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Expats working in Thailand [Split from Thailand Air Pollution problems]

Expats working in Thailand [Split from Thailand Air Pollution problems]

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Old Mar 26, 19, 6:01 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
This strains credulity. <un-shrug>

Chiang Mai to Mae Sai is ~ 260 Km, on not very scooter friendly roads.

It is widely known that the maximum land-border crossings allowed per 12 months is TWO. (Anything north of SIX air arrivals can be a cause for a bounce, or at least an in-depth "review".)

Not sure what constitutes "living"? Housing, food, transport, entertainment?
Sigh...

Under $20 day:
https://www.nomadahowfar.com/travel-cheap-thailand/
https://www.romanlillie.com/travel/2...and-chiang-mai
https://alittleadrift.com/living-cos...-mai-thailand/
etc. etc.

Scooter visa runs:
https://www.justridingaround.com/chi...un-by-scooter/
https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/a-...urma-by-moped/
https://digitalwifestyle.wordpress.c...th-motorcycle/
https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/316...or-border-run/
etc etc

As noted, that's not how WE lived in Chiang Mai. But we met people who do.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 8:13 am
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Same argument, different day. These arguments have been going on for decades, except now-a-days the names have all changed and apparently we are randomly capitalizing letters in the middle of words now.

Is it still illegal to work in Thailand on a visa exemption or a tourist visa?

Also you're not living on $20 a day, you're surviving.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
Same argument, different day. These arguments have been going on for decades, except now-a-days the names have all changed and apparently we are randomly capitalizing letters in the middle of words now.
People can identify however they want.

Anyone who chooses to live an 'alternative' lifestyle gets the benefit of my respect...although the sExpats are a bit sad to me.

Also you're not living on $20 a day, you're surviving.
Surviving a heck of a lot better than you would in the US...
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Old Mar 26, 19, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Anyone who chooses to live an 'alternative' lifestyle gets the benefit of my respect...although the sExpats are a bit sad to me.
The relatively young ones, I'd agree.

The elderly sExpats.... they might as well. They're not likely to get what they want back home anyways.
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Surviving a heck of a lot better than you would in the US...
Yeah, $20 a day makes you homeless in the US.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
People can identify however they want.
Yeah, I guess you're right. It's just annoying to me when the term used to describe a thing changes every few years.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Offensive to whom? The poorpats and sExpats I met know they are poor and/or know they are there for the sex, even as they try to rebrand themselves as digital nomads. Heck, that's WHY they want to rebrand themselves as digital nomads!

Go have dinner at Pern's in CM on a Wednesday night...it's where folks on retirement visas tend to gather for half-price wine night...and strike up a conversation as we did. No end to the defenses, resentments and theories about what it will all bring about. But the overriding concern is that poorpats and sExpats will ruin it for everyone.
I don't agree with calling yourself something you're not, but OTOH I'd think terms like poorpats and sExpats would also be highly pejorative. But, putting that aside, what's so new about them? I've seen some on every trip since my first in 1992, and I know they go back even further. I would think that if they were going to ruin anything they would have done so by now, given that they've been in the region as a group for a lot longer than the digital nomads have.

For the most part I think you're looking at old guys from any number of western countries (the U.S. probably underrepresented because it's on fewer peoples' radar screens and they'll pick Mexico or Costa Rica if not Arizona or a trailer in Florida). Without the blue pills the sex part is very difficult. Sometimes you get other outliers like John Mark Karr or, worse, Gary Glitter (though I think that was Vietnam) plus a few fugitives, but that's also nothing new.

The PI brings out very strong reactions among the DNs I have met along the way: people either love it for the cheapness and beaches or they hate it for the people and the crap food. I haven't been (yet) so reserve judgement. But it's a well known DN blogger trick to bash the PI because it will trigger DNs and filipinos into responding.
It's polarizing for non-DNs as well. I think the people are the friendliest in Asia, but if you walk down the street in Manila those aren't the ones that approach you (same for the Grand Palace in Bangkok, though I think they finally cracked down after many years of ignoring it). There's no getting around that it's a poorer country with higher grot factor, but I think it's at its best in the non-touristed or slightly touristed islands (just about anywhere but Boracay) where people are independent and don't live off the tourism industry. Bantayan was a good example.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
IME, many of the people who call themselves digital nomads in CM are neither digital nor nomadic. They are what we came to call poorpats (poor expats who can't afford to live anywhere but CM)...aka 'backpackers.' These are the folks most likely to be doing visa overstays or visa runs.
Poor-pats is a good description. That's one reason why I prefer to go to locations that a bit more expensive just so we don't have loads of people flouncing around like they own the place.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Sigh...

