13 Reasons Why Bangkok has to be the Best Expat Destination

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.

  1. 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.

    Thai food - stir fried squid with basil leaves and chili
    Thai food – stir fried squid with basil leaves and chili
  2. 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.

    Blue sky above Silom road
    Blue sky above Silom road
  3. 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.

    With my favorite shop owner
    With my favorite shop owner
  4. Accomodationfinding 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.

    A condo pool in Sukhumvit area
    A condo pool in Sukhumvit area
  5. 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.

    In the bus with the wooden floor
    In the bus with the wooden floor
  6. 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.

    Chanel's boutique at Central Embassy
    Chanel’s boutique at Central Embassy
  7. 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.Thai Airways
  8. 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.
    Festival in Lumpini Park
    Festival in Lumpini Park


  9. Work/life balance – everyone here seems to have the right balance between work and their personal lives. No stress or exhausting working hours.
  10. 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.Silom Road Bangkok
  11. 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).
  12. 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 .Ocean Bangkok Pool Party
  13. 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 🙂

  • You brought it to the point! Totally agree 🙂

    • I’m glad that we are on the same page ??

  • I love Thailand and really fancied a posting to Bangkok – we nearly applied for a job there but the timing wasn’t quite right. To be honest, it’s the local travel, especially the diving (yes and the food) that attracted me the most! However my top three criteria for a top expat destination need to be 1) schooling; 2) safe and 3) interesting! So we’re going to South Africa – schooling was an issue but I think we got there in the end. Safety – hmmmm. Can it be any worse than Pakistan or Jamaica???? And interesting – definitely!

    • Is Jamaica dangerous? I never hear negative news from there ( maybe because I don’t really follow this kind of news?). But from Pakistan it can only get better I guess. SA sounds great to me, ok, not like Thailand?, but there are a lot of interesting places around. And Mauritius doesn’t sound bad for diving. I’m curious to know more about the food. I will follow your adventures!

      • Yes Kingston where we lived had one of the highest murder rates in the world. We had to live in houses on compounds with guards and bars on the windows. So we’re used to what life will be like in SA!

        • Oh, it is such a pity that places so beautiful can not be fully enjoyed

  • Reblogged this on Santa's Reindeer.

  • Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for reading it ?

  • I’d agree with a lot of these, especially #1 – the food! So much good food, from the very cheap to the extremely high end. But your #2 – the weather – is actually my #1 reason that I couldn’t live in Bangkok for the long term. Humidity and I don’t get along, and the stifling heat makes me want to hide out in my apartment all day. But I’m hoping that the extreme heat will only last for another month or so, and then things will get a little easier as the rainy season kicks in!

    • I’m afraid things will get easier only in December/January but for sure a couple of hours of rain will make everything more bearable ? I def prefer more moderate temperatures but if I have to choose between the Milanese climate and the Bangkokian one, I would go for the latter. 3/4 months of good weather is really not enought for me.

  • alice

    Amazing, love it!

    Alice Cerea,
    BABYWHATSUP.COM
    Join this new blogger network, I’m waiting for you!

  • Looks like so much fun! I’d love to visit one day!
    ~Sophia
    http://plaidismyfavouritecolour.blogspot.com/

    • The sooner the better 😀

  • We agree with all 13 and that’s why Thailand is our Plan B. Hipefully Malaysia is equally fascinating and a great place to spend early retirement. We will find out very soon.

    • I’m afraid Penang won’t have the enviable Bangkokian fashion scene but if you can’t do without ..the border is near ?

      • Ha; fashion for me is a polyester T-short, flip flops and a pair of nylon shorts; Oh and a hat to keep my head from frying so no, I don’t think I need the Bangkok fashion. Acctually, Guerney Plaza in GeorgeTown has just as many stores and styles as almost anywhere in SE Asia should I ever long for the fashionable look !!

  • Just have to add, NO! I don’t want to ride your freaking tuk tuk! >:/

    Have a nice day :3

  • Hi Gabi you have captured Bangers really well and as it is, I love it great for a few days and then I retreat back home, China Town is worth a visit too, love it!

    • I happy that you share my excitment ? agree with you, China Town is my favorite spot ever, not only in bkk!

  • Bangkok sounds very appealing! Might have to consider it after Dubai!

    • Souns like a good plan! ?

