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Thailand lures the rich as tourism revival hope fades


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51 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

 

Not sure if I just got shade thrown at me 😛

 

 

Actually I agree with part of this. I don't think this is a great place for folks with families. I definitely wouldn't want my kids growing up here beyond age 7 or so.

 

Also agree that Thailand is not ideal as a full-time destination for the wealthy without the ability to take frequent trips abroad. Although I'd argue that I have yet to find a city that has enough on its own where I don't feel bored after a few months, so I'm not sure that's just a Thailand problem.

 

I've said elsewhere on here that I think Thailand - and Bangkok specifically - is best as a part-of-the-year residence for wealthy under 40s who are still in 'kill mode'. Because it offers the ability to live a 'work hard play hard' lifestyle at fantastic value for money, meaning that those folks can live a high-quality life while maximizing wealth accumulation at the same time.

 

For seniors though, or folks with families, I imagine that a lot of the things that make Bangkok appealingly 'quirky, vibrant, and exciting' for young people quickly turn into annoyances. Those folks might be better off basing elsewhere and doing the short-term luxury island retreat thing that you outlined in your post.

 

No shade at all. Many of us posters have been her 10 or 20 years, so we have a different perspective...I appreciate that you have a refreshing viewpoint. It's good to see.

 

And don't get me wrong, I love BKK for it's grit and vibrancy, but I could not live there. I'll leave to the younger guys who have more stamina than me. 

 

Your re-definition makes sense and I know a lot of older wealthy guys that enjoy a "golf trip" a few times a year and a few have condo's in BKK or Villas on the islands, but they don't live here. I know a few ex-pats with families who live in BKK and also really enjoy it - but work brings them here, and they usually have a decent ex-pat package that makes it bearable.

 

I just don't think Thailand (especially BKK) is on the radar of wealthy people as a long term resident. Short visits, sure. 

 

Thailand Government do not understand wealthy people and have overestimated the value of Thailand. It's certainly not what it was - as much as I hate that saying - it's true.

 

Party on Wayne...Party on Garth...

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Might be a good idea to look to those long termers already here putting billions in to the economy. That is something that is tangible not pie in the sky.  

Thailand lures the rich with yet another big, juicy nuthin' burger.   If they wanna attract anybody, they need to get their population vaccinated so they can do away with the quarantine.  Un

Nobody's coming, give it up already.    

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25 minutes ago, DerbyDan said:

Sitting in bars, clubs, nana, drinking?

 

Not quite? There's plenty of value to be had without drinking. Wealthy under 40s trying to ramp up their net-worths are probably spending a good chunk of their day working. So what's important for them re: productivity? Convenience, working-location comfort, and value.

 

Bangkok currently offers incredible value. I'm able to rent a wonderful flat, comfortable size, good fit and finish, great gym, infinity edge pool...the works, for literally a small fraction of what the eye-watering cost would be for a similar unit in Vancouver, Singapore, or Hong Kong - the other cities in which I regularly spend meaningful time. Can work comfortably from my unit, or from one of the many decently-furnished cafes in the city.

 

Beyond that I have a fairly wide selection of food that I can order to save on cooking time - for again - significantly cheaper than what it would cost in the aforementioned cities. House cleaning? Ditto.

 

Malls and here amenities here are great, if a little homogeneous in their offerings. I never hit the red lights unless friends are in town and want to go, but conventional night life is fantastic, and Bangkok has plenty of niche little areas to explore in the daytime if you're inclined to do that - way more than a smaller city like Vancouver has. And. Once again everything is cheaper at the same time. 

 

Quality of life = high. Time efficiency maximized and spend minimized.

 

If you get bored of Bangkok, the Thai islands are a short hop away. Want to get away from Thailand? Singapore and Hong Kong are each a couple of hours away and can be a weekend trip. Major cities in Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan are all reachable within 6 hours by plane.

 

If that doesn't do it for you then that's fine, but I don't know man, maybe Asia isn't where you'd be happy.

 

28 minutes ago, Airalee said:

World class Opera, Symphony, Ballet, museums, architecture, have lunch at a street side cafe without sweating to death and breathing in fumes from exhaust belching busses and tuk-tuks, shop without paying grossly high luxury taxes, enjoy clean beaches, stroll along nicely landscaped avenues without worrying about twisting an ankle.

