A new building at Srinakarin hospital in Khon Kaen,Thailand.

Health Care in Thailand

Health care in Thailand is generally good and inexpensive. In fact, people from all over the world come here for everything from routine plastic surgery to fertility treatments. The nicest private hospitals in Bangkok look more like five-star hotels than health care facilities, and doctors often speak three or four languages. Public hospitals are sufficient for many issues but are not always staffed with nurses and doctors that you will be able to communicate with.

Thousands rally for action on climate change around New Zealand. Photo © Rafael Ben-Ari/123rf.

New Zealand’s Social Climate

New Zealanders are generally a good-natured bunch. They enjoy a climate of social tolerance and political stability, but they also enjoy a good debate and love to complain about their elected leaders as much as the rest of us. Kiwis see themselves as proud underdogs and good global citizens, generally lean left and liberal, and have a healthy sense of humor when it comes to their country and their culture.

A cargo ship with working crane bridge in a Bangkok shipyard at dusk.

Moving Your Belongings to Thailand

Thailand has nearly everything you’ll need to set up a comfortable home, so it really is feasible just to pack a couple of suitcases with the clothing, documents, and books you’ll need and get everything else while you’re here. If there are things you need to ship, author Suzanne Nam has advice about costs, timeframes, customs, tax exemptions, and tips on common items to consider packing or shipping that are either unavailable or very expensive in Thailand.

Clouds over the mountains near Queenstown in New Zealand. Photo © Dmitry Pichugin/123rf.

Weather and Climate in New Zealand

Parts of New Zealand boast that they can offer “four seasons in one day.” That may sound a little daunting, but for the most part New Zealand weather is temperate and influenced mainly by the ocean air currents and the mountains. And since New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, spring goes from September to November, summer from December to February, autumn from March to May and winter from June to August.

A row of kneeling statues with their hands in the wai pose.

Conduct and Etiquette in Thailand

Thais are generally an extremely friendly, social, and curious people. A mai pen rai attitude, which loosely translates as “no worries,” pervades casual social interactions. That said, failing to observe certain key social customs may offend. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the wai, daily conduct and etiquette, and how to properly address everyone from coworkers to shop clerks.

A typical small town house in rural New Zealand. Photo © Gina Smith/123rf.

Buying Property in New Zealand

Buying property in New Zealand is a big investment. While the process itself isn’t much more or less complicated than elsewhere, there are a handful of unique considerations to be made. Here are explanations of leaky liability, cross-leases, and common terms used in reference to housing and real estate.

A woman sells meatballs and sausages on sticks in a bag with sauce in Phuket market, Thailand.

Enjoying Meals in Thailand

Thailand is having a love affair with food, which ensures that you can generally eat whenever you want to without worrying about offending anyone (the one place you can’t eat, however, is on the Bangkok subway or Skytrain). Learn about common meal times in the region and what to expect from Thai cuisine.

Horses on pasture. Photo © Michelle Waitzman.

Why Move to New Zealand?

Why New Zealand? That’s the question author Michelle Waitzman was asked most often as she prepared to move there from her home in Toronto. Here she talks about the reasons why she chose New Zealand, reasons why others might make the same choice, and what she loves about her new home.

Pathway through dense temperate rainforest tree ferns in New Zealand,

Unique Plants and Animals of New Zealand

Back before humans showed up in New Zealand, the islands were isolated from contact with any other landmass for millions of years. This gave the native wildlife time to develop in some unique ways. Learn about the unique New Zealand plants and animals that have managed to survive the arrival of humans and non-native species, and ongoing preservation efforts.

Rugby and beer are a winning combination in New Zealand. Photo © by David Blaiki, licensed Creative Commons usage.

The New Zealand Lifestyle

What will life be like for you in New Zealand? That answer is as individual as you are. Whether you’re off to become a banker in Auckland, a student in Southland, or a farmer in Marlborough, there is a good chance you can find a lifestyle that suits you.