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Thailand Expat guide, living in Asia, local news in English, tips, advice & more

Thailand Expat guide, living in Asia, local news in English, tips, advice & more

Living in Thailand


Expats who relocate to Thailand are greeted with comfort, warmth, and exhilaration. Expat communities are mainly in Bangkok; a city filled with inflections of local culture, hospitable locals, bright lights of the modern metropolis, and traffic jams. While outside the busy roads and buzzing sounds of commercial Bangkok, expats traversing beyond this city will find a serene and tranquil experience. Thailand is a country of contrast; old and new, modern and traditional, yet in perfect harmony. Before deciphering the many ingredients of the local curry dish, here’s some info we thought you’d like to know. 
Thailand

Expat Clubs


American Women's Club of Thailand
The American Women's Club of Thailand is a nonpolitical, nonprofit group organized to promote friendship in the American community and emphasize friendship and cooperation with Thai women through social, cultural and philanthropic activities.
Address: 72/1 Sukhumvit Soi 38, Klong Toey, Bangkok, 10110
Tel: 02-712-3380
Fax: 02-712-3919
Website: awcthailand.org
  
Australians in Thailand
A social organization for people who live in Thailand and have a connection to Australia. Fundraising and social events are planned regularly for members.
Email: australiansinthailand@gmail.com
Website: www.ait.org.au
 
Australian-New Zealand Women's Group
Welcome to the Australian-New Zealand Women's Group Bangkok. For more than 50 years ANZWG has played a major part in the lives of many expatriate women who have been lucky enough to reside in this fascinating yet sometimes challenging city.
Address:  Australian Embassy, 37 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Email: info@anzwg-bangkok.org
Website: www.anzwg-bangkok.org
 
BAMBI
BAMBI is a Bangkok-based, mother-led, non-profit group, offering support and companionship in the early years of parenthood.
Address: P.O. Box 1078, Suanphlu, Bangkok, 10121 THAILAND
Website: www.bambiweb.org
 
Bangkok Network of Women (BNOW)
Started in January 2004, BNOW aims to help local and foreign women who are both new and old to Bangkok.  The concept is to provide a supportive network to women from all walks of life.  The group meets twice a month, plus sends out a weekly e-newsletter.
Address: 33 Manutham Mansion, 2nd Floor, Room 4 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 085 846 3342, 662 662 5622
Email: bnow@bnow.org
Website: www.bnow.org
 
British Club Bangkok
Described as "an Oasis in the heart of Bangkok", The British Club Bangkok is a family, sports, and social Members Club situated in downtown Bangkok.
Address: 189 Suriwongse Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10500
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/The-British-Club-Bangkok/165469023492878
Website: britishclubbangkok.org
 
British Women's Group in Bangkok
Our aim is to provide a support network through social functions, working with local charities and welfare activities. There is something within the British Women's Group for everyone. We are an extremely friendly group, catering for everyone's needs, whether it is to meet other like-minded folk or take up a new hobby whilst supporting local charities.
Website: www.bwgbangkok.org
 
Chiang Mai Expat Club
Chiangmai Expats Club aims to help expats expand friendships and improve their quality of life here. We try to serve the community of foreigners by making it easier to understand the laws, language and lifestyle needs of our members and guests.
Address: Pat Corey P.O. Box 166 Phrasing Post Office A. Muang Chiang Mai 50205
Tel: 080-494 5573
Email: info@chiangmaiexpatsclub.com
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/Chiang-Mai-Expats-Club/286223608211692
Website: www.chiangmaiexpatsclub.com
 
ChickyNet Thailand
Chicky Net is a social network for women who have either relocated to Thailand or who are visiting for a specific period of time. The website offers an exciting and fun way to meet other expats, join in activities, and to best of all make new friends with whom they can share their experiences with getting the most out of their time in Thailand.
FB: www.facebook.com/chickynet
Website: www.chickynet.com
 
International Women's Club of Thailand
The Club is a secular and strictly non-political organization and its official communications is in English. The international character of the Club is maintained by keeping the membership to, as nearly as possible, one-third Thai, and two-thirds all other nationalities. This rule is applied to the regular membership only.
Address: Club House, Unit 3, 16 Sukhumvit Soi 34Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 02 258 5336 (MWF 10:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Mobile : +66 912190894
Fax : (+66) 02 260 1887
Email: info@iwcthailand.org
Website: www.iwcthailand.org
 
