I’ve been visiting Thailand since 2005 and Chanya’s partner since 2009 but I am not a fluent Thai speaker. The big question is whether it is really necessary to speak fluent Thai to live and enjoy your stay here in the land of Smiles?
This is a difficult question to answer for a lot of reasons. A tourist or someone who is here for short stays is certainly not required to learn Thai as the sort of places they will be frequenting will most likely cater to the English speaking guests. For someone who plans to live among the Thai population and participate in the daily Thai way of life, this is a completely different situation. No matter who you are, the spectrum of engagement with the Thai language will be specific to each person and subject to the level of engagement you need with the general population.
Yiyuan Klinsuan Aidin