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The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020)

Tim Newton

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The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | Thaiger

Being an expat in Thailand you’ll go through plenty of phases – from excitement, to astonishment, to bewilderment, to (eventually) acceptance. It’s all an exciting journey, and will rarely go to plan. But that’s why so many of us love living in Thailand.

There are some particular sub-sets of Thai expat we can spot a mile away. Far from type-casting a typical expat, we provide these sub-sets as a guide – there are plenty of other varieties of expats floating around Thailand.

We should also mention that in 2020 there’s a much broader range of expats living in Thailand. Contrary to popular wisdom (aka. the internet chat rooms), the numbers of expats are growing every year and they are coming from just about everywhere, not just the UK, northern Europe, Australia and the US, as in the past.

1. The search of a wife

Looking for love in the West daunting? Or had a few failed marriages? No problem. Head to Asia and find a wife there instead. Right?!

Gentlemen still come to Thailand for the sole purpose of finding love and maybe a wife. In the age of the internet where you can conveniently do your ‘shopping’ on line, there are is a sub-set of men who will book a flight and hotel to ‘touch and feel’ before they buy. There seems to be some belief that Asian women are going to be more polite, obedient and submissive than the women in their own country. They’re about to get a shock.

Others are looking to ‘trade in’ their older, western model for a younger, slimmer Asian version. And where are you going to find this source of Asian ladies? At an expat bar (or on the internet these days). And so the well-trodden path, litany of perilous adventures, and sad tales begins. We know how most of these relationships end.

Of course there are many western men, and women, who do find a Thai partner and live long, happy lives. But they’re vastly out numbered by the stories of love-gone-wrong in the Land of Smiles.

  1. Don’t take it too seriously
  2. Read a couple of hundred stories on the internet before moving in with the Thai GF
  3. Have deep pockets

NB. Guys, the bar girls don’t actually love you.

2. The businessman

Many professional expats live, mostly in Bangkok, and work for big international companies on salaries that would make them rich in any country. They can afford to, and do, live the high life. Some are single but others bring their family along for the adventure. They rent a big house, have a live-in maid, a driver and live a great life indeed. But, living their life in an artificial bubble in their working years, they rarely transition into a more mundane retired life in ‘normal’ Thailand.

3. Retiring in Thailand

The mantra used to be that you could move to Thailand and live off your pension (which would translate to lots and lots of baht), strolling along Phuket beaches, shopping in Bangkok or living a quiet life in Chiang Mai. The perfect retirement lifestyle.

Read some more info HERE.

Other single, mostly, men would be lured by a carefree life of cheap beer, endless beaches and a equally endless supply of attractive young ladies in the many bars.

A lot of this has changed in recent years as the Thai economy has gained strength, along with the Thai Baht, and some international currencies have deflated meaning that people hoping to live off their overseas pensions or savings are not getting the same bargain they once did. Especially living in tourist hubs like Bangkok, Phuket or Pattaya, the cost of living has been rising in recent years pricing them out of the retirement market for many.

If you’re contemplating a retired life in Thailand spend some time on the internet and come and spend a few months in selected locations. Try before you buy and don’t start packing the crockery until you’ve done your homework, and your sums.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | News by Thaiger

4. Teaching English

The English teacher is found everywhere in the LOS (Land of Smiles) and is still a reasonably sure-fire way to extend your time living in Thailand.

These teachers usually break down into four categories…. Some are career educators and love teaching English, others are backpackers trying to extend their stay and top up their travel pocket-money, there are some older guys who have spent their savings and will do anything to stay in Thailand. Finally, there’s the bored wives who want something useful and meaningful to fill their days whilst their husbands work for larger international companies in Thailand.

There are numerous TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses around the country. The pay’s not great and you’ll be living a local lifestyle rather than in the lap of luxury. But many former teachers remember their time teaching English in Thailand fondly and say they’ll never forget the smiling Thai children.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | News by Thaiger

5. The entrepreneurial spirit

Savvy business people often come to Thailand for some better weather and the chance to make their fortune. The joke used to be that if you wanted to start a small business in Thailand, just invest in a big business and wait a few years.

