The majority of expats move to Thailand to escape things that annoy them about their homeland.
These things usually relate to lack of freedom: cold weather that keeps you stuck indoors, the rising cost of living, the expense of socialising, the inability to smile at someone without being classed as a weirdo, the list goes on…
But nowhere is perfect.
Every country has it's positive and negative points, and Thailand is certainly no exception.
Many quickly realise that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and end up moving back home with a year or two.
Others love it so much they never look back, while some remain torn between two worlds, regularly weighing up their options through good and bad times.
So what are the most popular reasons for staying and leaving Thailand? What would you miss and what would happily leave behind? I asked a group of 10 expat friends, and here's what they came up with:
What Expats Would Miss About Thailand:
- 7-Eleven – open 24 hours, on every street corner.
- Hot climate.
- Great beach getaways on your doorstep.
- Cheap food, and good restaurants – when you need them.
- Beautiful women everywhere.
- Smiley, positive people with a zest for life.
- Great, affordable private health care.
- Awesome cinemas.
- Great malls and market shopping.
- Fantastic public transport (Bangkok).
- The rural simplicities of day to day life (for those living upcountry).
- Rich, diverse culture (temples and regional traditions, etc).
- The low cost of living.
- Not being taxed to death.
- Never getting a cold.
- Having a nanny.
- The constant availability of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- No speed cameras, traffic wardens or parking charges.
- The “you do your thing and I'll do my thing and we'll both be OK” attitude.
- The ability to walk almost anywhere, safely, 24 hours a day.
- Affordable massages.
What Expats Wouldn't Miss About Thailand:
- Visa and immigration bureaucracy.
- Rip off taxi and tuk tuk drivers.
- Bad driving, traffic (Bangkok), and general road safety standards.
- Dodgy pavements.
- Dangerous electrical wiring and general bad workmanship.
- Fake smiley people.
- General corruption.
- Poorly trained bank staff.
- Bad internet connections.
- Foreign sex tourists who give decent expats a bad name.
- Thai obsession with uniforms and whistles.
- 1970's health & safety attitudes.
- Garbage in Bangkok.
- Soi dogs roaming and pooping everywhere.
- The burning of the fields in the North of Thailand that happens once a year and pollutes the air.
- The poor acting in Thai soap operas.
- Unnecessarily being prescribed multiple types of pills by the doctor.
- Bad car mechanics.
- Lack of good places to play football.
- The “It doesn`t matter (mai bpen rai)” attitude when something really does matter.
- The ever-present threat of a political coup.
What gets on your nerves in Thailand? What do you miss about home? What do you love about the land of smiles and what would you hate to go back home to?
Add your would miss and wouldn't miss list to the comments section below…