You're thinking about moving to Bangkok but you're not sure if there are more pros than cons about living in Bangkok?
Well, that's a question that all expats ask themselves at some point, and the answers are gonna vary a lot from one person to another.
For example, I've got no doubt that there is 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 very hot) 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 4 am until you've been living in Thailand for a while and you travel to a city or country where they don't have 7-Eleven.
- 🍜 Street Food. Delicious and cheap food at every corner, at any time of the day. Thai food is undeniably the best thing about Thailand.
- 🚖 Cheap Transportation. In Bangkok, you 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 a 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 on a farm in Sri Lanka. Bangkok has over 30 million 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 places 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 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 night 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 corner 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 requires building 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 2 am, buy ice cream, or pay my bills at 4 am. 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 Living in Bangkok
It's not all sunshine and rainbows, there are a few things that can be a dealbreaker for some :
- 🚦 Traffic. If 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 8 am/11 am and 5 pm/9 pm. Traffic is terrible and can make you nuts.
- 🛂 Visas. Unless your company pays 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).
- ☁️ Pollution. Lately, it 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 night 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 weekend, 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 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're gonna be 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. Like everyone else here.
But honestly, those few cons are nothing you can't manage.
With time you learn to adapt and deal with them.
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.
Is it Good to 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 expats living in Bangkok, I definitely see more pros than cons and that's why I decided to call Thailand home 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 the Thai language, I don't see any cons that should stop anyone from living there.
Especially if you like parties, travels, good cheap food, and Thai girls. 😇