Category Archives: Lifestyle Migrant Profile


We need you! If you would like to contribute a photo, story or video to our exhibition please email one of us or write a reply below. Advertisements

Exhibition 24th April to 7th May Hong Kong University

IMG_0510We are very excited to announce our forthcoming exhibition Lifestyle Migration in Asia – An Interpretive Photography Exhibition(see below). The exhibition will be held in Hong Kong in April/May next year, 2015. We are advertising this you now so that you can fix the date in your diaries if you would like to attend and also to ask if you would consider contributing. It would be really fantastic if you felt able to send us a photograph, or a short video with a small amount of accompanying text telling us how this photo or video illustrates aspects of your life as a migrant in Asia. The final selection of photographs will be made by us, based on quality and available space, but we will do our best to exhibit all that we receive. Please do let us know if you want to know more, and feel free to use the blurb below to advertise the event.

All best wishes: Kate Botterill, Maggy Lee, Karen O’Reilly and Rob Stones


Lifestyle Migration in Asia – An Interpretive Photography Exhibition

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

24th April to 7th May 2015

Lifestyle Migration is the, often flexible and fluid, movement of relatively affluent people to places that they believe will offer them a better quality of life. There is usually an economic incentive to their mobility, but the search for the good life is paramount in their motivations. Lifestyle migration is an increasingly widespread phenomenon, with effects for migrants, locals, cultural life, and economic life. So, what can we learn about human life from lifestyle migrants? How and why do lifestyle migrants move? What are their needs and aspirations, the joys and challenges, continuities and discontinuities of their mobile lives? What is it about particular destinations that makes them attractive for them?

This photography exhibition offers us a glimpse of the diverse motivations and everyday experiences of Western migrants in Thailand and Malaysia and Hong Kong migrants in mainland China. Through the eyes of participants in our ongoing research project ‘Lifestyle Migration in East Asia’ ( these photographs reveal fascinating aspects of life ‘on the move’ for men and women, young families and those in retirement. The accompanying excerpts illustrate the interior worlds of migrants in which experiences, loyalties and memories from two places co-exist and combine. Research funded by the ESRC/Hong Kong Research Grants Council: RES-000-22-4357

Article published in IIAS Newsletter

Lifestyle Migration in East Asia Published in International Institute for Asian Studies

Please follow the link to read our newly published article!


While things seem to have gone a bit quiet with respect to the Lifestyle Migration in East Asia project, be assured plans are afoot!


Photo taking from web site of the International Women’s Association of Kuala Lumpur.

Exhibition, April 2015

Maggy and Rob are meeting up this week to discuss plans for our forthcoming Exhibition in Hong Kong next April. We will be showcasing elements of our work and we are hoping some of our research participants – YOU – will send us photos and videos about lifestyle migration in Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. There will be a special focus on growing older as migrants and on gendered experiences of lifestyle migration. Watch this space for more.

News Feature

We will soon be having a featured piece in the newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)

Germans in Hong Kong and Thailand

Meanwhile, you might be interested in reading this policy briefing about Germans living in Hong Kong and Thailand, by Thorsten Nieberg.

More survey results

What do lifestyle migrants do?

37 per cent of respondents to our survey about lifestyle migration in Malaysia and Thailand are retired, and 68 per cent of those are under 65 years of age.

A further 20 per cent are either self-employed or working occasionally.  30 per cent are in paid employment, and 7 per cent are looking after the family or home.


Lifestyle migrants are not generally living in big families. 24 per cent of our respondents live alone and 40 per cent live with just one other person. But 71 per cent are either married or living with a partner. So, are a lot of married couples living apart?

Work life balance is quite or very important to 71 per cent of them; but it’s not necessarily a slow pace of life you seek. More than half didn’t think a slow pace of life mattered much.

‘Chickynet’ : Local social networking for women in Thailand

Chickynet is a social networking website for women in Thailand. What started as a facebook site in Phuket has now become a multi-sited social network with over 2400 members scattered across different parts of Thailand. Chickynet was founded in April 2009 by Berthe Mandaat to make some new friends when she moved to Phuket from the Netherlands. Since then the site has expanded from its stronghold in Phuket, where over 1000 members still reside, to other locations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Pattaya. Although the vast majority of members are ‘expats’ of different nationalities, Berthe estimates that around 10% of the membership is Thai, with the average age of members being 35 years old. The site is 100% member driven and an important source of information for both new arrivals in Thailand and established residents. Members offer advice and signposting to different services and amenities in their local area, such as where to find ‘good vegetarian restaurants in Phuket’, ‘yoga classes in Chiang Mai’, ‘hotels in Bangkok’ and ‘top quality sausage and bacon in Hua Hin’!

But Chickynet is more than just an online information portal, it is a local community of members that meet up and support each other offline in different places. As Berthe says ‘Chicky Net is sort of your own local neighborhood where you help each other out, the atmosphere is very friendly and positive…it’s a small and intimate network compared to other social media’. During my time in Hua Hin I was invited to two very welcoming (and fun!) Chickynet events where I met an international group of women who came to establish new friendships and re-connect with old ones (over a very civilised bottle of prosecco). As well as providing a social function for women to meet new people, Chickynet also acts as a support network in times of personal crisis, as Berthe says ‘Chickynet offers women an opportunity to find support that was not available before’.

Chickynet also showcases the experiences of women in Thailand through its blog roll, featuring interviews with expat women and showcasing women bloggers. British expat Teresa Shaw kindly agreed to share her Chickynet interview with us. She talks about her move to Thailand from Nottingham with her husband on a ‘gap year’ that never quite ended and her experiences as an English teacher in Hua Hin. Interestingly, she reveals that a key positive aspect about Thailand is the ‘lifestyle’. Read the full interview here.

Seth Wilkinson – Lifestyle Migrant?

 From Expatriate Lifestyle, Malaysia’s expat magazine:

‘Seth Wilkinson, a pro jet ski racer who currently holds the 2011 World Jet Race Endurance title from Terengganu bought a one way ticket to Malaysia and is ready to make his mark in the world’

See the article here Seth Wilkinson.

Is Seth a Lifestyle Migrant in Asia? We think he probably is.