 

Ok sure. But if that's what you're looking for in life why choose Thailand? That's not what it's value prop is. People who want that would set up somewhere like Vienna or New York, right?

 

I personally don't feel like seeing an opera or symphony more than once or twice a year, so I'm fine flying to do that and tagging it on as part or holiday. Folks that want to go often and are complaining that Thailand doesn't offer that might be trying to fit their square peg into a round hole here. Or at least, that's how I see it.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

Ok sure. But if that's what you're looking for in life why choose Thailand?

I never said that was what I’m looking for, but the wealthy people I knew in L.A. and UWS Manhattan actually sneer at the idea of going to Thailand.  It’s where people go to for sex and many people raise a suspicious eyebrow if they know you spend time here.  It is what it is.

 

the “wealthy under 40s” that you speak of seem to be few and far between.  Most are poseurs.  I see the guys in their cheap suits and shoes.  They’re not hard to spot.

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12 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

Wealthy under 40s trying to ramp up their net-worths are probably spending a good chunk of their day working.

 

We may also have a different interpretation of wealthy foreigners.

 

My impression is that a wealthy foreigner does not work, and really does not care about office space, convenience or value. His priorities are different.

 

And I believe when Thailand talks about attracting wealthy foreigners, they think more along the lines of retired or semi-retired - working a few hours from the pool or boat per day. 

 

Your definition, then yes, I agree with you, BKK is a pretty good choice. My definition...not so much.

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20 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

Bangkok currently offers incredible value. I'm able to rent a wonderful flat, comfortable size, good fit and finish, great gym, infinity edge pool...the works, for literally a small fraction of what the eye-watering cost would be for a similar unit in Vancouver, Singapore, or Hong Kong - the other cities in which I regularly spend meaningful time. Can work comfortably from my unit, or from one of the many decently-furnished cafes in the city.

 

Beyond that I have a fairly wide selection of food that I can order to save on cooking time - for again - significantly cheaper than what it would cost in the aforementioned cities. House cleaning? Ditto.

You sound quite price conscious.  I don’t think that’s what the TAT has in mind when they think of wealthy retirees.  But if an infinity pool is what excites you....fabulous.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, DLock said:

 

We may also have a different interpretation of wealthy foreigners.

 

My impression is that a wealthy foreigner does not work, and really does not care about office space, convenience or value. His priorities are different.

 

And I believe when Thailand talks about attracting wealthy foreigners, they think more along the lines of retired or semi-retired - working a few hours from the pool or boat per day. 

 

Your definition, then yes, I agree with you, BKK is a pretty good choice. My definition...not so much.

 

Exactly. What he is referring to is what I was doing for years there in my 40's. Focusing on work, and saving money in rent, food and whatever else. 

 

It was the closest I could come to living smack middle in a fairly big city at half the cost (can't afford New York or San Francisco).

 

Nothing wrong with that. But if I really had money I admit to myself I would not be sticking around Bangkok or Thailand for that matter. You play the cards dealt to you (fold 'em) and do the best you can.

 

People always got a bit ruffled when I told them what I was doing was 50% saving money, that's why I was here, like I was copping out or something. I think it challenged the whole one day millionaire mindset people want to have in Thailand.

 

Remember when the Thai Tourism talks about high net worth they are talking about people with 30+ millions of baht. Not people on pensions, and probably not even people who had to retire from some job, unless it was very senior.

Edited by DerbyDan
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33 minutes ago, Airalee said:

You sound quite price conscious.  I don’t think that’s what the TAT has in mind when they think of wealthy retirees.  But if an infinity pool is what excites you....fabulous.

 

Hm, I don't consider myself rich, and would describe myself as value conscious. A bit about my situation: I'm 30 and currently have positive net cash flow of about $10k per month. I try and stash half of that while enjoying my life with the other half. That $5k a month spend goes a loooot further in Bangkok than in other big cities that I like.

 

I like to think (maybe fancifully) that the Gov of Thailand appreciates that injection into their economy? With the new trend to remote work - if it sticks - I'm inclined to believe, based on my experience and my friends' experiences, that there are a lot more me's out there who are frustrated at the pace of meaningful wealth accumulation in high-cost Tier 1 cities and would appreciate a smooth path to a setting up shop somewhere like here.

