Thailand is the number one expat destination for economic and lifestyle factors, according to the HSBC 2011 Expat Explorer survey.
The full results of the 2011 Expat Explorer survey, the largest global expat survey of its kind, will be released next month, but initial findings said this year’s number one country is Thailand, followed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
This is the fourth year of the survey and despite some significant global events in the past year _ from economic turmoil to widespread political and social unrest _ 3,385 expats from over 100 countries have taken part, it said. Thailand was ranked as number one by its expats for ease of organising health care, finding accommodation and its work environment.
“Last year, Thailand was ranked highly as a retirement spot so it is great to see the country develop in terms of its economic appeal,” said Lisa Wood, head of marketing at HSBC Bank International.
Seven new countries made it into this year’s survey: Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Egypt, Vietnam and Japan.
Chris A, a foreigner who has spent five years in Thailand, said arranging health care and accommodation in Bangkok presents few problems.
“The first few times you attempt something in Thailand, you are bound to meet with disappointment or failure, but the more you do it, the better it gets,” he said.
A glut of condominiums in Bangkok meant renters could name their price. As far as health benefits were concerned, his company provided a decent package. “Despite Thailand’s reputation for being a laid-back place, the social structure is actually fairly rigid. However, if you can grow to understand it and your place in it, you can make a success of your life,” he said.