Introduction to Krabi

The spectacular province of Krabi is located in the south of Thailand, next to the pristine waters of the Andaman Ocean and in an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty. Benefiting from a glorious tropical climate, it is a true paradise for those lucky enough to live there.

Krabi people

The people of Krabi are as diverse as the spectacular landscape and include Buddhists, Thai-Chinese and Moken, also known as sea gypsies. Muslims also form a large proportion of the population, particularly in rural areas where they are in the majority. It’s amazing how these colorful communities can practice their individual beliefs and yet live together in seeming harmony – a refreshing example of tolerance and mutual respect that the rest of the world could learn from!

Traditionally, the people of Krabi were farmers of rubber, palm, oil, and oranges in the region, or fishermen who made a living off the abundant Andaman seafood. Today, many leave the farms and fishing villages to take advantage of the huge growth in tourism in Krabi and conventional life is gradually changing.

Krabi locals are known for being down to earth, open, friendly and helpful. They are renowned for their incredible hospitality and provide a warm welcome to both tourists and foreigners settling permanently.

Krabi expat community

There is also an expat community that drives more than 2,000 foreign nationals attracted by the laid-back lifestyle, breathtakingly beautiful surroundings, low crime rate, and comparatively low cost of living. This mixed group includes foreigners from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Expats tend to group by nationality or occupation and their community is remarkably laid back, much like Krabi itself! Formal clubs, groups or societies are few and far between, although there are some useful expat forums that provide up-to-date information on expat life in Krabi.

Because there is not a huge amount of work for foreigners, many expats set up their own business in Krabi and a large number choose to retire or live privately. Popular business ventures include restaurants, hotel and villa accommodation, language schools, and real estate agencies. Most jobs are provided by some of the many international hotels, restaurants and bars and some find employment as teachers or diving instructors.

There are a number of people who take risks and work illegally. This is not recommended as the punishment for being caught working or running a business without a valid work permit in Thailand is usually a massive fine or sometimes deportation.

Expat facilities in Krabi

The facilities in Krabi are excellent, which is another reason why so many foreigners choose this particular part of Thailand. Krabi even has an airport with an international terminal, allowing for regular flights home and frequent visits from friends and family.

Although there are no international hospitals in Krabi, there is a local hospital that is perfectly adequate for minor treatment and most prescription drugs are available from many pharmacies. There is also a private hospital with an excellent reputation, along with several private clinics in Krabi town. For more extensive treatment, the nearest international hospital in Phuket is just a couple of hours’ drive away. There are several dental practices in Krabi, however most expats tend to travel to Phuket or Bangkok for major dental work.

Most expats choose to send their children to the local Thai school in Krabi town as it offers bilingual curricula. There is also an international school which caters for kindergarten and primary pupils and teaches a British curriculum.

There is a good selection of banks in Krabi, however opening a bank account can sometimes be difficult for foreigners. Expats must be in possession of a nonimmigrant visa, such as a work permit or retirement visa. This will often needs to be supported by other documents such as a copy of the rental agreement for the property, or a copy of the lease if they have chosen to purchase property in Krabi. Alternatively, expats can withdraw money from their personal account at one of the many ATMs or use the international money transfer facilities available at most banks.

Expats inevitably miss the comforts of home from time to time, like a favorite beer or meal. In Krabi they can satisfy their craving for something familiar at one of the many authentic foreign bars and restaurants, run by expats. And if they’re looking for retail therapy or entertainment, there are some excellent shopping and entertainment facilities, including a multiplex cinema and the Tesco Lotus department store, just outside Krabi town.

learning the thai language

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest hurdles an expat faces when moving to Krabi is the language barrier. Although English is widely spoken in tourist areas, most expats try to master the basic vocabulary so that they can at least order food and drinks. There are many Thai language courses in Krabi, which are recommended for those planning to stay long-term. Being able to speak some basic Thai helps an expat fit in and allows them to do business and make friends with the locals. It is also a fantastic way to learn and immerse yourself in the extraordinarily rich Thai culture.

Moving abroad can be challenging, but the rewards usually far outweigh any minor inconvenience. If you dream of exchanging a busy and stressful life in bleak weather for a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle in a beautiful and vibrant corner of the world, then both the Krabi expat community and locals alike are waiting for you with open arms! !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *