Thailand is a Southeast Asian country that has 76 provinces. It’s largest and most populous city Bangkok is the cultural centre of the country and is travelled to frequently by travellers both international and domestic. The nation has been influenced by its neighbours so its culture is a blend of Indian, Cambodian, Chinese and Burmese cultures. Its religion is also a huge part of the national identity and it has ties to Hinduism and ancestor worship. It’s a blend of these other Asian cultures that makes Thailand such an adventure full of wonder and excitement. You never know what’s going to happen next, what things you might experience. Moving to this nation will be a change but it might be one for the better.
Please note that this article offers recommendations. It does not constitute as legal advice. If you are planning to move to Thailand, please seek professional legal assistance.
Keep your options open
When faced with so many choices of places to live, you don’t want to make the mistake of settling in the first place you visit. You might think that you want to live in a particular city from preliminary research you’ve done, however you never really know until you’ve been there and experienced the place for yourself. Many are immediately attracted to Bangkok because it’s the capital city and the social interactions that one can have. However, that might not be what you’re looking for. So travel around the country a bit, see what you like and where you could see yourself living for in the long term. Think about what you will do for work and how the cultures interact around you. Then make your decision based on what you’ve found out from your travels.
Pick up on social and cultural etiquette
Do some preliminary research on the culture of the Thai people before travelling or moving to the country. Smiling is a huge part of social interactions so be mindful of this when communicating with the locals. Dress is also important as the Thai people can associate you with a certain class when they take in your initial garb. Take into consideration the difference in culture that you’re used to and make an effort to understand and pay attention to their customs. It might be something as easy as a smile that gets you out of a potentially sticky situation with the Thai people.
Take care of matters before leaving
Make sure that you’ve got things such as visas and somewhere to live while you’re moving to Thailand. If you’re planning on living in the country long term or even permanently, change your address a week or two prior to your move so that any mail or packages can be sent to your new address. This also applies to things like your credit cards and bank accounts, although this should probably be taken care of a month in advance so that you will have access to money and funds when you make the move. Research the visas in Thailand and find the one that best suits your situation. Retirement visas are available if you’re looking to retire in Thailand, but be careful because the Thai people are quite strict when it comes to visas so it’s best that you have a good idea of what visa or visas you’ll need when you travel there.
Finding a job in a new country can be a confronting experience, so it might be best to find one before moving overseas. Find out what you want to do for work as well, whether it be on your own business or teaching. There are many teaching jobs in Thailand and it has been said that expats are quite popular for these roles. That being said, don’t rely on there being many jobs for you to choose from so make sure that you do your due diligence and really focus on what you want to do. If you haven’t found a job and you’ve already moved or are days away from moving, don’t panic. Take care of your budget and make sure that you’ve left enough funds in your savings to last at least a couple of months. This will help you with the time it might take for you to find employment.
Despite being influenced by a great many of the neighbouring cultures, its national religion of Theravada Buddhism is practiced by over 94% of the population. It has such a significance that it’s woven into what the country has become today. It’s acknowledgement and respect shown for their elders is also part of the culture, with greetings reflecting that relationship. The traditional Thai greeting, known as the wai, is usually made first by the younger of the two people greeting. Their hands meet and with the fingertips pointing towards the sky, they bow their heads and say hello. The elder will then respond in kind. Children are taught the importance of this greeting and put this into practice when they leave for school. Before they leave the house, they wai their parents to show their respect.
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