Why I live in Thailand

Why I live in Thailand
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Some of the idiots who post on WB have accused me of not being a GOOD AMERICAN, because I live in Thailand! So I decided to re post an old article on why I live here. Let me assure you that I love the American Ideal, but America is not living up to it's ideals right now, and there is nothing I can do about it. SO, since I have always been independent, and do what is best for ME. I am living a Great Life. But be assured that when the shooting starts and America needs to refresh the tree of freedom with blood, I'll be there!

There is no other system of Government that even comes close to USA.


My motorbike registration was up. In Thailand, you pay your Tax on the vehicle, register it for a year, and buy your Insurance, all at the same office. The motorbike taxi driver in my condo building offered to go to the office and do it for me for a fee of 300 baht. That's about $8 USD. I said great, as there is usually a two hour wait. So I gave him my paperwork and 1000 baht for fee's. That afternoon, he gave me my new registration and insurance, along with my change.

I should mention that, total cost for one year of basic insurance, tax and registration cost 780 baht. That's about $23 USD folks. Because I have a more expensive model (Honda CSX 150). The basic Insurance package includes Medical injuries to you and one passenger, Liability Property Damage, and vehicle damage. How much do you pay to insure and register your vehicle?

This started me thinking of how much easier life is in Thailand, as opposed to living in America!

Medical Care is Superior, and far more accessible than America. The lie that America has the best care, is spread by Insurance companies, to keep you paying ridiculous costs. And the ACA is a sad joke on the poor. A $5000 deductible insurance means you have no medical care, just insurance you can't use!

I don't need the motorbike. It is a toy. There are motorbike taxi drivers on every corner who will take you wherever you want to go. I use them occasionally when I have to go somewhere I don't know. If it's raining, or convenient I take a Baht Bus. That is a full bed pick-up with a shelter on the back and bench seats. You just wave them down and hop on. When you get where you want to go there is a buzzer you push. The fee is set at 10b. About .30 cents. If you have a special need, such as moving big items, they are for hire. Just negotiate a price. If you like to drink , this is a great way to Bar Hop without driving drunk.


For long distance trips, private vehicles are just a phone call away, or Air Conditioned buses run frequently. Any type of vehicle for any purpose is cheap and convenient.

Food vendors are everywhere, offering a variety of soups, bar b que meats and sea foods, and cooked fruits like pineapple and deep fried bananas. (My Favorite).


At the bar, beer is $2 for imported and $1.50 for domestic. Local whiskey is $1.25. While sitting in an open air bar (Bar BEER) vendors selling, watches, DVD's, Sun glasses, t-shirts, dress shirts, sports clothes, shoes, ladies dresses, underwear for men and women. If you frequent bars, you never have to frequent stores, and prices are comparable if you are smart.

Fresh fruit carts are constantly passing with fresh Mango, Pinapple, Water Mellon, Guava, Papaya and whatever is in season, like Cantaloupe. All Peeled, cleaned of seeds and cut in bite size pieces. The bars don't mind, but if the servers know you, they will help themselves to a slice or two. Thai's enjoy sharing food.

If I want a deep cleaning for my Condo, 2 ladies will spend all day cleaning it for 300 baht, $10 dollars. Any repair, even replacing a light bulb, can be had from the maintenance workers at the condo. They will go and buy whatever is needed and replace it. For less than $10.

Almost all businesses deliver. You can get hot food from the best restaurant's for a $1.50 delivery fee.

The point is that there are almost no social services from the government. No welfare, no EBT cards, no unemployment insurance, no free medical except for the elderly, and acidents . Everyone is expected to work, and there are few regulations to stop you.

The unfortunate can find a meal and shelter at the Temple. The Gov.t cares for children without family, but charity is the main provider, for the poor. During times of disaster such as floods and storms, the Military Junta provides funds to banks for distribution

So, what I'm saying is that I have all the service of a staff whenever I want it. Just like a rich man. I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping people, while helping myself. People helping people because Government stays out of the way.

In America, a man was killed in New York for selling loose Cigarettes, because he got tired of being told how to live and resisted. The Police were blamed of course, but the politicians who passed the laws restricting free trade, went blameless to go on telling NY'ers how much salt they can use, how their meat must be cooked, how big a drink they can buy, etc.

In New Orleans, a man was killed for selling TV's outside a gas station with the owners permission, but some people were unhappy with it, so police must react. Sometimes it is hard to find the shop you are looking for because of all the vendors out front.

