The Land of Smiles, otherwise known as Thailand is fast emerging as the number one choice for thousands of westerners looking to emigrate to an exciting new life in the sun.
A recently released survey of more than 3,000 expats scattered across 100 countries placed Thailand at the top of the list of the most desirable countries to relocate to – overtaking traditional destinations such as Spain, Australia and Canada.
The Expat Explore Survey by HSBC, conducted in 2010, rated the general quality of live led by expats compared to how they used to live at home, as well as their general experiences of beginning their new life in their adopted countries.
Factors rated included accommodation, entertainment, work-life balance, social life, cuisine, healthcare, travel and recreation opportunities, as well as how easy it was to organize the essential things in life like children’s schooling and setting up bank accounts in their new home.
Thailand has started getting accustomed to being the number one choice in a bunch of similar surveys. Its capital Bangkok was recently voted as the best city in the world, while Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second most populous city, came second in the vote at the Travel and Leisure Magazine Awards in 2010.
Richard Walters of GlenAsia, a firm which specializes in selling beachfront properties in Thailand to foreigners, is probably one of the best placed to understand the reasons why so many expats have ended up in the Southeast Asian country.
“Bangkok is one of the world’s most modern, truly cosmopolitan cities,” he said. “It offers top quality international hotels, world-class cuisine, exclusive shopping and nightlife, it’s a major international transport hub and it offers sophisticated services to match anything on offer in European capitals”.
Outside of Bangkok, a journey to the countryside reveals a nation with a vibrant culture, dozens of wonderful historical sites, deep-rooted traditions and a number of superb tropical beaches.
With all this on offer, it’s not difficult to see why a growing number of expats are relocating here permanently. Drawn by the fantastic year-round climate, the low cost of living, laid back lifestyle and Thailand’s unique charm and friendliness, why would anyone want to go home?