends.


With more time on their hands, retirees like to socialize, whether for a meal, a round of golf, a trip to the gym, or a few drinks at a local bar.


Naturally, you are likely to find more expats in places like Hua Hin or Pattaya, than say up in the remote villages of Northern Thailand.


Weather also plays its part.


OK, we know the Thai weather can be unpredictable, with its tropical storms and heavy rain, so ideally when choosing where to live it is worth finding a home that is at least safe from flooding.


Also, crime is not as high in most areas of Thailand, compared to say the Philippines, and if you keep your head down and stay out of trouble that should not be an issue.


Beware of ATM romances


Once you have settled, do remember that if you are a single male expat, you will certainly soon find a lot of new attract female friends. 


Great for the ego, however, you may find your new Thai partner is more interested in regular visits to the ATM machine.


There are many stories of expats buying property for their Thai partner in Northern Thailand, only to find that the ownership which is in her name (Expats cannot personally own property unless bought through a company) and then the family often kicks out the expat when they find that his bank account is cleared.


That said many expats settle down, with or without a Thai partner, and do live happily ever after in the country known as the Land of Smiles.


However, I am sure many of you out there can add your own recommendations and firsthand experiences, which would be a huge help to retirees considering where to settle in Thailand.


Over to you.

 

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My top two priorities are access to top health care within an hour drive and air quality. Unfortunately, this excludes the islands and the north. Settled for Sattahip area because of my wife's social network.

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15 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I.e. he had problem with his internet which was the fastest available at that time. Often it didn't work and it seemed nobody cared. He told me in Singapore that problem would have been attended and probably solved within hours.

My rabbit bit through the fibre cable outside my house last week.

We have the techs phone number and call him direct, repaired in a few hours as he called in between other jobs.

We always give him a 100bht tip, which gives us very fast service.

 

Back to the OP,

I enjoy living in Chiang Mai, not even any pollution this year due to the unusual amount of rain this month.

Edited by BritManToo
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How long is a piece of string 😜 way too many variables... the big mistake is when people move here (after a few 2 week holidays) romanticizing what it means to live in a different country/culture (when they have probably have never lived more than 300 kilometers from where they where born). Rural living or city living... all have their pros and cons. Whatever you do, try before you buy and don't make any long term decisions for at least 1 year. You will likely know within 6 months if THA is right for you.

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1 hour ago, Lacessit said:

I lived in Chiang Mai for 10 years, before moving to Chiang Rai early 2020. I now prefer it to CM, which I visit occasionally. More laidback, the traffic is a lot easier to negotiate.

 

Cold is relative. I enjoy snuggling under a doona with my GF in the winter months. It's nothing like Melbourne, where the windchill can drop a 12 degree day down to 3 degrees.

 

Some people are beach-oriented, I prefer countryside. I could not live in Bangkok, too polluted, noisy, crowded, expensive.......

 

Everyone has different tastes/ likes.  I checked out Ching Maiin early visits but was  raised in Boston,MA USA near the sea so Chiang Mai was too far from the ocean. Being  a city boy was not going to live  on a farm in Nahkhon Nowhere.  Bangkok was nice but too much smog /P2.5 , traffic so I have small condo in Bangkok and a 3 bedroom home in Banglamung 12 mins outside Pattaya.  Can enjoy the sea/beaches, malls, and entertainment but drive home to peace and quite.

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Get a feeling of the 'lay of the land' before you commit to anything.

feelings can change in the long term.

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4 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I know a guy who used to live in Singapore but then he moved to Bangkok.

From time to time he got so upset with the quality of service/workers here that he thought about moving back to Singapore.

I.e. he had problem with his internet which was the fastest available at that time. Often it didn't work and it seemed nobody cared. He told me in Singapore that problem would have been attended and probably solved within hours.

 

It depends what people want. Cost of living and cute girls is not the highest priority for everybody.

'Horses for courses'

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3 hours ago, BritManToo said:

My rabbit bit through the fibre cable outside my house last week.

We have the techs phone number and call him direct, repaired in a few hours as he called in between other jobs.

We always give him a 100bht tip, which gives us very fast service.

 

Back to the OP,

I enjoy living in Chiang Mai, not even any pollution this year due to the unusual amount of rain this month.

it has been the same in the Rai for the last 3yrs or so

I'm certainly not complaining.

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4 hours ago, sandyf said:

Nothing wrong with there.  My choice would be Bang Saen, same coastline but a bit closer to the major facilities.

I am on outskirts of Chonburi city but would prefer to be nearer the sea but it's  not that far. I use Bang Saen hospital which has recently moved into a new building and very good.

I have been told that there and Hua Hin has the best seafood in the whole country 👍

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3 hours ago, NanLaew said:

Udon Thani. The resident, cynical coffin dodgers up here need some fresh (old) meat to chew on.

Gods waiting room 😄

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58 minutes ago, Tony125 said:

Everyone has different tastes/ likes.  I checked out Ching Maiin early visits but was  raised in Boston,MA USA near the sea so Chiang Mai was too far from the ocean. Being  a city boy was not going to live  on a farm in Nahkhon Nowhere.  Bangkok was nice but too much smog /P2.5 , traffic so I have small condo in Bangkok and a 3 bedroom home in Banglamung 12 mins outside Pattaya.  Can enjoy the sea/beaches, malls, and entertainment but drive home to peace and quite.

This post shows what a mockery these threads are, personal preference is so important its impossible to generalise and lump people into categories.

My decisions apply to me, so far they have worked well, yet nobody I know has even suggested they move to Thailand, they are content exactly where they are. 

So what does that say........perhaps if you dont have a really good reason to be in Thailand maybe it will not be for you?

 

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18 minutes ago, KC 71 said:

I have been told that there and Hua Hin has the best seafood in the whole country 👍

When it comes to seafood, seaside town do have some advantage over other parts of the country, but know what you mean.

Been to Hua Hin and Chaam a few times, ok but wouldn't want to live there. One time on the way back my wife took us into Don Hoi Lot, claimed they had the best seafood in Thailand, I think Razor clams were the local speciality.

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 I once read of a polish man, that was trying to build a city in thee middle of the ocean. Not even there, they let him stay!

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