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Relocating, Moving to Thailand

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tj_al
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Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by tj_al » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 3:44 pm

Hi,

Long-timer here but I created a separate account just to avoid identification, so if you do figure out, you can congratulate/tease me in PM.

I am looking at a possibility to be expatriated to Bangkok for one-year assignment. After that, I would be back in Singapore. I would like to reach out to the regulars who have lived in Bangkok before, so please give a shout here or in PM if you are. So here are the questions/details:

1. Is there an awesome Thailand expat forum, just like the awesome one we have here in Singapore? I tried expatforum.com so far but while it is alright, it is a little bit dry and inactive.

2. The workplace will be around Samae Dam at Bang Khun Thian area. I assume it is a strictly industrial area, just like Tuas/Jurong, right?

3. I am currently negotiating my package to cover accommodation. I do not have the fixed number yet but I am hoping to live where I can spend maximum one hour for commute, but at the same time, I would like to be close enough (but doesn't have to be very close) to the nice areas where you can get groceries and explore for food, drinks and fun. No need for proximity to International Schools etc. I don't think I'm interested to get a car while I'm there. Which area would you recommend?

4. And yes, I will be moving as a single person. No cat, dog, anaconda and human pet will join me. But we will expect my partner, who will still remain in Singapore the whole time because of own work, to visit me regularly and vice versa, so proximity to airport is a minor factor. So that goes back to Question 3.

TIA.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by the lynx » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 9:05 am

tj_al wrote:Hi,

Long-timer here but I created a separate account just to avoid identification, so if you do figure out, you can congratulate/tease me in PM.

I am looking at a possibility to be expatriated to Bangkok for one-year assignment. After that, I would be back in Singapore. I would like to reach out to the regulars who have lived in Bangkok before, so please give a shout here or in PM if you are. So here are the questions/details:

1. Is there an awesome Thailand expat forum, just like the awesome one we have here in Singapore? I tried expatforum.com so far but while it is alright, it is a little bit dry and inactive.

2. The workplace will be around Samae Dam at Bang Khun Thian area. I assume it is a strictly industrial area, just like Tuas/Jurong, right?

3. I am currently negotiating my package to cover accommodation. I do not have the fixed number yet but I am hoping to live where I can spend maximum one hour for commute, but at the same time, I would like to be close enough (but doesn't have to be very close) to the nice areas where you can get groceries and explore for food, drinks and fun. No need for proximity to International Schools etc. I don't think I'm interested to get a car while I'm there. Which area would you recommend?

4. And yes, I will be moving as a single person. No cat, dog, anaconda and human pet will join me. But we will expect my partner, who will still remain in Singapore the whole time because of own work, to visit me regularly and vice versa, so proximity to airport is a minor factor. So that goes back to Question 3.

TIA.
Took a quick look at expatforum.com. While it is not as active or as appealing as this forum, the latest post I saw was 11 Feb 2015, so it isn't too bad. Why don't you ask your questions there and see if they take a bait.

I think there are regulars who have worked in Thailand before like Strong Eagle, Fortan.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by maneo » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:51 am

tj_al wrote:1. Is there an awesome Thailand expat forum, just like the awesome one we have here in Singapore? I tried expatforum.com so far but while it is alright, it is a little bit dry and inactive.
Have you tried checking out the "expat blog" forum?
http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=212
tj_al wrote:2. The workplace will be around Samae Dam at Bang Khun Thian area. I assume it is a strictly industrial area, just like Tuas/Jurong, right?
No, it's not strictly industrial.
There are quite a few residential "villages" in the area.
tj_al wrote:3. I am currently negotiating my package to cover accommodation. I do not have the fixed number yet but I am hoping to live where I can spend maximum one hour for commute, but at the same time, I would like to be close enough (but doesn't have to be very close) to the nice areas where you can get groceries and explore for food, drinks and fun. No need for proximity to International Schools etc. I don't think I'm interested to get a car while I'm there. Which area would you recommend?

4. And yes, I will be moving as a single person. No cat, dog, anaconda and human pet will join me. But we will expect my partner, who will still remain in Singapore the whole time because of own work, to visit me regularly and vice versa, so proximity to airport is a minor factor. So that goes back to Question 3.

