Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

General chat about life in the Land Of Smiles. Discuss expat life, relationship issues and all things generally Thailand and Asia related.
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404cameljockey
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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:31 pm

It's not the concept that's flawed. Thailand 'can be' a cheap place to live, for just about everyone that has come from (can I say) more developed countries. Some people don't want to adapt their lifestyle to the extent required and so it's not the benefit to them that it is for others. And that's fine. They must be here for other benefits, which must outweigh the drawbacks. Otherwise they wouldn't choose to pay the same or higher expenses just to live here I guess. :)

Weather; the chance to explore other Asian countries from a local base; experiencing other cultures (although from a lot of the comments in other posts on the forum I think a lot people sadly seem to have the opinion 'what culture?'.

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by Spitfire » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:34 pm

True, living here "can" be cheap compared to a western country, but that requires you to become a local in many ways and forgo a lot of the attractions of coming here for in the first place for a foreigner...some can, some can't do it and some can go half-way (which is more common than many think).

It's a myth now that Thailand is cheap...not even close now. It used to be a great deal, but those days are gone. The pros still outweigh the cons but the lifestyle price thing is now not what it was. I remember the good old days when a glass of beer was 20 baht a pop and the exchange rate was 75 to a pound and 46 to a dollar....yee-haa.

A much more sober situation now. Even where I am, which is a non tourist city, it's like 80-90 baht a large Chang in most places in the evening.

However, the land and house prices are still good (in non tourist places) plus apartment rental isn't that bad either (though house rental is getting more crazy in many places)...but they are slowly getting more expensive on all fronts. Luckily I bought my house 10 years ago. Doing the same now would be much more resource draining and I might well decide against it tbh.

I think many foreigners have bailed from the beach locations (due to financial reasons, especially those on fixed incomes) and gone to where their spouse comes from, hence you have seen an increase in foreigners in odd places like Khon Kaen, Korat, Burin Ram, Sisakhet, Surin, Ubon, Udon and so on. This all started around 10 years ago.

And I would expect foreigner populations in such places to slowly increase. The local immigration offices in such places are becoming very busy now...and it's not just westerners either. Try going to an immigration office in Isaan now.....chocked full of people every day. Never used to be like that, could see the tumbleweeds blowing past 10 years ago.
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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:01 pm

Spitfire, that makes sense. People will have to leave Bangkok and other more expensive cities, I get it. And with the way the Dollar has gone since December I guess it's just gaining pace. Then I guess you have an increase in the number of people that actually don't see benefit in living in Thailand but can't afford to go anywhere else. And then more balcony jumpers.

Sorry, in a thread about the benefits of being expat, I'm bringing it down a touch!

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by Vital Spark » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:16 pm

You've made some very valid points there, Spitfire, and I totally agree with what 404 (can I call you that?) says. Mr.VS and I live in ugly Nakhon Pathom. It hasn't got a beach, mountain views, or many expats, so it's still relatively cheap here. We didn't go down the buying a property route, as we have no kids and we don't really know where we'll be in 10 years' time. Luckily we rent from a really nice guy (he built the house) and he's only increased the rent by 1,000 baht in the past 7 years. We now pay 7,500 baht for a lovely house with a large garden.

Because we live in a non-touristy area, food and beer is not expensive, although both have gone up over the years (unlike my salary, but that's another story). I can remember buying 3 bottles of Chang for 90 baht! Our local watering hole now charges 60 baht, and some of the more salubrious places in town charge 80 baht. With both of us earning we can absorb the increases, but if you're living to your maximum income any price rises are going to hurt.

Going back to the title of the thread: Being able to sit outside 24/7, twelve months of the year, and not feel cold. 8)

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:25 am

Vital Spark wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:16 pm
You've made some very valid points there, Spitfire, and I totally agree with what 404 (can I call you that?) says.
Call me what you like, most people do, I attract nicknames. :)
Going back to the title of the thread: Being able to sit outside 24/7, twelve months of the year, and not feel cold. 8)
I have to say that's a really big one for me too. Whether sunny or watching the warm rain come down sitting under a sala with a beer and a crossword .

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by oakdale160 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:35 am

Reminds me of one I heard about the UK weather--
Q How do you know that its summer in the UK A. The rain is warmer.

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by RCer » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:36 am

oakdale160 wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:35 am
Reminds me of one I heard about the UK weather--
Q How do you know that its summer in the UK A. The rain is warmer.
Too funny

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:45 am

404cameljockey wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:25 am
Vital Spark wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:16 pm
You've made some very valid points there, Spitfire, and I totally agree with what 404 (can I call you that?) says.
Call me what you like, most people do, I attract nicknames. :)
Going back to the title of the thread: Being able to sit outside 24/7, twelve months of the year, and not feel cold. 8)
I have to say that's a really big one for me too. Whether sunny or watching the warm rain come down sitting under a sala with a beer and a crossword .
The only downside to being outside is that come dusk the mossies come out to play, so for me particularly, where I seem to be a magnet for them, it's time to take cover inside. If we go to a restaurant and even with fairly liberal application of mossie spray, I always seem to miss somewhere!!