Lunch Bunch Club of Chiangmai
The Lunch Bunch is a non-political, non-profit group organized to promote networking for women who are new to the Chiangmai community. The club has been established since 1995. We emphasize friendship through social and community activities. Other Around Town activities are listed here as well.
Website: www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com/around_town_with_marji.html
 
New Zealand Society of Thailand
An organization giving New Zealanders an opportunity to share goals and experiences and offering New Zealand Families, Expats, Business People & Thais an opportunity to share ideas, memories and a community social life.
Website: www.nzsocietythai.org
 
Pattaya City Expats Club
A social organization dedicated to helping expats and visitors to enjoy their stay in Pattaya. Everyone is welcome to their weekly meetings and events.
Email: info@pattayacityexpatsclub.com
Website: www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com
 
Pattaya Expat Club
This site, is dedicated to all of us expats enjoying the good life in Pattaya, and those of you across the world that would like to join us here.
Website: www.pattayaexpatsclub.info
 
Rayong Ladies Circle (RLC)
The Rayong Ladies Circle was formed in 1994 with the aim of assisting expatriates of all nationalities to settle in Thailand, to foster friendship between members and our Thai neighbours and to promote goodwill in the community by charitable and other work.
Tel: 081 6444 432
Email: rayongladiescircle@gmail.com
Website: rayongladiescircle.com

International Schools 


Asian University Thailand
An international, English- medium university located in Chonburi, 20km inland from Jomtie.
Address: 89 Moo 12, Highway 331, Huay Yai, Banglamung, Chonburi 20260 Thailand
Tel: 038 253 700, 02 613 7468
Email: info@asianust.ac.th
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/Asian-University/117774004972031
Website: www.asianust.ac.th
 
Bangkok Patana School
Bangkok Patana School is Thailand’s original British international school, located on La Salle Road in South-East Bangkok. Under the stewardship of committed parents and dedicated staff members, our not-for-profit school has remained at the forefront of education in Thailand and is today one of the most respected educational establishments in South East Asia.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Address: 643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105)
Bangna, Bangkok 10260
THAILAND
Tel: +66 (0) 2785 2200
Fax: +66 (0) 2785 2399
Email: admissions@patana.ac.th
Website:  www.patana.ac.th
 
Chaing Mai International School
Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) provides high quality education in an ideal social and cultural environment. CMIS has been helping meet the educational needs of the international community in northern Thailand since 1954.
Curriculum: American
Address: 13 Chetupon Rd. Chiang Mai, Thailand 50000
Tel: +66 (0) 53 242027, 306152
Fax: +66 (0) 53 242455
Website: www.cmis.ac.th
 
Harrow International School
Harrow International School Bangkok is located in North Bangkok, conveniently close to Don Muang International Airport. In 2015 the BTS municipal train network will be extended to the neighbourhood. Harrow Bangkok operates on a spacious and green 35 acre campus beside a picturesque lake, with separate air conditioned buildings housing the Early Years Centre, the Pre Prep School, Prep School and Upper School (accounting for the Senior School (Years 9 to 11) and Sixth Form).
Curriculum: British
Address: 45 Soi Kosumruamchai 14, Kosumruamchai Rd.,
Sikun, Don Muang, Bangkok, 10210 Thailand
Tel: +66 25037222
Fax : +66 25037223
Email: admissions@harroschool.ac.ch
Website: www.harrowschool.ac.th
 
International School Bangkok
ISB is a nonprofit, independent, and nonsectarian school which is overseen by our parents who are members of our school association and elected to our Board of Trustees. The school has been providing quality education since 1951 to expatriates representing more than 60 countries.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Address: 39/7 Soi Nichada Thani, Samakee Road, Amphur Pakkret, Nonthaburi 11120 Thailand
Tel: Tel. +66 (0) 2963-5800
Fax. +66 (0) 2 583-5431-2
Website: www.isb.ac.th
 