TIA.
There is a Tesco Lotus on Soi 96.
On the other side of Bang Khun Thian , there is a Carrefour near the Royal Park Village and a Big C Supercenter another km further beyond.

Samae Dam is well outside the city, on the other side of the Chao Praya.
Both airports (Suvarnabhumi & Don Mueang) are over 50 km away.
Travel time will depend on traffic (i.e. time of day), so this can vary wildly.
Plan on at least 2-3 hours or more for airport runs.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:52 pm

I have found the Thai Visa forums to be the most active and useful... and it's a lot more than visas...

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/

tj_al
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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by tj_al » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 9:44 am

Strong Eagle wrote:I have found the Thai Visa forums to be the most active and useful... and it's a lot more than visas...

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/
Thank you very much. This is gold. Funny that this didn't pop up in search results when I Googled for one.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by tj_al » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 9:54 am

maneo wrote:
tj_al wrote:1. Is there an awesome Thailand expat forum, just like the awesome one we have here in Singapore? I tried expatforum.com so far but while it is alright, it is a little bit dry and inactive.
Have you tried checking out the "expat blog" forum?
http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=212
tj_al wrote:2. The workplace will be around Samae Dam at Bang Khun Thian area. I assume it is a strictly industrial area, just like Tuas/Jurong, right?
No, it's not strictly industrial.
There are quite a few residential "villages" in the area.
tj_al wrote:3. I am currently negotiating my package to cover accommodation. I do not have the fixed number yet but I am hoping to live where I can spend maximum one hour for commute, but at the same time, I would like to be close enough (but doesn't have to be very close) to the nice areas where you can get groceries and explore for food, drinks and fun. No need for proximity to International Schools etc. I don't think I'm interested to get a car while I'm there. Which area would you recommend?

4. And yes, I will be moving as a single person. No cat, dog, anaconda and human pet will join me. But we will expect my partner, who will still remain in Singapore the whole time because of own work, to visit me regularly and vice versa, so proximity to airport is a minor factor. So that goes back to Question 3.

TIA.
There is a Tesco Lotus on Soi 96.
On the other side of Bang Khun Thian , there is a Carrefour near the Royal Park Village and a Big C Supercenter another km further beyond.

Samae Dam is well outside the city, on the other side of the Chao Praya.
Both airports (Suvarnabhumi & Don Mueang) are over 50 km away.
Travel time will depend on traffic (i.e. time of day), so this can vary wildly.
Plan on at least 2-3 hours or more for airport runs.
Thank you. I took a closer look after I read your post and I found that it looks more like a suburb.

I am not familiar with Thai culture in business and I hope to avoid faux pas. My role in Bangkok is to help setting up the Thai office and networking with the people in the industries. Do Thais work like the Singaporeans? Especially with the Chinese idea of "guanxi"? I know they are a bunch of super polite people so in business setting, do Thais have unspoken rules/restrictions on male-female interaction? Like how the Japanese and the Muslims have certain rules (I have worked with both groups previously).

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by Brah » Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:07 pm

I really hope you carefully research what you are getting yourself into. I have friends and know people who live there, Sorry to say that they don't really have many good things to say about it.

On one hand they are nice people, on the other, there are serious trust issues, and foreigners are constantly taken advantage of.

It is a very different experience to work there than to go there for vacation.
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:34 pm

Brah wrote:I really hope you carefully research what you are getting yourself into. I have friends and know people who live there, Sorry to say that they don't really have many good things to say about it.

On one hand they are nice people, on the other, there are serious trust issues, and foreigners are constantly taken advantage of.

It is a very different experience to work there than to go there for vacation.
While I agree with Brah that the place can at times be volatile and there is an element that is not happy with foreigners, I disagree with the conclusion that an expat cannot live happily and richly in Thailand... at least in Bankkok.

I've got friends and business associates that have been there for a dozen years or more... all expats... and this is their home. I judge that there are a few things that you must do to successfully integrate into Thai life. You must understand the customs and agree to follow them. You must be willing to be authentic in your interactions... the Thai quickly identify those who hold back... this is what creates distrust. You will learn to make your friends through networks of friends you have already made. I ran into some assholes in Bangkok... I've run into more assholes here in Houston.

