Archive | July, 2014

The Process of Getting a Retirement Visa

Posted on 29 July 2014 by ABPC

The process of obtaining any visa in Thailand can be quite complicated but this is a brief guide to the things that you will require to get the process started.  Initially you will need to obtain a Non-Immigrant Visa.  To do this you will need your passport, and proof of funds (THB800,000 in a Thai bank account, income of THB65,000 per month or a combination of both totalling THB800,000).


After you have obtained your initial Non-Immigrant Visa and so long as you are over 50 years of age you can then apply for your 1 year Retirement Visa.  For this you will need:

  • Passport (signed copies of each page)

  • Non-Immigrant Visa

  • Departure Card TM.6

  • Proof of meeting Financial Requirements

  • Thai Bank Book (original)

  • Letter from your Thai Bank

  • Three(3) 4×5 cm photos, with full face taken

Once you have your Retirement Visa you will need to report to Immigration every 90 days.  Although this can be frustrating, it is a fairly quick process especially if you go earlier in the day.  If you need to leave Thailand for whatever reason you will need to obtain a re-entry permit prior to travel.  This will enable you to continue staying in Thailand on your existing visa.


When it comes to renewing your Retirement Visa you will need to go through most of the above process again.  You will not need a new Non-Immigrant Visa so long as you are renewing the visa in Thailand and your existing visa has not expired.  If it has, you will need to leave the Kingdom and obtain another Non-Immigrant visa from a Consul or Embassy outside of the country and begin the whole process again.

As the process can be quite complicated and drawn out it is always advisable to use the services of a reputable visa company such as Five Star Visa that operate out of the Sportsman Pub on Soi 13, Pattaya Beach Road.  A reputable company will have years of experience and will know exactly what is required.  They will be able to check all your documents thoroughly to ensure that everything is in order.   If anything is missing they will be able to tell you there and then rather than you going back and forth to Immigration.  The service may cost marginally more than if you were going to do it on your own but it will certainly take away a lot of the stress and this again goes for renewals as well.

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Finding a Job in Thailand

Posted on 27 July 2014 by ABPC

It is many people’s dream to live and work in Thailand although finding a job is not always easy.  Over recent years there have been increased clamp downs on people working without a work permit and not having the correct visas.  To work in Thailand you will initially require the correct visa.  Normally this is a Non Immigrant B Visa that you need to obtain from outside of the Kingdom.  It is possible to work with a valid marriage visa as well.  Once you have the correct visa you can then begin the process of applying for your work permit.  This can take some time and it is illegal to work until everything has been completed for your work permit.

The most common jobs that people do in Thailand are teachers.  Most teachers will require a TEFL certificate which will allow them to teach English as a foreign language.  Most schools will employ foreigners to teach students English so the jobs are plentiful although most salaries are quite low and often the work is not full time.  The exceptions to this are the large international schools such as Regents or St Andrews but you would need to be a fully qualified teacher to teach at one of these schools as they are usually based on the UK’s National Curriculum.   


Another popular field that many people go into is the Real Estate industry.  Again there a number of agencies in the city so jobs are often available.  The problem with this field is that the market is a little saturated so often people find it difficult to make a good living unless they work for one of the more established companies.  There are also jobs available with developers but these can be a little harder to come by if you don’t have any experience.


If you are looking to get a job in Thailand there are a number of websites that you can look on.  Teaching jobs are often posted websites such as Craigslist or Thai Visa.  Jobs in the real estate industry tend to be advertised in local magazines or local websites as obviously they just relate to one specific city.  If you have other skills or would like to look at other industries you could consider website such as JobsDB, Monster, Careerjet or Tip Top Job.

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Adding a Swimming Pool to your Property

Posted on 23 July 2014 by ABPC

Living in Thailand is a dream come true for most us and we all want to enjoy everything that is on offer to us.  Pattaya has many exciting things to do but like anywhere else in the World most of us enjoy our time relaxing at home.  A private pool may sound like the prefect addition to your home whilst at the same time adding value and making your property ‘different’ to those around you.

