Traveling with pets in Thailand_featured

Traveling with pets in Thailand: options and considerations

If you are an animal lover, and you can’t be separated from your pets – then your ideal vacation would be with your pets. In our previous article, we talked about the process of bringing pets into Thailand. Now, we will be focusing on the process of traveling with pets in Thailand once your pets have arrived there.

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Traveling with pets in Thailand

Domestic travel within Thailand are mostly done via air and land transport.

Are domestic flights pet friendly?

At the time of our research, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Nok Air provide pet flight service. While you would generally hear about “Pet in Cabin” and “Pets as Checked Baggage”, most airlines in Thailand now only offer Pets as Checked Baggage service. This means you have to check-in your pets to a special area right under the passenger cabin,

In general, Airlines recommend that you get in touch with their service center as there are many limitations including pet breed, container condition, maximum number of pet / flight, and aircraft type.

We have consolidated pet policy pages from the 3 airlines here: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air

Travel by land options

In our opinion, if you are already in Thailand, the most convenient way to travel with a pet is to drive or hire private transportation. However, keep in mind the travel distance. For example, a drive from Bangkok to Chiang Mai would take 6-7 hours, Pattaya or Hua Hin would be more suitable for a road-trip from Bangkok. 

If you or your local thai friends already own a car then the process is simple, however if you don’t – there are a few options. First, you can get in touch with a pet relocation specialist. Pet town, for example, also provide pet taxi service on top of their pet relocation service. Another option is to rent a car. There are a vast number of car rental / car with a driver service providers in Thailand. Some of them would also allow pets in exchange for higher fees. AVIS is among the most international (but also very expensive) one which we have tried during our business trip. We did not have a pet with us back then but feel free to get in touch with the company for inquiry.

Traveling with pets in Thailand_pet town

If you want to go for a cheaper/local alternative, make sure to do your research on provider’s credentials, pricing or go with providers that transparently list out pricing on their website. While we have not personally tried this provider, a desktop research shows that Okay Travel lists out pricing by destination, and also mentions pet transportation as their service.

Train is another land travel options, however Thailand train infrastructure is not well developed like in Europe or Japan/Taiwan. Pets are also restricted to lower fare cabin, which you may find it uncomfortable.

Pet-friendly hotels and resorts in Thailand

Being a tourism destination, Thailand has a large number of hotels and resorts. However not all hotels are pet-friendly, and even fewer have clear pet policies that you can easily check online.

Below are some of the hotels and resorts that have transparent pet policies. However, you are encouraged to still get in touch with these hotels ahead of your booking for full details. Lastly, if you are looking for more alternatives, feel free to check websites like Tripadvisor which has a longer list of pet-friendly accommodation. 

Image from Novetel Hua Hin which has a dedicated post about their pet friendliness!

Pet-friendly hotels in Thailand: there are a number of hotels in Bangkok that would allow you to stay with your pet

Pet-friendly resorts in Thailand:

Pet-friendly condos for rent Thailand

Traveling with pets in Thailand_cat

If you are looking to have a longer stay in Thailand then purchasing or long-term rental would be your options. 

If you are living outside of Bangkok or in other cities, your best bet would be to check out detached landed property or townhouse since they provide more space for your pets. However, if you are looking to stay in Bangkok, it does get more tricky as majority of condominiums would not allow you to keep pets.

Here are some of the condominiums in Bangkok that are pet friendly:

  • M Thonglor, M Phayathai and M Jatujak
  • Ashton Sukhumvit and Ashton Morph
  • Maru Ladprao and Maru Ekkamai
  • Metris Ladprao and Metris Pattanakarn
  • MAESTRO Siam-Ratchathewi and MAESTRO Ratchada
  • The Monument Thonglor
  • Waterford Sukhumvit

For shorter term stay like 1-3 month(s), the easiest way to find accommodation would be to check for Airbnb within condominiums that are officially pet-friendly (like those listed above).

There are many beautiful condominiums in Thailand that would satisfy both pets and their owners. Photo from Maru Ladprao

So, is it easy traveling with pets in Thailand?

Traveling with pets in Thailand requires a lot of preparation, so maybe it’s not worth it for a weekend get-away. Being on the road for a very long time can be stressful for the pets too. 

However, if you and your pets are inseparable or you are planning on a long-trip away from home. There are logistics and accommodation options that would allow you to enjoy holiday with your pets. 

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Kaffir lime_tom yum

Kaffir lime: the tree and usage as Thai ingredients

In the previous article, we have discussed Thai herbs in general. In this post, we would deep-dive into kaffir lime, which is often used in Thai food. Let’s find out more about kaffir lime as a herb and cooking ingredient, a common recipe that uses this herb, and also the tree!

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Getting to know Thai kaffir lime tree

Kaffir lime is a native plant in Southeast Asia, and many parts of the plant can be found in both cooking and traditional Thai cuisine. 

