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The Best Places & Islands to Live in Thailand (Pros/Cons)

The Best Places & Islands to Live in Thailand (Pros/Cons)

best places to live in thailand

It only takes one trip to Thailand to see why millions of foreigners choose to live there. And if you speak to any, you’ll probably hear a familiar story…

They came for a vacation, liked what they saw, and wanted more.

Are you thinking of doing the same? Then you might be wondering where is the best place to live in Thailand when you get there. The good news is that the country has a location for everyone.

Thailand has many great places to live for aspiring foreign residents. From its charming cities to idyllic islands, you can find the perfect place that offers the right lifestyle for you. Some of the best places to live in Thailand include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui.

This article will help you with the selection process. We’ll look at these places in more detail – their pros and cons, who they suit the most, and pinpoint the best areas to settle in.

Read on, and by the end, you’ll be ready to start calling Thailand “home.”

Overview

#PlaceSummaryBest ForBest Areas
1BangkokConvenient and modern urban living. Never boring.Ex-pats and digital nomads (aged 20 – 50). Singles and couples.Sukhumvit,
Sathorn
2Chiang MaiCity life without the chaos.
Surrounded by mountains and nature.
Ex-pats and digital nomads (aged 20 – 40). Retirees.Nimmanhaemin
3PattayaThe Sin City of Thailand with one of the largest foreign communities.Ex-pats (aged 40+). Retirees.Central Pattaya,
Naklua/Wongamat, Pratumnak Hill
4PhuketBeach lifestyle with all the necessities for everyone.Ex-pats and digital nomads (all ages). Retirees.Any beach – particularly Bang Tao
5Chiang RaiA relaxed and idyllic city with local charms.Digital Nomads (aged 30 – 40) – especially those with no children. Retirees.Huay Pla Kang,
Ban Mai
6Hua HinQuiet beach town with a growing ex-pat population.Ex-pats (aged 30+). Retirees.Hin Lek Fai District
7IslandsOff-the-grid beach living.Anyone looking for a more remote and slower life.Koh Phangan,
Koh Tao,
Koh Samui

7 Best Places to Live in Thailand

1. Bangkok

There’s no better place to start than Thailand’s capital. But there’s no denying that you will either love Bangkok or hate it.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Ex-pats and digital nomads (aged 20 – 50). Singles and couples.

Best area to live in Bangkok:

Sukhumvit: With a limitless amount of bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, and massage shops, Sukhumvit is Bangkok’s bustling centrepoint. The BTS Skytrain and a mass of motorbike taxis connect you to all these facilities, making it one of the most convenient yet crowded areas in Bangkok.

Split into three parts, Lower Sukhumvit (Nana and Asoke) is a tourist hotspot offering entertainment, shopping, and nightlife. Mid-Sukhumvit (Phrom Pong, Thonglor, and Ekkamai) caters to Thailand’s “HiSo” with its luxury malls, fancy restaurants, and trendy coffee shops. Upper Sukhumvit (Phra Khanong and Onnut) provides a more local vibe, delicious street food, and affordable housing options, making it a favorite among ex-pats and locals.

Sathorn: Known as the business district, Sathorn balances the convenience of living in Bangkok without paying the premium living costs. Located along the Chao Phraya River, Sathorn has affordable yet upscale accommodations. With nearby BTS and MRT stations and the luxurious ICONSIAM shopping mall, Sathorn is a popular choice among many ex-pats living in Thailand.

Pros and cons of living in Bangkok:

Pros:

  • Gateway to Southeast Asia
  • Clean and convenient transportation
  • Shopping and Dating paradise
  • Something for everyone
  • Work and study
  • Quality healthcare
  • 24/7 living (never boring)

Cons:

What makes Bangkok a good place to live:

Let’s focus on what is to love about Bangkok and what makes this exhilarating city a great place to live.

