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Moving to Thailand with your family

Hello everybody,

When settling abroad with your spouse and children, the expatriation process requires an extensive preparation.

What are the considerations to take into account when moving to Thailand with your family? What challenges have you faced? How did your children adapt to their new environment?

What is your recipe for a successful family expatriation in Thailand?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,

Bhavna

This is simple, if you have a family you love, DO NOT under any circumstances come to Thailand. No matter how good you think you are as a family in the end you will succumb and your family will be torn apart. You think I am being extreme. Remember my warning and even better heed my warning, you will thank me. Come on holiday and have a great time. DO NOT MOVE HERE

Just come with a lot of money

why do you want to move here? answer this and you will know what to do. is it just to leave a bad area you live now? or do you think that the move will bring you a new family life?

@ bodacious > To whom are you talking to please? Do note that Bhavna is a member of the Expat.com team and she has launched this topic in order to gather information and to make it available to the members who seek information on this topic.

Thanks,

Priscilla  :cheers:

Thailand is a good place to live if you are having a good professional skills . you can make good money for yourself and for your family as well .

This is bullshit:you can make good money for yourself and for your family as well

Thailand is a difficult country for working and for having a good school it is very expensive.If you have aot of money than is nive to live in thailand .

I agree with StylishGolf, this is no place for a family, the school system here is the worst, and you will not have any Quality of Life. If you are single or a couple you could survive, but don't drag the children with you. You will be Sorry.

Honestly, save your lives, moving to this country is a massive mistake and 1 that could cost your life. 10 yrs here and wish I could get. Like many I lost all I had to these thieving low life people who will murder their mother and ***.... Don't bother.

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I will be moving with my family to Thailand this summers.
I'm concerned and interested by your advises, and suggestion.
Popular farmers expression says:  "May be YES, may be NO".
- 30 years ago, i couldn't heard such argument. Because, It doesn't help in to reach any conclusion, it's  non productive,  discussion doesn't progress with it.
- 30 years older, I believe Busy Farmers meaning is : "Discussion takes time and arguments."

As farmer, my response to you is: "May be YES, may be NO".
Please explain you conclusion, give some facts, mistake to avoid, traps, dangers, ...  don't assume we are smart enough to guess.

Close to impossible to make money here. I work 5.5 months 10 hours per day official with work permit and did not get even 1 THB !!!

Dear
i worked one year make money and beautiful girlfriend also .it was a best time period of my life to live in Thailand

If moving to Bangkok, the No. 1 rule should be: "Live close to the Skytrain or subway, otherwise get ready for spending hours in major traffic jams".....

We lived in Sukhumvit on Soi 24 and absolutely loved it. BTS Prom Phong 150 m away, parks, restaurants, pubs, shopping, movies, all within easy walking distance.  One of the most famous restaurants in BKK, the Lemongrass, was next door to our apartment. I would take a morning run in the nearby park, then cook breakfast for me and my wife, go to the office, while she set off for her morning massage, then lunch, and then we met at the pub for dinner.  Trips to Phi-Phi Island, Phuket, are a 30 minute flight. Singapore is about an hour away.

Bangkok has relatively inexpensive housing, as expat postings go ($3000/mo for a 2/br, 2/ba completely furnished, stocked and serviced apartment).  Food is fabulous, omnipresent, and also inexpensive.  And this goes not only for Thai food.  Some of the best German and Italian food I ever had was in Bangkok.

Thailand is a great country to move to depending on a few factors.

1.) It is a great place to move if you get moved here by your company. Most of your expenses will be taken care of such as housing, education, etc. People who fall under this category should not experience too much difficulty adapting to the country.

2.) It is a difficult place to live if you are trying to find a job here. Unless you have a very specialize skills, don't even bother to come here unless you are ok with salaries of $800-$1000 per month. If you can't even secure a job for $1000 per month then don't even bother, you will struggle here. Many are already struggling to live off of $1000 / month if they want to splurge and enjoy life a bit. If you are young and just want to enjoy life and explore, not thinking of savings yet. Yes come and have the time of your life, but take the necessary precaution or else you may be sent back home in a box.