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by Pleng » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:27 pm

Spitfire wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:34 pm
It's a myth now that Thailand is cheap...not even close now. It used to be a great deal, but those days are gone. The pros still outweigh the cons but the lifestyle price thing is now not what it was. I remember the good old days when a glass of beer was 20 baht a pop and the exchange rate was 75 to a pound and 46 to a dollar....yee-haa.
And in that time, have beer prices remained static in the country that you moved here from?
I'll give you the exchange rate; that always hurts when you're living on an external income; but I don't think beer prices have inflated particularly out of line with other countries.
A much more sober situation now. Even where I am, which is a non tourist city, it's like 80-90 baht a large Chang in most places in the evening.
Again, I don't know where you're from but a large bottle is the equivalent to just over a pint. In the UK you'd be looking at 4 pounds+ for a pint so that's over 160bt. For me, 80bt for a large beer would certainly be considered cheap. However in bars HH you're normally looking at 80bt+ for a small beer; which puts you about back on parity with UK prices. So going for a night out in Hua-Hin is probably going to cost you unit-for-unit about the same price as it would in the UK. Lady drinks and various affiliated services can, of course, distort the picture somewhat.

The big winner, compared to the UK, is when you have a drink with your meal as opposed to in a bar. In a restaurant in the UK you'll be looking at nearly 4 pounds for a small bottle of beer... Here you're normally looking at 60-80bt. Even if you're going for a more upmarket meal then you're unlikely to pay more than 100bt (excluding hotel dining; that's a different world all together), which is still only just over half of what you'd pay in the UK. The food would have probably cost less, too.

I guess this all boils down to what other people have said; it depends where you come from and what your lifestyle is as to weather Thailand is "cheap" or not.

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:16 pm

Dannie Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:45 am
404cameljockey wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:25 am
Vital Spark wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:16 pm
You've made some very valid points there, Spitfire, and I totally agree with what 404 (can I call you that?) says.
Call me what you like, most people do, I attract nicknames. :)
Going back to the title of the thread: Being able to sit outside 24/7, twelve months of the year, and not feel cold. 8)
I have to say that's a really big one for me too. Whether sunny or watching the warm rain come down sitting under a sala with a beer and a crossword .
The only downside to being outside is that come dusk the mossies come out to play, so for me particularly, where I seem to be a magnet for them, it's time to take cover inside. If we go to a restaurant and even with fairly liberal application of mossie spray, I always seem to miss somewhere!!
:D The mozzies are a funny one, I only get them on the ankles/lower legs but the sprays seem to work for me. But I know some people, like you, are magnets.

My villa is pretty much bug-free thanks to the electronic gadget I bought from Home Pro that plugs into the house ring main. Definitely works. The only small insects it doesn't seem to stop are the little black drain flies we get in the bathroom from time to time. Hardy little buggers.

My point though is that I'm starting to love the bigger insects here: the many strange beetles, the HUGE carpenter bees, the mantises, even the occasional water scorpion in the pool, the beautiful colourful butterflies big and small. Not big spiders though, although I don't kill them.

And snakes are beautiful.

To me it's a benefit of being an expat in a tropical/subtropical country to be able to see all this up close. I try to be as Buddhist as possible, catch and release is the game if they wander into my garden.

Image

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by RCer » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:20 pm

Oddly, the skeeters here seem to focus on my feet and ankles. Which just wearing socks in the evening seems to almost stop.

Whereas in the US, I was a walking buffet for the blood suckers. Lol

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:13 pm

RCer wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:20 pm
Oddly, the skeeters here seem to focus on my feet and ankles. Which just wearing socks in the evening seems to almost stop.

Whereas in the US, I was a walking buffet for the blood suckers. Lol
RCer if you're 'just wearing socks' I really hope you're sitting at home.... :shock:

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by Vital Spark » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:24 pm

Pleng wrote:I guess this all boils down to what other people have said; it depends where you come from and what your lifestyle is as to weather Thailand is "cheap" or not.
I agree with what you say, Pleng, but I (and probably Spitfire as well) are comparing prices to what they were when we first arrived. When I started work here in 1997 I was earning 32,000 baht a month - 16 years' later and I'm earning 37,000 baht a month. I tend not to convert baht to pounds, because I earn baht. Just as a little comparison, here are a few items I can't live without -

1997:
Petrol: 10 baht a litre
Butter: 35 baht
Beer: 30 baht
Cigarettes: 30 baht

2017:
Petrol: 32 baht a litre
Butter: 85 baht
Beer: 60 baht
Cigarettes: 65 baht

The cost of my living has gone up considerably, but my salary hasn't. I still love living here, and because Mr.VS works as well we can have a comfortable life. But it certainly isn't as cheap as it used to be.

VS
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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by handdrummer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:54 am

it's always about wages and prices. if wages go up then prices go up to maintain the profit margin or prices go up due to production cost increases which are due to wage increases somewhere up the line or costs increase due to demand. at any rate nothing is completely static and wages are more static than anything else. the nothing is as cheap as it was argument can go back to the first person who traded something for something. one of the best arguments for co-habitation is having 2 incomes to maintain some semblance of a living standard.

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Re: Biggest Benefit to Being Expat

Post by 404cameljockey » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:58 am

This thread is supposed to be about other benefits also. If Thailand isn't cheap for you, what do you find better than at home?

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