Australian Living in Thailand – Images

What is It Like Living In Thailand

Free Painting Lessons for Beginners

Well I am not a wealthy person;
But now I can enjoy the food that I prefer and I get smiled at day after day.

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The smiles are priceless.
I am a 73 year old Australian living in Thailand for at least 6 months of each year.
Any old age pensioner who does not have a drinking habit, or any other similar habit, can live very well in Thailand and be respected and treated like a person who is worthy of having many friendships.
It is because you have money but it also is because the people of Thailand are generally lovely friendly people who enjoy pleasing others.
Any act of kindness or generosity towards a Thai person will be rewarded with smiles and genuine thanks.

Live in Thailand on the Australian old age pension

There are some grumpy Thais but not many. I do not go to bars or do anything that does not involve family and normal day to day living, therefor I can live very well on my old age pension in Chiang Mai, and that includes regular airfares back to OZ – about every 3 months.
Family in ThailandThe pension supports myself and my Thai wife and she uses my money to help support her old Mum and other family members when necessary. She gives her Mum about $60 per month.

I enjoy good food

And I always have enough money in my pocket to buy anything I might fancy. (within reason)

If you live alone

The 7.11 shops have fresh takeaways, plus there are endless roadside food stalls.

7 11 in hang dong

Our Local Corner Shop

hamburger prices in Thailand

$1 Hamburger with Egg

I have bought things like computer, printer, power tools, cloths, cheap car, motorbike, and some furniture for the home.
We own a home here, when we were renting a similar home it was 6000 baht per month, about $250.

rent house $250/ month

We rented $250 per Month

Our home cost AU$40,000 and a similar home in OZ would be ten times that price.

Home in Thailand

Our House in Thailand

Only Thai people can own land.

So a person like me takes out a long lease on the property (up to 30 years) to secure any investment.
The electricity bill is about $35 per month max.

The price of food in Thailand (approx.)
Pawpaw big – 80 cents.
Pork – $4 per kilo. Milk – expensive – $1 liter. Meals – from $1.  DVD Movies – $1. Computer programs – $5 (some worth $500).
Petrol – $1.22 per liter. (you do not drive far). Water – 60 cents a bottle or 5 cents bulk. Set of cloths – from $10. Catch a bus to the city and back – $1. New chain and sprockets for motorbike – $15 includes labor.
Car 1 year rego and tune up $60 (included new slave cylinder fitted) same thing in OZ about $700.

Bus station Thailand no problem

Some Bus Stations have Every Modern Con.


Expensive items are imported goods and dairy products, chocolate, cheese, milk etc.
Medicine is usually available from a pharmacy without a prescription but generally if the person serving does not think you need it they will not sell it to you. Syringes are not for sale in Thailand and a diabetic must make whatever arrangements, I don’t know what happens there.

Will I Get Robbed? – YES!
If you leave your money around someone will steal it.
Exactly the same as in Australia, but in Thailand there are four times as many people in any one place. So if you are careful you will not get robbed. The time change can play tricks to a traveler and you might find yourself very sleepy and that is when you lose your wallet etc. – A pocket sewn inside your shirt is a good idea, sew it behind the normal top pocket, just big enough for your passport and bank notes.
Most Thai taxi drivers are honest, but they are sometimes a bit slow getting your change out of their pocket, possibly hoping you might think there is no change, the same goes for a lot of shop keepers. The transaction is very fast but the change is slow. Often the amount involved is a few cents.
One little thing to be watched is the 500 baht note, it looks a lot like the 50 baht note, the government may have done this on purpose. LOL They do like to encourage leaving your money here.

300 eggs on a motobike

300 Eggs – No Problem

A good idea when shopping

Look for shops or shopping centers where the prices are displayed. Then you have an idea of prices before you go to the markets.
A daily wage for a laborer is 300 baht about $10. Usually you stick to this and maybe give the person drinks or a gift as well but giving too much can cause problems for everybody.
A professional person can ask their price and sometimes prices are high. (Having legal papers witnessed by a JP might cost $25).
The markets are everywhere and the food and goods are clean and all goods are new.

The super markets are very modern

, they are sometimes huge with some staff on roller skates, the products are more expensive than the markets and they do have specials.

Chiang Mai live easy

The Local Market.

The hardware stores are also huge and the products cheap compared to Miter 10.
The big shopping centers are huge, clean (spotless) and have every type of shop, some have expensive cars on sale at the lower floors.
The people are extra nice and polite. I have never seen a drunk in public or a loud mouth Thai. There is no vandalism like in OZ, statues and art remains untouched.
The streets are clean but sometimes the smells of drains or cooking is a bit much.
If you are not a Thai citizen there are rules as to how long you can stay in the country. These rules vary according to the type of visa you have.
If you live near a border you simply go across the border and back again every 2 weeks or in some cases every 6 or 12 weeks.
I believe some of these rules are to make sure you are still alive and that someone else is not claiming your pension.
There are possibly many people living in Thailand who do not leave as they should, this would make an exit hard and may bring a maximum fine of about $600.


In Thailand there are public toilets at most places of importance.
Most are clean. There is no paper supplied but may be bought from a nearby stall.
Thai people do not use toilet paper, in toilets there is a special little hose with squirting nozzle or a water container with a scoop for washing. After a bit of practice this is a far superior method of staying clean and it does not block up the sewers with paper.
Because of the climate a slightly wet bottom is not a problem, seems to dry instantly.
Often there is a bin to put used paper as it is not common practice to put paper down the toilet.
There are 2 types of toilets, the hole in the floor and the common ‘throne’.

Thailand toilets same as Australia.
People ask about the Toilets in Thailand.

One of each type in train carriages, many of each in business houses and shopping centers etc.
The toilets at shopping centers, business houses, bus stations, airports are clean and most are absolutely spotless with fresh flowers and a full time attendant.
All toilets have privacy doors, hand basins, mirror and security persons nearby, not security just for toilets there are security persons everywhere just to help any person needing help, checking that stock is not being stolen, directing traffic and there is a lot of security persons because everyone in Thailand needs a job.

Thailand is not a third world country.

The people are healthy and happy; the streets are full of new vehicles owned by ordinary Thai. people.
If a person is hungry or sick there is a temple nearby and the Monks are willing to help those in need, including animals. The wealthy and most other people support the Monks without question.

Thailand highway to Burma
Modern Highways Everywhere.

The poorer people live simple lives and enjoy there day to day activities; there is a system of sharing anything you have abundance of. (They do not destroy surplus so as to keep the price up).
I saw out of date cooking oil selling for 5 baht per liter – about 20 cents – could be used for truck fuel.

Many rusty tin shed dwellings have a new pickup truck parked outside and a huge television antenna on the roof.

motorbike wreckers in Thailand

Living By The Railway Line

They do not sell their daughters

The girls who do work in the bars etc. spend most of their day laughing with their friends and partying with tourists, the same as most teenagers would like to do but the bar girls do it for a living, they are not looked down upon (Except by some westerners), they often support a large family, my wife commented that she thinks they do a good job.
If you have never been to Thailand and wish to visit let me know any worries you may have and I might be able to help.
(Note :- The Australian gov't have changed the rules somewhat best check the new rules, effective from 01/01/2013.)
Here is an article from The Age about Calling Asia Home which explains a lot of fine points
(Note :- Thailand is changing the visa rules INTERESTING – May 2014)
There is another rave about travel on this website   How To Get Out Of Mullumbimby
by Len Hend

Updated: August 12, 2016 — 2:39 pm


Add a Comment
  1. I don’t know how Centerlink approve persons going to Thailand to study.
    Australians who are eligible to live here usually are retired persons or they have a job in here.

  2. i need is app for money from centrelink to study Thailand khon kae my

  3. I’m alive and kicking – am in Thailand now

  4. Sorry, old boy; but I have to ask . . . at my reckoning you are now 79 and I have to ask if you are still alive?
    As I said, I apologise for such a question but it is really pointless writing to someone who can’t reply.

  5. Hi Stephen – some thhings change from time to time – let me know if you think I am able to help you – all the best

  6. thankyou for info, intend to live there in future.Been 4 times.Udon Thani.TWICE NonKhai.Sakhon Nakhon. Ubon Ratchathani TWICE. Have girlfriend in Ubon

  7. Cate – there are many American people living here.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this and think it would be a privilege living there. The laws are simple and straight forward and showing your neighbors respect and kindness is the way we should all live. I’m watching my country quickly die a horrible death which most of the world no doubt feels we richly deserve. My heart breaks because we will soon look like Paris, Calais, Germany – a sewer! I live in the USA, which soon will be the USSA. How socialism caught on here after the world turned its back on it is beyond comprehension.

    You have some excellent tips and advice. If only I lived in Australia. (Sigh)

  9. Hi Len
    I have found the above information for Jayana very interesting as some of it applies to my thoughts and financial position of moving to Thailand to live permanently. I have visited Chiang Rai area last year and found it so peaceful and beautiful and will be visiting it again later this year to clarify if this is where I would like to retire to, e.g.away from the “maddening crowd” as we say. Thanks for your information.

  10. I’m not sure what you need with dental or how you are planning on paying etc. but each dental shop has a list of prices and sometimes outside the shop. They are spotless and the staff are highly trained – I went for a tooth out and after they have given me the first needle I told them I had taken an aspro the day before, the sent me home for 4 days and – no aspro – then they extracted the tooth – all up less than AU$20 including an x ray.
    So from my experiences they are inexpensive, clean, well trained and very professional.
    I believe they would have every service available.

  11. Hello again Len Great info thanks. Re investment rental, we have a large mortgage attached to it so need to sell and become debt free then use cash in a better way. That will reveal itself once that’s done. Good ideas about English teaching. We also have ideas for online businesses, over time.
    We are now discussing proabability to take 3 months off when this work gig ends, to visit/live and check it out properly for potential and see if we fit the lifestyle. The biggie for us is adult children yet to marry and have ‘grandchildren’. Not sure how to emotionally unplug from that. Last question is apart from Medical services which sound excellent, how about dental services? Partner had first round of dental extractions ready for implants, but has not been back to Phillipines to finish treatment. Wouldnt be an issue transferring needs if they offer similar services.

