Going to a country you have never been to with a plan to stay there for few month is a very exciting experience. It is even more exciting when you have to work during such trip. Of course you had made an investigation about the place you are going to before you have bought the tickets (you can read more about preparing for a trip in my previous posts – 1, 2, 3) but there is always something unexpected happening after you have landed.
In this post I’m going to cover advantages and disadvantages of one particular country for a freelance graphic designer – Thailand. Sure it’s my personal opinion and I’ve been living there for only 5 month, but hopefully this information will be useful.
Photo by Marina Nozyer.
What is good
- The cost of living is pretty low. We (me and my girlfriend) were living in a one bedroom house 2 minutes away from sea and we almost did not cook by ourselves and the price was about 1000$ per month. 5 bedroom house with a swimming pool costs about 800$ – 2000$ per month depending on location and one meal in small but tasty cafe 1.5$ -3$.
- Food is great there. If you don’t like spicy there’s always something mild in the menu. There are lots of fruits that can be found only in East Asia and most of them are so delicious!
- Native people differ from place to place but majority of them look happy and relaxed. We’ve been living on island Ko Samui. It’s very popular among tourist, so tones of locals are working in this industry and they don’t have any financial troubles that might worry ’em.
- The sun is always shining. At least from November till April there were only few really rainy days.
- You can always find inspiration in wild nature which is all around and in Buddhist and Hindu art. Can you imagine that there are more than 40000 Buddhist temples in Thailand?
- If you need more hardware you can buy it – laptops, cameras, etc. Lots of Nikon products are made in Thailand and lots computer stuff is made in Malaysia which is pretty close.
What is bad
- The kingdom of Thailand is a tropical country, so the temperature is pretty high and it’s very humid every day. I’ve been living there from November 2009 till April 2010. During the day it was 86 F (30 C) and in the evening and during the night it was 80.6 F (27 C). Sure air conditioner is a great solution, but you are not sitting in the house all day long. We’ve been using conditioner only during the night, so we could better adapt to the environment. The first week was pretty hard, but later it was OK. Anyway we never felt absolutely comfortable.
- The download internet speed in Thailand differs from 50-100kb/s (AIS 3G modem) to 2-3mb/s (ADSL). Upload speed is 2 times slower. This is tough. If you are going to rent a house ask for ADSL, otherwise you’d have to go to internet-cafe every time you need to upload few 10mb files.
- Being a european guy I’d say that there is a cultural difference. If you don’t accept it you’d be regularly distracted. For example, it’s OK when a waiter is standing behind your shoulder while you’re making up your choice. He or she can stand there for any amount of time 5-10-20 minutes!
- In tropics everything is happening faster – if you have forgotten to wipe the table after you had eat a watermelon, in an hour you might see 50 ants marching around. Or if you leave a cup of tea in the evening you would definitely find it decomposed in the morning. This is why it smells so horrible in the streets where the trash bins are.
- Every withdrawal from any bank machine will cost you 5$ unless you have an account in any local bank.
Anyway, I had a great time there and I’d sure recommend you to go the kingdom of Thailand.
If you’ve been living in Thailand too, please share your experience!