Where is the best place to live in Thailand for rent, safety ect?

Thaiporkpie, I have lived in Nonthaburi for 3 years, I know little about it. I hate driving, but manage to get to Central Mall, Impact Arena, IT Mall, Air Force hospital, Mayo hospital, for simple things like having ears cleaned, teeth cleaning, blood tests.  I do drive to Hua Hin about once a month for a few week days. I have run out of places to eat in the area that I live. I was wondering if you could suggest other places to enjoy.  I don't care about taking the river taxi, everywhere is so dirty, the water is awful, with the dead fish floating on top. I live behind the Mall next to Home pro. in a LPN condo, we bought it new & paid for it while we were still working in San Francisco. My wife is Thai, we met in the US & have been married for more than 30 years.  She has lots of family in Thailand however they are mostly busy with there familys .   So we spend a lot of time on are own.  Not what I thought it would be like.  So my problem is that it has become to noisy, to smoggy, still have problems with the speaking Thai, no place to walk or ride a bicycle without getting killed by a car or scooter.  I have been hit twice by a scooter while walking on a walking path that runs along the canal. I now carry a baseball bat with me for protection.  Is there not some other place in Thailand I can live in Peace?  That is the Big Question. I have now decided to move back to California for 6 months out of the year, so that I can have some kind of Balance in my life.  It will be very expensive to life there, but the Quality of Life will be so much better.  I am 65 years old and I just want to be able to enjoy my Retirement.  Thanks for reading.  Patrick

Hua Hin for sure .. 👍

Hi Patrick I live in Pakret not far from Impact Arena I am 66 not that you would guess I do look younger My wife is 41 a teacher, I at present am doing a bit of teaching too as the retirement fee isn't all that good. I drive a car, and I ride a scooter obviously not at the same time . Yes many Thais are crazy at driving but its their country I just let them get on with it. I mumble to myself but keep things to a respective balance. I don't argue or get involved too much  most Thais are nice and this climate suits me. I don't go out much  but if I do its with my wife. We eat well and enjoy our little journeys to the coast line a few times per year. El Paso the Mexican restaurant has a nice menu near Nichada full of farang with their kids . , Pinocchios at  Maung Thong Thani is good but it all depends what you looking for .  I like a descent priced place I know you can go down Bkk and get a big hearty meal of Pie mash an veg with gravy . To me Pakret is on the doorstep to many places that I like

Thanks for the E-Mail.  Patrick

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Ashley, can I have your information for the future?  My wife & I live in Nonthaburi, very noisy area, and we are looking for a quiet place in Thailand to call home. My personal E- Mail is xxx   Patrick

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Thaiporkpie, I live not far from you, perhaps we could meet somewhere for a bite to eat?  After the holidays.  Do you live in a condo?  Rent or own?  We bought our place almost 10 years ago before it was built.  It is a LPN condo, am sure you will see many of them around.  It's in a very nice location for getting around. I use to ride a touring bike, but am afraid to ride here.  Instead we bought a Subaru in 2014 when they first came out.  We love this car, but it isn't as well made as the American Version of the same car & it cost about 15,000 more, in taxes. So we have quite a Expensive car, that we don't use very often. I am bored to death in the area we live, would love to find some new places to eat. We don't do the bar scene, just family style restaurants. Perhaps I can get your personal E-Mail so we can stay in touch?  We are returning to California to buy a place, we really miss our friends there.  If we can afford to buy. We will live there 6 months with 6 months back in Thailand.  For about 10 years then we will return to Thailand for good.  Patrick

I don't exactly have a perfect answer for you as to where to live in Thailand. I live in Chiang Mai. It has it's benefits, one of which is an expat population of 30 k and then it's has it's list of challenges. However, there is something that I notice that people do to help keep their balance. Last year was my first extended trip to Thailand. I returned to the states and for about six weeks it was refreshing. Thereafter I started to remember why I went to Thailand in the first place. Talking with many expats in Chiang Mai many do something, perhaps knowingly. They take periodic trips out of the country. Some take trips back to their home country and some take tourist trips to visit different parts of the world. Last April I took a mini trip to Macao. Having worked in casino's I know how to keep my money in my pockets and really enjoyed the side trip, along with a few other trips. (If things were different I would be retired in northern Ca.) I'm suggesting looking at things in a different way rather then simply moving to Ca. for any extended time.  You could look up (or .org) for a some alternative ideas. With such a large growing retirement population there lots of articles, books and activities toward reinventing oneself.

