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Living In Thailand; City Or Village?


rideswings

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I will be coming to Thailand for the 5th time and staying on a retirement visa for a while, and Im not sure about where to stay long term. My GF lives near Ban Dung which is way off the beaten path, and does not have many amenities of a bigger city, but her families farm which is another 25km from Ban Dung is a peaceful place and I find myself very centered there. I was born and raised in New York City, but I dont have a problem living in the country, but I would miss many things the city has to offer. I have lived near her village with her for 4 months, but felt after a while that I was going to lose my mind if I didnt take a break from the standard daily farmers type ritual. I have also lived in BKK for 3 or 4 months and loved it but my GF said that the traffic makes her sick, and she misses her family.

Another issue I have is that we will probably marry some time in the near future, and I think she wants me to build a house on her land near Ban Dung which will cost me around 500,000 baht if I do it my way, but I dont want to spend all that money and then not want to live there all the time.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I have found for both living in the city (BKK) and living in the country. I would like to hear form people who have done both. I am really not interested in living anywhere else because I have spent some time in other cities, Udon, Phuket, Korat, and Im just not interested in living in any of those places.

Living in BKK:

Advantages:

Numerous restaruants

Good rail system

Cheap taxis

Good hospitals

Flush toilets

Hot water

No nearby relatives needing money

Plenty of movie theaters

Always something to do

No roosters crowing at 3am

Many places to enjoy my hobby of flying radio control model planes and helicopters

Disadvantages:

Bad traffic; driving in traffic makes GF sick

Riding a motorbike is tempting death

More expensive than villages

Too many gorgeous women to tempt me

Living in her village:

Advantages:

I feel very grounded and in balance there, life in the slow lane

Cheap food, 200 baht a day for me and her at a restaurant, never have to cook

She has many friends and family there

Cheap room on a farm with air con, hot water, flush toilet and cable TV (300 baht a day long term)

Lovely rides through the countryside on the motorbike

Disadvantages:

Roosters, cows, birds and lizards keeping me awake all night

Her family is too near, never have a private moment

Once I invest the money for the house, its gone if things go badly

I lose my mind after a while from boredom and repetition

Nearest hobby shop is 3 hours away

Well those are my thoughts, I welcome others!

Edited by rideswings
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Living up country is much better than living in a highly populated Farang Tourist area....

Do what i do, have a car so you can choose between the 2 places, I keep a rental that I've had for 10 years in Pattaya, 4000 baht per month, I have a very nice house in the North North East ( Loei ).

If I get bored in Loei, I can make Pattaya in 7 hours without too much sweat, living up country has it's disadvantages, same as living in a city does.

The traffic in Pattaya does my head in after being in Loei for a while, yet the shopping is Pattaya is fantastic compared with Loei, so I guess we can't have it all ways.....

Have a place in a Farang area that you can go to at any time, yet don't be put off by the up country way of life, it has a lot going for it. That's my advice, for what it's worth.

Edited by Maigo6
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Living up country is much better than living in a highly populated Farang Tourist area....

Do what i do, have a car so you can choose between the 2 places, I keep a rental that I've had for 10 years in Pattaya, 4000 baht per month, I have a very nice house in the North North East ( Loei ).

If I get bored in Loei, I can make Pattaya in 7 hours without too much sweat, living up country has it's disadvantages, same as living in a city does.

The traffic in Pattaya does my head in after being in Loei for a while, yet the shopping is Pattaya is fantastic compared with Loei, so I guess we can't have it all ways.....

Have a place in a Farang area that you can go to at any time, yet don't be put off by the up country way of life, it has a lot going for it. That's my advice, for what it's worth.

Sounds like a good idea maigo.Will give that some thought

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But Patklang, remember that living up country is absolutely nothing like living in Pattaya, the choices in shopping are limited unless you live in yet another city ( Udon Thani ) for example.

I'm not saying Udon has the same density of traffic that Pattaya has, but it can get very busy at times, yet it has great shopping opportunities.

Loei is very low key and does not have any traffic problems, but they dont have a Big C, Lotus, Makro etc etc..

