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About Vivian

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  1. The Best Ways to Find Cheap Flights to Bangkok Thailand, also known as the Land of Smiles, is one of the destinations you must experience in this life. It is called the Land of Smiles because it seems that every local you meet here wears a smile. But you will enjoy your experience in this land of beautiful beaches, warm weather, rich history, great food, and exciting nightlife by finding cheap flights to Thailand. To reach Thailand requires a long flight for many travelers which is why it even more important to find the best deal on airfare possible. Here are a few tips on how to find cheap flights to Thailand. Look for cheap flights to Bangkok in the low season. Even though there is a low season in Thailand, it really is hard to tell the difference between it and the peak season. The low season runs between roughly March and the end of October. This is the period that sees the hottest temperatures and the most rainfall. However, there is still plenty of sunshine and rainstorms usually only last from a few minutes to a couple of hours in the worst cases. You can still enjoy Thailand and plane fares as well as hotel prices are cheaper during this time. You can also get good deals on airfare during the peak season. The peak season in Thailand runs from November until February and is characterized by cooler (but still warm) temperatures, breezy conditions, and little rainfall. It actually gets cool in the northern part around Chiang Mai. Of course the Christmas and New Year timeframes are the most expensive periods to depart from your home country to Thailand. However, if you book your flight around the end of November until the first part of December you can get fares close to those of the low season. The rule of thumb is that you can save by booking 21 days ahead of a major holiday. It is the little things that count towards saving you air fare. These are things like not flying 7 days prior to or following a holiday, departing on Monday through Wednesday, booking for an early morning or late night departure, and going on flights with longer layovers. Cheap Flights to Bangkok comparison websites. These are travel websites where you can put in your arrival and departure information and they will return results listing all airlines with flights available within those parameters. Usually, the listing will be in order of least expensive to most expensive but it allows you to compare and get the best deal. Ask a travel agent. Travel agents have access to deals that are not listed on websites. Travel agents sometimes have promotional packages that include hotel and rental car in addition to air fare. Sometimes, the air fare is cheaper if you buy one of these packages. Go directly to the airline’s website. The airline itself may be having its own promotion that allows you to get a better deal. Along the subject of airlines, you can also save money by not changing air carriers at a layover. Use flag carriers from other countries. Their prices might reflect the price their nationals can pay. Be cautious of low air fare carriers from other countries and check their safety records. Sometimes, these cheap flight airlines have been known to cut corners on safety and have a few accidents under their belt.
  2. When relocating to Thailand from the country where you have a free national healthcare or a local health insurance plan. You should definitely start looking for a health insurance plan that you will cover you whist living in Thailand and other destinations in Asia where you might possibly visit. The cost of medical and hospital care in Bangkok is much higher when compared to the cost of medical care in other non-tourist cites such as Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon, Udon, Krabi, etc. If you plan on staying in a small city in Thailand then you might consider downgrading your health insurance plan as medical treatment in these cities is very affordable. However its always best to have some type of international medical insurance plan, just incase of the worst was to happen. Within the expat community you will likely hear or many motorbike accidents happening in Bangkok where the injured gets treated and left with bills anywhere between 300,000 to 1.5 Million THB. Medical care in Bangkok, especially for expatriates and non thai-locals can be incredibly expensive, as are any international expatriate hospitals like those in Pattaya, Phuket. The best insurance that i am aware of seems to be priced anywhere between 30,000 and 90,000 THB per year per person, depending on your current health. There are health and medical insurance discounts with family plans. English Teachers are known to receive a subsidized medical insurance plan. If you are planning on teaching in Thailand then remember that there is a mandatory HIV/AIDS test. This test also includes a include syphilis tests and a number of other sexually transmitted diseases. A number of other health tests required if you plan on obtaining health insurance through your workplace.
  3. There is no doubt that the cost of living in and medical expenses are rising in Bangkok, Having life or medical insurance comes with its own benefits and for this reason many people have resorted to this plan for many years now. It is always good to know that nowadays the costs of medical bills and hospitalization can be partially covered with this type of plan. It confers the peace of mind that no matter what, these huge costs can become very affordable once you have purchased medical insurance for you and your family. Medical insurance benefits can extend not only to you as an individual but also to your entire family. In order to have access to these benefits there are several ways to approach these plans. Check down below with these approaches: 1) One way to access the medical insurance benefits, is through purchasing the plan through your employer who has access to group plans for their employees. At this point, your employer offers you the possibility of opting for medical insurance with a specific type of coverage where they pay a part and the rest being yours to pay once deducted from your monthly paycheck. It is also important to thoroughly check for the coverage plan and make sure that you get insured for a wider range of needs as in this way you rest assured that you can get covered for various health conditions. On the other hand you can get lucky enough for the employer to pay the coverage, but in this case, the coverage plan may be only the basic one which doesn't give you too much power of choosing the preferred coverage. 2) Another way to access medical insurance benefits is when your employer is not in the position of having this coverage paid for offering their employees no other chance than to purchase an individual medical insurance policy for their needs. This is a pretty rare situation, but it does happen for some employers to be in the impossibility of having access to medical insurance for their employers due to a poor financial stability. In some cases, employers are obligated by law to offer their employees medical coverage, but this is not applicable in Thailand, you may want to purchase an individual coverage plan. In this case you can as well have access to family coverage plans that are considered as group medical insurance, hence lower premiums to pay for the policy. At this point you may want to have a proper review of the plan and find the one that you and your entire family can benefit from according to your specific needs. Do not expect to have the dental coverage applicable inside this plan, but at least you can obtain pretty much coverage beside the basic one.
