In many instances there is a stigma regarding becoming an expat in Thailand, stereotypical images of old men with vests, slugging away on a can of Singha beer and ogling the young Thai women spring to mind. In my mind this is hugely misleading and in the majority of cases not true.
You certainly have your areas in Thailand more befitting of such views, like Pattaya, but it’s far more marginal now than its ever been in these locations. Trust me as I live in Pattaya with my family.
But it did get me thinking. What was the primary reason for people deciding to come and live in Thailand in the first place, if stereotypes was to be believed you’d assume ‘women’ to rate fairly highly.
So using the various media at my disposal I did a simple online survey and in a matter of days had an interesting – if not huge – 89 replies back from Expats living in Thailand. At the core to this survey was the question ‘What was your primary motive for becoming an Expat in Thailand?’. You can see from the chart below that ‘Women’ most definitely was not the driving force. In fact almost 1 in 4 of the replies was a financial reason – ‘Cheaper to Live’.
1 in 10 cited the reason that they had friends living in Thailand already, so friendships and bonds were a far stronger rationale than sexual relationships – which would have come through from ‘women’ being selected. A further 1 in 10 came to Thailand more to leave their domestic country than the attraction of Thailand itself.
1 in 5 were work motivations whilst 15.87% was due to the warmer climate – and after a recent trip back to the UK in February of this year I can be reminded of how lucky we have it living in Thailand with almost year round sunshine.
All very interesting information.
So, What do Expats Think Now about Living in Thailand?
I really got lots and lots of input about what expats now think about living in Thailand – and by the way 94.8% are happy to still live in Thailand. Let me just draw some sound bites from various feedback received.
“People are great, outside the tourist areas”
“Often language barriers to really getting to know Thais or getting needs met”
“Judgement for dating Thai women”
“Love the climate, food and women”
“Cheap and effective internet”
“Thais could do with some serious driving lessons”
“Wonderful country for any age of nationality”
“Nothing is ever simple in Thailand and corruption is a major factor”
So by and large, a few grumbles but expats are happy to live in Thailand. The type of expats you meet depends very much on the area you live – in Chiang Mai for example you will find far more couples who are both expats rather than the classic Thai Lady – Western man set up in other areas. Affluence also varies area to area.