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Moving to Thailand

What to expect, history and culture.
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Moving to ThailandWelcome to your new job on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand. Your move will involve a lot of planning and organization for you and your family. If it seems too difficult at this point, relax...the Premier Homes Relocation Team will assist you, no matter what the issue. We are at your disposal to help step by step and we will work together to make your move as successful and enjoyable as possible.

The purpose of this guide is to give you a basic view of the steps to be taken in making a move from your home country to Thailand. Also there is some country specific information to help you get started on your 'look-see' Housing Tour. We hope you find it informative and useful.

Although the contents are primarily aimed at one to three year-foreign assignments, they also serve as a guide to persons on temporary assignments. Where differences may apply, these will be made clear to you by your Premier Homes Relocation Representative, who will be glad to help with any further questions you may have.

In order to further prepare you for your move, we suggest that you also read the book, Living in Pattaya and Rayong available from our Premier Homes Real Estate head office on Jomtien Beach, just outside of Pattaya.

The first few months that you and your family are in Thailand, you may wish to be enrolled in Thai Language Education and/or Thai Cultural Training classes. These are designed to give you an advantage in making the adjustment to life in Thailand and in developing positive relationships with the Thai people on and off the job.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • A. Preparing for the Look-See Trip
    • Includes : Thai History, Geography, Climate, Bangkok, Religion, Customs, Government and the Monarchy, Law, Order and Security, Your Status, Language, Do's & Taboo's, Things to do prior to departure.

  • B. During the Look-See Trip
    • Includes : What happens when you arrive in Bangkok.

  • C. Getting Ready for the Move
    • Includes : Planning before you leave, what to do, what to bring, Home Decor, Electronics and Appliances, Personal Computers, TV and Video Equipment, CDs and Tapes, Telephone and Lamps, Kitchenware, Glassware, Crystal and China, Cutlery, Crockery, Pots and Pans, Food, Linen, Towels and Bedding, Baby Items, Clothing, Shoes, Athletic Supplies, Cosmetics, Hair Supplies, Eyewear, Pharmaceuticals, Camera Supplies, Musical Instruments, Reading Material, Paper Products, Pets.

  • D. Settling in Thailand
    • Includes : Upon Arrival, Visas, Work Permits, Passports, Working Dependants, Local Communications, Cable TV and Satellite TV, Newspapers, Telephones, Utilities, Postal Service, Domestic Help, Business and Legal Matters, Currency, Banking, Insurance, Birth, Adoption, Marriage, Death, Check List when Viewing Proposed Accommodation.

  • Appendix 1
    • Includes : Complete this Look-See 'Client Information Sheet'. This will assist our team in preparing the best possible look see housing tour for you and your spouse.

  • Appendix 2
    • Includes : Your Eastern Seaboard Housing Tour - Items To Look For In Housing.

  • Appendix 3
    • Includes : The location of Premier Homes Real Estate Companies head office on Jomtien Beach.

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A. PREPARING FOR THE LOOK-SEE TRIP

Sawaddi-Greetings From Thailand

The opportunity to live and work overseas can be a rewarding experience and a great adventure, but making the decision to up-root and go isn’t easy. Understandably, you will have many questions and concerns about living and working in Thailand. Through this guide, we would like to address some of your questions and put many of your concerns to rest. The better informed you are before you Go the better prepared you will be to face new challenges and enjoy the fascinations of Thailand.

The enjoyment and gratification derived from your experience will depend on your level of involvement interest, the contributions you are prepared to make, and how well informed you are as soon as you know you’re moving, get your family involved in the search. Read as much as you can find on Thailand, ask your travel agent for brochures, check video stores and your library for travelogues. If you have a Thai restaurant in your area, try the food and ask to speak with the owner or manager, they are usually Thai and very friendly. Access as much information as you can about the aptly nicknamed, "Land of Smiles".

Thailand’s history dates back as far as 40,000 years, to unknown origins of primitive hunters and gatherers who used wood and stone tools to survive. This was followed by an agrarian age, a metallurgy age ,and eventually, by the 5th century AD it evolved into the tribal chiefdoms of the Mon at Nakhon Pathom, in the Chao Phraya valley, close to what is now Bangkok. The Mon people, also called the Dvaravati, established a scattering of kingdoms across the Central Plains from the 6th to the 11th centuries. Although little is known of the Mon, it is certain they were heavily influenced by Indian cultures and by the Khmer kingdoms of what is now Cambodia. Toward the beginning of the first millennium AD., the first migrating Thai from southern China began arriving, encountering the already strong Mon-Khmer-Buddhist civilization. Some Thais become mercenaries for the Khmer armies in the early 12th century and were called "Syams", meaning "swarthy", because of their darker skin color. This may explain how the Thai kingdom eventually came to be called Syam, or Siam.

The first Thai kingdom was established in the far north at Payao in 1096. By the 13th century, Thais outnumbered and overcame the Mon & Khmers, establishing two important Thai kingdoms:

1) Lanna (or Lan Na ) Thai
2) Sukhothai.

Lanna Thai, which means "a million Thai rice fields", was founded by a Thai chieftain named Mengrai, who built the new capital of Chiang Mai in 1296. At about the same time, further south, Sukhothai, "rising of happiness", rose to pre-eminence under King Ramkkhamhaeng who built a magnificent temple city and invented the Thai writing system. In both kingdoms, which were allies rather than enemies, Theravada Buddhism was adopted and art flourished.

By the mid-fourteenth century, as Thais continued migrating south into the lower rice-growing plains, the Khmers eventually weakened and withdrew under the leadership of prince U Thong. In 1350, he declared himself King Ramathibodi and set up his capital at Ayuthaya on the lower Chao Phraya River. Even though the Khmer had been adversaries in battle, the succession of Ayuthayan kings incorporated Khmer court customs, art, architecture and language. The result was absolute royal authority and a kingdom that dominated the region for four centuries.

Aythaya was one of the greatest and wealthiest in Asia. It was envied by the Burmese and left Europeans awestruck, especially since London was only a mere village. By the 16th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, English, Danes and French were well-known visitors in Ayuthaya, some with embassies in place. Then a strange series of events unfolded which most likely changed the course of Thai history. Under King Narai, who ruled Ayuthaya from 1675 to 1688, a Greek by the name of Constantine Phaulkon, rose to very high official power. He expelled all Europeans with the exception of the French, who were allowed to keep 600 soldiers in the kingdom. The word for a foreigner (of European descent) in modern Thai is farang, an abbreviated form of farangset, meaning "French". Eventually the Thais who feared a farangset takeover, forcefully removed them and executed Phaulkon. Following this experience with farangs, Siam sealed itself off from the West for the next 150 years.

In 1765, the Burmese attacked and completely destroyed Ayuthaya in a fierce war that lasted nearly two years. But even after ransacking the capital, the Burmese could not maintain a foothold over the Thais, and in 1769 a new capital city,Thonburi, was built on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, opposite what is now Bangkok.