If you have seen or grown a lime tree, you must be able to easily visualize the Thai kaffir lime tree because the trees share some similarities. Two stark differences, which are also unique features of kaffir limes, are, 1) uniquely shaped leaf that looks like there are two leaves attached together 2) dark green fruits with rough/bumpy surfaces.

The trees can grow up to 4-5 meters tall and you can harvest them regularly for many years. The tree will start to produce edible leaves after 6 months and will bear fruits after 1-2 years. You can find kaffir lime growing in the yards of many Thai households.

Kaffir lime as Thai ingredients

Unlike regular lime, the fruits do not produce plenty of juice and the juice isn’t widely used outside of herbal & traditional medicine applications. The parts that Thai people commonly use as Thai ingredients are 1) the fresh leaves and 2) the fruit’s skin. 

You can use the fresh leaves as a whole or cut-up for cooking purposes. People often use whole leaves when cooking soups (including tom yum soup!). On the other hand, they often use cut-up leaves to add fragrance to dry curry or stir fry dishes. 

The fruit’s skin is a common ingredient (among many other spices) within many Thai curry pastes (including Thai green curry).

Kaffir lime_fruit

Simple cooking recipe using the herb

kaffir lime_leaf

If you come across some kaffir lime leaves and want to try cooking with them, here is a very simple recipe you can try cooking with.

We are amateurs when it comes to cooking, so as long as you can gather these ingredients, you will be able to cook this dish too!

Here is a recipe for a simplified clear broth tom yum

  • Herbs: kaffir lime leaves (3-5 whole leaves), lemongrass (1 stick), and few slices of galangal
  • Ingredients: fresh shrimps, mushrooms, water
  • Seasoning: chili (~3-5) , lime (2 whole fruits for the juice), sugar (1 tablespoon), and fish sauce (2 tablespoons)

Depending on where you live, sometimes you will find all the herbs available as a bundle in supermarkets or shops in Thai towns as well. 

  1. Peel and clean shrimps as well as other ingredients and herbs
  2. Boil water and add all the herbs for a few minutes to bring out their fragrance and flavor
  3. Add mushrooms and seasonings (all seasoning except lime juice)
  4. Add shrimps and wait until the shrimp is cooked (do not wait too long otherwise, the shrimp will be overcooked)
  5. Turn off the heat, add lime juice and finetune the flavor by adding fish sauce or sugar

Should you use kaffir lime in your cooking?

Kaffir lime may not be a commonly known herb and ingredient, but it is full of health benefits as well as fragrance/flavor. When added to a dish, it can be a total gamechanger. The fragrance of this herb is very refreshing and appetizing! 

If you are thinking of using this herb often in your dishes, you might want to consider growing your own tree. The process might be a long one, but once grown – you will be able to harvest its leaves and fruits regularly for many years. You will be self-sufficient and also can save money!

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Apartment for rents Thailand_featured

Finding apartments for rent in Thailand: Tools & how-to

If you have decided to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time, whether it would be for vacation or work remotely as a digital nomad, you will need to find an accommodation. For a long term stay, most likely you will want to find an apartment that’s comfortable and affordable. In this article, we will focus on where and how to find apartments for rent in Thailand and how much to rent in Thailand.

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Understanding your rental preference

In the previous article, we have discussed different types of property for long term rental in Thailand. In general, the type of accommodation i.e. condominium, apartment, house, villa, or townhouse and their locations will have a large impact on availability and rental cost. For example, it will be a lot easier to find condominiums and apartments to rent near Bangkok business district. On the other hand, there is a good supply of townhouses or detached houses in the suburbs or other cities like Chiang Mai or Phuket.

Where to find apartments for rent in Thailand

Once you know where you want to live and the type of property you are looking for, the next step is to find a property to rent. 

Traditionally, the best way is to get connected and enlist help from property agents. However, if you are not currently in Thailand or new to the country – browsing through listings from online platforms can give you better ideas of apartment for rents and eventually get you in touch with the right property agents/landlords.

We have used a few platforms including:

All platforms are available in both Thai and English, they also allow you to filter buy/rent, type of property, size, location and price range.

Finding apartments for rent in Thailand_websites

Note that the majority of the listings on these platforms are managed by property agents who are hired by landlords to find them tenants. This trend can actually be good for you since 1) you may leverage the agent to find other accommodation if the existing one isn’t to your liking 2) these agents are hired by the landlords so typically you will not need to pay them any fees. We found our apartment after talking to 3 agents who were able to show us 10+ condo/apartment.

From our experience in using the 3 platforms mentioned above, DDproperty and Hipflat have advantages from a user experience standpoint. However, Living Insider offers more / unique filters like filtering for short-term rent and properties which allow pet.