I read stories how immigrants came to America, got a push cart and sold fruit and vegetables door to door. One famous Pizza shop in NY told of how his great Grandfather came from Italy and sold Pizza by the slice from a push cart.

What the hell happened? Why aren't people free to use their talent to support themselves? Are we that stupid that Government must tell us how to live every detail of our lives?

Why can't a ghetto grandma, raising children on a pension, who makes the best Sweet Potato Pie in town, make some extra money by selling slices and pies in front of her building? You are guaranteed it will be wholesome because these are her neighbors.

I'll tell you why! When you depend on the Government for your survival, you will vote for who ever promises you the most. And that is Political Power.

So America, you can call yourself a Capitalist Country, but Capitalism and free enterprise is only for the wealthy, due to all your laws and regulations..

By the way. Unemployment is up in Thailand this year at 1.05%. That is up from 0.56% at the end of 2015. America is now at 4.6% people collecting checks. If you include those who want to work, but stopped looking, it is between 18 and 24%. As far as people, which is the poor country?


EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 4:58pm
Sometimes, I tire of the delusion and stupidity posted on WB. But then I realize it is the Internet that makes us all think we know everything. What we don't know, we imagine we know, and then fight to the death to defend it.
Dave Volek Added Oct 4, 2017 - 5:42pm
This was a very interesting article. It good to have a practical view on different parts of the world.
A friend of mine started his retirement years in Thailand as well. He liked the culture and it was pretty cheap to live. He bought a condo, but sold it and returned to Canada when the political upheaval got too much for him.
It is my understanding of that part  of the world is that most Thai's are at a subsistence level of income. They have jobs, but it is a daily struggle to put food on the table for the family. The middle class is not that big, so there isn't much social mobility. Meanwhile the rich keep the system rigged for themselves and there is lots of government funds misappropriated--not for the common people. But I could be wrong.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 6:00pm
He bought a condo, but sold it and returned to Canada when the political upheaval got too much for him.
That doesn't make sense Dave. There never was any Political upheaval for Farang (Foreigners), and limited to Thai's in government or radicals w2ho disparaged the Royals.
Terms like Middle Class and subsistence level, really don't apply here. Everybody has a full stomach, and most people work for themselves. Rural housing is poor by USA standards, but city is EU standard. Health care is far superior to EU or USA standard.
The rest:
Meanwhile the rich keep the system rigged for themselves and there is lots of government funds misappropriated--not for the common people.
Is true of Thailand, USA, Canada and most other countries.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 6:03pm
Factories that are usually associated with Middle Class, and Professionals are growing rapidly. But Trump pulling out of APP , slowed it down.
wsucram15 Added Oct 4, 2017 - 8:08pm
Hey Expat..you remember lemonade stands as a kid?  Well they have regulations now in most places.  Yea and provisional business licensees.   No kidding. So that 1.00 glass of Lemonade just cost a whole lot more.  Regulation..
Gregory S. McNeill Added Oct 4, 2017 - 8:55pm
That is good for you EXPAT, not everyone is like you. We Americans who are still here in America who are following people like Trump have to learn the hard way that we as a nation must change or be left behind.
Dave Volek Added Oct 4, 2017 - 9:34pm
My friend left because he thought Thailand was heading for civil war. I remember there were a few big protests over some power struggle, but that seems to have settled down.
In the world happiness index, Thailand ranks #32. Not a bad score for a relatively poor country. Maybe the Thai's are doing something right.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 10:03pm
John G. I was owner of a Dive bar for 5 years, in Long Beach, CA.  I did my own bouncing and would love to get my hands on you! I would teach you the manners your whore mother never did.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 10:10pm
wsucram15. When I was 5 years old some guys were digging a trench in summer. One offered me a quarter for a pitcher of Ice Water. I used that quarter to by some Lemons and make lemonade and Kool Aid. I went to all the construction sites in the neighborhood, with my Radio Flyer Wagon, selling water for a nickel, and Lemonade or Kool Aid for a dime a glass.
That taught me that there is no reason to be poor, if you can walk.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 10:16pm
Gregory. One man does not a Government make! Both parties have gone off the deep end.