Only a few years later, in 1782, a Thai general, Chao Phaya Chakri, came to power and was crowned King Rama I, the first in the Chakri Dynasty, of which the present king is Rama IX. For strategic reasons he moved the capital across the river to a trading post called Bank Kok, "village of hog plums". Far from being an exalted name for a capital city, Rama I proclaimed the official name to be Krungthep Mahanakorn Bovorn Rattanakosin Mahaintara Ayuthaya Mahadilokob Noparathathani Burirom Udomarajanivej Mahasathani Ampornpiman Avararansathit Sakkatattiya Avisumkamprasit. Fortunately for everyone, the first word is enough, and thus it is known to Thais as Krungthep, "the city of angels." It is mainly farangs who persists in calling it by its undignified original name, "Bangkok".

There have been several outstanding kings in the Chakri Dynasty, including the innovative Rama IV, commonly known as King Mongkut. He took the throne in 1851 after spending 27 years as a Buddhist monk, during which time he studied Western sciences as well as the Sanskrit, Pali, Latin, and English languages. One of his first acts as king was to re-establish economic and diplomatic relations with European nations, while at the same time, he adeptly avoided colonialisation. Among his many other accomplishments, he set up Siam’s first printing press, reformed the educational system, and was the first monarch to show his face in public. His son, Chulalongkorn, Rama V, followed in his father’s innovative footsteps, maintaining good relations with Western nations and became one of the kingdom’s most popular and well-loved monarchs.

Bangkok and the Chakri Dynasty mark the beginning of the Rattanakosin Era or the Bangkok Period, which include, among other events, both World Wars. Thailand wanted to remain neutral during WWII, but Japanese forces outflanked the Allied troops in Malaysia and Burma, ensnaring Thailand in a bizarre historical web. In 1941, under the military leadership of Phibun (Philbul) Songkhram, who had effectively taken control of Thailand during the successful coup d’etat of 1932. Thailand allowed the Japanese into the Gulf of Siam. This was the only point in Thailand’s history when it was occupied by a foreign country. Allying Thailand with Japan, Pibun then declared war on the United States and Great Britain, but Seni Pramoj, the Thai ambassador in Washington DC refused to deliver the declaration-a brilliant political move. Phibum resigned in 1944 under pressure from the Thai underground resistance. Ironically, Thailand achieved its goal of staying out of the war by declaring war on two Western powers. Although Thailand has undergone a number of relatively bloodless revolts and coups, it continues to grow into an important modern Asian nation. The 1980's brought boom times to Bangkok as European, American, Japanese and other foreign investors arrived, bringing with them a new image of Thailand as a rising industrial nation.

GEOGRAPHY
If you look at a map of Thailand and use a little imagination, you’ll see that, ironically, it’s shaped like an elephant’s head. Ironically, because of the Thai elephant, now endangered, was the symbol of ancient Siam. Myanmar (Burma),Laos and Cambodia (Kampuchea) outline the ears to the west, north and east respectively. Bangkok and the Chao Praya River form the mouth. The trunk, which shares part of Burma’s south-western border, extends to Malaysia in the south ,with the Gulf of Thailand to the east, and the Indian Ocean & Andaman Sea to the west. Thailand’s land mass is approximately the size of Texas or France, 514,000 sq. km. The longest distance (1860 km) stretches from the "golden triangle" in the north where Burma, Laos and Thailand’s borders converge to the southern-most tip of the trunk, spanning 16 latitudinal degrees. This affords Thailand a varied topography and one of the most diverse climates in South-East Asia. High, cooler mountains in the north; a relatively flat, arid Central Plain; a fertile region at the elephant’s mouth; and dense jungles, replete with lush tropical islands in the south.

Climate
Thailand’s climate is ruled by monsoons, which are not tropical storms in the sense of hurricanes, as is frequently believed. Monsoons are light or heavy winds that change directions with the seasons and are often, but not always accompanied by light or heavy rains. Three distinct seasons arrive with the monsoons throughout most of Thailand-the rainy season, the cool dry season, and the hot season.

In Bangkok and the Central Plains during rainy season (late May into October), temperatures average 24 to 32 degrees C. from night to day, humidity 87%, and rainfall averaging 200 mm. per month. But this doesn’t mean it rains all day, every day. It rains heavily on many days, usually in the afternoon, but rarely for more than two hours at a time, when many lower areas in Bangkok flood.

The cool dry season is Thailand’s most comfortable time of year (November into February). Similar to Hawaii, temperatures drop to an average of 21 degrees C., lower humidity, and constant light breezes and blue skies.

During the hot dry season (mid February into May), you’ll be grateful for air-conditioning, as temperatures climb into the upper 30s and the humidity at 75% becomes stifling.

These climate patterns generally prevail throughout Thailand, except in the south where there is a greater year-round tropical consistency due to its proximity to the Equator, and in the far north, where mountainous regions provide cooler conditions.

(Note: to convert Centigrade or Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 1.8 and add 32)

Bangkok and its People
(from "Travel Bugs - Thailand" by Keith Mundy )

"Bangkok is a mess, there is no doubt about it-ugly, noisy, polluted, congested and chaotic-yet it inspires affection in a great many people, both visitors who don’t have to cope with it for long and residents who must. How does it do it? What is its secret?"

In a word, Thainess. The people of Bangkok, what they do, and the way they do it, are the key to the city’s character. They spend a lot of their time making sure that, whatever their job or position, whatever their duties and responsibilities, life is pleasurable business whenever and wherever possible. The happy-go-lucky hit song,’ Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ struck a strong chord here; it was almost made for Thailand.

Thais are not much given to organization and planning, regulation and coordination: it goes against the grain. Life is a passing show whose acts and scenes are a matter of karma, chance and luck. If so, why take a lot of trouble trying to organize the future and control the present? Hence a capital city full of generally carefree citizens, and hence a lot of visitors who fall under its spell.

In 1942...Bangkok was still a canal and garden city, thriving yet leisurely, but the process of filling the Khlongs (canals) and laying down roads was gathering pace. As the automobile gained favor over beast so the waterways gave way to concrete and tarmac thoroughfares, as new commercial districts rapidly arose...sprouting high-rise office blocks and hotels.

Bangkok today is a sprawling metropolis of about 9 million souls...a very large display of concrete and brick-jammed with traffic...animated by a teeming citizenry both energetic and laid back. A typical Bangkok vision is a motorcyclist speeding crazily, ear-shattering and smokily through heavy traffic past high-rise office blocks with an expression of complete serenity on his face. The bus passengers, stuck in a jam, moving maybe one kilometer an hour, asphyxiated by carbon monoxide fumes, deafened by “Bus Radio”, simply go to sleep.Black-booted, khaki-uniformed policemen and blue-uniformed security guards whistle frantically to no apparent purpose or tune, but it is rumored that they are controlling the traffic. All around pneumatic drills and wrecking balls rip up the old and pile-drivers and sky-high cranes construct new. As the city sinks into the mud, descending little by little each year toward sea level, so at the same time it reaches for the sky.

But behind all this there is another Bangkok, the city of grace and peace, the City of Angels indeed, for it does exist. Step into any establishment-shop, office, hotel, restaurant-and the chances are you will be treated with a degree of charm and grace unknown in the rest of the world. Walk down a side street and off into a lane and you will quite likely find yourself in a peaceful tree-shaded village. Enter a restaurant and experience heavenly tastes at down-to-earth prices. The angels are still here..and there’s a great many things to see and do in Bangkok which are at the very least fascinating and in many cases quite unique. And it has sprung up in the last 200 years!