Thailand is located in the center of mainland Southeast Asia, and Bangkok is its staging point to get there. The capital is the gateway to Southeast Asia, with two international airports (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang). (Source)

If you enjoy “city hopping” and weekend getaways, then Bangkok makes it quick and easy to visit neighboring countries and other cities in Thailand. (Apart from the taxi ride to the airport – we all know about its infamous traffic jams.)

Bangkok offers more than riding tuk-tuks and catching flights. The city also delivers when it comes to daily transportation that typifies modern-day metropolitan living.

By living in Bangkok (particularly in Sukhumvit or Sathorn), you’ll have access to the BTS Skytrain. The BTS line cuts through the heart of the city. So, you’ll have convenient and affordable access to all of Bangkok’s delights – from one end to the other.

Whether you want to go shopping, grab something to eat, or enjoy Bangkok’s nightlife, it’s all within reach.

Here’s its route map.

Pro tip:

Bangkok has condo buildings that are directly connected to BTS stations. You can be out the door and on the platform in an instant. If you enjoy getting out and about, this is the ultimate way to live in Bangkok as a foreigner. Although, do expect to pay a markup on your condo rent.

In addition to the BTS Skytrain, Bangkok also has the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT subway trains), which opens up this huge city even further. Whatsmore, new stations are regularly added to both BTS and MRT trains all the time.

They offer a comfortable ride too. The interior of these trains is clean and air-conditioned. However, they do get busy during the morning and evening rush hour.

Choose your travel times wisely!

And that’s easy to do. Because the beauty of Bangkok is that it’s open 24/7, you may associate “The City That Never Sleeps” with New York, but the same can be said for Bangkok. If you are fed up with the regular 9-5, this city makes it easy to live a flexible life around the clock.

Something is happening in Bangkok every day and night of the week. You’ll no longer have to wait until the weekend to go out and have fun. You could even work on Saturdays with no “fear of missing out.” Catching up with friends – on a weeknight is the norm in this super-social city.

Fancy a midnight feast? Well, in Bangkok, it feels like there is a 7-Eleven on every street corner. For good or for bad, it’s easy to satisfy those late-night cravings.

On the other hand, 24/7 living usually means a faster-paced lifestyle. Bangkok is probably not for you if you want less lively nights out.

Bangkok’s abundance of options will satisfy you if you’re a shopaholic. This city is a shopper’s heaven, from the luxurious ICONSIAM on Chao Phraya River to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market (and everything in between).

Bangkok is not only blessed with shopping malls. It has historical buildings, modern hi-risers, temples, and cultural landmarks. Plus countless bars, clubs, and restaurants.

It’s a great city for singles and couples. With so many amazing rooftops, such as Octave, it’s easy to get romantic. If you are a single guy, you won’t be short of ideas when dating a Thailand girlfriend.

It is not a place you’ll get bored of quickly. There’s always something to do and new areas worth exploring.

Whatever you like to do, you can do it in Bangkok. With such a variety of options, it caters to anyone and everyone. Well, apart from beach-lovers! That will involve a day trip. (But you can grab a 2-hour bus from Ekkamai Bus Station to Pattaya for just over 100 THB (3-5 USD).

Already home to many ex-pats and international students, Bangkok has plenty of job and career opportunities. Especially for those in the service industry and English teaching professions.

It is an attractive place to do business for foreign entrepreneurs and a popular hub for digital nomads. It is also a perfect place to study and develop as a person. There are many international schools and prestigious universities to get the qualifications for a future career.

Bangkok is also well-known around the world for its excellent health care facilities. Hospitals like Bumrungrad and Samitivej offer medical services of international standard at a relatively lower cost than Western countries. Whatsmore, beauty and spa treatments are top-quality at a fraction of the price.

So go ahead and pamper yourself in Bangkok without breaking the bank.


2. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai offers city life without the chaos with a relaxed vibe surrounded by nature.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Ex-pats and digital nomads (aged 20 – 40) and retirees.

