Every foreigner who spends time in Thailand indulges in the fantasy that their bizarre visa system will, somehow, be fixed to allow "good" visitors to spend longer there. It seems obvious that this _should_ happen, that the Thai people would benefit financially, but it would not be in the interests of the Thai elite, and that is the only things that currently matters.
Endorsed, in this context, means that it was mentioned in cabinet, and the soldiers present agreed that it sounded like a fine idea. This is no different from all the other times it has been discussed, but nothing has actually been drafted, given the go-ahead or any sort of actual green light. This is just the usual spit-balling and bullshit.
The best way to tell when a Thai expat website is trying to magic up a story out of nothing is that none of the other major expat websites have bothered to mention it. When a real new visa is introduced, such as the current 10-year visa for retirees, you will see it being discussed on all the sites.
- There are still cost differences between Latin America and Thailand.
- The weather is awesome. Wearing shorts and short sleeves 24/7/365 is great.
- I love Thai food and it's easier to eat vegetarian there than in Latin America.
- There's no expectation that foreigners need to learn Thai. Beyond 'hello' and 'thank you' they basically expect to be speaking English (or Chinese).
- I've always liked hanging out with Australians and New Zealanders and there's a lot of them in Thailand.
- The internet is much better. Not only than Latin America, but also better than I get in the US.
On the negative side, foreigners are looked at as sources of money and not everyone is good at pretending they're interested in something else. It's very easy to feel dehumanized and that you're only interesting to them because you have money. Also, while many people are listing girls as a positive, in Bangkok the assumptions they make about white men made it hard for me to be there. It gets depressing to be offered sex that often. Considering you get all benefits of Thailand in other locations as well, I strongly recommend potential expats consider Thai destinations other than Bangkok.
I myself have relocated to latin america (oaxaca, mexico) and enjoy the lifestyle here, but being from Europe which is in the middle of the two I can easily see myself having ended up in thailand or that general neighbourhood had I not planted seeds here with a job and family =)
It's not just ignorance, since some of us do know a lot about, and still consider SEA safer.
It's not even remotely close. I say this having used 130 gigs of high speed mobile data over the past month, tethering wherever I felt like it, and spending under $30 USD for the privilege.
I have lived most of my life in Brazil, and even though I am very privileged, the following has happened to me:
1) Watch stolen by drug addict with a syringe when I was 12 years old
2) Cellphone stolen by a thug with a glass shard when I was 16
3) Also when I was 16, three thugs tried to steal my cellphone, they said they would blow my brains if I didn't comply and faked having a gun (I didn't).
4) Two thugs invaded my frat house, held us hostages with handguns, and stole all we had (I will never forget the cold metal of the gun touching my head, while I was threatened).
5) My car was jacked right in front of my house.
6) Another cellphone stealing incident that I'd rather not share in details.
7) My spare tire was stolen while I was in a bar for a couple of hours.
This is just what has happened to me in less than 30 years. Stories like those abound. My girlfriend also went through (4) and (7), independently of me. Pretty much everyone I know has had a cellhphone stolen at some point in their lives.
If you want to actually experience the dread that is living in Brazil, search for "brazil" in reddit's /r/watchpeopledie.
Chile on the other hand is very safe, has good infrastructure and is a pretty pleasant place to visit with lots of varied scenery and low corruption. They even have a startup incubator program. The beaches don't have warm water unfortunately.
Indeed, most people who travel to Latin America want to travel and do sight-seeing. And that can be dangerous, especially for "gringos" (Anglo-Saxon whites) because they are perceived as wealth targets by kidnappers.
You don't really have that problem in a place like Thailand.
However, I don't think it's fair to lump all of Latin America together. I found living in Peru for 9 months safe, and I travelled all over the country. I also visited Bolivia and Colombia but less extensively. In fact, most of these places felt safer than SF after you know the lay of the land.
SA requires you to learn Spanish and you’ll struggle a lot trying to figure out things in he beginning.
Not sure about Caribbeans, have never been there.
That is solvable in literally 30 minutes, for $10
I say this as someone who strongly prefers Latin America and Hispanic culture to Thailand and Thai culture.
I think it's just more exotic. Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, they are pretty US-like in their own ways.
This seems to be a phenomenon in the vast majority of modern states... the only solace is finding the one's where they are so dysfunctional that in practice they aren't as all consuming to as their mandate allows. Which seems to be more the case in China/SE Asia than most western states.
The previous system was essentially a checkpoint to allow for the removal of party goer types who have become more trouble than they're worth.
I did it myself, without lawyer help but you will absolutely need someone fluent in Japanese. The paperwork is suffocating. In retrospect I should have just married my then girlfriend, now wife.
