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The 20 Best Places to Live in Thailand


Thailand is a popular tourist destination due to the stunning landscape, the climate, the bustling cities, and the interesting culture. It is also a destination that people consider when deciding to relocate for all the same reasons. Like in any country, there are some parts of Thailand that are nicer to make your home than others. When deciding which are the best places to live in this country, people consider a variety of factors including safety, work opportunities, schools, leisure activities, transport links, amenities, and the general lifestyle a place offers. Based on a variety of these factors, the following are the 20 best places to live in Thailand.

Ko Lipe

20. Ko Lipe

The low crime rates, the happiness of the residents, and the low cost of living are some of the key features of Ko Lipe that make it one of the best places to live in Thailand, says Nomad List. It is also worth noting that this is one of the top destinations in which to live in terms of the healthcare facilities available. The downsides of this city are that traffic safety is not good and there are not many locals who speak English.

Ao Nang

19. Ao Nang

Those who intend to work in Thailand should consider Ao Nang as there are plenty of job opportunities in this area. Other positive features of Ao Nang are excellent health care, the low cost of living, and the happiness of the community. This is also a relatively safe place to live as the crime rates are low compared to many other cities in Thailand. However, there is a lack of nightlife in the area and traffic safety is poor.

Ko Phangan

18. Ko Phangan

Those who want to enjoy an authentic Thai island life will love Ko Phangan. Although it is a beautiful island, it is not as touristy as Phuket or Koh Samui. This allows residents to go about their business without needing to deal with throngs of tourists. Retirees are attracted to this location, and it also appeals to people who want to live a health and wellness-focused lifestyle. Some of the best features of life on this island are the low cost of living, employment opportunities, safety, access to healthcare, and the welcoming community.

Ko Lanta

17. Ko Lanta

An affordable place to live is Ko Lanta, which is an island district on the Andaman coast. This area is known for its rainforests, mangroves, rocky outcrops, and coral-fringed beaches. It is one of the safest places to live in Thailand, and it also has a variety of job opportunities. The community is diverse and friendly, and the ex-pat community is well-established and accepted by the locals. The overall standard of living is good, and residents who live in this area are generally happy. It will suit people who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, especially water-based activities.

Prachuap Khiri Khan

16. Prachuap Khiri Khan

If you are planning to work once you have moved to Thailand, then Samujuana says that one of the best places to live in Thailand is Prachuap Khiri Khan. Located along the coast of southern Thailand, this area is popular with Thai tourists and it is known for its pineapple and coconut industries. There is a growing number of amenities in this town as it now has an expanding community of ex-pats. Although there is plenty of work available, there are not opportunities in every industry due to the quieter nature of this area. Appealing features are the stunning beaches, the laid-back lifestyle, and the low cost of living.

Ko Lanta

15. Rayong

A peaceful city that is just over two hours from Bangkok, Rayong is a popular option for retirees because of its superb beach living and the peaceful lifestyle. There are varied housing options in this location, but one of the most popular is to live in one of the many condo developments along the coast. The ex-pat community in this area has grown in the last few years.


14. Lampang

Located in the north of Thailand, Lampang is a small and charming city, says Nomad Nation. There are excellent transport links in this city and many modern amenities. The cost of living here is low, which is a factor that appeals to various demographics who want to live an affordable lifestyle. On the downside, there is only a small ex-pat community in this area.

Pak Nam Pran

13. Pak Nam Pran

Although there is only a small ex-pat community in Pak Nam Pran, this has been growing in recent years. This is potentially because of the improvements being made to the area, such as monitoring development, rebuilding the beachfront, and encouraging sustainable growth. Activities for residents to enjoy include outdoor activities, artisan trades, farmer’s markets, and communal gardens. The cost of living in Pak Nam Pran is low, and the area appeals most to retirees.

12. Pattaya City

Located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya City has undergone a transformation in recent years. In the past, it had a bad reputation for prostitution. However, all that has changed and the city is now known for its outstanding cuisine. The influx of more than 40 thousand ex-pats into the area has also triggered improvements to the city’s infrastructure. There are many excellent job opportunities in this city, especially in education, digital professions, and hospitality.

Koh Phangan

11. Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan benefits from being a quiet location that is close enough to Koh Samui for its residents to share some of the advantages of city life, such as the amenities and healthcare facilities. This small island in the Gulf is also an ideal compromise for people who want to enjoy island life while avoiding the islands that attract tourists en masse. The cost of living on the island is higher than the cost of living on the mainland, but it is comparable with other Thai islands. Accessing everything you need is easy because it is only 30 minutes to Koh Sumai by boat. There is an established ex-pat community on this island.