Best area to live in Chiang Mai:

Nimmanhaemin Road: Known as “Nimman” for short, this is a modern and trendy area of Chiang Mai that is growing in popularity among foreign residents. This lively neighborhood is packed with a variety of options for accommodation, from cheap rooms to luxury houses.

It also has more locally priced restaurants and shopping areas than the Old City (where most tourists stay). However, the Old City is within reach if you want to explore the attractions. You will also be close to coworking spaces, chic coffee shops, boutique shops, bars, and restaurants.

Pros and cons of living in Chiang Mai:

Pros:

  • Balances city life with nature
  • Slower paced
  • Less crowded
  • Beautiful landscape
  • Pleasant weather
  • Value for money
  • Culture and Festivals

Cons:

  • Burning season caused bad air quality
  • Far away from Bangkok and the islands
  • No beach
  • Its popularity is making it “Westernized”
  • Prices are going up
  • Lack of easy, public transport
  • The cool season is cold at night

What makes Chiang Mai a good place to live:

If Bangkok is too hectic for your liking, but you still want to be in touch with the “big city life”, then Chiang Mai offers a nice balance.

Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is less crowded and easier to get around than the chaotic capital. You’re unlikely to get swept away by the rush hour with a slower-paced and laid-back vibe.

But if you are feeling stressed, Chiang Mai gives you the option to quickly seek an escape by visiting the surrounding mountains, lakes, and waterfalls.

The climate in Chiang Mai is also more pleasant than Bangkok’s heat and humidity. However, if you are looking for better air quality, think again.

Chaing Mai has a burning or “smoky” season at the beginning of each year. The local farmers’ set fire to their land to prepare the fields for the next crop cycle. During this 3-4 month period, Chiang Mai can reach a PM dust level of the highest in the world. (Source)

Despite this drawback, ex-pats and retirees still choose Chiang Mai over other cities in Thailand as the cost of living in Chaing Mai is relatively low. Daily consumables are generally more affordable.

The same can be said for rental costs. For example, renting a condo in the Nimman area can be around half the cost of a like-for-like condo in Sukhumvit, Bangkok.

Whatsmore, as the city is more compact, accommodation rates don’t tend to change wherever you decide to live. Whereas in Bangkok, an apartment of the same size will cost more in Thong Lor than in Rama 9.

Another highlight of living in Chiang Mai is that it is home to interesting cultures and festivals. If you’re fascinated by Buddhist temples, you’ll be happy to know that the Old City is full of them.

Chiang Mai is also host to the famous Yi Peng Lantern Festival. On the full moon of the 12th Thai lunar calendar month, you’ll witness hundreds of beautiful lanterns being released into the night sky. Indeed, an iconic event to keep on your calendar.

Another famous annual event in Chiang Mai is the flower festival. It is regarded as one of Thailand’s most colorful and family-friendly occasions. Every year, locals and tourists gather to see the beautiful flowers, parades, and concerts on display at the festival.


3. Pattaya

Once a quiet fishing village, Pattaya has built a reputation as the “Sin City of Thailand.” However, it offers more than just wild nightlife. Pattaya has one of the largest foreign communities.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Ex-pats (aged 40+) and retirees.

Best area to live in Pattaya:

Central Pattaya: This is the recommended area in Pattaya for those who want to live near all the attractions. The famous (or infamous) Walking Street will be within reach. The big shopping mall, Central Festival, is also there.

You will live right in the action while remaining quick and easy to relax at nearby beaches. For those looking for an exclusive beach house, Naklua/Wongamat area and Pratumnak Hill would be the places for you.