Religion
Even though 95% of Thai people are Therevada Buddhists, the people of Thailand are extremely tolerant of all religions. Muslims form the largest minority, followed by Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians. The ancient practice of animism, or spirit worship, which is usually combined with Buddhism or Hinduism is also very evident throughout Thailand. No home or business would be complete without a “spirit house” on the premises, where daily offerings of food, flowers, and other gifts can be made to whatever spirit is in residence. Spirit houses range from modest to elaborate, are always decorated, and are sometimes surrounded by beautiful dancers in glittering costumes.

Customs
Being very tolerant people, Thais tend to overlook most of the “odd” behavior of foreigners in the interest of harmony and good manners. However, a basic understanding of some Thai customs will be helpful in your daily relations with the Thais.

The monarchy is deeply respected by the Thai people and strict customs towards it are observed. Virtually all shops and business have portraits of the King and Queen and the proper placement of them is essential. They should be hung an equal distance up the wall with no other portraits above them. Thais observe the royal anthem by standing when it is played.

The traditional gesture of greeting is the wai, a prayer-like gesture with the palms pressed together and the fingers pointed upward. Tradition is that the higher the hands are held the greater the respect shown. However, foreigners are not expected to know all the nuances of this gesture. Most Thai businessmen have adapted hand-shaking when meeting foreigners.

Heads are high and feet low. This means that inferiors will generally try to keep their heads at a lower level than those they regard as superior and their feet as discreetly hidden as possible. If you are sitting on the floor, your feet should be tucked away under your body. When sitting in a chair you should not cross your legs as this often leads to pointing your foot at someone. Touching someone’s head, even children, is considered disrespectful and should be avoided. Prior to entering a Thai residence, shoes are removed and stepping directly on the threshhold is avoided. Most foreigners in Thailand also apply this custom when entering their own residence.

As mentioned earlier outward displays of anger in public or towards others should be avoided.

Thai surnames are usually long and unpronounceable to foreigners. Therefore, in conversation first names which are usually shorter and more pronounceable are used. Most have nicknames which are even shorter and usually more pronounceable to Westerners. After you get to know a Thai he or she will usually ask that you address them by their nickname. In correspondence or conversation a person’s name is preceded by Khun. This applies to men, women, married or unmarried.

Thais will usually overlook inadvertent lapses you may make especially if you are a new arrival to Thailand. Ordinary good manners and common sense are all that is needed.

Government and the Monarchy
Since the onset of the Bangkok Period, Thailand has maintained the same capital, the same royal dynasty, and basically the same territorial boundaries. Only one major change has occurred since that time. In 1932, during the rule of Rama VII, a bloodless revolution took place. It was inspired by a group of idealistic Thai students who had studied fervently in Paris, and lead to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy which, for the first time in Thai history, denied the king absolute power. Although it continues to evolve, that system presently more or less, incorporates the British system of a parliamentary democracy, along with Dutch and French influences, which includes a cabinet and elected Members of Parliament. It is a system in which the military, the monied class, and high officials wield considerable influence with continual jockeying for power. Still, it is tempered by Buddhism and the king’s “moral” authority. Make no mistake-regardless the system of government-the most important element to the Thai people is the king.

The present monarch, Rama IX, King Bhumipol is on par, if not greater than the best of his line. He is no longer an absolute ruler-he gives no orders, nor makes policy-but he is the moral, guiding light be example, and frequently arbitrates in political conflicts. In short he is the stabilizing force in a sometimes fractured government. His subjects give him their unquestioned faith and respect, especially since he is perceived as a sovereign having genuine concerns for their welfare. King Bhumipol and his wife, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, have instituted a number of development projects to benefit the poor and rural majority, and spend a great deal of their time touring the country to monitor the progress.

Law, Order and Security
You will, or should feel safe living in Thailand, especially since violent crimes against foreigners are minimal. You will most likely be safer in Thailand than in your own country. Probably the most threatening thing you’ll ever have to deal with is crossing a main intersection on foot.

Still, as in most large cities and/or tourist meccas, you should be aware of scams and theft. Commonsense is the best way to avoid an unpleasant situation. When in doubt, firmly say “No thank-you” and walk away. If you need assistance, Thailand’s Tourist Police, who speak English and are specially trained in tourists’ problems, are easy to find and are very helpful.

Thailand has some very stiff penalties for drug-related crimes.

Your Status as a Foreign Resident
Keep in mind as a foreign non-immigrant resident, you are a guest in the Kingdom of Thailand. You will remain a citizen of your own country and a foreigner in this country. Your have available to you the protection of whatever diplomatic representation your country has in Thailand, but if you are charged with an offense here, your country will not interfere. You are subject to the same treatment as that of a Thai citizen.

To reside in Thailand, you must have a valid visa. To work in Thailand, you must have a valid work permit. Premier Homes representative will assist you, and your family, in this process, but you should take the personal responsibility to understand the respective documents required and the expiration dates of each.

Language
If you’re a bad speller, you’ll love Thai, as there no rules governing the way Thai is written in Western languages. Hence, it is common to see many spelling variations of the same word, especially the names of places on road signs and maps.

English is widely spoken in Bangkok, in varying degrees, by most nationalities, as well as in tourist destinations like Chiang Mai and Phuket. In Pattaya English is spoken by most citizens you will come into contact with, however, in Rayong, there is not much English spoken. Also, in Pattaya, German is spoken in many places, such as German Restaurants and Beer Gardens. There are two daily English language newspapers-The Bangkok Post and The Nation. Better known bookstores also sell foreign language books, newspapers and magazines.

Still, a basic knowledge of both spoken and written Thai is not only useful in everyday life when dealing with domestic staff, taxi drivers, shop keepers, or when asking directions. Your smallest effort will endear you to the Thai people and enrich your experience in Thailand.

The Thai language is grammatically quite simple. Sentence structure is uncomplicated and there are no verb tenses. Thus, even with only a few words, you can begin learning and speaking understandable Thai immediately, without spending a lot of time studying grammar. The main hurdle foreigners have with spoken Thai are the five different tones, which can give the same word five different meanings. Again however, Thais are very patient, tolerant, gracious, and accepting people, and any effort you make will be greeted with smiles and an overwhelming desire to help.

Shortly after arriving in Thailand, you may want to schedule language lessons. Expatriates and their families are encouraged to participate in such Thai language classes as well. Learning the language will enhance the overall experience of living in Thailand.

Do's & Taboo's
Monarchy & Religion The Thais are so tolerant, they will put up with almost anything from farangs (foreigners), and often do. There are, however, two sacred cows-monarchy and religion-which must never be insulted. This includes joking or making slanderous remarks, and even failing to stand when the national or royal anthems are heard, which are played in cinemas before the film, and twice daily at 8 am and 6 pm on Thai radio and TV stations. Thai people stop whatever they are doing to stand during the anthem and farangs are expected to do likewise.

In Buddhist temples or wats, proper clothing must be worn (no shorts or revealing attire).You must remove your shoes before entering a temple (also a Thai home). When sitting keep your feet pointed away from statues of Buddha. Never pose in front of or clamber upon Buddha images. Women are not allowed to touch monks, or even hand them something directly.