  12. Hi Jayana – you have the right idea.
    Here are a few notes.
    There are several ways to stay in Thailand for a year and they involve reporting to the Thai immigration every 90 days (personally or online)
    You each need 800.000 baht in a Thai bank account for 2 months before you apply for 12 months stay or you need to sign a stat dec. and have it certified by the AU Embassy saying that your income is more than 65.000 baht a month (this can vary with time) The thing is that you need a special visa before you can apply for the 12 month visa and that becomes complicated – this is why, you must apply for the 12 months visa between the last 45 and 30 days of your existing visa (that is you must be in Thailand). Tourist visas do not have any more than 30 days.
    So you need a work visa or a marriage visa or something like that and the variations of things are too complicated to list here.
    So – see what is the longest tourist visa that the Thai consulate in Australia will offer you, possibly a 30 day double entry (that means you have a day out in Burma and come back over the border for your second 30 days.
    In this way you would get 2 months in Thailand and in that time you can organize a more permanent visa by getting an English teaching job. But possibly not a teaching ‘lifesyle’ job as you cannot take a job that a Thai can do.
    To get a job in any field except teaching is unlikely unless you know a big setup that needs your skills and a Thai person cannot do what you do.
    Sell your rental income? it might be better to live here on that income.
    My advice – come on a tourist visa and work things out when you get here.
    Don’t pre-book more than a few days accommodation, you can find what you want when you get here.
    Go over the border and return to continue your visa, it is good to see the other countries and it is easy.
    When you get here you will find lots of people doing what you want to do and they can point you in the right direction.
    Before you come, read up on how to be polite in TL as it means a lot to them and learn the money 100 baht = $4 etc.

  13. Hi Len, Great info you’ve shared thanks. My partner and I are considering taking a year off and have been receving rave reviews about Chang Mai. After his work assignment comes to an end (anywhere next 3-6months we are assuming) soon as the business he manages is sold by the Receivers apointed. At 56 and 57, he is especially tired of the work grind, and in need of time out. We wont be able to retire yet, but have considerable savings to easily live in Thailand for a year before plotting the next phase of life. We have an investment property rented out here we would like to sell, thats in the lap of the gods when that will sells. My question is what amount of savings do we need to show proof of to Thai officials to be allowed to have a 12month visa each there? We have recently changed our lifestyle to 100% plant based so food will be easy and cheap there, and recently geting into bike riding to get fitter and lose some flab, we hear its great for that too. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis which tok me out of work for past 2 years, improving greatly with view ot clearing it since embracing Vegan eating, so our health will be quite OK. He is a mechanic and fitter by trade, management experience, including construction and logistics, and I am a Trainer and Assessor, with extensive experience in teaching mindfulness courses, counsellor and teacher for stress, depression and anxiety amongst interior design and creative skills. We are both curious and open to investigate where on the planet we can live and work part time, and eventually retire to. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Hi Douglas – I have my Australian pension paid into my Australian bank and I draw the money from any atm in Thailand.
    At present I have a 12 month resident visa to stay in Thailand.
    Basic requirements are You have worked in AU for a long time – you get old age pension – the Thai visa that you choose can be anything from a tourist visa to a permanent resident and the for long stay visa you need a bit more income than the old age pension to satisfy the Thai gov.
    Let me know if I can help more – cheers

  15. Very interesting reading

    How do you get an Australian Pension whilst living in Thailand?
    What type of visa do you use?

  16. Des – Sorry for late response, haven’t been well – I have never been to Puket and whatever you do you are venerable.
    I don’t think you will get the best deal unless you come here first – Puket, I am told is a party town with something for everyone and the prices are high – I would book 10 days somewhere and look around for the spot you want. You really don’t need to bring a hell of a lot of stuff – you will not be cooking and cloths etc. are not expensive.
    I live at Chiang Mai and it is easier for me to help people who holliday up here.
    Often a cheaper apartment works out to be more expensive because you pay for transport to and from the places of interest, so location is important. Cheap apartments often have a noise problem.

  17. Hi Len, My wife and I are thinking of coming to Thialand,Puket for three months, I am on a pension in my mid sixties. How can we rent a place for three months. I am aware of pension rules. but I dont want to get touched would i need to come over and look to rent first. and what months are the best time of the year mate thanks Des Goulding JP

  18. Hi Pauline – I am not an expert because Thailand visa rules change, but I would say that you and your husband would look up which situation suits you and get the respective visa which would you either leave and re enter the country every 90 days or visit the Thai. Immigration office every 90 days.
    Only Thai citizens can buy land.
    You could buy a condo but not on the ground floor (so I believe)
    A 3b/r 2b/r 2 story house a few doors away is for rent 7500 thai.baht/month – you can see the village on Google maps (Kwien Vieng Village – Hang Dong),98.9626911,3a,75y,188.44h,84.17t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfXkM9ej3CUPMFUPyfuvjKw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  19. I would really like to know how long I can live in thailand before I have to do a visa run. My husband and I are in our fortys and hoping to live in thailand for about a year or so. I would like to know if rent is a fordable we would ideally like to buy a home there what is your opinion on this. Thank u.

  20. Hi there Len, I live in Perth and am just enthralled with your painting lessons on you tube. Have been reading about you and your life in Thailand, so interesting and good for you….wish I could do the same. Anyway I will continue to practice my painting using your wonderful teachings. Thank you so much, I am learning such a lot from you
    Blessings to you and your wife xx

  21. If your in OZ it is not a real problem to come over and have a look rather than making firm decisions – most foreigners who live here are on a pension or they teach English – there is a general rule in Thailand, you cannot do work here that I Thai person can do so I don’t how you are going to set up business unless one of you are a Thai citizen. You cannot just find a job here unless you have skills that the Thai people don’t have and your skills are needed in Thailand. I would say a lot of foreigners who work in Thailand have been invited into the country by institutions such as schools a corporations or they help with their Thai partner’s business – I don’t know what a legal person or an accountant might do, possible find a loophole in the laws here.

  22. hi Lend.
    hopefully this messages get through to you and you can help me out. me and my husband and 9 month old son are looking to move to thailand, most likely nai harn beach/rawai in phuket. Looking into opening up our own buissness. jusat wanted to no if you new how the visa worked with that im trying to find some info but all these sites tell me is to hire a lawyer/accountant. if the buissness doesnt work were looking to live in thailand just for even a yea, if possiable. and most likely try and find a job there. but as i look into it more our dreams of having a bit of paradise seem really far away.

  23. Bill _ my wife is Thai – I know Thailand is full of non Thai people and different languages are spoken even here in Chiang Mai – I have traveled a lot of Thailand – I must be more street wise as I do not get myself into unhealthy predicaments and I really enjoy what I do.
    Well if you think I should not tell pensioners how to catch a plane at Coolangatta then please write us the instructions of how to get from Queensland districts to Thailand an easier way.
    I’m sad that there is no Thai. Consulate in Brisbane now – I must have been one of the last to get a visa there. – Bummer I wonder what the alternative is.

  24. Ken Hazeion
    I AM THE SAME AGE AS YOU AND HAVE LIVED here 12 years.After 75 no one will insure you. You may be able to take out 12 monthsw Travel Insurance. I did this with Aillanz and when I made a claim it was rejected claiming I had an invalid policy. When I bought the Policy on line I gave my age as 80
    Also my D O B as 19/5/33,They issued the policy and when I claimed they said I had purchased a policy for up to 75. I argued that they issued the policy on the Informaton given, To no avail. Fortunatly D.V.A. came to my rescue, But I never got my Premium back
    If you go that way Read the small print.
    I am covered By D.V.A. For service related disabilities so I am lucky there.
    Stay healthy and w’ll see you anon.
    Sorry len I’m not trying to steal your thunder Just trying to be of help
    Stay safe on your m/bike. Allianz are a bad lot.

  25. Len you said in an earlier issue your wife was of Siamese heritage. That confused me as in Chiangmai many people are Of Burmese extraction as in the north east they are of lao, further south they speal a Kamin Dialect where in the deep south they speak a Malay dialect. there are over 50 dialect spoken in Thailand.
    I speak read & write Central but when I visit my wifes village they spek Siran kameen. We understand each other with a little dificulty/
    Deading between the lines I Presume you have not travelled much. Chiangmai
    is a great place but there is awhole country outside of it.
    I also read your article about Coolongatta AIRPORT. aND WHY WOULD YOU PUT AN OLDER PERSON THROUGH THAT

  26. Hi Bill – you might be right about the dark side of Chiang Mai _ I wouldn’t know – I don’t go there, Don’t drink, smoke or go out at night, we own a house and I arrive with a 12month multiple entry married visa and get 90 days stay from the day I enter and last week I went to Burma and got another 90 days but yes I only got 60 days the time before when I did it through the IM dept. here
    So when this 90 days runs out that will be say 8 months I’ve been here this time and I have a choice, go back to OZ for Xmas or stay here.
    I must admit I do see a lot of lost souls sitting on bar stools looking like nobody wants them.
    Most of my life I have survived extremely well living below the poverty line and even now I can survive on less than 900baht a bay – I guess it might be what lifestyle you prefer.
    Thanks for warning my readers of the pitfalls.