There are a number of different swimming pool companies in Pattaya, most of who have an excellent reputation and many years of experience.  Before deciding on the company that you wish to use for your pool you first need to decide a few things for yourself – or at least have some idea before getting any quotes.  For instance, how big do you want your pool to be? It may sound an obvious question but many people have no idea how big an 8 metre by 3 metre pool is so knowing the size of the pool vital.   Also do you want a salt water pool or a chemical pool? The salt water filtration system will be more expensive initially but is better for you and has cheaper running costs.  You really do need to have an idea of the basics before your starting getting quotes.

Lomatec 1

Some of the pool companies in Pattaya include Lomatec, Pattaya Swimming Pools and Bangkok Pools.  All of these companies have a good reputation with both Lomatec and Pattaya Swimming Pools having experience western staff that will be able to assist you and advise you with your requirements.  As with most things, it is well worth getting a quote from a few companies before you decide to proceed.  Prices can vary a lot so obviously you want the best price and the best level of workmanship.  There are often waiting lists for people looking to install a pool so try and plan well in advance so that your pool is ready for when you want/need it.  Remember, this is Thailand so always add a little bit of extra time to ensure that the job is completed!

Lomatec 2

A private swimming pool can literally add hundreds of thousands of baht to the value of your house and make it a far more attractive proposition.  Take into account most people who want a private pool want it to be just that, private – so perhaps consider raising the height of your perimeter wall.  Rental properties with private pools are also high in demand so if you are an investor again this is something worth considering.

Pool 3

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Massive Condo Development in Pratamnak over last 5 years

Posted on 20 July 2014 by ABPC

Anyone who has been coming to Pattaya for a few years now will have seen massive changes in area certainly in terms of the number of condominiums that are being constructed.  Pratamnak Hill located between Bali Hai and Jomtien is one of the areas that has seen as a massive influx in the number of visitors and with it a huge increase in the number of condos being built.  Indeed the skyline in Pratamnak is almost unrecognizable from 5 years ago.


It seems like every soi has seen massive increase in the number of developments with both high and low rise buildings springing up.  All of the major developers including Nova Group, Heights Holdings and Matrix have a number of projects in the area so they obviously see it as an up a coming location.

It seems hard to believe that just a few years ago most of the land was scrub land and empty.  Land prices were relatively cheap making it initially attractive to some of the smaller and up and coming developers.  All this changed as the larger developers started buying up large pieces of land, some to build on immediately and some to hold although the number of plots left remaining these days is few are far between.  Those that are left are remaining tend to be either very expensive or too small for the developers to turn into sizable projects.


The Pratamnak area was already regarded as one of the most prestigious areas of the city with many of the upmarket hotels already in the area with others currently under development.  It is perhaps because of these hotels, quality restaurants and some of the better beaches in the area that Pratamnak is so popular.

One Tower

It is hard to say what will happen in the next 5 years in the area although it seems unlikely that the changes will be so extreme.  As stated above, the land plots that are remaining are few and far between.  Perhaps the only options available will be the redevelopment of existing older properties and some of the shop houses located towards the top of most sois.  Many businesses have already moved to the area having recognized the potential with the number of people who will be moving into the location.  

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 Beautification of Pattaya Beach Road

Posted on 16 July 2014 by ABPC

In the last 18 months Pattaya Beach Roach has seen some fairly dramatic changes.  Previously, the promenade area (as us Brits would call it) had started to look old and jaded with the often unnecessary windy footpaths largely ignored.  The old palm trees that used to line the beach were now very tall and leaning precariously in numerous directions.  The road was often heavily congested with only 2 lanes of traffic, one of which was usually blocked by parked vehicles as the other filled by baht buses travelling at a variety of speeds varying from almost stopped to hyper speed!

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So what has changed so far?  Firstly the promenade area has been made slightly narrower but far more user friendly.  The path now goes in a straight line and is no longer made from unsteady brick work and broken concrete.  The old trees have been replaced to some extent by younger small trees on the road side but the tall trees on the beach side still remain so maintaining some of the old feel.  The beach is now more accessible from the promenade with safer steps going down to it in areas where there used to be big drops and now, in some areas a guard rail to increase safety.

