Interview with a traveler about wintering in Thailand

Olga and her husband are wintering for the second time in Thailand on Koh Samui. Olga shared her experience of wintering in this country: how to book accommodation profitably, how much it costs to spend the winter in Thailand, whether insurance is needed, and how to extend a visa, as well as many other useful information.

Let’s get acquainted:)

My name is Olga Drohomiretskaya. I live in Ukraine.

How many months have you been wintering in Thailand?

The first time my husband and I wintered in 2019 for 3 months. In 2020, we decided to repeat the experience again and now we have been living in Thailand for 3 months since January 17. However, due to the current situation, we will be delayed for an unknown period.

Why did you choose Koh Samui in Thailand for wintering?

This is a small quiet island, while there is a developed infrastructure and you can find entertainment to your taste. And I also like the climate here. In winter, due to the sea breeze, it is not hot, and there is no strong humidity. Also, there are not a lot of dangerous animals on the island.

For what period of time can I buy a profitable ticket to Thailand? How much does the flight cost?

The sooner the better. This time we bought a ticket for six months at very favorable prices from Turkish Airlines. The Odessa-Istanbul-Bangkok round-trip ticket cost $550 per person.

And then you need to get directly to Koh Samui. The most budget option is a night train, then about an hour by bus and 1.5-2 hours by ferry. It costs $50 per person. True, you lose a day on the way in time, but it turns out to be 5-6 times cheaper than an airplane. It is worth noting that there is a direct flight directly to Koh Samui, but the tickets are quite expensive.

Where to look for accommodation in Thailand for the winter? Book right away for a long time or search already on the spot?

Since we have been living in Thailand for the second year, we know that there is no point in looking for accommodation on the island through Booking or other services. There are very few facilities and prices are inflated several times. Thais do not advertise their homes on websites.  We are looking with the help of Russian agents on the island. They help to find housing for a small commission on our goals and budget. The housing cost us $ 500 for a month.

The fact is that winter is considered a high season and it is not so easy to find housing, because a lot of housing has already been booked. Therefore, it is necessary to book accommodation for the winter in Thailand from the summer. To go and look for housing locally is a big risk.

It is profitable to rent immediately for a long time, moreover, some objects are rented for at least 3 months. And please note that it is absolutely necessary to make a deposit of at least $ 300, which will be refunded to you upon eviction.

When choosing housing in Thailand, we started from the area. We like the May Nam district, where we have been living for the second winter. It is calm, there are large markets where you can buy fresh fruit, good free sandy beaches and the sea here is good for swimming, there are no tides, as in other parts of the island.

the girl tells about wintering in Thailand

A visa is required for a long stay in the country. Where and how to extend a visa in Thailand?

Yes, a visa is needed. We made ourselves a single-entry tourist visa in advance. It is issued for a period of 3 months with a stay in the country for up to 60 days. Consular fee – USD40.00

We are from Ukraine, so in Kiev we made a single-entry visa for a period of 90 days. Upon arrival in Thailand at the border, the officer puts a stamp with the length of stay on this visa. Usually – 59 days.

You can extend your stay on this visa at the migration office on Koh Samui, or another city, island of Thailand for 30 days. In total, it turns out 90 days on a single-entry tourist visa. For the subsequent extension of the visa, you will already need to leave the country for some neighboring country.

What are the prices in Thailand?

  • Rental housing is available for every taste and budget. Housing prices in Thailand range from $ 300 to $200,000 or more per month. Keep in mind that in the hot season (that is, in winter) housing on the island is more expensive.
  • Transport rental: bike – $ 100-200/month (depends on the model), passenger car – $ 500-600/month, jeep $ 800-1,000/month.
  • Seasonal local products are cheap, but also in large supermarkets there are imported products that have high prices. We mainly eat local seasonal fruits.
  • Approximate prices for fruits in Thailand for 2020: 1 kg of mango, watermelon, pineapple, bunch of bananas – $ 1, passion fruit – $ 2.
  • There are also cafes for every taste: from Thai cafes to fashionable restaurants.
  • For example, in a Thai cafe you can eat for $ 3.
  • There are also many good European cafes where the average check is $10-20.
  • Enjoying the delights of cuisine in an expensive restaurant will cost $ 50-70.

how much does it cost to spend the winter in Thailand

How do you travel around Koh Samui?

We like to ride a bike, it’s a special romance and you can go high into the mountains, where a car with low clearance will not reach.

Just pay attention to the bike, take a new one or with a small mileage. There are, alas, a lot of old bikes that you won’t get far on. And of course be extremely careful. We took care of this issue in advance and also booked a new bike a couple of months in advance.

Need insurance in Thailand? What is the price?

We took out regular insurance with a trusted insurance company that we had previously applied to, and they did not let us down. The price of insurance for two is $ 100 for 3 months. The usual insurance does not include bike accidents.

But you can get insurance, which includes water sports and a bike, then the price will already be more expensive.

How much does it cost to spend the winter in Thailand?

Of course, it all depends on your lifestyle.

We have an average month of living on the island costs $ 1,500-$2,000 for two.

This price includes:

  • $ 500 – housing
  • $100 – bike
  • $500 – products
  • $100 – other expenses
  • $200 – massage
  • $100 – self-care
  • $ 200 – lunch in a cafe.

wintering thailand

What are the pros and cons of wintering in Thailand?

There is only one disadvantage – you miss your family and friends. In general, some advantages are the sun, warmth, sea, birdsong, flower aromas, delicious natural fruits, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, stunning landscapes. And there are many interesting Russian-speaking people living on the island. We have so many friends already on the island. There is also a variety of leisure activities.

Your life hacks about wintering in Thailand)

The most important thing is to think everything through in advance. This time I brought my favorite board game to the island – the Cash Flow financial literacy simulator. And once a week she organized game nights. And don’t take a lot of things to the island, everything can be bought here for ridiculous money. And here’s a special advice to girls, you definitely won’t need shoes with heels.

Facebook: facebook.com/kyryllovaolga
Instagram: olga_kiryllova

Olga Avrakh was talking
Photo Olga Drohomiretskaya

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