There’s something special about this corner of the world. It’s an exotic place—orange-robed monks collect alms at dawn—yet it’s easy to live a comfortable lifestyle, similar to that of the West, but without the headaches and extra expense.
We dine out on delicious Thai food, go to the cinema for an English-language original, or, at a moment’s notice, take off for a beach weekend. And the Thai people are some of the most welcoming in the world. As expat Godfree Roberts says: “Happiness is a priority. Thais live much more in the moment than we typically do. And it’s to everybody’s benefit. The country’s greatest accomplishment is its sophisticated culture.”
And it’s beautiful. Think turquoise seas and white sand beaches, jagged limestone cliffs, beach-rimmed islands, mountainous jungle retreats. With that comes a whole range of lifestyle options. On a budget of around $2,000 a month including rent a couple can live well anywhere in the country.
You’ll often hear newcomers express their surprise at how easy it is to acclimatize, to find First World comforts while still enjoying all the excitement of life in Asia…where ancient temples, golden Buddhas, and colorful markets are part of daily life.
But where should you start looking? To help you find the perfect spot, here’s a rundown of the country’s most popular expat havens, as well as a couple of “off the-grid” destinations for anyone seeking an extra dose of peace and solitude.