Thailand’s Future and Other Possibilities

Thailand elections are coming up in July and we’re only like a 1.5 months away. Once again, uncertainty fills the air. It’s hard to imagine a country with this much flux can carry on as it does… and yet it sure does. Thailand is resilient. Apparently investors aren’t scared off by the prospect of whatever might happen in Thailand up until this point because – it just hasn’t been THAT bad. Sure it’s been bad, the way political parties and groups kill each other off is disturbing. The way people get shot at during protests is disturbing as hell.

But the thing is… Thailand keeps right on rolling because there hasn’t been a really major event – an uprising. A revolt. A revolution.

Is such a thing coming to the streets of Bangkok this year? To the smaller districts?

I’ll venture a “no” guess. Not yet. But, I don’t see anything really good happening this year – Thailand united behind one Prime Minister and government. If Thaksin’s younger sister wins – the military may have a coup. If the yellow shirts win there may be a revolt. Either way – just not much chance of anything great happening.

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out, as you probably have if you’re an expat living in or spending a lot of time in the country – is it still safe to be here? That question is almost always, unless you’re living in Bangkok or the deep south – YES. It’s safe.

Is it smart to remain here?

That’s the other question. As expats we have other options at home. Most of us do. Personally I could make enough money to pay the bills and get back into American society – if I could stand it. I’m not sure I could. I don’t see the US as a great alternative to Thailand.

I wish I had another alternative. Don’t you?

The Philippines is some place I’ve never wanted to live – the food really. I just couldn’t take the local food on a long-term basis. I’m sure of that. I had a lot of it in Hawaii – and had my fill really. I’m done with that. Chicken Adobo is great… the rest of it, you can keep.

I like Indonesian food – but don’t think it would be a great transition from Thailand. Anybody done that?

I like Japanese food – but they seem to have zombie problems up there at the moment.

I like Indian food – to beat all. Is there a quiet place in India where I wouldn’t run into annoying Indian business people much? I think I would love India – but quite honestly, after living in NYC, and experiencing them in Penang, Malaysia and some parts of Thailand – I just couldn’t stand it. Is that what living in India is like? Anybody know a great place in India to live and have a peaceful life?

Laos is pretty damn sleepy, and the food is OK – almost Thai-like. I don’t think it is a good place for expats. I’ve talked to expats that live there and they are followed around a lot. That’s weird enough to turn me off the country.

Singapore seems like the USA – or worse.

Malaysia might be OK. They also have a lot of political issues, corruption, and other undesirable elements, but maybe for expats it’s pretty OK for living. Anybody done that?

China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, those places never interested me at all.

Vietnam might be a place to consider. I have heard it is a little more harsh than Thailand. Meaning, the people aren’t as nice and smiley as Thais. LOL. Is it as safe for foreigners in Vietnam as it is in Thailand? Anybody?

Which brings us to Cambodia. Sure, the only decent place for foreigners in the country might be Phnom Penh, and even that has a very limited infrastructure for expats. But, it’s damn easy to stay there and create a business. They have great food (the foreign restaurants). Cambodia seems like an alternative in some ways. In others, no.

The people are living in squalor, but that means there is a lot of opportunity to help them. I’d love to try. Wouldn’t want to move my family there though.

So, for the time being… Thailand is it. If Bangkok erupts in flames and bullets – we’re far enough away not to catch any of it. I hope it always remains that way.

You have any reservations about staying in Thailand for the foreseeable future? What about long-term? Five years from now – will you still be in Thailand?

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

2 thoughts on “Thailand’s Future and Other Possibilities”

  1. Vern, I feel your pain. I’m on a short term goal of living in Thailand in 2 yrs 4 months from now. But I keep hitting these road blocks.

    Health issues, It seems that every time I return from Thailand I have something wrong. We have already talked about the Dengue Fever in May 09, on this last Monday I returned to the USA with Pneumonia and Strep Throat.

    My girlfriend is from Hanoi Vietnam but lives in Thailand. I started poking around and found that her passport has expired and of course she has no visa.

    Prices are still going up in Thailand. I have a friend who lives in the Pattaya area on just $1000 a month. He is already looking at alternatives.

    This last month, I talked to many expats at my VFW post, many who have lived in Thailand for 20 years. They all say Cambodia is what Thailand use to be 10 years ago.

    For some reason, I still like love Thailand

    1. I still love Thailand too… but with so much wrong, could there be an alternative that makes sense? Now that I have a family here – maybe not. Maybe I’d just like to find an “out”. Somewhere we could move to quickly if shit started flying sideways in Thailand. I think that’s what I’m really looking for.

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