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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

Ive just discovered this forum and am asking for a bit of advice as Ive absolutely no idea where to begin.

My partner and I are seriously discussing a move to Thailand. We have said for years that we would love to live there one day and now it seems like the time is coming.

My partner is Thai, born in Thailand but came to the UK as a teenager after his Mum married a British guy. He now has a British passport.

He has a big family in Thailand and his mum ( now living full time back in Thailand) runs several businesses there and knows lots of well connected people. She has always urged us to go but has no idea we are now discussing it.

We have 3 young children and would love for them grow up there and be immersed in The Thai culture and language.

So, where do we begin? We would rent out our house in the UK. We could live, initially, with his family. He could find work/ help run a business with his mum.
I would do my tefl and try to find some work teaching English.
What do we do about visas though? He no longer has his Thai passport as it expired many years ago. Our children were all born here and hold only British Passports.
Is it possible to send our children to Thai school if they have british passports or if we can only get tourist visas?

Realistically what type of money do we need to earn over there to live?
We would be looking to move to the Ubon Ratchathani area where his family are.

I know from my point of view it will be difficult as I dont speak Thai and Im aware that I'll feel quite isolated. I'm not sure how big the expat community is in Ubon? I know from when I visited years ago there didnt seem to be too many.
I have spent several years living abroad before, albeit a bit closer to home and with lots of other expats.

Any words of wisdom or bits of advice would be gratefully received .....
 

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Hi there

Ive just discovered this forum and am asking for a bit of advice as Ive absolutely no idea where to begin.

My partner and I are seriously discussing a move to Thailand. We have said for years that we would love to live there one day and now it seems like the time is coming.

My partner is Thai, born in Thailand but came to the UK as a teenager after his Mum married a British guy. He now has a British passport.

He has a big family in Thailand and his mum ( now living full time back in Thailand) runs several businesses there and knows lots of well connected people. She has always urged us to go but has no idea we are now discussing it.

We have 3 young children and would love for them grow up there and be immersed in The Thai culture and language.

So, where do we begin? We would rent out our house in the UK. We could live, initially, with his family. He could find work/ help run a business with his mum.
I would do my tefl and try to find some work teaching English.
What do we do about visas though? He no longer has his Thai passport as it expired many years ago. Our children were all born here and hold only British Passports.
Is it possible to send our children to Thai school if they have british passports or if we can only get tourist visas?

Realistically what type of money do we need to earn over there to live?
We would be looking to move to the Ubon Ratchathani area where his family are.

I know from my point of view it will be difficult as I dont speak Thai and Im aware that I'll feel quite isolated. I'm not sure how big the expat community is in Ubon? I know from when I visited years ago there didnt seem to be too many.
I have spent several years living abroad before, albeit a bit closer to home and with lots of other expats.

Any words of wisdom or bits of advice would be gratefully received .....
Sunflower:

Your lead in is "Should we make the move?" That is obviously a question only you can answer.

Where to begin? Begin here. Read this forum. There is a great deal of information here. Invest serious time reading many threads to give you a background of what others have experienced. Many persons with similar thoughts and plans have used this forum to investigate the possibilities. You will find both encouraging items and deleterious concerns.

Some comments and questions: Have you been to Thailand? For how long? Without having spent some reasonable amount of time in Thailand you are not prepared to move to Thailand. So, first, if you haven't been in Thailand, go visit. That is the most realistic way of determining "what type of money do we need to earn over there to live?" Location, lodging, life-style, personal spending habits, and standard-of-living requirements will determine the money required. The question is not answered, only estimated on this forum. Again, money required is a question only you can answer.

For your questions about visa's and your partner's status and your status as you are not married. You need to visit the Thai Embassy and speak to the Embassy personnel. You must determine the actual legal status of you, your partner and the children concerning immigrating to Thailand. Problematic, preventative and/or prohibitive legal issues may exist.