Under $20 day:
etc. etc.

Scooter visa runs:
https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/a-...urma-by-moped/


As noted, that's not how WE lived in Chiang Mai. But we met people who do.

$20/day - after reading those links I'd rather be homeless in the U.S. Can it be done? Sure, by Burmese workers, maybe. BTW, does this cover internet access for the digital nomads?

And the scooter visa runs, well, what can I say. I drive a car here a lot, and scooters are simply put, coffins on 2-wheels. We have the second-highest road fatality rate, and probably 3/4's of those are scooter related. I do drive a scooter as well, these are primarily used for short, local hops, typically of less than a few Km. I might drive Chiang Mai to Mae Sai on a bigger bike (250 cc min.), as part of a multi-day sightseeing event (other than during the burning season, and rainy season of course), but on a scooter. Nope.

I particularly liked this from one you linked... https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/a-...urma-by-moped/

"It took less than an hour for us to realise that driving to Burma was a mistake."

On the plus side, the trip must be survivable as you apparently met someone who made it back alive.



Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
Is it still illegal to work in Thailand on a visa exemption or a tourist visa?
Yes. Very simply put, you need a proper visa and a work permit. (My guess is that some of the teachers kokonutz met in Chiang Mai did not have WPs, as it is easy for schools to get away with, at least for a semester or two. Tea money is liberally applied, as is the use of "agents".) Once your WP is finished or terminated you have 7 days to leave the country.

Migrant workers from nearby countries may have a different set-up.

And while the MFA, RTP/Imm, MoL, Revenue might have a different view, digital nomads are in a bit of a grey area as they are technically working for entities outside of Thailand. Could the authorities crack down on this? Sure, is it Tuesday?

I think the challenge for digital nomads is figuring out how to stay, legally, in the Kingdom, be it 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or more in a year. There are limited options, and those are being reduced.
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Last edited by transpac; Mar 26, 19 at 7:26 pm
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Old Mar 27, 19, 7:52 am
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I've always thought one of the real downsides with Chiang Mai is a needlessly bad pedestrian situation. Maybe it's better now if the military government has cracked down on sidewalk encroachments like it has in other places (though not every place has a good sidewalk to begin with).

CM is hardly alone with this...many Malaysian cities and towns are bad, for example (Johor Bahru was terribly planned to serve the automobile and motorbike).
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Old Mar 27, 19, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
I've always thought one of the real downsides with Chiang Mai is a needlessly bad pedestrian situation. Maybe it's better now if the military government has cracked down on sidewalk encroachments like it has in other places (though not every place has a good sidewalk to begin with).

CM is hardly alone with this...many Malaysian cities and towns are bad, for example (Johor Bahru was terribly planned to serve the automobile and motorbike).
Originally Posted by transpac View Post
$20/day - after reading those links I'd rather be homeless in the U.S. Can it be done? Sure, by Burmese workers, maybe. BTW, does this cover internet access for the digital nomads?

And the scooter visa runs, well, what can I say. I drive a car here a lot, and scooters are simply put, coffins on 2-wheels. We have the second-highest road fatality rate, and probably 3/4's of those are scooter related. I do drive a scooter as well, these are primarily used for short, local hops, typically of less than a few Km. I might drive Chiang Mai to Mae Sai on a bigger bike (250 cc min.), as part of a multi-day sightseeing event (other than during the burning season, and rainy season of course), but on a scooter. Nope.

I particularly liked this from one you linked... https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/a-...urma-by-moped/

"It took less than an hour for us to realise that driving to Burma was a mistake."

On the plus side, the trip must be survivable as you apparently met someone who made it back alive.
Erin and Simon from Never Ending Voyage are one of my favorites: 9 years as digital nomads who actually NOMAD on a regular basis.

The only place we rented a scooter was in Chiang Rai.

After a brief visit to Chiangmairam hospital we decided to avoid using one in Chiang Mai and used mostly red trucks instead: https://readyjetroam.com/2019/02/11/...t-a-motorbike/

As for Rusty's point about sidewalk encroachments, I'd say we spent about 90% of our walking in Chiang Mai walking in the street. Especially in Nimman, but in the old city too.

But CM is the most walkable city in the world compared to Hanoi: https://readyjetroam.com/2019/03/12/...ot-love-hanoi/

So it's all relative.

