What is It Like Living In Thailand
What is It Like Living In Thailand
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT ARE THE TOILETS LIKE IN THAILAND?
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’.
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.
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.
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