My choices would be Alan Dershowitz leading the Democrats and Condoleezza Rice leading the Republicans.
We need to respect each other, or we will end up killing each other.
EXPAT Added Oct 4, 2017 - 10:26pm
In July 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies.
Who was number 1, North Korea?
The subjective well-being index represents the overall satisfaction level as one number.
Analysed data to create the index comes from UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR. These sources are analysed to create a global projection of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness. Whilst collecting data on subjective well-being is not an exact science, the measures used are very reliable in predicting health and welfare outcomes.[6]
This is a list of all the countries by the Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report. The latest report was released on 21 March 2017 and compiled on the basis of estimates for 2015.[1]
Sorry Dave. But this is the biggest Crock of Shit I ever read!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 4, 2017 - 10:29pm
My friend left because he thought Thailand was heading for civil war.
A civil war that the monsters Davies and Murphy in their compound astride Wittayu Rd are still fomenting. 
Mircea Negres Added Oct 5, 2017 - 5:48am
EXPAT, I can't even order a beer without being asked where I'm from, why I came to South Africa and how long I've been here- in that order. I've been asked these questions thousands, if not tens of thousands of times over the last 25 years, and while thoroughly sick of answering, I tell them in the hope they'll smarten up and stop the rot. I often see South Africans disparage those who left the country, always telling them that they have no right to voice their opinions of the country they had left or to point out how it can do things better. It's stupid, but stupidity is more common than wisdom and common sense.
The locals who have small shops in the townships or in traditionally white, but less well to do suburbs, always sold bread by the whole loaf and eggs by the half-dozen. In came the Somalis and Pakistanis, who saw the poor locals couldn't afford it, and they began selling half-loaves of bread and by the slice(!), as well as loose eggs. They work hard, cater to the needs of their customers and outshone the locals. Instead of learning from them, the locals began to stage mob protests and loot the foreign-owned shops, sometimes killing the owners.
I left Romania because there was no reason to stay. In fact, there were plenty of reasons to go, but that doesn't make me less of a Romanian or less entitled to have an opinion about it even 25 years after my departure. One day I will leave South Africa too, and there will be reasons for it. As such, chances are I'll have things to say and by virtue of having spent most of my life here along with earning it's citizenship, the right to say it. Your situation is no different from mine, and you have the right to call things happening in the US as you see them because having left does not mean you're no longer an American or that somehow you are less entitled to voice and opinion, so you keep tapping that keyboard. I know it's a re-post, but thumbs up on this one, buddy.  
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 6:36am
There is no other system of Government that even comes close to USA
Probably not. No other country can mask itself as a democracy while it's not ;-)
Aside from that:
You see, the difference between us is that you defend the US vehemently although not living there, but only due to the fact that you get your pension from there. That's OK with me when you tell me you worked all your life for the American economy, and earned it.
But then - why did you leave ? I know Thailand, India or Indonesia, and I also know several African countries, and they are quite similar on some things - transport is easy, we have bike taxis (Cameroon) or Sotrama Toyota buses you can enter anywhere you want and knock on the rooftop to quit. We have cheap rice food stands on the road (Mali) and have excellent beaches in Senegal as long as you don't mind the Imam's call at 4 o'clock in the morning.
I leave Switzerland for several reasons: The wet and cold climate which is a no-go for people who age, because even young people listen to my advices and don't say simply hey, yo, uh, old man, get the fuck off, and social life where people know and care for each other still exists.
Easy as that.
But I won't get a pension from Switzerland. Why ? Because I was not working long enough there to pay into a pension account.
But - no risk, no fun. And at 60 I can still do it. One favor is: In Africa they won't put you on a life-prolonging machine in a hospital to profit from you.
Steve Bergeron Added Oct 5, 2017 - 7:32am
Hey, Expat!  I read your article with great interest.  Thailand wasn't on my radar, but it may be now.  I had been looking at Ecuador (Cuenca, to be specific).  The cost of living, etc., is very inexpensive there, too.  And, the weather is fantastic.  They call it the eternal Spring.  
