Bad things about living in Thailand 

18 Top Bad things about living in Thailand 

Thailand does have some major issues that could harm your well-being, safety, health, or investments despite all its obvious benefits. 

Despite what typical Thailand enthusiasts tend to tell you, living in Thailand is still in many ways evolving, regardless of how pleasant it may seem from sunny vacation photographs or even after a prolonged stay during the first year. 

Neither the fact that you can find so many varieties of cuisine in Chiang Mai nor the fact that the subway in Bangkok is more sparkly than the one in London indicates that the nation is particularly developed.

In this article, we will be discussing the bad things about living in Thailand and if it is actually a failing state in this piece.

List of the Bad things about living in Thailand

Regardless of whether you refer to Thailand as a first-, second-, or third-world country, sooner or later, whether you like it or not, you will come to experience some of the bad things about living in Thailand.

Strict qualifications 

As of 2018, you must earn at least 65,000 baht per month to retire in Thailand.

That works out to an average of roughly $2,000 USD every month.

Another choice is for you to deposit 800,000 Thai Baht, or roughly $25,000 USD, into a Thai bank account.

Negative attitude towards visitors and foreigners

Probably everywhere you go, this is true.

Much of it has to do with security concerns and not knowing who to believe, particularly in areas where there have been violent political demonstrations.

However, there are situations when sentiments towards street trash may not be ones of fear but rather of contempt.

There is also considerable animosity because some tourists just seem to care about “cheap shopping and idyllic beaches.”

Dissatisfaction between residents and visitors may result from disrespect for Thailand’s homeland and culture.

Because of this, it is vital to ensure that you are knowledgeable about customs to avoid offending anyone unnecessarily.

Avoid losing your temper thereby not throwing things or pointing at people, for example.

Not the Best for Left-Handers

Many left-handed persons can catch a ball with their right hand, but they frequently have to get used to using a right-handed computer mouse.

However, if they forget to use their right hand to pass goods at a restaurant, living in Thailand can make them confused and embarrassed for a while.

It appears that Thailand requires the left hand to be put on the forehead since it is seen as “unclean” there.

That makes it obvious to everyone that you are using your right hand, the same one you would use to pay cash to a cashier at a store.

This could be a problem if you are used to eating with your right hand.

High Conflict Regions

There was even a discussion of peace in 2021.

Thailand still has a long way to go before all of its political problems, which have sparked conflict since the 1960s are resolved.

Youth-led demonstrations for democracy, for example, display their three-finger salute.

This expresses their support for reforming the monarchy.

If there weren’t so many demonstrators swarming the streets, this might not be harmful in and of itself.

After that, there was an increase in violent protester behavior, which decreased during the 2020 pandemic and lockdowns.

The provinces of Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat in southern Thailand have also experienced violent combat with weapons.

Following the implementation of the Covid-19 assistance, the number of fatalities decreased in 2021.

Prior to it, more than 7,000 people had died since 2004.

In connection with the violence at the southern border, the government did nothing to stop racial violence, torture, or murders.

The only form of retaliation loved ones’ victims saw was monetary reimbursement.

Over the years, authorities have also considered those seeking asylum as undocumented immigrants.

Many of them were unjustly detained, arrested, and deported.

Strict Vaccinations Requirements 

Strict immunization needs to extend beyond only taking the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Thai government and the Centre for Disease Control advise you to confirm receipt of the following vaccinations: polio, varicella, MMR, tetanus, tetanus, tetanus, and hepatitis A.

Additionally, you might want to safeguard against Hepatitis B, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis.

High Risk of Violence 

Thailand had 4.45 gun-related fatalities per 100,000 people in 2016.

Compared to Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore, which had less than one death per 100K people, this figure is significantly higher.

Additionally, Indonesia has a 10 violence index.

However, the rate of gun deaths at this period was far lower than in the Philippines (7.42 per 100K).

Additionally, it was slightly higher than the United States, which at the time reached 3.85 per 100K.

