Many come to Thailand with some money in their back pocket and dreams of living a care-free existence in a cheap country. Quickly it dawns on them, they blow the pile of cash faster a burning cigarette and have to find a way to earn some moolah. Let’s take a look at some start-up ideas that could get you that income to stay comfortable and out of debt.

  1. Teaching English or a Specialist Subject.

When foreigners land in Thailand, one of the easiest ways to make some money is to teach. Using your native language and if you are reading this article you probably are able to teach English as well which is the most sought-after language. If not languages, you can look into math, STEM studies and art or sports. Schools are the best employers, but if you don’t have the necessary qualifications and certificates for international schools, seek out private language schools or cram schools that are located in every mall in the country or advertise yourself for private tutoring. In Thailand much like the rest of Asia, education is a high priority for parents and they pay good money for private tuition outside of school to keep up or get ahead of other kids. 

  • Digital Marketing Agency.

Agencies or freelance marketers offer their services to businesses for digital marketing. This covers the main things in online marketing like SEO and paid advertising but can also encompass Google My Business, PR linking and social media management. If you have experience in these areas, it is easy to apply to local businesses and even international clients. Digital marketing is growing at a pace and Thailand is a hub for such marketing agencies. Places to start looking for clients are local online businesses in Thailand in a sector that you are familiar with or go to the freelance platforms like Freelancer, Fiverr and Peopleperhour to display your services or tender for jobs in the services required sections.

  • IT Programming.

If you have coding skills or project management experience for IT development, this can be done as a remote agency just like above. Because of the specialist nature of the programming skills, you can charge high hourly or per project costs to make this a part time job i.e. work 6 months, play 6 months. It certainly helps if you have a portfolio of projects or CV of blue chips that you can cite but if not building up some websites, apps, games for friends and showcasing these can be a good way to create a portfolio.

There is currently a huge market for slot developers like those seen on luckycatslot. Javesctipt developers can set up in Thailand with low cost overheads and start to target this market from within Thailand and sell the product outside of Thailand with huge profit margins. Again, look on the various freelance websites for gigs and post on craigslist and forums for specialist skills.

  • E-Commerce Trading.

You have a unique advantage in Thailand, your knowledge of your home country. You know what is trending, what sells well and what consumers are buying. So, there are 2 options for you whilst in Thailand.

  1. Start sourcing Thai products to sell on a website or platform back home. Let’s say you are a Frenchman love the Thai silk products like scarves and pocket handkerchiefs and think your fellow countrymen will to. Buy a few at retail price from shops and make some listings on eBay, Amazon or a local website in France like FNAC. Put a markup on the cost price which should be minimum 20% unless you have competitors on there already selling silk accessories, then you should start looking for another product. Do some advertising and promotion, dispatch the orders from Thailand and build up sales so you can start buying at wholesale and maybe even stock some in France for quicker, cheaper delivery.
  2. Look at fast selling items in France and bring them to online marketplaces here in Thailand. It could be the latest GoPro camera or tripod accessories. They will have them here but the markup will be significant, your retail price in France should be.


These 4 ideas to earn yourself a crust whilst in the amazing land of smiles are roads well-travelled but still have space for new entrants. There is no social security for expatriates living in Thailand so, you have to make your own way. For inspiration see some examples of Thai Start-Ups that have made an impact and try one of the above and see where your passions lie.