Last but not least, if you are only looking to rent for a month or two, AirBnB is another valid option for finding an apartment/condo for rental.

long term rental Thailand_condo

One of the photos shot during our apartment hunt.

How much to rent apartments in Thailand

Rental in Thailand can vary by a large amount depending on location, size and the kind of property you are looking to rent. For example, monthly rent can be as cheap as THB 3,000 a month all the way to THB 100,000+.

If you already have a preferred location in mind, one way to get a sense of pricing in that area is to use the map feature from DDproperty. This feature will allow you to get a quick sense of price range in the area you are looking for. If you find the area too expensive – one option is to move further out from the city area.

Apartments for rent in Thailand_DDproperty map

So, how easy is it to find apartments for rent in Thailand?

Finding accommodation when you are new to a country can be quite challenging. You do not know the area well, how safe it is, how’s the neighborhood is like, etc. 

Thankfully, technology can help to get you the right information, or get you in touch with the right people who can help you out.

Lastly, if you are unsure about committing to long-term rental (perhaps because you are still overseas) – one option is to find a short term one first then do more work once you are on the ground. This is what we did as well, and this way you can check out other prospects for a longer-term rental in person.

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Thai basil_kra phrao dish

Thai basil: the plant, simple recipes to try and the alternative

In our previous article, we talked about common Thai herbs and how they are full of health benefits (on top of making your food extra delicious). Now we want to dive right into one of our favorites, Thai basil. And we will talk more about the plant, simple staple dishes you can make with this herb, and the potential alternatives if you can not procure Thai basil.

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Thai basil_featured

Thai basil plant and variety

As a disclaimer, we are no gardening experts – but we do have Thai basil growing at home, and we do enjoy cooking with them. 

After doing some reading on basil (thanks to the Culinary Compass), we mostly find Thai basil and holy basil (aka Tulsi) in Thailand. The two variations look slightly different, but in general, Thai basil plant is a perennial plant that grows to a maximum about your knee height. The plant can last for several years, and if you keep them in the garden, they could multiply or grow into a small bush. You can continuously harvest basil leaves all year round. The tree will grow new branches and then leaves after each harvest. If you have multiple pots of Thai basil plants, you can rotate your harvest and enjoy fresh herbs almost on a weekly basis.

Thai basil_basil plant

We regularly harvest basil from our backyard for cooking.

Simple recipes you should try at home

The two menus we want to touch on today are both our favourites. We have them often either at home or ordering them outside. 

The two menus are 1) Thai basil pork and 2) Thai drunken noodle. You will find them in any Thai restaurant, and if you are visiting Thailand, you will find them everywhere. In Thailand, these are not only available in restaurants, but they are also even available at street food stalls.

There are different variations and recipes of these 2 menus, you will be able to find them on the internet. However, given we are both amateurs, we made a simplified version of the recipe.

Thai basil pork or “kra phrao” in Thai

  • Herbs: Thai basil leaves, garlic, fresh chili
  • Ingredients: rice, minced pork, oil, fish sauce, and oyster sauce

 Steps:

  1. Clean your herbs then chop up your garlic and chili
  2. Heat up the pan with oil. Once heated, add chopped garlic and chill
  3. Add in minced pork. Once the pork is half cooked, add a little bit of oyster sauce and fish sauce (be careful not to add too much, both of these are very salty)
  4. Once the pork is cooked, add fresh basil leaves. Stir your dish well and your Thai basil pork is ready!

Pro Tip #1: this dish is best to serve with white rice and fried egg, a magical combination

Pro Tip #2: you can replace minced pork in this menu with many other meat types. Thai people commonly replace minced pork with beef, chicken, crispy pork, prawn, squid … the list goes on and it gets crazier by the year (now we also see bacon, pork knuckle, duck, etc.)

Thai basil_kra phrao

Home made sliced pork kra phrao with fried egg.

Thai drunken noodle or “pad ki mao” in Thai

  • Herbs: Thai basil leaves, garlic, fresh chili (with options to add fresh peppercorn and kaffir lime leaves – but we usually keep it very simple)
  • Ingredients: your choice of noodle (instant noodle also works!), chicken, your choice of vegetables, oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar
    • For vegetables, you can consider baby corn, carrot, and Chinese kale (or you can make the dish without any vegetable as well)

Steps:

  1. Heat up the pan with oil. Once heated, add chopped garlic, and chili
  2. Add in chicken. Once the chicken is half cooked, add a little bit of oyster sauce and fish sauce. Further season the dish with sugar. About half a tablespoon each is usually fine
  3. Add in your vegetables (if you choose to also add fresh peppercorn and kaffir lime leaves, then add them too)
  4. Once your chicken and vegetables are cooked, add in basil leaves, stir the dish well, then your drunken noodle is ready!

