Moving to Thailand from Australia: A Complete Guide

Moving to Thailand from Australia is nothing short of the adventure you imagine. However, it goes without saying that moving house, let alone overseas, comes with a few hurdles. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure that you get over to the Land of Smiles without any hiccups along the way.

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The Cost of Moving to Thailand from Australia

We hate to always bang on about money, so let’s get this out the way first. Unfortunately, moving rarely comes cheap. However, understanding how your costs add up is crucial to saving you a few bucks and ensuring a smooth move from Australia to Thailand. Our international moving costs page is a great way to start.

The golden rule of moving is… every move is different. The cost of your move is dependent on several factors, namely the volume of your belongings and the distance travelled. Not sure of the former? Use our handy furniture volume calculator to get you on your way.

Therefore, there is no single answer to how much does it cost to move to Thailand from Australia. The only way to get an accurate estimate is to request free moving quotes. However, the following table shows estimates of the cost of moving from Sydney to Bangkok by sea, for varying property sizes to give you an initial idea.

Property SizeTimeCost
1 bedroom apartment13 – 18 days$1,590 – $1,760
3 bedroom house13 – 18 days$2,450 – $2,705
5 bedroom house13 – 18 days$3,670 – $4,060

Disclaimer: all the figures above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your exact point of departure/ arrival and service rates of the company. 

If you are strapped for time and moving a small load, there is the option for travelling via air, but this is likely to be substantially more expensive, with transporting a one-bedroom flat setting you back $6,360 – $7,030. Moving to Thailand from Australia by air for a bigger property is not an option, given that a larger container cannot fit on an aeroplane. Learn more about container shipping costs to grasp a better understanding of this.

Top tip! Looking to complete a move that does not break the bank? Consider selling your furniture and replacing it upon arrival, it is often cheaper than lugging all your worldly possessions to a new continent!

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Do Australians Need a Visa for Thailand?

If planning on staying in Thailand for more than thirty days, a visa is required. There are several options available to Australian citizens, so explore these carefully before moving to Thailand. Some of the options available are listed below, but for more information, visit the Thai consulate website.

  • Working Holiday Visa. If you are between the age of 18 and 30 and considering a move to Thailand from Australia, this is a good option for you. On this visa, you can reside and work temporarily, with some restrictions.
  • Non-Immigrant Visa. There are several subclasses of this, but it generally applies to anyone who wishes to stay in Thailand for a substantial period of time, and may want to work there. If moving to Thailand for business, for example, this is the visa you will need. You will have to have endorsement from your workplace for this visa to be approved.
  • Retirement Visa. If you are over 50 and looking to spend your retirement under the Thai sun, we are very jealous! To be eligible for this visa, you simply have to prove financial stability, however this visa does not give you the right to work.

moving to thailand

Moving to Thailand: A Checklist

Feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start? You are not alone. That is why we have provided you with this moving to Thailand from Australia checklist. Follow this advice and you will be sipping your Mai Thai on golden sandy beaches before you know it! For a more general moving abroad checklist, we have also got you covered.

Before You Move:

  • Important documents. Once you have worked out what visa you need to move to Thailand from Australia, put this together with all your other important documents in a clearly labelled and accessible file.
  • Organise an international moving company. Trust us, you want to get this one right. Putting all of your possessions into the hands of someone else is stressful, so make sure you make an informed decision when selecting your removalist. Our comprehensive list of our top 8 international removalists can help!
  • Pack. It’s never too early to start packing! The last thing you want to do is leave anything precious behind. Thailand is hardly round the corner if you do have to go back for something!
  • Car transport. Make sure you understand Thai vehicle import requirements if you intend on taking your car with you.
  • Moving pets? The Thai are known to pamper and even dress up their furry companions. So much so, that it is not uncommon for pets to become celebrities!