Kids' Academy International Pre-School
A boutique-style Bangkok pre-school that teaches Early Years Foundation Stage leading to the British National Curriculum to children aged 1 1/2 to 5 years.
Curriculum: British
Address: 52/1-2 Sukhumvit 63, Soi 2
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-714-3636, 02-714-3737
Email: info@kidsacademy.ac.th
Website: www.kidsacademy.ac.th
 
KIS International School
KIS International School, near Bangkok city center, is an IB world school through and through. The school offers all three International Baccalaureate programmes for students from 2 1/2 - 18 years. KIS lives and breathes the IB philosophy, offering a high quality education, encouraging international-mindedness and instilling a positive attitude to learning.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Address: 999/124 Kesinee Ville
Pracha-Utit Road, Huay-Kwang
Bangkok 10320, Thailand 
Tel: +66 (0) 2274-3444
Fax: +66 (0) 2274-3452
Email: info@kis.ac.th
Website: www.kis.ac.th
 
 
NIST (New International School of Thailand)
We are United Nations Related, downtown Bangkok, IB school founded in 1992 and we have 1410 students.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Address: 36 Sukhumvit Soi 15, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66(2) 651 2065
Fax: +66(2) 253 3800
Email: nist@nist.ac.th
Website: www.nist.ac.th
 
Saint John's International School
Founded in 1991, the school provides a dynamic stimulating and exciting British education for children aged 2 to 18. Ideally situated near Phaholyothin MRT station, the school's purpose built campus provides a safe and quiet learning environment in the heart of Bangkok. The school guides its students through the world standard A-Level and GCSE examinations to prepare them for entry into top-tier universities worldwide.
Curriculum: British
Address: 1110/8 Viphavadi-Rangsit Road Latyao, Jatujak Bangkok, Thailand 10900
Tel: + 66 2 513 8575
Fax: + 662 513 5273
Email: sjiadmin@stjohn.ac.th
Website: www.international.stjohn.ac.th
 
Shrewsbury International School
Shrewsbury International School offers an inspirational English language education for carefully selected students, caring for them in an organisation committed to continuous improvement, and providing outstanding opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
Curriculum: British
Address: 1922, Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholame, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Tel: Tel: (+66 2) 675-1888
Fax: (+66 2) 675-3606
Email: enquiries@shrewsbury.ac.th
Website: www.shrewsbury.ac.th
 
St Andrew's School
St. Andrews International School Bangkok is a thriving medium sized school with students of more than 40 nationalities. St. Andrews International School Bangkok opened its doors in 1997, with initial enrolment of just 14 students. It was built on the site of an attractive house and gardens in the centre of the residential area of Bangkok, making us easily accessible by sky train. As student numbers have continued to grow, our campus has been developed with the addition - as well as improvement - of a wide range of excellent facilities, including the High School opening in 2001, a purpose-built Nursery to Year 2 building being opened in September 2006 and new Primary facilities being opened in January 2009.
Curriculum: British
Address: 9 Pridi Banomyong 20/1, Sukhumvit 71
Watthana, Bangkok 10110 THAILAND
Tel: +662 381 2387
Website: www.standrews.ac.th

Local News in English


Bangkok Post
Bangkok post is an English-language site dedicated to local and regional news in Thailand. It has other sections including opinion, lifestyle, travel, property listings and many more.
Website: www.bangkokpost.com
 
The Nation
The Nation site brings stories from within and outside of Thailand. They feature political and business stories, including articles on sports, travel and opinions.
Website: www.nationmultimedia.com/index.php
 
Thai PBS
Thai PBS is the first public broadcasting service in Thailand. They have a host of programmes including news, entertainment and educational programs.
Website: www2.thaipbs.or.th

Country Information 


Location: Asia
Capital City: Bangkok
Other Important Cities: Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Phuket
Currency: Baht
Language: Thai
Calling Code: +66
Internet TLD: .th

Electricity: Thailand runs on 220V 50Hz. The major provider of electricity in the country is Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand EGAT.
Address: 53 Moo 2 Charan Sanitwong Road, Bang Kruai, Nonthaburi 11130
Tel: +66 2 1416
Fax: +66 2 436 4879

Emergency Numbers:   
Ambulance: 1554
Fire: 199
Police: 191

Country Information
en.wikipedia.org

Embassy Information


Find your local embassy in Thailand...
embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/thailand

Residents Visa and Work Permit information


Most visitors travelling to Thailand may enter and stay visa free for a limited time. This includes the US, the EU, Australia and most of Asia and South America. The Thai embassy in Abu Dhabi site has a list of countries and their respective visa regulations: www.thaiembassy.org/abudhabi/en/services/3221.