Most importantly, a lot of people living in Thailand have an offshore source of income (a business or a freelancing contract), those people don’t need a regular work visa as they are don’t participate in the Thai Labor market. Is this law somehow applicable to those people?
Sorry that isn't how the law works. Unless those people travel out of the country to conduct their work, they're breaking Thai law - it doesn't matter where the company is, what matters is that they're doing work in Thailand.
By your logic, it is legal to drive over the posted speed limit in Australia.
Thailand is notorious for how it's laws are enforced. Earlier today I had to stop and wait (on foot) in a traffic lane, because a motor scooter was driving the wrong way in the parking lane past a police officer, who did nothing.
Just because the immigration chief in Chiang Mai over 3 years ago said remote work is ok, doesn't mean it will always be this way.
You are at the mercy of the officer in front of you.
The counterfactual would be that if this were possible, every foreigner in Thailand would be made an employee of a company in Ireland or something to avoid dealing with visa issues (or tax issues )
You can't really work anywhere in South East Asia without a work permit. Cambodia used to be the easiest place but last time I looked they were changing the law.
A lot of these laws were made before remote work was even a thing.
Some countries do allow remote work. Canada being one of them.
In reality, it's a non-issue for the reasons above.
I never did it long term, so I never had to worry about repeated entries, but when I spent a few weeks working remote from Thailand I knew full well I was violating the terms of visa-free entry.
Interesting that this got on the radar and might happen. Thai visas have not progressed for decades, and many changes have been regressive tightening of border regulation rather than tackling the sources of problems (mostly foreigners working without work permits, where making regulation more onerous punishes companies trying to follow the law and rewards the ones prepared to flout it).
After a few years I've definitely acclimated to the weather. I feel it, and I still sweat a lot more than my in-laws but I don't get the same "what the shit is this" feeling because of the humidity and temp change eg when you go through the a/c blowers at the doors out into the world at Suvarnabhumi
The confusion about whether or not it is "as big an issue as some people make it out to people" is because influential members in the various forums and Facebook groups have a vested interest in down-playing it, their business in some way benefits from having a steady stream of nomad newbies arriving throughout the year. They try to shout down any mention of it, and will outright lie when someone asks a question such as yours.
Do real research on particulate pollution and look at the stats. The haze is genuinely bad for your health long before it becomes as visually obvious as it does in those months. A year in which the smoke season is considered to be "not so bad" can actually do more damage, because people are inclined to spend more time outdoors.
My opinion is that, although Chiang Mai is relatively cheap, no-one should move here unless they can also afford to spend those two months elsewhere in Thailand or South East Asia. Most Westerners on tourist visas have to spend stretches of time away from Thailand anyway, so, I treat the smoke season as an opportunity to spend time in Vietnam or The Philippines.
In Northern Thailand it's locally generated in the dry season around March-April (forest fires plus farmers burning fields on purpose) and considerably worsened by the topography (no ocean, mountains on three sides).
In Singapore it's forest fire smoke from Indonesia blowing in with the winds, and it's usually during the summer (June to October, peaking around August).
Very rarely to never one dares to mention girls there as a reason. In this thread there's one person only who does mention girls.
Since I have never been to Thailand or SE Asia I am just wondering how much weight does this factor have in decisions to live in SE Asia (this is a serious question).
Edit: Fyi, this post got so many downvotes and I just don't understand why. People try to hide the truth and want us to believe that everybody goes to Thailand because of all these amenities, good Internet but not the one reason I mentioned? If downvoters keep on this hypocrisis I will delete the post again. This is ridiculous. I would like to see one downvoter replying and explaining why he downvoted.
Guys, keep on downvoting. I think the downvoters are exactly those who visit Thailand just because of this one reason.
I mean of course there's a subset of heterosexual young men who weigh women high in their travel decisions, and that's across every ethnicity for almost every region of the world, not just SE Asia. Pick a country. There will be a reputation there, of one or a few ethnicities or nationalities having privileged status in the dating pool. North American gringos -> South America; French guys -> American girls; White guys -> Japanese girls; Argentinians, British guys, etc., etc.
Of course girls is a factor for some. And then of course it's hardly a factor at all for many others who, SEA in particular, want cheap living, beautiful nature, safety, super polite and humble population, and escape from Western first world social practices, people, egos, politics they don't like.
If you're trying to chalk everything up to a single thing, you're showing a limited mind.
Edit - hijacking my own comment, after insulting religious institutions on the Muzzmatch thread, I appear to now be defaulted to the bottom of comment threads, despite upvotes. That's happened to all my comments since then, when they used to be defaulted at top and usually hung around there. Hopefully it's temporary... ? Am I going to need a new account/ VPN ?
Edit2 - yep, blocked from posting ('too much posting', well over an hour after last post). Farewell HN. Orthogonal out.
