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I am also holding Thai retirement visa, but living in Japan, visiting Thailand about 3 times a year, stay always for about 2 months, so totally about 6 months a year and have my own rooms in Pattaya/Jomtien. I prefer to be near to the sea and near to Bangkok and int'l airport.
Do you actually swim in the Gulf?
The beach along Pattaya is not very nice. It is better to use the ferry to Koh Larn, the island is about 9km away from Pattaya and has clean beaches.
The ferry is only THB 30,- per direction.
Yes, we go over there sometimes for swimming. However the condominium building where I am living has a very large swimming pool, no need really to swim in the sea.
I got a modern apartment in Udon for 4500 per month. Includes Wi-Fi and cable. Waiting for the Dollar to bounce, and may buy outside of BKK, but damn, there is at least one very hot girl at the mini market every time I go, which is often. Near UDRU..but TBH, they are just a little young, OTOH, a lot of the ladies in the beer bars are old...like older than the moms of the uni students. just need some middle ground, but pretty good town. Immigration is suppose to be tame...doing a report this week, will find out.
Do you have to be 50 to get a Thai visa? In that case I am 3 years and 10 months away.
Agreed the beach at Pattaya sucks, it's narrow and the second time I was there was made worse by a tourist boat sinking so there being a flood of ambulances along Beach Road.
Well Thailand is insane and thank goodness you get reincarnated there after drowning/falling from a balcony/crashing your moped/getting killed to death by a deranged farang.
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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Who's that person in your avatar?
A good man is above pettiness. He is better than that.
I am holding a 12 month/pensioner visa for Thailand.
You will find a good summery of all kind of visa and requirements in English at this homepage:
Thai Embassy in Japan
Yes, for retirement you need a non-immigrant O-Visa
50 + is a requirement, but there are other requirements too before it will be issued, financially, health, passport must be still valid for 18 months, etc.
I think you talk about Udon Thani, อุดรธานี, not so far from Laos border, Udon Thani is a cheap place to stay.
Why did you leave Chiang Mai?
The city of Chiang Mai is quite large, maybe double of Udon Thani, but there is pollution always and rather much traffic too.
Udon Thani is not bad, but anywhere in Isaan it's getting boring after a while.
uncontrolled growth....too much garbage, terrible air problems. Udon seems much more manageable...still rats here and the re, but much less in your face garbage. It has everything need. I mport taxes are a ripoff hete, just like bangkok. Easier to drink past midnight here. oh, and here is a huge o ne....far fewerChinese here...I hate their guts...they are as bad in CM as the air.
4500 per month? you mean by baht ?
How is life there? How were you able to retire so early?
Udon Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima are the better choice out of the 4 major cities in Isaan.
I found both of them better than Khon Kaen and Ubon Ratchathani.
4500 baht for a nice room is a normal price in that region for rent.
I would be careful to buy any property in that region and keep in mind that you can only buy a condominium unit which meets certain specification in your own name and not a house/land, and there is not much on the market which fits sale to foreigners in that area and it is often difficult to sell if you want to relocate to another place.
THE condos are newer here, starting at 1.3 million....I would rather get a n old one, where the defects have surfaced, but no oldies here, a few in KKN, and more in Korat, but some real junk. I think Udon has a little more style than Korat...selling was easy in CM....but, the value is in the resales. New cost 2.8 times more and only dents for 1.8 times more....and it ain't new after you buy it. I found a nice studio with nice river views in NONG Khai, but obvious problems with the association. yes, the restrictions suck, but I can't say I blame them. Overall, it provides very stiff competition with living in America. Basic bills are high, and the dentist and doctor are a nightmare. Lots of things are cheaper at the grocery stores in the us...primarily due to excessive import taxes.
If you really consider to buy something in Udon Thani, go ahead but do not invest too much in such a place, as you said, a condominium unit about 1.3 million baht, 40 sqm or so. To own your rooms is fine, if you consider to live there for more than 10 years - otherwise better rent, as it is easy to move on. Otherwise keep your money out of Thailand, just keep enough deposit in a local banking account for visa extension and sudden unexpected payments, not over 1 million baht if you ask me - the rest should be overseas in any Western country.
About medical treatment, this depends solely on your wallet as a foreigner, but also Thai people have to pay for it - not so much, but still they have to pay. Medical insurance services are very expensive in Thailand, only good for expats who are paid from overseas - many foreigners and Thai cannot pay for that. Public hospitals which offer cheap treatment are often crowded and medical staff is young and not very much experienced.
Udon Thani has a private Bangkok Hospital, likely the best hospital in wide parts of Isaan, but of course it is expensive. However Udon Thani has various other hospitals too. You just have to try them out which one fits you best and is still ok for your wallet. Some hospitals offer membership, and if you stay with them offer discounts on medicine, reduced rates for in-patient, free medical blood/urine check every year. Just ask around.
Dental services are in general not so bad in Thailand. Just my experience. If one dentist is not good enough check out another one. Good luck to you for your stay in Udon Thani.
About imported food stuff and other articles from abroad, it's expensive, maybe 2 times more compared to prices in Japan. Better try to replace for example all imported food with local food as much as you can. If you have your own rooms and are living there for a longer time it can be done.
Of course we foreigners need in Thailand more money than any local Thai. I also cannot eat every day three times a day a 20 baht/meal.
Also a condominium unit with a swimming pool and with air-con is still nicer than living in a wooden house with a fan and a shower, and living near city center is still much better than somewhere outside in a Nakhon nowhere...Yes, and this costs of course some money...