- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Bangkok Guide (PDF)
One of the world’s premier tourist destinations, Bangkok presents expats with a wholly different cultural environment within the familiar framework of a cosmopolitan, international city. The cityscape in Bangkok is carved by canals that branch out from the Chao Phraya River. Snaking through the heart of the city, this natural feature not only shapes the city’s layout, but also daily life. The influence of the river and its canals can be seen in its many floating markets and the cultural customs of its residents.
Living in Bangkok as an expat
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, its largest city and the centre of business, culture and politics. The majority of Bangkok's expat population moves to the city for the plethora of cultural attractions and boundless work opportunities. While skilled expats can be found in industries such as finance and logistics, many foreigners find that teaching English is still the easiest way to make a living in the Thai capital. Jobs in this field are plentiful.
Cost of living in Bangkok
Overall, the cost of living in Thailand is low, but as is typical of a large capital city, Bangkok can be an expensive place to live. Having all the conveniences and amenities that big-city living provides comes at a cost, especially if expats choose to indulge in luxuries such as fine dining and imported goods.
The good news is that, with some planning, it's possible to live in Bangkok on a budget, especially if expats are willing to live a simpler lifestyle more akin to the Thai way of living.
Expat families and children
Bangkok is renowned for its vibrant entertainment scene and the warmth of its residents. It provides opportunities for everyone from young, single expats to families, who can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle without sacrificing the quality of international schools and healthcare facilities. The city has even become a popular medical tourism destination thanks to the high level of healthcare available at affordable rates.
Climate in Bangkok
Heat and humidity are the prevailing conditions in this tropical city. During the hot season from March to May, the mercury frequently reaches and exceeds 30°C (86°F). The wet season arrives just as temperatures start to wind down around the end of May. Downpours are frequent, so it's best to get into the habit of carrying an umbrella around. In November, the rain abates with the arrival of the cool season, which still has pleasant temperatures around the 68°F (20°C) mark.
Sun-loving expats are sure to enjoy the many perfect beach days that Thailand offers between the wet and hot season. Whatever the weather, the vibrancy of Bangkok is hard to beat, and the city has a lot to offer new arrivals should they come with an open mind and a sense of adventure.
"Thailand offers opportunities for adventures and shenanigans that – to your average salary worker in the West – are outrageously exotic, and sometimes life-changing." Read more of Greg's comments about living in Bangkok.
Are you an expat living in Bangkok?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bangkok. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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