Countries who are not exempted from visas may either obtain a visa on arrival; but generally foreigners without visa exemptions obtain their visas through a Thai embassy or consulate in their home or host country.

There are different types of visas available to foreigners wishing to enter Thailand: tourist visa, transit visa, Non-Immigrant Visa, Non-Immigrant O-A Long stay visa (for travellers aged 50+), Diplomatic / Official,  and courtesy visa.

Documents required for Tourist Visa:
  • Original passport valid at least 6 months or 180 days.
  • Two (2) completed application forms by typing only.
  • Two (2) passport-sized photographs taken within 6 months.
  • A letter from your sponsor, plus the following:
            1.  If you are sponsored by company:
             - Salary certificate mentioning your position & salary.
             - If your salary is less than 4,000 Dhs, please provide a 3-month bank statement accordingly.
            2  If you are an investor:
             - Photocopy of commercial license.
            3  If you are sponsored by an individual:
             - No objection letter and passport copy of sponsor.
  • Photocopy of your passport and U.A.E. residence visa.
  • Photocopy of confirmed hotel reservation.
  • Photocopy of confirmed return ticket booking.

Expats who wish to stay in the country for an extended period for any purpose including employment must apply for a Non-Immigrant visa.

Documents required:

  • Visa application forms
  • Valid passport, minimum 6 months
  • Two passport photos
  • Evidence of finances
  • Letter of acceptance from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare
  • For expats who have secured employment, they will need to apply for a Residence Visa type B and the following:
  • Note from Thai embassy certifying their purpose of travel.
  • Invitation from the local company including signed work contract.

Accommodation


Although Bangkok is the prime choice of residence for many expats, it is a bustling, hectic and crowded city; a trait that is unavoidable that some expats find unappealing. There’s tremendous traffic in the major areas of the city. However, more opportunities are found in this city, so expats who do acquire employment here either make do with the disadvantages of a crowded city or move away from it altogether. Some settle in places like Chiang Mai, where it’s peaceful and quiet. But amenities are lacking in this area, whereas most modern conveniences are found in already busy and crowded capital.

Another factor to consider in living away from Bangkok is employment. In the rural areas, there’s not much for foreigners to do except teach English. Although this does get an expat through their daily needs, it is far from what they would be used to back in their home countries.

There are various types of accommodations available to expats including high-rise condos, complexes and apartments, includingstandalonee houses. The rental prices in the city range from $300 to $600 per month for a single bedroom apartment. It is important to remember that surrounding facilities and conveniences will highly affect the price, as well as the state of the accommodations.

Given the traffic situation in Bangkok, expats are advised to locate accommodations is easily accessible by public transport and are closer to their work offices. For expat families, it would be wise to find areas close to schools; a lot of options are found in the city. The suburban areas of Nonnthaburi, Samut Prakan and Suan Luang are the more appropriate locations for expat families with children. The residential units here are close to public transport and other amenities such as shopping complexes, hospitals and parks.

Driving License


Expats may use their domestic / foreign license, provided the country of origin falls under the international road traffic conventions. An international license is also valid to drive legally in Thailand. But for expats staying for longer than 3 months, they will have to apply for Thai driver’s license at the local transport offices.

Department of Land Transport Office
Address: 1032 Phaholyothin Road, Lardyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Tel: 02 271 8888, English language ext. 4712-4
An interpreter is required as the driving classes, including the written and practical exams are done in Thai.

Documents required, but not limited to:
  • Passport with non-immigrant visa
  • Work Permit or Certificate of Residence
  • Medical Certificate, not more than a month old
  • Two photos, 1 x 1
  • Fee.
For further information please visit: bangkok.usembassy.gov/driving_in_thailand.html

Healthcare


Adequate and good quality healthcare can be found in Thailand, in both private and public systems. This is primarily in Bangkok. Doctors are well trained and speak English. However there is a shortage of medical practitioners; expats are likely to find more specialists than GPs. Private healthcare is economical and well within an average expat’s budget. The doctors in these facilities are likely to have studied abroad. It is more recommended for expats to visit private hospitals.