Bill, we are going back to Northern California in a few months to buy a place, we should stay in touch with each other, maybe we might want to visit us?  Or we could do a house exchange with you.  Patrick

You nailed it.  Everywhere is noisy in SE Asia.  People can't drive either, so you take your life in your own hands even on "sidewalks."

Safety and cost are not the issues.

I know Mukdahan (hot) and Kanchanaburi which may be good bets.

Now afaiac, we decided (I and gf, later wife) to move out of Thailand. The reasons are simple:

everywhere you go is a haphazard.
Riding a scooter, or driving, the poor quality of air (no apparent regulation such as enforce drivers to use catalytic converters) and no mandatory and enforced rules to curb pollution.
Haze anywhere because they burn all they can instead of composting, and other health-issues they entail.

There are many places close to the mountains and seaside in Bulgaria, Romania, ex Yugoslavia, Moldova, Czech Republic, even Poland or Ukraine.
Or even Turkey which I know well.

There, you get a nice 2 bedroom + living-room for about $200 a month, winters are not too harsh there but Poland or Ukraine.

And you have a choice.

But how to spot these web sites in these countries? Use googly translate and type: rentals in [thecityname]   and set output to target language.

Copy and paste the result you desire (an apartment or house description) into a new tab and you'll get those apartments/condos.

Again you use google translate, paste the text to translate into the left window and let google detect the language. Set target language to English and you have a good idea of what you can get for your bucks.


If I had it to do all over again, I would had chose South America, it has good healthcare, nice clean beaches, good food, & real people that are friendly toward Expats.  To Late for me now.


you should be look for this area called Nichada Thani a lot expats family staying there. Have many international schools like ( ISB, Harrow, Early Magic school) there. very near to big shopping malls and also very access to main city.

Have nice day.

Why would a young family live in Thailand?  It's a silly place to try to make money--especially in Thailand where every business must be majority owned by a Thai.  And if you have kids, don't you want to give them a quality education?  I have a few friends who teach in Thailand, and they are completely unqualified.  Educational system is awful.

Plus you're an outsider.  The term "farang" means "not Thai."  At first you'll blame yourself because you never quite fit in.  You'll try to learn the culture, learn how to wai, all that bs.  Then you'll get sick of feeling awful all the time and realize that it was never your fault.  That you were never going to fit in.  And you'll feel resentful.

Thai cannot drive.  Sidewalks don't really exist.  Most Thai who own cars are either seriously deep in debt or are drowning in cash.  Nevertheless, they think they own the roads (oh that Thai arrogance) and you are inessential (and by "inessential" we mean "in the way").  And then there's the weather.  In Bangkok it's hot every day and every night of the year.  In Northern Thailand it's hot about 10-11 months of the year, and it's smokey (seriously cannot breathe) 3-5 months of the year.  And if you go to the islands, you'll find they're dumpy, overpriced, and full of smelly Russian and Yeropian tourists.

Let's recap the main points for that young family again:  Poor business opportunities, an uncomfortable social system (and even if you find a group of expats, a lot of the expats are rejects in their own country), poor education, dangerous roads and sidewalks, sketchy expats.  People just think about    the clean room and good food.  There's a lot more to consider.  It's not your country plus a clean room and good food.  Thai people are weird, my brothers.  Only those ding dongs who came early with no money and dropped anchor are the apologists.  Some jump off of 10 story balconies in Pattaya as an escape.  (And, no.  These guys aren't the whoremongering heroin addicts.  That same emptiness is in the pit of any westerner's stomach.)

And even when you find that room, you'll be bombarded by noise.  Either your Thai neighbors will come home late and yell across the hallway, you'll get construction 24/7 all year round, or you'll be entertained by the old man karaoke palace where the rich are enjoying the young females whose parents pushed them into the trade or who want an iPhone 7s Plus.


It's just a bad move.

Chiang Mai is really the only place to live in Thailand for expats. Pattaya is too full of crime and is not so safe; Chiang Mai has a temperate period each year, great schools and international supermarkets. The food choice is excellent due to the King's projects market gardens and the safety level is very high. Areas in the south/south east are too hot all the year around.

We live in a peaceful moo baan (gated village) and cannot identify with your description!

The other day I was interviewed as a resident of Chiang Mai and as an expat. The double edged proverbial question arose - what do you like and dislike? I do have my list of both. The point is that I am living her and by choice. There are enough good things that balance the scale in that direction. Plus I like the International flavor, in the schools, expats, and tourists. There are sacrifices I make living here but there's a quality of life that is very enjoyable.
The above criticisms are real and valid, but you have the choice as to how much that's going to affect you. I do know of someone in Thailand who has a company. He has found a way to find that 51% rule not a deterrent and he is still operating his company.

