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Differences Between Living in Thailand and a Western Country

Differences Between Living in Thailand and a Western Country

Once you start living in Thailand, especially when you are from a Western country, certain differences will start to emerge. Below are a few things you should know if you intend to start living in Thailand. These are the differences between life in Thailand and a typical Western country.


Lower Cost of Living

One of Thailand’s major attractions is its low cost of living. Life in Thailand costs about a third of its equivalent in a Western country. This is one of the reasons the country has become a destination for retirees from the West, since a pension can go much further than it would in their countries of origin. Finding good housing in prime real estate locations is also much cheaper in Thailand.


Different Culture

The Thai culture is quite different from the typical Western culture. Firstly, the people of Thailand are warmer and more welcoming than their Western counterparts are, and usually chose to resolve conflicts without confrontation. Additionally, social interactions are less formal than is generally the case in the West.


Furthermore, the way Thais approach mealtimes is vastly different from the way most Westerners do, for instance, Thai people will eat at practically any time of the day. There are no designated meal times, you just eat when you are hungry and that is considered normal in Thai culture. The work life is also a lot more relaxed, Thais are never in a rush to do things.


Climatic Differences

Many Western countries have cold climates characterized by winters and snow. However, Thailand is a warm tropical country that enjoys warmth and sunshine throughout most of the year. The great weather is part of the reason why the country is a popular destination for holidaymakers as well as pensioners seeking to spend their retirement life in a country with a livelier and more permissive weather.


Different Cuisine

The Thai cuisine, despite its popularity around the world, is also quite different from the Western cuisine. Nevertheless, Thai cuisine is considerably similar to the curry-based cuisine that is common within the Asian region. Luckily, the Thai cuisine is quite varied, which means that it will appeal to most people from all over the world, including Western countries, in one way or another.


Nevertheless, there are spots that provide popular western dishes in major cities such as Bangkok for those who would like to have a taste of favorite home dishes while in the country.


Lower Wages

In general, the wages in Thailand are much lower than in Western countries. Therefore, if you are trying to find employment in Thailand, you can expect to earn lower than you would in a similar employment position in your home country. Nevertheless, considering the lower cost of living, the difference in wages should not be such a big issue.



Thailand is considerably different when compared to Western countries. Some of the differences may work in your favor, for instance, low cost of living, friendlier people, warmer climate and the great cuisine. Other differences, for instance, lower wages and a markedly different culture may make living in Thailand a little bit of a challenge. All in all, these differences make Thailand great and play a great role in attracting foreigners to the country.

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