Thailand is a popular go-to place of many tourists. The innately friendly locals, the exquisite cuisines, amazing activities, low cost of living, and the rich history of the country has made the country a favourite of expats. The country has several places that are more than just tourist spots but also a great place to call home.
Whether you want to live in the city or the countryside, Thailand has the best cities to choose from.
For decades, Chiang Mai is home to a number of expats. They highly consider this place for its unique vibe. They can enjoy city living without the hustle and bustle of the city. Nimmanhaemin is where the highest concentration of expats is. With a low cost of living, expats have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of accommodation ranging from affordable apartments to posh homes.
The Nimman has a good percentage of digital nomads and most of them frequent the many co-working spaces and coffee shops in the city. The highly accessible city has great job opportunities for NGOs, digital professionals, and career professionals.
The small island of Koh Tao is another favourite for the expats. The laid-back neighbourhood is home to a well-connected and long-term expat community. Many of the expats living here love the authentic island living vibe. Their love for the community has led to the development of their very own infrastructures to make their stay in the island even better.
The island’s main industry is scuba diving and it would not be unusual to find expats making a living by teaching both locals and tourists how to scuba dive. Careers in hospitality such as hotel and restaurant management also pay well. Koh Tao has accepted the expat community that they are already vital in the existence and success of the neighbourhood.
The coastal city is a great place for expats. While it is near Bangkok, it offers expats an easy lifestyle where they can truly relax. Only three hours from Bangkok, the city is a great summer destination frequented by locals, tourists, and even royalty as the King of Thailand has a summer palace in Hua Hin. The city boasts of a vibrant market, gastronomic dining, competitive golf courses, and amazing beachside.
The medium-sized neighbourhood is perfect for retiring expats for low cost of living. Expats can choose to live in a modest home or rent a condo. The city has great housing accommodations for every budget.
Expats looking for a more traditional Thai living, Kanchanaburi is the perfect place to live in. Located at the western side of Thailand, the area is strategically located. Residents can reach Bangkok in less than two hours and still be in close distance to many of the country’s natural wonders such as the Erawan National Park. Many retirees looking for cheap accommodations and a place without noise and pollution head to Kanchanaburi.
The place is perfect for those who still want to live in the city but in a more tranquil area than most. The centrally located but quiet neighbourhood of Sathorn is famous for having many posh accommodations that are accurately priced. Many expats living here rave about the neighbourhood’s beautiful surroundings, city conveniences, and low cost of living.
Sathorn has quick access to Sukhumvit and other cities with outstanding nightlife.
The neighbourhood of Pai is home to a large and diverse community of expats. Many of these expats share a love for art, nature, and wellness that bring them together in building a beautiful community.
Located north of Chiang Mai, Pai is a community heavily influenced by the Chinese and Burmese immigrants. The rural community is noted for having a wellness-oriented kind of living. In fact, locals have made several reforestation projects and other activities geared towards the betterment of the town. Home to like-minded individuals, the Pai has maintained its low cost of living.
Locals from Thailand often do not consider living in Pattaya because of its strong association with prostitution. More recently, however, the coastal city is reinventing itself as an expat-and family-friendly community to live in. Home to a large community of expats, Pattaya is a highly accessible place with a low cost of living. This is also a good place for those who belong in the LGBTQAI+ community.
The small neighbourhood of Pak Nam Pran is a blossoming region location in Pranburi Province of Southern Thailand already has an established expat community. While still small, the community is slowly attracting younger expats who are investing on the tourism and development of Pak Nam Pran. Many of the locals join in community activities such as farmers’ markets, organic communal gardens, and artisan trade. Receiving great support from the local government, the locals of Pak Nam Pran enjoy low cost of living.
Where you will retire depends on the kind of lifestyle you want to have as you approach your golden years. Whatever it is, Thailand has a city for you.
West Coast of Southern Thailand, along the Krabi River
If you are keen on spending your days in a quiet neighbourhood, Krabi Town should be the best place for you. The riverside town has a low cost of living and a low crime rate. It already has a nice and well-connected expat community. Retirees can explore the area’s sea caves, hot springs, national parks, shady beaches, and exotic marine life.
Location: 400 miles North of Bangkok
Chiang Mai is the retirement place for those who want to spend the rest of their days ticking things off of their bucket list. The city boasts of many places and activities that would push your limits. More than exploring the exquisite cuisine, Chiang Mai’s mountainous terrain and beautiful landscape are waiting to be explored. Retirees can enjoy kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, and jungle trekking. The neighbourhood also has a strong and established expat community so you won’t really feel lost.
The city also boats of a good network of expat services, international schools, expat shops, and social groups to help in settling down. While the place is accessible from urban dwellers, one can still experience an authentic Thai culture and lifestyle here.
Location: Northern Thailand about 100 miles from Chiang Mai
Expats who want to retire in a low-profile may want to head to the affordable city of Chiang Rai. The northernmost province of Thailand has a beautiful landscape as it is surrounded by forests, rice fields, mountains, and waterfalls. Home to the White Temple, Chiang Rai is perfect for those who are nature lovers and those who are in constant search for entertainment options.
The rural community has its own shopping mall, a hospital, and several restaurants. Expats can choose from a wide array of affordable housing options including condos and apartments.
Location: Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand
The neighbourhood has a growing expat community. Retirees often choose to live in Rayong for its superb beach living. This peaceful city is just a two and a half hour drive from Bangkok and offers the best accommodations. Retirees can choose from sprouting condo developments dotting the coast.
Location: Gulf of Thailand in southeast Thailand in Surat Thani Province
Best known for its Full Moon Party at Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan is a great retirement place for those who want to live an authentic Thai island life without dealing with throngs of tourists like what Koh Samui and Phuket. The neighbourhood has established a health and wellness-oriented community that is often overlooked due to its monthly Full Moon Party. When the craziness of the festival dies down, the community has a tranquil vibe.
While island living is more expensive than mainland living, living in Koh Phangan is still relatively low.