Why I Chose To Retire in Pak Chong, Thailand

Pak Chong is the biggest district (amphoe) of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) Province, and is about 250 km North east from Bangkok.

Close to the Khao Yai national park, Pak Chong is in the foothills of a range of mountains separating the Menam Plain from the Khorat Plateau. What this means is that apart from the natural beauty of the area, it is cooler and far more comfortable than the swealtering heat of Bangkok.

There. I have already hit on three reasons why I chose to retire to Pak Chong in Thailand. Let me amplify a little:-

Not Too Far From Bangkok

Although Bangkok has many attractions and can be great fun, it is simply too hot, too busy and too overbearing a place to live. But I don’t like to be ‘out in the sticks’ and far away from western civilisation. By this I mean that as a Westerner I like my western comforts. I could not stand living in the deep country out of touch with city facilities. I like my Tesco Lotus supermarkets, seafood restaurants, department stores and country and western music bars.

A Touch of American Wild West

Pak Chong, though, although away from the bustle of Bangkok is only a 2 hour journey by car. Pak Chong itself is not very westernised. There is only one half-decent hotel, The Landmark Hotel, a couple of bars and a couple of reasonable Thai restaurants. There is no western style restaurant so be prepared to eat Thai food if you visit Pak Chong.

Close to Pak Chong on the Chokchai cattle farm at Nongnamdaeng, though, and adding to it’s charm and reasons to retire there, is the Chokchai Steakhouse. A true American style Steak House serving delicious renowned steaks. This area of the country is true ‘American Cowboy’ country and at Christmas there is a festival in Pak Chong with many American style Country and Western bands, plenty of food and Thai men and women dressed up as cowboys/cowgirls complete with six shooters!

Although Pak Chong does not have any department stores and the nearest Tesco Lotus supermarket used to be about an hour’s drive towards Saraburi, Pak Chong now boasts it’s own Tesco superstore.

Cooler Climate

As I mentioned, because Pak Chong is away from the city-generated heat of Bangkok and being in the foothills of the Khorat Plateau at about 320 m above sea level, it is cooler and much fresher than Bangkok. Unlike Bangkok which is blighted with polluted , murkey and dust-laden skies Pak Chong has clear blue skies and feels far less humid.

Picturesque Hilly Scenery

As you can image, with Pak Chong being the gateway to the country’s largest national park, Khao Yai with it’s breathtaking natural mountaines scenery, the views all around are of unspoilt rolling hills and mountain ranges. I wouldn’t call the countryside around Pak Chong breathtakingly beautiful, that would do a disservice to the truly spectacular parts of Thailand, but it certainly is very pretty and relaxing.

Sizeable Expat Community

Although I said that there was not very much westernised in Pak Chong there are quite a few westerners who live there. Righfully so, Pak Chong is a week end retreat for rich Bangkokians and quite a few residential developments have sprung un in recent years. Westerners are attracted to these developments, propably for the reasons I am giving here, so it will not be difficult for me to build up a circle of western friends.

I should mention that our land, where we intend to build our retirment house, is not on one of these residential developments, but is located between two Thai households alongside the Pakchong Khirirom Resort. The location suits us fine we don’t want to be part of a housing estate and we paid a fraction of the price for the land than we would have to if we bought from one of the developments.


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4 Responses to “Why I Chose To Retire In Pak Chong, Thailand”

  • Hi – I totally agree with your choice of the Khao Yai area to settle down in. Am 52, a competitive golfer, and looking to expat myself there as I fell in love with the place while staying at Kirimaya last year. My girlfreind lives in Bangkok, but also wants to move to Khao Yai. We are eyeing the Nakhon Nayok area near the Royal Hills Golf Resort. Its a bit of a hike from Hwy 1, but the environment is excellent, and the farms there still have a lot of old growth trees on them.

    What do you think?

    All the best,

    Bob Wagner
    Knoxville, TN

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Bob and thanks for the comment.

    I’m still at the design stage for my retirement house but I have bought the land already.

    It’s not easy finding land in the Khao Yai area as it is becoming very popular and prices are rising fast. I would suggest you and your girlfriend spend as much time as possible driving round looking for land while there’s still some left!

    All land, of course is not the same. If you don’t know the difference between a Nor Sor Saam Gor and a Chanote, then I recommend you to this page:- http://retiringinthailand.net/house-build-thailand-2/types-of-land-and-land-title-deeds-in-thailand

    I’ll be going out to Pakchong this Christmas and hope to be staying in our newly finished house!

    Keep in touch and see you in Thailand!

    Best Regards

    Alan Brown

    [Reply]

  • Cliff:

    Alan,

    Thanks for the info. I have been looking at Pak Chong for a while to use as a base while I build a home about 40 km further towards Korat. Are there houses (or apartments) that I could rent? Do you know where I could find any or where you would start given the same position? I’d need a minimum of six months to a year.

    Thanks

    Cliff

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Cliff and thanks for the question.

    There is a place to stay in Pakchong that I can recommend – it’s the place I always stay in when I visit the area.

    It’s called The Masion and it is a block of apartments that you can rent by the week or month.

    Here is the website URL, but the site is in the Thai language:
    http://www.mansionpakchong.com/site

    The website has a telephone number and contact us page.
    Tel. 044-312522 , 044-312901
    Fax. 044-312951
    Website : http://www.mansionpakchong.com

    The building is quite new and the apartments are clean. You can get broadband internet by wifi in all the rooms.

    Hope that helps.

    Alan

    [Reply]

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