10 Reasons I’m Leaving Thailand

10. Water Issues – we have water only certain days of the week and times of the day. Nobody knows the schedule.

9. Electricity Issues – my UPS (battery) for the desktop computer fried, probably because of fluctuations in the electricity lines that it’s supposed to prevent from hitting my computer. It was 2,500 THB. I don’t want to buy another. So, I’ve been having electrical outages hit all the time now – and it’s gradually farking my operating system as it loses files when shut down. I’ve switched to using the notebook for most computing tasks but every time I turn on the desktop – ZAP! Power out. Files gone. Fun gone.

8. Internet Connection – Unless you’re living in Bangkok and you have 3G – which I’m not sure is more stable there, but I think so – then you are likely on the ADSL cable modems. Internet connections go out when the wind blows and when it rains. Not so nice.

7. Education – not sure I want to raise my daughter here, even in private school. Do you?

6. Out of the Business Loop – I feel like I’m living on another planet than back in the US. It’s very difficult to meet people interested in internet business type things here. I haven’t been to tech trade-shows or conferences in six years now. I feel like I’m missing a lot of the cutting edge stuff – and meeting people involved in cutting edge stuff.

5. Lack of Good Western Food – because I don’t live in Bangkok I don’t get to pay outrageous prices for decent western food. I live with what I’ve got which doesn’t amount to much. The best western food i’ve had here is when my wife cooks tacos, ground beef, and we get jalapenos, cheddar, and taco shells from Makro. I’m dying for a decent pizza, lasagne, Italian bread, sandwich, and grouper sandwich.

4. Need $. I need to make a couple thousand more per month to be happy now that I have a child. That’s easy to do in the states. Given a choice, I don’t want to teach. So, I’ll be hitting the online stuff really hard over the next few months to see what difference I can make.

3. Dengue Fever is Everywhere! There are a lot of diseases to watch out for in Thailand. I’ve had Chikungunra and it’s no picnic. I am STILL feeling the effects of it months later. In the US I know what to look out for… Flu. That’s about it.

2. Bicycling + Dogs = Bad Mix. I love cycling, but my mileage has dropped off the map since moving to Thailand. There are dogs to deal with on any country roads ride, and many in-city rides. Sure I carry a stick, but I’ve faced multiple dogs attacking from different directions. I need 3 sticks.

1. Miss Family. – I realized I haven’t seen my brother and sister’s kids grow up at all. I’m starting to miss being around them. They’re a cool bunch.

Living in Thailand

Many visitors that stay for a week or so start asking themselves about whether or not they could live in Thailand.

Can you handle living in Thailand? For a year or a lifetime??

Years back there were estimates by some Thailand expats that suggested there were well over 100,000 expats from around the world living in Thailand at any one time. I’m not sure that number has any validity considering there have been some sweeping visa restrictions across the board that probably took expats living in Siam to Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, and Philippines. Recently in 2014 there has been another major immigration overhaul and the tourist visa appears to have lost its life. Personally I already know a number of expats that were living in Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon, and Chiang Mai that have left Thailand in search of greener grass.

To me the grass is still green and I’d not rather live elsewhere and deal with an entirely different culture. Thai culture suits me pretty well. Very well really. Living Thailand style is different than in the west – way different, but it’s not a bad way of life at all.

What might you think about when deciding to move to Thailand?

Visiting first. Many people, myself included, just hop on a plane all set to live in Thailand for a year or so, not knowing at all what they’re getting into. I researched Thailand for months before deciding on it over the other Asian countries nearby. Despite how much you look into it – you’ll be surprised at many things when you arrive. You can’t be TOO prepared when it comes to moving to a foreign country to live. My best advice is to find someone that can answer some of your questions for you. I found a guy that did that for me and it helped immensely give me a good feel for what I’d be getting into. I took a chance by not visiting Thailand first – I wouldn’t suggest it for most people. You’ve got to be adventurous, but there’s something else – you have to be committed to staying because you will face some things that put you off. It’s inevitable. So, if you can, visit first and see if it’s really something you could deal with. It’s a world different than your home country. I guarantee that!

Cash bailout money. It’s important to have as much as possible saved before you arrive. I used to recommend less, but since what happened to me could happen to almost anyone, I’m recommending you have minimum 10,000 to 15,000 USD available not only for your basic needs until you find a teaching job or whatever it is you’ll do here (even retire)… but, also for emergencies… like plain-clothed police officers showing up in your hotel room accusing you of things… Or any sort of scam. Ideally you can make money as you travel. If you’re a digital nomad, or have considered learning a skill to become one, here’s some information about it.

Touring around the country and choosing a spot to live. Bangkok is the only place for many people. For me it’s the only place I’d never consider living. I’ve stayed in New York City, Honolulu, Miami, and Tampa – all big cities and besides Honolulu I really don’t enjoy living in a big city at all. Give me Thailand’s out of the way towns of less than 50,000 people and I’m in the right spot. Thailand has many different styles of life – and you should see some of them before deciding where to live. Nothing will predict whether you can stay a year or not like choosing the wrong location to stay. You might last 2 months in such a situation. Take six months to travel the country and see Chiang Mai, Trat, Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), Nong Khai, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and some of the south. Each Thailand location has a much different style of living.

