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Best Places to Live in Thailand | 10 Best Truly Thai Cities

Located in Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand has become a hotspot for global tourism. It is characterized by many beautiful beaches, historical palaces, religious temples, mesmerising mountain regions, and unique experiences.

Taking the plunge and moving to Thailand can be overwhelming. What is potentially more difficult is deciding where to move to because Thailand has so many unique cities and tropical vacation spots

That’s where we come in. In our breakdown of the ten best places to live in Thailand, you will find the perfect place to call home.

Best Places to Live in Thailand for:

  1. Expats – Bangkok
  2. English Speakers – Bangkok
  3. Digital Nomads – Chiang Mai
  4. Solo Travelers – Kanchanaburi
  5. Couples – Phuket
  6. Groups – Koh Tao

10 Best Places to Live in Thailand

1. Bangkok

The Best Place to Live for Expats

bangkok-at-night

Cost of Living: $$

As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is home to a growing expat community, and it’s not hard to see why. This city is a hub for everything from culture, commerce, education, and employment to entertainment. There is something for everyone in Bangkok, and with its many distinct suburbs to choose from, it is ideal for expats.

Tip: Do proper research about prospective housing before signing any contract or lease agreement. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, English Speakers & Digital Nomads

Pros:

  • Numerous housing options
  • Affordable healthcare
  • Great food

Cons:

  • The weather can get hot and humid
  • Culture shock
  • Income inequality

2. Chiang Mai

The Best Place to Live for Digital Nomads

chiang-mai-temple

Cost of Living: $$

If you consider yourself a digital nomad, then Chiang Mai, located in the north of Thailand, is absolute to consider. With picturesque landscapes, cultural vibrance, and an incredible number of unique locations, this city is designed for long-term nomads.

Tip: Nimmanhaemin is a great neighborhood to live in, with cheap condo apartments.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads, Expats & Solo Travelers

Pros:

  • Affordable accommodation
  • Moderately cooler weather
  • Minimal language barriers

Cons:

  • It can be a bit too touristy
  • Public transportation is messy
  • Traffic issues

3. Hua Hin

The Best Place to Live for Modern Urbanites

hua-hin-beach-view

Cost of Living: $$

Hua Hin is the perfect city to choose if looking for a fashionable modern lifestyle mixed perfectly with white sandy beaches and old traditional Thai heritage. Hua Hin takes the top spot for any urban travelers looking for excellent modern amenities and laid-back beach days.

Tip: Hua Hin has exceptional educational institutions if you are looking to do some studying.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads, Solo Travelers & Urbanites

Pros:

  • Very relaxed and laid back environment
  • Great beaches
  • Very westernised

Cons:

  • Potential language barriers
  • The weather is hot and humid
  • Air quality

4. Koh Samui

The Best Place to Live for Island Fanatics

koh-samui-island-view

Cost of Living: $$

As one of the most famous islands on the coastline of Thailand, Koh Samui is renowned for its welcoming charm and endless culinary experiences. It boasts incredible beauty, but the island has also become a comfortable home to many.

Tip: Keeping the constant tropical weather in mind, it is always good to wear sunscreen. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Solo & Group Travelers

Pros:

  • Not too overcrowded
  • Safety takes top priority
  • Fast internet connectivity

Cons:

  • Minor language barriers
  • Not much of a nightlife
  • Hot and humid

5. Kanchanaburi

Best Place to Live for Solo Travelers

kanchanburi-death-railroad

Cost of Living: $

Rich in Thai history, Kanchanaburi has been host to many of the defining moments in the country’s long military history. Beyond that, Kanchanaburi is the centerpoint of the most beautiful national parks, waterfalls, and mountains Thailand offers. As a solo traveler, this town offers the perfect escape from the busy streets of nearby Bangkok.

Tip: Immerse yourself in history and visit the various war museums and the iconic bridge on the River Kwai.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo Travelers, Digital Nomads & Groups

Pros:

  • Relaxed lifestyle is a relief from city life
  • One of the most affordable places to live
  • Beautiful surroundings

Cons:

  • Lack of western amenities
  • It is quite a small city
  • The weather can get hot

6. Phuket

Best Place to Live for Couples

phuket-beach-thailand

Cost of Living: $$

Phuket is home to some of the most romantic getaways to be found anywhere globally. With some of the most intimate coastline beaches, attractions, and experiences tailor-made for couples, Phuket is the perfect spot for you and your significant other.

