I sold almost everything I owned and moved to beautiful Phuket, Thailand. As you can imagine it had it’s challenges, but overall it was smooth sailing. The most difficult part was thinking about how to move to Thailand from Australia, the reality was surprisingly simple. I’ll lay out the steps that I took to get here, and hopefully it will be helpful for anyone thinking of doing the same.
Sell Your Things
Ask anyone if they can move to Thailand, it’s likely they’ll have a long list of reasons why they can’t. Reasons could be: too busy, too many commitments, too many things to worry about in Australia (house, car, dog, cat, furniture, motorbike etc) . If you think about it, the things in your life will greatly reduce your chances of becoming free to move countries. What did I bring with me? Just the bare essentials like a Laptop, a flat screen TV for business, phone and clothes.
Brad Pitt said it perfectly in THE FIGHT CLUB.
Organize Your VISA
I opted for the 6 month VISA this time which is a relatively new option for Australians wanting to go to Thailand. The Thai Embassy in Australia is a long way from my home in Australia. I had to send my passport, application and payment in the mail. The whole process took just over a week, and when I got my passport back in the mail it had a 6 month VISA in it ready to fly to Thailand.
I applied at the Thai Embassy in Melbourne to get my Multiple Entry Tourist Visa. It’s valid for 6 months from the date of issue, and you are required to do a border run every 60 days. It costs $225 AUD for the 6 month VISA. Applicants also need to provide copies of bank statements to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during the 6 months of coconut drinking on the beach. More info on the different types of VISA’s can be found here.
Get Travelers Insurance
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and you’re probably not planning to have an accident, but it can happen sometimes. It’s good to be prepared and for this trip I used World Nomads. They have good reviews and prices for 6 months of cover starts at $380 AUD.
Book a Hotel
Book a hotel for the first few days, while you look around for an apartment. Unlike Australia in Thailand you can find somewhere to live very quickly. I booked a hotel for a week but it only took me 1 day of apartment hunting to find a place that I really loved. I use Hotels.com, Booking.com or Agoda to book hotels. Just make sure the hotel has everything that you need like WIFI, swimming pool, air conditioning, convenient location and read the reviews to make sure it’s a decent place to stay.
Hire a Motorbike
If you’re like me and you’re coming to somewhere like Phuket you will definitely need a motorbike because Phuket is a big island. I couldn’t have seen all the apartments without a motorbike, it’s simply too far to walk and expensive to catch a taxi everywhere. While some bike hire companies require you to leave your passport with them, I wouldn’t recommend it. Mainly because you will need your passport to apply for an apartment when you find one, and to check in and out of hotels. I just asked the company if they will take a deposit and a copy of my passport and they were cool with it. Finding a nice apartment that you really like only to get denied because you don’t have your passport = Shooting yourself in the balls. The motorbike hire is 3,500 baht per month and the deposit was 5,000 baht.
Find an Apartment
It can be good to look online for an apartment before you leave your country, just to get an idea of what’s available. Although it’s not entirely necessary because once you get here the apartment you liked may be gone, and others will be available. My favorite websites for apartment hunting are Rent Hub, www.thailand-property.com, and www.ddproperty.com.
I found a nice apartment here which wasn’t the cheapest but it’s nice to be comfortable with little luxuries like a pool, gym and 24 hour security guards to keep out the rif raf (rif raf isn’t really an issue AT ALL so I’m not sure what the guards do, but it’s nice to say hi to them and smile every time you pass through the security gates any way).
Another tip which may make life easier is to to go with the flow. Things don’t always go exactly as you expect, but they are as they are and if you can accept that and go with the flow then your level of happiness or contentment will be significantly higher.
How to move to Thailand from Australia
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