Pros and cons of living in Pattaya:

Pros:

  • Developed beach town
  • Big ex-pat community
  • Great location
  • Access to beaches
  • Entertainment central
  • Home from home food
  • Vibrant nightlife

Cons:

  • Infamous reputation
  • Nightlife can feel too close to home
  • Gets crowded
  • Poor beach quality in some areas
  • Can be expensive to live (tourist prices)
  • Westernized
  • Nightlife can feel too close to home

What makes Pattaya a good place to live:

Pattaya may come with a bad reputation, but that does not detract ex-pats from moving there. In fact, Pattaya is one of the most popular places for foreigners to live in Thailand. According to local police sources, it is the home of almost 200,000 non-Thai residents. (Source)

Many ex-pats and retirees choose Pattaya as their home due to its location. Pattaya offers tropical beaches and botanical gardens, while Bangkok is only 2 hours away by car. Living in Pattaya means having the beautiful Jomtien Beach on your doorstep. Also, the luxurious Ocean Marina Yacht Club branded as “the largest world-class marina in all of Asia.”

Pattaya is famous for its vibrant nightlife. If you are a party animal, the temptatious Walking Street will be on your doorstep, along with endless bars spanning the beachfront.

If you’ve heard the stories about Pattaya and are feeling hesitant, don’t be. It has more to offer than just wild nights out. There are more toned-down and “family-friendly” entertainment options too.

Other than the nightlife, Pattaya has plenty of attractions and things to do.

Big shopping malls, aquariums, and water parks can be easily accessed. There are also plenty of trendy beachside cafes for coffee lovers. In addition to the tropical beaches, you can also enjoy beautiful gardens. Such as Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.

However, Pattaya’s attractions can get very crowded, especially during the holidays.

“Foodies,” look here:

Delicious seafood and international cuisines can be enjoyed almost everywhere in Pattaya. If you’re worried about missing your home foods after moving to Thailand, then Pattaya will ease your concerns. With a large foreign community, there is a good chance you’ll find your favorite dishes.

Pattaya is now a famous beach town and tourist hub. The drawback of this popularity is that it leads to increased prices. The cost of living in Pattaya is continually rising, prompting foreign retirees to leave Thailand. If you are looking for a cost-effective place to live in Thailand, Pattaya might not be the ideal place for you.


4. Phuket

Being the largest island in Thailand, Phuket offers the beach lifestyle while having all the necessities for everyone.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Ex-pats and digital nomads (all ages). Retirees.

Best area to live in Pattaya:

As Phuket has something for everyone, the best area to live on the island depends on what you like to do. However, most ex-pats living in Phuket are there for the beach. And Phuket is blessed with plenty of options.

Bang Tao is a hidden gem of a place to live. It is less touristy and offers the cleanest beach. You can pick up a villa in Bang Tao for a reasonable price compared to other beachside locations. But it is developing and growing in popularity, so don’t expect a quiet and cost-effective life there forever.

Pros and cons of living in Phuket:

Pros:

  • Live the life you want
  • Relaxing environment
  • Large ex-pat community
  • Plenty of beaches to choose from
  • Good food with plenty of options
  • Easy access to medical care
  • The place for beach clubs

Cons:

  • Gets crowded during peak season
  • Ghost town during the off-season
  • No hiding place in the tourist areas
  • Beaches get dirty due to mass tourism
  • Increased prices (higher cost of living)
  • When it rains, it pours
  • Expensive taxis – you’ll need transport

What makes Phuket a good place to live:

Named the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’, Phuket caters to an easy-going lifestyle or an adventurous existence – depending on what you are looking for.

If you enjoy the party scene, then Bangla Road in Patong and its lively, holiday-like vibe will interest you. If you enjoy an authentic Thai city experience with fewer crowds, then the island has Phuket Town.

If you love the beach life, you’ll love living in Phuket. Over 500 km² in size, this island has tons of golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters. The most popular being, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Surin, Rawai, and Bangtao beach, to name a few. You will be truly spoilt for choice.

Phuket will spoil you with great weather too. If you’re seeking a warm climate that gets above 70°F (21°C) most of the year, then this is the place for you.

But take into account that the Thailand rainy season does affect Phuket. If you’re not a fan of monsoons, you won’t enjoy living in Phuket all year round.

However, what is great all year round is the seafood.

