A fellow expat friend of mine has just returned from an ‘inspection’ (as he put it) of Vietnam and the Philippines. He was curious as to why so many expats have moved to these destinations. The trip resulted in him becoming more grateful than ever for living in Thailand.
“OK Vietnam is fine for a four day vacation, but to live there forget it” he told me,”And as for the Philippines it is the poor mans Thailand on every level, and why any one would want to live in Angeles is beyond me!”. Besides financial savings he could see no benefits to living in either location.
I quizzed him though, surely some retirees have had their hands forced to leave Thailand due to increasing costs. “I now get why Thailand is putting these new rules in place” he said, “Thailand doesn’t need retirees with no money putting a stress on the place. Thailand is no longer a developing country and offers so much more than other neighbouring countries. Great infrastructure, schools, hospitals to the other things like world class beaches and food. Why would it want those foreigners with little money?”
On these points, I could not argue with him. Look at it another way, if you had invested lots of money building a five star hotel with amazing facilities – you wouldn’t want economy guests. And it is the same thing with Thailand.
Maybe Thailand has grown up and blossomed and now needs to become more selective over what type of retirees and expats it wants to welcome. Wouldn’t any other country do the same thing? There is no time for sentiment in this world.
He made another good point when it come to increased costs. “There is a reason things are cheaper in other countries, it is because the quality is not there”. He spoke about the food which he said was not a patch on Thailand’s offer.
“If you can afford to live in Thailand then you should choose to live here every time, even if it means tightening the belt a little.” By now he was in full flow with gushing unending love for Thailand. “If you used to eat steak on a Friday have a burger instead now and again. The savings payback is being able to live in Thailand with all that it has to offer. It’s not just about the cost of things, but the fact you are in Thailand. The overall experience is worth something, but no one ever talks about these periphery benefits. All you ever hear within certain expat circles are things like an English breakfast at over 100 baht being too expensive. It beggars belief!”
It is true that for long termer’s staying in Thailand we can get complacent all to easy and forget the good things this country offers. Yet when the country introduces something we don’t like, such as TM 30 reporting, everyone jumps up in arms and threatens to leave the country. You can’t have your cake and eat it too – yet many of us want just that.
If you live in Thailand and can afford the increasing costs then you are very lucky – It is a beautiful country. If you can no longer afford to live in Thailand then that, unfortunately, is life and the market we live in. We cannot change this.
I think that is all that needs to be said.