Best cities to live in Thailand

what island???

Phonam Phrai

there is no such island in Thailand.

there is a district, but no island that google can find.

Hello everyone,

It seems there is a confusion on this thread. Those who are asking about an "island", please include the username of the member in your post.

If you are however referring to the post of American Fellow, maybe it's this one :

Which is an island and a district at the same time.

Let us move on and share about the best cities to live in according to you now.

All the  best

A lot depends on your personal circumstances; a single male looking for regular nightlife, a professional looking for a job, a family with children looking for an international school, or a retired couple.

I have only been in country for about a week but Chiang Mai is incredible. Very expat friendly and it seems that everyone speaks at least a bit ofEnglish. And yes, the weather is cooler than Bangkok.

Living in the country is not for everyone, but if you dont like foreigners, it is the best place to be. It can be boring unless you know how to use a computer and access the world thru it.
The time can be used to start a online business, download unlimited movies, books and tv series. Start a garden, plant and grow all your own food. Take a meditation course. Take 2 Thai message a werk. Go out to lunch with friends you like and stay away from the walking dicks (mostly asshxxes) from Pattaya area.
Take trips to nearby countries, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Georgetown.
Swim once a week and get a nice dog and train it.

Stay away from Issan, you wont like it.
it is Boring, nothing to do, hard to find farang goods and services, no one speaks english, roads are bad, Bangkok is a long way away. 5-6 hours on dangerous roads, Very few farang for friends. You wont like it.

Zykoph :

I have only been in country for about a week but Chiang Mai is incredible. Very expat friendly and it seems that everyone speaks at least a bit ofEnglish. And yes, the weather is cooler than Bangkok.

Agree Chiang Mai is nice, I've just spent a month there for the 3rd year running, but it was much nicer 10 years ago with less traffic & way less tourists of a noisy disposition.

How's the smoke pollution so far this year?

I live in a rural village 40 minutes south of Chiangmai. I don't think I'd want to live in Chiangmai as it is too crowded and cities in general are very hot.  I like the convenience of getting everything I need from there and then returning home. Muang Chiangmai Is great though given the surrounding mountains and natural beauty.   Would never live in Issan or near Bangkok but I did like Krabi when we visited there. 
And yea the burning season can be bad up here but the government is trying to control it now so we'll see if it improves. The drought is becoming extreme in Thailand and will start having serious consequences if it continues another year.

There are negatives of ChiangMai.The air certain times of the year is terrible.Traffic can be awfully bad at times.Prices are as high or higher than in Bangkok
Isaan,Udonthani has A large farang population.You should actually go there and check it out.
The beaches,hua Hin ,Samui,phangan are ok.Pattaya and Phuket can be A little different.
My advise would be come over take A vacation and check it all out.
And Bangkok is crowded and hot.Not for me but some people like it ok.

Try Ubon Ratchathani.
A very laid back city near the Lao border.

Wait till you have lived in Chiang Mai a year or more, before you can make a statement at all. Right now you are only a Tourist.  Patrick

I would love to know more about these area's are they away from the tourist population? Mae Rim . Thanks Patrick

Hello, I can't wait to get out of Bangkok, been here 3 years, we own are condo, we are looking for a place that is Quieter, less traffic, or no traffic, less expats, some place safe to walk with out getting run over by scooters or cars, some place where you can ride a bicycle. A apt. with a pool. Some place peaceful. Also would like to know more about Chiang Rai too.  Thank You for your help.  Patrick

Bang Saen, can you tell me more about this place, my wife lived there once when she was young, she is Thai, I am running out of options, places to live in Thailand. We have lived in Nonthaburi for 3 years, I can't stand the traffic, smog, & noise. We are moving back to California for 6 months every year, because I miss not being able to speak English, also miss my friends & family at home. But for the other 6 months I would really like to find some place to live in Thailand, as my whole wife's family lives here. And it is to much for me to ask her to be away from her family completly.  So I hope I can find something. We bought a condo in Nonthaburi, so we wouldn't be buying any other property's, but we could rent for long term if the price is right. We visit hua Hin often, but to many Expats there for my enjoyment. Would like to have a Apt. with a pool, close to a beach I can walk on. Is any of this to much to ask. Thank You for your help.  Patrick