Thailand food. Sure you like it at the restaurant, but, can you eat it nearly every meal for a year? This is one area that kills expats’ dreams quickly. If you don’t like spicy food – don’t live in the northeast, and maybe not the south either. In the northeast I can’t imagine someone being able to find and order non-spicy food continually day after day unless eating the same foods everyday. How fun is that? Do some research into what Thais eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be ready to have your beliefs challenged… like, hot noodle soup for breakfast. Breakfast for me was the hardest thing to get over about living in Thailand. Finally I’m fine with it- and love it, but it did take some getting used to no pancakes, no cereal, no good coffee to drink.

Coffee. I think this deserves a separate mention because if you’re considering moving to live in Thailand and you drink coffee… well. I have had about 3 good cups of coffee while in the country. I’ve tried coffee at all the Starbucks, Black Canyons, everywhere that offers coffee and you know what? Laos Coffee in Ubon Ratchathani was the best I’ve found. There is a little shop there on a cross street back behind Tung C Muang park that is really nice. I guess I’ve had about 50 cups there, not 3. I tend to exaggerate. If coffee fuels your mind, your creativity, your good mood… you may have a SERIOUS issue finding decent coffee in this country. I’ve had Nescafe Red Cup instant coffee now for about 8 years. It sucks, but, I just don’t think about it as I drink it… and then it’s fine. It’s just a way to ingest some caffeine, and not a religious experience like it used to be in Hawaii drinking Kona coffee at $50 a lb. Update: I started buying Suzuki espresso ground coffee at Makro and I found a very expensive coffee press for sale at Starbucks. I now have excellent coffee daily.

 

What Thailand Doesn’t Have, That I Wish For…

This is what Thailand doesn't have - waves.Over nearly 8 years I’ve had a helluva time in The Land of Smiles. Great, amazing times… The contrast with living life in the USA is remarkable, and favorable in most ways. Though Thailand has a LOT – there are still some things I wish we had here…

1. Waves. I haven’t gone this long without riding big waves – or any waves – ever.

2. Good Pizza. Though there are numerous Italian-owned pizza places in big cities across Thailand, they seem to all be working with Thai cheese, or maybe cheese from Belgium or somewhere. It doesn’t taste like New York Pizza made by Italians… New Yorkians like to say it’s the water – who knows? I just know that I haven’t had an amazing pizza for a very long time.

3. Shore Fishing. Redfish, trout, flounder, snook, cobia, jack crevalle, ulua, sheepshead… there isn’t anything like this in Thailand’s shallow water. I’ve replaced fishing with snake hunting, but it isn’t quite the same.

4. Live Music. Whether jazz in the park in St. Petersburg, a good Irish Band in Ybor City, Tampa, or Hawaiian music at a Waikiki beach bar – I miss it. I haven’t even heard anything marginally acceptable in Thailand. Have you?

5. Decent Healthcare Nationwide. If you need emergency services and you are in a place like Sisaket, Thailand – good luck to you. You have to go with what is there. There is a city hospital and a private hospital – a lot of private clinics. Guess what? You’re probably not going to be satisfied with them. It would be great to have a decent hospital within 100km of wherever we are.

6. 3G Mobile Internet. Come on now… Laos is going to get 3G and 4G before Thailand. It’s to the point of being scandalous.

7. Size 11+ Shoes. It is always difficult to find shoes that fit in this country outside of Bangkok or Pattaya.

8. A Better Justice System. When our home was broken into and things stolen there were fingerprints all over the house – there were prints all over the glass slats on the outside of our window he broke through. There must have been prints everywhere… in the USA someone would process the crime scene… here? You might as well just “mai pen rai” it, and get on with your life. We had to insist they pull fingerprints off the windows. We had to insist the police talk to neighbors that might have seen something. It’s like Laurel and Hardy over here. No wait, I’d prefer them to what we have in Thailand.

9. Jobs. Though I wouldn’t get one, it would be great for expats that are having trouble surviving on a teacher’s salary – to be able to easily work and stay in the country. There are so few jobs open to foreigners.

10. Shopping Variety. If you don’t live in Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or on Phuket,  – your shopping experience is limited to: Big C, Tesco, Makro, Robinson, and Carre 4. Besides that, everyone carries the same stuff. There is a real lack of variety in most areas of Thailand. The mail system is so expensive to have items sent internationally – and with things like electronics there is a huge tax – it just doesn’t make sense to use mail-order as a substitute.

11. Better Post Service. Family has sent me some packages from the USA – some get here, some don’t. I’ve sent packages from Thailand… some arrive, some don’t. If you are sending within Thailand – send EMS or you have a chance of losing whatever it is. I can’t remember EVER losing a package sent through the mail in America – no matter how it was sent. It just doesn’t happen.

That’s what I came up with in a few minutes – anybody else have something to add?

Is Thailand Safe to Live? Safe to Visit?