Do you own your condo or rent?  If the latter, what's it run/month, if you don't mind sharing?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:03am
Thailand wasn't on my radar, but it may be now
Oh no! Last thing we need is some feral thumper over here proseltizing to these loving easygoing Buddhists. Stay in your hemisphere. 
Tikno Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:08am
Interesting article, EXPAT. I enjoy reading it and forced me to click "Like" button. This is a fresher topic to read because most articles on WB are about politics.
BTW, you must thanks to someone who have accused you. ;-)
Dino Manalis Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:36am
The silent majority sometimes speaks and surprises the pundits.  They may be silent, but they continue to think and observe!
Gregory S. McNeill Added Oct 5, 2017 - 9:10am
EXPAT, you are delusional and selfish as well as living in a fantasy world. I feel sorry for you.
Shane Laing Added Oct 5, 2017 - 9:22am
Good for you Expat. I have been looking at Thailand to retire. Much cheaper and warmer than here in the UK. Why not live well in a different country than struggle by here worrying about bills.  When I retire I'm out of the UK as quickly as a can.
Bill Kamps Added Oct 5, 2017 - 9:45am
Meanwhile the rich keep the system rigged for themselves and there is lots of government funds misappropriated--not for the common people.
This has been true since the time of the serfs.  Why do people think this is some new thing, or something local to one country or another? anyone who disagrees, please tell me when it wasnt true.
We all have to find our own way in the world, it's not a level playing field but we can find ways to make ourselves comfortable and successful. 
Expat, if Thailand works for you, great, and nice job spreading the word in case others want to move there.  I have traveled a lot, and there are pros and cons to living in the USA just like anywhere, so the more we know about our options the better choices we can make.
George N Romey Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:35am
Bill you have to admit the system in the US has become more openly rigged but has always been in favor of the rich and powerful.  I visited
Thailand 15 years ago. Beautiful country, I could see it as a great place to retire. Cheap living for sure.
Bill Kamps Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:53am
George, I think we are more aware of the rigged system, and for some reason we expect it not to be rigged.  I think if anything things are a bit better.
In the early 1900s when Rockefeller wanted to build a pipeline across your property, he just built it, he didnt ask your permission, or get a permit.   If when it was happening you didnt like the pittance he offered you, his thugs would beat you up.  Further there were no regulations from the EPA on the standards for the pipeline, and if the pipeline leaked, cleaning it up was your problem, not Rockefeller's.  He didnt care if your land got trashed.
Railroads, early cars, and many other things were similarly unregulated.  The rich could build factories and pollute at will, they could make people work 12 hour days, and pay them whatever they wanted. 
Bribes to politicians were more open, and money was given directly to them, now its more in the way of favors, and things are little more convoluted. 
So no, I dont think the rich have more power now than before but they still have a lot. 
Today of course companies get eminent domain rights, and you can fight and often lose in court.  You can delay things, and sometimes you can win, especially if enough other land owners are on your side.  We do have regulations on pipelines, and the companies that own them are responsible for cleaning up the mess should they  leak.  We have standards on building cars, pollution and so on.  If the rich had their way completely, a lot of these things wouldn't exist.  So a little progress has  been made.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:09am
The good thing about Africa is there's almost no farangs there LOL
Dave Volek Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:23am
Good response. It is true that BIG BUSINESS and BIG GOVERNMENT could roll over people whenever they wanted. We are in a different world than we were 50 years ago.
Dave Volek Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:30am
EXPAT: Like all sociological surveys, results are subject to bias and interpretation. This list made sense to me: no, North Korea wasn't even on that list which gives credence to its validity.
Thailand was #32, which is pretty good for 157 countries (and I have to admit that I was a little surprised). The relative contentment of the Thai people is probably one reason why you have stayed there. I doubt you would choose to live in a country near the bottom.
Ric Wells Added Oct 5, 2017 - 1:26pm
Expat. How about something simple. You live in Thailand because that's where you want to live.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 1:38pm