Pro Tip: similar to the previous dish, you can change the chicken here for other substitutes such as sliced pork or seafood

At this point, some of you might be thinking – these 2 menus are almost identical? For simple cooking (and for amateurs like ourselves), they are almost identical because we have made the recipes simpler. Nonetheless, these simple dishes are easy to make and they taste great!

Thai basil_drunken noodle 2

Home made seafood pad ki mao.

Alternative for this key herb

If you are not living in Thailand and cannot find either Thai basil or holy basil – you can still make Thai dishes using their alternatives. For example, in Singapore, we often find sweet basil instead of Thai basil in supermarkets. Sweet basil is different from Thai basil as it is less intense.

While the smell could be slightly different, basil alternatives still offer the fragrance needed for a great Thai dish! You can compensate for the difference by tweaking your recipe. For example, sweet basil is less intense than Thai basil so you need to use 1.5x of the basil amount when using sweet basil. 

So, how can you incorporate Thai basil in your cooking?

As mentioned before, Thai basil (and basil in general) are full of health benefits. Moreover, they are also easy to grow in your backyard, and you can harvest them all year round. With such accessibility to basils, you can easily incorporate them into your cooking and make them more fragrant, more delicious, and healthier!

There are many recipes where you can incorporate this herb and we have shared two simple ones that we often use at home. Although the recipes might be simple, by incorporating basils and other herbs you can make such a simple dish taste delicious. Go ahead and give it a try! Customize your own versions of the recipes as well and share them with us! 

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Thai herbs_mix herb

Thai herbs and their health benefits

Do you remember going into a Thai restaurant and smell a plethora of herbal scents in their air, tantalizing your taste buds? Thailand is famous for its herbs/fruits and their usage in Thai cuisine, traditional medicine and spas/massage. Some of these herbs may not be available in other Asian countries and, not to mention, the Western countries. In this article, we will be introducing the most common Thai herbs and their benefits to you.

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Commonly used Thai herbs

The most common Thai herbs (especially if you aren’t in Thailand) would be those you see in Thai dishes. 

  • Lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime: have you ever had tom yum? While this dish needs no further introduction, these herbs, together with lime and chili are the secret behind tom yum fragrance and flavorful taste! 
  • Basil leaf: you may not be very familiar with the name “kra phrao”, but almost every Thai restaurant would offer minced pork/chicken/beef stir fried with basil leaves (usually serve with fried egg). Ring a bell yet? “kra phrao” is basil in Thai language
  • Ginger: while ginger is not found in the most famous thai dishes, locals make frequent user of ginger in their stir fry, soup and steam dishes

As you can see, Thai make good use of their herbs in cooking. There are also other healthy ingredients in Thai food like celery, pepper, shallots and garlic. However, they are widely available globally so we will not be focusing on them here. 

We will explore the health benefits of these commonly found one in the next section. 

Thai herb health benefits

Thai herbs_lemon grass ginger galangal(1)

Ginger (1)

Ginger contains gingerol which has medicinal properties including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.  It is also known to help with reducing nausea, especially that related to morning sickness. Although considered safe, if you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking a large amount of ginger. Other than that, ginger can help with lowering blood sugars, improving heart health, treating chronic indigestion, and also reducing joint pain and stiffness

Kaffir Lime (2)

Kaffir lime and the different parts of the plant have a lot of health benefits. The rind and the leaves can be used to improve oral health by rubbing the leaves on the gum. The oil can be mixed with dental care products to make more potent oral and gum care products. The oil is known to help with blood-related illnesses. Kaffir lime is anti-inflammatory in nature and can help with any constipation or indigestion. The smell of kaffir lime is quite unique and very relaxing, therefore a lot of spas use its oil for aromatherapy given its relaxing effect

Lemongrass (3)

Lemongrass is the dominant scent that you smell in Tom Yum. You can judge from the name, this herb has a citrusy fragrance. Not only in cooking, ancient Chinese medicine also uses lemongrass as one of its key ingredients. It has antiseptic, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial properties. It helps with detox, weight loss, and maintaining healthy pancreas functions which are important for diabetes prevention or management

Galangal (4)

Galangal is rich in antioxidants and it can protect us against mental decline, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It has an active compound called galangin, which is known to work against cancer cells and can prevent them from spreading. Other health benefits include boosting male fertility, fighting inflammation, infections, and pain. However, please do more research on these as not all of them have been formally proven

Thai herbs_basil (5)

Basil leaf (5)

Just like any other Thai herbs that we’ve discussed, basil leaves also contain a lot of antioxidants. These antioxidants help to fight free radicals in the body. Health benefits from having these antioxidants are protective against cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. It also has compounds that can help to alleviate anxiety and depression, as well as improve memory. Other than that, basil leaves can reduce inflammation and protect us against infections

Where can you buy Thai herbs?

