How to make money in Thailand
If you want to live in Thailand your going to need to have an income, unless you are super rich, your more likely to be like everyone else, earning a meager wage in your own country and just dreaming of living in Thailand. You can live in Thailand and earn a decent money. But how do you make money in Thailand, especially when Thai people have trouble making money?
There are numerous ways to make money in Thailand and depends on your previous skill sets and budget.
One of the ways I make money while living in Thailand is Website Investing. I've done really well out of this model and it's not on this list because it's not even work. Investing is not a job and it's 100% legal to do without a work permit because you basically do nothing. I've made $1,000 a month in passive monthly profit with about 10 hours work it's that easy. But if that's not your thing try one of the following top 10 list of ways to make money in Thailand.
10 Ways to make money in Thailand
#1 Teaching English in Thailand
Teaching English in Thailand is a decent and fair way to make money in Thailand, it does have it's pitfalls though. Most people who come to Thailand see Teaching English as an easy way to make money and more often than not are not trained to do so. There are many trained teachers who come to Thailand seeking a teaching job, but it's not for everyone. Most English teachers make around 30,000 baht per month, this is a good wage in Thailand and you can live of that but the hours stress and general unwillingness to learn from the Thai students may have you questioning why you decided to take the job. The perks however are you get 4 months vacation per year while still getting paid, though on a meager teachers salary there's not much you can do in that period of time. If your trying to make a lot of money in Thailand Teaching English is NOT the way to do it. In order to teach English you'll need to get a TOEFL certificate and do some training, the market is very competitive and don't expect pay rises as you gain experience. For Thai people the salary you get will seem high to them already and will be unwilling to pay more, you can make extra money and perhaps more money if you do private tuition or open your own language school.If you don't already have your TEFL certificate you can get it at the Online TEFL course.
#2 Open a Bar in Thailand
Like most of the people who come to Thailand seeking the thrills of the beer bar scene the dream of owning their own bar is too much to resist. Unless you have run a bar before though I highly recommend you don't open a bar because your more likely to lose money than you are to make money. The bar business in Thailand is very competitive both for the foreign market and the local market. Popularity can come and go in an instance and if you are opening a beer bar then your going to have to deal with Thai bar girls and they are in a breed of their own. The number of successful bars run at about 10% for the rest of the 90% lose almost all the money they invest. If you open a bar that caters to foreigners and tourists you are at the whim of the current political climate and whether tourists come or not, 4 months of the year will be extremely quiet and likely to lose money 4 months running.
#3 Sell on Ebay In Thailand
Many people are selling Thai wares on Ebay these days. Probably the cheapest setup costs of all ways to make money except for scamming. Thailand has some really cheap products that you can sell from clothes to electronics. Finding the right product to sell though will take some time to master. Many a backpacker has come here and sold fake items on ebay to raise some money, but in the end selling pirated goods can't last long you'll only get yourself kicked off ebay. Some successful punters have made entire businesses that sell goods on ebay like the silver jewelry man in Bangkok who now has 30 employees and sells from ebay and expanded into his own website. If you are shrewed and know your way around the Internet (a computer programming background or marketing background will help a lot) you can make a lot of money from selling on ebay.
#4 Writing a Blog in Thailand
You can make money out of writing a blog/website about Thailand, in fact it doesn't even have to be about Thailand, if you are new to Thailand then I wouldn't suggest you start a website about Thailand because you still have a lot to learn about the country and any advice you wish to impart is not going to compete against people who have lived here for years. Try starting a blog about something you know very well, you'll need to invest lots and lots of time in order to make some money, just like this blog you'll need to spend days on end pumping out articles and information until you figure out what works for you. You need to stick to a subject matter that you know very well and won't tire of. You can make money by putting ads on your blog. Very few people can make money this way but if you are persistent and with a bit of luck you can make a good living in Thailand by simply typing away every day.
#5 Pimp your Thai Girlfriend
Selling your Thai girlfriend to other foreigners can be extremely lucrative and a way to make a lot of money in Thailand, is that something you really want to do though? Many a foreigner either corrupt young girls who aren't in the business or find someone who already is and then get customers through the Internet as well as bars. If you can find a young good looking Thai girl and somehow convince her to do this for you, you can make a lot of money. Have a few girls working for you and you'll make tonnes.
