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Phuket living: What do expats really think about living in Thailand?

You may be surprised to hear that Thailand has been chosen as the best country in the world for expats to live in.

PRLog - Oct. 20, 2011 - PHUKET, Thailand -- You may be surprised to hear that Thailand has been chosen as the best country in the world for expats to live in.

In the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2011 the Kingdom beat 31 other countries - with 3,385 expats casting their votes.

Apparently, Thailand came in top for health care, accommodation and the work environment.

The full results are not out until November.

And if they are anything like last year, Thailand will have scored high marks for lifestyle too.

But what do expats in Phuket really think about living here?

I asked a few people I know.

Peter and Joyotee Smith who live near Surin Beach said, "Living here is so easy.  It's comfortable, we have staff to do everything for us and there are plenty of exotic places to visit."

In last year’s survey expats said it was easier to make friends in Thailand than anywhere else.

And Sarah Butler in Bang Tao agreed; "We have more friends here than we ever had in Singapore.  It's just so easy to meet people here who enjoy a similar lifestyle; golf, sailing and good food."

But one guy, who wanted to remain anonymous, gave these words of warning; "Having a Thai wife is costly. You have to take care of her family as well."

I'm told that is because your Thai wife's family will usually come to live with you.

Or you'll be expected to buy them their own house in their home village!

Clare and Andy Short moved to Phuket 6 months ago and had this to say; "The food is amazing.  You just have to go two minutes down the road to get something good to eat.  The roadside stalls sell delicious roti, BBQ chicken and noodles.  And there are swanky restaurants on our doorstep too".

Of course, not everything is rosy.

Michelle in Patong commented; "I've been here for 6 years and I enjoy the food, the weather, the people (in general) and the laid back atmosphere.  There are some things that I find frustrating - there are too many motorbikes on the roads, Thai people won't tell you what they really think (but that's true of all people) and I can't find shoes big enough to fit my size 8 feet."

It’s true the roads can be pretty dangerous - especially for motorbikes.

And there are the usual rogues you’ll find in most places around the world - ready to relieve you of your hard earned cash.

But if you keep your wits about you, life is pretty good in the ‘Land of Smiles’.

It's estimated there are almost 200,000 expats living in Thailand, with around 30,000 in Phuket.

How did other countries in South East Asia do in the survey?

Malaysia came in 10th, Singapore 4th, the Philippines 7th and Hong Kong 9th.

Surprisingly, Indonesia was not even ranked.

But back to Thailand.

I think Dominic Platt summed it up pretty well; "Thailand's changed a lot since I arrived 17 years ago.  But some things never change; great food, great lifestyle and above all friendly people."

If you are thinking of moving to Thailand, why not get a copy of my book:
‘The Definitive Guide to buying property in Thailand’ - go here to get your free copy.

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Phuket Ocean Villas specialise in luxury property in Phuket, Thailand. We have a superb and extensive portfolio of luxury property in Phuket, available in breathtaking locations throughout the island, including new property, resale property and land.

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Source:Rebecca Smith
City/Town:Phuket - Phuket - Thailand
Industry:Travel, Tourism, Lifestyle
Tags:thailand, buying property, hong kong, indonesia, malaysia, philippines, phuket, singapore, UK, hsbc, survey, competition
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