Expat in Uthai Thani
My husband and I have been living in Uthai Thani for almost a year and a half now. It’s still an amazing place and I still don’t want to leave any time soon. But I’m starting to see the positive and negative sides about living in a rural place like Uthai Thani as an expat.
The positive side is still the unbelievable friendly people surrounding you. And I know lots of people who visit touristic places say ‘but they are friendly everywhere in Thailand’, but they are wrong. It’s not the same. People who work in touristic areas might be friendly because they have business to do. Some might be sincerely friendly but 99% of the the citizens of Uthai Thani are always friendly even in awkward situations. The people I pass by everyday don’t gain anything for being nice. It’s just their nature.
I also have the feeling that Thai people in touristic areas are annoyed by foreigners sometimes when they don’t manage to understand each other. Here in Uthai Thani you’ll get a wide smile and they will just keep talking Thai to you and keep laughing about the situation. People will grab you by the arm to guide you and say thank you themselves. I’ve never seen anybody get annoyed here when not understanding a foreigner. Maybe because there are so few foreigners in Uthai Thani they’ve never had a negative experience with foreigners yet. I can understand that many Thai people have had a negative experience in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and so on… I also ran into some foreigners at these places who need to get punched fast!
Another positive aspect of Uthai Thani is that the food is so ridiculously good and not too expensive. For tourists the food in Bangkok or any other tourist area will not be expensive too, but I am not a tourist, I am an expat in Uthai Thani. The prices are still a huge difference if you compare Uthai Thani with Bangkok.
What might be a downside about this town for many people, is still a big plus to me. There are not many expats or tourists here. I don’t dislike expats, but I like the fact that there are not too many here. The chances of getting expats with bad intentions here in Uthai Thani are much smaller than in a place which has many expats coming and going. About 90% of the expats living in Uthai Thani are teachers or retired men living with their Thai wives.
Which brings me to my only downside about living here. Most teachers who are teaching in Uthai Thani are in their twenties or about my age. For most of them Uthai Thani is too quiet. I like it, but I do understand it can be too quiet for single young people to live here. My husband and I will always have eachother to talk to or get a drink together. I can drive to more busy towns as we own a car and the foreign expats depend on the public transport, which we all know is not always as reliable. Your bus might not show up or not drive to your destination. A lot of teachers will come and go every semester. Since we live here, we have said goodbye to about 20 people already. It’s almost the end of the school year so I think there will be more leaving. Ofcourse not everybody is ‘best friend material’. I have to be honest, I’ve been happy to see a person leave a few times too. With some people I’ve created a band and I did get sad when they left. Those people will know I’m talking about them for sure.
Overall I’m very positive about being an expat in Uthai Thani. Of course there are many other small downsides, but I feel they are not worth mentioning because there are so many small upsides which makes the downsides negligible. Everybody who has visited us so far was very positive about Uthai Thani. For me Uthai Thani is a place where people are bound to be happy!