But many actually make a go of it and end up doing well. Like starting a business anywhere else in the world, do your homework and make sure you tick all the right boxes, including a business and marketing plan (in a foreign country).

The flashy, brash real estate hacks that sell one property a year and spend the other 364 days sitting at the beach bar spending their commission, are a local cliché and a dime a dozen.

Remember that the paperwork and administration requirements of a Thai company can be bewildering and you WILL need some good local advice before you open up shop. Take someone who’s already done it for a few years to dinner and ask lots of questions.

6. The bored wife

Many of the categories mentioned so far have been mostly males. Life for a single foreign woman in Thailand can be a challenge. Kudos to those who cut through the cultural issues and make a go of it (and I know many).

There’s also the wives and partners of the many, many men who get to work in Thailand and bring their families with them. The live-in maid, driver and shopping trips eventually get boring and they will often be looking for other things to do. In most cases their visas won’t allow them to legally work. So many do end up doing various charity and volunteer work (thought you should be very clear about what your visa will and won’t allow you to do).

There are numerous expat groups around the country to provide information, social outings and community for the many mums or spouses who find themselves at a loose end whilst the husband works in the office. Jump on your computer and do some homework and you’ll discover a whole new world of other woman out there.

Your next coffee or movie gal-pal is as far away as the internet.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | News by Thaiger

7. The fresh-starter

For whatever reason, Thailand seems to attract its fair share of misfits, vagrants and social outcasts that can’t seem to get their act together in their home country. So they come to Thailand where the cheap booze, beaches and travel brochures have lured them.

Of course they find a very different culture and an entirely new list of reasons they can’t fit in and get their life established. Some are just running away from 1) bad marriages 2) the law 3) anything-they-don’t-want-to-confront.

The long term prognosis for many of these misfits isn’t good. We end up reading about them as over-stayers, drink driving road deaths or victims of balcony falls.

8. Sexpats

‘Sexpats’ are notorious and much-maligned. They come to Thailand, lured by a slightly old-fashioned notions of the Kingdom as an easy place to find sex. And sometimes, in some locations the opportunities are still available, for a price. Sexpats usually hang around other expats who are less likely to frown on their indulgences. The three P’s – Patpong, Patong and Pattaya – sum up most of the popular sexpat locations.

In most cases they’re here for a good time, not a long time, and will frequent the sleazier locations in Thailand pursuing their goals and, eventually, running out of money or getting bored. Or getting into trouble. Or contracting any number of available STDs.

There’s also a subset of the sexpat that will find themselves on the very outer fringes of society – the pedophile. Thailand, and other south east asian countries, have provided solace for these people in the past but recent crackdowns are now detecting a lot of their activities and they are being increasingly rounded up, arrested and deported.

As a pedophile you will get zero sympathy from Thai authorities and your time in a Thai prison will be very unpleasant and probably brief.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | News by Thaiger

9. The serial complainer

Nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever be as good in Thailand compared to where they come from. They will find fault in everything from the traffic to the food to the government to the medical system to the culture to the visa system to the corruption to the heat to the roads to the culture to the girls.

Surprise. Thailand is a foreign country with a rich, frequently bewildering culture. The longer you spend here, the less it all makes sense. But that’s part of the glorious adventure of living in Thailand. Whilst many expats revel in the wonders and excesses of Thai life, some just wallow in their own self-righteousness.

Many of these haters and complainers have never been to Thailand but are happy to share their wisdom, often, in chat rooms and social media. Blah, blah, blah.

Worse, there are plenty of haters living amongst us who bore us sideways with their whinging and complaining. They can be directed to the nearest international airport where they are invited to escape the country they so despise and return to their homeland or just go somewhere else… anywhere really.

10. The digital nomads

We see them tapping away on their keyboards at cafés and work spaces around the country. As long as they have wifi their business is open. They’re trading stocks and shares, selling property, gambling, posting stories, filing news reports, selling stuff on their Facebook pages – they’re working.