  27. Len I compare you to a “Judas Goat” leading believers to slaughter.
    Having lived in Thailand for over 20 years it is not hard to see the flaws in your statements. Working out
    your own monthly Budget, you spend heaps more than the A U Aged Pension. You say you are married so do you receive a single or married allowance?
    Len you don’t LIVE in Thailand, You come here for a Holiday twice a year.If you live in Sydney Thai Consulate will not issue a 90 day non immigrant Visa so you will need to have a Single entry Tourist Visa
    This will gain 60 days on arrival (Your 60 days is from the date the visa was granted not from the day of arrival.) & would need a visit to immigration for a 30 day extension. (1900 B/T) It’s not hard to work out why you spend three months at a time, Any longer & you loose your Supplement Allowances ($78.00) and now you are on a single allowance ($782 F/N) 42000 ??? monthly. After paying rent etc you would be lucky to be left with 900 ??? per day.
    Even to travel without Insurance is irresponsible.
    After age 75 no company wants to know you.
    Your policy with Allianze is only for Accident cover.
    I know Allianze well, I got “Ripped Off” big time by them.
    You painted a pretty picture of Chiangmai and I agree it isa lovely place to retire. You never mentioned The Rogue Cops Bag & necklace snatchers or trans Gender mafia. Thats why I rarely venture out of BURIRAM

  28. Barry I can only say, Chiang Mai, because of the cooler weather and it is modern, plenty of night life and others who also enjoy music.
    Best to take a casual in city room until you find you base.
    Chiang Mai is as big as say Parramatta or Liverpool NSW.

  29. hi there im barry,im 73 yrs,in good health and single thinking of living in thailand permanently,i know its a personal thing but could you suggest a suitable place to live.i still like a bit of night life ,being an ex.musician but not to much.

  30. Hi Ray – I’m not an expert on but I’ll tell you what I know.
    You need a retirement, work, or married visa to get a 12 month visa and a bank account.
    These visas require you to go through immigration every 90 days. Some are free.
    OK I believe you need a retirement visa –
    The income part needs to be proven – no problem – seems you get a stat-dec. from the Australian consulate, stating that you have a certain income. – then you get your visa then you open your bank account. You do this in TL. (you show the AU Consulate your bank statements)- expect to be confused.
    You need photo copies of everything and it is worth getting extra certified copies if you are some where certified copies are free (free in OZ – expensive in TL) you might need them if you get married, buy a condo, bring your girl to OZ. The worst is trying to organize certified copies of your birth certificate when you’re living in TL.
    If your thinking of getting married you need certified copies of any old divorce paper.
    You cannot buy a house in TL – condo first floor or above – yes but not a house. You buy a house for a Thai citizen and take a formal lease on it (up to 30 years)
    You are better off opening a bank account when the Australian dollar is worth a bit more.

  31. Hi Len, I am a 67 year old retiree. I have made some 8 trips to Thailand, visiting friends. I now have a Thai girlfriend and we are living in Bangkok in a condo. I plan to use some of my super to buy a house in Thailand, and to help in this I tried to open bank accounts with Thai banks but was unable to. I was told that I needed a work permit, which of course I don’t have, being retired. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem; it seems absurd that banks would resist gaining customers, after all I am bringing money in to the economy. Any thoughts or comments would be most helpful. Thanks Len.

    Ray Gowers

  32. Hi Ken – I tried sending this in email but it bounced back twice.
    Sorry but I can not give any facts but I can tell you what I know
    Insurance is not a problem.
    Bangkok Bank and other banks look after their clients insurance – so that should be stable.
    Most institutions like insurance in TL are run exactly as they are in OZ.

    My wife had an accident policy for me when she was sure I was going to fall off my motorbike.
    It was with ‘Allianz’ and cost 650baht per month. about $25 say. – Would have kept me in hospital for some time.

    I believe ‘Allianz’ (hope it is spelt right) are also in Australia.

    Hope this info. is useful – if you think I can help you more please let me know.
    in Chiang Mai

  33. Hello Len,
    What you have to say is very interesting.
    I have often thought about living there,, but what do you do about health insurance ?
    I an 82 this year so not sure about receiving a health insurance
    Can you advise me to my e-mail Thank you for your assistance
    Ken Hazelton

  34. Hi Crystal – sorry was not me – have been in TL since Feb. – haven’t been to Melbourne for years.

  35. Hi Len!
    Were you in Melbourne recently? I work at a home improvement store in Melbourne and served a gentleman that looked similar to you. He told me he is also retired and lives in Thailand during the year… Just wanted to know if this was you because if it is it’s such a coincidence me finding your blog.
    You see I’m actually considering moving to Thailand next year so I googled some info and stumbled upon this article. Great article by the way!

  36. Hi Eddie – I am sorry but I can not answer your questions as I do not know if they will let your dogs into Thailand and I have never needed to bribe anyone to stay in the country, I simply go over the border and re enter when necessary – I’m sure you will find the gym and food you need and then you can set up base near there.
    Maybe you should come over without the dogs for a short stay and sus things out. I’m sure you will find the type of lifestyle you need but I can’t say where as this place has everything a thousand times over.

  37. Hey Len,
    My partner and I are lookinh to moving over for a few years. Theres a few questions i have to ask if u have time.
    1. We have 2 dogs that may resemble pitbulls to some people and they are banned in thailand.
    2 will the thais make me return home once in thai or think i able to bribe?
    3 we are very healthy people and both train muay thai and looking for a nice place with clean food and a good muay thai gym in a nice place.

    Thanks mate looking to hear back from you!

  38. All ATM machines pay in Thai baht. with your usual Australian card – usually a visa card.

  39. Hi Len,
    Do you withdraw funds from your Bank account in Aus.$ then change into baht. or can you withdraw in thai.bht.

  40. Hi Rod – A note to everybody – do not enter the karoake bars, your bill starts when you walk in the door and you pay heavily for every smile you get, plus if you complain you get hassled. Bars that open onto the street are not like that.

  41. Thanks Len for the quick reply and advice.

    I can now make some plans and learn about the Buddhist culture.


  42. Hi Rod – I need to be brief here.
    1 Air conditioned apartment, car, shops, restaurant, etc. sometimes the weather is ok.
    2 Chiang Mai is further from the equator and not so busy.
    3 I prefer the Buddhist culture.
    4 Western foods are expensive at expensive restaurants and very cheap at cheap restaurants. McDonalds are everywhere
    5 Take or buy a cheap phone and sim card when you get there and only use your Aussie phone if needed – phone calls not expensive in Thailand – internet is about $25/month for good broadband.
    (I do not think you will leave Australia and never return – you learn these things during short stays in Thailand)
    6 I doubt you can transfer the number.
    7 A tourist visa 3 weeks – there are many visas – too many to list here – some you can stay forever if you have 800 000 baht in a Thai bank.
    8 Visa card is the easy way
    9 If you want a bar girl, go to a bar and she will come to you – otherwise go for a massage or go shopping and be friendly to anyone you talk to – don’t be shy and don’t be rude. Be careful not to fall for the first friendly lady, take your time. Dress well, stay shaven, be humble, respect their tradition.
    10 I still have everything in Australia – I live here too.
    Rod – I suggest you buy a return ticket and fly to Chiang Mai for 3 weeks – before you go you should learn the basic rules about respecting Buddhist people and learn what 100 Thai baht is worth so you can relax with money. Get a 500baht/night room and go for long walks saying hi to everyone who smiles at you. Thailand is the land of smiles) – take about $AU2000 in $50 notes and your visa card (just in case)

  43. Hi Len,
    (Or is it Peter, Wayne etc.)
    Thank you for your informative and interesting website.
    My situation is a lot different to your normal followers. I am 54yo, divorced after 24 years.
    With the small settlement from the divorce, I have purchased an investment property (Ettalong NSW) with Mum's help.
    I am currently working; however, I have been moved backwards as far as statues/responsibility. I live in a large two bedroom unit owned by Mum & Oths. Let's just say, Mum has planned for the future, may she rest in peace.
    I now have no reason to stay in Aus. I have never been to Thailand or Malaysia, yet I find myself attracted to these countries.
    As I am too young for the pension, I plan to live off the income from this unit & the investment property. Approx income is $600.00 p/w after fixed cost.
    As follows, I have some stupid questions.
    1. How to cope with the heat & humidity?
    2. Why did you choose Chiang Mai?
    3. Is Malaysia another option?
    4. What is the cost of western food?
    5. What is the internet/Mobile cost like at present my mobile phone is the only point of contact. It is used for calls and internet. Its $35.00 p/m. Call cost is good.
    6. Can I transfer the number?
    7. How long can you stay on a Visa?
    8. I have some money with the CBA as a Direct debit When I move, am I better of having this money on my Visa card?
    9. How do you meet a Thai lady? I have been on Thai Cupid for a while, but find it as a waste of time.
    10. How did you feel selling/giving everything away?
    I am sorry for all the questions just needed to know what to expect.

  44. Thanks John – I’m sure this info will be helpful to someone – seems to be correct. I can imagine Centrelink giving others different info at times as they do not seem to be always with it and contradictions are common.

  45. Len

    I notice a question concerning Pensioner Concession Card. I am in that position. I spent some time in Centrelink and came away with the following information as at 25 Oct 2014.

    The single base rate will be paid on leaving OZ, $774.00 FN. I will loose the Pension Supplement $63.50 FN and Energy Supplement $14.19 FN but will retain my rent allowance which is about $140 FN for six months after leaving. That is $774 + $140 = $910 odd FN. On leaving OZ my pension will be paid into my bank account monthly rather than FN which make a small change to the above figures.

    My Pensioner Concession Card will be of no use to me until I return to OZ.

    At the moment I plan to keep my humble unit ($360 FN) in OZ. That may change. All in all which leaves me with just over $1080 (30,854 TB) a month on which to live in CM and given the information I have gleaned this will be sufficient …. I don’t drink alcohol. If I give up my unit and loose the $140 FM rent allowance, that figure goes out to 44,225 TB.

    Hope this is not an intrusion but might be helpful for some OZ Pensioner types.


  46. Hi John
    I personally do not like insurance of any kind so I cannot advise you on whether or not to insure yourself.
    If you die in Thailand they would cremate you unless you made arrangements to be buried.

  47. Hi Len

    Thank you for sharing your insights; informative and helpful.

    Two things which I have not seen pursued anywhere; Because hospitals and doctors are no where as dear as in Aus I am not thinking of obtaining any travel insurance when I travel to TL. Is this wise?

