Following your life partner in Thailand

Hi everyone,

If love can move mountains, it also makes people move abroad, in countries such as Thailand.
Following your life partner in a country with different customs and rules is an act of absolute trust and may require a period of adaptation.
This is why we would like to have your opinion to answer these questions and thus help future expats who are preparing to follow the same track by moving in Thailand.

What preparation do you have, or do you advise, to do before your departure in order to make the best of this experience?

What challenges have you faced? In what areas (finding a job, socialization, well-being)? How did you overcome them?

What is the outcome of this experience for you? Would you do it again if the opportunity arose?

Has your relationship with your beloved changed since your expatriation in Thailand? Do you have any advice on this subject?

If your expatriation involved children, how did you manage to maintain a family balance in the face of this life change?

Thanks for your contribution!



I really appreciate the way you try to help expats and I am happy that I’m also taking part in this.

We (me and my husband) are Indian citizens. As my husband is working in Thailand, I came to accompany him. So, for the first time, I came all the way from India to join my life partner. It’s a pretty good experience living in Thailand.

Well, the questions are very good and will be delighted to answer it.

What preparation do you have, or do you advise, to do before your departure in order to make the best of this experience?

When comes to preparation honestly, I wasn’t aware about this country so, I couldn’t prepare much. I bought my visa (non-immigrant) and my flight tickets that’s all. But when I came here, I started doing lots of researches about the country, customs, food, people, language, development, tourism, destinations to visit and so on.
We need to do plenty of research to familiarize yourself and also for the perfect experience.
Planning and establishing a routine will help us to adjust to the expat life. Also try to put the budget and live in. It will be very helpful for your savings and helps to meet out your contingent expenses.
One significant thing you can do is learn the basics of the Thai language so that you won’t struggle much. There are lots of app to learn the basics including simply Thai, everyday Thai etc.
Without forgetting, do all your health checkup completely before you move in. It will make you feel confident and you will know what are the dos and don’ts you can do to have utmost blissful experience here. 

What challenges have you faced? In what areas (finding a job, socialization, well-being)? How did you overcome them?

1.    Language barrier:

Context – It was the major barrier for me as I don’t know Thai language and only very few people can speak English here especially when you want to go to market or some shops, you need to show hand signals to make them understand(looks funny but kind of good experience).

Strategy adopted to subdue – I learnt the basic words which are necessary like what’s the name, how much, what time, do you have any vegetarian food, how long will it take etc. Even I mastered myself in knowing the numbers in Thai. I started watching Thai movies with subtitles which can improve the vocabulary.

2.    Finding the job:

Context – This one is the ultimate challenge for a young aspirant professional like me. As an Accounting & Finance background, it is very difficult to find job in Thailand for an entry level career (2 years of experience). The major aspect Thai people consider for work is “Thai language skill” that too with an intermediary or an expert level skill. That’s normal as all the government papers are in Thai language. Even if there are lots of openings in my field, they won’t invite us until they are convinced that we can speak, read, write Thai well.

Strategy adopted to subdue – I actually didn’t over come it yet. Still I’m trying to pursue the language. As I couldn’t find any language class in my area (Rayong Province), I am trying to learn from app and videos.

3.    Food:

Context – Being vegetarians, initially we couldn’t find much vegetarian options in my area.

Strategy adopted to subdue – We started to request people in the shops if they can cook vegetarian for us without fish sauce and eggs. 

4.    Conveyance (Not telling about metropolitan cities like Bangkok, Pattaya etc.):

Context – We didn’t have car when we relocated here for the first time. There were barely no taxis in the road too. We used to travel in the van/mini bus which are available in every major places in all provinces and cities. Timing is also a problem. Van/mini bus will not be available after 6 P.M from Bangkok to Rayong.

Strategy adopted to subdue – when we didn’t have car, we planned our trip in such a way that we got the van on time. In case if we miss it, we will stay in a safe place and travel the next day. Later we purchased an eco-car.

5.    Loneliness:

Context – when we don’t have someone to talk with or when we feel we are unable to socialize and find friends, there comes this loneliness. I will have 12 hours of unaccompanied time during his working days which makes me feel lonely most of the time and I felt homesick often.

Strategy adopted to subdue – Isolation is the time for self-exploration. I started to find out my hobbies and learnt new things like origami and cooking Thai dishes. I also concentrated on doing online courses to keep myself updated in my career. I used to read novels and self-development books. Whenever I feel homesick, I will talk to my family and friends or I will plan a trip to my home country (when I couldn't control the urge of seeing my family).

