Pros and Cons of Living in Bangkok
Should you move to Bangkok? Is it the right place for you? What are the Pros and Cons of Living in Bangkok?
Well that's a question that come back a lot and of course that's gonna vary from one person to another.
No doubt that there's some stuff that I see as pros that you might see as cons.
Do you like street food? Clubs full of girls? Having only 3 seasons (Wet, Hot and Hotter) and never a day below 20 degrees?
I don't know. But for me, here are the pros of cons of living in Bangkok.
Indisputable pros of living in Bangkok
Because some things here are just too good
- 🛒 7/Eleven stores everywhere. You never realize how convenient it is to be able to buy toothpaste at 4am until you've been living in Thailand for a while and you travel to a city where they don't have 7/Eleven.
- 🍜 Street Food. Tasty and cheap food at every corners, at any time of the day. There's always something cooking in Bangkok.
- 🚖 Cheap Transportation. Don't need to take the risk to drink and drive or to carry your bags across the city. Taxis are cheap, reliable and everywhere. You also have taxi moto for short distance and rush hour, the BTS/MRT (public transport)...
- 🇹🇭 Thai People. Because it's so much better to be surrounded by people relax and smiling rather than (*insert what you hate about the people where you're from*).
- 💸 Quality of life. Labor is cheap, so are services. You can easily have a better lifestyle here, meaning have a maid, have a massage every week, take taxis every time you go out... and still, spend twice less as you would in a western country.
- 🏝 It's an attractive destination. Meaning, as an expat, you've got more chances to see your friends and family come over to see you that if you lived in a farm in Sri Lanka. Bangkok have over 30 millions visitors each year and I bet your friends are gonna be part of them.
- ✈️ Cheap flights. Because it's a popular destination, it's one of the cheapest place in the world to travel from, for domestic and international flights. From Bangkok, it will cost you as low as 20$ if you want to fly to Phuket and 220$ to Tokyo.
And honestly, if I keep digging I can keep this list going on and on.
If you're ok with hot weather, Thailand would probably be heaven on earth for you too.
The quality of life you have, the value you get for your money and the access to services is just too good to be true.
Pros for me as a 20 something drinker
I'm not saying that this is important for everyone but if like me you like to party and you have your own business, that's important.
- 🎉 Clubs and bars open every nights of the week. I come from the countryside in France and let say that Sunday to Wednesday isn't really full of options. In Bangkok, you can party any night.
- 🍸 An exciting Cocktail Scene. If you like good booze and expensive short drinks, well, you'll be amazed by what Bangkok packs now. And there's always more Cocktail Bars opening at every corners of the city.
- 💲 Business Opportunities. The amount of Luxury is impressive here. Money is flowing into the country, and mostly in Bangkok, non stop. And with 30 million people visiting the city every year there's no way you can't make money there. It's gonna take time and require to build a strong network, but the longer you stay, the more opportunities you'll have.
- ⏱ Shops Open around the clock. With 7 Eleven Stores, Foodland and some other brands that are open and serve food 24/7, it's so convenient. I often wake up late and work at night and I can get food at 2am, buy toothpaste or pay my bills at 4am. You don't have to stick to "business hours" to live your life normally here.
In my opinion and experience, Bangkok is perfect for young hustlers who want to work and party around the clock.
You always have countless options for activities, food, parties... at different price points, at any time of the day.
I dare you to get bored in this city.
Cons of Bangkok
- 🚦Traffic. If unlike me you've got a 9 to 5 and have to commute during rush hour (which is most of the day in Bangkok), you're gonna spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. You can easily double or triple any commute time, any day of the week if you have to move between 8am/11am and 5pm/9pm. Learn how and when to use the BTS, MRT and Motorbike Taxis to make the best of it.
- 🛂Visas. Unless your company pay for it, it's gonna be either, expensive or a pain in the ass, or both. That's the price to pay for a better lifestyle. (here's a list of the different visas you have to stay long term here).
- ☁️The Pollution. Lately is has been getting worst and worst, and if you don't take breaks away from the city here and there, it can really affect your health.
I've been trying to come up with more cons but it seems like I'm just too in love with the city to find anything else to add.
Cons that you can manage
- 🔞 Clubs and bars open every nights of the week. I know it was one of my pros. But when you love to party and drink (too much), it's hard to say no. With pool parties every weekends, friends coming to visit... if you don't know how to say no, you might end up being out every other night (and spend most of your budget into expensive drinks).
- 💸 Money flies. Keeping a budget is super important, even more in Bangkok. Because there's always something to do, you're always spending money. It's fine when you come to visit Bangkok, not so much when you live here. So keep a track of your expenses. (and have a look at my cost of living if you're wondering how much you need to live in Bangkok)
- 🌧 The rain. Because when it's raining in Bangkok, either you're stuck or you need to be ready to get soaking wet. If you're running on a tight schedule with business meetings lined up, you're gonna hate it. But nothing you can do about it, so just get used to it. That's the price to pay to avoid winter.
But honestly, those few cons are nothing that you can't manage.
With time you learn to adapt and deal with them.
How is it to live in Bangkok?
For the most part, living in Bangkok is amazing. The people, the food, the weather, the cost of living... the quality of life in Bangkok is on another level.
Of course, as most of expats living in Bangkok I definitely see more pros than cons and that's why I decided to move in Thailand after all.
But honestly, even if the city is getting more and more expensive, if the pollution and the AC can make you sick from time to time and you will struggle with Thai language, I don't see any cons that would stop anyone from living here.
Especially if you like parties, travels, good cheap food and Thai girls. 😇