 

In the time I've spent here over the years I've met a few wealthy people who enjoy living here or spending material parts of their years here - most are Southeast Asian business people, which I realize is a different demo than most on Thai Visa, but there have been handful of HNW Western retirees, as well as other young guys trying to ramp from $1-5M or $5-10M.

 

Is this the optimal target demo for the government to be focusing on? Maybe not. But I do believe there is at least some reason for the Thai Gov's hope of attracting more of this type of person.

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5 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

 

Hm, I don't consider myself rich, and would describe myself as value conscious. A bit about my situation: I'm 30 and currently have positive net cash flow of about $10k per month. I try and stash half of that while enjoying my life with the other half. That $5k a month spend goes a loooot further in Bangkok than in other big cities that I like.

 

I like to think (maybe fancifully) that the Gov of Thailand appreciates that injection into their economy? With the new trend to remote work - if it sticks - I'm inclined to believe, based on my experience and my friends' experiences, that there are a lot more me's out there who are frustrated at the pace of meaningful wealth accumulation in high-cost Tier 1 cities and would appreciate a smooth path to a setting up shop somewhere like here.

 

In the time I've spent here over the years I've met a few wealthy people who enjoy living here or spending material parts of their years here - most are Southeast Asian business people, which I realize is a different demo than most on Thai Visa, but there have been handful of HNW Western retirees, as well as other young guys trying to ramp from $1-5M or $5-10M.

 

Is this the optimal target demo for the government to be focusing on? Maybe not. But I do believe there is at least some reason for the Thai Gov's hope of attracting more of this type of person.

It sounds like you’re doing well for yourself and for that I commend you.   However, most of the people in your demographic are doing the “fake it til you make it” and I’ve seen countless numbers of them run out of money, pack up and go home.  There are far more fakers than those actually doing well.

 

Another issue, if I may play devils advocate, in how the government views the “remote workers” (or whatever the current term might be) is that of income tax.  I have yet to meet one who isn’t trying to fly beneath the radar and the Thai government is probably very aware of this too.  So, while the landlords/restaurants/nightclubs might appreciate you, the taxman certainly doesn’t.  
 

Whether or not immigration will clear a path for the remote workers of today to be able to live here remains unsure, but being that many of my conversations with the younger generation are centered around their reasons for wanting to live here (my background education is Economics with a concentration in international trade and development), I find that most often, the two biggest reasons are 1) Low cost of living and 2) I don’t have to pay taxes.  And for every one person who the government would potentially roll out the welcome mat for (and get them on the tax rolls) there are dozens that they really rather not have here.  Furthermore, those people who are trying to “ramp up their net worth” are savers and not spenders.  They are hated by governments (and the banks they are beholden to) worldwide.

 

I believe that the government is really trying to target those people with substantial savings and I also think that as they become more welcoming, our own respective countries will fight to keep that demographic at home spending their money into their domestic economy.

 

Finally, If you’re making $10,000/month you’d probably have to fork over about 27% +/- of your income to be “legit”.  How much does that change the playing field?

 

https://www.rd.go.th/publish/fileadmin/user_upload/AEC/AseanTax-Thailand.pdf

 

 

 

 

7C7036F6-A341-4D23-9019-7DE9E1EEA82B.jpeg

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On 5/7/2021 at 5:55 AM, The Cipher said:

 

Not quite? There's plenty of value to be had without drinking. Wealthy under 40s trying to ramp up their net-worths are probably spending a good chunk of their day working. So what's important for them re: productivity? Convenience, working-location comfort, and value.

 

Bangkok currently offers incredible value. I'm able to rent a wonderful flat, comfortable size, good fit and finish, great gym, infinity edge pool...the works, for literally a small fraction of what the eye-watering cost would be for a similar unit in Vancouver, Singapore, or Hong Kong - the other cities in which I regularly spend meaningful time. Can work comfortably from my unit, or from one of the many decently-furnished cafes in the city.

 

Beyond that I have a fairly wide selection of food that I can order to save on cooking time - for again - significantly cheaper than what it would cost in the aforementioned cities. House cleaning? Ditto.

 

Malls and here amenities here are great, if a little homogeneous in their offerings. I never hit the red lights unless friends are in town and want to go, but conventional night life is fantastic, and Bangkok has plenty of niche little areas to explore in the daytime if you're inclined to do that - way more than a smaller city like Vancouver has. And. Once again everything is cheaper at the same time. 