What is the outcome of this experience for you? Would you do it again if the opportunity arose?

Yes, I can say firmly that I got transformed into a new person. I can be alone in any country now as I became confident with the barriers I’m going to face and strategies to overcome those barriers when I move to a new country. Experiences and failures make you learn things and we need to take everything as an opportunity for the self-development. After overcoming so many challenges and the failures I faced in this country, I am molded stronger.
Of course, I will be happy to take again if any opportunity arose. But before taking it, I will make sure I work hard to ready my pre-requisites perfect for a happy living in any new country.

Has your relationship with your beloved changed since your expatriation in Thailand? Do you have any advice on this subject?

Change is the only thing that never changes. Yes, there are some changes which are considered to be an evolution (taking life to the next level). But if there’s true love and trust, you don’t have worry about the disaster in your relationship whatever maybe the case.
Always be surrounded with positive thoughts and people. None of us are perfect and we have to be able to accept one another’s faults and differences and be willing to put in the effort to keep worthwhile relationships healthy and striving. Don’t always pinpoint that “I moved here for you, so” for the arguments you do. Stay open minded and be ready to accept the change that you are away from your home country. We need to think about our spouse feelings also after all they are also humans with blood and flesh. Always think that you did this expatriation for both of us and not just for them. Be honest and make mutual decisions.

If your expatriation involved children, how did you manage to maintain a family balance in the face of this life change?

I guess I will be able to answer this question in the near future as i don't have much experience.

Even though we have lots of challenges and difficulties in the new country we relocated, we need to keep ourselves positive with a can-do attitude. We are moving for the family development only. Following your life partner will make them feel comfortable and they won’t feel lonely as well. Every move has its ups and downs. Be open minded and willing to talk about the changes and the decisions you need to take in order to make your present and future blissful. You can find out new home and neighbors and try to socialize with diversified people. Don’t worry about relocating and accompanying your spouse, I am sure it will be a very good and new experience for you. Stay healthy and happy. Let go all your worries and start a new colorful life in Thailand.

Thank you.

Hello ,

My situation is based on being retired with no worry or need for work.
I transitioned to Thailand over 3 years , Back and fourth from America living with my wife to be for either 30 or 90 days at a time bettering the experience and understanding of the Culture more  :) It was the best thing I ever did.
It not only allowed me to understand the Culture but to live with my fiancé during this period , They say you really get to know your partner better when you live with them as well as more exposure to her Family and the Thai Culture :)

Doing the 90 day visits it  was good because at the same time I was securing a Bank to use in Thailand and go through and learn more about the immigration process , You do need at least 1 90 day visa to secure both a Bank account and a Retirement or Marriage Visa.

We also were able to make a plan over this time for living arrangements for both temporary and permanent Residence , Which we now have purchased a new home.

The biggest thing you can do is keep an open mind wake up everyday and say this is Thailand I have to respect the Culture and ways and understand I cannot change any of it.
Be supportive of your partner in my eyes there great woman and really want to take care of you , Sure like anywhere you hear horror stories all you have to do is use common sense in your choices and relationship and everything will be ok.

Best To You and your Partner
Bob T.
Retired Americans Expat living in Thailand !! :)

If love can move mountains, it also makes people move abroad.

I swear to go that I never wanted to get married. My brothers and many friends were the best examples of it. When I'd met my wife, it was fun. She couldn't speak English and my Thai was non-existent and very limited.

Following your life partner in a country with different customs and rules is an act of absolute trust and may require a period of adaptation.

I had to adapt to a life that was very different for me. Once you live in Thailand, it's much different from being here on holiday. On holiday, people spend a lot of money and you seldom get to know a girl/ woman like it is when being married and seeing each other 24/7.

We would like you to share your experience on that matter to help future expats that are going through the same experience, following their beloved in Thailand.

To be honest, I'd never settle down in Thailand again. Times have changed in a very negative way that it's not nice to live here. Too many criminals have done all to give all of us a bad name.

That goes from pedophiles to bag snatchers. Thais do not welcome foreigners anymore as they did 20 years ago. My neighbors were so happy 18 years ago when we moved in. She still calls me her younger brother, a teacher who's now retired.

What kind of preparation would you recommend, before your departure in Thailand, to make the best of this experience?

As already mentioned, I fell in love with my wife and wanted to get to know her. I changed my mind not to get married, I thought I always wanted to stay with this woman.

She had a little boy who'd just turned four when we met. Pretty soon, I had to find out that she couldn't have any more children and my dream to be a father of some nice looking "Luk Krueng" soon disappeared.

