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Thailand, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai

What are the things I should keep an eye on, when living in Thailand?

I'm planning to move to Thailand in a couple o months with my girlfriend and I want to know what kind of things I should keep an eye on. Things like scams, quality food (but not to expensive - also groceries), pickpockets, street fights, bullies, dangerous zones, cheap rent, most important - INTERNET CONNECTION (for work), food/weather poisoning, vaccines, good hospitals, etc.

My budget: 300-400$/month (too little?).

Length Duration: 1 year.

My style: quiet places, any sports, chilling with friends good food and wine.

7 Answers

top answer by
Brad from Khanom

Hi there, my Romanian friend.

Let me take things one by one:

1. 3-400 USD is way to little money for a couple. A decent apartment or house would be minimum 200 USD on the mainland and 300-400 USD on an island. So there goes a big chunk of your budget.

2. The internet connection can be fair in metropolitan areas, but it's no match for the speed you get in Romania.

3. There aren't many dangers to worry about. Most scams and bullies occur in areas with heavy tourism (Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Phi Phi).

4. The choice of food is very diverse. Eating out is generally safe, as Thai people pay a lot of importance to cleanliness and health. However, expect to pay a lot for European "delicacies" such as cheese or wine.

5. The health system is solid and widespread. The hospitals are well equipped, even in little towns. No vaccination is needed. Dengue fever is widespread, especially in the rainy season, but it might take forever until you get it. 

6. The weather patters is quite simple: rainy season June to September, cool season November to February, hot and dry season March to April.

Should you have any more questions please drop me a line. I live in Southern Thailand.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Phuket (city)
  2. Pattaya (city)
  3. Koh Phi Phi (city)
8 thanks

answered by

Here are my thoughts from living in Chiang Mai for 6 months.

  • For two people you need to re-examine your budget. Is 300-400 per person? You will be able to split rent cost, but not food.
  • For comfortable living, which is what it seems you want, (since you said wine) you should aim for 600-800 USD. Although 400 is entirely possible if: you find a super cheap apartment - and you buy only 30 baht food (which is super unhealthy).
  • Speed test your internet's apartment before moving there. SUPER important. Some places good. Some bad.
  • Try to live on the west side, near Chiang Mai university. Or a bit of the south side near Old Town. Do not move to the east side. It's just boring. All the hip places are west.
  • Thailand is super safe. Don't worry. Be careful and don't get into drunk bar fights and you'll be fine. Scams are easy to spot or avoid. Don't go into shady places. Same as anywhere in the world. Always wear a helmet.
  • Cheap food / vendor stuff all has MSG in it.
  • You will love it. Chiang Mai is amazing and really chill. Perfect for working online.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chiang Mai (city)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Rob from Bangkok

It depends where you're moving to.

Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand might suit you best unless you want to live on an island Phuket in Thailand down South. Bangkok is a massive city with lots going for it, I love the city but it's more expensive and if you just want a quite place, chilling with friends then Chiang Mai might be better for you.

scams - Nothing to worry about, just the typical scams of getting overcharged for taxis, gems etc. just avoid strangers who approach you in the street to sell you gems, take you on a taxi ride, or show you a good bar. Scams are mainly being over charged. Don't buy drugs in Thailand, that's a big scam.

quality food (but not to expensive - also groceries) - Cheap quality food is everywhere, lots of restaurants, street vendors, markets and big grocery chains.

pickpockets,street fights, bullies, dangerous zones - No dangerous zones or pickpockets, just avoid starting fights or arguments with Thai people, be humble and apologise if you get in an argument even if it's not your fault, Thailand is a lot safer and peaceful than most western countries if you don't create trouble with strangers. Also avoid drugs, that'll get you in trouble.

cheap rent - check out and for cheap rent and places to live.

most important - INTERNET CONNECTION (for work) - apartments should have internet connection when you rent a place, all places should have it, internet will be at cafes, guesthouses, hotels etc.

food/weather poisoning - weather is great almost all year, varies depending on the region, rainy season is generally during the middle of the year

vaccines - see your doctor, there's a few main ones, hep A, B, Cholera, Typhoid etc.

good hospitals, etc. - There are a few international hospitals, health care is good and cheap but make sure you have travel insurance and get a health care plan in the country to cover you if you need to go to hospital

My budget: 300-400$/month (too little?). - Your budget is too little if that's U.S Dollars, unless you and your GF are both spending that eg. $600-$800 a month combined.