If you are in Thailand, you can find them in any market, supermarket or your neighbor’s backyards! Many of these like basil and lemongrass are easy to grow. Hence, you can also consider growing your own.

Actually during this lockdown period, a lot of people in Thailand do more gardening and they plant Thai herbs. Not only that it is cheaper compared to buying the market, but also it is safer for them to stay at home rather than going to the market.

If you are not in Thailand then check out your supermarket, but you will most likely find these in shops within Thai communities. For example, there are many “Thai towns” overseas like Thai town in East Hollywood, LA, or Kowloon City in Hong Kong.

Alternatively, you can also check online grocery platforms in your region (example). But it would still be cheaper to find these herbs in Thai community shops. 

There are many shops run by Thai people in Kowloon City, also known as “Little Thailand” in Hong Kong.

Are Thai herbs really healthy?

Indeed! Not only that they make Thai food very fragrant and delicious, but they also make them healthier. 

In most of the common Thai herbs we discussed, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial are the common health properties. Therefore, incorporating these herbs into your food is always a good idea. 

However, you always need to check with your health consultant if any of these herbs are not suitable for your health conditions.

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Property tax Thailand_featured

Property tax Thailand: who has to pay and how much?

One of the major costs of living in Thailand is rent. Some people who are considering to migrate to, retire or work remotely in Thailand long-term may consider buying a property instead of finding rental property. While the number one consideration is property price, prospective homeowners should also keep in mind any property tax Thailand implication. 

Who has to pay property tax in Thailand? Do you have to pay extra tax on purchase? Will there be any tax consideration every year? Will your rental income get taxed as well? We will explore these in this article. 

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Who has to pay property tax in Thailand?

In short, property/land owners need to pay property tax in Thailand. Unfortunately, owners are taxed during the purchase, throughout the ownership period and also on rental income. However, on the bright side, on-going annual tax rate for land and building is a lot lower than the one-off tax purchasers and sellers have to pay during the purchase. 

We will cover more in details in the following section.

Tax on the sell/purchase of properties in Thailand

During a property transaction, both buyer and seller will need to pay tax.

In sumary, there are a total of 4 types of taxes involved during the transaction: 

  • 2% transfer fee (based on registered value) to be paid by the buyer and seller. While this is typically split, some property developers are now offering to cover this fee completely as a way to attract buyers. This is the only fee/tax purchaser need to worry about
  • 3.3% business tax (based on registered or appraised value) to be paid by the seller
  • 0.5% stamp duty (based on registered value) to be paid by the seller if business tax has been exempted
  • 1%  withholding tax (based on registered or appraised value) to be paid by the seller, however progressive rate may be applied to individual seller

If you are looking to move to Thailand, purchase a property and stay there – the only fees you should worry about in the short term is the transfer fee.

Property tax for land and building owners in Thailand

There was a new land and building act that came into effect in 2020. Under this act,  land and building owners will need to pay tax on their property every tax year – however the tax will depend on usage. 

Minimum tax rate will apply to appraised land and building value, depending on usage. 

  • For agricultural use: 0.15%
  • For residential use: 0.3%
  • In case of vacant/unused: 1.2% – 3.0% (increase by 0.3% every 3 years of vacancy until it reaches 3.0%)

The cut off date is on the first of each year. So if you own a property on the 1st of January 2022, you will be required to pay property tax in April of 2022.

Property tax Thailand_vacant land

Land owners throughout Thailand are planting trees on their vacant land to be qualified for agricultural use tax instead of vacant land tax.

Tax on rental income

If you are looking to rent out your property in Thailand, one consideration is around income tax. Thailand’s revenue department considers rental income as part of assessable income. Citing the revenue department definition of assessable income below.

“Income from letting of property and from breaches of contracts, installment sales or hire-purchase contracts.” 

So in general, any income from rental will be included in your progressive income tax calculation. Read more on this topic in our other article. 

So, do you need to pay property tax in Thailand and if yes, how much?

Whether you are a digital nomad or looking to retire in Thailand, understanding land and house tax is super important. Property ownership is an alternative to long-term rental but tax will also affect your finances and financial planning into the future.

In conclusion, property owners are subject to property tax on the day of transfer and everyday from then onwards. Moreover, there are tax increments each year. However the tax amount isn’t very significant unless you leave your land vacant. Lastly, if you are looking to rent out your property, pay attention to the progressive income tax as well.

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Stray cats in Thailand_featured

Stray cats in Thailand: situation / how to make a difference

In the previous post, we talked about how there are about a million stray dogs and cats in Thailand and how you can adopt a dog from/in Thailand.

Not only stray dogs that need your attention, but also stray cats in Thailand. This is because many shelters and kind-hearted citizens who help to take care of the strays are facing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. 