@rkolarsky has good tips.
Housing -  Live close to the BTS / MRT if in BKK, you can live close to the city center (along sukhumvit) and find 1 Bedroom apartments for around 15,000 baht. Studio can be had for 10,000 baht and these are nice decent new units. There are some decent parks, but of course can't compare with western countries, but still enough space for kids to bike around - such as Lumpini Park.

Education - If the company is paying for it, you will have nothing to worry about. There are many top international schools with excellent facilities, teachers, and curriculum. If you are paying for your own education and want your kid to have a good education (looking at international schools here). Be prepared to pay $10,000 and up for a good school. There are cheaper schools, but those are usually Thai schools with international programs. Again this may be one of the major expenses if you are paying for your kids own education.

Food - Bangkok is very diverse and authetic when it comes to food from all over the world. You don't really need to worry about it, imported food will cost you, but thats the same in any country. You will be spoiled by the choice of food here.

Healthcare - This probably lean towards a negative, if you don't have insurance and need big medical procedures, sometime it will cost more than in your home country. But for some procedues it may cost less. Doctors are not necessary the best even at top hospitals such as Bumrungrad, its always best to get doctor referals from friends if you need big procedures.

Activities - Are you a bored at home while your significant other goes to work? There is no shortage of fitness clubs, yoga studios, classes from flower arrangement to painting classes. Want to learn an exotic instrument such as the chinese Guzheng? Well there is no shortage of things to do and places to go. There is a boom in coffee shops in the past 5 years, so if you love to sit at coffee shops and read or socialize, be prepare to explore new place in new areas of the city! There are also lots of sight seeing that can be done within a 1-2 hour drive of Bangkok. Afterall the beach is only 1 hr away too.

Socializing - You can easy meet friends through language class, activity classes, and don't overlook facebook groups that cater to folks in Bangkok.

Most importantly is to come with an open mind, and don't have high expectations of anything. You will find more joy to have low expectations and then experience something good than have high expectations and find out nothing is the way it works the way you are used to back home.

If you are very picky and uptight about services. Be prepare to be annoyed by everything from taxis to waiters and more.

This post can't sum up everything, but feel free to ask more questions.

tnd0324, that is Great Advice. Hope people read it.  Patrick

I have lived in Thailand for 12 years. Both in Bangkok and outside in Issan and Chang Mai. During that time I taught English in several schools as well as to business leaders in top corporations. I live here with my Thai wife and adopted daughter. I also pay for schooling for two nieces.
My advice is too home school only.  Why?  The top International schools are expensive and full of wealthy privleged and severly spoilt Thai children.  Theses privlidged are pushed thru the system unaccountable for their grades or actions. Foreign children witness this and never really recover from the experience.
In the public school system, particularly the younger grades, children are brain washed to love an old monolithic system and dead leaders. In the public system corporal punishment is used daily, but hidden.  Children in the upper grades are unaware of world geography, cultural diversity or world affairs, it is all Thailand, Thailand, Thailand great Thailand, beloved Thailand, revered Thailand and her leaders, how benevolent, great,  they are.
The public civil service and public works is broken,  period. Graft not only exists, it is systemic.  There is no concept in the culture of volunteerism, your families children will not know it, nor will they understand the values, or concepts behind it.
If your independantly wealthy single male, come to Thailand. It is unbeatable for single male life.
But if you have a family "run" the other way, quickly, give your head a shake and ask, "what was I thinking"?

hstory :

My advice is too home school only.  Why?  The top International schools are expensive and full of wealthy privleged and severly spoilt Thai children.  Theses privlidged are pushed thru the system unaccountable for their grades or actions. Foreign children witness this and never really recover from the experience.
In the public school system, particularly the younger grades, children are brain washed to love an old monolithic system and dead leaders. In the public system corporal punishment is used daily, but hidden.  Children in the upper grades are unaware of world geography, cultural diversity or world affairs, it is all Thailand, Thailand, Thailand great Thailand, beloved Thailand, revered Thailand and her leaders, how benevolent, great,  they are.
The public civil service and public works is broken,  period. Graft not only exists, it is systemic.  There is no concept in the culture of volunteerism, your families children will not know it, nor will they understand the values, or concepts behind it.

