Thailand ranked most popular expat destination  

According to the results of a recent survey conducted by HSBC bank. Thailand ranks as the number one country in the world when it comes to the best overall expatriate experience.

Setting up home, integrating into the community and finding friends were some of the answers respondents gave when asked why the experience of living in Thailand was such a positive one. Lower living costs also made Thailand a cost-effective place for foreigners to live.

Many Asian countries have recorded strong economic growth in recent years, while traditionally wealthy nations have faced economic challenges resulting from the recession. As such, Southeast Asia in particular has attracted an increasing number of foreigners seeking better employment and lifestyle opportunities. 

“Over the years, we have seen expat wealth gradually heading east,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat. “With emergent, and now indeed fully emerged, regions like the Middle East and Asia becoming more and more popular with expats.” 

The influx of foreigners has also given property markets across Asia a considerable boost, particularly in countries like Thailand. An increasing number of overseas investors are channelling funds into Thailand’s real estate as they relocate to the country for work. Other investors are injecting cash into the Kingdom’s property rental sector, as the number of tourists visiting the country in search of private, luxurious accommodation increases each year. 

“From Thailand’s countless tropical beaches and islands, to its world-class restaurants and modern infrastructure, the cultural attractions, and a still relatively attractive overall cost of living, it’s really hard for any other country to top,” said Neal McCarthy, an expat who relocated to Koh Samui in 2005. 

Koh Samui’s property market in particular has seen a number of local and foreign developers launch new projects over the past decade to keep up with the growing demand.  In addition to its picture-postcard setting, Koh Samui’s local infrastructure and facilities make it a desirable place for expatriates to purchase property. With education establishments like the International School Samui, the island is an ideal location for families with children. Additionally, modern hypermarkets like Tesco Lotus and Home Pro are extremely convenient for expats setting up on the island for the first time. 

“The process of relocating to Koh Samui and making the transition into expat life here has been smooth and simple,” said David Ford, an expat who brought his family to live on Koh Samui two years ago.
“The main thing was that making a life here worked for my family, particularly my two kids who are both studying at the International School. It’s wonderful. There’s no going back now,” he added.

Koh Samui is also home to a number of expat organisations and activities that are aimed at bringing the island’s diverse international community together, so it is not necessary for expats to cross over into to the island’s tourist driven side in order to meet people and make friends.

The recent launch of the island’s first Green Market in September is one such example. The market was launched by expat residents to bring local residents together over a common shared interest – healthy food. The large turnout at the now regular market shows the local expat community on Samui shares mutual interests, regardless of where each resident originally came from. 


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