Such lists are bullshit. See the list below - Switzerland is No. 3, Senegal No. 162. Switzerland has one of the higest suicide rates in the world, Senegal is not even mentioned.
I see more happy people in Africa than I have ever seen here. Although there's no existential poverty here.
A functioning social life is far more important than anything else. But data statistics people don't seem to consider such items....;-)
Human development index. Well well. Means no 2 cars and no regular vacation and no big house = no human development. Hmmmmm.....LOL
Katharine Otto Added Oct 5, 2017 - 3:23pm
I long for a simpler lifestyle, and it sounds like Thailand is worthy of consideration.  Thanks for the post.  Do you speak the language?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:02pm
Question: Is there any place not crowded by farangs today ? What's the situation in southern Thailand now with those Muslim groups which were even present when I was there in 1979 (!) ? Or should one look for a place south of Phuket ? I mean Ko Samui was a couple of straw hats at that time and for example Cherating in Malaysia was a fishing village. Now it's all become a rip-off and, as I hear from Swiss who lived in the area for years were looking for another place because they said you can live well there, but, you will never be really integrated. A distance remains.
True or hear-say ?
I ask that because a friend of mine likes to quit too, but he's afraid of Africa, and he likes to go to a place which is cheap and where he doesn't stand out being a foreigner........
Dave Volek Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:04pm
The Human Development List lists three criteria: education, life expectancy, and income per capita. Africa, for sure, is not generally well off in the first two two categories. The third category is suspect in being relevant as basic staples are usually much cheaper in less developed parts of the world.
I didn't get the impression that suicide was part of this particular list. Maybe there is another list with this social parameter.
If I was forced to flee Canada, I would prefer Thailand to Senegal (I remember that someone on WB wrote a scathing article on hospitals in Africa). So the two lists are verifying what I have come to believe.
Thailand may be a good place for western retirees to live (like EXPAT and my friend). But I doubt a young westerner would want to start their life in Thailand, hawking fish in a market, working construction, or even teaching English. It's still a hard grind for a working person in this country to make ends meet.
But such lists are not BS. They are fairly indicative of the better countries to live. And if built wisely, they will show which countries are improving their condition.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:05pm
....but at the same time he's afraid being ripped off. I told him if you go to a place where you're the only foreigner you WILL stand out, but maybe be less ripped off, and in another place you will find lots of US and EU and Swiss retired guys but you might be ripped off easier as long as you don't understand the system.
I have lost touch to Asia so I couldn't really advise him.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 5, 2017 - 5:59pm
EXPAT shows his civility: I would teach you the manners your whore mother never did.  So, you are in Thailand for all sorts of good reasons, yet your vestment in the US is simply your current income.  Wow.  SO HIS MOTHER IS YOUR gf?  What a coincidence!
Stone-Eater Added Oct 5, 2017 - 6:39pm
I remember that someone on WB wrote a scathing article on hospitals in Africa
....that was me LOL. But I'm still going back. I mean I'm not 30 anymore...so I don't care ;-)
EXPAT Added Oct 5, 2017 - 9:53pm
John G. and Jeff Michka.
Dunb and Dumber. Yes, both their mothers are Whore's because they had children due to a sex act, not a desire to raise good people. This is obvious from the result. Neither has any empathy or understanding of life.
John G. says his mother was a Doctor. Well so was Joseph Mengele. But I question everything this idiot claims.
Michka lists himself on LinkedIn as a magician and has no resume, which means he lives with mommy, or perhaps a boy friend, and has never done anything with his life.
Both these pathetic losers find an audience on WB. You can answer why anyone would read what these two publish.
EXPAT Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:15pm
Stone. Yes, the violence in the south continues. Everywhere there is a Muslim minority there is bombing, murder, and slavery. Thailand, Philippines, Bali, Burma, Malaysia, and now Europe.
Tell your friend to stay in Switzerland. He doesn't sound smart enough to survive where the government doesn't control your every move and provide
your every need.
EXPAT Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:33pm
Michael Cikraji.
1. Yes the language is difficult, but no problem in city like Pattaya, because there are many/most people who want to speak English. They are happy to go anywhere and translate for you, or read any notice in Thai.