Whereas Bangkok boasts amazing rooftops, Phuket is the home of beach clubs. Kudo Beach Club, Tann Terrace, Catch Beach Club, and the illustrious Cafe Del Mar are all ultra-chill and trendy venues to hang out in Phuket. You can also access water parks and theme parks such as Blue Tree Phuket and Phuket FantaSea.

But similar to Bangkok, you can also receive top-quality healthcare in Phuket. For example, Bangkok Hospital, Phuket, regards itself as “one of Thailand’s top hospitals.”

With a blend of natural beauty and modern facilities, along with good weather and good food, it is no wonder that Phuket has one of the largest ex-pat communities in Thailand.

As a newcomer to the island, joining ex-pats clubs and communities that appeal to all kinds of hobbies and interests is easy.

Phuket is considered one of the most expensive provinces in Thailand. How you decide to live in Phuket will largely dictate your monthly living costs.

You could “get by” in Phuket on a budget of around 1500 USD (52,000 THB) per month. Or, to live comfortably and enjoy the different activities that the island has to offer (such as golf, bar-crawling, sailing, and diving), you might have to double this budget.

Phuket’s uplift in prices is noticeable by simply going for a 1-hour foot massage. In Bangkok or Pattaya, you can get one for around 150-200 THB (5-6 USD). Whereas in Phuket, it costs 300 THB (8-9 USD).

Therefore, when it comes to rent, bills, and food, you might better value for money elsewhere in Thailand.


5. Chiang Rai

If a fast-paced city lifestyle is not for you, Chiang Rai would be a perfect place to settle down in Thailand. It’s a relaxed and idyllic city with local charms.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Digital Nomads (aged 30 – 40) – especially those with no children.

Best area to live in Chiang Rai:

Due to its modest size, ex-pats are spread across every area of Chiang Rai. However, two popular areas above the others are Huay Pla Kang and Ban Mai.

Huay Pla Kang: A picturesque area with lush greenery and hills. It is also the home of the Akka hill tribe.

Ban Mai: An emerging area of Chiang Rai with many restaurants and shops.

Pros and cons of living in Chiang Rai:

Pros:

  • Away from chaotic city life
  • Peaceful
  • Cheaper cost of living
  • Good for nature lovers
  • A true sense of Thailand

Cons:

  • Air Pollution during the smoky season
  • Lacking options for entertainment
  • Risk of isolation
  • Far away from Bangkok and the islands
  • No beach

What makes Chiang Rai a good place to live:

Located further north than Chiang Mai (approx. 200km), Chiang Rai attracts ex-pats and retirees looking for the ultimate relaxed lifestyle.

Chiang Rai has a sense of uniqueness that separates it from other cities. It may be small geographically; however, nothing feels condensed when you live there.

This could be due to being surrounded by rice farms and picturesque scenery. If you enjoy being at one with nature, there are mountains and hiking trails that offer stunning views.

Despite being a city in the countryside, Chiang Rai has a surprising amount of infrastructure in the town. In addition to offering all the necessities, Chiang Rai consists of new property developments, modern condominium blocks, and shopping malls. There are also international schools and reputable hospitals.

Yet Chiang Rai has not lost its sense of rawness and identity. As you explore the tranquil town, you can enjoy historic buildings and ancient temples. The Kok River also flows through the city. Chiang Rai is also home to hundreds of indigenous hill tribes whose villages are in the mountainous areas.

If you are looking for an even cheaper cost of living in Thailand, then Chiang Rai gets more affordable than Chiang Mai. For example, you can pick up a newly built, fully furnished condo with one bedroom and kitchenette for around 250 USD (9,000 THB) per month.

It gets better:

Suppose a condo complex is not your preference. Perhaps you enjoy gardening on your plot of land?

You can pick up a ‘moo baan’ in Chiang Rai (a 3-bedroom house with a gated entrance) for less than 500 USD (18,000 THB) per month.

However, similar to Chiang Mai, you should prepare for the local farming custom of burning fields. Many foreigners who decide on moving to Chiang Rai use the smoky season as an opportunity to see other parts of Thailand or neighboring countries or visit their home country. If you wish to escape the temporary bad air, plan your trips during February-March-April.