Nudity: There’s really only one word of advice - don’t. Despite Bangkok’s racy billboards, Thais are not only highly offended by all forms of nudity, it’s illegal on public beaches.

Displays of temper which include anger, displeasure and impatience are regarded with great distaste by Thais. Keeping your Jai yen (literally, “a cool heart”) is good and very much admired. Jai ron (“a hot heart”) is bad. Lose your cool and you lose respect. Jai yen is what keeps Bangkok from blowing apart. Greetings Given a choice, Thais prefer to wai, rather than shake hands. The wai is a prayer-like hand gesture accompanied by a nod, or slight bowing of the head. If a Thais wais you, you should wai back (except to children and servants)Thais are usually addressed by their first name with the title Khun in front of it, which shows respect. Freqently, they address foreigners too with Khun and a first name, rather than Mr. or Mrs. with a last name. If you are addressing a Thai by their first name, you should also use Khun (except when speaking to children or servants )

Heads & Feet are regarded both physically and spiritually. As the lowest part of the body, you should not use your feet to point at anything, and you take care not to show he bottoms of your feet when sitting. Heads are the highest part of the body and should not be touched-not even the heads of children in a gesture of affection. If you accidentally touch someone’s head, you should apologize.

Smiles. Smiling is the national pastime for the Thais. Everywhere you go, people smile. Smile back and the Thais will like you. A smile can excuse small inconveniences, express thanks, and return the wai of children and servants.

THINGS TO DO PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:
1. Apply for passports for yourself and your family through your local embassy. Get some additional passport photos for yourself, your spouse and other family members. These photos will be helpful, when you begin applying for residency papers in Thailand. We will be glad to discuss any questions you might have about the VISA and work permit process during your look-see housing tour.

2. Complete the Look-See 'Client Information Sheet' (attached as appendix 1) and have it faxed to Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. (66) (38) 231-519 or you may email it to premier@loxinfo.co.th as soon as possible. This will assist our team in preparing the best possible look see housing tour for you and your spouse.

3. Confirm your flight schedules as soon as they become available. We will be glad to have a Premier Homes representative meet you at the airport. If it would be helpful.

4. Remember, this is YOUR look-see housing tour and we will be as flexible as possible to assure that you see everything that is necessary for you to begin making individual decisions about schools and housing for your family. Let us know if there are stops on the look-see agenda that do not interest you - - we can adjust quickly. Premier

B. DURING THE LOOK-SEE TRIP
1. Exchange money for Thai Baht at the airport or enroute. Try to have local currency when you hit the ground in Bangkok.

2. As mentioned previously, after you clear customs and pick up your baggage, you can be met personally at the airport, or hotel transport will be arranged. If you arrive in the late afternoon or evening you will go directly to your hotel. For people coming in from Europe who will probably arrive in the early afternoon, you may go directly to Pattaya. In either instance, depending upon your arrival time, dinner can be arranged together, or you may wish to relax and dine in your room.

3. The Look-See Visit is designed to provide you an opportunity to review several towns in the vicinity of the plant site if you so wish. You may visit Rayong, Ban Chang, Jomtien, and Pattaya. Also, there are other options for housing that your Premier Homes representative can show you, such as Burapha Golf, Eastern Star Golf, Phoenix Golf and Green Valley Golf. In each town, you will see many restaurants, medical facilities, shopping, and social amenities. In Ban Chang, Burapha and Pattaya, schools can be visited. Also, during the trip you may choose to see your work site, so you can develop an idea of commute times, etc.

4. It is a good idea to bring a video camera to assist you in reviewing the areas and available housing. If you cannot bring a camera, let us know and we will provide one during the trip. If you select a residence while on the Look-See Visit, make sure you spend considerable time in the unit. You will want to take measurements, look at curtain rods/fixtures, and get a general idea of what items you need to bring from home to supplement the furnishings available.

5. Typically, western appliances are provided by the owner. We will always attempt to negotiate appliances into the rental agreement.

6. During the trip take notes and pick up brochures. At the debriefing at the end of the Look-See Trip, hopefully all your concerns will be answered. If not, they will be handled in a short period of time.

7. When the agenda suggests comfortable clothing, it means that shorts are acceptable each day. The weather is hot and the atmosphere is very casual.

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C. GETTING READY FOR THE MOVE TO THAILAND
The first few weeks before you leave for Thailand will be quite hectic for you and your family. Careful planning at this stage of your move is essential. Consider the major tasks to be completed and the time required to accomplish them so that you can manage the days prior to your departure. The following list outlines some important steps. However, it is not all-inclusive so please add special items of your own.

1. Arrange for your move as soon as possible. The packing will take approximately 3-5 days, storage should be accomplished shortly thereafter. Set aside items that are marked for shipment to Thailand. The mover will handle these items separately.

2. Make a household inventory assigning replacement values. Divide the belongings into three groups:

a - storage
b - shipment
c - carry-on baggage

Make separate inventories for each group and keep copies for insurance purposes (particularly for air shipment). You can use the same inventories on your return to your home country by simply adding your new belongings. Pack essential items as carry-on baggage.

3. The following is designed to help you prepare for your move. It will assist in making the relocation to Thailand an organized and smooth endeavor with as few "surprises" as possible.

  • Arrange for a power of attorney for your affairs during your absence.

  • Be sure your will, and that of your spouse, is up-to-date.

  • Appoint a legal guardian for your children in case circumstances deprive them of your care.

  • Reserve a safe deposit box at your bank, as a depository for important documents and other valuables you don't want to take with you.

  • Check the contents of your safe deposit box; arrange to leave the key with a responsible person, for example your lawyer, executor of your estate, person to whom you have given power of attorney.

  • Make copies of all valuable and legal documents you are taking with you-birth and marriage certificates, letters of credit, bank drafts, social security records, tax records, children's school records and so on. Keep them in your safe deposit box

  • Keep a record of all insurance policies- life, accident, medical, home owner's, fire, theft, auto-with your other documents.

  • Photographs: A dozen.

  • School Records: Your own and children's.

  • Driver's License: Obtain an International Driving License.

  • Carry With Me Checklist

    • PASSPORT & VISA
    • VACCINATION CERTIFICATES
    • PLANE, BUS, TRAIN TICKETS
    • TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES
    • CREDIT CARDS
    • DRIVER'S LICENSE
    • INSURANCE ID CARDS
    • EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS - One dozen for each family member
    • MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
    • MEDICAL RECORDS/PRESCRIPTION
    • EYEGLASS PRESCRIPTION
    • COPIES OF SHIPPING PAPERS
    • PET'S CERTIFICATES
    • CHILDREN'S SCHOOL RECORDS
    • FOREIGN CUSTOMS PAPERS
    • JEWELRY
    • THAI CURRENCY
    • DUPLICATE KEYS-LUGGAGE, etc.
    • SUNGLASSES
    • READING MATERIAL FOR TRIP
    • CAMERA & FILM

Home Decor
You'll be living in a fully-furnished house or apartment, but you'll feel much more at home if you ship your favorite books, knicknacks, and art.