 

Quality of life = high. Time efficiency maximized and spend minimized.

 

If you get bored of Bangkok, the Thai islands are a short hop away. Want to get away from Thailand? Singapore and Hong Kong are each a couple of hours away and can be a weekend trip. Major cities in Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan are all reachable within 6 hours by plane.

 

If that doesn't do it for you then that's fine, but I don't know man, maybe Asia isn't where you'd be happy.

 

 

Ok sure. But if that's what you're looking for in life why choose Thailand? That's not what it's value prop is. People who want that would set up somewhere like Vienna or New York, right?

 

I personally don't feel like seeing an opera or symphony more than once or twice a year, so I'm fine flying to do that and tagging it on as part or holiday. Folks that want to go often and are complaining that Thailand doesn't offer that might be trying to fit their square peg into a round hole here. Or at least, that's how I see it.

 

 


You keep talking about value proposition's and money saving.. Everyone else is talking HNW or VHNW people.. 

Sure penny pinching nomads making a 100k USD a year ?? Younger single guys out to party with cheap loose women (and that includes the non bar fined ones) ?? Maybe.. But thats not the subject at hand though. 

So far we have 'bars' and 'Stumbling out of a dingy Thai after-hours at 4am' which I cant help but point out is.. er.. also bars... Dont get me wrong, I spent a decade 5 or 6 nights a week coming home at dawn, but thats one pretty low rent budget thing... You think VHNW people with plus 5 mil in the bank have a hard time finding a drink ?? 

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Posted (edited)

 

On 5/7/2021 at 7:52 AM, Airalee said:

It sounds like you’re doing well for yourself and for that I commend you.   However, most of the people in your demographic are doing the “fake it til you make it” and I’ve seen countless numbers of them run out of money, pack up and go home.  There are far more fakers than those actually doing well.

 

Another issue, if I may play devils advocate, in how the government views the “remote workers” (or whatever the current term might be) is that of income tax.  I have yet to meet one who isn’t trying to fly beneath the radar and the Thai government is probably very aware of this too.  So, while the landlords/restaurants/nightclubs might appreciate you, the taxman certainly doesn’t.  
 

Whether or not immigration will clear a path for the remote workers of today to be able to live here remains unsure, but being that many of my conversations with the younger generation are centered around their reasons for wanting to live here (my background education is Economics with a concentration in international trade and development), I find that most often, the two biggest reasons are 1) Low cost of living and 2) I don’t have to pay taxes.  And for every one person who the government would potentially roll out the welcome mat for (and get them on the tax rolls) there are dozens that they really rather not have here.  Furthermore, those people who are trying to “ramp up their net worth” are savers and not spenders.  They are hated by governments (and the banks they are beholden to) worldwide.

 

I believe that the government is really trying to target those people with substantial savings and I also think that as they become more welcoming, our own respective countries will fight to keep that demographic at home spending their money into their domestic economy.

 

Finally, If you’re making $10,000/month you’d probably have to fork over about 27% +/- of your income to be “legit”.  How much does that change the playing field?

 

https://www.rd.go.th/publish/fileadmin/user_upload/AEC/AseanTax-Thailand.pdf

 

 

 

 

7C7036F6-A341-4D23-9019-7DE9E1EEA82B.jpeg


Exactly another tax evader, claiming how cheap it is.. while abusing the labour law, likely abusing the immigration law and abusing the tax code.. 

Take away the crimes and even that marginal appeal to a basic worker is shrinking by the second. 

Edited by LivinLOS
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2 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

You keep talking about value proposition's and money saving.. Everyone else is talking HNW or VHNW people.. 

 

So either everyone you know is in the nine-digit-plus range, or you just said more about yourself than you think you did lol.

 

2 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

So far we have 'bars' and 'Stumbling out of a dingy Thai after-hours at 4am' which I cant help but point out is.. er.. also bars... Dont get me wrong, I spent a decade 5 or 6 nights a week coming home at dawn, but thats one pretty low rent budget thing... You think VHNW people with plus 5 mil in the bank have a hard time finding a drink ?? 