  4. One of the first things you will notice when arriving in Thailand is the variety of food available and it makes you wonder what the top 10 Thai foods are. There are also the numerous food malls where you can pick up an affordable yet tasty meal from early in the morning until around 9 PM. However, the first problem many experience when getting here is how to order what looks and smells delicious. It is difficult to know where to start unless you have some idea about what the top 10 foods in Thailand are. So, here is a list to get you started. Pad Thai Pad Thai is a sure to be listed among anyone’s top 10 Thai foods. It is a delicious sticky noodle dish that is famous not only in Thailand but around the world as well. Go to any Thai restaurant in the western world and you will find Pad Thai. The classic version of this dish is with shrimp and there is a vegetarian version as well as one with chicken. Pad Gapow This is stir-fried basil leaves and it is mixed with some type of meat. The dish is typically served over white rice with a fried egg (kai dao) on the side. All you have to do is choose the meat. You can choose pork (moo), beef (neua), shrimp (gung), or shellfish (pla meuk). They stir fry it with small Thai chilies so it can be quite spicy. However, the flavor makes you overlook the spiciness. You can also request “mai ped” which tells the cook not to put in the chilies. Kuay Teow Kuay Teow is the name for the noodle soup that you see all the Thai people eating at small stands along the road. It is definitely one of the top 10 Thai foods for Thai people. You can also find it in food courts at major shopping venues. Usually, it is ordered with meatballs such as luk chin moo (pork), luk chin gai (chicken), or luk chin pla (fish). So, if you want to order Kuay Teow with pork meatballs, you would tell the vendor “Kuay Teow luk chin moo.” Gang Keow Wan In English, this is sweet green curry and it is served with either white rice or thin white noodles. It is probably one of the most famous Thai dishes there is. The ingredients are coconut milk, green curry paste, chicken or pork, Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, and basil. Most all Thai restaurants serve this delight and it is also popular at events where there is catering. As one of the top 10 Thai foods, you will recognize it by its distinct bright green color and soupiness. Pad Pak Ruam Mit Thailand is a vegetarian’s paradise and this dish is a mixture of stir-fried vegetables. It can be served with white rice or eaten as a main dish of vegetables only. The mixture of vegetables might vary from place to place however most dishes consist of cauliflower, baby corn, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and straw mushrooms. Also added to the mix is either soy or oyster sauce. Soy sauce is the truly vegetarian dish. Som Tam Any list of top 10 Thai foods will have Som Tam. It is a salad made with grated papaya as the main bulk. The taste is probably the most unique in Thailand with its blend of spices and papaya along with just a tinge of saltiness. The other ingredients that go into this spicy delight include tamarind juice, fish sauce, tomatoes, dried shrimp, string beans, sugar cane paste, fish sauce, peanuts, and lime juice. A variation of this dish is served with bits of chopped crab and known as Som Tam Poo. Gang Garee This is a famous Thai yellow curry dish and reminds you of the influence of Indian culture in this land. Basically, it consists of yellow curry soup with chicken and potatoes. The yellow curry soup has coconut milk in it which gives it that distinctive Thai taste. Gai Pad Met Ma Muang You can think of this dish as Thai cashew chicken. The chicken is cooked in a wok and combined with onions, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, cashew nuts and dried red chilies. Moo Satay This is pork on skewers that is barbequed and served with peanut sauce. The pork is marinated first with a blend of coconut milk, turmeric, Thai curry powder, and soy sauce. In addition to the peanut sauce, it is also served with a white vinegar and cucumber sauce. Tom Yum Gung This is another Thai soup that is a mixture of shrimp, lemongrass, mushrooms, galangal, shrimp, and tomatoes. It is super spicy and blends many both salty and sour tastes together. Some variations also use coconut milk in the broth. There are many more delicious Thai dishes available in the country. Just look at any menu in a Thai restaurant and you will find it to be quite lengthy. Hopefully, with the list of top 10 Thai foods, you can get started trying the many delights this country has to offer.
  5. Investing in Bangkok real estate can be a good idea if you go about it carefully. There are many reasons why investing in Bangkok real estate is attractive to the westerner. For one, the investor can have a little piece of land in a tropical paradise. For someone contemplating retirement, having a piece of Bangkok real estate to live out your golden years can be attractive indeed. However, owning Bangkok real estate oftentimes can be both risky and complicated. Bangkok laws are written in such a way that it makes land ownership difficult and in some cases impossible for a foreigner. There are some things you should know. Bangkok has a very stable economy in spite of the global recession. One good reason that makes Bangkok real estate a good idea is because the Thai economy continues to be strong in spite of the recent global economical downturn. The Thai currency is also strong against other currencies. Overall prices in the country tend to be relatively stable and much cheaper compared to other nations. Also, development costs are much more affordable in Bangkok because labor and materials are cheap. There are certain restrictions on property ownership in Bangkok. The most prominent restriction is the fact that a foreigner can own a building or condominium unit but cannot own the land it is on. There are ways to get around this but they can be complicated and risky. One way foreigners own land in Bangkok is to put it in the name of their Thai wife or girlfriend. This has can be a disaster if your relationship with the Thai lady goes sour because you could lose everything. Another way to get around this is by trying to get a 30-year lease on either land or structure. Some foreigners go into business here in Bangkok becoming part owners. Their corporation can own land and structures and then they do a 30-year self-lease. Finally, if you invest 40 million Thai Baht in Thailand, you can own a maximum of 1 rai of land. A rai is a unit of land measure in Thailand and is about 1,600 square meters. Houses depreciate in Bangkok. In other countries, property such as houses appreciates with age but not in Bangkok. This is because Thai people like to buy houses and cars new. So, unless you sell the property to another westerner, you may have difficulty getting the price you want in order to make a profit on your initial investment. It might be a good idea to rent while you check things out first. While it is not impossible to own Bangkok real estate, it may be more difficult and risky than you prefer. There are plenty of places where a foreigner can rent and enjoy Bangkok and not have to worry about complications of ownership. Renting will give you a chance to see how you like living in Bangkok and making it your retirement home. If, after a year or so, you decide that you really want to buy your own property, make sure that you consult a Bangkok lawyer to assist you with the process.