Many stray cats in Thailand face challenges such as population control, illness, lack of food and other natural predators. In Thailand, there are a lot of kittens and cats on the street that fall prey to predators such as snakes and water monitors (a smaller version of comodo dragon).

In this post, we will talk about where and how you can make a difference for stray cats in Thailand. 

Stray cats in Thailand_Catsanova

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Where can you visit stray cats in Thailand? Shelter, cat cafes and cat island!

While many strays are still living on the streets, there are already shelters and volunteers helping to connect strays to prospective adopters. 

  1. Shelter: There are many small shelters who take care of cats across Thailand, however only a few communicate in English. For instance, PickaPet4Home-Bangkok is a shelter with bilingual language capability, and they operate a Facebook page that bridges stray animals (both cats and dogs) with prospective adopters. 
  2. Cat cafes: There are many cat cafes in Thailand, however some cafes focus solely on strays – that means you can even adopt these cats and bring them home! An example is PAWS Bangkok, which operates a cat café and rescue operation in Bangkok.
  3. Cat island: Japan has a famous cat island (Aoshima), and wait for it – Thailand has a cat island as well! Although a lot smaller in scale & less well-known, it does exist! 

One of many photos from cat island in Phuket by Catdumb.tv.

Can you adopt cats in Thailand (or from Thailand?)

Yes absolutely, the process is very simple for those who are living in Thailand. Although it is slightly more complicated to adopt from Thailand when you are overseas, it is still possible.

All you need to do is find strays who are up for adoptions via a shelter, cat café or an organization like Soi Dog. While this process is free-of-charge, some people/organizations may ask you to sign a simple adoption agreement. This agreement is purely to protect the animal and ensure that you would not torture them or sell them off.

There are many beautiful stray cats in Thailand. So, definitely you should consider the adoption route if you are a cat lover and looking for a meow furriends. You may even be able to pick up Thai  Siamese cats as well!

Adoption from overseas

If you are looking to adopt a cat in Thailand from overseas, this process gets more complicated and we recommend you to get help from local organizations like the Soi Dog Foundation. Such an organization can help you do the necessary preparation for the animals as well as the paperwork required by the immigration.

PAWS Bangkok is regularly on a look out for adopters. 

How easy is it to adopt a stray cat in Thailand?

The answer is, it is pretty easy! There are many stray cats in Thailand who are in need of help (and their number is growing). Therefore, A lot of organizations and people in the community have made it their mission to help these cats find a forever home. 

There might be some worries about adopting a cat without seeing them first. However, there are shelters and cafes that you can visit to see the cats firsthand, before you decide on adopting. With such a growing number of abandoned animals (especially cats and dogs) in Thailand, adopting is a way to help with these animals’ welfare. Do consider adopting instead of shopping for animals at the breeder/pet shop – this small action means a world to these furry friends. 

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How to adopt a dog from Thailand_featured

How to adopt a dog from Thailand: a chance to save a life

There are about one million stray dogs and cats in Thailand, according to Thailand’s Livestock Development Department. And what’s alarming is that this number could reach 2 million in 2027. That’s what brings us to this topic: how to adopt a dog FROM or IN Thailand. We would like to encourage everyone looking for a furry companion to adopt and not shop. #adoptdontshop

Why is the increasing stray animal population an issue? This is a matter of population control and wellbeing/welfare of the animals. 

As one of the consequences from Coronavirus, the stray population in shelters is ballooning. Strays outside of the shelters either have to fend themselves or they are usually taken care of by some kind-hearted citizens. Many of these citizens are actually also facing financial difficulties due to Coronavirus. 

If you are an animal lover who is looking for a dog companion, then you can make a difference by adopting a dog IN Thailand or FROM Thailand. Remember, a small act like this could change the whole world for one’s life.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand_Soi Dog Newsletter

Source: Soi Dog Foundation April Newsletter 2021

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Thailand's dog adoption requirement

If you are in Thailand, there is no formal requirement per se. The process can be as easy as adopting stray dogs or cats from the streets or finding people/organizations who are looking for adopters. 

If you are adopting a dog from people or organizations who are providing temporary shelters, you might need to sign a simple adoption agreement. The agreement is mostly there to protect the animal, ensuring that you will not torture or sell the animal.

Where can you find stray dogs or cats for adoption in Thailand?

The first stop you can try is Facebook page. There are many Facebook communities with members who locate strays and search for appropriate adopters. While most pages are in Thai, some pages like Furget me not – Thailand and The Adoptable Puppy Café  post about dog adoptions in English. These communities/groups are very active and you’ll see new updates every now and then.

There are also renowned organizations in Thailand facilitating animal adoption process:

Adopting a dog from Thailand while you are not in the country is a much more complicated process and we will cover this in the next section.