Tip: Having a local Thai bank account will make your life much easier in Phuket. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples, Expats & English Speakers

Pros:

  • Incredibly safe
  • Tends not to be too overcrowded
  • Affordable housing

Cons:

  • Potential language barriers
  • Beware of potential scams
  • Public transportation can be limited

7. Krabi Town

Best Place to Live for Adventurers

krabi-town-street

Cost of Living: $$$

Filled to the brim with a blend of both old and new Thailand, Krabi Town in the southern Krabi province is perfect for those who thrive on new adventures. There is always more to do and see with islands such as Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and more, just a boat trip away.

Tip: Many different night markets make budget shopping a dream.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Digital Nomads & Urbanites

Pros:

  • Fast internet connectivity
  • Air quality in Krabi is good
  • Tourism hub

Cons:

  • Overcrowded during peak seasons
  • The weather is hot and humid
  • Traffic can get chaotic

8. Koh Tao

Best Place to Live for Group Travelers

koh-tao-island

Cost of Living: $$

A paradise known to groups of backpackers for years, Koh Tao has a presence unlike any other. Although more remote and void of western luxuries, this island is rich in culture. Being one of the ‘party’ islands of Thailand, Koh Tao has become home to a large variety of social butterflies.

Tip: Owning your own scooter or motorbike will make navigating the island daily a breeze.

Who Would Like to Live There: Groups, Expats & Couples

Pros:

  • Koh Tao does not become too overcrowded
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Good infrastructure

Cons:

  • Low-quality healthcare
  • Potential language barriers
  • Koh Tao is not ideal for families with children

9. Chiang Rai

Best Place to Live for Bargain Travelers

chiang-rai-mountain-view

Cost of Living: $

Chiang Rai, the northernmost major city in Thailand, is known for its relaxed and easy pace of life. Above that, it is an incredibly cheap city to live in. With several lesser-known natural parks, temples, and getaways, the vibe of Chiang Rai has been attracting foreigners for decades.

Tip: Invest in an umbrella or poncho as the rainy season in Chiang Rai is notoriously wet.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads, Solo Travelers & Expats

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Laidback and relaxed lifestyle
  • Very safe for foreigners

Cons:

  • Chiang Rai does not have much to do
  • Healthcare quality is low
  • Potential language barriers

10. Pattaya City

Best Place to Live for Young Travelers

pattaya-boardwalk

Cost of Living: $

Pattaya has become synonymous with its nightlife. Few coastline cities in South East Asia can compare. Pattaya is ideal for any young traveler looking to live life to the fullest, featuring everything travelers know Thailand for, alongside renowned Walking Street.

Tip: Learning to speak Thai will help you when trying to negotiate prices at any of the night markets in Pattaya.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo Travelers, Expats & Adventurous Young Travelers

Pros:

  • Pattaya has a wide variety of affordable housing options
  • Great nightlife
  • Great employment opportunities

Cons:

  • It can be very overcrowded
  • Year-round hot and humid weather
  • High rate of prostitution

FAQs

1. Is It Safe in Thailand?

Thailand is considered to be relatively safe for tourists. Petty crime still occurs in some areas, but in general, the country is very safe.

2. What Currency Do They Use in Thailand?

The main currency used in Thailand is the Thai Baht.

3. What Language Do They Speak in Thailand?

Known locally as ‘Thai language’, the primary spoken language in Thailand is Native Thai.

4. How to Travel Around Thailand?

When traveling around Thailand, there are three main ways of doing so:

  • Commuter Train (With low fares, it is recommended for long-distance travel)
  • Bus Services (Although the fares can fluctuate, for short-distance travel using busses is recommended)
  • Air Travel (Mostly used for cross country trips, relatively reasonable ticket prices)

Tip: View our list of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia to add to your bucketlist.

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