Moving to Thailand: The Ultimate Guide on How to Move to Thailand

Last updated: November 15, 2019

Want to move to Thailand? Check out our article providing an overview of what to prepare for moving there, including shipping costs, application necessities as well as the living and work life in Thailand.

Moving to Thailand

More and more expats from the UK are moving to Thailand, but there is more to the country than just beautiful white sand beaches, green rainforests and magnificent temples. Thanks to the easy way of life and the low cost of living, you are guaranteed to find a welcoming community no matter where you live. Indeed, the country’s famous hospitality doesn’t just make it a party country, but an ideal destination for pensioners who wish to spend their golden years in a sunny climate.

Moving to Thailand

How Much Does a Move to Thailand Cost?

You will normally have to ship your belongings to Thailand by air or by sea. For fast delivery, you will want to choose air freight, but sea freight is far more affordable despite taking several weeks. Think carefully about which pieces of furniture and items you will need in your new home, as the bigger the volume of your move, the more it will cost to ship. Save money on your move by using our removal volume calculator! 

Below we have summarized the average cost of moving from the UK to Thailand with sea freight:

Destination1 Bedroom Flat3 Bedroom House5 Bedroom House
Bangkok£1,000 – £1,200£1,600 – £1,800£2,500 – £2,725
Chon Buri£1,350 – £1,500£2,000 – £2,250£3,000 – £3,500
Samut Prakan£1,450 – £1,600£2250 – £2500£3350 – £3750

 Note: All figures are approximate guideline values, and does not include extra services covered by the moving companies. If you want a more detailed overview of the costs, check out our moving costs page.

Have you already decided to move to Thailand, but are still looking for the right moving company? Then we recommend that you request up to 5 moving quotes from different companies on our site and compare them with each other.

Save up to 40% on your removal!
Request 5 free quotes

Moving to Thailand: What Should I Prepare?

Documents to Prepare for Your Move

If you are planning on moving to Thailand, you will need to undertake some administration, such as applying for visas. We recommend that you prepare the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Driving license
  • Birth certificate
  • List of emergency contact numbers
  • Proof of income
  • Medical certificates or reports
  • Marriage or divorce certificate
  • Degree certificate and transcript
  • Tax, social security, national insurance numbers and documents

Temples in Thailand

How to Carry Out a Move to Thailand

Firstly, we recommend you check out our checklist for moving abroad that will ensure you don’t forget anything for your move to Thailand. However, some points to remember specifically for moving to Thailand:

  • The customs regulations in Thailand are notoriously strict, so make sure you follow the advice of your moving company and prepare a complete inventory of what you want to ship.
  • If you are moving to Thailand with children, you will need to decide whether to put your children in an international or Thai school. Keep in mind that international schools are more expensive but English is spoken, whereas Thai schools allow for full immersion.
  • You will also need to open a bank account in Thailand. If you are looking to transfer money internationally, then one provider that we recommend is TorFX.
  • If you are a resident in Thailand, you will be liable to pay their taxes. Check out this overview for taxes for expats in Thailand for more information.
  • For most UK citizens, moving to Thailand will require the appropriate visa. A few examples include the retirement visa, the education visa, and the business visa. For more information, check out the government website.
  • Unless your company is covering your health insurance, this is something you need to arrange for yourself.  One recommended healthcare insurance provider is Pacific Prime. Keep in mind that the treatment in Thailand is of very high quality and indeed most doctors speak very good English.

Health care in Thailand

Living in Thailand

While living in Thailand is cheaper than in the UK, do not expect your move to be dirt cheap: it is vital to budget accordingly. Indeed, if you are looking for a place to live, it is recommended that you book a hotel for when you first arrive and arrange viewings in person. While it is near impossible to buy property in Thailand as a foreigner, here are a list of websites if you are looking to rent or find an estate agent in Thailand:

Tip! You can cut your rent in Thailand by 40% through negotiation.

Working in Thailand

Whilst Thailand is known as a hotspot for digital nomads, you will indeed need a work visa to legally be employed there. While Bangkok, the capital, has the best paying jobs, there are many other places in Thailand that welcome expats, such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hua Hin to name a few. If you’re looking for a job, here are a few sites that are specialised in expat jobs in Thailand:

Moving to Chiang Mai

Next Steps

We hope this article has helped you with your move to Thailand! If you’re looking for more articles on moving, then look no further than Sirelo!