Hospitals

Bumrungrad International Hospital
Bumrungrad International is an internationally accredited, multi-specialty hospital located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1980, today it is the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia, with 580 beds and over 30 specialty centers. Bumrungrad offers state-or-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities in a one-stop medical center.
Address: 33 Sukhumvit 3 (Soi Nana Nua), Wattana, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand
Tel: +662 667 1000
Fax: +662 667 2525
Emergency: +662 667 2999
Website: www.bumrungrad.com
 
Bangkok Heart Hospital
Bangkok Heart Hospital has the largest number of full time cardiologists and treats an average of 40,000 cardiac patients annually.
Address:              2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road
Bangkapi, Huay Khwang
Bangkok 10310
Tel:  (+66) 2310-3000, +662 BANGKOK, 1719 (local mobile calls only)
Fax: (+66) 2310-3088 (office)
Email: heart@bangkokhospital.com
Website: www.bangkokhospital.com/hearthospital/en
 
Praram9 Hospital
Praram 9 Hospital was originally established by a group of professional and specialized physicians from all medical spheres. The hospital was constructed with the objective of providing a wide range of reliable medical services of the highest quality standards. And today, there are more than 300 professional physicians offering a comprehensive range of specialized medical practices. The hospital has installed the most modern, state-of-the-art medical equipments to provide patients with the very best medical services at all times.
Address: 99 Soi Praram9 , Huaykwang, Bangkok, Thailand 10320
Website: www.praram9.com/eng
 
Manarom Hospital
Manarom Hospital is a mental health service center with outpatient and inpatient clinics. They treat children, adolescents to the elderly; counseling and psychotherapy, including occupational therapy is also offered.
Address: 9 Sukhumvit Soi 70/3, Bangna, Bangkok, 10260, Thailand
Tel: +66 27 259 595
Fax: +66 27 259 599
Website: manarom.com/index_eng.html
 
Piyavate Hospital
iyavate International Hospital is a publicly-owned health care services facility in Thailand. Since it beganserving patients in 1993, the 27-story hospital on Rama 9 Road in Bangkok has continually developed the expertise of it's health facility, soon to reach 300 beds, and range of specialized services.
Address: 998 Rama 9 Road, Bangkapi, Huay-Kwang, Bangkok, 10310, Thailand
Tel: +66 26 256 500
Fax: +66 26 256 650
Website: piyavate.com/web

St. Louis Hospital
Saint Louis Hospital is a Non-Profit private general hospital which serves out-patients and in-patients by medical specialists, professional nurses, and qualified medical teams. They have German made operating rooms and 24 hour services.
Address: 215 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok, 10120, Thailand
Tel: +66 26 755 000
Fax: +66 26 755 200
Website: saintlouis.or.th/main_page.php
 
Rutnin Eye Hospital
Rutnin Eye Hospital was Thailand's first hospital specializing exclusively in ophthalmology.
Address: 80/1 Sukhumvit 21 Road, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 639 3399
Fax: +66 26 393 311
Website: www.rutnin.com/2016/eng/main.php
 
Pya Tha’s One Stop Center
Address: 4th Floor, Phya Thai 2 Hospital, 943 Phaholyothin Road, Samsennai, Phya Thai. Bangkok, 10400, Thailand
Tel: +66 26 198 444
Fax: +66 26 198 555
Website: www.phyathai.com/home/en
 
Kasemrad Hospital – Prachachuen
Address: 950 Prachachuen Road, Bangsue, Bangkok, 10800, Thailand
Tel: +66 29 101 600
Fax: +66 29 101 517
Website (Thai): www.kasemrad.co.th/th/site/home
 
Bangkok Adventist Mission Hospital
Address: 430 Pitsanuloke Road, PO Box 613, Bangkok, 10501, Thailand
Tel: +66 22 811 422, +66 (0)26 281 752
Fax: +66 26 281 752

 

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