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An Expats Life on Koh Phangan - Sami

21 Apr 2018

While visiting Koh Phangan, you must have noticed that many businesses are run by expatriates (a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country).

Guest writer Juliette wanted to know more and she had the chance to meet one of them.

Let’s go into Sami’s life!

Firstly, let’s talk about you!
Hey I’m Sami, 39 years old from Belgium. I have lived on Koh Phangan for 6 years and I run my own guest house. I had a little girl with a Thai girl, she is 4 years old.

How was your life in Belgium?
Oh you know I had a classical life, I went to school just like everyone else and then I made a career for 20 years in the building sector.

Deep in me I always knew that I didn’t want this classic life. So one day I decided to drop everything and go to Thailand.

Why Thaïland?
There are three main reasons, the first one is that I’ve been passionate about manga since I was very young, the second one is 15 years ago I discovered Muay Thai. I practised Muay Thai in Belgium for 10 years, did a lot of fights and then I taught this art for a couple of years. And the best reason is that I’ve a weakness for Asian women (laughing).

Then one day I decided to go to Thailand with a one year student visa to see how I could open a business here.

Why did you choose Koh Phangan to stay?
Actually, I prefer the North of Thailand and more precisely Chiang Mai, but I chose to follow my wife who prefers Koh Phangan and I finally fell in love with this island. What I like here is the climate, the good food, the party and the backpackers spirit.

So what is your story on this island?
At first I started working in the hospital as a medical translator because I can speak 6 languages. Then I wanted to start my own business and with my wife we created the guest house.

Do you think you will end your days on this island?
I’m in love with Thailand but you know my daughter is 4 years old and I want to offer her the best education so that’s why in few months we are going to Belgium together.

But you have to understand, now that I have a Thai daughter, I am more than ever linked with this country, so I will come back.

If you are interested in making Koh Phangan your permanent home or have questions about opening or setting up a business then don’t hesitate to get in touch!