    Second; Should I happen to die in Thailand can an exPat be buried in Thailand?

    Your thoughts would be welcome.

    Regards John

  48. Thanku Len. I am nearly 63 and
    Thinking of retiring in thialand when 65. Your website is well written and helpful. Thanku again.

  49. Sounds very good in Chiang Mai Thailand, I will be retiring in 5 years time, I am trying to decide where to live. I live in Australia now.

  50. Bart – you might find it is 800,000 baht in an account under your name only for 2 months prior to applying for retirement visa, but again don’t quote me.

  51. Thanks for your comment Len , mmm how much money in the bank are we talking about ?? I have a one year visa , with multiple entries , I sometimes fly via Indonesia to Darwin , W.A. get a stamp in the passport and stay there for a couple of days , and fly back again. so that is good
    Thanks for your help
    Regards Bart

  52. Hi Bart – As things are now an Australian old age pensioner who has been in Australia for 35 years can live in Thailand and receive the payments indefinitely without returning to OZ. However basically, unless you can hold a large sum of money in a Thai bank, you need to leave TL every 3 months – there may be a few other alternatives but the money in Thai bank is the solid one. Also maybe you should check if your coming and going into Australia will be a problem when applying for the old age pension, there is a set amount of time spent in OS before your application date – might be counted in days (hope not) (please do not quote me on all this as they keep moving the goal posts)

  53. Just a question ….. I am 63 , and have to travel back and forward to Australia , every 3 months , in order to keep my disability pension . When I am 65 , do I still have to do that ?? , I have a girlfriend in Krabi and I stay with her when I am in Thailand , and have a comfortable live there , much better than in Australia . But I seem to spent a lot of money traveling .
    cheers Bart

  54. Hi Len
    Thanks for the time to respond its a liitle disappointing but I will have to work around it.
    It seems like Australia is the only western country to adapt this rule & the people they give the the right to give information most of them are confused about it as well Time will tell

    Thanks again Len

  55. Hi Trevor
    I think you are right. – you need to be living in OZ for the 2 years before you are pension age. But I’m not sure exactly what the rule is.
    And it is hard to say what ‘living’ means – maybe coming home a few times a year to collect your mail – I don’t know.
    Might be best to ask the gov. – but try asking a few different gov. people, as from my experience they can lead you up the garden path.

  56. I still live in Australia gold coast.
    I have been married to a Thai lady for about 10 years,we have a house in Thailand & we both go regually back,l am 57 years old &it is very confusing with the pension.
    As I take it although I have been an Australian citizen all my life & paid taxes,if I leave here permanatly before my pension age of 67 I will not receive the pension unless I am a resident here for 2years before reach the retiring age unless they change the rules.
    I want to leave here permanatly but I am stuck because I do not think I will have funds to survive for the long term

    Is this true???

    Regards Trevor

  57. Thanks for the info Len. My wife is from Sisaket. We are there now. We have a house here and a unit in Surfers Paradise…. Just waiting to retire and get my pension from the ATM… In Thailand.
    Maybe one day well have a beer at HoiTen Tow…

  58. It is a bit hard to say what is going on at the moment with the government in Australia.
    Your message ‘pensions are not payable in Thailand’ seems to be an ambiguous statement.
    I go to Thailand, the government knows I am there, I go to an ATM in Chiang Mai and withdraw my pension every fortnight.
    If you are only a short time resident of Australia, the rules may be different.

  59. Thanks Len for all this helpful info. Thailand sounds like a great place to retire.
    However, I just rang the Ministry that handles Australian Age Pensions and I was informed that pensions are not payable in Thailand. Yet, I see many online articles about people living in Thailand on the aged pension. My own view is that one has paid taxes for many years in Australia and should be entitled to receive the pension in any country of choice.

  60. Hi Bob
    All the best with your adventure.
    I do not think I will be in CM in September but you are welcome to try me – you never know.

  61. Thanks Len,i have enjoyed reading your views on Thailand,,I am also retired,and have been to vietnam,and cambodia quite recently,,while i loved most things about theese places(especially the people)I am not sure i could live there,,I am selling my house(almost done)and want to see Thailand,,maybe this is where i am meant to be??ha,ha, If all goes to plan,i could be in Chiang Mai about sept,and would like to chat with you further,if you are around,,Cheers for now,all the best,Bob.

  62. Great news Rob – the 35 years being in Australia to get full pension while living in Thailand is clearly explained now.
    We are back in Mullumbimby NSW now for 6 months but will look you up next year – keep in touch.
    15km out of Chiang Mai is a perfect place for a quiet life.
    All the best.

  63. Hello all,
    I have just applied for, and received the age pension, I am 65.
    To get the full age pension overseas you must have been a resident in Australia
    for at least 35 years (changed from 25 years on 1 July 2014)between 25 and 35 years you get a pro rata pension. You get the full age pension, part supplement, however you do not get rent assistance, or the clean energy supplement.
    I have been planning for 2 years to go to Chiang Mai, in Thailand, I have a house about 15 kilometres from the city, 3 bedroom, 3 bathrooms 4 toilets, 4500 baht a month, about $150 Australian a month, it is more expensive if you are close to CM city centre.
    Hope you all enjoy retirement, look me up for a coffee and chat

  64. Hi Dave
    I am not an expert on this but I think you need to be living in OZ for 2 years before you turn 65 and you need to have been living in OZ for something like 20 years before that. – before you get the full old age pension.
    It seems if you go overseas often for terms less than 90 days then that is ok.
    I would check with Centrelink (or whoever they are now)before making plans.

  65. Hi Len, Thanks for the interesting article. I am sixty and want to retire in thailand. I was told that I have to wait till sixty five or they wont pay me the Australian pension.Do you know if thats true.
    Many thanks Dave

  66. Hi Len,
    Thanks for writing your practical article about living in Thailand. I was in there many years ago and thought it was a beautiful country and the people were very friendly. My wife and I are looking at retiring part time to Thailand so it was really interesting to read your perspective.
    Thanks again.

  67. Hi Steve, how are you?

    Just reading your post, I am Australian living in Brisbane, I am retiring to Thailand in the next couple of months, my Thai lady and I are buying a restaurant in Patong, we went to see a solicitor over there to see how I go about getting a retirement visa, basically all you have to do is open a Thai bank account, you have to have it for three months, then you apply for the retirement visa, you don’t need to put the full 850’000 baht in straight away, as long as you have had a bank account for three months you can apply for the retirement visa, anyway I’m having no problems yet, so far so good, hope this helps you?


  68. There is a new link on the bottom of the page here which is a message from Thai Visa website regarding visa runs in Thailand – if you are thinking of staying in Thailand for a while you might keep track of this new information – here is the link also

  69. Hi Steve
    There is a website named Thai Visa – they are a pretty arrogant lot but somewhere in that website you should find all your answers.
    Also if you phone the Royal Thai Consulate (I find the Brisbane one good) they are good for answers – try them on a mid week day when they might not be so busy.
    At a guess I would say you need to be in TL to put the required 800.000baht in the bank but from there I do not know.
    I do not know why people ask for Wayne

  70. Hello to Wayne Wayne i’m an aussie here in western Australia need some help although ive lived and worked in Thailand about 17 months of life stretched over last 8 years ive failed miserably to find out a few things!
    I can’t get any answers of places like Siam legal etc truly mate they just totally ignore you!

    ok I have other half in khon kaen area ‘am 56 only not an old bloke I’m trying to find out who I see about the retirement visa & how I open a Thai blank account put in required amount I’m just getting no place with it honestly I went onto 3 Thai forums nobody will tell you how to do all this))) its like an enormous state secret ! I DONT WANT NOTHING DRAWN OUT SAGA I JUST WA NT TO GO AND DO IT –TELL ME WHATS THE BIG SECRET???? BECAUSE NOBODY WILL HELP A PERSON DO THIS & I DO NOT KNOW WHY !


  71. Hi Janette
    It’s Len Hend here
    Not much I can say about medical. I have no insurance as that has always been my way.
    It would be easy to organize insurance – I do not know how much exactly but my wife says it could be about 600baht a month
    There are a few notes I can give about medical in TL
    Country hospitals are much cheaper than city hospitals – country stares say 15km out of Chiang Mai
    Thailand has excellent hospitals.
    I needed 6, weekley, 2 hour cancer treatments with a specialist overseeing the setting up – cost was AU$800.
    Once I went to the local hospital with servere asthma treatment plus doctor fee plus some drugs was less than $100
    A friend found himself in hospital with infected leg wound. He had a room that looked like a small home unit, including television, kitchen, lounge for visitors and a view – 2 days cost him 40 000baht
    So if you think you need insurence – might be a good idea.Chiang Mai Ram Hospital - typical stay
    (Pharmacy drugs can be bought over the counter at low prices)

  72. Hello Wayne, We are coming up for our 15th visit to Phuket in July. We are planning on retirement in 2015. Hopefully in Thailand, as we love the people and the food. My concerns are medical treatments and availability. Do you carry a health insurance. If so, what is the cost? My husband and I would love some insite in day to day running costs. Thank you for your time. Jan Haslam

  73. Hi again Bruce – sorry but I do need to moderate all comments – sometimes there are a dozen spam messages waiting for me and some could get my website banned by search engines

  74. Hi Bruce
    If you are overseas for more than 3 months the Australian government takes the telephone and pharmaceutical allowance off your old age pension – that should leave you with about $750 per fortnite

  75. how much Australian age pension can I expect when I retire in Thailand??????????

  76. I am not a spammer….please ?????????????????

  77. Hi Wayne
    To settle in Thailand is a big decision. You need to go see what is available as far as work goes and teaching seems to be an option. Foreigners can not take a job that could be done by a Thai person.
    Remember living overseas might effect your eligibility for any Australian pension when the time comes.
    I am not familiar with all the lurks and perks of working in Thailand – all I can say is beware of scammers.

