Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is a busy sprawling city of more than 6 million people that never sleeps. The city certainly isn’t every retiree’s cup-of-tea, but its diversity is mainly considered. Not only home to traffic jams and air pollution, Bangkok houses some of the world’s finest examples of Buddhist temples.
Embassies: Most of the world’s major countries have an embassy in Bangkok.
The island now ranks as the second wealthiest place in Thailand after Bangkok and the cost of living has risen alongside its economical growth. In July 2005, Phuket was voted one of the World’s Top 5 retirement destinations by the acclaimed Fortune Magazine.
Pattaya, a seaside resort located not far from the capital city, has been getting foreigners in hoards since the first Amercian GIs arrived during the Vietnam War. This destination may not have the finest beaches but it makes up for it with its array of shopping malls and sizzling nightlife. Once rather infamous for its seedy nature, Pattaya has now turned itself into a family destination.
This mountainous northern province with its cooler temperature and morning mist is popular with retirees who wish to get away from it all and enjoy a relaxing, hassle-free life. The province is renowned for its traditional way of life spurring from the Lanna era, soft spoken language, delicious cuisine, Inthanon and Suthep mountains, delightful climate and beautiful flowers.
Chiang Rai is often the destination for retirees who have become tired of the touristy scene of Chiang Mai province and really want to get away from it all, perhaps living a quiet life with their family.
This location, situated just 3 hours south of Bangkok, was the original tourist destination of Thailand, made popular by former (and present) Thai kings. Hua Hin is still popular with Thailand’s high society and the King and Queen still reside there from time to time.
This small provincial town has somehow, quite amazingly, developed into a new destination for lots of retirees over the past decade. In fact, this border town with Laos was recently voted as the 7th best place in the world for retirees by America’s Modern Maturity magazine.
Independent living simply means being able to live on ones own without any custodial or medical attention.
Most of the hospitals in Thailand resemble five star hotels. Treatment costs are usually reasonable.
Domestic Assistance / Support in home
Major hospitals in Thailand do offer domestic assistance and home support. They are:
Personal Care Major hospitals in Thailand also have personal care facility, such as:
Applying for Thai retirement visa
Step 1: Requirements for retirees getting a Non-Immigrant “O” Visa from outside Thailand at a Thai embassy:
STEP 2 : Documents required for One-year retirement visa in Thailand.
When the visa is approved, only the passport holder can pick it up in person. Even though this visa is valid for one year, the visa holder must report to immigration every 90 days to verify his address. This can also be done by mail.
STEP 3 : Bringing household items to Thailand
Household items must be brought into Thailand within the first 6 months of issuance of the visa. Visa-holders are not taxed. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the items are due to arrive in Thailand after that time, it is advised to explain the matter with an officer-in-charge.
STEP 4 : Getting a re-entry permit
The retirement visa is only valid for a single stay in Thailand. If the visa-holder wishes to leave and return to the Kingdom within the one year, he must obtain a re-entry permit, either a single re-entry or a multiple. This can easily be acquired, for a fee, at the immigration office where the visa was issued. In event the visa-holder does not obtain this, his retirement visa will become invalid.
STEP 5: Renewing the retirement visa
Just before the visa and valid entry stay (same date) expires, the visa-holder is required to apply for a new visa. He just has to follow the steps as in the first process. New visas though, are usually less time consuming.
This is usually done at the same immigration office as where the visa was issued. The visa-holder simply has to arrive at the office and sign a piece of paper which reads something like “I still reside at the same address”. If the visa-holder changes address in the meantime, he must inform immigration as soon as possible. This can also be done via post, but the visa-holder must ask his immigration officer beforehand.
Bangkok: Most accommodation in regards to condominiums in downtown Bangkok is fully furnished and serviced.
Rest of Thailand: In the provincial towns and town districts, unfurnished houses and apartments can be rented. In the countryside, a retiree builds his own house if he doesn’t like to live ‘Thai-style’.
Thai food is one of the world spiciest and now ranks amongst the world’s top delicious national cuisine. Some popular Thai dishes are in fact foreign, originating in Vietnam, Laos, China and Malaysia. For example, in the list below number 8 is Malay. The top ten most popular Thai dishes with retirees are:
The south, north and north-east of Thailand have their own distinct cuisines but also eat standard Thai food. North Asian food like Chinese, Japanese and Korean is also popular, especially in Bangkok. Western food is also popular with the middle-class as well as retirees who prefer to avoid spicy food three meals a day.
Generally, Thai women are non-confrontational, timid and subservient to men – but, time is changing. Unfortunately, a lot of foreigners never do get to meet any proper Thai women and end up believing that all Thai women are like some bar girls they have met who are only after money. They then go on to express their whims to other foreigners by putting all Thai women in the same boat. Fortunately however, times are changing and more and foreign men have realized with the help of the Internet that most Thai women are sincere, honest and genuine.
Thai Laws do not restrict foreigners to marry a Thai woman.
All children born to legal foreigners in Thailand have the right to Thai citizenship.
Unfortunately, since a lot of foreign men jump into a marriage without carefully considering it first, the marriage very soon or eventually breaks down. If the break up is mutual consent, then a divorce can be simply applied for at a district office. In the event the divorce is contested, then what happens next depends on a judge’s decision.
This is only completed at a district office in front of witnesses. No land may be left to foreigners.
It is mandatory in Thailand to have car insurance. It can be got from a car insurance company. The foreigner though, must first have the correct Non-Immigration visa.
Anyone wishing to bring a pet to Thailand must first do all the correct paperwork via the airport.
It is perfectly legal for retirees on a retirement / non-immigrant visa to open a bank account in Thailand. As all the banks in Thailand are international, money from abroad can be sent. It is possible to import any amount of money; however, in concerns to export, there are restrictions on the amount. All banks offer a decent interest rate.
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