  • This is so cool

  • we have the same views about Bangkok…for me, it will always be the best destination sa Southeast Asia…wala sa kalingkingan ang Manila….masama mang sabihin dahil Plipino ako, talaga namang hanggang publicity lang ang tourism ng Pinas…more SEA countries are emerging as best destinations….kudos to your blog!

    • Thank you! I would only change Europe for SE Asia. It has it all!

  • Love the blog, and could not agree more on your points, I could add a few more, Chiang Mai is the 3rd cheapest location for back packers , and is a great place to go to see the real Thailand , not too effected my tourism.
    There is a large ex pat community there too

  • I can never say no to Thailand! Fell in love with the language & culture many years ago while I had Thai classmates and have never looked back! Fast forward, I’ve been making at least 1 trip each year to Bangkok and my friends often jokes about how I travel “home” (yes, I wished I could call Bkk my home!).

    • Wow, one trip each year? That’s real love 🙂 I totally understand you!

  • Ammy

    Thanks Gabi, for bringing the good points of Thailand (Ka)

    • Thank for reading them, Ammy 🙂

  • Wonderfully written and expressed…. I was in Bangkok recently and could totally relate to your points!!

    • Thank you so much, dear!

  • Anonymous

    I think your article was misleading. Point 1: Yes, food is cheap but chances are good you’ll suffer from food poisoning. Lack of hygienic conditions and refrigeration are key contributors. I’d only been in Bkk for 6 days before being hospitalized with food poisoning. Point 2: Weather: Hot and humid translates to “Don’t wear anything nice” because you will sweat all the time. 108 degrees in April- at the beach? Everybody needs a cool down occasionally. Point 3: People. Fake smiles, no thank you. Point 4: Accommodations. While there are cheap places to live, you get what you pay for. My family of 5 paid nearly $4000 USD monthly for a nice place to live. Point 5: Transportation. I agree the BTS and MRT are quick, clean, and efficient the alternative is dismal. Tuk-tuks and taxis try to scam foreigners. Buses are smoke spewing rust buckets and all are contributing factors to the crushing traffic in Bkk. Let the travel brochures sugar coat destinations. Travelers should be realistically informed.

    • Dear someone, I have to disagree with you, even though I think that I, not having a family of five, am probably younger than you and therefore more adventurous and less picky. Food: I have been in Bkk for 6 months and had street food every single day, I got food poisoning only once, and it was unpleasant but not that bad to go to hospital. Weather: You should consider that it takes to the body 6 months to adjust to the new climate. At the end of my stay I was wearing hats and feeling quite all right. Even formal wear was ok. Accomodation: I have visited many one bedroom flats, the cost for one, in a top condo, with all the extras one can immagine + high floor was around 500 usd in the central areas. If you pay 4000 usd for just a nice place and not for a luxurious one then you should change you real estate agent or search better. Tranportation: I agree that there is no hope for the taxi drivers, even if you speak Thai and tell them the way, they play dumb. But the buses are ok, only half of them are “spewing rust buckets”, I enjoyed them a lot and every time I had the opportunity to take one, I did it (I was never in a rush to go anyhwere). But have to admit that when my parents visited me, I saved this experience for me. I think that even the people that want to have a comfortable life (the Western style) and avoid the characteristics of the local culture can still create quite easily their bubble and live happily. Hm, probably this is the 14 th reason why it should be the best expat destination!

  • Anonymous

    A six month stay does not qualify you as an expert on all things Bkk. I was there for years. Yes, you are younger but certainly not more adventurous and/or less picky. I have lived all over the world and never surrounded myself in a Western culture bubble. What would be the fun in that?

  • spend a few more years here and see why many people only take 1 day a month off and work 2 jobs. easy credit and morgages have killed the economy. 2 years living in the city you will have lung problems astma etc supermarket prices for many things are dearer than in europe and you are paying 100% import tax on brand names. thats why locals with money shop in Hong kong. laos cambodia and vietnam are the choosen destinations for tourists these days. nice blog but keep the rose tinted glasses off. i.e 15 years here now
    sawadeekrap

  • Rick S.

    I have lived here for 3 years and I still wonder why I didn’t move here sooner. I agree 100% with all your points and I would like to add the wonderful island get-aways you can find here as well. I particularly like Koh Larn on a long weekend because most people go there for a day trip so during the evening and night there are not many foreigners left on the island but just enough to make it fun.

  • We were in Bangkok for 2 years and had a blast. Been living as an expat for over 13 years now and Bangkok is still in my top list for best posting in Asia ❤️