Once You Arrive:

  • Open a bank account. When moving to Thailand from Australia, it is imperative that you organise your finances. Setting up a local bank account is the first step to doing so. Explore the following banks’ websites to find the best option for you:
  • Transfer money. Once your bank account is ready to go, shoot over any money from your Ozzie account.
  • Healthcare. The quality of healthcare is not something you need to worry about when Moving to Thailand. Standards are very high, so just make sure you arrange coverage. You can do this either publicly or privately, but many expats opt for the latter as it ensures immediate access and English-speaking options.
  • Driving license. Time for some more good news; you can use your Australian driving license in Thailand. However, if you are moving to Thailand from Australia more permanently, purely for your own ease, we recommend switching to a local license.

Did you know? There are over 20 million motorcycles in Thailand. That twenty times the number we have in our Land Down Under. Adapting to this is crucial if you plan to explore Thailand by car.

Want to Work in Thailand?

It is safe to say that working in Thailand is likely to look quite different to Australia. Working overtime is common, and observing social niceties is crucial. Note! Greetings must be formal, so leave your ‘how you goings’ in Australia.

Common job opportunities when moving to Thailand include sales, IT, engineering and accounting. If you are yet to organise employment, don’t panic! Why not check out some of the following job portals to get the ball rolling:

Top Tips for Moving to Thailand from Australia

If you have got this far, you are doing very well! Before we let you go, read on for some final advice on how to move to Thailand from Australia without tripping over any hurdles along the way!

The Cost of Living in Thailand

We are sure that you will be thrilled to hear that the cost of living in Thailand is 47% cheaper than our wonderful home nation. Bet you do not need any more persuading to get yourself over to the Land of Smiles now! In order to understand how much things will cost when moving to Thailand, we have created the following table comparing common cost of living metrics.

MetricAustraliaThailand
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre$1,713$650
Basic monthly utilities for a 85m2 apartment$222$109
1L of milk$1.65$2.40
Cappuccino$4.49$2.69
0.5L of draught beer$8.00$3.13
1L of gasoline$1.47$1.31

Of course exact prices will depend on where in Thailand you choose to relocate. If you still need to find a place to live, we recommend the following sites:  

Can You Bring a Pet to Thailand?

Home to more birds, and many other species than Europe and America combined, it is safe to say that Thailand is an animal loving kingdom. To ensure your pet joins this abundance of furry life, make sure the following import requirements are met when moving to Thailand from Australia.

  • Your pet must be microchipped.
  • They must have an inactivated rabies vaccination, accompanied by a certificate.
  • They must have a permit from the Bangkok Animal Quarantine station.

Seem confusing? We recommend this page on pet relocation when moving to Thailand for more information.

What About Your Car?

Love piles of paperwork and high expenses? Thought not. Unless your are very much in the minority among us, we strongly recommend leaving your car behind when moving to Thailand from Australia.

However, we do understand that it is easy to become attached to your vehicle. If you insist on taking your car with you, be sure to note the following:

  • If you plan on moving to Thailand for longer than six months, you will have to pay taxes and import duties amounting to up to 200% of the car’s value.

You will also need the following paperwork:

  • A valid visa
  • A work permit
  • An importation declaration form
  • A bill of landing or airway bill
  • Sale documents
  • The delivery order
  • Foreign transaction form
  • An insurance premium invoice
Convinced you to leave your car behind? If you still have not been swayed, we recommend Siam Shipping for more information on transporting your vehicle when moving to Thailand from Australia.

Ready for your move to Thailand?

Congratulations! If you have made it to the end of this article, you are well on your way to ensuring a smooth move to Thailand from Australia. Before you go, some final musings to consider:

  • Thailand is home to the smallest mammal in the world: the bumblebee bat.
  • Thought the Ozzie sun was powerful? Think again; Bangkok is known as the world’s hottest city.
  • Be sure to check out the annual Monkey Buffet, held in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yat Temple in the Lopburi Province.

If that hasn’t got you excited, we don’t know what will. Remember, moving is stressful, but it is also exciting. In case you’re still in need of some extra assistance, we recommend checking out the articles we have linked for you below. We wish you every success! 🙂