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need advice on move from usa

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Thailand.

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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:32 am

Oh, Just thought of other posibly important topics for such move.
Food- Thoght Thai food is probably the current craze throughout the world, the food you get in the States is not quite as authentic as in original versions. At least the spicies part is a hell lot milder.
Names to look for in supermarkets are such as Carrefour, Tesco Lotus, Tops, Foodland. These peoplae stock a lot of the food you are accustomed to as well as local produce.

Health- Big name private hospital should give you good service. Depending on where you settle down then choose the nearest private hospital.
If I think of any other topics I will come back to you.


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:28 am

Tavit, Wow, thanks for all the information, you hit on some things I would have never thought to ask, the food stores, and GPS. I do have a Garman Nuvi, and I believe all I have to do is have the chip updated in it for Asia. I haven't looked at it lately, but for some reason I think Asia is one of the country's already loaded into it. I'll have to look. We just purchased it around the holidays and haven't really used it yet. I bought it for the move and since we haven't traveled anywhere long distance it's in my closet gathering dust.
As for the local markets, we watch this guy on TV, his name is Andrew Zimmerman and he travels the world eating local foods. His show is called Bazaar Foods. he has been to Thailand several times, each a different location, and not in the fancy restaurants, but he goes to locals and they cook for him and he eats everything presented to him. He's also walked through some of the local markets and taste tested different items he saw, and than he tells the viewers his thoughts. Some of the items look very good, and I'm anxious to give all the foods a try.Well, at least most ! Salty crickets sounded good, as were some other items I can't think of at this minute. So I already know what the markets will look like, and I'm not worried. They're probably a lot cleaner than behind the scenes at some fancy restaurants, due to the fact they cook out in the open where everyone can see them.
The more I chat with you the more excited I get about this trip. If I have any more questions, I'll get back to you. I have a lot of reading to do, and I'm sure I'll have some as i go along. As for the map, Thanks, that'll help a great deal. I just couldn't find the right map, and there a lot of maps on here to look at.

Thanks for the advice, and I'll be in touch. Jami


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 am

Glad to hear that you are quite prepared for the culinary surprises in store. Other topics I have in mind right now would be
Driving: We drive on the left side of the road. Apart from everything else, we adopted the British traffic system. Used to have a lot of round abouts but have since changed. Inernational driving license is valid for one year I think.
While on the topic of driving I suggest you take your Garmin Nuvi out for a spin just to check and make sure it is still in working order.

Gasoline is not called gasoline or gas here. Gas is normally referred to as LPG or cooking gas, or CNG compressed natural gas. Some Thai call it NGV
From natural gas vehicle.

Gasoline is now replaced by Gasohol E10 and categorized by their octane number such as gasohol 91, gasohol 95. Diesel is being replaced by Biodiesel mixture B5 = biodiesel 5%

internet access: There is a good selection available in most cities in form of ADSL router. Wired or wireless.

Mobile phone: Those operated in Thailand are of different system to the american one. You handset may be able to switch to the system. You may need to get new ones here. The providers are DTAC, AIS, TRUEMOVE, and HUTCH are the main ones. All also offer prepaid sims etc. with many more promotion than you can think of. I get headache just thinking about it.

Ah... This is a very personal topic that you need to know. Toilet. Yes toilet. you'd think he's mad but this is true. Thai do not flush tissue paper used in the toilet bowl. And you'd find a washing hose beside most of the bowl. I guess we prefer to wash it instead. Paper bin is usually found in most toilets. Jsut take note of what is provided in your hotel room.

Bill as in dollar bill is called Bank (short for banknote). Bank 100 Baht = 100 Baht bill
Here BILL means check (Receipt for payment)
Check here means cheque (monetory instrument)
But to ask for the check (as in having finished a meal in restaurant) we use Check Bill. Confused yet?

I'll leave you confused for now. Will be back if I think of any thing else again. See you soon.


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:43 pm

omg ! too much, I'm laughing right now, who would have thought ? the toilet is whats making me laugh. I t5hought it was sort of like a bidet, you wash it after your done, but have never used one so I never thought about the paper part. We flush it here. LOL, I love it, one more thing to remember, see, I knew there where things I needed to know before getting there. As I said, I'll live like the locals, so this is good advice, may be a little hard changing the habit, as we all do certain things in life the same way as an infant on up, and this is one of those habits. I think smoking would be easier to give up, than changing the way you go to the potty. Gas, and money is also interesting. Anyway, I'll write more, I'm headed out and saw you had posted. Wow, I'll be thinking about this all day. Thanks Jami


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:34 am

Could almost hear you laugh!
There are some other topics you pick the ones you would like to know and I'll eloaborate on them OK?
Cable TV
water and ice
Drug stores
massage and spa
seasons and temperature
any other topics you can thinlk of.


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Ok, Cable TV: what shows do you get? can you have a land line cable, or go off a satellite or have a choice? Very interesting? The most favorite show of mine is called Survivor, do you get that show there? Also A big interest to both myself and my husband is world news. Do you have a news channel or is it limited to what comes in?

ice and water is a good topic: I know not to drink the water or use ice from anywhere, what do you know about this. Ice is the problem to me, as I went to Mexico once and had drinks on the beach, drank bottled water the whole time I was there, and got sick when I got home, due to the ice I drank in a cocktail on the beach. I like my drinks very cold and intend on bringing insulated cups for our drinks. They don't sweat, and your drink keeps the ice much longer than a normal drinking cup. I use them here in Florida, and the other great thing is when you set them down on a table top, they don't let a wet ring of water. Do you have these types of cups for sale there?

