• published on 6/14/2023
  • 5min

Best places to live in Thailand for expats

Thailand is a large country and planning to relocate there can take some time. There are many factors to consider when moving, but in this article, we will focus on the best locations for expats to live in Thailand.

Best places to live in Thailand for expats

Living in Thailand as an expat

Thailand is a country rich in heritage and culture, which is highly popular among expats. As of 2023, around 3 to 4 million expats live and work in Thailand, which make up approximately 5% to 6% of the total population. Thailand is ruled by a monarchy with a government in place. According to the Government’s National Statistics Office, an estimated 94% of the Thai population are Buddhists. Thailand has many iconic Buddhist temples and Buddha statues, making it a popular tourist destination year-round.

A significant reason why Thailand is a popular relocation spot for expats is the cost of living. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Thailand is on average 45.2% lower than in the United States and 35% lower than in the United Kingdom.

There are several places that expats find suitable to move to in Thailand, with Bangkok being one of the top places. Here are five locations that expats can consider if they want to move to Thailand.


Possibly one of the most popular locations for expats, Bangkok is a multicultural, affordable, and modern cosmopolitan city. Being the country’s capital city, there is a high concentration of foreigners living in Bangkok, and there is no shortage of entertainment in the social scene. From nightclubs to drag bars, you will never be bored for long. As a cultural hub, there are also many activities for interest such as sports, theatre, and the arts.

Food is relatively affordable, with a bowl of noodles costing less than $2 from a street stall. For those looking to move to Bangkok, some popular locations for expats are Sukhumvit, Ekkamai, Sathorn, Thong Lo, Ari, Victory Monument, and Silom. Sukhumvit is a particularly popular relocation spot for expats as it lies in the heart of the city, and the BTS station and underground MRT station are in proximity, making transport highly accessible and convenient, which is an especially important factor considering Bangkok’s notorious traffic jam is a daily occurrence for those who drive.

For expat families with children, Bangkok is a great place to live in as education is plentiful and accessible. There are many international schools in Bangkok, but children can also be enrolled in Thai public schools or bilingual schools. Additionally, schools in Bangkok offer a wide range of tuition.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is another popular place for expats to live in. Only an hour’s flight away from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a place for those seeking a more serene, slow-paced, and cultured way of life as compared to the bustling vibe of the city.

With a history dating back over 700 years, Chiang Mai is home to many Buddhist temples and wonderful weather. Situated in the northern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai’s temperature is relatively cooler than its southern counterparts, making it more comfortable for children to play outside for longer hours. Those who enjoy the countryside and nature will find that there are many outdoor activities to do in Chiang Mai, as well as plenty of outings to the various temples around. There are also amazing dining options, lavish malls, JCI-accredited hospitals, and movie theatres, making Chiang Mai an all-rounded place to live in.

Hua Hin

Known today as a lively seaside town, Hua Hin is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bangkok. Famous for its happening restaurant scene and easygoing lifestyle, Hua Hin is a popular location for expats, couples, singles, and families alike. With long stretches of beautiful beaches and markets selling Thai handicrafts at inexpensive prices, Hua Hin has many attractive sights and is a great place especially for families and children to live in. The international schools in this location are top-notch, and they follow the UK curriculum. Children and families can also enjoy the local jazz festival that takes place annually. Healthcare is also accessible in Hua Hin, with medical facilities readily available locally.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui, the largest and most developed island in the Gulf of Thailand, is a top destination for expats seeking a tropical paradise lifestyle. With palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters, and a relaxed atmosphere, Koh Samui offers a perfect blend of modern amenities and natural beauty.

The cost of living is also affordable, making it an attractive choice for those looking to live on a budget. Expats on the island can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, such as yoga, hiking, and water sports, as well as indulging in the island's abundance of fresh coconuts and local delicacies. Koh Samui also provides access to high-quality healthcare and a range of international schools for expat families with children. Overall, Koh Samui is an ideal destination for those seeking a laid-back, tropical lifestyle in Thailand.


Phuket is a well-known destination for tourists, and it is also a great location for expats to live in. With its stunning beaches, warm weather, and a wide range of activities available, Phuket offers a laid-back lifestyle. There are many restaurants and bars in Phuket, and the nightlife is vibrant, making it a perfect location for those who enjoy the party scene.

For those with families, there are international schools in Phuket, and the healthcare system is well established. Additionally, there are many outdoor activities to do in Phuket such as hiking, snorkeling, and diving.


Thailand has much to offer to expats who are looking to relocate to a new country. From Bangkok’s modern cosmopolitan lifestyle to Chiang Mai’s serene and cultured living, Hua Hin’s easygoing beach lifestyle, Koh Samui’s tropical paradise, and Phuket’s vibrant nightlife, there is a location suitable for any expat looking to move to Thailand. With its rich heritage and cultural diversity, Thailand is sure to offer an unforgettable experience to anyone looking to call it their new home.

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