Why Many Expats Are Choosing Khon Kaen Over Bangkok

It is estimated that some 4 to 5-million expats live in Thailand – many of which chose the capital city of Bangkok to call home. And with good reason; after all, Bangkok really does have something to offer everyone. However, in recent years, more and more people have been leaving Bangkok and moving to more rural areas like Khon Kaen. Why is that? What are the main factors that are driving people out of the big city? In this article, we’ll take a closer look…

A quick look at Khon Kaen 

Khon Kaen is one of the four major cities in North-East Thailand. That said, while Udon Thani and Korat are filled with expats and tourists alike, Khon Kaen is far more laid back. If you are looking for a developing city that has few western influences and stays true to its magical Thai culture, Khon Kaen is well worth a look!  


  • They don’t want another repeat of COVID

While Thailand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was exceptional when compared to many other countries, the fact remains that being locked down in a big city like Bangkok can be horrifying. 

There’s nothing more claustrophobic than being confined to a condo and not being able to jump on a bus to the nearest tropical island to ride things out. 

This is arguably one of the main reasons why many people are choosing to leave big cities in favour of rural areas. 

That, and because they want to create a better future for themselves. 


  • A healthier, nature-driven lifestyle

Of course, while Bangkok certainly has plenty of beautiful parks (with many more on the way), and tonnes of fitness centres and gyms to join, it still very much feels like living in a concrete jungle. 

In Khon Kaen however, there’s a large body of water, huge forests, and mountains in close enough proximity to appease the nature addicts among us.  

But, it’s not just being closer to nature that counts; there’s plenty of culture to lap up as well. Khon Kaen has plenty of distractions


  • To challenge the language barrier 

When you live in a country for several years or more and you return home having not picked up the language, it can be quite embarrassing. The fact is, most expats who live in Bangkok struggle to learn Thai because so many of the locals speak perfectly good English. 

One reason why people are moving from Bangkok to somewhere like Khon Kaen is because the language barrier is much higher. In other words, you are forced to work harder and focus on learning the language in order to fit in and make life easier. 


  • Lower cost of living 

While Bangkok certainly isn’t an expensive place to live by Western standards, the cost of living is certainly on the rise. Places like Khon Kaen are considerably cheaper, allowing expats to work and save comfortably, while enjoying a little slice of paradise. 


  • Plenty of stunning and affordable property 

When you search for houses to buy in Khon Kaen, you will find plenty of stunning and affordable properties are available. Certainly, there is more choice in a big city like Bangkok, however, Khon Kaen has some hidden gems waiting to be snatched up! 

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