Deciding Where to Live
Consider taking take a stepped approach
Travel around to as many provinces as possible. First, you may not know nearly as much about Thailand as you assume. Visits and vacations usually involve 10-day to 1-month trips with visits to touristy type locations. If you are planning on living here, find a sustainable location that fits your comfort zone.
- If you hate traffic, stay away from the major population centers. Most roads in Thai cities are too narrow and traffic often slows to a mess during rush hours. Living just off a road where hundreds of cars and motorcycles race past and pickup trucks belch diesel exhaust can be very unpleasant.
- Do you need western goods regularly, stay near, but not in, major population centers. Some of us need western goods from time-to-time and a short "jaunt" into town for shopping may be required. Decide what is a "jaunt" and what is a "journey."
- If you plan on living a hedonistic lifestyle, consider Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya or Chiang Mai. You will actually find expats who think living in a room above Patpong 1 is their Nirvana.
- Do you want to live quietly in the mountains and live mostly Thai style?
Investigate Pai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phrae, Mae Hong Son and Loei.
Likewise, Thailand has 76 provinces and hundreds of towns. Most of them have something to offer. Matching your needs to what the town has to offer is the key.
- Plan to live by the beach? Look around the Eastern Seaboard, South Central or Southern. Beaches vary from busy Patong in Phuket and Chaweng in Samui to the slow pace and quiet of Thapsakae or Ban Krut in Prachuap Khirikhan.
- Immune to Island fever? Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Koh Chang. Most of these locations have excellent scuba diving and water sports available.
- Golf nuts may want to consider the Eastern seaboard with more than 20 good courses. Chiang Rai has 2 very nice courses, as does Hua Hin
So you need to digest all that's available and come up with a location that fits you best. That takes knowledge and time.