Electronics and Appliances
Electric power in Thailand is 220 volts, 50 Cycles. This means that most products from most places in the world will work after fitting a flat, two-prong plug adapter. Electrical goods from North America and other areas where the voltage is 110, will not work without transformers, which are heavy and cumbersome, but are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in Bangkok and Pattaya. The bottom line in all cases is bring your appliances if possible. Electrical goods in Thailand are expensive. While most landlords provide air conditioners, stoves, and refrigerators, you should bring your other kitchen appliances, such as food processor, electric skillet, etc. Also bring your stereo equipment.

Personal Computers
Many expats moving to Thailand purchase new computers, software and printers in Singapore, where prices are not only much cheaper than Bangkok, the authenticity and quality of the product is more reliable. There is a computer supplement, Post Database, in the Bangkok Post on Wednesdays featuring the latest in hardware and software. It is recommended you install a good virus detection program if you purchase local software. Also invest in a UPS surge protector.

TV and Video Equipment
Thailand uses the PAL system. That means that a US (NTSC) or a French system (SECAM ) television or VCR will not work here unless it comes with a Multi-System configuration, which most North American brands do not have. Also remember the voltage difference. You might wish to bring your non-PAL television and VCR, hook it up to a voltage transformer, and use it for the sole purpose of playing video tapes you are bringing. Multi-system TV's and VCR's of major brands can be purchased or rented here. There is great digital satellite television broadcast in English, French, German, Italian, Chinese and Japanese language and shown in color channels, such as CNN International, BBC News, HBO, IBC 2 and STAR 4. The latter three show movies and a variety of programs from the US, England, New Zealand and Australia. In addition, video tapes of the most recent films (mostly pirated) are sold in shops and sidewalk stalls throughout Bangkok and Pattaya.

CD's and Tapes
Imported up-to-date CD's and tapes are found in abundance at department stores and music shops at comparable foreign prices. Copies in varying degrees of quality are available on the street at much lower prices.

Telephone and Lamps
Bring them. Lamps need only to have the bulb changed in order to work on 110 or 220V. Telephones only require a plug adapter, which are easy to find. This does not include cellular phones, which need to be purchased in Thailand in order to work.

Kitchenware, Glassware, Crystal and China.
Kitchenware, glasses and stainless pans are readily available and cheap. Crystal and china are expensive. Bring the latter, especially since in-home entertaining will be on your social agenda. Also bring kitchen "gadgets" like garlic presses, nut crackers, vegetable peelers, acrylic cutting boards, etc as well as Tupperware-type containers and canning jars. All of these items can be hard or impossible to find and expensive.

Cutlery
Beautiful Thai bronze cutlery of varying quality is available and well-priced, but it's difficult to keep clean in this climate. Initially, it's best to bring your cutlery and later decide whether or not to purchase the local nickel-bronze cutlery.

Crockery, Pots and Pans

Local brands of earthenware are inexpensive and very accessible, but lead content is questionable. Stainless steel pots and pans are likewise reasonably priced, but imported brands are expensive.

Food
Local Thai markets, and even the “super markets” have a continuous supply of fresh foods, including exotic tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh or frozen fish and meat, and excellent bakeries. Local and imported dairy products (imported mainly from New Zealand) are equally excellent, but canned goods, health foods and imported foreign items can be both expensive and difficult, if not impossible, to find. Thai cuisine is delicious, but when a “foreign food fix” is needed, Pattaya abounds in reasonably priced restaurants of many international cuisines.

Dog and cat food is easy to find and comes in various well-known brands.

Linen, Towels and Bedding
It is suggested you ship these items, especially sheets, blankets and towels, as selection is limited and expensive in imported brands. Local brands are inexpensive but they too are limited in selection and good quality. If you are not bringing your own beds, fitted bottom sheets can be a problem, since bed sizes vary. For example, local double beds are larger than standard US double beds. The same can, but not always hold true for queen and king size beds. If there's any doubt about queen size beds, king flat sheets can be used as the bottom sheet, tucked in. Even though you are moving to the tropics, you'll probably be sleeping in air-conditioning, so ship comforters, duvets, and/or blankets. Thai handicraft groups make beautiful quilts in cotton and silk as well as some table linens, but bring the latter in any case.

Baby Items
Most baby needs are readily available including disposable diapers, powered milk formulae, clothing, and sterilized products. Heinz baby food in jars is sold in most supermarkets, but supply and selection can be erratic. Baby furnishings are sold in department stores, including strollers.

While there is a wide selection of toys, overseas safety standards are not always met, and educational toys such as Lego are expensive. Anticipate your child's needs and bring them. Also bring life vests for water activities and by all means,a good car seat.

Clothing
Cotton, linen and cotton/linen blends are best suited for Thailand's warm and humid climate. While the Thai tend to dress beautifully, it is generally accepted for foreigners to dress informally. Because of air-conditioning in hotels and restaurants, light- weighted jackets are often needed. If you wear a larger size ( American size 10 or up) it is suggested you bring these items with you, as ready-made clothing in larger sizes are limited, if not impossible to find. While most expat women eventually find a seamstress to make suits, dresses and evening wear,i nformal clothing is best brought from home. Heavier jackets are also required for trips to Chiang Mai's during the cool season, but beautiful jackets, hand-made by the northern hilltribes, can be inexpensively purchased.

The accepted business attire for men is a shirt, coat and tie, although the coat, if not also the tie, is frequently kept only on-hand in the car or at the office for formal meetings. At the plant site, all employees will wear the company uniform. Most expat men have the majority of their business clothing custom-made by local tailors.

Cotton underwear, bras, pantyhose and swimming suits are very difficult to find in larger sizes.(larger than a universal "medium "or a size 10 US),so bring them. The same holds true for all clothing for older children and teenagers, except for the vast supply of T-shirts, baggy draw-string pants, and well-worn jeans, which are found at nearly every street stall in the country.

Shoes
Sandals and comfortable, casual footwear, including tennis shoes are the most practical for Thailand. Keep in mind that your feet will swell in the heat and that city sidewalks are interesting obstacle courses of jagged cement and holes-so a combination of loose-fitting ,well-soled shoes are important to both comfort and to avoid broken ankles.

Larger ready-made sizes are limited and difficult to find in any style. With the exception of athletic shoes, it's easy and inexpensive to have most styles made, including men's and women's business/formal wear.

Athletic Supplies
Virtually all athletic paraphernalia is expensive and/or difficult to find in Thailand. This includes equipment, gear, shoes and clothing. 'Bring it with you, plus repair or spare parts you might need.

Cosmetics
Many international brands are available in department stores, but they are very expensive. Bring a supply of your favorite brands with you and re-stock on "home leave".

Hair Supplies
There is a good selection of local and foreign shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays etc, found in groceries and department stores. Specialty lines like Paul Mitchell can be purchased in beauty salons at high prices. While Thailand is known for its inexpensive beauty salon services and apartments, finding a good one for hair-color can be a trying experience.

If you or your hairdresser are presently using a color product you like, bring a supply of it with you to avoid mistakes and potential disaster. For sanitation and health reasons, you should also have your own manicuring tools for your exclusive use in salons.

Eyewear
Frames for prescription glasses and quality sun glasses are imported and expensive. Soft contact lenses cost about $100 US.
Pharmaceuticals
Well-stocked pharmacies are all located in Pattaya and most prescription drugs can be purchased over the counter at very reasonable prices. But just in case, bring any specific medications you and your family may require.

