Is Vietnam the answer for expats worried about their futures in Thailand?

Is Vietnam the answer for expats worried about their futures in Thailand?

Is Vietnam the answer for expats worried about their futures in Thailand?

Expats in Thailand are getting serious about moving to Vietnam

Thailand’s traditional popularity with expats seems to be fading, but Southeast Asia itself is still a popular choice with Vietnam at the head of the list. In one popular survey earlier this year, Thailand lost ground on quality of life, digital life, affordability, well-being and health and safety, with half of all respondents unhappy ad insecure about the new immigration rulings. Environmentally, it’s also bad news, with last year’s smogs likely to be repeated annually in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and political stability is still causing issues with both working and retiring expatriates.

Even the acceptable quality of medical care in the Kingdom isn’t persuading expats to stay put, with many querying private hospitals’ high prices, and the soon-to-be introduced compulsory private health insurance for expats on O-A retirement visas is causing a good number to seriously reconsider relocating. Whilst Cambodia and the Philippines have been favourite escapes for those leaving Thailand for whatever reason, the new kid on the block is decidedly Vietnam, popular for its more relaxed attitude towards foreigers, its refreshingly low cost of living and its reasonably reliable visa programme.

Even for those experienced in living in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a good few pleasant surprises for new expat arrivals. Its quality of life is arguably the best in the entire region, its food is diverse, delicious and very healthy and it’s easy to find a job teaching English. The cost of living, especially outside the major conurbations, is less than Thailand’s, and there’s now a flourishing expat community containing a variety of cultures as well as a good few retired ex-USA army personnel who served during the Vietnam War and have now returned. Entrepreneurs and digital nomads should head for Ho Chi Minh City, and English teachers will find a welcome in the northern city of Hanoi.

Nowadays, the country is considered safe, although petty crimes such as theft do occur, and the stunning landscapes vary from the colder north’s mountains to the warm, tropical southern climate experienced in the numerous beach towns. Issues include flooding in the rainy season and the fact that, as in Thailand, expats aren’t allowed to own land but can lease if necessary. For those arriving from Thailand, Vietnam is pet-friendly, making bringing your furry loved ones with you straightforward. All told, Vietnam is a convenient, affordable, nearby answer to the growing concerns of many expats now feeling decidedly unwelcome in Thailand.

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