Moving and Shipping of valuables to Thailand

Once you have signed on the dotted line, the real work begins. After buying property in Thailand, you have the choice of either fully furnishing your property from Thailand’s furniture stores (Thailand has IKEA, Index Living Mall, Koncept, Boonthavorn…and many others) These companies can arrange delivery to your property or you can also arrange your own pick-up and delivery.

If you would like to bring your own furniture and special items from your home country it is possible to use International shipping companies. Your personal effects will sail thru customs if you are using a reputable shipping agent and have all the necessary documentation.

Use a reliable International shipping company

The shipping/moving company should have good reputation and representation in Thailand. Even if your new property is not complete or the transfer is not yet complete, the international company can simply ship your items to Thailand and then hold them until your new home is ready. You may decide where to live before the goods arrive, but you may also be surprised at how quickly your things will get here, too.

Get Insurance

You have to insure your valuables. The cost of insurance is usually about 1-2% of the total worth of the items being shipped. It’s important to note that if you buy ‘the complete package including having the company pack your items, insurance is usually included. If you do not buy the full package, insurance is usually not covered and will be charged separately. It is recommended (if you are not ordering the full package) to insure your valuables with a different company than the shipping/moving company since you are not in danger of having your claims questioned. Make sure you take photographs of your breakable/ susceptible valuables as proof in case of damages.


The decision to move to Thailand also comes with the one of where in Thailand to go. Thailand has the best of every world. You find sandy beaches, cool breezy mountains, green forests and a buzzing metropolis all within Thailand’s borders. Below is a short summary of the conditions for expatriates living in the following most foreigner-friendly cities;

Most foreigner-friendly cities in Thailand


The heart of the country, Bangkok is a modern, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural city that can be anything that you want it to be. The cost of living can also be whatever you want it to be. Some choose to live in 100,000THB/month sky rise condominiums, some choose 4,000THB/month studio apartments, some own top notch penthouses and others owning houses in the suburban housing developments. These and everything in between is available in Bangkok. For less US$1 you can enjoy a delicious bowl of noodles art a street stall or you can spend US$200 on several courses at a 5 star hotel. Bangkok gives you the choice to live at the standard that you can afford.

Bangkok has a large concentration of foreigners and this makes it a city that is easy to live in. Countless social clubs and networking groups hold activities and events that can be available every night of the week. Top international schools, international hospitals, theatres, art galleries, sports facilities are some of the many perks of living in Bangkok.


Pattaya is a highly desirable location due to the fact that it is a beach town with proximity to Bangkok (1.5 to 2 hours from Bangkok). Its location is convenient for vacationers and retirees as well as families who seek to send their children to the fantastic international schools that Pattaya has to offer. The city’s reputation has sours slightly over the past few years as the more unsavoury aspects of tourism in Thailand have become more prominent. However, this should not discourage you from moving there – Pattaya is, like Bangkok, whatever you want to make it. You and your family can very easily live the dream life away from the tourist areas. A big draw to Pattaya is the low cost of living that some say is comparable to about 40-60% that of life in the USA. The biggest contributor to these low costs is the rent which is spectacularly low in Pattaya when compared to Bangkok. Pattaya also has a large and growing expatriate community.

Chiang Mai

For a slower-paced life, Chiang Mai is a favourite amongst many, for its cool winters, mountain plains, Buddhist temples and rich culture. For expats who prefer a slower pace of life, Chiang Mai offers mountain views and hundreds of Buddhist temples. Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is only a one hour flight (or an overnight bus) from Bangkok. The community of foreigners has grown significantly of late. Chiang Mai is way more relaxed and laid back than the chaos often found in Bangkok. The city is compact and easy to navigate and it is easy to find escape on the weekends to the mountains, waterfalls and lakes. Apartments, Condos and Houses are readily available, Wi-Fi is everywhere, and the cost of living is low. Chiang Mai is the kind of city that people visit and end up staying in and settling for the rest of their lives.

Hua Hin

Hua Hin is a relaxed seaside retreat that is 2.5 hours South of Bangkok. It has the advantage of not suffering the same reputation as Pattaya. Hua Hin city has grown exponentially in the past few years and is slowly merging with neighbouring Cha-Am and Khao Takiab. Hua Hin has everything – International schools, beaches, waterfalls, forests, amusement parks, award-winning golf courses and many more. It is important to note that if you buy a house/villa/condominium that is not right in the centre of the city, you would most probably have an easier life if you also buy a car. Public transportation in Hua Hin is mostly limited to areas the main road and taxis are expensive. Hua Hin is a great place for families to live because of its reputation and role as home of the royal family’s summer palace. Bangkok’s elites all vacation in Hua Hin. Cost of living is lower than Bangkok mostly because property prices are lower. Hua Hin is also extremely foreigner friendly with many burgeoning business people, couples and families relocating there.


Phuket and the islands around it are the envy of travellers all over the world. Some if its beaches are listed on ‘Best beaches in the world’. For this reason, some may find that life in Phuket can be slightly more expensive than in Bangkok. However, the quality of life living on a dreamy paradise location will be multiple time better. This cost of living is relative, depending on your usual standard of living and what you are used to. If you frequent bars, fancy hotels and restaurants then your cost of living will be very high. Like, Hua Hin, having a car will take you far in Phuket because transportation by taxi is very expensive. Phuket has its own International airport which means that you don‘t have to go through Bangkok each time you fly. Phuket can give you the beach location AND all of the modern amenities that you need for a comfortable life.

Isaan Province

Many foreigners who are married with Thai spouses choose to move to the Northeast to the Isaan Province. For simple living – Isaan provides the best and lowest cost of living and great quality of life too as the cities are not a rowdy as Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket. The expatriate life in the Northeast is rather male dominant so if you choose to move with your family there, be aware of the disadvantage for an expat woman who might have a harder time finding a community.

Hat Yai (Southern Thailand)

Hat Yai is the largest city in southern Thailand and it has everything you might need to have a pleasant life. There are only several hundreds of foreigners living in this area but the communities are tight-knit. The cost of living is extremely low since nothing is inflated for the sake of foreigners. Hat Yai has all of the common shops like Tesco, Robinsons, Central…etc. It is also in very close proximity with some of the best beaches in the country and the Malaysian border.

10 things to do before the move

Here is a concise list of some things to take care of =before you jump on a plane and make the move to Thailand;

  1. Make sure that you and your family have valid passports and visas
  2. Renew your international driving license
  3. Vaccinate your pet for travel abroad and inquire about quarantine period
  4. Secure health and travel insurance for all family members
  5. Inquire about the contributions to your pension from abroad
  6. Take your family for medical and dental examinations and keep the records.
  7. Assign ‘power of attorney’ to someone you trust with your financial affairs
  8. Inform the tax authorities that you are leaving your country and give them your new foreign address
  9. Redirect your mail at your local post office
  10. Arrange payment of loans and bills before leaving the country

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