And, on the whole, I judge it easier to make friends with the Thai than the average Singaporean Chinese, who, while always being pleasant, will actually not want anything to do with me on a personal level.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by maneo » Fri, 20 Feb 2015 4:43 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
Brah wrote:I really hope you carefully research what you are getting yourself into. I have friends and know people who live there, Sorry to say that they don't really have many good things to say about it.

On one hand they are nice people, on the other, there are serious trust issues, and foreigners are constantly taken advantage of.

It is a very different experience to work there than to go there for vacation.
While I agree with Brah that the place can at times be volatile and there is an element that is not happy with foreigners, I disagree with the conclusion that an expat cannot live happily and richly in Thailand... at least in Bankkok.

I've got friends and business associates that have been there for a dozen years or more... all expats... and this is their home. I judge that there are a few things that you must do to successfully integrate into Thai life. You must understand the customs and agree to follow them. You must be willing to be authentic in your interactions... the Thai quickly identify those who hold back... this is what creates distrust. You will learn to make your friends through networks of friends you have already made. I ran into some assholes in Bangkok... I've run into more assholes here in Houston.

And, on the whole, I judge it easier to make friends with the Thai than the average Singaporean Chinese, who, while always being pleasant, will actually not want anything to do with me on a personal level.
Ditto.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by the lynx » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:27 am

Brah wrote:I really hope you carefully research what you are getting yourself into. I have friends and know people who live there, Sorry to say that they don't really have many good things to say about it.

On one hand they are nice people, on the other, there are serious trust issues, and foreigners are constantly taken advantage of.

It is a very different experience to work there than to go there for vacation.
I think this problem is common. Everywhere you go, if you are a foreigner, the locals will either try to rip you off or have trust issues. The only you can break this if you have an open mind, be polite and mindful of local cultures, and persevere long enough for them to get to know you.

In Thailand, the situation is not too unique. They have too many farangs who do not carry themselves well and go around treating local women like sex objects. They do not want to learn the local language despite living/retiring there, and they either are a drunken lot, or self-entitled pricks trying to prey on local's colonial mindset (OK Thailand was never colonised but you get the idea). If you have too many doing that, the locals would paint every foreigner with the same brush.

I'd tell OP to just embrace it and take it as a life experience working in Thailand. After all, he is moving alone (no family mentioned in his post) and I assume he is young enough to experience this kind of culture shock.

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Re: Relocating, Moving to Thailand

Post by maneo » Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:02 am

tj_al wrote:I am not familiar with Thai culture in business and I hope to avoid faux pas. My role in Bangkok is to help setting up the Thai office and networking with the people in the industries. Do Thais work like the Singaporeans? Especially with the Chinese idea of "guanxi"? I know they are a bunch of super polite people so in business setting, do Thais have unspoken rules/restrictions on male-female interaction? Like how the Japanese and the Muslims have certain rules (I have worked with both groups previously).
There are several websites that might help:

http://www.expatarrivals.com/thailand/c ... n-thailand

http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_et ... /ce_th.htm

http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resourc ... ofile.html

http://goasia.about.com/od/Customs-and- ... quette.htm

http://tielandtothailand.com/overcoming ... -thailand/

You might want to get a book like Cultureshock Thailand: A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette.
This will get even more useful the longer you stay there.

the lynx wrote:I think this problem is common. Everywhere you go, if you are a foreigner, the locals will either try to rip you off or have trust issues. The only you can break this if you have an open mind, be polite and mindful of local cultures, and persevere long enough for them to get to know you.

In Thailand, the situation is not too unique. They have too many farangs who do not carry themselves well and go around treating local women like sex objects. They do not want to learn the local language despite living/retiring there, and they either are a drunken lot, or self-entitled pricks trying to prey on local's colonial mindset (OK Thailand was never colonised but you get the idea). If you have too many doing that, the locals would paint every foreigner with the same brush.
In general, be respectful to avoid being considered one of the obnoxious farangs.
However, also be cautious and use common sense to avoid being taken advantage of.

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