That's the argument that puzzles me.  Basically you say you're suffering but dealing with it.

It's really not that great there.  It's cheap, but you pay in other ways like holing up in the room when you can't deal with the pressure of being happy when you're not, comfortable when you're not, amused when you're not, and someone you're not.

The Thai have a python grip on all expats, and they're laughing all the way to the bank.

Those stuck there become apologists because if they can convince another it's great there, they may be able to convince themselves it's great.  All the Burmese know it sucks, but they work their 12 hours, 7 days a week and smile more than the Thai do for slave wages.  It's really sad to see.  Your time is worth about as much there whenever you need to go anywhere, do anything, or have something done.

And the weather is horridly hot about 10 months a year.  You won't ever see anyone but a tourist on a balcony.

As for the guy who raved about his moo-baan house, he can only rent it or buy it for a Thai (wife? girlfriend? boyfriend?), and he's going to be a ways from any restaurants which means having to buy a car, pay a lot for a tuk tuk (when one finally comes by), and/or sit around the house all day.

Yes, they have golf in Thailand and some tennis courts, but the heat is oppressive--even during the rainy season which preempts outdoor activities as well.  There's only so much you can do in the swimming pool.

It really isn't a good place to live.  Forget the social awkwardness (unless you're paying for service somewhere), the weather sucks.

Any expat who says he's happy in Thailand is a liar.  Even the NGO's are filled with lots of phony or frustrated people.

There's no winning.  The Thai guarantee that.

There are ways of buying property here and I have a lovely property on the edge of town in a quiet and high security moo baan (gated village); It is very close to some good restaurants. No problem owning a car: very cheap petrol and cheap to buy if you buy a brand like Toyota that is assembled in Thailand. As for outdoor activities: I am a cyclist and have ridden all through the year covering some 26800 km this year. Now let's face it: everyone likes different lifestyles and different activities. Many expats I meet here wouldn't live anywhere else. Others can't wait to get out. Each to his own. But I will say living here is very different from visiting here as a tourist. I miss certain things in the UK and if I lived there I would miss certain things here: In the UK: I miss my adults kids and grand kids; I miss warm winter fires; I miss my cycle club activities; I miss my daily newspaper (Times). But if I was in the UK I'd miss: my maid which I couldn't afford overseas; cheap petrol; all the year round cycling without icy roads and cold weather; great selection of restaurants at a great price.

Wow, it seems like a lot of people are un-happy with life in Thailand.  I was in the same place as you, till I decided to find a balance in my life that works for me. I may be a little different than others because I have a in-laws here that I care about. So I have decided to live in 2 country's, 6 months in the US & 6 months in Thailand. This is a great place to save money for traveling.  You just have to make the best of it while you are here. Most Expats can go back to there country without any problems, so I don't understand what the problem is. You cannot compare yourself with the workers from other countrys that have to come to Thailand to get work.  They don't have a choice.  Good Luck to all of you un-happy people, hope you find what your looking for.

Most are happy. Some are not.

I think your post makes all my points, but you're wrong.  Foreigners cannot own property.  They may be able to pull off a long term lease.  If you're in a condo, the total units must be 51% owned by Thai.

Who would want to buy anyway?  Every condo is left to deteriorate upon completion.  (City View, Chiang Mai???  Hahaha.  I dare you to put a toe in the pool.)  Thai like new, new, new and trendy trendy.  You're going to lose on the "investment," and you'll never be able to sell it.  Apartments and hotels are relatively cheap, and you can move when construction starts or an idiot neighbor makes ungodly noises.

As for the difference between tourists and those who live in Thailand?  Tourists are charmed by everything.  Yes.  We were all tourists once.

But long term?  Miserable.

Again.  The weather.  Awful.  Hot.  Rainy.  Smokey.  You've got about 1-2 months of agreeable weather.  And riding that bike out there?  You're taking your life in your own hands.  It ain't the same as the west where there are traffic rules.  Many drink and drive, too.  The buses own the highways.  And the silver vans will mow you down.  They're all jacked up on M or yaba.

It's your choice, but don't mislead people.

I am  68 years old and live in Chiang Mai. I ride my bicycle everyday covering 15 to 17,000 miles per year. For the experienced cyclist it is not as unsafe as you seem to indicate: Indeed my Aussie friends tell me it is safer than Sydney and I find it safer than the UK> I am an ex-racing cyclist and a cycling coach working and riding with many many people over here.