  78. Hi Len,
    Would love to move wife and 13yo daughter to thai, wife has food allergies and medical requirements(not cancer or very major,however still relevant) and daughter obviously requires proper education. I work in the construction-mining industry though I am sure that physical work would not be an option with so many able bodied thais needing work. I have excellent english and maths skills and was wondering if you could assist with informing me of options to fund our lifestyle whilst over there. I would love to stay as long as possible, somewhere relatively peaceful (ie not middle of patong,bangkok) chang mai maybe, house probably? where travelling to see all the beautiful locations is an easy option. Thank you for any help, and Ilook forward to speaking with you again.
    Wayne Irwin

  79. Hi Brett – You might email me if you think I can help. I should tell you that you might not be able to work as a landscaper in Thailand, you cannot do a job that a Thai can do. Also if you start living permanently in Thailand at 50 you will find it hard to get the Australian old age pension at 65.

  80. Hi, I would like to know more about living and working in Thailand I am 50 this year and I am a landscaper in Sydney, but at the moment don’t have the funds to purchase a place in Thailand But I am very interested in communicating with you.


  81. Hi Paris and Jackson
    I hope things go well for you. You must tell Centrelink what you plans are. You might find your pension being cut off if you stay more than 6 weeks or 13 weeks overseas (I’m not sure what the case is). Immigration tells Centrelink when you leave the country.
    Also if you stay overseas too much it could effect your old age pension one day.
    If you need to go back to OZ every so often then you could fly to a different country each time you travel.
    In every case you will need to sort out your accommodation by trial and error and by asking other travellers.
    Things change – if I tell you where to stay the building might not be there now.
    You will find you will learn as you go – that is part of the fun – It is a great feeling wandering around without needing to be anywhere for months.

  82. Hi Len
    Just wanting to know everything at all about living in Thailand! I have been over a couple of time to Bangkok and Phuket on holiday and of course fallen in love with the beautiful people and Thailand itself….
    Mt story is a little different as I’m on a disability pension due to Cancer and my son is on a pension also. I finish my treatment in a few months and prior to getting Cancer we were thinking of making the move and starting a wonderful life in Thailand and now after all of this treatment etc we really want to make the move! We would be renting and we would love any info you could send us to make the move a little easier for us if you do not mind. Not sure where to live just yet but I do know we will be travelling as much as possible to enjoy and see this wonderful country not to mention Cambodia and other places! Things like where to stay when we arrive etc though I’m sure we could stay in many places until we get to find a place to rent. Of course we will have to decide as to where we are going to start our new home…..well any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Wrapped to have found this site on the net and lovely to meet you
    Kind Regards Paris & Jackson

  83. Hi peeps.
    I want to move to Thailand and want some Aussie friends or people to talk too.add me on Facebook or send me an email my FB is Jason Kawalok.cheers hopefully talk soon

  84. Hi Graham
    Generally you can not own the land or ground floor of a building in Thailand.
    Maybe you can buy the top floor off her – I don’t know.
    Most of us take out a long lease on the building 10 to 30 years. Cost might be 10 to 30 thousand baht. This is done at the local government office and that pays the fees in advance. There are a few conditions, you need to maintain the building.
    I am not sure about the fine details and different districts might have different procedures.

    What to buy your Thai mother-in-law? – My wife likes to buy her old Mum a cloth, it seems to be a valued gift you will need to find out more. The cloth is a type of silk and seems to be something they use as a wrap around skirt. They are common in the shops but not seen worn a lot on the street. The fabric appear to be of high quality with Thai decorations in the weaving.
    By the way:- I noticed something today – When a Thai person meets a group of people they say swaddycup or swaddycar to each of the group, one big swaddycup will not be correct when you meet your wifes family.
    All the best

  85. Hi Len
    Thankyou for your previous assistance.

    # My partner informs me that she has 2 acres of land in Phetcherboon, & as I previously stated it would cost 600000thb to build a home on it for us.
    My question is (god forbid) that if our relationship went sour what is the outcome in regards to propperty settlement as the house I would be paying for.I have lost out before back here in AUS.
    # also I am to meet with the family in the near future, & what would be an appropiate gift for her mother who is 84 years young

  86. HI Mark,

    I live in OZ one day retiring with hubby to Chaing mai. In doing research found there is an expat club with members from all over the world. They offer guest speakers including lawyers and if you have any questions they will always do their best to help.
    just google expat thailand it cost like 30 bhats a year or less I watched the video it was so interesting giving hope to new people.
    hope that helped I am sure Len can help too
    take care Kris

  87. Hi Len
    Just saying hi from a fellow Aussie who has been living in Chiang mai for coming up to 3 years.
    I really can’t complain too much about anything here. Everything is very different here and it can be a culture shock. I think a lot of older Aussie men come here following a long term maritial break up back home in Oz. They come here really depressed. I think it would be great if some club could be formed for us Aussies here so we can support each other going through separations / divorces in Australia and dealing with centrelinks ever changing rules regarding pensions.
    Kind regards

  88. Thank you Kris and good luck to you.
    Remember for your husband’s sake, a woman says hello different than a man saying hello. – Woman swadycar – Man swadycup (spelling may not be correct but you get the idea).
    I am hopeless at learning to speak Thai and only lately I found out what is meant when people say “Thai is a tonal language” – It means a word can state several completely different things depending on the tone it is spoken at. – wish I had understood that 5 years ago. dddrrrr

  89. Hi Len,
    Kris here I have contacted you before asking some questions. I also found out heaps about retirement through the Thai embassy website. Also found the expats club which have heaps of info.

    Since I last contacted you I actually visited Thailand.

    I went with my daughter and since she paid for everything had to go where she wanted LOL she booked a 5 star hotel in mai cou beach Phuket we were so far from everything.

    We did venture into the business district of Phuket and then onto the beach.

    I absolutely loved it and the people were amazing. I had a bad hip at the time and went into a chemist and he gave me some really good pain killers without a prescription as he was the dr LOL everything seemed so easy.

    I am coming there again in July next year with my hubby. We are going to Bangkok first like your page suggested and onto a sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

    The Thai people have a really good sense of humour and I learnt how to say hello good bye thanks etc .. as in the hotel daily sheets of info were left on the bed with a word for the day. one day the word was Alien so we asked at the front counter if we could go on that tour? They looked very perplexed until we laughed and they new we were kidding.

    The food was amazing and so cheap. However I did spy a bottle of Jacobs Creek Merlot for $65.00 AUD wow. The beer was ok though and I loved all the coconut and ginger drinks.

    I think that when we live there I will get fat LOL

    My hubby is a cyclist and wants to ride around Chiang Mai I don’t mind the odd ride but have had my hip surgery and still in recovery and cant imagine getting on a bike yet LOL should be all healed by next year if I don’t ride a bike I will rent a scooter.

    I loved the story of Uncle Harry that was a classic and I am sure “the raid” was true as I know you come from Mullumbiby my girlfriend grew up there and I have been to visit her relatives there a few times nod nod wink wink.

    Well thanks again for all the info.

    Yes I am definitely not taking a suit case this time and will look out for the cheap flights starting soon.

    I too flew Asian air they are definitely the cheapest and the meals were cheap and yummy I spent all my money on food there and only bought one elephant for 60bahts nothing else.

    Got to ride on an elephant, had my feet cleaned by fish, got to make a thai salad.
    Maybe we might call in and see you next year. You can tell us more stories LOL

    thanks again Len for your great site.


  90. Do appreciate your help Len.My drugs are not too exotic so it seems from some research I’ve done that they’ll be available for nominal prices. Thanks again.

  91. Hi Dave
    After leaving OZ you have little use for your benefits card – you lose your medical and phone allowance some weeks after leaving and it is renewed when you return to OZ. – about $50/ fourtnight I think.
    Simple drugs for say asthma, heart, colestrol etc are sold over the counter for reasonable prices in Thailand.
    You usually are able to buy 6 months supply of prescription drugs from Australian pharmacy using your benefit card – it is legal to take them with you. It is not legal for a pharmacy to supply them to you by posting them to TL.

  92. Len,
    am not the greatest operator of this new fangled computer, so I’m not sure if my last message a few minutes ago got thru. My query related to the Pensioner Concession Card. Can you say its benefits are transferable to Thailand and if not, the approximate difference in the cost of medications. Thank you.

  93. You have gone to a great deal of trouble Len, and I’m sure there are many of us most grateful for your assistance. Is the pensioner Health Benefits entitlement transferable to Thailand? If not can you please give an indication as to the price difference in medications many of us rely on? Thank you.

  94. Hi Robert
    The rules are often changing and not often for the best – at present you need to be in OZ to claim the old age pension.
    I seems you need to be living in OZ for some time – about 2 years.
    All these things should be checked with ‘Centrelink’ before you make a move.

    Teaching seems to be a common occupation for Australians in Thailand – and the visa is easily acquired through visa agents in Thailand, I do not think age is a problem.

    What you should do is find out exactly what Centrelink expect before you get your old age pension – you might be able to live in Australia and visit Thailand regularly.

  95. Len

    Can I get the aged pension from Australia if I decide to move to Thailand? I’m not eligible for it so looking at this as a long term option. I’m currently 60. Would I be able to get work there & get a working visa so I could stay long term? I am a qualified teacher as well as a social worker & have a TESOL qualification.