Facebook page like The Adoptable Puppy Cafe regularly posts adoption information both in English and Thai.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand

While this is a novel idea, we have to admit that the process could be complicated (and this depends on where you live). Each country has its own processes when you want to bring a pet or animal into the country. For example, we have written about Thailand’s process in our other post.  

In general, most countries will require some preparation (for example vaccination) and paperwork (info about the animal, health certificate etc.) done on the dog. Upon arrival of the adopted dog in your country, there might also be a quarantine requirement. 

Whether you are physically in Thailand or overseas, having an organization on the ground will make the process a lot easier. For instance, the Soi Dog Foundation provides detailed information about this process and will help you through this process without any fee.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand_puppy

How easy is it to adopt a dog IN or FROM Thailand?

If you are in Thailand, the dog adoption process is very simple (almost non-existing). It can be as simple as picking up stray animals on the street as your own, or visiting a nearby shelter to adopt. 

However, if you are not in Thailand, it does get more complicated because it will involve cross-border migration. Don’t be disheartened by this, because there are local organizations like the Soi Dog Foundation that can help you get through this. They will make the preparation and paperwork process easier for you.

We have various insights into Thailand, go check out our other posts!

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Transfer money to Thailand: options and considerations

For a short trip, exchanging money before departure or at the airport is quite sufficient. However, if you are looking to stay in Thailand for medium to long term – whether it would be for work, work remotely or be a digital nomad in Thailand – you might consider transferring your money from your banks overseas. If you are working overseas and want to transfer money to your family or for investment in Thailand, you may need to transfer money into Thailand as well.

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Transfer money to Thailand: 3 important factors to consider

  1. Exchange rate/exchange margin: This is the most obvious one, and is easiest to watch out for. Exchange rate is usually available on all transfer pages of banks or third party service providers. Many platforms would charge some exchange margin. Therefore, you should check the rate against other banks/platforms. You can also simply check the rate against Google’s data “Search convert USD to THB for example” to get a rough understanding of the margin you are paying for
  2. Transfer fee: Transfer fee varies by a large amount across different banks and platforms. Some fees are also hidden, and the banks/vendors might charge the recipient for receiving your transfer. That is, the recipient would receive less money. They might charge the transfer fee as a flat fee or as % of the transfer
  3. Speed: Another factor which can vary by a large amount. We have seen transfer speed of within a day to a few business days. This will depend on the bank or platform that you are using. Some of the digital platforms (which we will be talking about in next section), are very fast in their processing of the transfer
Transfer money to Thailand wise

Some digital platforms are offering full details around rate, fee and speed so that you can make an informed transfer decision. Source: Wise

Cheapest way to transfer money to Thailand

There are many ways to transfer money like using your banks, Paypal, Westernunion or digital platforms such as Wise, Instarem, OFX and many more. 

We are frequent users (and fans of) Wise and Instarem, so we will be focusing more on this method using digital money remittance platform. 

Key reasons why we are a fan of their services:

  • Transparent pricing: Both platforms offer full transparency of their pricing (exchange rate and fee) before you decide to do the transfer. This allows you to easily check their pricing against other platforms or your banks. Based on our experience, the transfer fee is usually less than 1% of transaction value even for cross-continent transfers
  • High speed: the fastest we have seen is a few hours (within-Asia transfer). To and from North America transactions usually take 2-3 days at most, based on our experience. If you are using Wise, they are also providing some estimate time in which the fund would arrive
  • Excellent user experience: You can use Wise and Instarem both on websites or you can download their mobile applications – both methods are quite intuitive. We have tried their customer support as well. While you do not get instant reply every time, their staffs usually reply you within the same or next business day

Digital money remittance platforms

To clarify, while we are a fan of Wise and Instarem, we are recommending digital money remittance platforms in general. Keep in mind that we have never tried some of them. You can check out other platforms like OFX, MoneyGram and others listed here.

How do these platforms work? First time users will need to set up an account and undergo a short KYC. After that, you just need to log in, add a recipient, make a transfer instruction on the platform, choose and make payment. The payment can be via direct debit, wire transfer, debit or credit card. Then, you just need to wait for payment to take place.

Mobile application of Instarem allows you to initiate a transfer in a few steps. Source: Instarem

Other things to keep in mind when transferring money

If you are not familiar with overseas transfers, it can get complicated as different banks and platforms would require different information. Apart from standard bank account number, they might ask for branch code, bank address, SWIFT code, routing number, and the list goes on.

When transferring to a new recipient or using a new platform, we highly recommend doing a small test transfer first. This is important to avoid any mistake in transfer and the headache of trying to get your money back. Subsequent transfers are usually easier to do.

Another consideration is around tax. We have previously talked about tax residency in Thailand. If you are staying longer than 6 months in Thailand within a year, there might be tax implication. That is, the government might check the amount of money you bring into the country for tax purposes.