  6. For the expat living in Thailand, the words “hot and rainy” pretty much sum up Thailand weather. However, this is a simplification. In the southern parts it is hot year-round and the northern parts in the Chiang Mai vicinity experience cool temperatures in December and January. By knowing what to expect with the weather in this country, you will be prepared for taking advantage of low tourist seasons and for battling occasional torrential rain and street flooding. Here is a quick look at the weather in this country. Southern Thailand Weather You have your choice in the southern part of Thailand with two options: hot with rain or without. However, the times of these two seasons differ depending on if you are on the east or west coast of the southern peninsula. On the west coast of the southern peninsula, you will find it rains heaviest from April until October. In November, things on the peninsula’s west coast begin to dry up with little or no rainfall. This dry season lasts until March along with cooler temperatures (still hot though). Come March, temperatures begin to rise with April being the hottest month. Also in April, the rainfall begins to increase with September and October as the peak months for it. The east coast of the peninsula is different with regard to rainfall. The most rainfall typically happens between the months of September and December. Rainfall will peak around November and taper off during the months of December and January. Then, just like the west coast, the weather will get drier and hotter with April being the peak month as far as temperatures are concerned. Northern Thailand Weather In the northern part of Thailand, northeastern winds cause cooler and drier conditions between the months of November and February. Then, between March and May, temperatures begin to get hot and peak during the month of April. Rainfall also begins to increase with a sharp spike in May and peaking around August. The higher elevations in this region such as the mountains have been known to drop down to freezing temperatures. Central Thailand Weather Bangkok is the main population center in the central region of Thailand. Pattaya and Koh Chang (Elephant Island) are two other popular getaways in this region. In this region, you will find that the rainy months occur between April and November with the most rainfall occurring from May until the first couple of weeks in November. The two months with the heaviest rainfall are September and October. December through March is typically dry but still hot. However, Bangkok has been known to experience some relatively cooler nighttime temperatures during December and January although not cool enough for a jacket. Seasons to Watch Across the board, April is the hottest month in Thailand. It’s no surprise that April is also the month of Songkhran (Thai New Year, April 13). This is when everyone takes to the streets and celebrates by dousing each other with water either from big buckets or high-capacity water guns. It’s a way to deal with the incredible heat and it’s a celebration that you don’t want to miss. If you live in big cities such as Bangkok, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai, it’s difficult to avoid getting wet as locals indiscriminately soak anyone with water. Another season to watch with regard to Thailand weather is the period between September and November when run-off from the northern regions floods Bangkok and Pattaya as it attempts to reach the Gulf of Thailand. Bangkok has an elaborate canal system but sometimes the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the center of the city, swells and overflows to include the canals or “klongs” as they are called in Thai. 2011 saw extreme flooding with the northern part of the city around the old Don Muang Airport submerged for months. Many development projects are in the works to divert this run-off so that the same disaster will not occur in the future. In summary, you will find that the best time for the expat to invite friends to Thailand will be December, January, and February. These are also the peak tourist seasons and prices tend to be higher however your guests will be able to enjoy sunshine and cool breezes and the best of Thailand weather.
  7. Many things in Thailand have been influenced by the western world yet the expat will find that he experiences a little of what is known as Thailand culture shock. In spite of the western commercialism brought into this country over the years, Thai culture still remains strong and always will. Here are some important facets of their culture that you, as an expat, must understand. Understanding will make a better quality of life for you and your family while living here. Respect the Royal Thai Family The first aspect of Thai culture that you must understand is that Thais hold admiration and the utmost respect for the King of Thailand and his family. Never disrespect the Royal Family and never make any derogatory or critical comments about them. And yes, you can be arrested for showing disrespect. Many a foreigner has even found himself sitting in confinement because of disrespect to the Royal Family. Farang For some living here, the biggest Thai culture shock is getting used to being called “farang”. This word is used to refer to someone who is Caucasian. It is also the same Thai word for the fruit guava and is part of the Thai word for French fries. Some take it offensively but it is not meant that way by a Thai. If you want to enjoy your stay here, get accustomed to the fact that no matter where you go you will always be a farang and people will usually be fascinated with you (which means they will stare and try to practice their English with you). Wai The wai is the gesture used in Thailand to greet people, pay respects, and thank others. Other places in the world, people shake hands but this is rarely done in Thailand. At first, the wai takes a little getting used to in order to do it properly. And, there are times when it is inappropriate to initiate a wai. The basic form of the gesture is to hold the hands together as if praying. With the palms touching each other and fingers pointing upward like a lotus, the head is bowed slightly to touch the fingertips. The wai is also held close to the body. A mistake made by foreigners upon first arriving to Thailand is to initiate a wai to everyone. You should never initiate a wai to a service-type of person such as a waitress in a restaurant. Only wai a service-type person if that person first gives you the wai. You should also never initiate a wai to a person who is younger than you or a subordinate. However, remember to initiate a wai to those in a higher social status and those who are older than you. Doing the wai among peers is fine. Dress While westerners will openly wear shorts and tank tops in warm climates, it is inappropriate to wear such attire anywhere other than the beach in cities like Bangkok. Wearing this attire in the city will cause Thai culture shock but it will be towards you—they will be shocked at your culture. You will find that Thais are very conservative in their standards of dress. Family Relations Unlike the west where families tend to live separated by many miles, Thai families believe in the unity and cohesion. Thus, you will often see family gatherings that are quite large. You will also see that many family members might live under the same roof or have their houses all near each other. Emotions