  96. Hi Harry
    5000baht/week is plenty for a Thai person to live. It is a very generous amount.
    If you wish to stay in TL without leaving you need to hold something like 800 000baht in a TL bank in your name only, and it must be there for the 2 months before you apply for the appropriate visa (retirement visa I think) otherwise you will need to leave and re enter the kingdom every 90 days.
    If you are in TL with an out of date vise I believe you will have to pay 500baht/day fine with a maximum of 20 000baht. The immigration do not like you staying past your visa time and might cause trouble if they are inclined.
    My wife had an accident insurance for me and it was 600baht/month – the cost of health insurance might be similar.
    ( Note :- Village hospitals might charge a fraction of what you would pay in a city hospital)

  97. Hi Len.(again)
    I have been doing a lot of reading/planning for retirement in Thailand (from the last time I talked with you) in 2 years time.
    After checking with centrelink here in aust, I am informed that the aged pension is $1250/35000bth per month. As we will be buying a house in the Petchebuin area (as you stated before she is not looking for a Walking ATM).
    # I have asked her if I gave her 5000/week would it be enough to live on including food and things in general. She says yes, is this possible, as it is hard to believe living in aust. if so that leaves some to save for emergencies.
    # I still have problems understanding the visa rules etc. is there a way where you don’t have to keep leaving Thailand to renew. It seems time consuming, & if you forget renewal time you would be in a whole lot of trouble.
    # Do you have any information on Health Insurance and cost?
    Please excuse my ignorance but I am continually looking for help

  98. Hi Anne
    Khorat is a long way from Chiang Mai and I have never been there.
    I can not advise you where you might buy computer parts in Khorat – your brother should look for a local technician or a Pantip Plaza near him.
    It is always wise to take a Thai person with you who speaks your language to translate.

  99. Hi Len, Can you please provide some advice on where to buy a PC laptop, modem, printer and surge protector in Khorat. My brother lives just out of Khorat and his computer etc was fried by lightning recently. He really needs these items replaced so I am looking at replacing them for him but need to know who to buy them through then he can just collect them when ready? Your article was great, enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you. Anne

  100. Hi,
    It was so refreshing to read about your move to Thailand and your positive out look of thailand.
    I am 68 and planning to move from Australia to Phrae ( near Chiang Mai) in 2 years time.
    My wife (Thai) and I have 6 rai of land in Phrae and plan to build when we relocate there.
    We have been together for 9 years now and have a 18 year old daughter going to Uni next year in NSW.
    Our daughter will stay and work in Australia but come and visit us from time to time.
    I have been involved with Thailand with business (small amount) since 1994 and have see very positive changes in the country culture and economy during this period.
    I would like to stay in contact with some Australians living in the North of Thailand so that I may discuss the pros and cons of things there.
    Hope to hear from so other Aussies in Thailand or intending to live in Thailand.

  101. Hi Len, it was very interesting reading your blog from the perspective of an older person living in Thailand compared to most other blogs more relating to men ( 40ish) who’s main reason for being in Thailand is more for the party scene.
    I’m looking to the future, I’m 57 and am considering all my options when I finally retire.
    From what I have read so far on the internet,Thailand seems to be less restrictive with their rules about a foreigner living in their country.


  102. Hi John – bit of a late reply but I am lucky to say my dental expenses have been low enough to not worry me – $30AU for a huge extraction. So far no hospital – but if I do need hospital I think I’ll use a village one rather than the more expensive city ones.

  103. I am sorry but I do not know enough about Thai politics to comment. However you might consider the fact that most Thais are Buddhist which gives them a ‘what will be will be’ attitude about a lot of things.

  104. hello i am doing an assignment on thailand and i was just wondering what impact the government system has on the society ? do the people have lots of problems with the government or is it like australia they just complain because its something to complain about .

  105. Wondering dental and hospital how have you servived lm paying of my dentist ha

  106. Realy enjoyed reading your story have allways wanted to have a live outlide oss and like other culturrs good reading thanks

  107. It appears you need to be living in OZ for the 2 years immediately before you apply for your old age pension.
    Centrelink are easy to talk to, so you might go there and get the info from them as it is not always simple and one mistake can cause you a lot of trouble.

  108. hi peter,
    i have one more year to go until i am 65, i have a small amount of super which would probably last me at least 4 years or more if i moved to thailand, i have been working in australia since 1963, so i would be pretty well eligable for the full aged pension when i retire,what is the situation on getting my australian pension in thailand if i was to retire there.

  109. Hi Peter
    Very nice article I am planning to retire alone in Chiang Mai (old wife loves to stay in Australia) I have been about 4 time in Bangkok and once in Phuket I am 63,6 years still working I am planning a holiday in February 2014 In Chiang Mai I need 3 days back to BKK for ongoing dental I am from Spanish descendent. I have been living in Australia for 32 years I have to stay in Australia in order to get my SS pension till November 2014 I also love Mexico but Thai women are my weakness are they so beautiful!
    Is any chances to be your friend? I can play guitar and keyboard and sing La Bamba for you I am a Handyman and carpenter joiner, I speak Spanish too.
    Awaiting your replay
    Rene Perez
    E mail:

  110. Hi Kevin
    It is Len here – I guess the 2 year thing is the way it goes as I have heard it many times but you need to check with OZ Government.
    Might be a way around if you have an OZ residential address for 2 years. – I don’t know.
    With the money – my old age pension is paid into my Australian bank account and I draw it out in Thailand with that bank account’s Visa card. There is a 150 baht fee and my allowed maximum withdrawal is 20,000 baht per day.

  111. Good morning Peter.
    A well written article i must say well done.
    Peter i am 63,when i reach 65 i would like to obtain the aged pension in Australia,but i have been advised i must return and stay there for 2 years? i have been retired here in Thailand now for 3 years,on an o/a visa.But not keen on returning to Australia for 2 years.have you any knowledge on this?
    Also will they allow the pension to go into my Aus account,then i would transfer it here when ever i need.
    Hopefully you can assist me Peter.
    have a great day.

  112. Thank you for your input Peter
    Maybe someone can answer your question about your son.

  113. Hi Len, I have just discovered your site, and i think it is very informative.
    I am an expat who has lived in Thaiand on and off for about 4 years.I am 63 and going bqck to Aus to establish my residency, so i hope i can then take my pension with me back to Thailand. You have to have lived in Aus for 25 years or longer to get the full pension.
    I wasent sure if i could get the pension in Thailand but after reading your reply to Charkie it looks like i am doing the right thing!
    Perhaps someone can answer this, i have a young son [born in Thailand and has duel citizenship] Can i claim a little extra for him when i get my pension?
    Thanks , look forward to following your site.
    Regards Peter Winks.

  114. I loved your last paragragh. I dream of visiting Thailand-dont know why) and have always felt kind of attachment to this country. I hope to visit this year and i PRAY i wont be disppointed or have bad experience-and I live my dream while Iam there.

    The reason I loved your last paragraph is that I always get mad or disappointed when westerners or other Asian country_esp India. visit this wonderfull country make it all about the Bar girls and Sex industry. As if Thailand is all about that. and post disgusting coments of these girls. (AS IF THEIR COUNTRY IS VERY CLEAN)-
    This is the only country I have read abt that does not discriminate sex workers and homosexuals. no one is Rich or poor…evrybody go abt doing their own thing. most of Buddist temples provide education for poor. Thank you for this article.

  115. Hi Graham
    I had an art shop on High St down near the plaza till I moved to Mullumbimby about 1980 – played snooker at RSL. Was never a Freemason.

  116. Thanks for your reply Len.
    I will just keep planning, & trying to get info.
    How long ago were you living in Penrith (as I have met you)
    Also did you belong to any clubs while you were here as I live in Penrith
    Were you a Freemason?

  117. Thanks Charkle.
    Please do not quote me on this as I might be wrong and the rules often change.
    It appears if you are 65 and receive the old age pension you can stay out of Australia forever and still get your pension paid into your bank account, less a few dollars for phone and pharmacy allowances.
    That is IF. You have had a permanent address in Australia for the years (maybe 2 years at least) before you get the pension, and you have been in Australia (on and off say) during that time.
    Also I believe you need to have been an Australian citizen for so many years before you receive the pension.

  118. In regard to the aussie pension, you must have a residential address in aus and stay in thailand for up to six months. I am 63 and just retired this year,I have checked with centrelink and you can travel to thailand as a tourist, give no address in thai go back to aus when you have expired your visa, have no bank account, show no details of your accounts in thailand, if you stay and live in thailand before you turn 65, centrelink will tell you when you go back to australia you will have to live in aus for another 2 years, this sucks but it is the rules, I have had to pay for a one month extended visa, then i go to Laos for another extension and then i fly back to aus in november and start this all over again, just so i am eligable for my pension when the time comes, if there is an easier way I sure would appreciate knowing this, Clarkie

  119. Hi Harry
    I do not know anything about the Phetchabun Province – I would look for info on the forums at the ‘ThatVisa’ website – it is full of statements about westerners living in Thailand.
    The return to OZ every 6 months is a new one to me – might be a new rule or it might be confused with the fact that by Thai law you need to leave Thailand at least once every 3 months – most westerners go across the border for a day or so.
    Air conditioners are not expensive to run here – possibly 8 hour a day – $30 per month max.
    Phetchabun Province is nearer to the north of Thailand and not as hot as Bangkok.
    Your lady friend seems good the way she quoted 600000bht for a house – that is cheap and she must be thinking realistically and not ‘I’m marrying MR ATM’.
    If I were you I would work towards having your lady visit Australia – not straight away – because if she gets a visa once, it is easier the second time and the second time might be a quick exit due to political turmoil in Thailand. – you never know!

    Best of luck Harry

  120. Hi len
    Thankyou for your notes about living in Thailand. I am 62 (living in Sydney) & am thinking of retiring to Thailand for my old age in about 3 years. I have worked here since I was 18 so there should be no worry about obtaining aged pension. I have met a nice Thai lady from the Petechenboon Province (I have known her for about 3 years) & am thinking of living together with her. I have had her enquire about price of house which she says is about 600000bht (in that area), which would be comfortable for me & her.
    With what you say the pension about 9000-10000bht/week I asked her if we could survive on 6000/week & she said that it would be easy for us. That would mean I could leave my superannuation in Australia to allow it to continue to grow.
    # I have been told that I must come back to Aust every 6 months for me to continue to receive the pension, Is this true, & if so is there another way around this?
    # Also do you know much of the area where she is from, as I have only been able to collect info from the internet, which is realy made up for tourists.
    # Air conditioning in Thailand, is it dear to run.
    Thanking you in advance

  121. Hi – I think you will get full pension while living in Thailand, you have been many years working in OZ but the amount might depend on how much money you have in the bank.
    The rules change now and then so best to go to government pension office (Department of Human Services) and tell them your story and then double check on what they say as they do make mistakes.
    You will find they are easy to talk to.
    Cheers and best of luck.