Again I would say have a place in the 2 areas, and of course have transport.

Edited by Maigo6
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I'm a genuine city slicker, can't imagine living up country. Put me one month in some village in Isan or up North and I become suicidal. Even mid sized town in Thailand are rather boring in my opinion, centre of Bangkok is inhumane, but Rangsit or the Pakkred area is ok. Outside BKK there is only one town I really feel at home and at ease, Nakhon Sawan is my favourite town in LOS.

I'm not a beach lover, so my options are rather limited.

Of course that's a personal view, its all depend on your own likes and dislikes.

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Best place for you: A city, but not BKK, because too big, too much pollution, nowhere to go for relaxation. Consider Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or even Had Yai. One of the best cities in T. Why? Had Yai is the metropolis of the South with very nice surroundings like mountainous national parks and the sea not too far away.

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Your list of pro's and cons sums it up. I've lived in the boonies without running water etc and I've lived in the city . At last I've found a happy compromise.......Bangkoks outer suburbs. I live in on the very fringe of the metropolis. All arounds our modern village are rice fields, fruit orchards and canals.......great bicycle country as very little traffic. Just 4 kilometres down the road I am on the outer ring road and a further kilometre brings me to large shopping malls, Big C or Carre Foure. If I feel like it I can be at Sanam Luang in the heart of the old city in 30 minutes. No tourists here at all just a few foreigners of different nationalities living the good life. The only drawback living here as opposed to the city centre is I do need a car. But if you live up country you will need a pick up to move all your new relatives around .

Finaly, its not always a good idea to stay too close to your gf's family as sometimes it will be difficult for her to keep both you and them happy which could make life awkward for her.

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I just came back from 2 months of motor biking Phuket-Isan-Golden Triangle. This was my 3rd trip in the same way, going very slow only small roads, drifting with the winds, all in all some 20.000km.

Never went South, ,next time.

I am looking for an alternative to Phuket, too Non-thai, too busy, too overbuilt in only 4 years, worse too come.

Some generalistion

People up North much friendlier

North much cleaner than Isan or South, if plastic is a yardstick.

but

Not only Chiang Mai, which is situated in a sinkhole but all the North is suffering for 20% of the year from smog due to burning forests. ( don't know how bad it is outside of CM )

No conclusion as yet.

Loi I heard again and again. But it is coldest place in Thailand.

After darkness to be confined again to being INSIDE???

In the South I can be 24h outside, quality of life, for me.

Please tell us more about life in Loi or Hat Yai

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If you love your wife-to-be, trust her, and definitely want to spend the rest of your life with her, do whatever you can to make her happy: then she will make you happy.

I assume that you are older than her. You have a responsibility to see that she is looked after when you are gone, and that is one good reason to live near her extended family. (No doubt she wants a house built for this very reason. And if you think that 500,000 THB is a lot of money, see what you will get in BKK for that sort of money. Not much).

I think that it is better to live in a cheap environment, unless you have enough funds to have a very good life in a city. You should be able to afford a week in BKK or somewhere similar every two or three months, if that is what you need.

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Disadvantages:

Roosters, cows, birds and lizards keeping me awake all night

Her family is too near, never have a private moment

Once I invest the money for the house, its gone if things go badly

I lose my mind after a while from boredom and repetition

Nearest hobby shop is 3 hours away

"Her family is too near, never have a private moment"

Yep, and it will drive you nuts.

Do not live closer than 45 minutes from the rest of your new family.

Thais have no concept of how we value our privacy.

You have to be selfish over this or you will definitely be sorry.

Like Bangyai, I live outside the BKK border, just west of Route 9

and I'm 10 minutes from the second biggest market in SEA, Sanam Luang 2.

For 22bt I'm at Victory Monument & the Skytrain, in a modern A/C bus.

Good luck mate. :o

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Wife's family (that count) live in small village in Fang area. We have farms there and small house. Live in CM (primary residence) for school for kids, variety of shopping, eating and drinking establishments, bookstores/library, competitive prices, etc. As others pointed out distance from wife's family and a place to live in metro area may be your solution. It has worked real well for us. If children and their education is or may be a concern this arrangement should be a given in my opinion. I see many farang who live in the village areas here in CM at least once a month (3 to 5 day) just to fill their goody bag with what they cant find in village. These people do not have school age children so a guesthouse is good for them for their trips.

