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Moving from Thailand to Singapore

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James-83
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Moving from Thailand to Singapore

Postby James-83 » Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:22 am

Hey guys

Im currently living in Northern Thailand and over the past few months have really been debating the issue of moving on. I was just wondering if anyone else here has moved from Thailand to Singapore and how they compare or perhaps which one they prefer.

Thailand is great but it just feels this place is a big dream and Im missing the outside world.

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Postby JayCee » Fri, 08 Apr 2011 11:37 am

They're like apples and oranges, Singapore has first world infrastructure whereas Thailand doesn't, but I've always found the people in Thailand much friendlier than the people here. If you miss the hustle of the developed world and like a place where buses run on time and you don't get periodic power cuts then you'll probably like Singapore, but if you like a slower paced, less stressful life then it's probably not for you.

A big factor in whether you're happy would be what job you do I imagine, if you're one of those TEFL English teachers then you're not likely to get too far in Singapore, however if you've got good qualifications and professional work experience then SIngapore would afford you many more opportunites than Thailand

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Postby James-83 » Fri, 08 Apr 2011 8:40 pm

Thanks for your reply

I did use to be a TEFL teacher and have to say it was a great experience. However I now do alot of freelance computer programming so it gives me alot more freedom to move around

I really am in two minds as to what to do. Singapore does seem so appealing regarding it being a bit more organised and efficent. The health care system here is pretty poor. The doctors really are underqualified. As for buying land, setting up a business etc it is extremely complicated. And don't even get me started with the driving or the police and politicians.

On the other hand having aloe vera grow freely in the garden is quite special and access to some of the most beautiful countryside aswell as a few nice beaches is also a plus. The way of life is alot slower and Im not sure if its juts too slow for me.

The food is also great and like you say the people are very friendly. The only thing is the friendship can only get to a certain level and then thats when you really start to see how different the cultures are. From what I've heard Thai's are extremely different to the rest of S.E Asia.

As you can see Im really not sure what to do.

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Postby beppi » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 3:22 pm

Buying land or setting up a business in Singapore are not complicated, just impossible for foreigners. (Freelancing too, for that matter.)
You'd need a paid job to get a residence visa (e.g. employment pass)!
Programmers are plenty here (and TEFL teachers not needed), so that might be difficult.
Driving is difficult to afford (unless you earn really well). You'll hardly have anything to do with police or politicians (mostly hands-off administration).
If you call a surface smile "friendly", Thais are indeed better, but in Singapore you can find real understanding and good friends among the locals.

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Postby James-83 » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 4:47 pm

beppi wrote:Buying land or setting up a business in Singapore are not complicated, just impossible for foreigners. (Freelancing too, for that matter.)
You'd need a paid job to get a residence visa (e.g. employment pass)!
Programmers are plenty here (and TEFL teachers not needed), so that might be difficult.
Driving is difficult to afford (unless you earn really well). You'll hardly have anything to do with police or politicians (mostly hands-off administration).
If you call a surface smile "friendly", Thais are indeed better, but in Singapore you can find real understanding and good friends among the locals.


Thanks for your reply

Luckily most of my work comes out of the Uk and Middle East so finding work isnt a great worry. On the other hand visa's might be an issue.

As for the driving Im more concerned about safety as over here it feels like mario kart sometimes.

Ill be visiting in June so Ill have a look around. Im trying to find a dentist which removes amalgam mercury fillings safely at the moment. Thailand doesnt seem to have any so this is something Im hoping to find in Singapore.

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Postby beppi » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:40 pm

James-83 wrote:Luckily most of my work comes out of the Uk and Middle East so finding work isnt a great worry. On the other hand visa's might be an issue.

That's exactly what I meant: You cannot get a visa for this! And going under the radar (which you presumably do in Thailand right now) is completely out of the question in Singapore.

James-83 wrote:As for the driving Im more concerned about safety as over here it feels like mario kart sometimes.

Other people PAY for the thrill of having alien spaceships thrown into their way at random and trying to not hit them. In Thailand this comes completely FREE on the road everyday! (I bought the oldest and cheapest car I could find and drive every day when there, 30000km so far with only two minor indentations.)

James-83 wrote:Ill be visiting in June so Ill have a look around. Im trying to find a dentist which removes amalgam mercury fillings safely at the moment. Thailand doesnt seem to have any so this is something Im hoping to find in Singapore.

Now you are surprizing me: Dental care (at private clinics) in Thailand has an excellent reputation for quality (high) and price (low). People travel from far away (possibly also Singapore?) to have their teeth done there.
My wife (who visits the top hospitals in both countries regularly for business) says that, at least at the top, health care in Thailand is better than in Singapore. She's a (proud) Singaporean, so that's telling something!

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Postby James-83 » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:56 pm

Mmm now that is interesting. The health care system like anything in Thailand looks good but in actual fact is worringly hollow. There is a hell of alot of malpractice going on and lots of doctors coming to incorrect conclusions resulting in many unwell people.

The problem has become so bad that ONLY about 3 months ago they passed a law which enabled patients to complain about their doctors and perhaps pursue any wrongdoings. Before that, the people literally could do nothing.

Regarding making you look good Thailand is up there with best of them but regarding your health, ask about 80% of expats here, it is extremely deceitful.

As for the freelancing I might have to rethink things, under the radar here, whether Thai or foreigner is the norm lol.

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Postby beppi » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 7:04 pm

Your comments are probably true for the governmental system, but private hospitals (which are for-profit operations that live or die with their reputation) are different. They even have well-functioning customer service departments!
A friend's wife has severe allergy problems and he says the care she gets at Bumrungrad Hospital (Bangkok) is better (and cheaper) than where they come from (USA). Ramathibodhi has my wife's highest marks.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 7:04 pm

If you have solid contracts, and they are related in some way to my business, I might consider adding you as a contractor/employee for a slice of your revenues. Drop me a PM... you need 5 posts to do so.

I've done lots of work for Bumrungrad in Bangkok... top notch facility. One of the few accredited facilities in Asia, the others being in Singapore.

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Postby James-83 » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 9:28 pm

Thanks for your help guys, really looking forward to coming over now.

Agreed the private hospitals are better but they too are hit and miss. Many, because they survive on profit, try to maximise their income as much as possible and this unfortunately leads to alot of dispicable deception. But, this could happen anywhere I guess. (it just seems to happen here alot lol)

Singapore does sound alot different, coming from the Uk it would be nice to experience a bit of order again but saying this Thailand is bloody good fun.

Decisions decisions, is the grass greener....?

While Im here, how do you guys find the food....? Its mostly Indian and Chinese right....?


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