Readers' Submissions

Why I Choose To Stay In Thailand

  • Written by Anonymous
  • September 8th, 2011
  • 5 min read


The biggest reason I stay in Thailand is to save money. I am a big saver – always have been – and this is a really big factor for me. I’d like to own all of my major assets outright by the time I am 30 for when I move back to America. Living in Thailand has catapulted me to success and I am way ahead of schedule. In Thailand I spend half of what I do in the USA even though my overall quality of life is slightly higher here. The only reason it is a good financial decision to stay here is because my money source is not from Thailand. The cost savings do not exceed the loss in income for most of those making money here. I’d be boarding the plane to go home if my income stream were to vanish and I had to start earning here instead. This is true even though I am confident I could impress employers enough to land myself a "good" job here.

The next biggest reason I stay in Thailand is not a commonly talked about one. You can receive a fantastic tax break by living here. The tax law in the USA allows for people living abroad for the majority of the year to exclude the first $92,000 of earned income from their federal tax liability. Many other countries don't expect their citizens to pay tax at all if they don't reside in that country. The way it works is that you need to stay outside of the USA for 330 out of 365 consecutive days if you want to receive the full year’s benefit. My Thailand tax liability is insignificant compared to what I'd otherwise be paying.

I think the bars are fantastic. This is because the girls are beautiful and fun. I can go out and drink all night, take the girl home for the night and the whole thing costs about $100 (maybe a little more more in Patong, and I don't know about Bangkok). By contrast, taking a girl out or trying to meet girls in clubs or bars in the USA is more expensive. I like the simplicity of my relationship with these women and I am comfortable with their simple games. For example, I just give them a playful laugh or grin when they try to call me a butterfly. They usually end up laughing back realizing they’re not going to get anywhere. There are downsides as well, though. Specifically I believe there will be long term ramifications of being able to maintain a normal relationship later on. I'll write more about that later in another submission.

So why won't I live here forever?

The main reason is that I will always be an outsider. I have to leave every 3 months. This is a big waste of time and it is really stressful to be forced to travel internationally every 3 months. But this is actually only a minor point compared to the next one. The big problem is that even though I’m here 100% legally I get this strong feeling that one of these times I won't be allowed reentry to the country. Last time I went through immigration the guy stared at my tourist visa for what must have been 2 minutes. Then I had to answer all sorts of pointed questions – the officer felt like giving me a hard time for seemingly no reason. This is a bigger factor than most people realize, I think. If one day you're not allowed entry to the Kingdom you've effectively lost everything you put into the country. Your property would have to be liquidated at crappy prices. If you had a business going it would basically have to end. And if you had a family I wouldn't even want to know what a nightmare that would be. I am not a risk averse person compared to most but I am unwilling to accept this one. This isn't a big factor for me now since I don't want to own a house or start a business / family. But in 5-10 years it will be. Unless this changes – which it won’t – there is *no* way I will choose to reside permanently in Thailand.

I prefer western culture. I like being direct with people. I like being able to call people out on their bullshit when I feel it is necessary. I like western music, movies and mannerisms. I like having deep conversations with a wide variety of people. I like that the USA is not racist compared to most other countries. I don’t understand many parts of Thailand. It took a long time to realize the implications of some of the rules. Because of this you can never have a meaningful discussion or even begin to understand certain topics – this is way too dystopian for me from an ideological standpoint. I agree with what so many of the people here write about western women compared to women from Asia. But this does not even come close to countering all of these other issues.

The last big reason is the food. American food is awesome and Thai food is only something I enjoy once in a while. Back home I can get food from *any* country and the quality is great. Here in Thailand my choices for quality food are either Thai and The Dukes. Most western places I try are extremely bad quality and I gave up trying new ones a long time ago. I mean Dukes is great but I get tired of eating at the same place every day. Thailand also doesn't offer the same variety of beer that I had back at home, which might seem ridiculous but it is a big deal to me actually. I am getting tired of buying a limited selection of German beer at 150 baht a bottle, haha.


Stickman's thoughts:

I bet there are quite a few people who remain in Thailand for reasons similar to you.