What challenges have you faced? In what areas (finding a job, socialization, well-being)? How did you overcome them?

When I moved to Thailand and had a couple of million baht, my wife must have thought that this money would never end. We traveled a lot and now I can say that I know this country much better than most of the Thais do.

I've seen almost all provinces and I'm thankful for it. Now I can teach my students about their own country.

I remember seeing a bus from Sisaket in Bangkok, Thais call it Krung Thep =  the city of the angels and I'd soon know more about the province Sisaket, the little farmer villages, poverty, and its people.

We moved into a little shag, they called house which was 2,000 baht rent per month. It got so hot in it that the only existing air-conditioner in the bedroom was worth gold. But we were okay with our lives.

  At this time, there's no Makro, Big-C, or Tesco Lotus, but there's a pub with live music every day and I was there almost daily. Life was good, everything was cheap, for example, one liter of Diesel was 10 baht. One kg of pork 15 baht, etc.

   After two years, I started teaching English at a school. I'd never done it before, but considering that I grew up bilingual was in my favor.

I became a teacher and fell in love with this occupation. I'm still teaching and I believe that I'm pretty good at what I'm doing. Students can feel if you're a good person and they all know that they can come to me and tell me their problems.
Most of them do have problems and the current government did all to make life difficult for all.

My savings were all in a sudden gone, I could have bought the shag we used to live in for 400 K, but then decided to buy a big bike and I enjoyed life.

After 13 years, I received my teacher's license which was urgently needed to teach here for a long time. Too many people believe that speaking a language alone makes somebody a teacher. But that's not true.

I've met countless people from the UK, the States and other countries where people are considered "native English speakers".
Many of them do not know when to use their, or there. Unbelievable. It is not only to be good at a particular language, but you should also know your grammar and sentence structure up and down.

After 15 years of teaching, I made less money than I had ten years ago. These days you can find all nationalities and slangs of people who work for agencies, or directly for schools.

Unfortunately, did the level of English not improve. Students can't fail and it's strange for a newbie to grade students with zero English skills, nobody fails here.

Many Thais do not like foreigners for various reasons. Young males hate to see an old fart with a girl that could be his nice. And I understand that.

Some of them have heard of bad guys in Pattaya people who're doing or/and dealing drugs, more and more beggars and thieves come to Thailand and you will soon find out that the Land of Smiles has turned into The Land of Lies.

I'm still trying to get used to a culture that believes telling the truth is not good when it sounds negative.
A good example would be you're asking an electrician if he can come and do something at your house tomorrow.

  The electrician will say yes but do not get upset when he doesn't show up. Saying no, or asking what about the day after tomorrow is considered bad, so they say yes.

I've got a nice 1100 cc big bike, a pick-up truck and we live in a nice house for rent.

I'll soon start a new job where I'll have a 12 months salary, plus a better salary than I had before. But money isn't all. People need friends and to find Thai friends is very difficult.

Whenever I sit anywhere to have a beer or some food, it's always the same questions. Where are you from? How old are you? Can you eat Thai food? How much money do you have? How many wives do you have? And then it gets boring.

  For those who're planning to move to Thailand. Please think twice before you do that big step. Keep your place where you are and live here for a few months to find out if it's for you, or not. Everything is damn expensive now and that goes from beer to food.

You get good beer much cheaper in Germany, for example. The ordinary Thai makes maybe 300 baht a day and that's hardly enough money for anything.

  The biggest problem might be the relationship. Where else would a foreigner find a loving wife than at a bar? That's where many foreigners have met their wives.

The result is breathtaking. Many of them are gambling his money away without him knowing about it. Some have their Thai gig and the foreigner even pays for that guy. Of course, without knowing it.

Too many Thai women, especially those who work in bars see a foreigner as a walking ATM machine. But would you marry a prostitute back home? I wouldn't.

  That's a big problem because I believe that you can get a woman out of a bar, but you'll never get the bar out of the woman.

For single males who're planning to move to Thailand. Please read "My Private Dancer", a book written by a guy who knows what's going on.

You can download, or read it here:

It tells you what the foreigners involved think and believe, but also what the bar girls from Isaan think, do and finally lie about just to get enough customers.

For those who want to find love, when you're looking for love, you won't find it.

Sex and love are not the same. No idea why some men leave their brain at the airport and fall in love with Noi, Lek, Porn, or Porntip.

For those who still want to come and settle down learn Thai. So much better your Thai is, so much better will your life be.

It's not nice when you always have to ask your wife what somebody said.

Chock Dee. ( Good luck!)

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