First Year In Bangkok
After reading submissions from other readers for over a year, I feel compelled to contribute my own submission to this most interesting website.
I recently turned 50 and after living and working in Tokyo the past 14 years, mostly as a teacher at a Junior College (6 years) and a University (6 years), I decided it was time to do what I had always wanted to do which was to have my own company.
I came to Thailand around Feb 1 of this year and have spent about six months in Thailand thus far this year. I am in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa, recently registered my own Thai company, and will capitalize it in January or February of next year.
Mostly this year, I just wanted to see if I truly wanted to do business in Thailand for the next ten years. I made three trips to Chiang Mai, one trip to Krabi, and also visited the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Koh Samui and Khao Yai.
I was fortunate enough to find a Thai partner through mutual Japanese friends whom I like and trust completely. He speaks English and Japanese well and we have a similar outlook on business.
I am Japanese-American and have a Japanese wife in Tokyo whom I have to live apart from for most of the next 5 years. I can't wait 5 years to start my business because of my age and my wife needs to work 5 more years to qualify for her pension from her government job. I visit Tokyo several months each year and my wife comes to Thailand for two weeks in August and is in Japan the rest of the time.
I try to visit Tokyo where I have my own condo and car, at least 3 or 4 months out of the year, and spend one month in America visiting my elderly parents and spend the rest of the time in Thailand.
I have rented an apartment in BKK but recently purchased a car and a condominium here which will be under construction until October or November of next year.
I don't have a job in BKK, other than being Managing Director of my own Thai company, but the money will be mostly flowing out rather than in for my first two years in Thailand.
I can generally make at least 100K baht a month without working at a regular job and can do this for 3 or 4 years without any difficulty. So I just spend my days, checking things out in this country, deciding what businesses I wish to pursue and building up my Thai network.
This is my background and my current situation albeit somewhat incomplete but I don't want to bore you anymore so I've omitted a lot of details.
My purpose is to give my totally positive impressions of Thailand thus far.
I'm not interested in the bars or bargirls. I would welcome friendship with a nice girl who is not a professional but am only looking for friendship. I met one girl in Chiang Mai that I had hoped I would become friends with but it didn't work out.
My wife is one of the finest people I have met in my life and I would never want to do anything to hurt her feelings. I miss having female company at times but eventually I will find some local companions to hang with now and then.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Thailand thus far. The cost of living is so low. The ground transportation infrastructure in BKK is so good and inexpensive. Domestic airfare is so cheap especially in contrast to Japan. My apartment is about the same cost as my parking space in Tokyo. The condo I bought in BKK just off Rachadapisek is almost as big and nice as my condo in Tokyo but about 1/4 the cost.
I love all the good restaurants here. I love being able to fly anywhere in the country anytime I want at such a low cost. I love being able to rent a car or take a taxi whenever I want without having to consider the cost. I love all the excellent yet affordable 5 star hotels. I love shopping at MBK or getting my haircut and ears cleaned for 100 baht. I love playing golf here.
I feel like I can go anywhere and do anything I want in Thailand at a very reasonable cost. I'm not here for the nightlife but I've survived without working girls for 50 years and can do so for the next 30 or 40 years also.
I have met so many well educated people here who are bilingual or trilingual and well rounded individuals in very respect. I find Thai people to be kind, considerate, generous, and helpful.
As I read Stickman's website, I read about so many negative aspects of Thailand and cynical attitudes towards this country or its people.
I'm just writing to say that this has not been my experience at all. The negative experiences I have had are so few and far between that they are not even worth mentioning.
For others thinking about spending time in Thailand, all I can say is I love living here and you may too. My impression of Thailand is 99% positive and not even 1% negative.
I'm looking forward to many more years of happy experiences here. Perhaps I'll write again before long and elaborate on various positive experiences that I have had here. As long as my air conditioner is working, I shall continue to enjoy my life in Thailand.
I encourage others to come. I enjoy it immensely. You may too. If they shut down the nightlife industry tomorrow, I could care less and if the economy or tourism takes a step back to take two steps forward than so be it. I will welcome it.
Great to hear you like it so much!