If you love staying in your home in Chiang Rai so much, purchasing an air purifier would be a great idea. And staying at home and leading a simpler life is what you should expect in Chiang Rai.

What you gain in peace and tranquility is what you lose in the number of entertainment options compared to Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The lifestyle here is more on the simpler side, and while there are western-style groceries and restaurants, there won’t be as many.


6. Hua Hin

This quiet beach town is famous among the locals for being the home to the Thailand King’s summer palace. With a growing ex-pat population, perhaps after reading this article, you will also be looking for your dream home in Hua Hin.

Best place to live in Thailand for:

Ex-pats (aged 30+). Retirees.

Best area to live in Hua Hin:

The main tourist area is around Nartedarmi Road, where many easy and cheap accommodations are available for rent. However, these might not be the highest quality ones, and finding more affordable and better villas in the Hin Lek Fai district is recommended. You can live a modest life in Hua Hin on a budget of around 1000 USD (36,700 THB).

Pros and cons of living in Hua Hin:

Pros:

  • Developed beachside city
  • Home to international festivals
  • Pleasant weather all year round
  • Golf courses
  • Relatively close to Bangkok

Cons:

  • Crowds and noise (on weekends)
  • A lot of urban developments
  • Not the best beaches
  • No other areas in close proximity
  • Lack of entertainment options

What makes Hua Hin a good place to live:

This holiday paradise is just three hours away from the capital. Hua Hin is known for its popular night markets, beaches, and great food places.

The city strikes a nice balance of a traditional local lifestyle with the conveniences of the Western world. And even though the city is small and quiet during the weekdays compared to the other beachside locations like Pattaya, Hua Hin has a lot to offer.

Golf addict? Hua Hin is home to some of the best golf courses in Thailand. It also has excellent healthcare facilities, and doctors are well versed in speaking English. These two reasons make Hua Hin a popular place to live in Thailand among foreign retirees.

Hua Hin also has a well-kept infrastructure and modern shopping malls in the city and is the home to many well-known international festivals such as Jazz Festival and International Kite Festival.

International grocery shops and vineyards are also found in Hua Hin, as many ex-pats reside in this beachside town.

If you want to escape the rain, Hua Hin will be your perfect getaway. Despite the occasional rain shower, the city is one of the driest areas in Thailand.

With warm daytime temperatures averaging above 80°F (27°C) and a cool breeze, the weather in Hua Hin is pleasant most days. So, you’ll enjoy Hua Hin’s favorable climate all year round.


7. Remote Islands in the Gulf – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao

We have already covered Phuket, but if a more remote island is what you are looking for, Thailand has incredible options.

Looking to start a completely new life? Here are the three best islands in the Gulf of Thailand to live on:

Koh Samui:

Koh Samui is internationally famous for its turquoise oceans and stunning beaches. But life on the island offers much more.

With plenty of trendy pubs, bars, and restaurants, Koh Samui offers a laid-back island life fused with a lively nightlife. Other facilities such as international schools, hospitals, and shopping malls can also be found at Koh Samui.

The island attracts ex-pats and visitors from all different countries. With a sizeable ready-made foreign community, you’ll find settling in as a newcomer easy.

You can rent a variety of accommodations on the island. And just like other places, the best place to live on Koh Samui depends on your preference.

For example, if you want to live at the center of activities, you may prefer Chaweng. However, the living costs in Chaweng are higher than anywhere else on the island.

Bophut beach is a lovely area with plenty of bars and restaurants, and various accommodation choices are available for different budget ranges.

And if you’re looking for a quiet life with a minimal budget, then Maenam beach is the place for you. The only downside of the Maenam beach area would be that there is not much to do there compared to the likes of Chaweng.

Check out “Was Koh Samui Affected by the Tsunami?” to learn if there is a risk living on Koh Samui.

