Working and Living in Thailand

By | October 22, 2021

Medical care and health insurance

The equipment of the hospitals as well as the competence of the doctors and the staff differs depending on the region. It is best in the tourist centers of Pattaya and Phuket, where there are even German-speaking doctors.

For stays of up to a year, many long-term travelers and immigrants have international travel insurance. HanseMerkur’s long-term travel health insurance offers comprehensive protection and assistance for up to 5 years. Anyone who takes out insurance for a term of more than a year is also insured for a maximum of six weeks home leave in Germany.

Real estate – purchase, lease or rent

Foreigners cannot own land themselves. However, there are the following options that foreigners can use to obtain property or rights to live in real estate.

  1. Registration of a usufruct in the land paper. This applies for life, is inexpensive and tax-free.
  2. Registration of a lease at the Land Office (land registry in Thailand) for up to 30 years. Extension to a further 30 years is possible.
  3. The land becomes the property of a Thai legal entity, i.e. a company. At least 51% of the company shares must be in Thai hands. Usually a foreigner is a managing director who holds 49% of the shares and who determines the company. Law firms offer accounting obligations and tax returns at annual fixed prices.
  4. Foreigners can also purchase apartments directly if 49% of a residential complex has not yet been bought by foreigners.
  5. Foreigners can become owners of a house, for example when building on leased land, on land with usufruct for their benefit or on the land of the spouse or partner. The foreigner must appear to the craftsmen or general contractor as a builder and contract partner; Invoices and payment receipts must be kept in order to be able to provide evidence of ownership.

There are many opportunities for investors to invest in apartments and villas, some with very attractive returns. But even for owner-occupiers, a property can be profitable after just a few years.

Labor market

The country is not recommended for anyone who wants to work here as an employee (except for or on behalf of a company). You need a work permit. This requires an employment contract with a Thai company with a minimum salary of around 65,000 baht (currently 1,625 euros) per month, a top salary for Thais – illusory for normal employees.

For foreign entrepreneurs, Thailand is attractive with reservations, because you are not allowed to run a sole proprietorship. For foreigners only a corporation comes into question, whereby at least 51% of the company must be in Thai hands.

According to countryvv, a safe and legal solution can be found with a trusted person (spouse, friend, business partner) who is himself Thai, whereby at least a third partner must be involved in the corporation. But as seen in this post, some improvements are underway.

The following is a current job posting:
Looking for freelance workers as a base manager in Khon Kaen. We are looking for a real estate consultant who can speak English. We are a real estate company with currently over 850 offers in Thailand, and we also build ourselves.

Cost of living

The cost of living in tourist areas is around 2/3 of that in Germany, in other areas around half. The petrol and diesel prices are between 60 and 70 euro cents.

You would need around € 2,752.95 in Bangkok to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Bangkok are 24.79% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Bangkok are 25.60% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • The rental prices in Bangkok are 27.39% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Bangkok are 57.56% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Bangkok are 8.80% lower than in Berlin
  • Local purchasing power in Bangkok is 65.23% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Bangkok (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 1.88 1.22-5.05
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 23.42 13.56-48.81
Local beer, 0.5 l 1.90 1.36-3.80
Imported beer, 0.33 l 3.80 2.44-5.42
cappuccino 1.93 1.08-4.88
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 0.48 0.38 – 1.08
Water (0.33 l) 0.24 0.19-0.54
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 1.46 1.08-2.44
White bread (500g) 1.07 0.68-2.71
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.12 0.60-1.36
Eggs (12) 1.50 0.98-2.14
Local cheese (1kg) 17.15 8.14-32.54
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 2.26 1.36-4.034
Beef (1kg) 8.74 4.34-16.27
Apples (1kg) 2.58 1.15-4.07
Bananas (1kg) 1.03 0.27-2.17
Oranges (1kg) 1.93 0.95-4.88
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.36 0.54-2.31
Potatoes (1kg) 1.19 0.54-2.17
Onions (1kg) 1.15 0.68-2.14
Lettuce (1 head) 1.06 0.41-1.63
Water (1.5 l) 0.44 0.33-0.68
Bottle of wine (middle class) 20.34 8.14-40.68
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.62 1.22-2.68
Imported beer (0.33 l) 3.40 3.25-4.88

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Bangkok (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 0.98 0.68-1.36
Monthly pass 35.25 27.12-43.39
Taxi base amount 0.95 0.95-0.95
Taxi 1 km 0.95 0.19 – 1.27
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 84.09 54.24-135.59
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.05 0.03-0.08
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 18.49 13.56-32.54
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 51.80 21.69-81.35
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 33.48 16.27-54.24
Nike sports shoes, middle class 82.22 54.24-108.47
Leather business shoes 79.15 40.68-113.90
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 55.93 32.54-81.35
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 8.05 4.07-13.56
a movie ticket 6.78 4.61-8.14
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 263.03 135.59-677.95
International primary school per year and child 13,996.24 8,135.44-21,694.50

Smaller two-story houses in the country or in small towns are available from around 200 euros per month. For a medium-sized single-family house, you have to calculate around 300 euros. Everything together (living, eating, insurance) costs around 900 to 1,000 euros (including an occasional bar visit, eating out and excursions). There are workers for the household from around 1.50 euros per hour. Those who live very spartan can make ends meet with around 600 euros a month.

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Bangkok (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 569.48 406.77-949.13
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 287.23 176.27-501.69
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 1,669.96 1,084.73-2,711.81
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 723.80 406.77-1,355.91
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 4,899.66 3,525.36-6,779.53
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 2,220.88 1,627.09-3,389.77
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 615.32

Emigration and Living in Thailand

Thailand is politically stable and, due to the visa policy, only recommendable for pensioners and the wealthy. The cost of living is quite cheap (LHK-I 75.6). For many older people, the warm climate enables health improvements. It is recommended to place the retirement home near the tourist centers of Pattaya and Phuket. Reasons:

  • Medical care is the best there and can keep up with European standards
  • The doctors speak German
  • There you will also find German-language help for all other matters

Due to the visa regulations, Thailand is not a home for those who want to escape everyday life in order to live as a self-sufficient or casual worker. Regular entry and exit alone is associated with additional costs.

Working and Living in Thailand