Rent will be minimum $150-$200 a month depending on quality, expect to pay about $250-$350 a month including bills, depending on quality of apartment and facilities.

Feel free to contact me here or on twitter, facebook, google+ or my new website coming soon called "Thewisenomad" if you have more questions.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chiang Mai (city)
  2. Phuket (city)
  3. Bangkok (city)
5 thanks

answered by

The most common scam is a "security guard" at a popular tourist destination telling you the destination is closed and then they try  to usher you to a tuc tuc driver that will take you to his friends shops.

4 thanks

answered first by
Victoria from Riga

Cristea, you should avoid paying too much for the rent. Try to find a recommendation (depending on where you want to live) on forums etc for the person that can rent you directly. Get in touch with expats, surfers - they should know where to rent and which location is worth the price. The key is acquiring contacts. People are very friendly and helpful there.

Internet connection depends also on where you are heading. In Phuket for example, it is not a problem at all. The monthly budget is though quite small, but also possible if you will research renters directly or ask if somebody plans on moving out by the time you plan on arriving.

Pick a location first.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Phuket (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Pylin from Bangkok

Bangkok is a very easy place to live. It is relatively cheap with plenty of amazing places to eat (all kinds and all range from dirt cheap to New York prices) and plenty of things to do (spa, cycle, shopping, temples etc). We have some of the best hospitals and doctors around. But they are not cheap. A decent but extremely small (possibly no English spoken) flat in Bangkok (but not central) will start from $200 per month. Usually have good internet connection. So I think 300-400 USD is possibly doable if you don't eat out in a restaurant but buy food from the street as well as do not drink. Always flag taxis and tuk tuk on the streets and never take those which are parked outside shopping centres or other tourist destinations as they are usually there to scam foreigners.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bangkok (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Tim from Bangkok

In additional to answers by other members previously, I would say "Scams" are of those you should keep an eye on. 

Scams are not what will hurt you physically but they will cause you to pay more than you should., i.e. getting overcharged. In the worse case, they give you bad experience that your might not want to come back to Thailand again. The best way is to know about them and avoid to be a victim of those scamers.

If you want to know more about scams in Thailand (especially in Bangkok), just visit Richard Barrow's website:

Richard is an English man who's been living in Thailand for more than 20 years now. Apparently he is the only one on the Internet who'd fought scams in Thailand for many years. He even encountered scamers face to face in many circumstances.  

The most well-known scams in Thailand are:

  • Thai Gem Scam
  • Tuk Tuk Scam
  • The Grand Palace is Closed Scam
  • Jet Ski Scam
  • Taxi Scam
  • Sex Show/Lady Drink/Overpriced Drinks Scam
  • Overprice scam

If you want to know each scam in detail, there is a website that explains the scam in depth and how to avoid them here:

I am Thai and would say that scamers have used Thailand's smile to ruin the country's reputation for so long. It's normal to see people on the street smile to you, as it's a Thai culture. Scamers use this impression - friendliness and fake smile to lure foreigners to buys something they don't want or to pay for something they don't need. To have the best experience during their stay, all visitors should be aware of these scams before visiting the country.

Rule of thumb: Normal Thai people are friendly and ready to help but they are not so forward to approach strangers. If you are approached by a well English-speaking Thai person on the street when you don't ask or don't need any help, then the chance is high that this person is a scammer.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bangkok (city)

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