  122. hello,
    i will be 65 in one more year, will have pretty good, super, when i get paid out, however i am a little bit confused about getting the australian aged pension should i decide to live in thailand full time,can i still get the pension if i move to thailand,i moved to australia from england when i was 14, i started work in australia from the age of 15 years old.i am a australian citizen now.

  123. Hi Len,
    Thanks for your quick response. At least I have some idea now.
    I also understand that they sell second hand cars at the markets. Not sure how reliable they are but we will take a look when we come there.
    thanks again
    cheers Kris

  124. Hi Kris
    Second hand cars are more expensive in TL than in OZ.
    We paid 55000baht for a little 1984 model Toyota sedan.
    The prices displayed on car windscreens in CM are the deposit and often seem to be equal to what you might think the car is worth in OZ.
    There seems to be a lot of cars for sale along road 121 near San Phak Wan.

  125. Sawa dee Ca! Len
    I have just came back from Thailand spent 5 days with my daughter. We were in the south and saw patong and Phuket. My husband and I are going to Chiang Mai next year as we want to live there. One thing I couldn’t find out about was the price of second hand cars. Do have a link I could look at?
    All the Taxis were new clean and beautiful. But it seemed to me that the locals all ride on mopeds or motorcycles which I would not.
    Do you have any info on second hand cars? Are they terribly expensive? I bought the local paper but there were no prices attached or some papers didn’t have cars for sale.

    Just for your information on a previous post I asked if dogs were allowed to be brought in and I found out that they are. in Bangkok it is a 4 week quarantine but also other people posted they never had to do that either LOL

    My daughter and I absolutely loved our holiday and the Thai people were very special. Very calm and extremely patient and helpful.

    I took over 300 photos to show my husband.

    He is very interested to see Chiang mai as that area seems to suit us. I have looked at real estate too and the prices suit us as pensioners.
    You are a legend giving out all this info. It is very kind of you.
    Khob Khun ca!!

  126. Good David I’m sure it will be useful for many.

  127. If you go to you will find a web site put together by a American known as JC. You can pay @10 p/m to be a member if you wish and you will get good value. Its all about living in Thailand, much of it about Chiang Mia as he has lived there for 12 years+. He has about 250 free video clips on youtube on just about anything you want to know which you can look at for free and peruse all about the site before you part with money. It has a chat room and a forum and lots of other features as well. Most of the member are from US, I’m from Australia have met JC, yes he is making money not a lot, when you look at the site you’ll understand. If you want to live in Thailand you gotta look at this. It will save you lots of time and money running around.

  128. Hello: I just came across a video of Len doing an Australian painting, and followed up with his story. Having had classes with a few different ‘teachers’ I must say I got more information and guidance from just this one video of Len’s regarding uses of paint, brushes, technique and demonstrating a practise session. Thank you so much; I’ll keep watching everything you produce, and I sincerely hope you sell plenty of your art works.
    Reading about people retiring to Thailand is a real eye-opener. I wish I’d come across it sooner, but I guess it wasn’t meant. However, it’s always good to be reminded that the world is a big place and our little corner isn’t the be all and end all. I’m returning to Australia from Ireland (after looking after my parents) and am quite nervous about the high cost of living for a pensioner. Everything seems to have skyrocketed in a couple of years.
    Lovely to read so many positive stories, and my very best wishes to Len and his wife – clearly a happy and generous couple.

  129. i have seen all painting of bob ross, but they are very difficult for me. and after seeing your paintings i came to knew that painting is very simple.
    thank you, LEN

  130. your art is very beautiful. i am not good in art but after seeing your painting i knew that art is very beautiful.

    thank you, LEN.
    to show me what is art….

  131. Thanks Rob – It is not easy to express the feeling when you have been here for a while – words do not seem to explain the feeling – thinking about being here causes a simple smile to take over from words.

  132. Hi Len,
    Just arrived back in Oz from holiday in TL this very morning. I discovered your website while investigating the idea of retirement overseas. I checked out the Oz govt website about payment of pensions. As I understand it, if you have lived permanently in Oz between the ages of 16 and pension age, for 25 of those 49 years, then you are entitled to the full pension. However, you won’t get the supplements, like GST compensation and carbon tax.
    As I have a beautiful Chinese wife, I have very seriously considered retirement in China. Also not a bad idea as your money would probably go even further there. Fortunately, I have tried to fully immersed myself into the Asian culture and feel pretty comfortable with that. It’s no good harbouring old fashioned ideas about European superiority or any of that BS, the Chinese will pretty soon cut you down to size.
    As Aussies we are quite well respected anywhere in Asia, as long as we keep a low profile and don’t look or act like Yanks. It’s a great big Aladdin’s Cave of opportunities for anyone willing to respect the locals and be prepared to fit in.
    More power to yer Len
    Regards Rob

  133. Hi Len.
    have some up to date info about the age pension.
    i lived in thailand for 5 years( going back to oz to visit family), i was told that when i applied for the pension i had to live in Australia for 2 years before i could go back there and live( otherwise i would loose my pension).
    but i read on thai visa that a guy from oz was in the same boat as me.
    his info was when you apply( and they will know you have been outside Australia for a period of time).
    tell them you were on a extended holiday NEVER admit you lived in Thailand, if you have family in oz or property( not necessary) and you haved lived in oz for 25years before, then you will have no problem.

  134. Hi Jenny.
    It seems you are on the right track.
    November is a long way off. Now is as good a time as any LOL.
    Somewhere in a suberb in south Brisbane is a big Asian community with a big Asian shopping center, being there can be just like shopping in Chiang Mai – clean modern shops, same smells, people look and act Asian and many speak no or little English – might be worth a visit to see what to expect.
    In Chiang Mai many Thais speak a little English.
    When I first lived in Chiang Mai I thought retiring in Thailand was a man’s type of thing – I don’t know why, possibly being an old man and having many beautiful younger women wanting to be my friend might have something to do with it.
    But after looking around I see many mature Australian and other women are living here too. You can tell they live here because the glide around the supermarket with the ‘I’m in heaven’ look on their face. YES this is a place for mature Australian women to retire.
    I do not know what type of health insurance others have – private hospital in Thailand can become costly.
    The culture and language are not a big hurdle – a bit frustrating at times but nothing like the misery often encountered with the Australian Government or Telstra system.
    Thai people seem to have an inbuilt ‘karma’ detector, if you are a problem you will not attract Thai friends but if you have the ‘it doesn’t matter’ attitude then you will have good people wanting to be your friend. One note here. Do not give money, a little gift here and there to the needy but not more than say $3 at the most. Do pay the right amount for someone’s time but again not more than $3 (100baht) for an hour cleaning or helping move some furniture, otherwise you might attract the wrong type of friend.
    All the best

  135. Hi Len, was inspired by your comments. I am a 65 year old woman and just moved to a retirement village in Queensland and do not like this lifestyle. I didn’t get much super so sold my house and bought my present villa cheaply so that I could have money to invest in order to travel and have some security – its impossible to live on the pension paid by the Australian government alone. I find life here totally boring, here – God’s Waiting Room if you know what I mean – just marking time. This is not the life for me as I am a young thinking, intelligent woman who wants more out of my retirement days. I suppose the reason I find it so difficult is that I don’t have a partner to walk through life with, and therefore I want to find somewhere to live that will inspire my days.

    I am considering living in Thailand, Chiang Mai in particular, and am going there in November for a couple of weeks to check things out. There seems to be so many interesting thing to do there and the philosophy of life beckons me. I would plan to absorb their culture and to enjoy same. I am soon to take some Thai language and culture lessons to prepare, and would hope to continue my learning whilst there

    My question is, how easy would it be for me to assimilate into this way of life as a mature aged woman on my own? I am going to Chiang Mai in November for a couple of weeks to check things out, and all being well will go for 3 months next year and then make a final decision. I just want to be happy and I can’t accept my life here the way it is – I am looking for more – a better quality of life, spirituality, friendship, and a new zest for life in my surroundings and the people around me. My philosophy is ‘If you risk nothing, you get nothing”.

    Any comments you make would be of tremendous help to me. I thank you in advance.

    Warmest Regards

  136. Hi Dean
    Sorry but I don’t know about the tax thing.
    If we make a little here and there, it all goes into my Thai wife’s purse, that way I do not need to worry and I keep my pension.
    If your in business you might need to be more serious about tax.
    Also you might not know – If you are working online in Thailand, you are working, and that requires a special visa.
    There is a website which comtains heaps of info on life in TL and it is called ThaiVisa – dot com I guess.
    – Something that is along these lines – My wife brought a lot of Vitamin E capsules from Australia and was stopped by Thai customs and told she will have to pay tax next time but because there was 5 people in our party they devided the amount of capsules by five and let her pass – so there is a system in place!

  137. Hi Len, great article!
    I’m an Australian living in Thailand for almost a year now and love it.
    I have started buying and selling goods online and I’m after any info i can get regarding this in my situation (Aussie living in Thailand).
    I have sent a few emails to various people and I’m just wondering if you know anything regarding where and who do I pay tax and business registration for selling goods online.
    Thank you and best regards,

  138. Again thank you for your quick response I will contact the embassy.
    In the meantime I will learn to paint from your great tutorials. Hope you don’t mind if I keep in touch.

    Love your paintings


  139. Kris, I really don’t know if you can bring a dog into Thailand. Sorry.

  140. Oh that explains it thank you so much for your quick response.
    I do have another question can I bring my dogs into the country? I Know with Aussie laws they are so strict as we do not have rabies here.

    I have to say I love Thai food and everything else but feel the need to eat fish and chips every now and again. LOL My husband makes the best ever and should we move there you are invited.


