5 Reasons Thailand is a Great Destination for the Suitcase Entrepreneur

Posted on / by Natalie Sisson / in Business Travel / 22 comments
Buddhist Monk in Thailand

As a suitcase entrepreneur, the only thing you really need to keep your business moving and the money coming in is an internet connection. With that you can mange your business, generate content, Skype with suppliers, respond to customer service queries and move money.

You can keep the money coming in and make sure you have enough to put food on the table whilst having fun. We’re well aware of the setup with internet connections in our home countries, but it can be daunting when you head abroad. You don’t want to make the assumption that you’ll be able to get online quickly and easily, only to find that you can’t and that your dream trip rapidly sinks into a nightmare.

Why Thailand is Perfect for a Suitcase Entrepreneur

Thailand is perfect for a suitcase entrepreneur for a number of reasons. Perhaps most-importantly, the Thais like to get online and over the past few years, there has been a real surge in mobile and internet connectivity. The wired network in Thailand isn’t incredible, but it’s still pretty easy to get online even in smaller towns.

The wireless network, on the other hand, has seen a real surge in popularity and implementation however as its much easier to put the infrastructure in place. You can pick up a wireless USB modem with a pre-paid SIM card from any 7-11 and just charge it up as and when you need it. If you want to settle down, short-medium term rental accommodation will usually come with WiFi included in your rent and setting up your own broadband connection isn’t too tricky either.

Connectivity aside, Thailand offers all kinds of benefits to the Suitcase Entrepreneur!

Buddhist Monk in Thailand
Natalie’s photo of a Buddhist Monk taking a photo

Thailand is cheap!

  • A day’s SCUBA diving = $50
  • A beer in a bar = $3
  • A beer from 7-11 = $1
  • Thai food from a market = $1
  • Dinner in a swanky restaurant = $30

Foreigners are welcome in Thailand: 

If you try to behave yourself and avoid disrespecting the Thai people, you will be very welcome in Thailand. If you learn a little bit of Thai, you will be hailed as a linguistic genius, and although their friendliness isn’t always their true emotion, it’s still a refreshing change from the miserable folks back home!

Thailand is great to explore: 

buddha in thailandFrom the sprawling, modern city streets of Bangkok, the World-class beaches in the South, to the ancient ruins in Ayutthaya, to the cool, damp mountains in Chiang Mai. Thailand offers a wide variety of lifestyles and landscapes, and the country is very easy to get around thanks to a great network of government-run buses and trains, as well as cheap flights from Air Asia and Nok Air.

You won’t be bored in Thailand: 

Whether you want to learn Muay Thai, go shoppping, rock-climb, SCUBA dive, party on the beach until the sun comes up or enter a monsatery to learn more about Buddhism, Thailand offers loads for you to do. Take a little look around and you’ll be unlikely to be bored or short of friends!

Thailand is safe: 

Everyone has seen the Red Shirt demonstrations and pictures of Thailand submerged beneath a metre of water, but the reality is that Thailand is actually quite a safe country in many respects. The Thais are (for the most part) very easy-going and a lot of what you see in the West is hyped-up for the media. Crime against foreigners is incredibly low, and the remaining statistics tend to result involve foreigners and either drugs or too much alcohol.

Areas in which Thailand Could Improve

As a tourist, Thailand leaves little to be desired. Despite what you see in the media, the political situation of the country did not affect day-to-day life outside of a few major areas in Bangkok. The flooding in 2011 was severe, but Thais are very helpful and resourceful. Perhaps the only problems for a Suitcase Entrepreneur arise out of Thailand’s connectivity.

The more remote an area you choose to live in (more remote tending to be more exotic), the more difficult it can be to maintain a steady connection. Having lived on Koh Samui for over a year, we would have a power cut at least once a month, which was generally so that maintenance crews could work on the transmission lines but often due to a system overload.

Ko Chang
One of Natalie’s favourite places in  East Thailand – Ko Chang

Similarly, the internet connection would often go down so that the ISP could “maintain the line”. Its unlikely that you’ll be without connection for any length of time, but it’s worthwhile having a contingency plan in case the worst happens and you lose your connection for several days.

Need a contingency plan? Read this article on outsourcing while you’re on vacation to learn more.

The Cheapest Way to Get to Thailand

Getting out to Thailand is very straightforward. From North America, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Korean Air and Philippine Air all fly to Bangkok. Its also possible to go via Europe and the Middle East/South Asia with KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad, Emirates, Air India and Kingfisher. From Australia and New Zealand, you can make use of a number of low-cost Airlines that include Air Asia and Tiger Airways to get out to Thailand quite cheaply.

I recommend using Kayak whichever route you plan to take as it ‘screenscrapes’ hundreds of other booking sites and allows you huge flexibility on your route, flight time and ultimate the cost of your ticket.

How to Find Accommodation for Your Stay

John Peden in Thailand
John Peden enjoys Thailand

The accommodation that you’ll be looking for really depends on how long you plan to stay in one place. In bigger, tourist areas check out Asia Rooms for good prices and good flexibility.

Many hotels/bungalows/resorts/apartments in Thailand will offer a monthly or long-term rate, so if you know you’ll be staying put for some time, make sure to ask.

Even if this isn’t on offer, everything can be negotiated in Thailand, so make sure you are not paying by the night if you are staying for more than a few weeks.

After graduating, John Peden spent 2 years living and working in Thailand with his girlfriend. He now writes about their experiences teaching English in Thailand.