The results of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2011 showed that—globally--Thailand tops the list of expat destinations.  What is astounding is that this is already the second time for this charming Asian country to seize the top spot in the yet 5-year-old survey. The 3,385 respondents of the said survey were expats living in over 100 countries. 


The survey was conducted by gleaning the opinions and reflections of these expats about the places they were currently living in.  The marketing head at HSBC International said that a combination of factors could explain for why Thailand has claimed the top spot the second time around. What expats look for are essentially what most people want when they reach retirement—a beautiful and relaxing place where the cost of living is low, the weather is fine, healthcare is of acceptable standards, the political climate is peaceful, the culture is warm and there are new sights and sounds to bring a sense of freshness to life. When you consider what Thailand has to offer, it is easy to see that it represents some sort of a total package for the quintessential expat’s wish list.


Affordable Cost of Living Expats want more value for their retirement money, something which they are sure to find in Thailand.  Scoring an international cost of living index of 0.319—as against the standard 1.00 of the US—this means that living in Thailand is only a third the cost of living in the US.  Expats definitely reduce their financial worries when they live in Thailand.


World-class Healthcare Facilities Boasting ISO standards, Thai hospitals are considered at par with those of the Western world.  With world-class facilities, cutting-edge medical technology, Western-trained doctors, multilingual hospital staff and that typically warm Asian touch, Thailand has consistently been one of the top of the medical tourism spots.


Modern Infrastructure Expats appreciate the value of greater mobility and transport, something which is definitely not lacking in Thailand.  The aviation facilities of Thailand are state-of-the-art.  Suvarnabhum International Airport, one of the 7 international airports in the country, even grabbed a spot in the world’s Top 10 International Airports as ranked by an independent aviation research institute.


International Schools The presence of international schools is yet another expat-friendly feature of Thailand.  With over a hundred international schools, and a half of them accredited internationally, Thailand never runs out of choice schools for expats’ children.


Natural Tourist Attractions A thousand miles of sunny and sandy beaches plus curious coves and bays, make a playground for swimming, yachting and seaside dining.  Added tourist attractions are exotic floating markets, interesting cuisine and out-of-the-way parks.  For these reasons and more--Thailand is truly the jewel of Asia.