Sure you can compare yourself with other human beings--regardless of their nationality--when you live in Thailand under the same single condition:  Become a source of Thai enrichment.  (That's been the policy for some time:

And no, the Burmese don't have to live there.  It may be their best choice though.  And it's very sad how the Thai treat/exploit them along with those with dark skin, etc.

The buses, the drunk drivers, the boys on motorbikes racing down the street, and the very aggressive silver vans make things very, very unsafe wherever you ride.  It's unsafe for the passengers in the vehicles, too.

They do not honor double double yellow lines, and they don't care how old you are when they take a blind corner in the opposing traffic's lane(s).  Cambodians are even worse drivers.  And in Viet Nam it's completely crazy, but because it's so chaotic, it might be a high degree safer.

Thai will never release a disparaging report on anything,  but it's not safe, my friend.

Don't be an apologist for a country that doesn't love you.  You're leading others down the wrong path.

Sure, stay in a 4-5 star hotel in Bangkok or Koh Samui, and enjoy all the service.

Anything short of that sucks.  Especially over the long term.

I'm checkin' out now.  Hope you find your way out.

You are right about many things, the workers that come from out of the country are treated very poorly like slaves, but they are taking the jobs that Thai people refuse to do. So it is not fair.  That is for sure. I think that people who come to live here have to high of expectations that Thailand will replace there on country. People forget this is a 3rd world country & it is not going to change for the Expats.  You just have to do what you know is right.  Try to help people if you can.

In my house back in the states I have a saying hanging on the wall from George Bernard Shaw. It says something like - there are millions who are blaming their circumstances for whatever. I don't believe in circumstances. I believe in the person who steps up and looks for the circumstances that they want and them make them to fit their sanctification, or something like that effect.
I live in Chiang Mai. I enjoy it. There are enough things to complain about but my pleasures with Thailand out weight the negatives. There are things that I hate much more in the US then I do in Thailand. Even so, I do have a house in the states and I do what I want and when I want. That in part took decades of work to put my circumstances in place to fit my satisfaction and any one can do it.
I worked for almost 20 years as a specialist in public schools. Part of that meant that I had to travel to multiple schools. Every school I went to I took the time to walk through the area around the school. Many of the schools were impacted, or low rent districts. Even so I could always find some pleasure in every neighborhood. The same is true in Thailand, if you want to look.

Bill, that is very true, no matter where you travel or live, you are going to find things you don't like about that country.  You just have to find a balance that works for you. And you cannot except Thailand to be the same as the country you are from. Right or Wrong don't expect Thailand to change.  If you really can't stand where are living, try some place else.

This is in response to Eddie M's outrageous posts.

"2. Pattaya - my favourite but then I am a male.  I lived and worked there for 5 years and loved it in most senses but it is basically just a gold rush town full of bars and good time girls.  Anything else is built around this.  You can live cheaply and you can do most of the stuff you need, but the strain it will put on any western relationship is huge.  I have a Thai wife so I can live there but for a western woman, it is purgatory, believe me."

"So you want to live in Thailand? Me too...  I have a Thai wife, a Thai child and I speak Thai.  I love how beautiful Thai women are, I love the food and well, that is about it as there is precious little culture in Thaland these days.  Think theatre, cinema, music, arts and crafts... No..  And in my case looking at the women is enough as I have a lovely wife already but be aware the single biggest draw to Thailand is the beautiful women but this can also be a major downfall for many people, single and married alike - they look, they touch, they fall...... "

and actually most of what his post was about, please...

Wow, I almost thought it was a joke, but I realized it was written in a serious tone.


I AM THAI, grew up in Thailand, have lived all over the world due to my job as an international film maker and writer.

Yes, Thailand can be dangerous, and Bangkok can be crazy busy, traffic is a nightmare and it's more expensive than anywhere else in Thailand. But, that being said, it's also amazing on so many levels.  Our kids have gone to great schools here and have had an amazing childhood. There is a lot to do and offer, I will go into detail if anyone wants to contact me privately.

We lived in Chang Mai for six years and loved it. Yes, it has some sketchy areas but there are more positives than negatives. It's beautiful, great climate and has a lot to offer. Big city offerings with not all of the hectic chaos of Bangkok and other big cities around the world. Yes there are drugs, sex, all of the above, but... this is a very small version of Chang Mai. Unless you truly seek it, you can also avoid it. We lived there for six years and never had ONE problem.

Your reference to Thai women is so beyond sexist, I can't begin to address it. Men like you give Thailand a bad name.