2. Locals and foreigners are victims of petty larceny like pick pocket or gold necklace snatch. Boys on Motorbike grab purses and drive off. But muggings and violent crime is less than USA. Thai motorbike drivers will help in any crime. They are like a gang for good. But they will also gang up on any asshole who thinks he can bully a Thai.
3. Yes. Infrastructure is pathetic, and traffic accidents/fatalities are #2 in the world. Food spoils easily in tropical climate, and Diarrhea is common. But real food contamination is in USA where food is recalled by the Ton. I have been here 8 years and eat street food often.
But you are Wrong about Drugs. That is what is GREAT. I can buy English, French, German Drugs as well as Chinese herbs and local cures. I have type 2 Diabetes and self medicate for  a fraction the cost in USA.
EXPAT Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:14pm
Shane and Steve.
I live very well on SS. $2400 USD a month. My expenses in USD vary with the exchange rate but average 35 Thai Baht to a 1 USD.
I rent so as to be free to move to beach or mountains as the mood strikes. You can buy a Large I bedroom Condo Ocean view for $57-60,000 USD, fully furnished, including appliances and TV.
I rent a 1 br. Ocean view High Rise Condo (13 floor) for $457 a month. Fully furn. 2 AC, s Big Screen TV.  I prefer condo to a much bigger, cheaper house for security. a 3 br, home fully furnished is $342 mo. But robbery is common.
Elec.$63, water & cable $20, WI-FI $14.28 mo, food avg. mo.$350 at market.
Eat out food examples: Dominoes Pizza, Ex Lg. Deluxe $10, 6 wings $4.25
Breakfast buffet at hotel $4.25, Dinner $10.
Street food: Big Bowel Soup $2.25, BBQ Pork on stick .57 cents ea. hot dog , same. Chicken leg & thigh $2.
My Australian friend who has $1300 a month income lives well on half.
Your life style determines your COL. Medical care is the best at very low cost.
The average Thai hotel worker lives on $350 a month. Minimum wage is $8.50 a day.
I hope this gives you a good idea on COL here in Pattaya. I love the transportation available here. No need for car.
EXPAT Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:24pm
P.S. My advice would be to come here and stay for a month. I will tell you the best places to stay. Many people cannot survive out of their comfort zone. Oh. and retirement Visa for one year is proof of 800,000 baht,23,000 usd a year income. But there are ways around that! $55 annual fee for one year retirement Visa.
Autumn Cote Added Oct 6, 2017 - 5:22am
I just searched your comment thread and couldn't find a comment you made in someone else's article in nearly a week.  It's against the rules to post articles here unless you comment on the work of others more frequently than that.  
Bill Kamps Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:08am
Expat, good advice on staying for a month, at least.  That will give people an idea what its like when its not a "vacation".  That really applies anywhere that one is considering to move.  Get out of the nice hotel, find an apartment and see what life is like there.  Even when I travel for short times, I try to say in some kind of apartment, rather than a Hilton, which all look pretty much the same regardless of the country.
To me is not a question of where we live so much as it is a question of stopping our dependency on the government and corporations.  There are lots of ways of doing that, and the internet makes it possible to do in far more places, and in far more ways than before.
Too many in WB complain about the situation in the world, which none of us can really change.  The question is what are we doing to make our  lives better, regardless of the state of the world.  You can't fix the world, but you can fix your life.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:26am
I've never heard of biker bag muggings, but theft is common in Africa too. Big cities are safe during daytime, I've lived next to Guediawaye in Dakar, one of the biggest slums in West Africa, but you can walk around no problem as long as you're in company by a Senegalese. But to get to downtown, we had to cross that part often at night, so we took our small Mitsubishi. It can happen that gangs put up a steel string across the street, and when you don't see that at night and are on a bike, zing you're off the bike and in no time bike and belongings are gone....or they put gasoline and light it to force you to stop.
More danger are overland travels by buses in Mali and Cameroon at night. There armed gangs force people out of the bus and rob you of everything you got. Happened to me once between Douala and Yaounde. Luckily I never travel with my passport, but with a copy stamped and signed by the local police.
Thanks for the pricings in Thailand. I give you a comparison to Mali/Cameroon/Senegal where they all have the CFA Franc (sort of like the Euro managed by France.......)