Pro tip on money transfer

You may be able to use a combination of digital remittance platform and credit/debit card with cash back on online transaction to earn cash back and offset any transfer fee.

For example, debit/credit cards offered by virtual banks in Hong Kong offer cash rebate on all online transactions!

So, what is the best way to transfer money to Thailand?

In general, we use digital remittance platforms to transfer money online to Thailand (our experience is limited to Wise and Instarem). They are transparent, cheap and fast. 

However, to some people, the best way might be the way in which they are most comfortable with. If traditional bank transfer is your thing, then go with that. It would be very frustrating if anything goes wrong just because of lack of familiarity with the transfer process. 

Explore our other posts on Thailand:

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Bringing pets into Thailand: process and considerations

We love pets and animals, and so do many people. While it is okay to part with your pets for a week during your holiday in Thailand, you can’t do the same if you are away for a long time. If you are planning to move, work remotely or become a digital nomad in Thailand for 3 months to 1 year+, certainly you want to move your pets with you as well. In this article, we will be exploring the process and considerations of bringing pets into Thailand.

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Is bringing pets into Thailand allowed?

If you are looking to bring cats and dogs into Thailand, then the answer is yes – as long as your pets are at least 4 months old. The regulation for other animals would be more complicated. 

There is of course some preparation work for you to do before flying in order to ensure a smooth process for you and your pet. 

In general, the easiest way is for you to fly together with your pets in the same flight. Otherwise additional process and documentation will be required.

Requirements for bringing pets into Thailand

The process can be broken down into:

  1. Fill in a form from Department of Livestock Development: the form requires basic information such as your details, contact, travel itinerary and information about your pet
  2. Prepare and email the form together with additional information: email the form in #1 to  qsap_bkk@dld.go.th , together with 
    • Copy of owner’s passport
    • Proof of vaccination
      • Vaccinated against Rabies not less than 21 days prior to the departure. Pets from free-of-Rabies certified country do not need a Rabies vaccination
      • Vaccinated against Leptospirosis not less than 21 days prior to the departure. The negative result of Leptospirosis test during 30 days prior to the departure can also fulfill the requirement
    • Picture of the pet: make sure the picture clearly shows face of the pet and is in color
    • Additional information such as pet species, pet details like breed/sex/color, home address, address of accommodation in Thailand, travel date port of departure and entry
  3. Call the animal quarantine station (contact info below) to ensure that your application is received and is being processed
    Suvarnabhumi Airport Animal Quarantine, Free Zone Area, Custom Export Building
    Tel: +66 2134 0731; Fax. +66 2134 3640
    E-mail:qsap_bkk@dld.go.th
    Business Hours: Monday – Friday / 08:30 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 16.30 (closed on Thailand’s holidays)
  4. Receive and print your import permit: this is only valid for 60 days
  5. Obtain an official health certificate from your local, certified veterinarian. For example, if you are flying from the U.S. then you must seek out a USDA accredited veterinarian
Bringing pets into Thailand_procedure

Additional things to look out for

Please make sure to read the official procedure and guideline provided by the Department of Livestock Development. If you are still unsure about the process, we highly recommend that you reach out to your local consulate (for example the Thai consulate in LA has a clear guideline on their website) or contact the Department of Livestock Development in Thailand. 

Other than that, please check with your airline if they have specific requirements about flying with pets. The application process could take up to 7 business days so do not leave things to the last minute.

Procedure upon arrival at the airport

First, you go through the immigration and pick up your luggage. Then, you pick up your pet at the oversized baggage area and you bring them to the quarantine inspection area. Pay a fee of about 500 to 1,000 THB and then receive your import license. This whole process can take up to 60 minutes.

Pet friendly hotel Thailand: what are the options?

Our guess is you are most likely looking to stay in Thailand for a medium to long term if you are bringing your pets. You have several options for pet friendly hotel or other accommodation in Thailand, which include hotel/service apartment, AirBnb or entering into rental contract. Check our other post about medium to long term rental in Thailand.

Thailand has a reasonable range of pet-friendly hotels, service apartments and condominiums for rent. Some examples below:

Another option for you to consider is to rent a landed property which will give your pet more space. However, carefully choose a well-fenced property for the safety of yourself and your pet.

There are a good number of pet friendly hotels in Thailand. Each have their own restriction, for example Novotel Hua Hin allow pets under 10 kg.

Is it difficult to move to Thailand along with your pets?

There are some procedures and preparations that you will need to do before bringing your pets into Thailand. However, the process is relatively simple and there are many expats who have done so in the past. So it’s a manageable task!

It is not that complicated to find a way to live with your pets in Thailand. Thailand has a good range of pet friendly hotels, service apartments, and if you want to have more space for your pets, you can also choose landed property.

Looking for a companion for your pet? check out our adoption posts here:

Other interest posts about Thailand:

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