In 2022, there were 5.9 murders and 4.8 deliberate homicides per 100,000 people.

Remember that not all murders involve a firearm.

Everyday is Not Always Sunny and Dry

If you lived in Thailand, you wouldn’t have to worry about shoveling snow.

However, it rains a lot here during some of the seasons when it generally snows in other countries.

If it isn’t pouring, the nearly 100% humidity and temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit will make you wish it was.

Nevertheless, it might not rain for a few weeks.

High Sodium Food 

Like most Asian cuisines, Thai food occasionally contains a lot of MSG not all though but a high percentage.

It is a kind of salt that can lead to heart disease and excessive blood pressure.

MSG may also make you feel sick to your stomach, flushed, tingly, groggy, and other things.

You might also develop allergic skin responses.

However, that might be due to the preservatives present in the majority of dried and packaged foods or the gluten found in bread and noodles.

High Risk of Missing Children

Thailand is generally safe where there is adequate police protection.

If you bring your kids anywhere there are large throngs of people, however, you do run a high danger of kidnapping.

To be cautious, you might wish to utilize wrist leashes and never leave your kid unsupervised.

You may want to equip certain young children with tracking devices and make plans for how to find one another in case they get separated.

Illness and Allergies 

You run a lot of health risks if you live in or even just visit Thailand that you would not typically run if you were from a safer location. 

If the government had done its job, many of them may have been avoided or significantly reduced, but sadly that hasn’t happened.

Foreigners frequently grossly misjudge the severity of a sickness like dengue. 

Tens of thousands of individuals develop dengue every year in Thailand; according to hospitals, it is one of the top three cases they see during specific times of the year, particularly during the rainy season when there is more still water for mosquitoes to nest in.

Lack of Christianity

There are more than 400 temples in Chiang Mai alone, but not many people truly comprehend what spirituality is all about. 

In Thailand, spirituality has deep and ancient roots, but hardly one is aware of them today. 

People visit temples to earn merit on celebratory days or even travel across the nation to visit specific types of temples, yet they engage in cheating, lying, and other behaviors that the Buddha did not forbid.

Perhaps some of the more spiritual locations are those where Vipassana meditation can be studied, but Thai people who return from a meditation retreat frequently comment on how much they now appreciate their parents, while some Vipassana resorts may have turned more into tourist attractions.

Low Proficiency in English 

The majority of Thai people, on average, don’t speak English particularly well. The lack of interest in the rest of the world and the fact that Thailand was never colonized are the causes of this. 

You must learn some Thai if you really want to get along with the locals; otherwise, you won’t have anything to talk about. 

Although young Thai people can frequently communicate in written English, their spoken English is typically still somewhat subpar.

When compared to Malaysia, the Philippines, or Myanmar, Thailand’s English ability is very lacking.

This reduces your chances of developing genuine relationships with locals unless your Thai is superb. The linguistic barrier is always present.

A ‘Farang’ Will Never Fully Integrate 

No matter how long you have lived in Thailand, you will always be referred to as a “farang” or foreigner by the locals. 

There is a limit to true integration, but depending on your personality and social style, you can make wonderful friends and really love living here. 

This limit isn’t as awful as in xenophobic nations like Japan, but it’s not as good as in more globally diverse multicultural locales like Singapore or Hong Kong or in contemporary Western nations.

It may not worry you at first, but if you have decided to live in Thailand for a long time, it might annoy you if locals continue to judge or discriminate against you after you have interacted with them.


Thailand’s heavy traffic is undoubtedly a risk, whether you’re a long-term resident or just passing through. 

Trusting the regulations, novice visitors cross a zebra without looking left or right, only to be hit by oncoming vehicles. 

However, even foreigners who are here for a long time might get into car accidents. Thailand consistently ranks as one of the world’s riskiest places to drive.