Thais are non-confrontational therefore it is inappropriate to show emotions such as anger or irritation. Those from western cultures are not used to this because in these cultures it is quite common to openly express dissatisfaction with something like slow service. General Conduct There are generally accepted standards of conduct that at first cause a little Thai culture shock. First, there are cultural norms concerning touching. In Thailand, outward displays of affection are frowned upon. The most you will typically see is couples holding hands. On the topic of touching, you must never touch the top of a Thai person's head. Thai's consider this part of the body sacred and will take offense to your gesture. Also, women must be careful to never touch a monk. Never stand over a Thai person. In some social situations, Thais like to sit on the floor. If you find yourself standing over another Thai person, don't do it for long. You should also never walk over a Thai sitting on the floor. Take care to walk around. Always remove your shoes before entering a Thai house. In fact, it is a good idea to get into the habit of removing your shoes before entering anyone's home here. You must also remove your shoes prior to entering a temple or around a Buddhist shrine. Language One aspect of the Thai language that could be a source of Thai culture shock is putting the ending khrub or ka at the end of sentences when speaking. It is considered polite and speaking without it can be taken as rude. Males put khrub at the end of sentences and females use ka. These two words can also be used as a "yes" answer. It never hurts to get some instruction in Thai language while you are here. The Third Gender One of the sights that have a tendency to shock a few expats arriving here is the sight of the “kathoey” or lady boy. In the western world, they would be referred to as “transgendered”. There’s no need to be shocked. These are thought of as the third gender in Thailand and are generally accepted by Thai people. You will often find them as wait staff in outdoor Thai restaurants or working in retail establishments. Mai Pen Rai A phrase you will often hear in Thailand is “mai pen rai” or “it is of no matter” in English. You will find that Thais have this outlook in many situations and it can also contribute to Thai culture shock for the expat. Is the traffic bad? Mai pen rai. Did someone cut in line? Mai pen rai. Is it taking too long to fill a food order? Mai pen rai. Westerners tend to get irritated about practically any inconvenience and oftentimes have difficulty adjusting to mai pen rai ways. Mai pen rai can also show up as frequent tardiness to appointments and last minute cancellations. The expat living here must learn to adapt or frustration will soon set in. Of course with driving, it seems that all bets are off when it comes to mai pen rai. However, considering the traffic situation in cities like Bangkok, not even mai pen rai can cure the frustration. However, never take it personal if someone honks their horn while behind you. Just say, “mai pen rai”. Washroom Protocol A common source for culture shock among expat men after arriving here is seeing the cleaning lady in the men’s toilet. Pay it no mind because she certainly isn’t paying any attention to you. She only has a job to do: keep the toilet clean. As a final note, you and your family will benefit from enrolling and taking a Thai culture class when you first start living here. These classes cover all aspects of the culture and norms in this country. By educating yourself in advance, you can minimize Thai culture shock and thoroughly enjoy your stay here.
  8. Setting up Business in Thailand - In modern times Thailand enjoys a robust economy in the Asian region. Thailand’s march into the big league has come about through testing times though. Predominantly, Thailand has been an agrarian economy blessed with bountiful crops of rice, maize, rubber, sugar cane, cassava and more. Rich hauls of sea food, primarily in the form of shrimp complemented the agricultural sector and the mid 1990s saw Thailand emerging as a strong exporting market for agricultural produce and sea foods. Industrialization in Thailand was not at the cost of agriculture but as an extension of the agriculture creating value added products and focusing on import substitution. Food processing was in the forefront of industrialization and this has paid rich dividends over time. During the progress from basic agri-based manufacturing towards more sophistication, the innate flexibility of Thai population came in handy. Natural resources were available in plenty and labor was cheap. Further impetus came from significant foreign direct investment into sectors like electronics, processed food, chemicals and property. Japan(A 50% investor in the new Bangkok Airport), Korea, China and America brought in substantial amounts of money into Thailand and the low manufacturing costs worked as a major trigger. Over 50% of Thailand’s industrial output and some 20% of industrial workforce are from these foreign direct investment. Most of Thai business enterprises comprise of small and medium scale establishments. An equity of 10 million baht and a maximum of 50 employees will qualify for a small scale enterprise while the medium scale enterprise will call for investment in the range of 1- to 100 million baht with an employee strength going up to 200. Thai Limited companies enjoy a series of legal covenants and measures to repatriate profits earned. Many of these covenants are absent with other forms of business organization. Dependence on imported crude has worked as a major drain on the country’s economy. Some efforts are under way to find sustainable oil in the Gulf of Thailand but there is no definite time scale available presently. Measures to explore various alternate energy sources are under way and include nuclear power. As at 2011, the economic scene in Thailand can be considered vibrant with tourism having taken the center stage or in tandem with exports. The first decade of the 21st century witnessed some serious political unrest in Thailand. However, the 2011 Thai elections should put in place a popular government that can last its full term. A redeeming factor for the business community is that these political machinations have not impacted trade and commerce in any significant measure. The Thai laws governing setting up business enterprises by foreigners are investor friendly and there are several specialized agencies that will help you through the process. As with most other nations, you would be expected to bring in the required capital, expertise in your chosen field of activity, and credentials to support your claims. Partnering with a local company or a local sponsor may also be required in some instances. Thailand has shown great resilience in keeping business and economy anchored away from politics. Thus, though political events do influence business at some point or the other the impact is never overwhelming. Thailand is undoubtedly a happening nation and there are opportunities abound in the hospitality sector, manufacturing, exports and perhaps even the Information technology. It in particular can be considered to be in its nascent stages, given the language barriers that exist presently. But, if your thoughts gravitate towards IT, you can take a cue from the neighboring China which has made huge headways inspite of similar linguistic constraints.