Beach Road

The road is now 3 lanes with parking restriction allowing a much easier flow of traffic. These parking restriction include restrictions on where baht buses can stop and double parking appears to completely restricted and enforced – something that never happens in Pattaya.  There are a few crossings now for pedestrians but these should be treated with care as they are often ignored by locals so can be extremely dangerous for tourists who are expecting vehicles to stop.


The plans for the future seem to centre around improvements to the drainage and access to the beach.  Pattaya is prone to flash flooding and this frequently washes away large areas of the beach making them both unsightly and on occasions dangerous.  The stalls around the top of the beach selling drinks and deckchairs will also be slightly restricted making it easier just to walk onto the sand. All this may take time, but if the improvements carry on as they have over previous months, Pattaya Beach Road will be a very pleasant place to spend some time.

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How the journey from Bangkok to Pattaya has changed in the last 20 years

Posted on 12 July 2014 by ABPC

The journey from Bangkok to Pattaya has changed beyond all recognition over the last 20 years.  The original journey took place solely along the Sukhumvit Road travelling through Chonburi, Sirracha and Laem Chabang amongst other small towns on the route.  The journey could easily take 5 hours on a good day with delays to be expected as you were travelling through the towns and cities.  There was far less traffic in those days but the roads were not of the quality or width that they are today and it was easy to get behind a slow moving lorry, bus or car for that matter that could easily add another hour on to your journey if you were unlucky.


A few years later we started to see the motorway network start to develop, not all the way to Pattaya but as far as Chonburi and slightly beyond.  This started to reduce journey times as the centre of Chonburi could now be avoided and as too, a few years later could Sirracha.  The distance and travelling time now made Pattaya easily accessible for a weekend break which naturally meant Pattaya started to attract more visitors at the weekend, foreigners and Thais alike.  The improved roads meant that the journey time from the airport was also significantly reduced making Pattaya a more attractive tourist destination.

7 highway

A few years later saw the motorway get as far the Regents School and the Highway 36.  This significantly reduced journey times as you could now avoid all the small towns between Bangkok and Pattaya.  The journey time now was around 2 hours and commuting then became realistic.  The final section of the Highway 7, up until Pattaya Klang was soon completed although closed to traffic for many years whilst the final section, the flyover at the Sukhumvit Road was completed.  This seemed to take many years to start let alone a finish but was completed just over 4 years ago.  This leaves us with what we know today and this final section again knocked a further 30 minutes off the journey.

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Famous People Coming to Pattaya

Posted on 10 July 2014 by ABPC

Over the years Pattaya has been awash with famous people coming to the city for a variety of events.  The city is obviously seen as a popular place where these people can come and ply their trade sometimes for personal gain and sometimes in the name of charity.  It seems that every month at least there will be someone famous in the city, be that DJ’s, sportsmen or women and celebrities from the world of entertainment.


Every year we have LPGA Thailand open that is held at the Siam Country Club golf course in East Pattaya.  All the top players from around the world descend on Pattaya to take part in this prestigious competition.  It really does go some way to prove how well the courses are thought of in the area when a competition such as this comes to town.


We then frequently get stars from the world of snooker, an extremely popular sport here in Thailand amongst both Thais and foreigners.  As regular guests we have Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry who all come to play some exhibition matches often taking on locals for at a game of pool.  Last year we had the Manchester United Legends come to Pattaya including Andy Cole, Denis Irwin and Lee Sharpe who all came for a few rounds of golf and some evening functions all in the name of charity.  From the world of Boxing we have former World Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe who again came to help out local charities.


From the world of entertainment we have had the guitarist and leader of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page who is another regular visitor to our shores.  For the ladies we have had Gary Stretch, the actor, former boxer and model to make sure that they don’t feel left out and some of the entertainment has some interest to them!  The local nightclubs are popular with international DJ’s and most weekends they come to play a set in one or more of the nightclubs in Walking Street.


Pattaya really is a place to be seen and the celebrities are recognising this.  If you are new to Pattaya and wanting to find your way around or perhaps you are one of the people who likes to see and be seen there are venues to suit all.