On the pro side you have a large established family in Thailand to help you. Few Ex-pats have that benefit. With your partner working (family business or connection provided), income supplemented by your English teaching, money should not be a problem. It may be but really should not be. Again, the money you will need is determined by your standard of living.

On the con side is your children. A good friend of mine is married to a Thai. They have two young girls. He is highly skilled so finding employment was not a problem, decided that they would move to Thailand so the girls (6 and 8 at the time) would live and learn their heritage. Note, they also had a large family in Thailand to help.

The episode was a total disaster. The children did NOT like Thailand. They begged to return to the US. Too hot, can't speak the language, too many bugs, don't like the food, too many mosquitoes, too dusty, too noisy, no real candy, etc.

In conclusion. You must investigate the many things identified above and several other concerns that will crop up. Of course, the primary concern is the children. What will you do if the children cannot adapt to Thailand?

Good luck.
 

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So many issues to consider. Stednick has made a good start with his comments.
I'll just mention a couple of things:
1. You say "Thai school", can we assume you mean you are considering sending your children to a Thai government school? Some people would say this was tantamount to child abuse. I'm not, but that's how strongly some people feel about the Thai education system - including some teachers working within it. Google on "Thailand OECD education survey" or similar - and start reading. It's not a good look. The alternative - international schools - are very expensive. In between are bi-lingual schools - a mixed bag.
2. Google on "book understanding thai culture" or similar. Living with one westernised Thai person does not mean you understand and can cope with thai culture. Get a good book/s - not the tourist-oriented ones you find in airport bookshops - and start reading to minimise the chance of culture shock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies so far......

I think my partner went to a bi- lingual school and I'll look into those. I didnt realise state school was so bad as really not looked at anything yet. I'd like the children to be competent and confident in both English and Thai so they can choose where to live/work when they are older.

Something I hadn't really considered was whether they would adapt- I just assumed they would. At the moment they eat a lot of Thai food which they love and they also know a bit of Thai and are learning their names in the Thai alphabet.
The heat and the dust is obviously something that'll take some getting used to.
I realise that the shops won't be like the uk but most places these days you can access most things. Is there anything anyone can think of that you can't get in a big supermarket in Thailand?
We have friends that frequently travel between the uk and Thailand that can bring us books or marmite.

I have lived and worked abroad before albeit in a resort setting. I've travelled around the north of Thailand and since meeting my partner have been over to meet the family. His mum has a western style house with uk toilets, plug sockets and a/c. His dad lives in a field.
I realise that there is a big difference in culture. I do get an insight into this although I realise it's a westernised version. We are often descended upon by family or expected to drop everything to help.....I would hope that being in Thailand would mean we are sometimes on the benefiting end of this as we never seem to be over here!
His mum has spent 20 years living in the uk and so although I realise she's Thai first, she also has some understanding of uk ways.

We would be moving to ubon - is anyone there that could tell me what it's like to live in?
Many thanks
 

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Thanks for the replies so far......

Is there anything anyone can think of that you can't get in a big supermarket in Thailand?
We have friends that frequently travel between the uk and Thailand that can bring us books or marmite.
Nope. My local Tesco Lotus has shelves of Marmite and indeed the Oz version , Vegemite , which I've developed a taste for and usually buy instead these days. There are three or four international mega supermarket chains with stores throughout Thailand that stock everything you could possibly want.

Oh yes , one thing I can't get : Harrods blend 42 Earl Grey Tea so have to make do with Twinings - it's hell in the tropics !

Ubon is the other end of the country from me so can't really comment on your planned locale except it'll be somewhat more rural than Chonburi province where I am !
 

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Thanks Mweiga. Thats as I suspected. Can you get philadelphia cheese or similar in Tesco Lotus?
No problem - philly cheese available in Tesco and the other supermarket chains like Big C and Makro , plus a wide selection of other cheese from standard mousetrap to numerous more exotic ones.

Cheese generally is not that cheap however as it is mostly imported being largely stocked for the expat community - it's not used traditionally in Thai cuisine although I see progressively more of it being consumed by them , especially in the major urban areas.
 
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