If you can run your business outside of a traditional office, hey, why not do it sitting next to a beach or high up in a mountain overlooking Chiang Rai. The digital nomads fall between the cracks in the Thai Immigration system and often have to run the gauntlet of dodgy visas and visa runs although a recently introduced Smart Visa helps as few of them get a proper visa.

There is an increasing range of co-working spaces opening around the country and almost every café in Thailand will now have wifi – whether it’s working or not is another matter. Then again you can always tether your phone to your laptop and use your smartphone’s wifi.

10a. The Keyboard Warriors

We can’t leave this group out because there seems to be a large contingent of keyboard warriors out there who keep Thai website administrators busy. They respond to everything that’s posted and are keen to share their expert advice on the matter. On ALL matters. They are a virtual Library of Congress when it comes to dispensing their opinions and vast knowledge about all matters relating to life in Thailand, or anywhere really.

Web administrators (The Thaiger included) are kept busy ‘hiding’ and deleting some of their extravagant claims, nonsense or thinly-veiled abuse at the writer of the story, the website generally or other commenters.

There is one website in Thailand that does a roaring trade based on the clicks of expats that seem to have nothing better to do than whinge, complain, comment and click, click, click on a broad range of matters, particularly those concerning traffic accidents, ladyboys, visa overstayers and police matters.

It’s a love-hate relationship: we hate their monotonous drivel but we love their traffic.

The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020) | News by Thaiger

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 2:02 am

    The author of this farticle sounds like a combination of 9. and 10.a. to me. Stereotypes are fun, but rarely more than an expression of the individual deploying them and their experiences and attitudes. There are many more categories of farang in Thailand than described by this glib dross.

  2. Avatar

    Jaime R

    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    I am an immigrant. What category am I?

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines

Tim Newton

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Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines | Thaiger

“About 10,000 people are being vaccinated around Thailand, on average, with 14,000 people being vaccinated each day in Phuket.”

Private hospitals and institutions have been given the official go-ahead to purchase up to 10 million doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines. The purchases will be in addition to what the Thai government is also doing. The major sticking point, despite the approval, however, continues to be the world supply shortage of vaccines, with demand far outstripping current supply.

The CCSA’s Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced that the Thai PM had approved the privatisation of vaccines but maintained that the roll out of free vaccines for Thais and people at risk would continue at full pace. The Thai government have been fending off accusations that it was blocking the acquisition of vaccines by private companies and hospitals. The 10 million doses approved for private purchases actually allows about 5 million vaccinated people with most of the approved vaccines needing 2 doses.

The spokesperson explained that the Thai government needs to have 40 million Thais vaccinated before they would be able to claim any scientific level of herd immunity. The public health minister said that around 10,000 people per day are being vaccinated around the country, on average. About 350,000 doses have arrived in Thailand and 1.5 million more doses are awaiting delivery for this month, according to the Thai PM.

The order allows the private sector to use a letter of approval from the Thai government to purchase its own supplies separately. Or, alternatively, to purchase directly from the government and resell to customers.

The government’s current order for vaccines is enough for around 35 million people with a local supplier, manufacturing the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine under license, from June this year.

Dr Taweesilp also urged private companies to target and purchase vaccines from manufacturers other than the vaccine companies the Thai government were already dealing with.

The following vaccines are currently approved in Thailand…

  • AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford University (2 doses)
  • ARS-CoV-2 (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses)
  • NT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses)
  • Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses)
  • Ad26.COV2.S by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Single dose)
  • mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses)

There are also current applications pending from other vaccine producers which will likely be approved in coming weeks.

Many expats have been chasing information about when they could expect to be vaccinated. Despite some promises from the government there has been little concrete information about formalities to register for vaccination at this stage. Meanwhile many expats have indicated they were prepared to pay for their vaccination but were unable to get clarification from private hospitals about when that may be available.

In Phuket the provincial government has promised ALL registered residents, local or foreign, that they would be eligible for government-funded vaccination. There has been a flurry of activity on the island over the past 2 weeks since the ‘Sandbox’ proposal was approved, in principal, for a July re-opening of quarantine-free tourism to vaccinated travellers. There has been queues and waiting lists at the island’s public hospitals every day for the past week. Currently some 14,000 people are being vaccinated every day, on average.

