There is a fast-growing expat community flourishing on Koh Samui, with many people from Europe and beyond choosing a tropical lifestyle and choosing to live on Samui permanently. Thailand is one of the most welcoming countries in the world and Koh Samui has developed and adapted over recent years to offer all the comforts of home with the benefits of a boutique beach resort.
Lliving on Samui as an expat is easy. The island now features some excellent locations for shopping, including large Western supermarket chains and sometimes you may even forget you are living within a Thai environment. What’s more, Koh Samui continues to develop with new shopping and entertainment centres cropping up all the time. This now even includes the island’s first cinema. And over the last few years a number of Western treats that expat residents may have once missed have become readily available.
You’ll be surprised at the lifestyle you can lead on Samui without breaking the bank, we help you estimate a typical budget for living on Samui as an expat in style and comfort…more
Join a burgeoning expat crowd who spend part or all of their year on Samui, there’s plenty of boutique villas up for grabs at affordable prices plus luxurious apartments as well…more
You’ll need a visa to stay permanently and there are several options, get accurate information here on which visa type you can qualify for properly to stay on Samui long term…more
Although you can probably survive without a word of the local lingo, the Thais will treat you with respect if you have a go, and you’ll be better at bargaining in the markets and malls…more
More on expat living in Samui
When living on Samui, there is a wealth of choice for wining and dining. Thai food, of course, abounds, but there is also a huge range of international cuisines. So when you can’t face another green curry it is easy to find a burger or steak instead. There are also many Western-style pubs and clubs, which serve local drinks as well as your favourite international beverages. Many also televise sporting events from Europe and elsewhere.
There are not many experiences more satisfying than enjoying a cold beer in the sun, while watching your football team play in the freezing wind and rain back home.
Of course, Thailand wouldn’t be the same without its wonderful people, and it is often because of their friendly nature that foreign visitors keep coming back and end up living on Samui. Most local people involved in the tourism trade speak a good level of English, so learning Thai is not necessary, though life becomes much easier if you do make the effort. Don’t expect to be living among a true Thai society though, as 80 per cent of all people on the island are visitors or expats. Only if you busy yourself among the communities of the south, away from the popular spots will you truly feel like you are in Thailand.