One of the world’s premier tourist destinations, expats moving to Bangkok will find themselves in a wholly different cultural environment within the familiar framework of an international city. It is a city of contrasts, where glamourous upscale malls and tourist attractions exist alongside the grit of its many slum areas.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, its largest city and the centre of business, culture and politics. It has significant regional importance in Southeast Asia, and as a result, it is often the centre of political tensions.
Upheaval and change are a regular part of life in Bangkok, and foreigners have been largely unaffected by the military coup and the political demonstrations leading up to it. Expats are still advised to keep an eye on the latest headlines.
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.
The majority of Bangkok's expat population moves to the city for the plethora of cultural attractions and a cost of living far below that of cities such as New York and London. While skilled expats can be found in industries such as finance and logistics, most foreigners find that teaching English is still the easiest way to make a living in the Thai capital.
Bangkok’s unwieldy expansion has also led to some of the worst traffic in the world. Motorcycle taxis fearlessly weave through endless lines of cars, leaving many new arrivals feeling that they either have to wait forever or risk their lives to get to their destination.
The downsides of life in Bangkok are, however, more than made up for. The city 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 laidback lifestyle without sacrificing the quality of international schools and healthcare facilities.
Bangkok has even become a popular medical tourism destination thanks to the high level of healthcare available at affordable rates.As a result, expats are more than happy to endure minor discomforts to enjoy life in this diverse and unique city brimming with vitality.