Thailand thrashed by Vietnam in recent expat survey

Published:  9 Sep at 6 PM
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Thailand is now at a new low in this year’s Expat Insider survey.

Once a favourite for expat professionals as well as Western retirees, this year’s survey saw it fall by seven places over the 2017 result to 25th out of the 64 countries represented in the study. To make matters worse, its next door neighbour Vietnam soared, winning out as the world’s second most popular expat destination. Respondents to the survey are asked to score various aspects of their present location by rating 48 factors, with the results condensed into five categories – working abroad, quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance and family life.

Aimed mostly at expat professionals working in the countries surveyed, the study is considered reliable for those looking for a change of location, possibly indicating in Thailand’s case that the majority of responders were based in Bangkok. It wasn’t all bad news for the Southeast Asian country, as positive responses were received in the Romance and Relationship category, in which it took fourth place overall. Also positive was the sector dealing with recommending the country to friends, and working expats voted in its favour in the Personal Finance sector in spite of the fact that inflation is now a problem for a good number of expat retirees with Thai families to support.

One major problem for expats is the language barrier, due to a lack of competent Thai schooling in English and the difficulty of the Thai language, and the digital life category didn’t score well. In addition, safety and security was a problem for a good number of respondents, as was the Job and Economic Security category. The survey was taken earlier this year, before the TM30 controversy broke and also before the announcement about dual pricing for expats attending public hospitals. As a result, it’s possible next year’s survey may see Thailand dropping even lower in the rankings, especially if compulsory private health insurance for expats is introduced.
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