Koh Phangan:

Home to the famous Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan is a lovely island with soft white sand beaches crystal clear ocean surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.

The island has a warm and quiet vibe, focusing on wellness and a sustainable lifestyle. It is a perfect getaway from the “rat race,” and ideal for those wanting to focus on physical health and mental well-being.

Many yogis, digital nomads, and party people live on Koh Phangan. The island offers a nice balance between real Thai island life and the crowded, touristy beaches found in Phuket or Koh Samui.

Being on this remote island doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll feel lonely. The immigrant community on the island is also friendly and tight-knitted.

Living on the island is generally affordable, and anything between 500 – 1000 USD is more than adequate. The weather on the island is usually warm. So if you are an “outdoorsy” person who enjoys activities, Koh Phangan suits this lifestyle.

As for the areas to stay, Haad Rin is the place for you if you are a party animal, as Full Moon Party is held here. If you prefer the convenience of having excellent restaurants and bars nearby, choose Thong Sala, the island’s main center. Zen Beach at Sri Thanu would be perfect for yogis, as it is famous for its yoga and spiritual schools.

Whatsmore, if you fancy hopping over to a neighboring island, such as Koh Samui, it takes around 30 minutes by boat.

Koh Tao:

Out of Thailand’s three main Gulf islands, Koh Tao is the smallest one. Previously a ‘sleepy town’ with few inhabitants, the island has grown in popularity recently among digital nomads and party enthusiasts.

However, Koh Tao is especially famous for scuba diving, which employs most of the immigrant population. Another industry in which foreigners can work on Koh Tao is hospitality (hotels and restaurants).

The ex-pat community on the island is friendly and active and lives in harmony with the local community.

It is also relatively easy to reach Koh Tao – either fly into Koh Samui by plane or hop onto an overnight bus or train to Chumphon and then take a 2-3 hour ferry to reach Koh Tao.

Chalok Bay, Tanote Bay, Sairee Beach, and Mae Haad are the best places to live in Koh Tao.

Mae Haad is your place if you want easy access to all amenities. It is also where you will find TAOHUB, a great coworking space with solid WiFi.

Meanwhile, if diving and water sports are more your thing, Sairee Beach has some of the best diving centers on the island.

Chalok Bay provides easy access to bars, restaurants, and stunning sunset views. It’s a perfect area if you want to immerse yourself in island life without worrying about amenities. And surrounded by beautiful nature and green hills, Tanote Bay is ideal if you are an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, rock jumping, and sea kayaking.

Pros and cons of living on a remote island in the Gulf of Thailand:

Pros:

  • The ultimate nomadic life
  • Beautiful beaches, oceans, and nature
  • Close-knit foreign communities
  • Cheaper cost of living
  • Outdoor activities

Cons:


Conclusion

Due to its countless benefits, more and more people are keen on relocating to Thailand.

The country has been a favored destination among ex-pats and retirees throughout the decades. Younger professionals are attracted by the work, study, and business opportunities as it continues to develop. Thailand has also become a popular hub for digital nomads and remote workers.

Are you ready to book your one-way ticket to the Land of Smiles? We hope this article on the best places to live in Thailand inspires you to do so.

With each region offering different pros and cons, it is up to you to decide which place would be the ideal location based on your lifestyle, preference, and budget. But there is one thing for sure…

Thailand has a unique character, and it won’t take long for you to feel at home – regardless of which place you choose!

Check out “The Best Places to Visit in Thailand” for ideas on what to do and where to go in Thailand.

Check out “The Best Places & Areas to Stay in Thailand” if you’re not ready to live in Thailand but are looking for a short-term getaway.

Check out “The Best Places in Thailand to Retire” if you thinking of seeing out your golden years in Thailand.

Jordan Sully

I'm a Thailand fanatic who has been traveling to the Kingdom since 2017. The country has given me so much, this is my small way of giving back. I hope the articles on this site help you to learn more about Thailand and inspire your next adventure to The Land of Smiles. Thanks for checking out ThaiGuider!

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