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Top Three Places to Live in Thailand That Aren’t Bangkok

When many people think of moving to Thailand, Bangkok is usually the top choice. In the bustling city of 10 million people, 3.5 million of that number alone goes directly to the expat community. But the tropical paradise that is Thailand offers so many other affordable and appealing options to anyone considering a move to the land of smiles.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is arguably the second-rated spot for expatriates living in Thailand, and it’s easy to see why. The northern province is a mountainous region with hot springs, waterfalls, and cooler nights in the “winter” months of Thailand. For families, there are great international schools in Chiang Mai that offer western curriculums and top-quality education. For adventurers, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping. Chiang Mai has cheap apartments and quaint single storey houses in and out of the city.


The province of Chonburi is often overlooked, but it offers a truly authentic Thailand living experience. The city of Chonburi is an hour between Bangkok and Pattaya, so it is easy for a quick getaway in either direction. Living costs in Chonburi are much lower than in more westernized cities, so a single storey house project in Chonburi (called โครงการบ้านเดี่ยวชั้นเดียวชลบุรี in Thai) can run for very cheap. Chonburi is also closer to the coast, so it’s easy to round up the family and spend a day on the water.


Phuket is a great choice for many people because it offers so much—the pristine beaches, the quiet countryside, the markets, and the nightlife. Phuket is such a large island off the coast of Thailand that there are many different places to settle into. Phuket has towns that range from extremely modern and westernized to villages with very few expats about. Phuket is an island that has a little bit of something for everyone.

Moving abroad can seem daunting, yet many people are choosing to do so every day. With the right job and a good living spot, creating a new home can be an exciting experience. Thailand is a wonderful country with excellent food, friendly people, and breathtaking landscapes. There is plenty to do and see for many different types of people, ranging from the city-dwellers to the backwoods folk. The lower cost of living can help provide a better quality of life and enable people to do and experience things that simply wouldn’t be possible in many other places in the world.

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