Thailand is a very interesting country to live in as a UK expat. The people are warm, the environment is lush and the setting is serene. You can choose to live in the concrete forests of Bangkok, or you might decide that you want to be closer to nature in the rural areas. The cost of living is substantially lower than in the UK and you can essentially scrape by on meager earnings.

As a fellow UK citizen, I have enjoyed my stay in Thailand and would also want you to enjoy yours. Although Thailand is quite inviting, there are some things you should be aware of as a UK expat moving to Thailand. I would be glad to explain these things, just to make sure that your stay in Thailand ends up being one to remember for the right reasons.

Moving to Thailand

Although I titled this a guide to UK citizens living in Thailand, there might be people of other nationalities reading this post that might be considering a move to this side of the world. Before you can decide on how you would survive in Thailand, you first have to “move” to Thailand.

As a UK citizen moving to Thailand, you are required to get a visa. There are four major visa types for UK citizens that want to move to Thailand. You can get a tourist visa, business visa, education visa or a retirement visa.

Tourist visas, as the name suggests, are for people moving to Thailand purely for the sake of tourism. As a tourist in Thailand, you can’t conduct business or get employment.

Also, the visa lasts for 60 days and can be extended for a further 30 days. You can also get a business visa if you are employed by a Thai company.

Business visas last for 90 days per stretch, or about a year cumulatively. If you plan on studying in Thailand, you can get an education visa. This one also lasts for about 90 days per stretch, or a year for multiple entries.

You can stay for an extended period in Thailand with a retirement visa. However, you need to be over 50 years of age and have a pension of 65,000 baht in a Thai account. If you don’t depend on a pension, you need to have about 800,000 baht in a Thai account.

There are restrictions on all of these visas. For instance, you can’t buy property while living in Thailand on a visa. If you want to up the ante, you can apply for permanent residency in Thailand. With permanent residence you can buy property, work easily, stay for as long as possible and enjoy the best that Thailand has to offer without any inhibitions.

The Cost of Living in Thailand

The cost of living in Thailand is quite low when you compare it with that of the UK. Things will become even rosier if you are earning a UK salary and spending it in the Thai economy. The discrepancies in the economies of both countries would ensure that you can live to the fullest in Thailand. Local Thai food is quite cheap and people prefer eating in restaurants than cooking at home due to the cost. However, the cost of western food is quite similar to its price in the UK.

Regardless of this, you can have a really good time by simply enjoying the local delicacies that Thailand is willing to offer.

Working in Thailand

If you are staying for an extended time in Thailand, you would need to work to keep body and soul together. One easy job you can find in Thailand is to become an English teacher.

You can also decide to freelance. You can do this by either working via Upwork or sell a “gig” on Fiverr. With freelancing, you would finally be able to live the laptop lifestyle. There are a lot of other lucrative jobs in Thailand as an expat; you just need to put on your thinking cap and be ready to work.


Thailand is a wonderful place for a British citizen. I have quite enjoyed my stay over here and would love for you to come and join me in the serene Thai environment.