And while the MFA, RTP/Imm, MoL, Revenue might have a different view, digital nomads are in a bit of a grey area as they are technically working for entities outside of Thailand. Could the authorities crack down on this? Sure, is it Tuesday?

I think the challenge for digital nomads is figuring out how to stay, legally, in the Kingdom, be it 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or more in a year. There are limited options, and those are being reduced.
Whatever they call themselves (DNs, backpackers, gap years, expats), that's the challenged for anyone who does not qualify for the retirement visa that wants to spend a significant amount of time in Thailand. And as you say above, the old fall-back education visa is being squeezed.

I would think that Thailand (and lots of other countries) would want and accommodate people who really truly do make a lot of money just with their laptops or smart phones. Those people do not take local jobs or opportunities from citizens and contribute hard currency to the economy. It's a win-win. The only downside is that we drive up rents.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
The only downside is that we drive up rents.
I think the segment of Thai society which owns the property likes the fact that you are willing to pay higher rents, even if only for a month?

Obviously higher rents hurt the average Somchai, but who cares about him.


Big Joke: Promises easier, faster and more "watertight" Immigration rules

As immigration officials prepared to present proposals for a new Immigration Act to a ministerial committee yesterday chief Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn outlined what it would mean to visitors and expatriates in Thailand. Speaking to TNA the chief said that the 1979 act was out of date and not in line with modern countries.

Thailand was the third most visited country in the world and while not a direct target for criminals was a place where those up to no good would hide out under the guise of being tourists. The Lt-Gen suggested that one of the best ways to solve this problem was to ensure that hotel and condo owners report the whereabouts of foreigners*. The man known as Big Joke even went so far as to specifically mention "people of color and South Africans" as a problem.

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/109...gration-rules/

https://news.ch7.com/detail/333691

* TM-30 "enforcement" (Dor Mor 30) shifts to foreigners with an increase in the fines to 10,000 baht. Technically and legally anyone housing (hotel, AirBNB, couch surfee) a foreigner must report their details and presence every day. There are other onerous laws on the books I won't bore you with.


"I would think that Thailand (and lots of other countries) would want and accommodate people who really truly do make a lot of money just with their laptops or smart phones."

Obviously what you think hardly matters to the relevant Thai authorities. What they want is tourists, lot's of them - and that's what you are regardless of any self-branding, and day-laborers. They'll tolerate others (skilled workers, low-pay teachers, retirees) on an as-needed basis.

Last edited by transpac; Mar 28, 19 at 1:08 am
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Old Mar 28, 19, 1:51 am
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Iím not personally worried about Thai immigration law changes as we intend to be permanently nomadic rather than settle down as expats for at least a few years. We loved our time in Thailand and will likely to back in the December -January timeframe (as well as transiting Bangkok for a few days in May). But 5 weeks was enough at a time for us.

Im thinking more of the many regular visa run expats who make money online we met who would pursue a more legitimate path the expatriatism if one were available.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Im thinking more of the many regular visa run expats who make money online we met who would pursue a more legitimate path the expatriatism if one were available.
There is. It's the narcissistically named "Thai Elite" visa. Five years for around USD 16,000.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by eqeqeqx View Post
There is. It's the narcissistically named "Thai Elite" visa. Five years for around USD 16,000.
Yes, 500,000 THB. Not sure about the "narcissism" moniker but am guessing it can't be named for its originator.

I think there are 10 year, and 20 year options as well? Still requires 90-day reporting of course, which can be done online (assuming your local Imm. office uses it, and it is "up"), or via the post or in person.

The new SMART visa (4 years) was meant to entice Digital Nomads but it appears to be more of an investment/business development vehicle to encourage innovation.

There are other options for Americans via the Treaty of Amity, but these also involve investment.

All that said, it still seems reasonable to expect to be able to spend four months (on SETV/METV or TVE) in Thailand over a twelve month period as a "tourist", for now. That would seem like enough for a "nomad"? And given how accommodating Vietnam is, it would be easy to split time just between those two, maybe using Vietnam as a base (12-month visa for Americans, requires leaving/reentering every 90 days).
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Old Mar 29, 19, 2:09 pm
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How much can these Digital Nomads be making? Google Adwords+ some affiliate links and maybe some Youtube views = not a lot of money. I used to live in Vegas and saw the grinders using 2/1 blackjack coupons and other gimmicks to eke out what they called a living. they were happy to not have a "job" or work for someone. I never saw so many people work so hard at not working.

If you can make a living from doing what you like, more power to you. I would love to be able to see the world, post about my experiences and get paid, but I think the market is a little crowded.
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