House rent on the beach: Varies from 200$ to 1'000$ a month, apartments are very rare. Never any TV or Internet installed. There's no DSL outside big cities yet. WiFi is VERY expensive. No food chains anywhere. Local fish/rice plate about 3$, a bottle of beer in Senegal (70 cl) is about 4$, in Cameroon, which is mostly Christian, 1.50$....
But there are food stalls around, especially for "brochettes", pieces of meat or liver on a wooden stick, for 2$ a piece, and in Mali there's a lot of food stands on the road which sell big bowls of rice and a basic hot sauce for 1$ a plate.
Cabs are very expensive, up to 1.50$ a km, so not worth it. Better take lokal buses. In Mali, you can stop any "Sotrama" (Toyota minivan with benches on each side) and get around for 50 cents, in Cameroon or Senegal such a system does not exists, they have bigger regular buses, but more expensive overall. Cameroon has cheap bike-taxis though which cost about the same as the Sotrama in Mali.
Tap water is safe to drink in Mali and Senegal in cities in general (but travel offices will tell you otherwise so you buy bottled water for 1$ a piece, produced by Nestle.....), in Cameroon it's the opposite. They have a lot of rivers and water, and outside it's clean and not "enriched" with all sorts of chemicals. In cities the water is polluted also by rusty pipes. Often you can wait 5 minutes until the water becomes clear.
When you rent or own a house, buy some geese, a watchdog or a a wild pig for safety and alert. Cheaper than an alarm system, because power failures are quite often, and then your alarm system doesn't work, and that's the time when robbers make their tours. Get a gun for additional safety.
But when a robber is caught (happened in the area I lived in Mali once), he won't do it again. He'll get a tire around the neck and some gas over his head....there is not much police around in general in all countries, so people help themselves.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:32am
Conclusion: Africa in general is more expensive than Asia, has less comfort and security, but I found that once you live there, you really can become one of them if you're open for it. I guess it depends on what one looks for.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:41am
BTW: When you start a company anywhere, it's easy to get a resident permit. That costs around 100$ a year, no other condition. No additional security required. And you can buy land and build a house with no regulations anywhere really cheap (even in tourist destinations, although there's not many tourists in West Africa generally, some French owned hotel resorts, that's about it), and with proper papers it's 100% yours, foreigner or not. I paid 1000$ in 2004 for my 500m2 50 m off the beach in Senegal, now it's worth 15'000. The basic house will cost me about 20'000$, two stories. Better to put up a house than buying it. Close to the beach will cost about 50'000$ in all, because you have to consider using aluminum instead of iron, and that's more expensive. But you can control how it's built and know that it's been done correctly.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:47am
BTW2: By starting a company I simply mean to register a company, whether you plan to do business or not. It facilitates everything. When you get to know the right people through your business, you can apply for a passport of either country. Once you have that, you can freely travel in any
ECOWAS country without any visa hassles.
EXPAT Added Oct 6, 2017 - 1:31pm
Bill Kamps. EXACTLY! We can only change our own lives. We think we know what is important to us, but I see many people come here and be miserable, complaining about trivia.
A month is long enough to learn about yourself. 
EXPAT Added Oct 6, 2017 - 1:41pm
Stone. Thanks for the details.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2017 - 2:10pm
Hi there, Expat.  You recently made this comment in my Ghetto article:
"Autumn commented on my post that I need to comment more to post. So here it is!
You are a total ASS Kelly, and I can't believe a dozen MORONS 'LIKED' this shit!
There, happy Autumn?"
Now, I'm not seeing any valid critique of what I wrote.  I'm a little surprised at the malice I see there, AFAIK, I don't think I've commented on anything you've written, nor have I addressed you directly, at least, as far as I can recall.
Would you like to explain this?  You can come back to my thread and do so or you can do so here.  Now, discussing ghettos in your thread is a tad off-topic but I'm the kind of person who doesn't stand on ceremony.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2017 - 2:17pm
No, wait, I did comment on your article about Tom Purcell.  My mistake.
Nasty Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:09pm
I think you are Tom Purcell. You showed up spouting about Nazi's.
You stole Expat's avatar, and have the same stupid, know it all arrogance as Purcell.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:57pm
"I think you are Tom Purcell."
That's really weird.  Tom and I couldn't be more different.
"You showed up spouting about Nazi's."
Tom is pro-Nazi, I'm anti-Nazi.  Did you not read anything I wrote?

