Bangkok, Thailand Report of what it's like to live there - 01/17/10
Personal Experiences from Bangkok, Thailand
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
yes, first time away from America
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
Home is Pensacola, Florida. It takes 26 hours to reach Bangkok from Pensacola(usually Pensacola to Houston, Houston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Bangkok)
3. How long have you lived here?
1 year and still here
4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
I live in a condo high rise, next to the subway and skytrain, near center of Bangkok
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
food is in abundance here--in the open air markets and the regular supermarkets.thai food is much cheaper than imported western foods
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
lots of american fast food available--mcdonalds, pizza hut, kfc, dunkin donuts, burger king.cheaper than in america, but expensive compared to thai foods
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
none in the city
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
same as if in america.mailboxes and post office are everywhere
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
many very nice fitness centers, reasonably priced
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
many places do not accept credit cards and many of the ones that do will increase the bill by 3% to accept your card. ATM usage here is an art--you can pay your bills by using an ATM.
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
yes, but not many churches here--mostly buddhist temples and some mosques
6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?
yes, there is cable tv here with many english channels.about $35/month
7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
not much, some english is in use--but i am in the big urban city.english is much more rare in the country
8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
many difficulties, seems like they do not concern themselves with handicaps
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
yes, they are safe.taxis are cheap in bangkok.
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
a regular auto is fine here, except that they drive on the left side of the road and all steering wheels are on the right side of a car.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
yes, about $30/month
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
cheap to use, chips are interchangeable so you can go from country to country with the same phone, just changing the chip.i buy minutes.using a cell phone here is very simple and inexpensive
1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?
2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
mostly teaching english, unless you are very good with thai
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
in public--whatever you want to wear
Health & Safety:
1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?
2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
very safe, even walking the streets at midnight
3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
medical care is good; no prescription for most medicines.pharmacists will prescribe and sell to you--simple, simple, simple! and inexpensive
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Only 2 seasons:wet and dry; usually hot with about 65% humidity.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
There are many in this city, offering English as the primary language.
2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?
3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?
4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
yes. they are big into badminton, soccer, ping pong, volleyball, and takraw
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
very large in bangkok, if in right area
2. Morale among expats:
3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
many bars and dance places, movie theatres.easy to meet people here
4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
yes, i like it much.
5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
i do not know, but there are many ladyboys here.
6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
none that i have seen or are aware of
7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
shopping in the numerous street markets, night markets, weekend markets is fun.visits to temples and palaces is amazing.eating food at the street vendors stands is always cheap and tasty.visiting the numerous sights around bangkok is lots of fun, and, of course, the beaches and islands are beautiful.
8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
everything is cheap, except cars which are imported
9. Can you save money?
yes, cheap to live here
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
yes, definitely.wish i had come here sooner.
2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
110 volt items unless you have a stepdown converter
3. But don't forget your:
sunglasses, hat, and favorite canned foods (some are not available)
4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?
5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:
6. Do you have any other comments?
great place to live as long as you do not miss a change of seasons