Thailand is currently one of the top destinations for expats. So what makes it so appealing?
Here are my top 13 reasons why Thailand, and more specifically Bangkok, is my favorite destination for a long term living.
- Food – Thai food is delicious, cheap and you can find it everywhere no matter what time of the day it is. And if you get rid of it or simply miss the taste of home, there are plenty of international restaurants that cater for all tastes. I even found a street stall selling Italian homemade tagliatelle under my apartment and freshly fried chorizos nearby. Special mention goes to the fresh fruit available all year and the super healthy coconut water.
- Weather – local people say that they have three seasons – hot, hotter and the hottest – and they are right. I love the sun, the heat and the humidity (my hair a little less) and after I saw that I can actually experience a warm winter, without having the freezing air hurt my skin,I’m not sure that I will want to survive another icy season. And let me tell you that to get out of the blankets and not having to face the cold morning is priceless.
- People – Thais are kind, friendly and willing to help. They are always happy and smiling, something that makes me feel welcomed wherever I go. Whether their smiles are genuine or fake is not so relevant to me. I prefer to see fake smiles all around than genuine cheerless faces which are so common in Europe.
- Accomodation – finding accomodation in Bangkok is easy as Sunday morning. The city offers a lot of newly built condos with extensive range of extra facilities that are usually found in 5 star hotels, like swimming pool, gym, library, wi-fi, private movie theater. All of the flats are ready to move in (and much cheaper than in any Western country). Bascically you could arrive in Bangkok in the morning, sign the contract in the afternoon and sleep in your new bed in the evening.
- Transportation – Bangkok is easy to navigate thanks to its modern public transport system. The Skytrain (BTS) and the underground (MRT) are clean, fast and comfortable and will take you to most of the places that are worth visitng. For all the rest, there are the picturesque buses that travel with doors wide open (a must-do), the river boats, tuk-tuks and cheap taxis. If you want to know more about the various ways of transport and the relative costs and dangers check out this blog.
- Shopping – the Thai capital offers a plethora of shopping options spacing from the cheap street stalls to the world-class shopping malls. I can’t think of a better place to destroy your wallet. You can check my article about Chatuchak Weekend Market or Terminal 21 (a shopping center that boasts many emerging Thai desisngers) and get a better idea of what to expect.
- Travel – it is simple and affordable to travel locally and discover the striking landscapes and cultural heritage of the country. Whether you are dreaming of exotic beaches, lush green jungles or mountain temples – Thailand has it all! What is more, it is in the middle of Asia, and attractive destinations such as Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Singapore and Hong Kong are only a few hours away. It is the perfect place to get your wanderlust fix.
- Plenty to do – “Something always happens here. If you are bored in Bangkok, it’s your own fault. This could be a negative side, especially when you try to focus solely on your work. But with the good weather, cultural and food festivals, exhibitions, concerts and flea markets that happen everyday, it might become a difficult task to ignore all the temptations.
- Work/life balance – everyone here seems to have the right balance between work and their personal lives. No stress or exhausting working hours.
- Safety – I arrived in Bangkok with a lot of prejudices but the truth is that I have never felt unsafe. It is also worth saying that I don’t drink, deal with drugs or walk alone in desert, pitch dark sois, which I guess, somehow helps to avoid troubles. Bangkok is also the only place in the world where I feel comfortable leaving my stuff unattended while I go to the bathroom.
- Visa – if you want to stay in the country without any specific reason like work or marriage, it is very easy to do it with an Education Visa. The only thing you need to do is to enroll in a Thai language course ( and actually study because every three months you get examined in the Immigration office. If you don’t speak and read, you are out).
- Social life – Bangkok is a very cosmpolitan city, a meltin pot of people from all around the world and it is really easy to make new friends. In fact you need to pay attention not to overbook yourself .
- Seasonal allergies – since seasons don’t exist on this latitude, you can say Bye to pollens. This means no more sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose. Yayyy
What are your top 3 criteria for an expat destination. Are you easily pleasable?
I’m looking forward to hearing your experience 🙂