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Old 05-31-2019, 10:26 AM   #281
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MartyP, great info indeed, many thanks, much appreciated.

So how do you like living there? anything you advice me prior to moving there? I am considering Bangkok as well, but leaning towards Pattaya. In your opinion what is the area to consider for renting in Bangkok and the rate for a small one bed room apartment?

I live currently in Vegas, Nevada and lived for 10 years in the Bay Area previously.
Two years here and I am loving it. Bangkok is both modern and Thai and has plenty of things to do. It is a city though, with traffic and air pollution and many people. I've never lived in a city before and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I actually like not owning a house and car. I am in a great location, Phra Khanong, which is close enough to the city center but also near a great traditional Thai fresh market and a good street food scene. I am lucky to be renting a nice condo with a pool with a view of the city. Note that Bangkok is significantly more expensive than Pattaya but it falls within my budget. Not everyone wants to live in a city.

Wherever you start it doesn't have to be your final location. Start by renting. Travel around to explore the rest of Thailand. Thailand is, as you have probably already seen, from what I hear, much different that in the 1980's. You've been here recently as a tourist but you begin to see things a little differently as a resident. I always have to tell people that retirement is not like vacation. Similarly, being a resident is not quite like being a tourist.

I came here with a just a couple of suitcases. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the Immigration requirements. Be secure in your finances. Pick a good bank in the US for wire transfers. I had problems with Wells Fargo and had to switch to Bank of America. Keep a US address if you can. I am using my sister's address. Keep a US phone number if you can, at least at first. I got the cheapest ATT plan I could but my daily phone is a Thai phone number. US banks and some other things in the US typically want a US address and a US phone number. Your US health insurance probably covers you as a traveler but otherwise you will have to look at a Thai insurance company if insurance is important to you. Similarly with a drivers license. You can drive as tourist but soon you will have to get a Thai drivers license if you want to drive here. If you have a US license then that will help a lot.

It is very possible you will want to get some Thai language skills. If you are in Bangkok then the Duke Language school is one of the best. In either Bangkok or Pattaya you will be fine with English.

I've been to Pattaya many times because I have friend who moved there and bought a condo there. It is significantly cheaper there. For my tastes, there are too many foreigners there in the central business district but you seem to enjoy it. By the way, just off of Pattaya with a 45 minute boat ride is Koh Larn. A small and beautiful island with white sand beaches and blue water. Much nicer for swimming than Pattaya beach but I like sitting on Pattaya beach with a beer, and food, and watching the world go by. There seems to be an active expat online community so you should look for that on the internet and in Facebook. They will be a good source of Pattaya information.

Good luck and enjoy
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:10 PM   #282
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Going to visit Thailand for the first time in February.

Thing I see is that there's a wide range of prices for places to stay. When you see a 3-night stay for $50 a night, you're kind of wary. I booked a more costly place with a view of Wat Arun from the room.

I also see a wide range of food prices though still lower overall than Europe or US. Some video blogger went to a mall, had a curry dish for a couple of dollars and said it was very good compared to Thai food in the US. But if you look at restaurants attached to luxury hotels, then the dishes are more in the $15-20 range, probably more if you want steak, especially steak which might have been imported.

Not that steak would be the first thing you look for in Thailand.

Yeah I will have to see how the crowding and pollution is like. I guess the taxi drivers can be shady, like trying not to use the meters. Or there is a "taxi mafia" on Phuket and prices are pretty high.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:07 PM   #283
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Going to visit Thailand for the first time in February.

Thing I see is that there's a wide range of prices for places to stay. When you see a 3-night stay for $50 a night, you're kind of wary. I booked a more costly place with a view of Wat Arun from the room.

I also see a wide range of food prices though still lower overall than Europe or US. Some video blogger went to a mall, had a curry dish for a couple of dollars and said it was very good compared to Thai food in the US. But if you look at restaurants attached to luxury hotels, then the dishes are more in the $15-20 range, probably more if you want steak, especially steak which might have been imported.

Not that steak would be the first thing you look for in Thailand.

Yeah I will have to see how the crowding and pollution is like. I guess the taxi drivers can be shady, like trying not to use the meters. Or there is a "taxi mafia" on Phuket and prices are pretty high.
I am living in Bangkok now but when I was traveling here I generally booked hotels in the $50/night range and they were very nice and convenient to the BTS skytrain system. Not to worry.

Inexpensive food is Thailand is much much better than what is considered inexpensive food in the US. Thai food in the US is, to put it mildly, bland. Not all Thai food is spicy but it can get very spicy so be careful. Generally speaking, if a restaurant looks like a western quality place then you can expect higher prices. If you are eating in a heavily touristed location, like Khao San Road, the food will be not very interesting.

January and February during the past two years have been exceptionally polluted (air pollution). The rest of the year is fine. Today, July in the rainy season, the sky is clear and blue. The AQI is 34. Perfect.

Taxis are a great deal compared to the US. I've never had a problem with taxis other than having them refuse to go where I wanted to go. They refuse Thais as well as foreigners. If you are going to have a problem with a taxi then it will be the ones parked just outside the tourist hotels. Taxis not using the meter does sometimes happen. Just agree on a price before you get in. Even without the meter it will be a cheap ride.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:49 AM   #284
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Thanks.

Ever use Grab instead of taxis?
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:11 AM   #285
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Thanks.

Ever use Grab instead of taxis?
I have the app but have never used it. I would only use it in locations where a taxi was not available. I was visiting someone in a large gated community once. There were no taxis roaming around in there. I called for an Uber back when they were still operating. I’m fine with regular taxis and motorbike taxis. There are people here though that use Grab.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:34 AM   #286
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Thanks.

Ever use Grab instead of taxis?
I used grab in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Used it from the BKK airport to downtown as well. Very much like Uber. Works great and seemed very inexpensive. I didn't attach a credit card to it like you do with Uber, just paid cash.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:24 PM   #287
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Going to visit Thailand for the first time in February.

Thing I see is that there's a wide range of prices for places to stay. When you see a 3-night stay for $50 a night, you're kind of wary. I booked a more costly place with a view of Wat Arun from the room.

I also see a wide range of food prices though still lower overall than Europe or US. Some video blogger went to a mall, had a curry dish for a couple of dollars and said it was very good compared to Thai food in the US. But if you look at restaurants attached to luxury hotels, then the dishes are more in the $15-20 range, probably more if you want steak, especially steak which might have been imported.

It's been a few years since I stayed in Bangkok but would highly recommend getting a hotel within walking distance of the BTS. Very easy to use and convenient for getting around to most places, Bangkok traffic can be terrible so best to avoid if possible. I would avoid the luxury hotel restaurants, there are so many good restaurants that are reasonably priced. Some of the street food stalls are very good and worth trying but helps to have a local to help you out.
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