Choosing where to call home

Hi Guys:

Walt from Alaska here... I am in the early stages of planning my escape to Thailand once I retire in 9 months. My plan is to make 2 shorter trips to Thailand and travel seeing what various areas look like and then settle in somewhere..

My question that I need help with is if you were to choose the ideal to suggest that I look at where would that place be and why?

My needs..
* Close enough to the ocean that I can play, I dive and love to snorkel
*Budget. I don't want to drop an arm and a leg to live. I have been looking and it looks like I should expect to spend between 7,000 and 12,000 BHT for a 2 bedroom place? Realistic of no?
*I don't want the high flow of tourist in my face please..Quiet is better than the bar scene
*What about living inland maybe in the NE and driving to my favorite beach.
*What about Island life..

Your thoughts and input would be great

Thank you,


You can obtain good info for cost of living at the site below by selecting different Thailand cities. … y=Thailand

If you want to dive frequently then I would rule out NE Thailand because it would mean 6-12 hour drive depending on where you live to reach coast.

Howdy Walt -

Just tossing out some ideas here.

Thailand's coast can be divided into three parts: the Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Eastern Seaboard: A friend of a friend retired to Rayong province about 10 years ago. Have heard he's happy and still there.

Gulf of Thailand: Hua Hin is a fairly nice town but I heard it got overdeveloped in recent years. Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumporn are located south of there.

As for the islands in the Gulf such as Koh Samui, they're generally very heavily touristed.

Andaman Sea: Phukhet is one of Thailand's most popular destinations, but it is also the largest island, so there are options for living outside of the tourist zones.

Ranong is a province you might check into. For some reason, it's rarely mentioned in terms of tourism but it's on the sea and includes a number of islands.

Something to think about might be.

How you going to stay in Thailand ?
If you want to use a Visa and leave the country every 90 days, Maybe near a boader crossing be a good idea !!

If you want to stay here on a 1 years Extension, That look into what Immigration Office the area you look at have, We sadly have a few Rouge here in Thailand.

Do you want to use a Agent for yearly extension, Then in a area where you know agent work a lot to make sure it go good...

How your health ?

Do you need to be near a hospital, Do you insurance only cover on some of the hospital, on all them and so on.
Are you like many Foreigners, That think that only over price private hospital are good, Then you need a area that have hospital like that.

Can you eat the locals Thai / Asia food, Do you want to eat that more or less every day, Or do you Need Foreigner food ?

From you post i don´t think you every being to Thailand, i might be wrong about that, So sorry if i am wrong.

If not, Then you don´t know if you going to like Thai´s, To be around them.
Not all Foreigners live here enjoy the company of Thai beside the GF / Wife, her kid(s).

For me, I don´t have a problem with Thai, ´But i enjoy Thai are so different from Danish people, Even so i sometimes have to shack my head...
But i do know from multi other Danish (and people from other  country) that not all feel the same way about Thai.

About rent, from my Area (Bang Saen) at the beach side rent is higher.
But 500 meters to 1 km away the price drop, And drop a bit again if longer.
Right now the rent price on house is going down, I do think that connect with the Virus.
And i am sure it go back up again.
Remember to be 100% sure you pay water bill and power bill direct to the company, So you dont have to pay 2-3 time the rate.

Before i forget it, About you stay in Thailand, You from the USA, And your Embassy don´t do income letter any more.
So can you put the money in the bank to show you have the money for you stay here, 800.000 baht, or proof of income of 65.000 baht per month ? or if you pick a immigration office that allow combination of the 2, Income and money in the bank ?

Some Immigration Office (mine) don´t care about my income letter from my Embassy this year, They want bank book proof of me transfer 65.000 or more into Thailand every month.

Some Immigration Office all so want proof of where the money come from.
And the document for that, Might not be so easy to get that make Immigration happy.

I am not trying to scary you mate, Only trying to tell you about how things is here.

Even so my Immigration change thing every year what they want, Still after 10 years in Thailand, I dont´t find it to hard to give them what they want, But some might get upset about it..

Hope you find what you looking for.


Thanks for the information.. I had all but ruled out Phuket because all you read about is the party scene  which is not what I am looking for. What about the cost of renting on Phuket?

Thank you!!

