Southeast Asian countries like Thailand never ran out of reasons and places to visit–and live. And the growing number of visitors, ex-pats, and residents choosing this ultimate tropical paradise, among others, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Thailand takes the spotlight when it comes to comfort, luxury, and premium island and city living. Dubbed the ‘Land of Smiles,’ the country takes pride in its warm, friendly, hospitable people, rich culture, impressive arts and architecture, temples, and Wats. Thailand is also renowned for its pristine, turquoise, white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, amazing world-class cuisine, highly developed cities, exclusive luxury real estate, and the list goes on. There’s never a reason not to fall in love with this tropical beauty.
Now, here’s a roundup of our top 6 best locations to live in Thailand.
Located in central Thailand and the country’s city capital, Bangkok is the melting pot for tourists, ex-pat communities, and even locals working and living in this bustling metropolis. It’s a highly developed city with thriving and modern city life. It’s also home to the biggest shopping centers, financial districts, high-rise luxury condo units, accessible public transport, famous dining spots, and even delectable street eats.
Ploenchit, Asoke, and Thong Lor are only three of the most popular locations to settle in Bangkok. Asoke is the center for all things ‘Bangkok.’ It’s the busiest place with plenty of office buildings, MRTs, BTS, and shops. It’s also the easiest and central access point to other destinations in the city thus, more people go in and out of the area. Asoke has myriad offerings of luxury condos for rent and sale.
If you’re looking for fun and vibrant nightlife then Thong Lor is the best place for you. Here you can find an abundance of cafes and restaurants, food stalls, bars, clubs, and more. And most likely, expats are around this area too, including the country’s most affluent society. Luxury houses and condo units have sprung up rapidly here as well.
Ploenchit is also home to ex-pats, foreign investors and businesses, fine dining restaurants, and coffee shops around the metro. It’s adjacent to 2 of the biggest shopping malls in Bangkok-Central Chidlom and Central Embassy, making it an ideal place to live in.
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Known as the largest city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is easily one of the most popular and the best way to explore the north. The breathtaking mountains, Lana architecture, and various temples, or Wats are found here. It’s the best of both worlds – granting high-end city living for luxury travelers and residents or affordable offerings like boutique hotels and hostels for backpackers and returning guests.
Chiang Mai is a more laid-back, compact, and exclusive city compared to Bangkok. Instead of big high-rise buildings and crowded streets, you will find an abundance of temples or Wats here. They have more than 300 temples to date. The city also gives you the freedom to recharge, get in touch with nature, visit national parks, chase waterfalls, even go for a hike or simply bask in the beauty of the mountains.
Trivia: Chiang is included among the world’s top 25 smallest cities, ranking 15th according to the Monocle. Even dubbed as the 4th best affordable place for Americans to retire overseas based on US News and World Report.
One of Chiang Mai’s famous locations is The Old City. It’s a reminiscent of the ancient times, the Lana empire, and Thailand’s rich culture and history. Over the years, Chiang Mai has also become a tourist hub with vibrant nightlife, modern amenities, shops, and local restaurants.
A five-minute drive from The Old City is the Nimman area where technology, education, and business thrive. It is home to the world’s largest hub of digital nomads and easily accessible co-working spaces.
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Throughout the years, Phuket has proven to be a thriving tourist destination for many foreign guests in Thailand. Not only is it a temporary place to stay or visit, now it’s also home to ex-pats and locals wanting to settle or retire on the island. Phuket has a plethora of offerings, no doubt; luxury villas, ocean-front, pool, and even hilltop villas—every inch a tropical paradise one could imagine.
Chalong is the best choice if you want to be in the center of the action. It’s practically close to everything in Phuket. Just adjacent to the vibrant nightlife in Patong and several pristine white sand beaches, Chalong Bay certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Meanwhile, if you want a more laid back, some peace and quiet, away from the bustling, overwhelming crowds and nightlife in Patong, Kamala is the way to go. Boasting one of the area’s most spectacular Wats or temples, tranquil beaches, and luxurious island villas, expect Kamala to satisfy your thirst for a holiday getaway or quest for a forever home.
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Now a full-fledged tourist destination, Koh Samui currently has a myriad of offerings for guests and residents alike. Luxury hotels, resorts and villas, shops, local markets, and other modern accommodations have sprung up on the island. Thus, granting visitors and permanent residents more reasons to explore, visit, and live here for good.
Samui island is a perfect fusion of good food, the best sunsets, turquoise white sand beaches, and quality island life. One of the most popular towns in Samui is Chaweng; with the longest strip of powdery white sand beach in Chaweng beach, Thai culture-rich temples and statues in the north, and the vibrant and fun outdoors- mountain peaks, hilltops, and spectacular sunsets. Also, a wide array of wellness, waterparks, leisure spots, shops, restaurants, and nightlife are at the center of this area.
For a more relaxed, quiet, and laid-back choice, Lamai Koh Samui is a breath of fresh air compared to Chaweng. It’s ideally located away from the crowded and overwhelming city center but close enough to the modern comforts and conveniences of the metro. Here you can find less crowded beaches, enjoy some peace and quiet, and a practically lower cost of living compared to Chaweng.
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Hua Hin has a long history that dates back to the 1920s when King Rama VII of the Royal family built a summer palace as a weekend escape away from the humid Bangkok metropolis. And it has since become a favorite among Siam’s aristocrats and royalty. At present, Hua Hin is one of the most prolific residences to live in Thailand. It has abundant, affordable, and high-end land prices, properties for rent and sale; luxury hotels and villas, shops, and restaurants that cater to both foreigners and locals.
Hua Hin is a perfect combination and balance of both city and shore. It has the modern conveniences and features of a prime city but never loses its tranquil, fresh sea breeze, and tropical island vibe. A breath of fresh air compared to Bangkok or Chiang Mai since Hua Hin is less congested and less polluted.
Another thing not to miss in Hua Hin is their exquisite food or cuisine. Value for money in their wide array of affordable and premium dishes, authentic Thai food, and dining spots. Pranburi and Central Hua Hin are the two most ideal locations to live in Hua Hin. West Hua Hin is also known for its affordable land prices and ideal residential properties. Meanwhile, the Khao Tao area, or ‘the South’ is a balance of what you can get from Pranburi and Central Hua Hin.
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What started as a fishing village in the 1960s has now become an international hub for its vibrant nightlife, resort hotels, high-end condo residences, shops, bars, and other modern conveniences.
Naklua in Northern Pattaya has the most exclusive and luxury residences in the city due to its strategic location; with beaches in both the northern and western parts of the area. Meanwhile, Central Pattaya has easy access to most of the city’s main attractions, shops, or malls within walking distance, and several ex-pats working here. It is also the oldest part of the city and the most developed.
Pratumnak Hill is a gateway to some of the city’s stunning sea views across Koh Larn Island. It’s the second most exclusive part of the city with high-end and luxury beachfront properties and residences. Lauded as the greenest and more peaceful than Central Pattaya but is also accessible due to its strategic location.
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Every city has something unique to offer with its respective distinct qualities and advantages, depending on our requirements or definition of what a home should be. Be it the quality of life, cost of living, a choice between a city or an island home down to the best beaches, shops, street eats, and cuisine—the country, indeed, has a plethora of offerings. This only goes to show how Thailand constantly evolves, outperforms, and proves why it deserves a spot in the world—and it shows no signs of slowing down either.