I’ve posted related to this topic a number of times, but never did a video about it. Recently I even talked my mother into considering making a journey to Thailand – so, that’s news. Is Thailand a safe place for a vacation? For living long-term? I try to answer the question in the video and provide some helpful guidelines.

In short, the answer is – Thailand is safe to visit or live. There are some things you should be aware of, but there are something like 100,000 expats living in Thailand – and I think overall the feeling is that it’s a safe country to live in.

What do you think? Are you fearing for your life in Thailand?

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Moving to Thailand Book

Moving to Thailand - Your 2nd Life Begins - book by Mike Fook
For $2.99 - can you go wrong?

Living in Thailand” was my first book about life in Thailand. Then I wrote “Thai Black Book” and last year I wrote “Moving to Thailand – Your 2nd Life Begins!“.

I tried to make this book the one-stop book for all your moving needs, but of course that is impossible. I didn’t know it was impossible until I tried, but I’ve come to that conclusion.

It is however, the best book available on the subject for the moment, and I do update it as I think of new material and get new suggestions from readers that have bought the book on Amazon or ThailandeBooks.com.

Moving to Thailand covers how to go about it from some different perspectives. Some of you will want to move into nice digs, buy a house, and retire. Others will want to teach English. Others of you will want to live as cheaply as possible in Thailand and move on in a year.

This book has current pricing for apartments and other accomodations you can find in the country, as well as the salary expectations and cost of living you’ll face in different areas of Thailand. I try to give you the information you’ll need to narrow down your choices of WHERE to live in Thailand first. If you can choose an area you’ll be happiest in – that is probably the big key to whether you will enjoy staying in the country, or not.

Many of you have probably considered moving to Thailand and you think you cannot. If you are willing to live at a level that Thais live, you can live here on as little as 7,000 Thai Baht per month. My wife and I lived on 9,000 Thai Baht per month for over a year. Think you can’t? You don’t know until you try.

I priced this book very cheaply at $2.99. If you are in the US, Canada, and I think the UK – you can get it for that at Amazon.com.

Moving to Thailand at Amazon.com ->

If you are elsewhere, Amazon adds $2 to the price.

Or, you can find this book at www.ThailandEBooks.com here.

***************

Book description

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Moving to Thailand can be an easy and fun transition with the help of this book.

After you move to Thailand you’ll notice some things:

1. You’re not stressed out over all the fear-mongering from the evening news, newspapers, and talk radio in your home country.
2. You don’t give a second thought to getting a ticket as you drive.
3. You’re eating healthier food than maybe you ever have.
4. There are more things to do in a boring part of Thailand than in some of the best places in your home country.
5. $1,000 USD goes really far!
6. You feel like a completely different person. In fact, you can BE a completely different person.

This moving to Thailand guide covers everything you’d want to know before you move.

This guide also covers ways to make money in Thailand in addition to teaching – which most expats find, works for a while, but not forever.

This is a realistic, and constantly updated guide (9/2010) that will help you ease into the transition of moving from abroad to the land of smiles.

Living in Thailand Book

Book cover for ebook, Living in Thailand

A while back I wrote an article about living in Thailand and I kept adding to it. Eventually it reached many pages and I turned it into an ebook book that we put into PDF, Kindle, Sony, Kobo, Nook, ePub formats.

The book, “Living in Thailand” is about making the transition from life in the USA to life in Thailand – a radical change of day to day living.

Living in a foreign country is just like living on another planet. There are things you will like and things you won’t like. There are people you’ll meet that you’ll like, and those you won’t like. There are customs and traditions in Thailand that I like, and some I don’t like. Living in a new country brings with it a lot of trials and confronts you with new experiences constantly. There are expats that can make a successful transition to living in the Land of Smiles, and those that can’t – and leave within a year or two.

I’ve been in Thailand for nearly seven years now. I remember when I first arrived and talking to Jon – an American friend I met in Ubon. He was still loving it. He had a good perspective on living life in southeast Asia – and I hoped that I could have a similar perspective once I had been here that long. Now that I have, I think Jon’s outlook on continuing to live in the country, the people, is a bit better than mine. Not to say mine is bad, just that Jon had a great outlook. Mine is only good.

The book is mostly about my experience with a girl that I fell in love with – but was afraid to commit to because I had heard such horrible things about Thai girls. I was afraid to be a sucker and fall in love and get my heart ripped out through my nose.

Maybe you’re going through a similar situation. Maybe you don’t know for sure if the girl you are falling for is the “right one”. Is she trustworthy? Can you live with her forever?

I have stayed with my girl now for over 5 years. We’re very happy and, though some days we face differences that seem insurmountable, we always get through them. After 3 failed marriages in the USA – that’s saying something. Thais seem more willing to work out differences than are Americans – at least in my experience.

If you’re looking for a good read, “Living in Thailand” provides that I think, and for just $2.99 (PDF) you can’t go wrong.

Buy this book at Amazon Kindle here ->

Living in Thailand

Or, get the PDF version at www.ThailandeBooks.com ->

Living in Thailand