Camera Supplies
Due to high import duties, photographic equipment is expensive. Register your camera, lenses, etc. with customs in your own country and bring them to Thailand. Most brands of film are available and film processing is inexpensive and fast. For high quality print, color slide, and black and white development, there
are a few professional labs.

Musical Instruments
Purchasing or renting instruments is expensive, so bring them ,plus sheet music with you. Pianos have good resale and should be fitted with heating bars to combat humidity, which can be purchased here.

Reading Material
Pattaya has many good bookstores that are well-stocked with foreign books, travel guides, magazines, newspapers and greeting cards. New books and magazines are expensive, but most women's clubs sell, lend, or trade used paperbacks and magazines. Libraries are very limited.

Paper Products
Due to the lack of a timber industry and no recycling, good quality paper products in Thailand is expensive. This includes cotton bond typing paper and envelopes, kitchen towels, paper plates, cups and napkins, and facial tissues. It's not a critical issue, but if you have room in your shipment, you might wish to bring a supply of the aforementioned. Thin, if serviceable, toilet paper is relatively cheap-about $1.00 US for a package of 6 rolls.

Pets
Presently, there are no quarantine restrictions on household pets coming into Thailand, but check with the Royal Thai Embassy in your country before making plans to ship your pet. Also keep in mind that returning home or going on to other countries from Thailand may require a lengthy quarantine period (i.e. England, Australia, New Zealand and the State of Hawaii.) At this time, all that is required for your pet’s entry into Thailand is a Health Certificate from your vet (stating the animal is in good health) and proof of a current rabies vaccination (rabies is rampant in Thailand, so be sure your pet is protected). Both certificates must be dated no earlier than 30 days before the animal’s arrival in Thailand. If your pet is travelling with you (YOUR dditional baggage and NOT as extra 'special' freight) on the same aircraft and you can produce these documents upon arrival, there should be no problem clearing them through Customs.

Above all, call the airlines and ask questions! Each airline has its own set of rules about transporting animals, all of which are vitally important to the safest and most comfortable means of travel for your carrier under the seat. Most have very specific regulations for the cargo-loaded travel cage, which is containerized in the lower aft of the airplane at the same temperature and pressure as the passenger cabin. You can usually buy travel cages directly from the airlines (purchase the cage several days before departure and allow your pet to get used to it at home.) Some airlines say they will feed and water pets if food is attached to the cage and if a water dish is accessible. What they mean is that they will not open the cage door, so whether or not the animals are tended to en route is dubious at best. Whether your pet is travelling a great or a short distance, these are serious considerations to keep in mind and you should investigate them at length.

Tranquilizing dogs and cats for travel is no longer recommended by many vets and owners as being the best thing for your pet in the belief that a drugged, semi-conscious state actually creates more stress on the animal. Check with your veterinarian and/or other reliable sources.

Deciding whether or not to take a pet overseas can be a major concern. It is just as stressful, if not more so, for an animal to move as it is for people. But by far, the fast majority of expat cats and dogs adjust extremely well to life in Thailand - even from house to condo living.

Premier

D. SETTLING IN THAILAND
1. When you arrive in Bangkok it is best that you be met by one of your company representatives or a Premier Homes representative as it will be most helpful in getting settled for your first day in Thailand.

2. Temporary living accommodations should be pre-arranged for you when you arrive. If you have selected permanent housing on a previous 'Look-See Visit' and the lease has been finalized, you may wish to organize a move directly into your residence - - to be so lucky! Talk to your Premier Homes representative about arranging a direct move in to your new home in Thailand.

3. Make sure that arrangements have been made for you to receive any necessary documentation and other information that will help you to settle in to your new home in Thailand.

4. Do you need to arrange for a car and driver? If a car and driver has not been hired, Premier Homes would be glad to assist you in hiring an appropriate vehicle and person to drive for you.

Upon Arrival
  • Register with your Embassy or Consulate in Thailand. Let Premier Homes know if you would like us to provide the forms.

  • If, applicable, start processing your Work Permit. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

  • Search for your new residence, if not decided prior to arrival. Your Premier Homes Real Estate Company representative would be glad to have your housing tour organized and ready upon your arrival.

  • If you have children in the family, contact the schools your children will be attending. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

  • Begin to familiarize yourself with Thailand and its people. Do not be shy about going right out to visit local markets and shops in your area.

  • Buy a book of common Thai words and phrases and useful reading material. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be happy to provide you with a list of good books on Thai language and Thai culture.

Visas
Thai regulations governing the entry and exit of foreigners are complex and strictly enforced. You should check with a Thai embassy or Consulate before your departure. Most visitors to Thailand are allowed to enter the Kingdom for a period of 14 days without a visa.

Three kinds of visas are available:

  • Transit: A Transit Visa is required for visitors who stay in the Kingdom for periods not exceeding 30 days who intend to travel to another country.

  • Tourist: A Tourist Visa is required for a stay over 14 days, a renewable tourist visa valid for 60 days is required. Tourists may not work in Thailand.

  • Non-immigrant: A non-immigrant visa is required for a person who wants to stay in Thailand for business or other particular purposes for a period of longer than described above, but does not want to reside permanently in Thailand. A non-immigrant visa is usually granted for a stay of up to 3 months and may be renewed on a quarterly basis by its holder if he wishes to extend his stay in Thailand.
The three most common types of non-immigrant visas are as follows:

Category B: Business purposes

Category BA: Business purposes with extension of stay already approved

Category O: Other purposes. This category is used for dependents of businessmen, those wishing to live with spouses or those wishing to retire in Thailand.

Exit visas are not needed but re-entry visas are required for all non-residents who leave Thailand temporarily for home leave or business trips. Failure to obtain one will result in you having to obtain a new entry visa and work permit when you return. Re-entry visa may be obtained by taking a return airline ticket, passport and official company letter stating the reasons for and duration of absence to the Department of Immigration. You should allow at least a week for processing, but often they are able to do this the same day. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

Work Permits
Work permits are obtainable only after arrival in Thailand, and as stated above the individual will need a non-immigrant category B visa to obtain the work permit.

Diplomats and United Nations officials are among the categories exempt from work permit requirements, but the exemption does not apply to spouses. Obtaining a work permit is a complex legal procedure. It should be noted that a foreigner may not be able to own or register a car, sign any official or company documents or receive any salary, until the work permit has been issued.

A number of occupations are restricted exclusively to Thai Nationals. Restricted occupations include secretarial, clerical, manual, and industrial labour as well as several professional occupations such as engineering, accounting, architecture and law. To work in unrestricted occupations it is necessary to obtain a work permit from the Labour Department before commencing employment.

The work permit will be valid only for the duration of the holder’s non-immigrant visa and for the particular occupation, employer and locality for which it is issued.

Your household and personal effects by shipment, by sea and/or air will not be granted duty free status until your work permit has been issued. Your shipment must remain at the port/airport unless you agree to pay taxes as levied by Thai customs officials. The shipping agent’s staff can assist you in determining whether or not to wait until your work permit is issued, if your shipment should arrive before issuance.