I very recently spent a week in Bang Saen. I won't be rushing back, little to do. There is a huge Laem Thong shopping centre. Most places are walkable & there are local songthaews. Not a lot of bars, apart from those along the beach road that cater to the Thais at weekends when the town is packed and traffic is gridlocked. You should see the cars arriving from Bangkok at the weekends, Porsche, MB, BMW, etc.  There is quite a good purpose built walking path along the beachside under the trees which much be kept clear of vendors. This goes quite a long way, perhaps over a kilometer. There were more farangs around than I expected to see. Locals tell me they get more & more every year.

I live in Bang Saen and i love it here.

Week days is pretty quite, And not much traffic, Sure morning / evening there is some when people go and come from work, school and so on.

And as other post say week end we get all the people from Bangkok coming here to relax and partying, It is a super mix for me.

I love to bicycle, So i do that on week days, No problem at all, Many time i only see a few motor bike and a few songthaews.
Wake on the beach on week days, i have many time being the only one walking there.

Great weekend marked here.
Bang Saen hold event all the time, All ways some  thing to do, see.

I know there is area, Bar where the Farang meet, But i never go place like that.

If one want to have more partying, short trip to Pattaya or Bangkok.

Chonburi is a short songthaew from Bang Saen.

Detach house for rent 7.500 baht and up pr month. Have no idea about price for apartment here.

Have the best seafood i every eat in my live.
Nothing better to see the boat coming in with the sea food, The women cleaning the sea food, Motorbike taking it to the shops, Go order fresh sea food from that shop.
At very small price.

Well i better stop writing about Bang Saen, But as you might have guess, I love it here.

Hey there,
I live not far from Koh Chang, there are a few nice islands around the area you talk of including Koh Mak and Koh Kut - my wife has visited them for (government) work and says they are extremely lovely places; all found just beyond Trat. She tells me there are many 'Farang' there through out the year, so this could be what other members are looking for? I personally live in Chanthaburi and enjoy it here, peaceful quiet area with lots of good Thai people who I interact personally well with. I generally dislike westerners here as it attracts a certain ilk of human being and display behavioural patterns that are unbecoming. My thoughts are through experiential learning but like most western men I moved to be with my wife, who has a good job. I am also chronically ill so I find it beneficial with the peace and quiet, slow existence which suits my situation. The only thing lacking is possibly some quality western food, but because of my health I don't/cannot eat a great deal anyway. We enjoy frequently visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia for meds as Thailand's laws have changed - so I get my western dietary requirements periodically for-filled there. I believe there are many superior places in Thailand outside party areas, beyond the strobe lights of Pattaya and Patong there are areas which are far nicer with far more genuine Thai folk.

Sounds like what Im looking for.  Visited Koh Chang, but my wife needs a catholic church or she wont move with me.  Good Luck to you.


try Phayao in northern Thailand
we have several catholic churches
population around 20,000
we have Tesco and Makro but not many farangs

Mea Rim is north of Chiang Mai, maybe 20/30 minutes. It is populated as a suburban city would be to a metropolitan area. That pocket though is a little hotter then the surrounding area.  And some of the larger stores are not out that way. Even so it is popular and has what you need.

I generally dislike westerners here as it attracts a certain ilk of human being and display behavioural patterns that are unbecoming.

Mike-Robbo ...You are generalizing. I have met many expats here that are very good people and am thankful to have met them and befriend them. Maybe you hang out at the wrong places but by the sounds of it you don't hang out at all so have no right to judge.

If your looking for western style food, you might want to try Passion Delivery in Thailand, look it up on line, they are not cheap, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Good Luck with your health. A American in Thailand.

Agree with your points but you are not volunteering very useful information that would support other expats.

3 cities only with French schools.

A list of those would be very helpful to other people seeking similar needs.

With all due respect, I don't think many expats are looking for French schools in Thailand. Everyone's looking pour quelquechose I mean something different.... ;)

Well one person here was clearly seeking it so maybe you should be aware that not everyone is the same and have different needs. Whats that word again. Different.

