Best Places To Live In Thailand: 4 Top Picks for You!

Thailand is an unforgettable place to vacation. But be forewarned: you may find yourself inclined to stay in Thailand for the long-term. According to the 2019 Thailand Migration Report, more than 150,000 residents in Bangkok are English-speaking ex-pats. Read on to discover which are the best places to live in Thailand and what to know before you decide to call Thailand home.

Best Places To Live In Thailand: tropical mountain scene
Picture by icon0.com from Pexels

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn the best places to live in Thailand and what to consider before moving, including:

Why Thailand is One of the Best Places to Live

Thailand has so much to offer. Among other things, in this tropical paradise in Southeast Asia you’ll find:

  • Soft-sand beaches and breathtaking mountains
  • Vibrant city scenes and nightlife
  • A rich cultural landscape
  • Tourist-friendly people
  • Often inexpensive, delicious food
  • An affordable cost of living 
  • Quality healthcare

Whether you’re thinking of moving for retirement, adventure, or more affordable living, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the culture before deciding to make a permanent move.

That said, here are our four top picks for ex-pats and others considering a move to Thailand.

Hua Hin: A Relaxing Village by the Sea 

Best Place To Live In Thailand: Hua Hin
Beach | Hua Hin, Thailand
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Originally, Hua Hin was a quiet fishing village until the King of Thailand decided he liked the area so much, he built a palace there to spend his summers. As expected, the presence of royalty in Hua Hin attracted an elite market, namely from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok.

Hua Hin provides a calm and peaceful residence with the option to experience vibrant local markets, delicious dining experiences, and a beautiful coast. It’s a great city to consider as a potential place to live, and one of the best places to live in Thailand if you ask me.

The coastal community of Hua Hin is popular with a variety of ages and generations. You’ll find this choice location offers impressive properties at affordable prices to suit all budgets. Not to mention, with Bangkok just three hours away, you have access to some of the most vibrant nightlife Thailand has to offer.

Modern, Affordable Living along the River in Sathorn, Bangkok

Best Places To Live In Thailand: Lumpini Park with Bangkok Skyline (Sathorn)
Lumpini Park with Bangkok Skyline | Sathorn, Bangkok
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Did you know Bangkok is home to one-tenth of Thailand’s population? For modern living, this capital city of Bangkok is an ideal choice. 

Sathorn, in particular, is a neighborhood in Bangkok with the expected conveniences associated with city life plus the added benefit of tranquil residential areas. This trendy neighborhood extends from Lumpini Park to the Chao Phraya River.

If you’re searching for desirable accommodations along the Chao Phraya river, such as a charming townhouse in Thailand, you’ll find some of Bangkok’s most upmarket addresses without the expensive price tags. 

Photo by Suzukii Xingfu from Pexels

Sathorn is increasingly becoming a favorite spot to live amongst mature ex-pats who seek upscale but cost-effective living. It provides access to the exciting areas of the city with the ability to retreat to a quiet home after the day’s adventures.

This makes Sathorn another one of the best places to live in Thailand.

Phuket: A Beach Lifestyle with a Bustling Nightlife

Best Place To Live In Thailand: Phuket beach and marina with palm tree
Phuket | Thailand
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

A famous location renowned for its glorious sandy beaches, blue seas, and picturesque mountains, some call Phuket the “Pearl of the Andaman.” 

For those who love to dance and enjoy a cocktail or two, there is plenty of nightlife peppered around Phuket for you to explore, indulge in music, and meet new people. 

Phuket offers a concoction of incredible scenery and bustling nightlife, making it another of our picks for best places to live in Thailand.

It is considered more expensive to live than in other less favored areas of Thailand…But oh-so worth it!

Island Life on Koh Tao: “Turtle Island” is One of the Best Places to Live in Thailand

Best Place To Live In Thailand: Koh Tao or Turtle Island, houses on cliff overlooking water
Koh Tao or “Turtle Island” | Thailand
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

If you’re attracted to the prospect of life on an island with white pristine sandy beaches, and crystal clear blue waters, Koh Tao, also known as ‘Turtle Island,’ provides scenery and laid-back living.

And if you like scuba diving, it may be the best place to live in Thailand. The scuba diving industry attracts many travelers to remain in Koh Tao; Most of the residents work in the scuba diving sector.

As travelers have increasingly made Koh Tao their home over the years, various shops have sprung up to cater to the residents’ everyday needs and wants. So, you’ll also find opportunities to work within the hospitality industry if you’re thinking of working while living on Koh Tao.

What You Should Know Before Moving to Thailand

Before you make a long-term commitment to a rental property or invest in a mortgage in Thailand and begin packing your worldly possessions and colorful sarongs, do your homework. Make sure you consider, research, and visit each location to decide which will work well for your work and personal life before you take the plunge.

And remember, it’s equally essential to:

  • Tally the typical expenses in the different locations to get a better idea of what areas you can comfortably afford.
  • Check the legal requirements and research the culture and local customs to gain a better understanding of the area’s rules and expectations.
  • Visit the location for an extended stay to gauge whether it’s right for you and suits the lifestyle you envision.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve answered the above points, it’ll be easier to funnel down which location in Thailand is most suited to your personality and budget to ensure you’ll have a happy and comfortable stay. 

Which of these four destinations do you think is the best place to live in Thailand? I’d love to know your top pick(s) in the comments below!

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This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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