Edit: to clarify, even if you ignore all the household issues to deal with (eg "electricians" saying "what's that third wire for" is common) Thailand is number four on the most dangerous places to drive list. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/most-dan...
Outside of Bangkok, the following are just accepted norms for driving:
• no seatbelts
• no child seats
• ignore stop/give way signs/traffic lights
• drive the wrong way on the side of the road (applies to vehicles of all sizes)
• no understanding of how roundabout works (enter without looking, force existing traffic to stop for you)
• drive at 150kph+ on a 90kph road
• ignore marked turning/straight lanes, cut across non-turning traffic to make turns at intersections
I've seen kids drive better in GTA than some people do here.
But living and driving and driving in SE Asia makes me always wonder where these data come from. It is against my personal experience.
Thailand has pretty good, multi-lane and empty roads. Good and modern cars. And really fast emergency response, police checkpoints, etc. - compared to it's neighbors.
- Indonesia (Bali is the worst place for me in the whole world, other places are also bad) - really bad roads, lots of cars, zero hope to get the victim to the hospital on time,
- Myanmar - there is now a lot of cars in country with almost no roads and no driving culture) or
- China - good roads, good cars but 'I am the person that matters on the road' culture. Tons of deadly accidents that I have witnessed myself.
Getting back to Thailand from Indonesia makes me always feel so safe on the road (I usually drive motorbike in the North in winter).
Thailand has the world's highest traffic fatality rate. A study concluded that it was because of high government corruption. I took a look at the data from the study that might be of interest to some people.
I came mainly for the tax benefits base and low cost of living of setting up an office in Thailand. There's quite a lot of annoying bureaucracy involved but a good agent can handle that. It's also a great place to self fund a startup as your team can all live quite cheaply giving you double the runway.
Anything else I can add has probably already been said.
I’m not sure what our think Murphy’s Law says, but it doesn’t result in someone finding a soulmate.
In a nutshell, Murphy’s Law states that “anything that can go wrong, will”. It is sometimes decorated with the add-on “and at the worst possible time”.
As for CoL costs it totally varies. Some of the local people I hire can live off their salary of $700 a month. A comfortable western lifestyle would be about $3k a month, imo. I spend a lot more due to travel.
He's running his businesses in a tax efficient way so he's keeping a lot more of his money than when living in CA.
Now I haven't been to Thailand, but in Vietnam you could live very, very comfortably for half that.
Some western foods for example are highly priced compared to local options: imported au/us beef is similar cost to Australia ($20-$30 a serve) but local "steak" is maybe $3 to $4 a serve. It also has the consistency of a finely barbecued shoe.
It also depends on the area. A lot of expats want to live in areas surrounded by other expats, so things are priced higher in general.
If you go live "in the sticks" ie you will stand out as one of few/only foreigners in the district, things can be cheaper (once people know you're a "local")
It's not really that common (for me at least, but I don't live in an area popular with expats) to see young or even 30s/40s guys with a Thai "girlfriend", and those I do see, it appears to be more likely a legitimate girlfriend. (Note the difference)
In the South as soon as I moved away to the places that tourists rarely visit I always get attention from all sort of people because you can literally be the only European guy who was around in past week. Also I was surprised how many kids of school age have a good English skills.
In same time in SGN nobody ever spent time on me with no reason.
As always it's depend on urbanization since people who move to work in big cities away from their family are less concerned with traditions.
Because you'd be stating the obvious. If you're a heterosexual man, then women are "the reason" for everything (perhaps excluding making your parents proud, but even that one could say is related). It's biology. It's the reason you'd move anywhere. It's the reason we do anything. It's the reason you brush your teeth. The reason you get our of bed for Pete's sake :) And if you're a heterosexual woman, then men fill the same reason. So what, if anything does Thailand have to do with this?
I've spent about 5 months in Thailand and there are a lot of western girls over there in holiday mode. American, French, Polish, German... and I guess a whole bunch of other countries too. Personally, as a kiwi, I love the American girls - and always hope to run into some. And if friend's and I meet some girls we are ready to reply "you're from America?! The greatest country in the world?!" With a look of astonishment on our face haha :D
Just compare two guys: One lives in a country where his personal purchasing power is much much higher than in his home country and his ethnicity signals a high status and value to locals as well (e.g. American in Thailand).
The other guy lives in a super expensive hub with high competition and just finding a flat and paying the rent ia already a huge challenge (eg some guy in New York or SF).
I could imagine that the first guy will degenerate over time (like animals in the zoo) while the other one has to fight night and day for everything and gets thougher.
Or the alternative: you have the freedom to focus on improving yourself, your health and fitness, your social connections and your business, as opposed to stressing over just maintaining your employment.