Mike-robbo :

I generally dislike westerners here as it attracts a certain ilk of human being and display behavioural patterns that are unbecoming.

You are there too!

hstory :

Stay away from Issan, you wont like it.
it is Boring, nothing to do, hard to find farang goods and services, no one speaks english, roads are bad, Bangkok is a long way away. 5-6 hours on dangerous roads, Very few farang for friends. You wont like it.

Haha, you just don't want to see it ruined by tourists!
Kalasin here I come! ;)

Came here to get a feel for where I might use as a base while I scout around to find somewhere more permanent. I'm single, retired, fit & healthy and would like to place myself closer to smaller Thai communities rather than tourist busy areas. The variety of opinions here seem to justify me having a good look around,  stay a few months in diversely different areas until I find a happy medium. Some negative comments could be from those who don't want an influx of newcomers to their chosen area, I can handle that, perhaps the many challenges faced along this journey could further add to the magic of exploring a completely different lifestyle. I'll return occasionally just to pick up some gems of wisdom lol lol
Thanks for the insight shared here.

Welcome Robert!
There is only one Bangkok but hundreds of "smaller Thai communities". It's impossible to tell you which is "best for you"; I'll bet you can't even know that until you visit. Have you been to Thailand before?
What's your level of comfort with a "third world" country? Ocean or mountain?
Most of us start by visiting Bangkok. You don't have to like the big city; I sure don't, but it's a hub for exploration north and south.

Thanks, Dick.

Yes, I have spent considerable time in third world countries, Bankok only two weeks in 2011 on business so couldn't have much time to really look around, certainly not in the less populated areas where I'd like to explore. Although compared to many another true third world countries, I would have to say that from experience doing business with Thai people and getting to know some whom I've met over the years particularly in the medical tech field, I doubt "third world" will be a term associated with Thailand for much longer. Second world maybe, but that's only my opinion.

But thanks, Dick, I'll keep watching for other comments.

Just as everyone seems to start with Bangkok, many expats and tourists gravitate to Chiang Mai. Compared to Bangkok, 'Mai can be very charming.

But they haven't solved the air pollution problem. In spring, the smoke gets so bad that many people move out for the duration.

The city is quickly attracting crowds of people from Thailand, China and all over the world and it's becoming over-populated. All this without a functioning mass-transit system, which is at least 10 years away.

I know at least one expat who started in Chiang Mai, but won't go back.

Call this "negative" or call it realistic, I don't mind.

I'm going there soon, but as a base to look for somewhere else. Maybe Hua Hin on the coast. That seems relatively undiscovered.

Third World = Developing World (a more accurate descriptor, especially for Thailand).  OK -- I really like Krabi Town. There is a nearby airport, so you can grab those cheap flights, hop on a plane and go exploring all around the country. I stayed at a place called Krabi Loma Hotel -- $21 a day Canadian, so around 550 THB -- The hotel is clean, central, just a short walk to lots of nice places, has a pleasant staff -- nothing fancy, but very functional. I've been to lots of places in this country, north, north-east, central north, central, south, far south, from the big city to remote jungle islands with gangs of ferocious monkeys and no internet. So, in my opinion, Krabi Town is a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Krabi Town is a nice, good-vibe place to hang out. It has a substantial Thai population with an interesting mix of internationals . . . and there's that airport, which is key to your question. I live between Toronto, Canada and a Bangkok suburb in Thailand where my wife has her property and family-owned restaurants; but the couple of weeks that I stayed in Krabi Town still resonates in my memory. I am an English language teacher and a professional musician/guitarist. Krabi Town has a nice music community, so that's another reason I like it so much, and there is that airport hub. It's easy to get to and, hopefully, it will be a pleasant experience for you as it has been for me. Cheers.  dcb

I'd like to explore Krabi soon.

I use "Third World Country" instead of "Developing Country" since most people know what that means, although it's an outmoded term (and not "politically correct").
But no label is accurate. Every country has its issues, and are "progressing" or changing at a different rate (or direction). ;)

The United Nations maintains a more naunced record of different countries and their challenges:

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