  9. In Thailand, the business form the most popular with foreigners is the private limited company (SARL equivalent in France). With the exception of U.S. citizens, who benefit from preferential agreements with Thailand, it is impossible to be an immigrant from Western individual entrepreneur in the Land of Smiles. All fall back on the only option remaining consistent, the private company with limited liability. The reasons for foreigners to set up a limited company in Thailand are varied. For if such enterprises are often created to develop a professional activity which will ensure the main source of income of the creator, he is also to cover a number of non-pecuniary objectives: - To purchase land in Thailand - Occupy a Thai partner - Secure a non-immigrant visa to reside continuously in Thailand - Help a Thai partner to form a solid work history which will eventually immigrate to the West more easily. This is a first approach to building business in Thailand: the latter does not make you an expert but will give you a good base to start your thinking. Foremost Be aware that starting a business in Thailand can quickly become a legal headache for a farang who does not control additional Thai. It is essential that you get help for a lawyer or a qualified accountant in your efforts. The latter will be able to teach you all the tricks and supplement with and for you all required documents in Thai. In addition, some activities are strictly forbidden to foreigners in Thailand. See the list of unauthorized activities before engaging your efforts. It would be unfortunate to lose your time. Finally, note that if a farang can be single largest shareholder and a production company (factory), it may not hold more than 49% of a company selling goods or services. You must therefore involve Thai to your project. However, most Westerners did not want to lose control of their businesses rely on nominees. Creating a Limited Company in Thailand To create a Private Limited in Thailand, you must commit yourself to capitalize to the tune of 2,000,000 THB (€ 50,000). 25% of this sum will be given at creation. Therefore, you will be able to raise 12,500 euros for the starting capital of your Limited. This amount is not blocked in an account and can therefore be used to adjust the investment and corporate spending. The 25% stake in your company will be deposited on behalf of your company within 90 days of its creation. You will need to justify that these funds come from abroad. But beware! This does not mean that your company will cost you only 12,500 euros: this minimum capital base, you must add all the administrative costs for the various steps of creating your structure (reserving the name of your company drafting of statutes, general meeting of incorporation, legal registration, tax registration (tax and VAT )....). - Fee 500 THB 100,000 THB per capital (ie 10,000 THB for a capital of 2,000,000 THB) - Other administrative costs: about 2,000 - 2,500 THB - Support the establishment by an expert: 7,000 - 16,000 THB The company premises As Private Limited, your company must provide proof of business address (you can not domicile in your home). The location of your business premises is not trivial since different jurisdictions will determine the land on which you depend. The price of a local professional varies. You will sign a one year lease and pay a deposit equivalent to two months' rent.
  10. Some expats come to Thailand to work while others come to retire. The expats retiring are more than likely the same ones who will be interested in buying a house in Thailand. It is possible to have your own abode in the Land of Smiles but you should approach it carefully and get the sound advice from a Thai law firm that deals in this area. Here are some considerations to make when buying a house in the Land of Smiles. The Law At a high level, you cannot outright own a house in Thailand. So how do expats buy a house here? Well, there are a three ways. First, you can put the house that you want to buy in the name of a Thai national. Second, you can get a 90-year land lease. Third, you can open up a Thai corporation and put the house in its name. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Thai Person Buying the Home The first way is probably the easiest yet the riskiest method of buying a house in Thailand and that is putting the home you are buying in the name of a Thai national. Most would never co-sign a loan with even a family member in their home country because of the risk involved. However, in Thailand, many expat retirees meet a Thai lady, get married, and then buy a house putting it in the Thai wife's name. The risk is that if things sour in the marriage, the expat is left with no legal recourse to recover his part of the home investment. Everyone's situation is different but the point here is to understand the risk involved in this type of home buying arrangement. Land Lease The second way is to obtain a 90-year lease on a parcel of land and have a home built. In this case, the expat has a stake in the property but does not own the land it is built upon. The first 30 years of the lease are guaranteed under Thai law with an option to renew for an additional 30 years and another 30 after that. Thai Limited Company The third way is to open a Thai limited company and then register the house in its name. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to start a business in Thailand such as having two million Thai Baht in registered capital and hiring a certain number of Thai employees but some expats are able to secure a home in this manner. Using a Real Estate Agent Before going about buying a house in Thailand, you should seek the services of a licensed real estate agent in the country. The reputable agents are familiar with the area that you are interested in. They also can check the developer of the desired property for its reputation. Title Search Another important step that must be taken when buying a house in Thailand is to have a title search conducted with the Land Department. The primary reason for this is to ensure that the seller holds clear title to the property. Additionally, checks are done to verify that there are no liens, mortgages, or leases on the property. The title search will also identify any zoning and planning restrictions which are of interest if you are building a house on the property. The Deposit Take the approach of leaving a deposit on any property that you are interested in with caution. Keep in mind that if you leave a deposit on property and it is not title-cleared or there is some other problem then you risk losing it. A deposit is roughly 10-15% of the property's selling price. Make sure that any contract has clauses so that you can back out of the transaction if necessary. Typical clauses make stipulations such as "subject to clear title" and "subject to agreement." No matter what, it is a big mistake to make an attempt at buying a house in Thailand without consulting a Thai lawyer. There are law firms here that help foreigners with this and many other types of transactions. Some expats might think that they can do it on their own but do not realize that they will not be able to read contracts written in Thai language. You can have a home in Thailand but the secret is to know how to go about it without losing a large investment. Consult with a real estate agent and see what is available to you.
