3 Good Ways To Make Money In Thailand

Most people that come to Thailand have a really good time. So much so that they start to think of ways that they could live here on a permanent or long-term basis. The thing is that as a tourist you are spending money in a different way then you would back in your country where you have responsibilities and a budget.

Are you serious about living in Thailand ?

If you are like I was when I first came to Thailand then you need to start thinking or planning ways to make income here. Foreigners sometimes have different standards when it comes to lifestyle, and in order to maintain that you will need to make money in order to have a comfortable life while living in Thailand.

Before even going farther into this topic lets get something out of the way now. You will need some type of long term Visa if you plan to live in Thailand and make money.  You could risk it and try it on a tourist Visa, but there is a high chance the Department of Labor will find out and  they can arrest you and charge you for working in the country when you are not permitted to.

Make Money In The CountryIf you are planning to work for someone else in Thailand then the employer usually gives you a Business Visa which basically means for the time that you are working for that company you are allowed to stay in the country.  The other way some guys do it is to purchase a business and thus opening up their own Thai company. I know quite a few foreigners that have done this and is the most common I have seen. Another way is to get a Student Visa.  This of course is only if you are actually a student and plan on studying here.

Another way is to to do border runs whenever your tourist Visa is about to expire and upon returning to the country the immigration officer stamps you with a new tourist Visa permitting you to stay in the country until it expires again.  This was the “old school” way of doing it but recently has gotten a bit harder to do as immigration will not give you a Visa if they see you have too many exit/entry stamps for a tourist Visa. They will suspect what you are doing and can not allow you to enter the country.  The best way to overcome this is to actually stay neighboring countries for longer periods and then returning to Thailand. For example, maybe you could stay in the Philippines for a few weeks, then go Cambodia for another couple weeks and then return.  The whole point is to make it look like you are a travelling tourist rather than just exiting and returning just for another Visa stamp.

Once you get the Visa situation out of the way you can start with attempting to make money. The best 3 ways to make money in Thailand are:

1. Apply for employment or freelance type jobs

Basically this means that someone is paying you to do a job for them or you are working for a business/company. Many foreigners planning on living in Thailand apply for jobs such as office work, consulting, teaching English. The amount you can get for these jobs really varies. I know guys here that speak Thai very well and they work in really good companies getting paid salaries in the same range as back home.

I also know people in Thailang with less paying jobs such as teachers and although they don’t make that much money they are still happy as the lifestyle here is less costly and you can get away with making less money but still having a fun social life.

This is the one thing that really is impressive about Thailand: You can still live a comfortable and fun life with not that much money. Something that is nearly impossible to do in other “western” type countries where the cost of living is too high for the amount of entertainment you can get in return. Bangkok has a pretty good economy with many international companies, if you are educated with a good resume AND can speak some Thai then it is highly likely you can find a job in Thailand if you try.

Freelance Jobs such as taking DJ gigs, music production, or side jobs are possible to and they are considered freelance work.  For example if you are a well groomed person with good social skills and are a good at being a DJ then if you look around at the foreign oriented places then chances are that you can land some gigs or at the very least get some valuable connections.  My point is that the way that you present yourself here can take you further being a foreigner. But it is the same concept: you are working for someone else and they will pay you in return.

2. Make Money Online in Thailand

In this day in age making money online is much easier then it once was possible.  Technology has gotten better and many businesses can be done from just your laptop and a internet connection.  Blog advertising, affiliate sales and marketing, web designing, buying and selling things online are all viable options in order to make money.  In Thailand tt is just a matter of having the drive and knowledge to set things up properly and building your connections or target clients.

3. Buy or Start Your Own Business

You would surprised how many foreigners simply come and buy a business here in order to make money and live in Thailand permanently.  This of course becomes a much easier decision if you have met a nice Thai girlfriend or wife and are looking to live a nice and comfortable life while owning your own business.

This approach has some major benefits (and downsides which I will tell you next)…. it is like killing 3 birds with the same stone.

1) you will open up your Thai company and therefore you can get a Business Visa which allows you to stay in the country and

2) If you are buying a business which already is making money then you can have some assurance of guaranteed income

3) and last but not least, you will be working for yourself, and be your own boss.

If done right this method is a great way to go about making money in Thailand, but you need to have some experience in business and know what you are doing.  The problem is that some guys try to buy or start a business with only making money in mind and without any knowledge of what to do or make a business grow. Don’t forget that you will be in a foreign country with different personality types, corruption, or not stable economy (high season/low season).

I only recommend trying this if you have enough money to risk only what you can be bothered to lose.  In other words don’t bring your life savings and attempt this.  The guys I have seen do this type of stuff are either pretty well off financially and can afford to take some risks and stay afloat during low season, or are guys that have A LOT of experience in business and know what they are doing.

Lastly, my advice is to always think about everything thoroughly before attempting something like this.  You need to do something that you are comfortable with or at least have passion for.  Look at things in a worse case scenario  and in a best case scenario and then make the best decision for yourself.  Listen to your gut it usually is right, and if you have doubts about anything take a few steps back and try a different approach.  The most important thing is your own well being and life.


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Amigo is a freelance writer and photographer living and working in south east Asia, spending the majority of his time in the beautiful country of Thailand. He loves to travel and write about his experiences on the web in order to help others with travel topics.