Thailand is a country that comes up a lot in travel discussions. It seems to have a reputation as a tropical party paradise. A place where you can do things that you couldn’t do at home. And the association with the sex trade always comes back. We get this picture of Hollywood and olden days, where a lot of rules were overlooked for a little money for tea. Thailand can be a fun place to visit or work. But it can be very strict in some ways. If you’re coming to Thailand to party, stick to the touristy areas and leave before your luck runs out. But if you want to go to Thailand to experience the culture and work a little. You will need to learn what is expected, and you will need to leave your preconceptions at home.
- Work in Thailand: Thailand is very cautious (too cautious) about who is allowed to stay full time, especially Westerners. For this reason, most professions are prohibited for foreigners, and the list of jobs you can do there is relatively short. Most of the jobs that foreigners do in Thailand are managerial or specialized type jobs, such as engineering or business management. There are plenty of teaching jobs available if you have the proper accreditation. Many people choose to be digital nomads, making a living from computer work. This path can be more complicated if you want a long stay visa. You will also need insurance, the medical facilities are great, but they are not free. Some companies offer special visa insurance in Thailand depending on the type of stay.
- Living in Thailand: It’s the best of times; this is the worst of times. Well, not really, but some things in Thailand will frustrate you the most, while others will sound too good to be true. The weather is fantastic if you like it hot. Thais know how to stay out of the heat, so there are plenty of cool places to hide. The food is among the tastiest in the world. Thailand is a culinary culture, and they make fantastic food. The cost of living in Thailand is low but rising rapidly. Being polite is essential in the culture, as is preserving individual dignity. But Thailand is, for the most part, a friendly and tolerant culture that above all wants to have a good time. Language is the biggest obstacle as there aren’t as many English speakers as you might expect.
- Government: The Thai government is described as a constitutional monarchy. There is a king, who is revered, and there is a prime minister. Foreigners don’t need to know much about the government; it’s a bit of an enigma anyway. But government is much less invasive and controlling than Western governments, which is a blessing. It’s easy to get out of trouble, as long as you don’t step on your toes.
In recent years, changes have made long-stay visas in Thailand more difficult to obtain. And the covid situation has made travel and tourism a mess. However, things are expected to resume their course soon. And there will likely be many new opportunities for Westerners to live and work in the kingdom.