  11. Your pets are just as much part of your family as any other member so it is no surprise that the topic of Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand is a very interesting one. You can bring your pet to Thailand, especially if coming from a nation that has effective animal control. Thai people love dogs and yours will fit right in here. Thailand also has some of the finest animal hospitals around and pet care is affordable. Preparation for Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand Prior to leaving your home country, you will need to get all of your pet’s vaccinations updated. You should have these done 30 days prior to leaving. This is because the Thai officials of the Department of Livestock Development will require that this be done 21 days prior to travelling with your dog to Thailand. Your veterinarian will need to prepare a health certificate for your dog which, at a minimum, must state how many dogs you are bringing, their breeds, colors, age, and gender. The certificate will need to state the dog’s address in your country of origin. The last part of the certificate must state the vaccination specifics. Pertaining to the vaccination specifics, all dogs must be certified as vaccinated and free of rabies. The rabies vaccination must be current and is required to be given no less than 21 days prior to the departure of the animal. The other required vaccinations will be for Parovirus, Distemper, Leptospirosis, and Hepatitis. Your dog should also be in generally good health with no obvious signs of disease. Transporting your Pet Making transportation arrangements is the next step for Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand. The first thing you must do is find a “pet-friendly” carrier that flies to the country. Here is where it gets just a bit complicated. Not all airlines will ship your pets and then there are those that take animals but not overseas. So you must call around to the different airlines. Consider that most flights to Thailand from North America or the U.K. will have at least one connecting flight. The best thing to do is put the pet in the cargo hold. Not every airline flying to Southeast Asia will offer to do this. The primary reason is because of the hot temperatures that a pet might be exposed to when transferring cargo to a connecting flight. During this transfer, the pet’s carrier may have to wait on the tarmac and the temperatures can be intense during the peak hot weather months. Thus, some airlines do not want the liability. You just have to call around. For small dogs, an option for Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand is to carry it in the cabin. The individual airline has its rules for carrying pets in the cabin and generally it will require the pet be placed in an approved carrier that will fit under the seat. The airline will give you the dimensions of the carrier and probably instruct you that the dog is not allowed out of it and not allowed to bark. If you have a house-trained dog, more than likely it will sleep for the entire trip or just sit still terrified and never make a sound. There will be an additional fee by the airline for transporting your pet. Fees can start at $200 USD and upwards. Pet Arrival in Thailand When Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand and arriving in the country, you will be directed to take your pet to the Department of Livestock Development office which is located at the group of structures where the Customs Department is located. There is a shuttle bus that will take you there. You may have to leave your dog there overnight while an entry permit is created. More than likely, a quarantine address will be stipulated which can be your address in Thailand and that quarantine period will be for 30 days. Care of Your Pet in Thailand Thailand is a tropical country and with this comes parasites that will love your dog no matter how carefully you try to protect it from them. Ticks will probably be your biggest trouble here. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to apply to your pet’s coat to keep ticks and bugs at a minimum however it usually is never 100% effective. You will have to inspect your pet’s coat consistently. If you find a tick, you should take quick action. Don’t just pull out the tick because the legs might remain in your dog’s skin and become infected. Take something metal like a fork and heat it up with a lighter. Then touch one of the prongs to the tick and it will either fry or jump off. Either way, it is a clean way to remove the tick. The other problem is taking the pet out for a walk if you live in a crowded city area. You will find that there are dogs all over the streets here. Locals refer to them as “soi dogs” which translates to street dogs. When you take your dog outside, these dogs will come around out of curiosity. You’ll find that they are friendly dogs for the most part but those bugs will jump on your dog. For further information, have a look at the Thai Department of Livestock Development website at http://www.dld.go.th/webenglish/movec1.html. This page lists the current requirements for Relocating Your Pet Dog to Thailand.
  12. Healthcare in Thailand means some of the most modern and affordable healthcare in the world. This is why the country promotes medical tourism, offering the opportunity to get treatment for an ailment and recover where the climate is warm year round. For the expatriate living and working in Thailand, medical tourism is not the focus however getting the best care at a reasonable price is. Healthcare a Priority for the Expat It is easy for a healthy expat to ignore the importance of getting all of the facts when it comes to expat healthcare in Thailand. Why? It is mostly because living in the Land of Smiles is so enjoyable that a normally healthy person never thinks about getting injured or sick. However, the expat needs to make it a priority to get healthcare covered because anything could happen after living here for an extended period. There are common injuries and ailments in this land. The most common is probably falling off of the back of a motorbike taxi. Many expats avoid the motorbike taxis when first arriving in Thailand but the convenience of this mode of transportation is alluring and most end up depending on these two-wheeled modern day horses. Another ailment that typically victimizes those who first come to Thailand is food poisoning. Even those who have lived in Thailand for some time can fall victim to the occasional bout of diarrhea, fever, and chills after eating food that may have a touch of the wrong bacteria. The risk of minor food poisoning is always here because of the hot, humid weather and sometimes food is on display without proper refrigeration. These are just a couple of examples of special risks to one’s health in Thailand. Also consider that you may be a retiree here and naturally you will need more treatment as you age. Hospital Choices for Expats You basically have two general choices when it comes to hospitals providing Expat healthcare in Thailand: an international hospital or Thai hospital. The most prominent international hospital in the country is in Bangkok, Bumrungrad. It is also the most expensive however more affordable than hospitals in other parts of the world such as the U.S. and U.K. The staff speaks English and there are translators for Japanese, Arabic, and other languages. Beyond Bumrungrad is a multitude of private Thai and government hospitals for you to choose from. Most expats go with the private Thai hospitals however English-speaking staff members are not as common in them. This is where the expat does well to learn Thai language while living here. However, you will find the care to be at the same high standard yet much more affordable than an international hospital. A couple of good private hospitals for expatriates in Bangkok are Theptarin and Bangkok Hospital and there are many others. Private Clinics You can also find private clinics on the street in just about any town in Thailand. These are clinics to handle simple ailments such as colds and minor injuries. Some hospitals such as Bangkok Hospital have outpatient clinics within expatriate communities such as the one at the Bangkok Gardens Apartments near Soi Narathiwas 24 and Rama III Avenue in Bangkok. Preventative Healthcare Another attractive perk of Expat healthcare in Thailand is that you can get a complete physical at a fraction of the cost that you would incur in your home country. For example, the international hospital, Bumrungrad, offers a full health check priced at 7,000 THB and 8,300 THB for males and females respectively. This equates to around £142 / £170 and $227 / $270 in U.K. and U.S. prices which would be unheard of in those parts of the world. Bumrungrad also offers different health check packages at different pricing tiers but all are reasonable. Pharmacies What is convenient about healthcare in Thailand for expats is that if you have a minor ailment, you can actually get the pharmacist at a local drug store to recommend and sell you a medication without seeing a doctor first. One common medication that is bought in Thailand without a prescription is the antibiotic. Likewise, if there are certain medications that you take regularly (such as asthma inhalers) then you can probably get them refilled by only going to the pharmacist in Thailand. You will also find that many of the pharmacists speak English. There are also companies that offer healthcare insurance for expats. Some expat employers even offer healthcare as one of the perks of working for them. However, most minor care is affordable even without insurance which will give you the opportunity to shop around for major medical insurance coverage to supplement your healthcare costs in Thailand.
