Archive for December, 2011

Second Day Report (Boxing Day) From Our Retirement Home In Pakchong (Pak Chong) Thailand

First The Good News About Our Retirement House in Thailand (Later to Be Followed By The “Bombshell”

(It’s actually taken me 7 days to get this post written and published. busy with the house and my workshop and Internet connection problems which you can learn about on the “Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand” page.

This trip to our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, is the first for me since the house was completed just a few weeks ago.

I see the visit as a ‘test’ or perhaps a research project to see if I really can commit to retiring in Thailand. One thing I have been told (AKA the “Bombshell”)  has really put me off but lets put that to the side for a minute and look at the good things I have found so far.

The House Is Really Fantastic

The house really has a big ‘airy’ feel to it, especially the outside concrete area (I’ll call it the Patio) and the huge Utility block both of which I have complained about as being a waste of money. Maybe they are but it’s still a great feeling to be sitting there and enjoying the space and the amenities.


(Having great difficulty getting videos uploaded to YouTube. Could be the G3 mobile broadbandI’m using.

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Kanyah had been telling me for weeks before I came to see our completed retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, that it was very windy and cold. I believed her but when I arrived I was no quite prepared to find out exactly how cold and windy – and dusty – it was. The wind howled through the wooden house and literally whistled as it blew through the gaps between the windows. That made it very noisy and cold in the house but there was another downside… the dust.

The dust was everywhere, and we know about dust from our days in Saudi Arabia. Little did we know that it would follow us here to Pakchong (Pak Chong)!

So the days start cold and very windy but after around 1000 am the sun breaks through and we get a hot (by U.K. standards) day. The windy mornings are quite spectacular. Here is a video on a windy morning showing the views from different positions aound the house. Make sure you wait until the end to get a glimpse of Kanyah’s Thai humour.

How To Quickly And Easily Get Online In Thailand With Mobile Broadband Internet

When I asked my readers and posted the question “What is the best option for mobile broadband Internet in Thailand?” on the Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand page there was a mixed response.  Some people had a “work-around” linking their lap-top to the Internet via a mobile phone and others suggested a landline connection.

The solution was so easy I almost couldn’t believe it.

I walked into Tesco Lotus in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, and spotting the “Mobile Phone and Internet” counter made a simple enquiry.  “How do I get mobile Internet in Thailand?”.

Minutes later I walked out with a device and when I got home plugged it into my laptop and was online in less than a minute!

I’m still using it now! Go to the Mobile Broadband Internet In Thailand page to see how easy it is to get mobile broadband in Thailand.

So much for the good things going on with our retiring in Thailand project. Now for the “bombshell” I have mentioned before…

The “Bombshell” That Rocked Me To The Core And Dashed My Retiring In Thailand Plans

I don’t remember how this came up in conversation but Kanyah mentioned that once you reach 60 years old you are no longer allowed to drive in Thailand.

That was like a bombshell to me.

“The maximum legal age to drive in Thailand is 60 years old” – was it true?

Apparently our neighbour had told Kanyah that you can’t drive in Thailand if you are 60 years old or over.

If true, this was a major blow to our retirement plans. Although we don’t live deep in the country, our retirement home in Pakchong (Pak Chong) is about 10 minutes drive from the nearest shops of anything but the daily needs kind. We simply could not survive without a car.

Kanyah is not 60 yet (officially anyway but that’s another story) so she can still drive, this would mean that I would never be able to drive in Thailand.

And another thought struck me – it’s a recurring thought actually – what would happen should die before me? How could I get around?

You can understand that this was a terrible blow to me. Kanyah seemed not to worry too much, she doesn’t seem to care too much about dealing with the police. So long as she has ready access to cash I suspect…

Anyway that is not my way so I immediately start looking on the net for any upper age limit on driving in Thailand.

I tried all the usual keywords in major search engines. Key phrases like “age restrictions driving Thailand”, “upper age limit driving Thailand”, “can’t drive over 60 Thailand”, etc.

These two websites said there was no maximum age for driving in Thailand:-

http://www.sawadee.com/hotel/service/selfdrive

http://www.budget.co.th/tips_driving.aspx

This website tells you how to get a Thai driving license but doesn’t mention an upper age limit to be allowed to drive in Thailand:-

http://driving.information.in.th

So Was I Told A Bummer – And There Is No 60 Years Old Upper Limit On Driving In Thailand?

I have spent a couple of hours on the Internet searching to see if there is an upper age limit (e.g. 60 years) on driving in Thailand and have not found any mention of it.

Quite the reverse, several websites say that there in no upper age limit to driving in Thailand.

So maybe there is no “can’t drive over 60″ law in Thailand? Maybe it’s OK?

As far as I can tell from my Internet research there is no upper age limit for driving in Thailand. but to be sure i want to hear from people who know.

Most of the readers of this website have more experience than myself about retiring in Thailand and have more knowledge about the driving laws in Thailand and the age limits.

So please, if you have any actual experience on this subject I would be most grateful if you could take a moment to leave a comment on your experience below.

It will only take a few minutes of your time and could influence the decisions by many whether it’s a good idea to retire in Thailand or not.

Thank you very much.

Update: From “The Source” About The Upper Age Limit For Driving In Thailand

Last night our Thai neighbour. Noi, came round and we shared a few beers together. I raised the question with Noi about the law relating to a maximum driving over age in Thailand, since it was Noi who made the statement in the first place.

Noi “clarified” as follows:-

After you are 60 years old in Thailand you can still drive a car.

But after you reach 60 years old the officials will not issue you with a new driving licence in Thailand.

I’m trying to grasp the concept he explained. That up to the age of 60 if you drive you must have a driving license. but when you are over 60 you don’t need a driving license to drive a car.

So I posed the question “I am over 60 years old and I do not have a driving license. Is it OK to drive a car?”

Noi answered “Yes, no problem, just make sure you have 200 Baht in your pocket.”

Add a zero for farangs I guess…

A very happy Christmas to you, your family and friends from Alan and Kanyah in Pakchong, Thailand.

I’m typing this on my laptop sitting in my garden in our retirement house in Pakchong where I arrived yesterday evening from UK.

Photo of Alan At His Retirement House In Pakchong Christmas Day 2011

Alan At His Retirement House In Pakchong Christmas Day 2011

There’s a lot to tell you, quite a lot of good news (the house is lovely) and one piece of bad news – a very unwelcome bombshell in fact that will drastically affect the whole retirement in Thailand project! If I had known this I probably would never have gone ahead with the house build as it is.

And if you intend to live to Thailand when you are in your 60s (and if what I was told is true) then this is likely to be a very serious matter for you!

That’s all for now. I’ll go write up my news now and take some more photos and a movie or two.

All the news will be posted on the next Post on Boxing day. (Tomorrow)

 

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