Why would the girl be willing to do this though, well if she loves you she'll do anything to keep you here, the threat of you going back to your own country because you ran out of money is usually enough to manipulate her to do this for you. Be warned though, this is illegal and the chance of your Thai girlfriend contracting a disease or simply moving away with one of the customers is very high. To keep her in line you'll need to be prepared to beat her into submission. Only a few people have what it takes to make money this way. You could try craigslist but it's way easier to pimp her out on Thai Sideline Website.
#6 Scam Foreigners in Thailand
Many foreigners in Thailand purely exist off the backs of tourists. Not legitimately either, tourists are scammed left right and center and not just by Thais. There are many scams in Thailand that foreigners are involved in too. Some illegal, some just questionable. However there are many people who simply live in Thailand day to day making money by scamming both Thais and foreigners.
#7 Open a Restaurant in Thailand
Opening a restaurant can be a very risky business adventure anywhere in the world and Thailand is no exception. 90% of restaurants fail in the first year and most don't make a profit until their 3rd year. You need to gain enough regular customers as well as passerby's in order to turn a profit. You'll need to also deal with Thai employees who are notorious for not showing up to work and leaving you to do everything. It may take you a year to find the right workers who are dedicated and share the same vision as you, it will also take the same amount of time to figure out the right dishes for your particular market. The cost of opening a restaurant in Thailand runs at about 1-3 million baht for your average restaurant depending on the style. You are more likely to succeed in a restaurant business if you target Thai people at low cost and do volume than you are to do high costs and serve foreigners.
If you don't speak Thai at all or very basic I don't suggest you open a restaurant here unless you have a very faithful partner who shares your vision and is as dedicated to you. Former restaurant experience isn't necessary but will help you a lot. Be vigilant with costs as well as employees, be prepared to fire people on the spot and have backup plans in place for employees. Hiring family in Thailand can be much better than hiring someone you don't know.
#8 Open a Guesthouse in Thailand
A really great way to make money as well as get affordable accommodation in Thailand is to open a Guest house in Thailand. The most successful guest houses are ones that keep their place looking fresh and clean and put the money in for good pain and quality tiling. Having a good personality is needed for success as being friendly to guests is what keeps people coming back. If you plan to open a guest house you'll need to start a Thai company in order to buy the land to build your guest house.
Do not buy a guest house from someone else unless you've seen the books and it's been profitable for many years. If you build your own guest house make sure you make the rooms larger than other guest houses in the same area, this way if you charge the same price you'll have a newer guest house with larger rooms and you'll be full. Other places can't make their rooms larger so they will never be able to compete against you. In the beginning be prepared to spend a lot of money on advertising. Thailand gets a lot of regular visitors from around the world and if you can get a regular customer base you'll have a really good occupancy rate.
To make sure you survive you'll need to ensure you pay for the land in full and only borrow no more than 50% of the cost to build the guest house. That means your investment is 75% of the cost of the guest house. Any less than this and you will have problems paying the mortgage during the low seasons and might find yourself folding your business and losing a lot of money. Keep costs down by living in one of the rooms yourself as well and don't serve breakfast and have no more than 20 rooms. Keep it small and intimate, and have public verandas so guests can mingle together on their own floors. Making friends is what a guest house experience is about.
#9 Retire and live of your pension in Thailand
For most people over the age of 55 who have worked in their own country and were offered a pension fund or contributed to their own pension fund they are able to live in Thailand comfortably provided they make at least 65,000 baht per month. For many a retiree who loves Thailand if they have a pension living in Thailand is a breeze, the cheap medical facilities makes Thailand a good place to live. If your over 55 though and don't have a pension and no savings then living in Thailand is going to be a pipe dream, you are more than likely not even able to get a retirement visa, without a visa you can't stay in Thailand. If you have any questions regarding the retirement visa please ask them at the new Thai Visa.
#10 Get a regular job in Thailand
I know it sounds dull and the money is 5 times less than what you get paid in your own country however if you have a good skill or trade like a computer programmer or English marketing skills you can get a regular job in Thailand that makes enough money to live and establish a life in the land of smiles. Hours and days worked are similar to what most Americans work but if your from Europe and Australia you may think your being overworked. Most of all the jobs available to foreigners are located in Bangkok so if you don't mind living in the big city and have the right skills then getting a regular job may be something for you.
There are more ways to make money in Thailand and when you live in Thailand you come up with any number of money making ideas. It boils down to what you actually want to do and if living in Thailand you aren't happy doing what your doing then why be here at all. Find something that you enjoy and try to make money by doing just that, what you love.