"You stole Expat's avatar,"
Huh?  Expat's avatar is from the movie Scream, mine is from Puppet Master.  Full disclosure, I've never seen any of the Puppet Master movies, I just kinda liked the way it looked.
I did like Scream, though.  Good movie.
"and have the same stupid, know it all arrogance as Purcell."
The difference between Tom and I is that  I actually know a lot about the time period he professes to love but doesn't know crap about.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 6, 2017 - 8:01pm
Tom had some good stuff to say. It's very easy to be blamed as Nazi nowadays. PC enforces it. One could say that the US government is Nazi, because they invaded other countries lately, right ? But PC does NOT enforce that. Ergo I'm a terrorist ?
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2017 - 8:50pm
Sorry, Stone-Eater, I found the vast majority of what Tom had to say utterly worthless.  It's hard to talk sense with someone who had such a romantic notion of what Nazi Germany actually was.
As for the rest, to be honest, you have your preconceived notions of what the US is, I'm not really in the mood to have that discussion tonight.
Lady GAGA Added Oct 7, 2017 - 4:29am
Thailand sounds like a great place to live. Are women as free as men to enjoy the good life?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 7, 2017 - 6:06am
I was never 1:1 with Tom, but I also have hardly met anyone on whose POV, on whatever, I could not find at least some points to consider.
That concerns any culture and country. That's what discussions/debates are for: To find accordances, not differences.
Neil Lock Added Oct 7, 2017 - 11:50am
My response is to Autumn.
I think what Expat says in his headpost makes a lot of sense. I haven't been to Thailand apart from transiting Bangkok airport, but I did spend two and a half months working in Bandung, Indonesia. And I enjoyed it. But I do think Expat is a bit selfish because he's using false money (the US dollar) to buy goods and services he couldn't afford where he came from.
Nevertheless, I find it unreasonable to say to Expat "You must comment more before I'll accept your posts." I live in the UK, I have one post on WriterBeat (which was selected by Autumn), and this is my first comment on someone else's thread. How can you expect me, or Expat, or anyone who isn't actually living in the USA, to make sane comments on subjects like kneeling for some silly tune?
If Autumn wants to grow WriterBeat, she needs to make it more international.
Tikno Added Oct 7, 2017 - 10:49pm
Interesting post, EXPAT. Adding a little information to readers about the life in the other hemisphere. I enjoy reading it.
I hope to get varied fresh topics like this other than US political issues, because I  live outside the US ;-)
Jeff Michka Added Oct 8, 2017 - 2:25pm
EXPAT, but Contemporary idiot sez: not a desire to raise good people. This is obvious from the result. Neither has any empathy or understanding of life.AND Idiot EXPAT goes on: Michka lists himself on LinkedIn as a magician and has no resume, which means he lives with mommy, or perhaps a boy friend, and has never done anything with his life.-Such a brilliant (by your acclaim) mind, but didn't notice a few other things about my LinkedIn page, but never mind what was there got taken down when I retired, you worthless asshole.  By magic, I hope you avoid getting AIDS from your "gf" who prolly turns tricks when you aren't looking, which I suspect is often, or perhaps just blurred looking through the bottom of the glass. I didn't realize my mom was your girlfriend. Wow. Closer than we think, huh?  Kelly is a much brighter bulb than Purcell, so you're wrong once again, Sheerluck.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 9, 2017 - 1:39pm
Nasty/white trash sez: I think you are Tom Purcell. You showed up spouting about Nazi's.-Hmmm.  Jeffrey has been here longer than "Nasty's" acct.  Hint, non-reader: Jeffrey hasn't posted lies to compensate for being wrong, like Tom Purcell did.  Jeffrey hasn't given three cheers to the third Reich like Purcell would do with almost every article.  Refreshing, eh, wtrash?
Nasty Added Oct 10, 2017 - 8:20am
Neil Lock.
to make sane comments on subjects like kneeling for some silly tune?
Is "God save the Queen." some silly tune?
Nasty Added Oct 10, 2017 - 8:25am
Jeff Michka.
To upset you so much, there must be some truth here.
Do you have a Bromance going with Jeffrey Kelly?
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 10, 2017 - 11:50am
"Do you have a Bromance going with Jeffrey Kelly?"
That's nothing compared with what you got going with White Trash.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 10, 2017 - 6:08pm
Jeff Michka Added Oct 14, 2017 - 1:33pm
SEFa sez: It's very easy to be blamed as Nazi nowadays.-Yup, but in context, Purcell loved being called a Nazi, and with his articles like "saggy Adolf" a penning, pining for der Fuhrer and his wonderful nazi-sexual exploit "Eva," where Billy the Nazi and Nazi Tom went over the side sexually with their sexual vision of the Third Reich, and how wonderful cloning Eva Braun is as a concept.  Ol Billy was even tasked with inseminating women with the DNA soup they'd make from strands of air still in Eva's hairbrush with a turkey baster.  Oh no, ol Tom "couldn't be a NAZI,' but he did lend some gloss to the WB antisemite club, SEFa is a proud/loud member of...The "right" jews not donating money to the Swiss guy's "charity."
Digress Added Nov 3, 2017 - 3:20am
Sounds like a great place. Too bad you let Kelly and Michka spoil the thread.
Why don't you delete them. Their comments are un called for!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 3, 2017 - 3:35am
Oh shit, ANOTHER newbie who hasn't gotten WB figured out yet imposing his sensibilities on others. 
wsucram15 Added Nov 3, 2017 - 7:45am
You know..Not Thailand for me..but you two (Expat and Jeffy) present a VERY convincing argument.  No lie.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 3, 2017 - 7:34pm
Digress is sooooo angry, over having this thread "ruined".  Capt GILBERT GOT YA, Digress.  Why not write something of your own so should Kelly or I LEAVE A COMMENT, YOU Can delete us, then come to other WB tone cops and boast.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 4, 2017 - 10:50am
you two (Expat and Jeffy) present a VERY convincing argument. 
Get while the gettin' is good. Whatever you do don't go anywhere in the western hemisphere. Too many idiots went before you and fucked it up. Good luck.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Nov 4, 2017 - 2:37pm
”Sounds like a great place. Too bad you let Kelly and Michka spoil the thread.
Why don't you delete them. Their comments are un called for!”
Yes, delete things you don’t like.
I smell Trumpling.