Drug stores: I'm on life saving medicines as is my husband, we're planning on bringing extra medicine for the 1st 3 months, but will have to transfer our prescriptions to a drug store there. I wonder , what do we need to do, to get an account there for our prescriptions. Good topic, thanks for bringing it up!! This is important. I also heard that you can get certain medicines there, over the counter as they say here, meaning you don't need a paper script from a doctor to get your medicine, you can buy it from anywhere.

massage and spa: Oh , I can feel it now, a great massage, they charge so much here in the states for a massage, sometimes as high as $100USD. I think it's crazy and I heard that it's much cheaper there, especially if your on the beach, so many Thai lady's wanting to make some money by giving massages. I'm ready, as long as they aren't in the x-rated business. LOL I know that everyone needs to earn a living and I respectively will spend my money to help, and I love massages, just can't afford to get them here as often as I'd like. So give me some feed back on this, where to go, who to trust. I'm sure no matter where we end up, it's all the same?

The seasons I already researched, and love them all. As long as the temps don't go lower than 70*, I know you use celsius there, I think I spelled it right. I can't handle the cold weather anymore. My bones hurt:) This was the coldest winter in history for Florida, we are a mild climate, our state is called the "sunshine state" well this winter it wasn't very sunny, just very cold, it killed a lot of fish in our canals, instead of seeing water all you could see were belly up dead fish. Terrible and heartbreaking. We even rescued a greenback turtle.

USD vs Baht : If I'm out in the local markets, and I purchase something I'll be using baht, but can I use the dollar should I decide to do so. I know that change would be an issue, but that's not what I'm asking, sometimes you may not know , as I'd be new to the market and money, I guess I'll figure it out once there, It seems so confusing to me, even though I have copies of the baht and am trying to learn them and how to convert the monies. Maybe you can explain an easier way to comprehend this matter. maybe I'm making a big to do about nothing?

Anyway, You've done it again, made me think of things I wouldn't have thought of, I see in your profile your Thai, awesome to have you helping me learn things and great to know that I'll arrive in better knowledge than if I wouldn't have joined this expat forum. Well, I'll sign off for now, again thanks for the advice, from all the subjects I've seen on here, you have given the most detail, and I hope others are following this as you have very intelligent and sensible information to pass on. Thanks! Jami


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Re: need advice on move from usa

Post Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Ok! You're on! Jami,
Cable TV: There are both or really sould I say all kind of systems here. Let me start with the cable (wire). Depending on where you decide to settle down there are Local cable TV which include a selection of local Free TV channels, local cable channels and an assortment of some international one such as BBC, CNBS TV5 (French) CCTV (China), Universal. But this is mainly aimed at Thai customers. The charge is about Baht 300 per month.

Small dish Sattellite. There is UBC. This is quite expensive and offer a range of different packages offers a very good selection of US and international channels along with the local free TV. Charges over 1000+ per month depending on your package. Would suit what you are looking for.

The big Sattellite dish: One time charge only no monthly charges. Offer up to 100 channels mostly from overseas. I am not sure about this one so much if you can get all the US channels you want.

Ice and water: Many westerners with weak stomach get sick from consuming ice here. I suggest you stick to bottled water and if you can make ice from that ( at home of course). Out side avoid it to start with, perhaps ease in later on when you've been here for a while.

Water: Actually tab water is consumable in most city. But to make sure boil it and let it cool then bottle it yourself. That way you will save on the price. As for bottled water most of the clear bottles are RO ( reverse Osmosis) treated water. Quite save to drink. There are also the translucent bottle. Cheaper and less treated water. Make your choice.

Insulated cups: There are good selection of such things here in any department stores or supermarkets such as the name I mentioned before. you do not need to bring one unless it is of sentimental value!!!! Very Happy

Drugstores: Most department stores have good drug stores who stock quite good selection of btoh prescriptioned and OTC (Over the counter)drugs. Some prescriptioned drugs in US you can get without one here. But as far as I know Things like Xanax, Valium you do need one. Abuse of such is a problem. I suggest (No I don't. You said you would ) you bring with you a supply and when you get a chance enquire at the bigger drug stores if you can get them here and would you need a doctor's prescription for it. If you do you may need to see a doctor. As I said before, there are quite a few good private hospital, such name as Smittivej, Rama9, Bumroongrat, Bangkok hospital.

Massage and spa: For good body massage would put you back Baht 300 per 2 hour or there about. Foot massage is also very popular. As for spa it will be at higher price than massage but the service you get is excellent for your money. Those in tourist areas may be more expensive than other outside. Hotels also offer this service with higher price again. To avoid the X-rated version just avoid the Big massage parlours. stick to the ones that is presntable probably in department stores or shopping complexes until you get more knowledgeable on such topic. But one thing I am certain you will enjoy it with a lot less money than in US!!!

Seasons and temperatures: I am sure this is probably the first topic on your research. No you will not get anywhere lower than 70 F here unless you go up into the mountain during the colder month ( from December to February). Otherwise you will be happily in the 90's to over 100 F anywhere else. You would need Air conditioner(S) for sure. Rain start about May to OCtober. Then it is dry or cold or winter ( for us) Nov to Feb and Hot or summer starts about March to May.

Money: The only currency here is Baht. USD can be exchanged at Banks. The current exchange rate is about 31 -32 Baht per USD. or easy calculation USD3 = Baht 100 should be a good ballpark number to use for on the spot conversion. So the prices in Baht take out the last 2 zero's and time by 3 would equate to USD. Let say a pair of jeans (No name brand) cost Baht 200. Take out last 2 Zero's = 2. Then multiplied by 3 you get 2x3 = 6 in USD. Compared with same no name jeans in The US at say USD 27.99 would be a good bargian.
Sorry to make it sound as if I am teaching a 10 year old kid. But there you go then. Very Happy

What do you know today at least I amde somebody happy!
Do please ask any other topics if you can think of. Really anything!!! Glad to help.


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