  13. If you are an expat living in Thailand for the first time, you are bound to be shocked at just how affordable dentists in Bangkok can be compared to the country you came from. This is assuming that you came from the USA, Europe, Canada, or Australia. Other developed nations may also have extremely high dental fees. However, in Thailand, you can look to pay about one-fourth of what you paid in your home country. Annual checkups are a breeze here and the affordable dental care here can be a lifesaver for those needing root canals and bridgework. Making the Choice As an expat living in Thailand, price is important when choosing a dentist in Bangkok. Tourists are pleased because just about anywhere is cheaper than in the Western world. However, when living on the Thai economy, price becomes somewhat more relevant. Despite this, price should still not be the most important factor. Location is probably the most important when choosing a dentist in Bangkok. This is because the traffic in Bangkok is terrible and the mass transit systems are just as packed during hours after you get off of work. You don't want to get off work just to make a two-hour drive across town for a dental appointment. Probably the best day to drive in Bangkok is on Sunday so a dental provider with opening hours on this day might be what you need. If you can get a recommendation from another Thai person then this is always helpful. Don't worry about any language barriers. Some receptionists may not be able to speak English well but they know who in the office can. Furthermore, remember that most all dentists speak English as well. Now, here are some samplings of the different dental providers throughout Bangkok. Remember, most provide excellent service with some having higher prices than others. These are just a few to consider. Bumrungrad Hospital Dental Clinic Bumrungrad is Bangkok's premier international hospital. Its prices are higher but less than in the Western world and the service is excellent. All facilities are clean and modern as well. These same quality standards apply to the hospital's dental clinic as well. The dentists are trained in the West and you will have no problem communicating in English here. Theptarin Dental Clinic For those living in the area of Rama IV avenue, On Nut, Prakanong, and basically the southern Sukumvit Ave district, there is Theptarin Hospital's dental clinic. Theptarin Hospital is not quite as crowded as those located in the central part of the city but you may find that more of the staff only speaks Thai. In general, Theptarin's dental clinic prices are affordable. They have a clean, modern clinic with a waiting area where the kids can play. Rama 9 Hospital Dental Center Rama 9 Avenue is located not too far from Bumrungrad Hospital and in the heart of the city as well. They have some convenient opening hours, seven days a week from 8:00 A.M. until 8:00 or 9:00 P.M. They have an extensive list of dentists and you can view their profiles on the clinic's website. They cost a little less than Bumrungrad and they offer a wide range of services to include general, pediatric, orthodontic, and aesthetic dentistry. Additionally, they have implants, periodontics, and much more. Silom Dental Building This is a seven-story dental clinic in Bangkok's Silom financial district. It is easily reached by BTS Skytrain (Sala Daeng Station) or the MRT subway (Silom Station). This dental complex has just about anything you want in the way of general and cosmetic dentistry. They even have pediatric dental care. Their prices are higher as is everything in the financial district. Dental Design Clinic This clinic is a short walk from a popular area for both tourists and expats alike: Asoke. It is a short walk from the Asoke BTS station and right across the street from the Sukumvit MRT subway station on Soi 21 (Asoke Avenue). They feature what you might call "designer" dentistry but have general and surgical services as well. They even feature in-office or at-home teeth whitening. For those who may have difficulty paying for the services all at once, they offer convenient payment plans. One perk is that they are located close to the new Terminal 21 shopping mall. There are many more dentists available to you in Bangkok—too many to mention here. If you need dental work, this is the place to do it because of the quality and price. Have your teeth checked today and see what these fine dentists can do for you.
  14. Thailand has a broad network of well maintained roads between major cities. From a total length of 57.000 km paved, about 53,000 km and only 4,000 miles without cover. Most of the north-south route is two lanes in both directions. Thailand is on the left. Signalling follows international conventions and is often performed bilingual Thai / English. Driving at night on road because of heavy traffic is not a good idea. Truck drivers tend to not like us very little respect from cars and reckless driving accordingly. Otherwise, driving on the main road outside Bangkok and the recreation center a safe and pleasant experience. A weekend with a car hire offers the opportunity to learn about wonderful Thai culture and at any time without any time pressure to stop if we want to explore one of the many interesting parts of the kingdom. Bangkok itself has a bad reputation when it comes to traffic conditions. Except there was no question of toll roads, this reputation is justified. The streets are usually crowded. To someone who does not know the city well, it is very difficult to breed here. While drivers in Thailand are very polite and considerate - the horn is only very rarely - directions and often come and go change in the day, without having to be reported by major retailers (And if so, then only in English). Local land so that foreign drivers ever in locations that are away from their real target. A growing highway network within Bangkok simplify the situation even criticism. General advice on renting and driving Insurance: international leasing companies such as Hertz, Avis and Budget are also present in Thailand. You hire vehicles insured, which the Local owners have not always or only on special request, the case is on. Although I was an uninsured vehicle in the North East on the road with themselves and all went well, I would not dare again. Danger lurks In him, I only became clear later. Car rental: Most rental companies make the tenant is responsible for all damages during the rental period. Existing survey damage dents, scratches or missing parts should as far as possible so on the purchase slip. If your vehicle does not know, do not hesitate to have at your service. Convince yourself that everything works on the vehicle. Road conditions: not in a familiar environment to use a vehicle that can be risky. Since trafficking in Thailand continues to increase, there always the time of construction sites, especially when traveling at night is very dangerous. Bands left can be used as Notweg to avoid further road users. These areas usually consist of sand and gravel are sometimes extended. Must take special precautions when leaving the paved road! And the rocks falling on the shoulder of a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front stopped due. Some owners allow the use of their vehicles on unpaved roads if they have four wheel drive. traffic control: left Thailand on. They allow you to get used at. Agglomerations in the general speed limit of 60 kmh (35 mph). Beyond it is between 90-100 km / h (52-60 mph) on expressways and highways. The Thurs speed controls the police. The use of seat belts is compulsory, driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited. All insurance shall be confiscated if the alcohol limit (? ‰?) exceeded. Travel behavior: In many countries, any person on a road or path is the right of way over those of the road between. It is not necessarily the case in Thailand. That's why we're constantly on the lookout market law and left the road could turn on your. Keep an eye traffic coming from behind, and drive far left as possible. If If needed, use the left edge strips to dodge. Look in the mirror. Attention for some animals on the road. When you want to pass another vehicle another, using their horn in a polite Thai, by briefly just to let them know the person before, where they are and what they are do. availability and fuel prices: The vast majority of cars run in Thailand unleaded gasoline. Vans budget require diesel. Both fuels are readily available throughout Thailand and cost about 29-35 baht per liter. Most gas stations accept major international credit cards, The country is on cash, but usually required. On main roads there are Open all service stations clock, which include the country overnight. Driving Licence: All drivers must possess a valid driver's license and not tentative. In addition to the Thai driving license is therefore foreign driving license (with English translation) and of course international driving license (with the original license). The driver license and a valid passport at all times must be made. Age: The car rental companies rent their vehicles for drivers who are At least 21 years. Taxes: 10% VAT (Value Added Tax) is included in the rental price.