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Living up country is much better than living in a highly populated Farang Tourist area....

Do what i do, have a car so you can choose between the 2 places, I keep a rental that I've had for 10 years in Pattaya, 4000 baht per month, I have a very nice house in the North North East ( Loei ).

If I get bored in Loei, I can make Pattaya in 7 hours without too much sweat, living up country has it's disadvantages, same as living in a city does.

The traffic in Pattaya does my head in after being in Loei for a while, yet the shopping is Pattaya is fantastic compared with Loei, so I guess we can't have it all ways.....

Have a place in a Farang area that you can go to at any time, yet don't be put off by the up country way of life, it has a lot going for it. That's my advice, for what it's worth.

Agree with all that. How do you split your time ?

I try and achieve broadly the same but rather than have 2 rentals I take 'holidays' in pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin etc for 5 days at a time every 5 or 6 weeks - a bit like one month at home and one week away.

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Traffic obviously doesnt make her sick, she just wants to live near her family so she doesnt have to be alone with you all the time, and mom and pop prob asked her to stay near since they will often need money(from what you wrote, its quite easy to deduct)

Just find some place in the suburb of bangkok, then she cannot say anything about driving traffic, if u wanna hit bkk she can stay home. As far as family go. you could actually spend just a little money for a video-phone from CISCO and from there she can talk and see them at the same time without having them understand a modern computer. You stay away from the standard danger that involves a very old farang with a young farming girl or exbargirl and her family.

Edited by canadianmonkey
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Thanks for all the input gents. So much to think about, I havent had to make these decisions since I married my ex wife 20 years ago.

Maigo6 - Having 2 places is a good idea so I can escape to BKK when I start to lose my mind.

PeaceBlondie - Ive never been to CM but plan on going there on my honeymoon in March. Might be an alternative.

Henry - I know how you feel. I start getting crazy after a few weeks up there in northern udon.

RGS - I agree she is only my GF, but I have found that if I dont keep her happy, my life is a living hel_l. (ok maybe not hat bad, but somehow I suffer alot if I make her suffer a little)

Birdman - I have never been to Had Yai. Maybe worth exploring

Bangyai - It sound like a good alternative too, and I agree about how hard it is for Thai women to try to keep everyone happy which is why I prefer possibly 2 places, one in or near BKK and one near her family, but not too close.

Thaiphuket - what kind of bike were you on? Not a Click I think :o

Wamberal - Well said. Make her happy, I am happy. Im not that old by American standards, only 50, but I guess thats like 100 years old in Thai years. She will be taken care of if I depart this earth, but I dont plan on going anytime soon :D I can think of one million reasons not to want to live near her extended family, mostly selfish reasons, but I have taken care of them and will continue to do so, so I dont feel I am obligated to live with them. They continue to tell her to dump me, her friends, family, grandmother all think she needs to find a new guy as soon as I leave LOS. They keep telling her I am not coming back for her which sucks very badly considering I have given them sin sod money and tons of other cash. So Im not interested in plopping down 500k for a house that might not be mine for very long... sorry, rant over. I have the funds to live in a city, which is just what I might do, in addition to maybe renting a place near her fam.

Gunga - Yes, close family is nice if you are Thai, but I grew up with a big family, and want my privacy sometimes, so she will just have to understand why we dont live with her family. If she wants to see her mom, she can get on a bus, maybe I might come too if the family quits telling her to dump me.

Slapout - I hear you about scholling, etc which will be a concern in a few years.

CMonkey - Yeah that about sums it up. She wants to be near her family, and gets green in BKK traffic as well. I also think that the further away I get from her family, the higher my bank book will stay. And can I ask what the dangers are that you mention? She is not an ex-bg but could have made a good one by the amount of cash I have given her, and we arent even married yet. "You stay away from the standard danger that involves a very old farang with a young farming girl or exbargirl and her family

The latest from her is that her family house has burned down or is not exactly whole any more. I dont even ask... I know it will cost me money. BKK or the burbs is looking much more appealing every day. Forget the family village.