Passports
All persons entering Thailand must have a valid passport. It is strongly advised that your children have their own passports as well. You cannot leave the country without them if they are on your passport.
Working Dependants
Dependants are allowed to work in Thailand provided they obtain a work permit.

Local Communications
Radio

For information regarding foreign language broadcasts, both local and overseas, consult the Bangkok Post, or the The Nation newspapers. Local programs are broadcast on FM bands and overseas programs on SW bands. Television

The television system in Thailand is the PAL system which is used in Australia, Western Europe, New Zealand and most Asian countries. The United Kingdom and USA use different systems. The sound channel broadcasts are all in Thai language but most channels broadcasts selected foreign programs and news bulletins, with English translation on FM radios. A frequency chart and list of programs are published daily in newspapers.

If you do not already own a television, you might consider purchasing a multi-system TV before your arrival in Thailand. It can also be used when you return home or go to your next country of residence. Televisions are available in Thailand but are expensive. You might be able to buy a used one from a foreigner who is leaving.

Cable TV and Satellite TV
There is now very good Digital Satellite Television Broadcasts through the UBC Satellite Network. UBC mainly televises the US programs, Star programs and the UK programs. There is also German, French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese broadcasts available. These Digital Satellite Television services can be obtained in apartments and in houses. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

Newspapers
There are three local daily English language newspapers: The Bangkok Post, The Nation and The Thailand Times. All have home delivery service. Several English language newspapers and magazines are available at hotel newsagents, supermarkets, department stores and leading book stores. You should also arrange to have your favorite newspapers and magazines mailed to you while you are in Thailand.

Telephones
In looking for a residence find one that already has a telephone line installed with international facilities. In some areas they can be difficult to obtain. The waiting time for a line to be installed is very long. The cost of mobile phones are considerably higher than house telephones. Check the standard and quality of communication of the mobile telephones as these can be inferior to that of a normal telephone. Mobile telephones are popular at the current time due to the lack of permanent lines and can be used when stuck in the traffic.

GETTING SETTLED
Utilities
Water
It is highly recommended you stick to bottled water and making ice. Deliveries of bottled water by several reputable (Clean proper drinking water) can be made to homes and apartments on a regular basis. Water-cooler dispensers can be purchased easily as well. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

Electric Supply
Bills are sent monthly and electricity is expensive, especially the running of air-conditioners. Power failures are rare, except during the monsoon season. Keep candles, flashlights/torches and oil lanterns on hand. To prevent damage to stereo and TV equipment, shut off all switches until power has been stabilized. For computers, Kambrook type power boards with built-in or individuals surge-breakers are essential.

Gas Supply
Kitchen ranges and some water heaters are fuelled by bottled gas (LPG),which is promptly delivered in large cylinders and usually set up in utility areas of the residence. Apartment building and housing development managers usually will take care of this upon your request. Individual home dwellers need to find a supplier near them. The Premier Homes Real Estate Company would be glad to assist you in doing this.

Telephones
Mobile phones are all the rage in Thailand. Interantional Direct Dial (IDD) is widely available and connections are good. Once a month you will be billed for calls made within Thailand and twice a month billed for international calls. If you fail to pay your international phone bill on time, your outgoing calls will simply be shut off with a polite recording in Thai. Phone directories, including Yellow Pages, are printed in English and Thai.

Postal Service
The Royal Thai Mail is for the most part very reliable. Letters to and from the US and Bangkok take a week to 10 days. To and from Europe, it usually takes no more than a week. "Questionable" material (anything suspected of containing drugs) will likely be opened, censored, and/or confiscated. Packages can be very slow arriving to their destination.

Domestic Help
Maids, nannies, and drivers are customary help in Thailand, even for middle-class Thais. Making the right decisions in hiring your staff is important to your family’s stay-decisions that should not be made hastily. Take time to learn the general rules and practices, determine what your own needs will require, and proceed with care and attention.

Business and Legal Matters
Currency
The Thai Baht is the legal tender in Thailand. The currency is stable and the current rate of exchange is approximately 25 Baht to one US Dollar. Foreign exchange rates are published daily in the local newspapers. US Dollar bills and travellers' cheques are readily cashed at hotels, tourists shops and all provincial banks and money changers. Paper currency is issued in 1000, 500, 50, 20 and 10 Baht denominations. Coins are minted in Baht 10, 5, 2, and 1, and 50 and 25 satang.

Banking
Thai and foreign banks provide standard services throughout the country, some include automatic teller machines. Banking hours are 08:30 to 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday, except on public and bank holidays. There are two types of commercial banks in Thailand, Domestic and Foreign.

There are 15 local banks in operation, with a combined total of over 2,200 branches throughout the country. Bangkok Bank Ltd. is the largest Thai bank and also the largest bank in Southeast Asia.

There are ATM machines located in Pattaya that accept International Bank Cards and can be used for cash advances. Most Thais are paid through direct deposit two times monthly, therefore, on the 15th and the last day of the month ATM’s are sometimes crowded and, sometimes, empty.

For a foreigner living in Thailand the most important financial regulation is the Exchange Control Act, which regulates the amount of foreign currency a bank may issue to any person. Consult your bank manager concerning your individual requirements regarding remittances of funds and foreign travel.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Thailand and most shops and business display stickers for those they will accept.

Insurance
The importance of full insurance coverage in Thailand must be stressed as the incidence of accidents and losses is high. You should give serious consideration to the following types of coverage:-
  • Medical and Hospitalisation: There is no national health scheme, therefore you should take private coverage.

  • Personal Accident: Check first with your employer concerning health benefits if you are injured. It can be very difficult to obtain compensation if you are injured in an accident caused by someone else as most Thais are uninsured for both personal and motor liability.

  • Householder's Insurance: This covers you against breaking and entering of your premises and can be extended to cover all forms of losses in Thailand and elsewhere. Check COMPAC rates.

  • Car Insurance: There is a high motor accident risk in Thailand and there is, as yet, no compulsory coverage with a reliable company. Also, if you are involved in an accident and are driving, you will be at fault-even if you clearly are not!

  • Personal Liability: Personal liability insurance should be taken out to protect a person and family against their own negligence.

  • Life Insurance: If you do not already have it, you can obtain it in Thailand if you desire.

Foreign Mission Services/legal Issues
Birth
Anyone wishing to register a birth with their Embassy should have proof of citizenship (passport, marriage, certificate, etc ), together with the Thai birth certificate listing parents’ names and certified translation of same.
Adoption
It is necessary to liaise with the Welfare Department in your home country and then contact the consular section of your embassy for advice.
Marriage
Two persons of any nationality can marry at an Amphur (district registry office).They will have to provide passports and a statutory declaration stating that there is no restriction on the marriage. A foreigner wishing to marry a Thai national should contact his/her Embassy in order to obtain the necessary papers before registering the marriage at the Amphur.
Death
Any death of a foreigner should be reported immediately to a Consular Office at the relevant Embassy. Notify the Consular Officer if the remains are to be sent overseas.

An Additional Check List when Viewing a Prospective Accommodation
(You can be assisted by a Premier Homes Real Estate Company representative before your housing choice is finalized)

1. Check the water pump and pressure. Turn on the upstairs and downstairs taps simultaneously and note whether there is a decrease in the water flow. Flush all toilets. Beware of a house with klong (water storage) jars.