Home school is unlikely if your kids are in middle or high school.

Just want to defend the international schools here, its not as bad as you make it. Yes expensive, but there are also cheaper alternatives. Privledge are pushed thru the system, but that does not mean they are all bad. The good kids still outweights the bad, kids who go to international schools are generally well rounded. If you can afford it, its still the best option especially for kids who enter during MIddle and High School. You can't just paint the whole system negatively with a broad brush.

Most international school takes grades and actions seriously. Having been here for close to 30 years, I've seen kids being held a grade (having too many Fs), suspended for X amount of time (throwing poo at the principals office and fighting), and even kicked out (drug abuse / fighting). Internatioal schools are very different from Thai Schools where they have a "no fail policy" which is pretty much a law here.

You are dead right about public schools - avoid it at all cost if you can, if you can't afford international schools, there are better alternatives such as private Thai Schools with an International Program. Since this topic is about expatriates, its highly unlikley anyone will send their kids to a public Thai school.

I haven't moved here with a family because I started a family, in the sense of having kids, while living here, but some of the same applies.  Most of the advice given has been good, standard stuff.  The underlying premise is that the numbers have to add up.  People talk about moving here and living like a local, expecting that something in the range of $1000 / 30k baht per month might be enough, but for raising kids it's not even close.

If an expat package provides ample income (roughly triple that), including that the costs of international school education are covered separately (which would amount to 500k baht to 1 million baht per year, essentially 100% of what most Thai professionals make) then it comes down to cultural aspects.  There are foreigners here, and working with other foreigners and having kids schooling with other foreigners narrows the problem to getting along with other foreigners, not really about integrating into Thai culture.

It's odd that I've just said that a foreigner would need to earn several times over what Thai professionals do to live here, but the alternative is very problematic, living like a Thai.  Some people do that, they manage, but it's all the harder when a child needs to learn a second language to pull that off, sort of close to impossible.  About home schooling, to me this would involve social isolation in one's native country, but here would be all the worse.  Even if the education is great I can't see how one could make up for that.

It's all much easier if one parent is Thai, which changes the demands and the balance a lot, especially if the children can speak Thai.  Even then local schooling options have a range of limitations, but at least this opens some options.

That's impressive, after read your experience I'm now more confident to move Thailand to set up a business
I love this country.

Some Great advice has been given. I think the best thing is to try a place out first for 6-12 months, I think many people make a mistake thinking that they can buy quality of life for them selfs. I believe this is a very dangerous country to live in, there is no Safety Net here like western country's. Life means nothing here.  You have to watch out for yourself and your love ones. If you are young none of this will bother you, if you are a senior like me, you might want to look for a safer place to live out your retirement days. I have been told by many people that the city is not a good example of Thailand.

I think that the nationality and national origin of the family necessitates different advice for different people.  For example, Europeans tend to be flexible in living styles and also to have developed a satisfying style that they can more or less replicate  in Thailand.  Americans tend to be less able to adapt to Thailand's live and let live behavior and with less adaptation to Buddhism.

Any people of color, especially black skin, will experience some prejudice and even different diets for some people create a body odor that is ok with them but offensive to Thai.  Anyone insisting on a through-going culture based on Christianity will have special adaption efforts ahead.

Children, not Thai, can rapidly adapt to culture and language of Thailand due to their lack of pre-formed ideas.  However, children need parents who encourage them to adapt and have fun doing it.  International schools work well here.

Overall, I definitely do not recommend anyone relocating permanently to Thailand.  The language alone is a larger barrier due to not being like any other.  Doing the simplest thing, like telephoning for a doctor appointment to the horrendous problems of superintending the building of one's house will frustrate the most patient person.  Further, it is a definite given rule that Thai and Thailand will NEVER adapt to you--you must do all of the adapting.  Few people are good at that and even fewer want to.

You can adjust to Thailand but it takes time and some things you have to accept but never get used to it

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