 

But about this, I used the after hours bar as a specific example there because it was what my brain came up with in the moment to contrast the opera. Because that specific experience is relatively better here than in many other countries.

 

But. I have said above that I think there's plenty to do here even if one were teetotaler (and outlined examples). This is especially true in a post-Covid world where travel resumes normally. I do think that Thailand skews better for relatively younger folks at all HNW+ levels of wealth, but it's heavily subjective on the person because - as I've also said before - 'the wealthy' are not homogeneous.

 

My entire case is that that Thailand is a viable destination for a HNW person to set up shop in as part of a dual or multi-city living arrangement. I do not believe it is the ideal place for many, but I still believe that it is the right option for some.

 

If you look at a map of Asia, how many other destinations are obviously more appealing for someone looking to establish a base on the continent (or, for Asian wealth, a second home). Singapore is the only one I see. Formerly Hong Kong, but I think it's now dropped a tier.

 

2 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

Exactly another tax evader, claiming how cheap it is.. while abusing the labour law, likely abusing the immigration law and abusing the tax code.. 

Take away the crimes and even that marginal appeal to a basic worker is shrinking by the second. 

 

Also, dude, I'm not evading taxes anywhere. I pay a ridiculous amount of tax in the country where I'm employed, and in the locations where my assets generate taxable gains/income (I also use materially none of the social safety net, but I digress). Those locations just don't happen to be Thailand at the moment. My tax situation is, apparently, completely legal as outlined in a separate forum thread.

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On 5/12/2021 at 4:17 AM, The Cipher said:

 

So either everyone you know is in the nine-digit-plus range, or you just said more about yourself than you think you did lol.


Not everyone I know is multi millionaires... But those are the ones Thailand WISHES to attract... Those are the ones Thailand wants to market for.. and I maintain that they are very low on what that genuinely have as appeals for HNW types. 

What they do well is budget.. Budget bars.. Budget women.. Budget beaches.. Budget food.. Budget pensioners.. Here they have a niche.. But its a niche they seem to constantly undermine, obstruct, and generally reduce the appeal year by year.. 
 

Quote

Also, dude, I'm not evading taxes anywhere. I pay a ridiculous amount of tax in the country where I'm employed, and in the locations where my assets generate taxable gains/income (I also use materially none of the social safety net, but I digress). Those locations just don't happen to be Thailand at the moment. My tax situation is, apparently, completely legal as outlined in a separate forum thread.

 

Ohh dear you dont actually believe that do you ?? Try a lawyer (or the labour dept) not a forum thread. 

Work here, from day 1, is taxed here.. Not paying taxes here is precisely the tax evasion I point out. The fact you pay it elsewhere where you are no longer resident is your own fault, not Thailands. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, retsdon said:

List of minuses for people with choices.

1) climate - far, far too humid for most of the year. Can't do anything without getting in a muck sweat.

2) Air quality. Just look at a global live map. Thailand is perpetually red or orange.

These are the biggies. Then in no particular order...

 

3) Whatever one's interests there will always be better places on the planet to cater to them. Culture, outdoors, sport, scenery, cuisine, whatever. Thailand's way down on any list.

4) The place itself. No matter how much you're worth, as soon as you step out of your door you're in a low to mid ranking industrial country with non-existent planning regulations and a propensity for concrete. I remember once complimenting a friend in Bali on the design of his house and his reply was....yeah but you live in Thailand. They don't build houses in Thailand. They build shops and garages- and then go and live in them!' And fundamentally he was right. Aesthetically, most of Thailand is pretty horrible. It's tacky.

 

5) It's a military dictatorship 

 

6). Lots of people and crowds. Privacy at a premium.

Edited by DerbyDan
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, retsdon said:

... Aesthetically, most of Thailand is pretty horrible. It's tacky.

Surely you jest.  My sis-in-law has a nice residence/recycling business in Loei  across the street from our house. 

 

image.png.e41bed4bf059142d86b33ebc08ea5086.png

 

My wife's neighborhood from when I met her 40+ years ago still has the same old charm.  Years back, the soi didn't go through and MIL's house protruded over the river bank.  Saw a young farang couple walking the river bed one day in the dry season. From Ireland.  Invited them up to the house for dinner and we had a great time. 

 

image.jpeg.428ec597f2445ba1be526d3f14666423.jpeg

 

Edited by Damrongsak
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