Living in Thailand

Practical tips on living in Thailand from people who have spend considerable time in the country, living among the locals.

One of the main topics that often arises among those living within Thailand is that in the country, everything is checked, and rechecked, and how different types of bureaucracy is a central ingredient of life in here.

In fact, for example, according to the Thai law, every citizen should have his or her identity papers every time when traveling in public spaces.

So, as a foreigner, it is a good idea to always carry papers proving your identity. Not necessarily a passport, but it should be a some type of proof of your person with a picture, with details of your identity, such as a contact phone number.

For the most part, this may feel like an exaggeration, but if you get involved in an accident or have trouble of any kind with the police, your position is unnecessarily worse than it has to be, if you can’t prove your identity.

Those spending time in the country should also always keep their visa up-to-date, as overstaying the time allowed under the visa is also breaking Thailand’s laws.

A good idea, in addition to keeping the visa current, is to register at your country’s embassy, which will go towards helping you get through bad situations while here.

When you are dealing with local Thai public officials, it is important to remember the country’s customs, including the importance of having the correct paperwork with you.

When dealing with Thai public officials and local police, according to the people that have lived here, you will get your dealings worked out better, if you speak politely, and remember to smile, even if you don’t feel like doing so.

If you can deal with the public officials with the help of a local Thai, it might speed up the processing in some cases, as the role of a friendly but clueless foreigner may be helpful.

Some of the main points for contacts with the Thai police is that you should be friendly, formal, and flexible, even if the police themselves might sometimes feel rude or unfriendly.

An important thing to remember, in all cases, according to foreigners living in different parts of Thailand, is that you should not raise your voice or shout at the police.

Of the different types of document needed for living in Thailand, often necessary are a birth certificate, a passport, and a travel insurance.

Of these, the birth certificate is needed especially when getting married in Thailand, but the need to show it may arise in other situations as well.

A passport, on the other hand, it good to keep in a safe place, somewhere easily accessible, but with a secure location. Passport is typically needed in Thailand for dealing with the Thai banks.

Personal identification, not necessarily a passport, needs to be a proof of your identity, with your photo and details of your person. This document is very useful in cases of accident, as with it, your country’s embassy should quickly get information about the event, and can pass that information onwards.

A travel insurance is a very important piece of travel documentation, and you should have a valid insurance during your entire stay in the country, as hospital stay for a foreigner without an insurance in cases of illness can be extremely high.

If your standard travel insurance does not cover cases of death in foreign countries, you should think about getting such insurance for your stay in Thailand.

This is because the transportation and other related costs of a deceased from Thailand are very, very high, burdening the relatives with unnecessary expenses when it is very easy to get an insurance covering these cases.

For families, different types of insurances where the remaining spouse is paid in annuities after a death, might be a good idea.

In terms of insurances for living in Thailand, these should be also taken for your Thai residence, and you should have a full and complete inventory of all your insured goods, including electronics, books, suits, jewelry, and so on.