How to Retire in Thailand from south Africa?

Hi All,

My name is Jim Davis from Johannesburg South Africa. I will shortly be retiring to Thailand. I am a computer scientist by profession, and in a long term relationship with a Thai lady who currently lives with me in my home country.

I can speak some Thai, and have a townhouse in Bangkok. I visit Thailand regularly. (2/4 times each year).

While I am fairly familiar with Thai conditions, spending short periods in a country is not the same a permanently residing there. I also wish to immigrate my two Dachshunds.

I would appreciate it if a retired expat would advise me of the the pitfalls that I may encounter.

Hello JimDavis :cheers:

Welcome to

This topic has been covered several times on the Thailand forum, by browsing the latter you will surely find a lot of useful informations.

You may also want to check out articles from our Living in Thailand Expat Guide.

You can also use the search tool of the site to find related infos. Just type 'retire in Thailand' in the finder icon on the menu above.


Thanks Mate, I will give it a read.


Hi Jim

Good Luck, my husband  & I are thinking of doing the same .We are from Cape Town , & would welcome any suggestions ie where to live & of course any other info.

I gather you have already left SA & are settled in. :)

Hi There,

Good to hear that more and more South African have discovered the joys of Thailand. I have not finally settled in Thailand as yet, as I am still in the process of disposing of my South African assets. However, I do spend a great deal of time in what is to become my new home. I have set myself a deadline of this year-end to finally immigrate!

I have owned a townhouse in Bangkok for several years, but have decided to dispose of that. In January, of this year, I purchased a Rai (1650 Sq Meters) of land in an area called Hoey Yai. This area works for me, for several reasons:

- It is a 15 minute drive to the sea. (Jomtien).
- It is 20 minutes from a Major town. (Pattaya).
- It is quite country, and very quiet. (Necessary for my yappers, who will immigrate with me).
- There are quite a few English speaking residents. (However, I do speak some Thai).
- It has a Golf course, flying club, polo grounds, University and international school.
- Access to Bangkok is relatively easy.

I have since sunk a bore hole and have raised the land by 1 Meter to lift it above the flood line. I now have to let the land settle for a period of six months before i can construct my new home. Plans have been drawn, and are ready for submission to the relevant Authority.

I know Thailand (and the Thai) very well (having spent a LOT of time there over the last eight years.) I can say, with confidence, that it is a happy place to retire. I have several South African and Australian friends who have lived in Thailand for many years. All are very happy, and will not return to their country of origin.

Should you wish to stay in contact with me, my email address is: jim[at]

Immigration is not an easy thing to do, it needs careful planning. I did plan carefully, and have not really experienced any issues that have caused me undue concern. (Apart from the Rand/Dollar exchange rate, that is).

You should know that Thailand has it's issues and difficulties! However, considering our own dear country, they are more than manageable.

Good luck with your ambitions.

Kind Regards,

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