2. Switch on all lights, fans and air-conditioners and check the number of electrical outlets, and that they are in working order.

3. Find out where the water mains and the fuse boxes are situated, and that the drainage pipes have efficient outlets.

4. See if there is a functioning hot water system for both bathrooms and kitchen. Avoid gas systems in bathrooms where there is inadequate ventilation as gas leaks have proven fatal in this situation.

5. Note whether there is a connected working telephone. This is very important as there is a long waiting list for telephones.

6. Check if rent includes such items as telephone rental, water, garbage collection, gardener etc.

7. Check security. Beware that security grilles can be a hazard in the event of fire. If you feel more secure living behind bars, check for adequate alternative fire escapes.

8. If you have young children, inspect all upper story balconies to ensure that your child cannot climb over or through the railings.

9. Find out if the soi floods during the rainy season. Do not rely on landlords or agents for accurate information about this. Examine the garden walls along the soi for high water or tide marks. Talk with neighbors where possible.

10. Check parking availability for guests.

11. In apartments, make sure there is a back entrance that provides easy access to the maid’s room.

Do not hesitate to request improvements such as new furniture or repairs; but do not move in until the agreed changes are completed. It is worth noting that the tax structure here allows for the division of rental into two components for taxation purposes; rental of premises and rental of furnishings, the latter being exempt from withholding taxes. This explains why most landlords prefer to provide furnished or semi-furnished accommodation.


Appendix 1

Click here to open and print a copy of the Client Information Sheet
Client Information Sheet
Complete this Look-See 'Client Information Sheet' and mail or fax it on (66) (38) 231-519 to Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. as soon as possible. This will assist our team in preparing the best possible look see housing tour for you and your spouse.

Click here to open and print a copy of the Client Information Sheet.

Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. 240/21 Jomtien Beach Road, Moo 12, Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260 Thailand Tel : (66) (38) 231-931 Tel/Fax: (66) (38) 231-519 Internet/Email: premier@loxinfo.co.th


Appendix 2

Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. 240/21 Jomtien Beach Road, Moo 12, Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260 Thailand Tel : (66) (38) 231-931 Tel/Fax: (66) (38) 231-519 Internet/Email: premier@loxinfo.co.th
Your Eastern Seaboard Housing Tour - Items To Look For In Housing
1. LOCATION
It is very important that you know what public transportation (bus/taxi/motorcycle) is available to you and where you may catch them. Also, be sure and check for the location of nearby stores, restaurants, etc.
2. ENTRANCE WAYS
When looking at homes, make sure there are two entrance ways. There should be a way to enter the house from the front and the back in addition to any patio doors. As well, all doors should either lock or be able to have locks attached to them.
3. RESERVE WATER SUPPLY
Most homes will have a large water reserve system (tank & pump) in case of a main water supply failure from the city's own water reserve. This is of great importance since the city's water supply can be cut off at times! Note: This is most often for short periods of time, but can be very annoying if you do not have a reserve water system.
4. WINDOWS AND SCREENS
Check all windows for opening, closing and locking. Make sure that there are enough windows and doors with mosquito screens for your comfort.
5. OUTSIDE WATER SUPPLY
A house should have at least one outside water supply (spigot/faucet). You can buy the hose and clamps here, but any type of special nozzles for spraying may need to be brought with you (Chonburi’s True Value Hardware has them!).
6. CABLE OR SATELLITE TV RECEPTION
The local television reception is almost entirely in the Thai language. You will want to look for another option (cable and/or satellite) for TV viewing. Premier Homes highly recommends the UBC Satellite television network. Remember! All televisions here are PAL format (not NTSC or MESCAM) but, multi system VCR (video players) are easily obtainable.
7. HOT WATER SHOWER
You will find that many houses and condominiums will have a small water heater in the bathrooms for hot water showers. You may not find hot water in the kitchen, so make sure you look for a water heater! (Usually under the kitchen sink!). Also, check to see if a shower curtain is included. Bath tubs are a bit of a rarity also, so do not expect to always see one in a house or condominium.
8. GAS STOVE
Most of the time you will see gas stoves in the kitchens. Check tp see how many burners are available and whether their is an oven or not. Some places will have a micro wave oven which can be very handy to use.
9. REFRIGERATOR
The refrigerator should be at least medium size if not a large one. Many homes and condos will have one of the small refrigerators and they usually are just not enough. You may want to have your Premier Homes real estate consultant negotiate a larger one into the lease agreement.
10. UTILITIES AND APPLIANCES
It is very important that all of the homes utilities hardware, appliances and air conditioning equipment is in good working order. It is standard procedure with Premier Homes to ensure that the properties Landlord/Owner does check and service all appliances, electrical outlets and switches, plumbing fixtures and air conditioning units before you move into your new home.
11. WASHING MACHINES
Not all of the houses and condos will feature a washing machine. There are laundry services everywhere and usually, they are quite reasonable in price. Dryers are even less seldom seen (hang the clothes out a few hours and they are dry!). If you do find a place that does have a washer or you decide to purchase one, remember that they are often gravity drained (there are often no pumps to get the water up and out). Also, check for places and space to hang out your clothes for drying.
12. AIR CONDITIONING
It would be best to have at least the bedrooms air conditioned. It takes most expats a good while to get acclimated to Thailand’s very hot weather……remember you also have a very high level of humidity here also!
13. TELEPHONES
You will most likely want to have a telephone (IDD-International Direct Dial). Normally they are in the homes and are most often assigned to the home owner’s account. Be sure and ask what sort of service their phone has and what is necessary to get IDD if it doesn't already have it.
14. STORAGE
You should look to have at least one room available for the storage of items like luggage, boxes, recreational items, etc.
15. NEGOTIABLE
Remember...You can always try and ask for improvements (painting, repairing, replacing, etc.) during the negotiation period (prior to signing the rental agreement contract).

Remember! It is very important that you always have someone that you may contact in case of any problems or emergencies with your new home. You will need a name and number of someone to get in touch with (Property Owner, Property Manager, Your Premier Homes Property Management representative, etc.)

Also, make sure that you know where and when to pay your utility bills (electric, water and telephone) and any additional monthly charges and/or fees you may incur. It is very easy to get these utilities ‘cut off’ if you are not aware of when and where to pay them.

Remember! Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. is the only real estate firm on the entire Eastern Seaboard that stays with their client's throughout their tenancy.

Remember……When Premier Homes moves you in...it's just the beginning of their many services!


Appendix 3

Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd. 240/21 Jomtien Beach Road, Moo 12, Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260 Thailand Tel : (66) (38) 231-931 Tel/Fax: (66) (38) 231-519 Internet/Email: premier@loxinfo.co.th
Premier Homes Office Location Map
Please note the enclosed map which shows the location of Premier Homes Real Estate Companies head office on Jomtien Beach. As well, please note the following contact information:

Address:
Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd.
240/21 Jomtien Beach Road, Moo 12
Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya City
Chonburi 20260 Thailand

Contact Info:
Tel. (038) 231-931
Tel/Fax: (038) 231-519
Internet/Email: premier@loxinfo.co.th

Our Location

This complete guide and a larger, printable map are available as part of our free Global Relocation Guide. See link below.

Click here to download Premier International's full Relocation Guide in PDF Format
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