Weak Government, Juridical System and Vorruption 

Even if you’ve only been in Thailand for a short while, you might think that this doesn’t affect your day-to-day activities there. 

However, this is actually a hidden aspect that affects everything and only becomes apparent to you when you encounter specific circumstances.

Money is not spent where it should be due to ineffective governance and corruption, and the government does not offer decent facilities, infrastructure, clean water, justice, or other services. 

Because Thailand didn’t invest in high-quality water treatment plants, doesn’t enforce the discharge of dirty sewage water, and doesn’t prohibit people from burning, the water from your tap and the air you breathe isn’t clean.

Personal Safety

Thailand is a highly safe country overall. There aren’t many truly awful neighborhoods, let alone no-go areas, like in many Western nations. 

Everyone in public is courteous, smiles frequently, and the likelihood that you will run into difficulty on the street is very minimal.

When you encounter native Thai people under particular circumstances, this can drastically change. 

Thai people are very peaceful, but if you get into a real fight with them, they’ll murder you for no reason. 

You are not the first foreigner to have his girlfriend stab him. Another possibility is that you’re dating a new girl when her ex-boyfriend arrives at your house brandishing a knife. 

Low Ethical Standards 

Of all the nations I’ve lived in and visited, Thailand is undoubtedly the one where lying and cheating is most common. 

Of course, it’s tough to gather precise statistics on how prevalent it is there compared to other nations.

The main cultural and societal causes for why lying and cheating are so prevalent in Thailand are these. 

A firm “no” is frequently worse than a polite “yes,” especially in Thai culture where directness and confrontation are frowned upon. 

If a female cancels on a date you thought you had with her because she had to meet her sister, it means she wasn’t comfortable enough to meet in the first place and didn’t want to say no.

Low Educational Level

This is likely Thailand’s worst issue because everything else—a lack of knowledge of current events, a lack of motivation, a lack of depth, corruption, etc.—comes from low levels of education.

Thailand has extremely low educational standards throughout the board, from pre-kindergarten to higher education. 

This is demonstrated repeatedly by several worldwide rankings, but if you truly interact with Thai people, it should be clear to you. 

The shallowness of Thai society as a whole is apparent from the shallowness of the dialogues, the caliber of the work produced, and the conversations themselves.

There are “universities” in almost every small town, and many of the young people you encounter have graduated from colleges despite the fact that their intended careers were not in sales. 

I’ve encountered several English or Business English graduates who are absolutely unable to hold a conversation.

The main causes of low education levels are Thai culture and educational methods. Thai culture is lacking in zeal, passion, rivalry, and curiosity. 

Instead, it encourages societal harmony, law and order, and respect for teachers, parents, and the old.


Is citizenship required to reside in Thailand?

You can obtain a visa for 60–90 days if you’re merely passing through the nation briefly, depending on your circumstances.

Your visa may be extended in specific circumstances for up to a year.

Most of the time, all you require to work and live is a visa or to apply for permanent resident status.

How can I obtain a visa for Thailand?

Whether you desire a marriage, work, or retirement visa will depend on what kind of visa you seek.

A tourist visa is required if you are only visiting the area for the first time.

You must adhere to the rules set forth by your country of birth.

Before you apply for a visa, Americans born abroad should review this information.

Can retirees live comfortably in Thailand?

As of 2022, it will be able to subsist in Thailand on roughly $1,500 USD per month.

According to your length of service and income, that is the typical Social Security retirement benefit.

Is living in Thailand or the UK preferable?

Thailand ($683) has a 59% lower average cost of living than the UK ($1661) ($1661). On the list of the world’s most costly countries, Thailand was ranked 112th, while the United Kingdom was ranked 16th.


Since this type of article criticizes things and has a lot of bad things about living in Thailand, it is obvious that it is popular. 

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and while this piece is only one more, it attempts to be supported by observations and facts. Check out the 3 Top Environmental Issues in Thailand and their solutions and 8 Top Life Science Industry Trends You Must Know.

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