Edited by rideswings
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"Her family is too near, never have a private moment"

Yep, and it will drive you nuts.

Gungadin, They can be trained like most domestic Animals. 10 Years of constant Phsycological Warfare; Sleep deprevation; Money depravation etc. etc..

My Inlaws avoid me like the Plague. Suits me nicely ;-)

Her brother will ocasionaly come round when he's feeling brave and tanked up with Low Kow but just running in his general direction screaming Thai obsenities works a treat.

Biggest problem about Village life in my opinion is the Full Moon madness that overcomes us . Temporary outbursts of insanity, screaming and shouting. We don't all suffer with it but I know a few that do. I think it can be likened to Cabin Fever; Doubt if its a real problem in Town.

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"Her family is too near, never have a private moment"

Yep, and it will drive you nuts.

Gungadin, They can be trained like most domestic Animals. 10 Years of constant Phsycological Warfare; Sleep deprevation; Money depravation etc. etc..

My Inlaws avoid me like the Plague. Suits me nicely ;-)

Her brother will ocasionaly come round when he's feeling brave and tanked up with Low Kow but just running in his general direction screaming Thai obsenities works a treat.

Biggest problem about Village life in my opinion is the Full Moon madness that overcomes us . Temporary outbursts of insanity, screaming and shouting. We don't all suffer with it but I know a few that do. I think it can be likened to Cabin Fever; Doubt if its a real problem in Town.

Very important to train the family. I had to laugh at your statement highlighted above.

Edited by neverdie
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Jubby - I almost fell off my chair laughing... OMG! Is it really that bad? I once had a dog that I could not train, almost had to put him to sleep because he was so vicious. Is there any remedy like that in Thailand for in-laws? Put them to sleep? I have a list of around 5 or 6 names that would be out of my hair and wallet permanently. (Im still laughing at what you wrote and I havent even had a drink yet)

"They can be trained like most domestic Animals. 10 Years of constant Phsycological Warfare; Sleep deprevation; Money depravation etc. etc.."

Edited by rideswings
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Its funny alright rideswings. belieive me there's more than an Element of Truth in it ;-)

I wouldn't want to live anywhere else (unless I was loaded of course)

Never a Dull moment watching the local wildlife which includes Crazy Farangs & Thai's and then there's me off course with my obvious Sanity :o

The Only time we get a visit from the Locals is when they want something, not disimilar to the UK in that way I suppose.

Good Luck whereever you chose , there's a lot to be said for keeping the little lady happy though ;-)

You wouldn't beleive I could spell either before I came to the village would you ;-)

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I forgot to tell you the secret remedy for you own outlaws. Thai's cannot deal with being shouted at in any way, shape or form.

And they never bite the hand that feeds them. Its a dangerous approach offcourse , start by Shouting in a wisper so they gradually get used to it. They WILL take a couple of swings at you with a blunt instrument during the Training process, but as long as you are aware and expecting it you'll be fine. Just so its not a fluke I tried it with a Guy who works for me occasionally (The only guy who will work for me for some unknown reason) It only took a couple of years but worked a treat. I just have to approach slowly and say BOO ! and he quivers and cowers like a dog with big brown sad eyes.

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I did 18 years Service Maigo6. Trained by the Best ;-)

Yet another ex SAS, FBI, CIA, KGB man living in Thailand, I'm sure I've met you a thousand times before in Pattaya Beer Bars, a regular haunt of ex special forces it would seem. :o

Edited by Maigo6
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The fact you start to lose your mind after several months in her village should tell you it would be a mistake to move there.

I tried the village life for 8 months before giving up and moving to Bangkok.

Keep in mind that retirement is suppose to be enjoyable not a life of boredom.

If your willing to compromise then try renting in the closest large city to her village and give it a try for several months but don't build anything until your sure. If she is unwilling to compromise then you have the wrong woman.

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