Please, anyone else reading this, this is a very sexist, narrow- minded version.

Please contact me personally, I can help you with all kinds of advice. We have traveled around the world, and we still feel like Thailand is one of the best places to call home. Take care, Ali

KUNHEHE  I think I spotted one note about you leaving Thailand. Perhaps that is the best thing for you to do. If the hostility that you are venting is so strong then go find the place that fits you. Besides that some of your information is inaccurate. Maybe the confusion and misleading information is what is so frustrating for you. One thing for sure is that if you express your hostility in any Thai decision making process anywhere you will NOT make any progress with either the person or organization.
Either chill out or leave. There are too many people enjoying Thailand for all of your negativity to be valid for everyone else.

Life is simply an attitude!

Hello to all you Chiang Mai expats!  I am about 99% certain to be moving to Chiang Mai in January 2018 and I will be visiting (again) for about 10 days in September.

Now, I wonder would any of you be kind enough to want to meet me and give me the benefit of your experiences?  I will be looking for a place to rent for 12 months, and will need the address for my Visa, so I fully expect to look for, find and pay a deposit on a decent condo - the location I have yet to decide upon.

if anyone cares to send me a personal message, i will reply with my email address!


Hi Phil! I assume you're talking about a retirement visa. As I understand it, you will not usually enter Thailand on a retirement visa. Rather, you'd come in on a tourist visa and apply for the retirement visa once you are in. I hope I am right about that.
Given that, you could come in and stay at a hotel for a while, giving you a chance to shop around for a condo on the ground. It's probably taking a chance to sign up for a condo sight unseen.

I live in Chiang Mai. My first trip I came in on a retirement visa, from the US The visa was processed in LA and there was no requirement for an address, at least back in 2015. With the military running things processes or rules change quickly.

I found a company called Assist Thai Visa (you can look them up on line). For 1,000 baht (about $28) they will do your 90 day report for a year. That's a very small price to pay to get one of those Thai aggravations out of the way. Plus the service is very good and you get valid information. Thai's are great for helping or giving information, it's just at times the Thai's don't want you to know that they don't have the correct information. Anyway Assist Thai Visa is a good resource.

During one transition trip I stayed at the Royal Peninsula Hotel. It's conveniently located and has a good breakfast buffet. It's an older hotel which makes it kind to the pocket book.

There is an old shopping center on the north west end of the moat. It's called something like Kot's Soon Kow shopping center. West of the shopping center there is a Shell gas station. If you look across the street, there is a side street. Down that street is a neighborhood where there are many condo's or rooms with many westerners living. I understand that there are many people living there and they enjoy it, in part because they can walk to things from there.

I live in a house about 20 minutes out of the city. I drive a motor bike. If you decide to be a driver use extreme caution when driving. There is a "Thai" style of driving and if you don't know it you could literally get killed. To find my house I used a service, which is also on line, called Perfect Homes. You might pay a little more for a rental but having a western style organization is comforting.

That's enough for this chapter. Join the expat club, even on line, and use meet up for additional activities. You might be able to connect with a guy named Steve via City Life, again on line. He has a weekly bulletin of many activities throughout the city. Plus there is a huge number of small groups that meet for some similar interests. Last night I went to "The Pub" because they had a weekly backgammon group. Later there was another group meeting, weekly, having a trivia contest. Sometimes you just never know and go with the flow.

"Thai's are great for helping or giving information, it's just at times the Thai's don't want you to know that they don't have the correct information."
Haha, thanks, Bill, I thought I was the only person who noticed this! :)

Hi kpearson

Big risks to go to Thailand if you want to stay married.. and especially in Pattaya.. Sin-city...Hookers everywhere... I dont recommend especially with children...

Bangkok.. big city.. with all the pros and cons.. but could live cheap if you are prepared to avoid the expats areas..

Krabi, Phuket and so on : are full of tourists (like Pattaya).. not very pleasant... Ko Tao.. : avoid.. really.. young people are regularly murdered there...

Anyway, you have to worry about the visa stuff first, because you cannot arrive there in Thailand and hope to stay like this... This is the first thing i would worry...


Hi, I have staying in Thailand for 15+ years, I would recommend Staying at Sukhumvit 77 Onnut 36. There is a place call The Private - townhouse rental for 168 sq.m. - 38K. 10 mins to the BTS by motorcycle taxi. 30 - 40 mins to the suvarnabhumi airport. Interested I can send you a map for your reference. Cheers

'The best living is in the isaan "Everything is still affordable and there is everything available" No mass tourism and a cozy atmosphere and an hour in Bangkok


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