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House Removal Firms in Pattaya

Posted on 05 July 2014 by ABPC

Moving house or home is widely regarded as one of the most stressful things that we do in our adult lives.  This can be made all the more stressful when you are moving house in a country that you are unfamiliar with.  Many people use the services of a professional removals team who can help you pack up all your belongings and safely transport them to your new home.  Not only can these companies move items within Thailand, but for those longer term residents they can even organise shipping from your home country direct to your door here in Pattaya.


Shipping companies are excellent if you are looking to move items from abroad.  Here in Pattaya there are a number of companies setup to take away as much of the stress of moving as possible.  Many of these companies will provide a personally tailored service to cater for your individual needs.  One company is called JVK International Movers.  They actually offer a “Settling in Programme” that caters for every eventuality from arranging the correct documentation for customs, arranging your driving license, shipping of furniture and even include a service for getting clearance for your pet to move to Thailand as well!  JVK can also help people who are looking to relocate their offices or factories.  With the tax benefits of doing business in Thailand this may become a more attractive service.


However, if you live in Thailand you may feel that a removals company is too much and unnecessary especially if you are just moving from condo to condo.  At this point it is probably worth doing something similar to what you would do in your home country – hire a van or pickup! Ok, you may have to do the work yourself and it may take a couple of journeys but it will undoubtedly be considerably cheaper than paying for an unnecessary team of professionals to come and pack away your belongings.

Here in Pattaya there are a number of firms offering pick ups for hire but now more than ever you want to make sure that the vehicle has the correct insurance.  There would be nothing worse than being involved in a major accident and seeing all your personal belongings destroyed only to find that the vehicle you were driving didn’t have the correct insurance.  Rental vehicles need first class rental insurance anything else is not sufficient.  Make sure you choose a reliable company such as Pattaya Rent a Car to provide you with your vehicle.  They maybe slightly more expensive but isn’t it worth paying that little bit extra just for that piece of mind?


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Places to live in Pattaya

Posted on 03 July 2014 by ABPC

Pattaya is undoubtedly a great place to live but there are so many different areas to choose from that choosing what is right for you can be a difficult task.  What suits one person, doesn’t always suit another.  Some people are looking to be at the heart of the action, some people have families and want to live somewhere quiet, whilst others may want a bit of both!

Central Pattaya

Central Pattaya is one of the more popular areas of the city with bachelors of all ages who are looking to stay close to the main action areas of Walking Street and Soi Buakhao.  The advantages of this area include the fact that everything is in close proximity and either within walking distance or a short motorbike taxi ride away.  The area has baht buses close by for those looking to travel slightly further afield. Living in any major city can have its drawbacks. Depending on the locale certain areas are noisier than others but for the majority of city dwellers there are few complaints.



Naklua is a little bit of a mix.  The area is close to nice beaches and slightly more upmarket with prices similar to Central Pattaya although the room sizes are often slightly bigger.  The area is within easy travelling distance to the entertainment areas although this would need to be taxi or baht bus ride. The area is far quieter than central areas and is a favourite for the corporate family working on the Eastern Seaboard

Naklua Pattaya


Pratamnak is very similar to Naklua but with better quality beaches. The area is again suitable for families and within easy travelling distance to the entertainment areas although this would need to be taxi or baht bus ride. Pratumnak is especially well known as a weekend retreat for some members of the Thai Royal family who own a very nice beachfront property which is of course extremly secure.

Big Buddha

East Pattaya

East Pattaya is where most of the housing estates are.  The villages range in price and are more suited to families rather than singles that are out here alone.  There is plenty of entertainment in its own right over ‘the dark side’ but it is some distance away from Walking Street and Soi Buakhao.  This is probably the best area for families but less appropriate for people looking to be at the heart of the action.

East Pattaya


Outside Pattaya is somewhere like Huay Yai or Bang Saray.  These areas have quality housing and offer different opportunities.  They are both well away from the ‘action’ but within easy travelling distance to these areas.  Again this locale is are more at families.

Bang Saray

If you are interested in looking around these different areas then please feel free to contact us

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