Ok let me address some of the points and please let me know if I am off.

My retirement income is going to be about 144,000 Bth per month plus I have 2 businesses on top of that along with rentals I own. I will have to come back to Alaska June to Sept to run my outfitting business. With that said lets ask about the 90 day rule and Visa types

What type of Visa will I need?
The 90 days and leave the country policy, can I just take a few days in Laos or Cambodia and then return with a new 90 days earned or do I need to leave?

My health is excellent, 165 pounds and a strong ticker...Thanks dad!

Food: I love Thai food but I am sure there will be an adjustment . I have traveled all over the western hemisphere and never had an issue with food. Food is a reason I am looking at Thailand.

My plan once we survive Covid is to come to Thailand for a month or so and take a long look before I make any decision on where to call home..

You mentioned hiring a immigration agent...Fill me in on how and why please..

Thanks for the pointers guys!!


I know from others that use the 90 Day in Thailand, Then go to a neighboring country.
Some crossing let you return right away, Other want you stay 1-2 day in the neighboring country.

Non-Immigrant Visa  “O-A” (Long Stay) might be a option, Give you 1 year every time you enter Thailand, So if you use correct you an get nearly 2 years from it.
It does have some additional requirements about insurance.

I know from thaivisa, That some Thai Embassy around the world have stop the service for this Visa, So i am not sure if you can get this one !!!

For all long term option you need to be 50 years or older, As you write you retire, I think you are over, But i can be wrong ?

IF is was me, and you over 50 years, I go for the NoN O Single Entry that give you 90 days when you come, That can be extended to a 1 year Extension (NOT a Visa) that let you stay in Thailand year by year, Have to go to Immigration Office every year, If you want to leave the country, You simple get a re-enter permit.

All so when you come to check out Thailand, get the NoN O Single Entry 90 days.
It is a bit Easy to open a Thai bank account with that.
And start out you stay in Bangkok for a few days, Go to the main office of the bank you want to open a account with, And get a account, Many bank branche out there have more or less stop open account for foreigner, (That why go to the Main Office), Or made it a bit hard to find one that do, Later on, You can all ways open a account where you want to live.

Then when you sure you want to live in Thailand, Start transfer +65.000 Baht to Thailand per month, To backup you have that every month, If is was Me i transfer more, To be sure i never go under.

You income is enough, IF the Immigration want additional evidence of you pension.
Then you pension company need to make a letter, The Immigration Office is going to give you that letter to show you want that want, Again IF they want additional evidence.

Some Immigration Office want proof of 12 month transfer when applied for 1 year stay (even first  time), I know my office do, As last year a for foreigner was told NO when he only have 3 month proof.

If want to use a agent, I ask around on thaivisa (use google search for it) for the area you want to stay in, So you get a agent other have use and are happy about.

They agent you pay 13.000-16.000-25.000 baht to take care of every thing and do you 90 days adresse report, That number i see people write that it cost.
Then you come and meet the agent at you local Immigration Office, Smile to the Office, get you picture taken, And that it, you dont even have to talk to them, The agent make sure every go without problem.

Some people use them, If they dont meet the requirements, Other that do meet the  requirements use them  them simple for make it easy and fast, And dont want to deal with Immigration Officer them self.

For some it is a lot of money, For others it is a small price to NOT stress out every year.

I do every thing my self, And pay the 1.900 baht fee it cost, As i write before, I don´t mind it that the all ways ask for something "new" i need to get, I go get it and i get my yearly extension, But that me.

Ontheriver :

Thanks for the information.. I had all but ruled out Phuket because all you read about is the party scene  which is not what I am looking for. What about the cost of renting on Phuket?

That info is based on what some long-term residents of Phuket have often posted on various other forums.

So, I'm not sure about the rents. With a 140k per month income, I'm pretty sure you will be able to afford it. I imagine you'd be able to find something liveable in the 12k to 25k baht range, more or less, depending on what you are looking for, villa with pool or 1-BR apt/condo.

Anyway, I'm just mentioning it as a potential option, not really as a recommendation.

You might want to check out some videos on YouTube. People have made videos about nearly every place in the world these days. Unfortunately, many of them end up talking too much about themselves. Still, the basic info they provide from personal experience can be helpful.

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