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An Expat’s Guide to Thailand: The Differences in Lifestyle To Prepare For

It is a fact that a good number of people retire in Thailand from foreign countries and a major bulk of them come from the United States. If you are thinking along the same lines as well, it is best to prepare yourself mentally for some of the many differences that exist between the cultures and lifestyles of the two countries.

You Pay Less for Everything

It’s true that the locals will initially charge you a lot more than the original price of most items, even when you are moving there permanently and not buying as a tourist, but the thing is, even that inflated price is a fraction of what you will have to pay for similar things in the US. Aside from that, once you get acquainted with the vendors and they come to know that you are really staying there, you won’t be overcharged as much, further reducing the price of everything you need, as compared to the prices in the United States.

Quality Can Be an Issue

The reduced price of everything does come at a cost of quality, although that isn’t necessarily true everywhere. For example, Villa Market is an online supermarket that facilitates ordering of high-quality grocery online Bangkok. Villa Market can either deliver to your address in Bangkok, or you can pick it up yourself from one of their pickup centers. Not only do they deliver quality raw food items and other groceries, but you won’t be overcharged as a foreigner like you will on buying from most offline stores.

Even then, when it comes to the quality of things outside online grocery and raw food ordering, local items are cheap but not as good as the ones you will find at home. Electronics is a good example of this difference in quality, and if you want to buy imported products, you will have to pay significantly more than the original price because of import duties and taxes imposed by the government.

The Food Will Take Some Getting Used To

You can order the raw materials online and cook your own food like we already discussed, but living in Thailand and never tasting any of the local food is just bizarre and impractical at the same time. Nevertheless, try not to experiment too much because most Thai dishes are spicy and some may potentially kill you! Stick to meat and food that you can recognize to start with and give your gut some time to adjust. Food poisoning is very common in Bangkok and just about everywhere in Thailand, so be careful with your street food and use common sense.

As a final piece of advice, it is suggested to not drink the tap water. The Thai government says it is safe, but don’t believe that because people get poisoned by the water every day in Thailand. Packaged water is dirt cheap here, so order those in large quantities instead. Alternately, you can set up a water purifier at home too, but the former is a safer bet.