10. Pai

Those who crave a peaceful life and who prefer a rural setting should consider moving to Pai. This is a small mountain town that is just north of Chiang Mai. It is home to an artistic community that lives a wellness-oriented lifestyle. Although this is only a small, rural location, it has a large ex-pat community. Another benefit of living in this location is that the cost of living is exceptionally low.


9. Kanchanaburi

Located on the outskirts of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi combines all the advantages of living in a big city but with a slower pace of life. This town is ideal for those who want easy access to the amenities and attractions on offer in the Thai capital, but prefer to live somewhere quieter and away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This is one of the best places to live in Thailand for retirees. It is also worth noting that Kanchanaburi is less humid than many other locations in Thailand, so it is great for those who are not used to dealing with such a humid environment.

Koh Tao

8. Koh Tao

Koh Tao is ideal for those who want to enjoy an island lifestyle with a connected ex-pat community, says The Culture Trip. This is the smallest of the three main islands, and it offers the most laid-back lifestyle. The main industry on the island is scuba diving, and it is in this field that most ex-pats are employed in some way or another. Another sector in which many ex-pats work is hospitality. There is a diverse, multinational community on this island, which makes it an interesting place to live. Another point to make about living on Koh Tao is that it is very easy to visit the neighboring islands.

Hua Hin

7. Hua Hin

A seaside retreat, Hua Hin offers a laidback lifestyle and beautiful beaches. There are also fantastic markets and plenty of amenities that can offer you a convenient lifestyle. If you enjoy cooking, Hua Hin is an excellent option due to the availability of excellent fresh produce in the area, especially the fish. It has a small town feel that ex-pats like, and there are events going on throughout the year that gives the place a strong sense of community.

Koh Samui

6. Koh Samui

International Living lists Koh Samui as one of the best places to live in Thailand and describes it as a tropical island haven. There are features that will appeal to all types of people on this island. On the one hand, it is a peaceful retreat with beaches lined with palm trees that will suit those looking for a peaceful lifestyle, such as retirees. On the other hand, there is a vibrant nightlife that will suit people who want to enjoy an active social life after making Thailand their home. This is also an affordable place to live.


5. Phuket

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand is Phuket, and ex-pats often move to this amazing destination after enjoying a vacation in the area previously. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, and it is known for its breathtaking landscape that consists of mountains, jungles, turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and rocky outcrops. There is a good combination of relaxing or lively activities to enjoy in your free time, and the seafood restaurants on the island are some of the best in the country. Life Phuket is best suited to those who appreciate a laid-back vibe. It is also worth noting that this island is home to the second largest airport in Thailand after Bangkok.

Krabi Town

4. Krabi Town

Krabi is part of Krabi Province on the west coast of southern Thailand along the Krabi River. There is already a well-connected ex-pat community in this town, many of which are retirees. Two of the main reasons why ex-pats choose this area is because of the low crime rates and the low cost of living. However, the stunning surroundings are also an appealing feature. There are national parks, exotic marine life, shady beaches, hot springs, and sea caves. Therefore, there is a lot to explore if you choose this location.

Chiang Rai

3. Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is a smaller city that is quieter than nearby Chiang Mai. People who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle like this area because it offers access to a range of adventurous activities in the diverse landscape surrounding this city. Those who intend to work in this area will find job opportunities in digital professions, adventure sports, and teaching. The city has experienced steady growth in recent years, and there are plenty of entertainment and dining options. Also, the cost of living in this city is low. The downside is that there is not an established ex-pat community in this city.

Chiang Mai

2. Chiang Mai

Located in the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai offers a slower pace of life than Bangkok, and it also boasts stunning mountain views. Although it is much quieter than the country’s capital, there are still plenty of amenities and activities. This city is the ideal location for those who want to absorb themselves in the history and culture of Thailand. It will also suit those who enjoy dining out as there are many outstanding restaurants in this city.


1. Bangkok

According to The Blond Travels, the best place to live in Thailand is Bangkok. As this is the capital of Thailand, living in this city puts you at the center of all the activity and it is a great place to absorb Thai culture. There are multiple activities to enjoy in your spare time, and there are work opportunities in almost every industry. Other features about the city that people find appealing are the excellent transport links, fantastic amenities, and outstanding modern hospitals.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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