  141. Thank you for your kind comments.
    Sometimes there might not be a stove. No problem, they are very cheap and the local gas man will assemble the connections etc.
    Thais eat out often and at home eat simple.
    Cooking indoors is too hot, most stoves are in an outhouse.

  142. Hi Len,

    You are most informative. I have been reading many blogs along with yours. I am a bit confused.
    I think I read that when renting there is no stove for cooking. Is this true? and what are the alternatives?
    My husband and I are thinking of moving to Chiang Mai. I am doing as much research as I can.
    Also I love your tutorials on painting. You are quick straight to the point and certainly not boring. I love to paint and will use your methods on painting water reflections.
    Thank you so much
    I await your reply

  143. Hi Andre costa,
    This might help you.
    I live at Hang Dong, Chiang Mai.
    Rents have risen since the original post was written but are stll lower than in the city.
    Since the big flood in Bangkok many people have moved to Chiang Mai and rented houses.
    If you come to Chiang Mai you can visit the villages, they are modern homes, and the ones for rent usually have a sign on them.
    PS. You need to have the correct visa to work in Thailand.

  144. Dear
    How are you Today? Nice informations in your page
    I d like Plase ask you where we can find advertsement about Houses for rent at the prices of 5000~12000Bath a month ?
    i m looking for a old style house dont need a new one to rent becouse i want after try open a bar or small brasilian restaurant, i m builder and in spare time work as a chef ,so some guidanece welcome thanks a lote have great day…

  145. Hi Pedr.
    You might find you only get 6 weeks overseas now, not 90 days. That’s ok – at first you can check out TL without getting yourself tied up here.
    $100,000 – do not let every Thai know – their natural attraction to money can warp many situations – big and small. – Especially the 25yo.
    I would leave money in OZ bank – interest bearing and transfer about $3000 at a time to visa card when needed for use at ATM in TL.
    (That’s enough for emergency or fast trip home to OZ). If you get to the stage where you get the old age pension and the OZ Gov. still let us stay here year round, then you can apply for a permanent resident in TL and you will then need to put 800,000 BAHT in a Thai bank in your own name about 2 months before applying. There are possibly alternatives to ensuring you are able to stay in TL.
    The older Thai lady living up north in TL sounds like a good contact for you.
    Maybe get a room close to her for a try out. (average room $10 – $20 per night much cheaper by the month).
    Many many Aussie guys live with Thais and everyone is happy. It is not an issue. Thais are Buddhist and do not have an opinion on that sort of thing – ‘what will be will be’ – they are more judgmental on your habits, are you clean, do you respect them and their houses and their traditions – take shoes off at door, say hallow in Thai, speak quietly, give way to the old, respect their religion and king.
    Here is what I think.
    You should come to Bangkok. (it’s like Luna Park, cracker night, Royal Easter Show, Sydney markets all put together and x 1000) Get a room in an area where there are many English speaking people. That will give you a taste of one extreme, then for the real heaven catch the sleeper train north. (bottom bunks have the window). Find your 57yo friend and say you will keep in touch, meanwhile look around for a partner. (45 yo) Let the Thais know you are single, you will be asked often, they always have a relative looking for an Aussie husband.
    Important: – do not get much attached or make promises to a lady unless you intend to stay attached – make it clear. – Suicide is common with broken hearted Thais. You can have casual flings as long as the lady understands what your motives are, – no bullshit.
    Don’t feel bad about paying for a lady’s company and if the lady is too humble to ask for money then sometimes you should give her -say $10 – $30 as a gift, you are possibly putting her kid through school or paying for an operation on a blind relative. If she is wearing stiletto shoes and rides a new moto, then it might be another story. Be aware that 80% of the Thais you meet would not be with you if you had no money, they look for a supporting friend, some will aggressively try to talk money out of you, and some are experts at it.
    Thai ladies are naturally passionate, loving, kind, and caring. They do not show affection a lot in public, but behind closed doors they are never ending with their input of kindness.
    A month ago I went for a ‘straight’ oil massage; the girl was about 40 yo. and beautiful. After the massage I put my arms out to give her a thank you hug, she wanted another hug and said in many words “thank you, nobody ever hugs me now, my husband is dead”. She worked where she had much contact with foreigners but was one of thousands of Thai women who were not noticed and lonely.
    Flying is miserable. You do get better at putting up with the stress and learn tricks to sleep or remain in a docile state. After each stay in TL I do enjoy going home to OZ for a while. If you live in TL without wasting money on pleasure, you will be able to afford the trips home. Your first visit to TL will cost more as you will be experimenting and learning how to save money.

  146. Hi Anthony
    I am not an expert on business owning in TL so my info here might not be 100% correct.
    However there are always a way around things without donating to the elephant fund, (I imagine that means a bribe – which might cause you loss of sleep.)
    Thais have a good system to make sure rich persons cannot buy their country.
    You need to be a Thai citizen to own land but anyone can buy and sell a flat as long as it is not on the ground floor.
    An Aussie marrying a Thai can buy a house in his partner’s name and then take a 30 year lease on that house, in case something happens to the partner.(if the roof leaks you must get a Thai to fix it unless you have a work visa for fixing roofs which you cannot get)
    So in business I guess you need a Thai partner but I seem to remember hearing there are laws saying an Aussie can own a percentage of a business, that would be 49% max I guess.
    Also there is a thing called a working visa which you might read up on.
    There are many bars owned (?) by Aussies. Not just bars. – Behind the scene somewhere there must be a Thai person who is the legal owner or major share holder.
    There seems to be a general rule – you cannot do any job which can be done by a Thai person, so – no serving behind the bar I guess.
    If you are going to have a go at setting up in TL, sign up for the ‘thaivisa’ website – they have all the info but you might not like the sarcastic answers you get from some members.
    Check out the rules for working visas in TL. (online – Royal Thai Consular General)
    Before you go there, make several copies of all your personal documents and get them certified by a JP in OZ – birth certificate, passport, deeds, (if you try to get these from OZ while in TL it is a headache)
    Don’t try to set up in TL unlawfully or someone will dob you in.
    Hope this helps – good luck.

  147. Hi Len,
    One of the best write ups ive seen, well done.
    One question, or it may become more??
    If i move to Thailand, (and i understand i should contact the local Embassy here to confirm) but what are the rules about owning or buying a small business there. As in a bar, Internet cafe, restaurant, etc??
    Someone told me i can but i need to employ Thai’s to which is ok too. They also told me if i donate a certain amount of money to the Elephant fund it helps?????
    Your advise will be wonderful, many thanks and good luck
    Regards, Anthony.

  148. Hey Len, Thanks for this informative article. Mike K

  149. Hi John
    Since I wrote this article things have changed with Centerlink.
    You need the old age pension as 8 years goes very fast.(that is my opinion)
    If you leave OZ now you might have trouble getting your pension when the time comes. As Centerlink keep changing the rules, you need to speak with them and get the facts about your situation. (Will you get your old age pension if you are absent from OZ for a few years prior to the date you would be eligible?). They are easy to talk to if you go there with your ID.
    I believe you need to be in OZ to get the old age pension and possibly living in OZ prior to applying. I am not sure if the age is still 65 years.
    Also you might remember that Centerlink now have record of who leaves and arrives in OZ, so they will know when you have been absent.
    As far as a placid living goes, you are not always welcome to work in TL. And you might live to be very old therefore you do need that pension which you are entitled to whatever happens but I know the Gov. will muck you around if you do not dance to their tune.
    All the best we are back in TL next week for a few months.
    Cheers Len

  150. Hi Len

    Your article is very interesting re the Aussie pension.

    Although I am currently in Australia (Working to save money for the future) I have a home in Chiang Mai. 3 years ago I married a beautiful Thai lady and have 3 kids (Hers).

    I am tired of the separation and only going home every 5 months or so for 3 weeks.
    I am 63 and have enough super to support us for 8 years. After that I will need to acquire a passive income.
    Can you advise if I will get the pension at 65 should I retire early. Will I need to go back to Australia to apply?
    I have worked in Australia for near on 47 years and paid some huge taxes.

    Your comments would be welcomed


  151. Hi Brian
    At present the OZ pension is about 9000 to 10000 bhat per week but this may varie slightly

  152. hi there john how much is the oz age pension worth in thai bhart
    cheers brian

  153. Len good read thanks,I am thinking of doing the same living in Thailand been there 5 times love the people and food I am on a pension age pension living in OZ on a pension is to hard so I am going to check out Chiang Mai and stay for awhile and see if I like it.
    Thanks for the article
    Cheers John

  154. Len the Australian gov’t have changed the rules somewhat best check the new rules, effective from 01/01/2013. I think your looking at 35 years in future rather than 25. Something about if you return the new rules may apply.

  155. To claim an age pension you may need to live in Australia for a period leading up to retirement age ( I think five years ). If so it would put a spanner in the works.

  156. To claim an age pension you may need to live in Australia for a period leading up to retirement age ( I think five years ). Details via centerlink.

  157. I was in the same situation as you but I was on sickness benefits before I turned 65 and had to return home every 3 months or lose my benefit but 6 years is a bit different to my 3 months about 4 times.
    I think you might need to return home to claim your old age pension. When I got mine I asked about living overseas, they said I had been an Australian citizen and had been living in Australia and contributing for 27 years. I guess that is what I needed to satisfy them. So the 27 years thing might be what they are looking for. On my last trip home they told me I could stay here forever and get my pension but after 3 months they would stop my drugs and telephone allowance. – no problem –

  158. Hi Len, very interesting story I read just now about you. Your life sounds very good.
    Maybe you can help me with a general quick question. I’ve been living, working Thailand for over 6 years. Just turned 65 recently. I’d like to continue living here for say 6 months each year (after claiming the age pension) is that possible do you think? I’ve been back & forth to Australia couple of times EVERY year. Even paid tax there (a little part-time) whilst there until recently. What do you think? Look forward to your reply. (in Songkhla)

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