For decades, Bangkok has been a centre for expats looking for a city that makes them feel alive. The city is home to a variety of expats from all over the world. However, Bangkok, like any new country, has its challenges. What are some of the top tips for living in the City of Angels? Let’s delve deep and find out.
10. Leave your pre-conceptions at home
If you are moving to Bangkok, it is best to come with an opened mind. It isn’t going to be like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or any other European nation.
Bangkok, and Thailand for that matter, has its own culture and way of doing things. Therefore, you must get used the Bangkok way when you get there. It may be new and different, but it just takes some time to get used to it.
9. Learn Thai Culture & Thai
Learn a little bit of Thai culture to understand the behavior of Thais. There are massive differences between the Asian / Thai and Western cultures hence it is important to learn.
It is a good idea to get some basic understanding of the Thai language if you are moving to the country. Knowing just enough of the language to get by will be valuable in your everyday interactions. Sure, enough people speak some English in Bangkok, but knowing just enough Thai will bridge the gap when English isn’t an option.
8. Thai politics aren’t stable
It is good to know that Thailand’s political climate isn’t the smoothest. Knowing that there have been political coups in the past will help you be aware there could be problems in the future. It is worth noting as it could give you an insight into the mindset of locals.
7. Street food is the way to go
Bangkok has some of the best street restaurants and street food vendors you will find in Asia. Don’t be afraid to step up to one anytime of day and grab yourself some grub. Coming home late at night and nothing to eat in your apartment? Have no fear, the street food stalls will provide that late night dinner or snack you crave.
6. Be prepared for wet weather
If you are in Bangkok from May to November, don’t be afraid to get wet. This is the Thai monsoon season and wet weather is everywhere in the country. Bangkok really only has two season, wet and dry; so during the rainy time, be ready to get soaked.
5. Ride buses and Trains
Buses in Thailand are far from expensive and are an easy way to get around. In Bangkok, you can travel on buses and trains in the city for as little as USD 0.20 to USD 1.50. It is an inexpensive way to get around.
4. Watch out for STDs
With so many travellers and expats descending on Thailand, experts say Bangkok is rife with STDs.
In practice, prostitution is illegal in Bangkok but it is common to see sex joints which are regulated in some ways, so be aware that various disease are spread via the sex industry. Many tourists come just for it, so sexual disease are being spread often.
In addition, you may want to re-think having any possible one-night stands with strangers. Be on the safe side and stock up on condoms once you get to Bangkok.
3. Don’t take tuk tuks
According to veteran expats, tuk tuks are some of the biggest rip-offs for non-Thais. It is much easier and quicker to get a taxi to your destination. However, make sure the driver turns on the meter and doesn’t attempt to take you for a ride.
2. Money depends on your mindset
Veteran expats living in Bangkok say that the amount of money you need depends on your mindset. If your lifestyle is modest, you should be able to get by on very little. However, if you decide you want a little more luxury and to go out most nights, it will cost you significantly more.
One expat message board suggests somewhere between USD 1,500 and USD 2000 is enough to live on comfortably. That is, unless you want to party regularly.
1. Eat out
It is funny, in western countries, it is always cheaper to cook a meal and eat at home than going out to eat. The opposite is true in Bangkok as you can eat street food or at a myriad of Thai restaurants for cheaper than you would at home.
It is suggested that a nice meal would cost you around USD 6. The same price as a McDonald’s value meal in the U.S. A more modest meal of chicken and rice may cost around a mere USD 1. Eating out cheaply could save you a lot of cash.
Once you get a routine in Bangkok and settle in, you will find what works for you. However, these tips should help you make some good decisions during your time living in the City of Angels.