When people think of stunning tropical beaches, Thailand is often the first country they think of. But Thailand is about more than just beaches, offering all you could need to be happy and comfortable during your stay. As such, many people have emigrated to make Thailand their home, including retirees from across the world who want to settle down in the land of smiles.

If you’re thinking of retiring in Thailand yourself, then you will no doubt have a lot going through your mind. Moving to a new country can be daunting, with concerns such as how you will fit in socially. People tend to find it easier to settle in when around people from the same country and similar cultures, so here we look at some of the most common nationalities of ex-pat retirees in Thailand.


Britain is a small island nation and has a climate that’s not appealing to most people. As such, it’s no wonder the British people are among the world’s most prolific travellers. Many Brits have made Thailand their home, and Brits accounted for the majority of new retirement visas in 2018. This is great news for other considering choosing Thailand as their retirement home.

As such, visitors to Thailand will find British restaurants, pubs, and other establishments that appeal to British ex-pats, although all are welcome. Here you will find food just as it is back home, including Sunday roast dinners.


Many Americans have also chosen to settle down in Thailand in their later years. In many cases, these retirees are military vets who stayed in Thailand for R&R during the Vietnam war. Regardless of what bought them to Thailand, American retirees have made a valuable contribution to the ex-pat and wider Thai communities in Thailand.

As with the British, you will also find America-themed restaurants and bars, serving all types of American cuisine. Plus, of course, there are plenty of American fast-food restaurants to choose from.


Thailand is also a popular retirement destination for many people from European countries, including Germany, France, and the Netherlands. These countries have a temperate climate and are often cold and wet through much of the year, making hot countries like Thailand more appealing.

Many Europeans can also speak English reasonably well, which will help them socialise with other ex-pats, and Thais. Plus, of course, Thailand has plenty of European restaurants to choose from, often owned and managed by leading European chefs.


Thailand has long held very close Ties with China. This much is clear to see thanks to Chinese architecture, while you will also encounter the language frequently when in the country. Many Chinese people have family staying in Thailand, and many will choose Thailand as their retirement location.

While there are many Chinese retirees living in Thailand, many westerners are unlikely to get to meet them. This is because different cultures mean you’re less likely to socialise with each other. Yet, visitors in Thailand will still often get to experience Chinese culture because of the close links between the two countries.


Many Indians have also made Thailand their home. And in some cases, their families originally arrived generations ago. The influence of Indian immigrants is also clear to see throughout Thailand, and many companies have adapted their services and marketing to appeal to Indian tourists.

As such, many Indians have chosen to retire in Thailand, whether to stay with family or simply because they feel it’s the best place for them.

Australians and New Zealanders

Thailand is also a popular retirement destination for Australians and New Zealanders. Some visitors might also notice the influence from foreigners from these countries, many of whom own businesses like pubs and restaurants. Westerners are quite likely to socialise with people from Australia and New Zealand thanks to the familiarity of their cultures.

Where Will You Find These Retirees?

You will find ex-pats and retirees living all over Thailand. Many will even head for the country’s rural regions to take advantage of the low cost of living and the slow pace of life, among numerous other benefits. However, it makes sense that you will find the majority of foreign retirees in locations that cater to people from all over the world.

  • Bangkok: Bangkok is a large city that’s home to millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of ex-pats.The city has nightlife and entertainment zones that attract visitors from around the world and offers all the home countries that anybody could need. And with outstanding medical facilities and other essential services, it’s easy to see why so many ex-pats choose to retire in the capital.
  • Pattaya: Pattaya is a well-known Thai coastal city that’s approximately 15 km east of Bangkok. Not only is Pattaya a popular location for ex-pats, but the resort also sees millions of short-term tourists arriving each year. The city has all you could need, including a beach, and there are some stunning islands in the region to visit.
  • Phuket: Phuket is an island located towards the south of Thailand.The island is one of our planet’s premier tourist destinations and sees millions of people visit from around the world every year. Patong, a town with a large, beautiful beach, is Phuket’s main tourist destination. The island also has numerous quieter coastal and inland destinations, some of which are home to foreign retirees.
  • Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai is in the country’s north and is quite different to the locations mentioned. There are no beaches nearby but instead, visitors get to see the stunning mountainous backdrop. Chiang Mai is a beautiful city that’s steeped in history and has a slower, gentle pace of life. Added to the low cost of living, it’s no wonder that Chiang Mai is a popular retirement destination for foreigners.


No matter which country you come from, Thailand is a welcoming place to stay. Not only is there the famous smile, but Thailand offers numerous other benefits that help make the country so popular among ex-pats. With all you could need, Thailand also makes an excellent location for retirees who can relax in comfort. Retirees in Thailand will also get the chance to meet with other ex-pats, potentially helping them form long-term friendships.



45 days Exempt visa stamp is no longer offered which was implemented on October 1st last year 2022 as an effort to help stimulate the Thai Tourism Industry. All the countries that eligible for Exempt Visa stamp will now get only 30 days upon arrival.

For those who want to stay longer for tourism purpose, travelers can also apply for a 60 days Tourist Visa head of time, which is of course, more costly and requires uploading a variety of documents as most embassies have moved to the E-Visa application system.

Either way, the Exempt Visa stamp for 30 days and Tourist Visa for 60 days can extend their stay for another 30 days at the cost of 1900 THB at a local Thai Immigration in Thailand. However, some nationalities may receive extension not more than 7 days on a Tourist Visa (if not eligible for Exempt Visa stamp)