Meanwhile, the events of the past few days – the closure of entertainment venues and bars in 41 provinces, including all the main tourist areas – will force the government to re-consider any scheduled plans to re-open borders and reduction of quarantine times. Travellers are still allowed to visit Thailand, under new guidelines introduced on April 1, 2021.

What you currently need to enter Thailand…

  • Vaccine certificate, either a print out or the original document (or vaccinated travellers)
  • Certificate of Entry issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in your country
  • Covid-19 health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$100,000
  • Booking confirmation for an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel
  • Negative Covid-19 test issued no more than 72 hours before departure

Anyone considering travelling to Thailand at this time is recommended to check with the Thai embassy in their country first, before making bookings of ASQ hotels or flights.

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Expats

Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran

Tim Newton

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Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran | Thaiger

Airlines and hotels are reporting cancellations from many of their customers as travellers react to the news of the new clusters and infections being detected in the provinces. Bars and entertainment venues close for 2 weeks in 44 provinces from midnight tonight, according to an order from the Thai PM. Entertainment venues in the other 35 provinces will remain open at the discretion of their provincial officials.

The Thai government has also announced today a series of measures to assist with refunds for people that have cancelled, or been forced to cancel, their bookings.

Thai VietJet asked us to publish their arrangements due to the queries from their customers. We will publish any other announcements from airlines and large organisations as they come to hand…

Due to the Covid-19 escalation in Thailand, the airline announces its policy to support passengers holding Thai Vietjet tickets on all domestic routes.

For passengers who booked tickets and made payments before 10 April 2021 with travel date between 12 -30 April 2021, may choose 1 of the supports as following:

  1. One-time changing the travel date free of charge. New travel date must be by July 31, 2021 and subject to flight availability. Rerouting is not applicable.
  2. Keeping the value of the ticket as a Credit Voucher, which is valid within July 31, 2021.

Passengers who have travel dates fall into the above-mentioned period and wish to contact the airline for support regarding change of flight or credit shell by voucher (at least 72 hours before the original departure time), please choose 1 of the options below:

  1. By E-Form: https://bit.ly/2L6Yv4z (Recommended Channel)
  2. By Line: @Thaivietjet
  3. By email: vz.support@vietjetair.com
  4. By Live Chat at https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Latest guidelines for all non-tourist visitors to Thailand, through Phuket

Tim Newton

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Latest guidelines for all non-tourist visitors to Thailand, through Phuket | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Phuket’s provincial government has issued a 48 page order for non-tourists entering Thailand, via Phuket. The order covers everyone from repatriating Thais, foreigners who are permanent residents or on long-term visas, students, workers passing through and consular visits. In real terms, as it says, anyone who isn’t visiting, or travelling through, Phuket as a tourist.

If you were looking for some easing of general restrictions for non-tourist arrivals on the island, you won’t find it here.

The order is NOT related to tourists arriving in Phuket or the proposal to open up Phuket for non-quarantine tourism after July.

The long-winded order goes through all the requirements of non-tourists in excruciating detail. Nearly all conditions of entry for these non-tourist groups are identical…

• Documents must be issued no more than 72 hours prior to arrival

• A Covid-19 test shows the traveller is not infected

• A Certificate of Entry

• Travellers must have a Thai tracking app (there are currently three) installed on their phones before arrival

• Travellers will have a swab tests firstly when they arrive, and secondly, before finishing their quarantine period.

Notably, all arrivals must do a mandatory quarantine period. Vaccinated travellers spend 7 days in quarantine. Unvaccinated travellers spend the full14 days in quarantine. If you are have been given one of the 2 dose vaccines, and only had 1 of the doses, you’ll be required to spend 10 days in quarantine.

The full order from the Phuket Provincial Office, in Thai, HERE.

As always, The Thaiger recommends you check with the Thai embassy in your country before booking flights or ASQ hotels.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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