Southeast Asia is home to endless possibilities. You could meet people from various backgrounds and cultures throughout the region, speaking different languages.

Every year, countries within Southeast Asia welcome millions of tourists. Two of the most popular destinations are Thailand, where 39.8 million tourists visited throughout 2019, and Malaysia, where 26.1 million tourists visited in 2019. Each person is looking to explore the natural beauty, vibrant culture and iconic landscapes within the region.

However, some visit Southeast Asia and choose to extend their trip. They will look for opportunities available to move to a country within Southeast Asia. After finding work or an option that will enable them to stay, they will live there for the foreseeable future.

Starting a new beginning in Southeast Asia can sound like a dream. It is a dream that many are turning into a reality. If you are considering a move to Southeast Asia, here are a few things to decide on before you begin packing your bags.


Area You Will Live

Choosing to live in Southeast Asia is one decision to make. The other is deciding where in Southeast Asia you will live. Those moving from the UK often choose to relocate to Malaysia. Although the national language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia or Malay, many locals do speak English. With English being one of the many common languages spoken in Malaysia, many expats choose to move there.

If you decide to move to Malaysia, you have to decide on the area you wish to live in. The country has various areas that could appeal to your needs and taste. If you wanted to be in the bustling heart of the country, the capital might be the choice for you. Kuala Lumpur is home to thriving commercial centres, vibrant nightlife, restaurants to delight the tastebuds and shopping centres to explore. In addition to all of this, there are quiet residential streets that you can escape to if the sky-high apartment complexes are not for you.

Alternatively, you may want to consider Johor. It has easy access to Singapore, with two bridges offering you the chance to explore another country. Living in Johor is ideal if you have to visit Singapore frequently for work but do not want to live there.

There is an abundance of real estate options available across Malaysia. Whether you are looking for a house for you and your family or a condo for just you, there will more than likely be an accommodation choice that suits your needs.


Spend Time Learning The Language

Should you choose to move to Southeast Asia, you will likely meet someone who does speak English. They might have a good understanding of the language or know enough to hold a conversation. However, it is worth learning the country’s language you hope to move to.

The national language is Bahasa Malaysia, more commonly known as Malay in Malaysia. Malay is also the national language of Singapore. English is a language frequently spoken in Singapore, along with Tamil and Mandarin. If you were moving to Thailand, Thai is the official language spoken across the country. You may find that locals speak and understand English, but they will often be in the popular tourist areas.

Learning the language can help you to communicate with locals who may perceive you as being a tourist, not a resident. Being able to speak and understand the language can help you communicate more effectively and potentially form friendships.


Learn About Job Culture

If your reason for moving to Southeast Asia is for employment, the job culture will likely differ from what you are used to at home. In most Asian cultures, group work can mean working collaboratively to complete a task. Feedback and assistance will be asked by others if and when it is needed. The work culture in Southeast Asia also handles issues and problems in the workplace differently. Any problems employers have with a team member will be dealt with privately.

Southeast Asia is a cultural pot that is bursting with various cultures. Ensure that you remain mindful and respectful of the different cultures you will encounter during your time in the country you choose to reside in. You may have to make minor adjustments to your approach to ensure that you remain respectful of the culture you will be living in.


In Summary

Before you move to Southeast Asia, one of the best things you can do is conduct thorough research. Decide where you want to move to, what you will be doing whilst there and if the move will be financially possible. Learning all of this beforehand can help to ease the process a bit.

Moving to Southeast Asia can be an exciting opportunity for you.