  15. Moving to the Land of Smiles naturally causes some concern for the Thailand expat because he is migrating to an entirely different culture along with unfamiliar surroundings. However, you need not worry too much because Thailand has taken many measures to guard your safety and it is probably the most relaxed of all countries in Southeast Asia. Yes, there are scams and dangers in the street but all it takes is a little vigilance and common sense and you will more than likely have no problem. Here are some street smarts that will help you stay safe in Thailand. Streets Smarts in Entertainment No doubt, when you first come to Thailand, you will want to partake of some of the nightlife and restaurants that cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya have to offer. Most expats coming to Thailand to work will probably live in Bangkok so consider that the tips that apply to this city are pretty much the same anywhere else in the country. If your night out takes you to a restaurant or bar, always make sure you know what you are being charged so that there are no surprises when the check comes. There have been instances where checks were artificially inflated unbeknownst to the customer because of an inability to read Thai language or inebriation. Higher class restaurants will probably never do this to you but many like to experience the spirit of Thailand and eat or drink at street restaurants and bars. Stay vigilant and always know what you are getting charged. Dealing with People The Thailand expat will find that Thai people are generally easy-going and non-confrontational. You will also find that out in the streets, Thais will be cordial and friendly but will rarely intrude on your personal or business life. Having made this point, if a person (Thai or foreigner) walks up to you on the street trying to befriend you then you should be suspicious and politely bow out as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, folks who walk up to you on the street are trying to set you up for a scam or talk you out of some money. And, whatever you do, try to always avoid confrontation with a Thai because you may either get no reaction or an explosive one and the situation will more than likely turn out worse. The street beggars in Thailand will oftentimes tug on your heartstrings, especially when there are mothers begging while holding small children. It is better that you keep your money. It is sad but begging scams are common here. Then, enough cannot be said about your safety and being cautious with whom you drink. While the locals in the neighborhood watering hole might seem jovial and friendly, you may be in for a surprise. All it takes is one person (usually male) to drink too much and you, being a foreigner, will draw his attention. There have been many instances of the Thailand expat being injured or fatally wounded here after a night of drinking with strangers. Respecting Thai Culture The Royal Family of Thailand is highly revered and respected in this country. Never, under any circumstances, disrespect any member of the Royal Family. This includes making derogatory comments about them, verbal and written. The country's Les Majeste laws specify that anyone, to include the Thailand expat, showing this disrespect can be arrested and sentenced to prison. Also, consider that the King of Thailand’s picture is on all currency. Therefore, if you drop a coin, never trap it with your feet. Thai culture considers the feet a very repulsive part of the body and it is disrespectful to step on icons of Thailand with them. Transportation Smarts One of the fascinating features of Thailand is the availability of several modes of transportation, one of them being the tuk-tuk. These are the small three-wheeled covered motorized taxis that have been featured in movies and travel brochures and capture the spirit of Thailand. Unfortunately, many of the drivers are dishonest and overcharge foreigners because the vehicles are not metered. If you absolutely must take a tuk-tuk, negotiate the fee beforehand. The preferred modes of public transportation for the Thailand expat in Bangkok are taxis, buses, BTS Sky train, and the MRT subway. Taxis are good for safety and reliable but do not forget to tell the driver to turn on the meter. There have been instances where taxi drivers turn off their meter with the unsuspecting tourist in order to craft their own "tip". They have also been known to take foreigners to their destination by using a longer route but unless you know your way around, you may not detect this is happening. Then, there are the motorbike taxis. This mode of transportation is probably one of the most noticeable when you arrive in Thailand. The concept is simple; motorbikes can get you easily to your destination because they have the ability to weave through stalled traffic. However, passengers rarely wear helmets and the drivers have been known to be intoxicated at times. If you really want to ride a motorbike taxi, take care of your safety and sit square on the back and do not lean to the left or right. When the motorbike is navigating through tight traffic, keep your arms close to your sides, hold on tightly, don’t spread your legs, and never lean to the left or right to see what is going on. Many have been injured by not keeping a tight profile on the back of these motorbikes. Protecting Your Money Obviously, you should never flash your money regardless of the city where you are at. However, there are other ways to be vigilant with your money in Thailand. First on the list is to make sure that you always count your change no matter where you purchase an item. Second, always exercise caution at ATMs. There have been instances where thieves have tampered with ATMs by inserting a device to get an imprint of your card and then someone looks over your shoulder to get your PIN as you punch it in. To protect against this happening, make sure that you always cover your pin with your other hand while entering it and be wary of any strangers studying your movements. It is important to always trust your instincts just as you would in any of the world's major cities. And, it is of critical importance to stay sober if you are alone on the streets. By following these basic street smarts for the Thailand expat, you can be sure to guard your safety thus making your stay here much more enjoyable.