aerial photography of buildings

Living in Bangkok: 3-year report card

I moved to Bangkok 3 years ago. After living here all this time, it is time to do a report card of things I like and things I don’t like.

Things I like (love) about living in Bangkok

  1. The weather is awesome.
    • In summers it never crosses above 35C and in winters it never goes below 25C. I simply love the weather.
    • I love the sudden & heavy nature of the rains especially that it almost never happens during commute times.
    • There’s ample sunshine all year round, something I really need and appreciate. UV is quite high but can be managed with sunscreen.
  2. There are many beautiful places to visit and stay at, within a few hours drive. Hotels and AirBnBs are cheaper than in India. The nearest beach is 70 minutes drive from my place.
  3. Bangkok (And even Thailand) is multi-cultural. People from all over the world live here, with Europeans and Japanese being most common.
  4. Salaries are higher than India for the same level of work.
  5. Tax rates are lower than India. It makes me feel sick to think how much I paid as taxes in India and how little we all got back.
  6. Gadgets are cheaper not only in absolute value but also accompanied with higher purchasing power because of higher salaries.
  7. Healthcare is cheaper than India and insurance plans cover yearly tests and OPD visits.
  8. Fuel is cheaper than India. Consequently,
    • Taxis are cheaper than India and better, too
    • Airfare for travelling within Thailand is much cheaper than airfare for travelling within India.
    • Electricity is cheaper than India.
  9. The rivers are well maintained and have great river-view dining and entertainment options. I also love the Khlongs that branch off the rivers into the cities. I love travelling the city by boats.
  10. Much better air quality than North India.
  11. People are very considerate & conscious of passing infectious diseases to others and self-isolate even for minor things like colds and wear masks.
  12. Food and beverages are abundant, varied and cheap.
    • Thai food in Thailand is better and cheaper than Indian food in India. No one (except Indian expats) brings food from home to office. Everyone eats outside.
    • International food in Thailand is about the same price as in India, but the quality of food and restaurants is much better. Even the high-end restaurants here are not more expensive than mid-range restaurants in India.
    • Indian food is more expensive than in India, but that is to be expected.
    • As of 2024, there are 35 Michelin starred restaurants in Bangkok alone. Many of them in the vicinity of where we stay.
  13. Rents are about the same as Delhi for comparable locations, but places are much better. But income is higher, so we can afford to stay at a much better location compared to what we did in India.
  14. Better infrastructure, any day.
  15. Thais are religiously tolerant. Keep their religious views private and don’t force it on others.
  16. Relatively safe at night. Relatively safe for women.
  17. More pet friendly, although not the same level as the west.
    • Most restaurants allow you to bring pets. Most of them also serve the dog water and are kind to them.
    • Most malls allow you to bring pets if they are in a pram. Some allow them on the floor on a leash even.
    • Most AirBnBs and many hotel chains are dog friendly.
    • Pet-friendly transportation exists, although at a slightly higher cost.
  18. Most Thais are very polite and friendly.

Things I dislike about living in Bangkok

  1. Very few microbreweries, because of laws designed to maintain the duopoly of ThaiBev and Singha.
  2. No hill-stations that compare to Indian hill-stations.
  3. Thais are obsessed with ice. Most drinks and even water served at restaurants are 80-90% ice unless you beg them not to.
  4. No Amazon. Local e-commerce options are not as good.
  5. Metros are more expensive than India. In most cases, cabs are cheaper than metros if 2 or more people are travelling, but traffic is horrible, so people prefer paying extra for the convenience.
  6. International schooling is much more expensive than India. It is because International schools here hire only native English speaking teachers and they don’t come cheap. Even at higher rates, school infrastructure are not as expansive.
  7. Thais, especially Thai women are extremely vain. They care too much about how they look. Although, this doesn’t affect me directly.
    • It is common for them to body-shame each other for putting on a single kg of weight. Plus sized shops are named Fatty-Fatgirl plus size, Fat girls and Chubbers. Consequently, cloth sizes are different, too. I wear M sized shirts and pants in India. In Thailand, same shirts are L or XL and pants are XXL.
    • Cosmetic procedures are incredibly common here. Many malls have entire floors with “clinics” dedicated to such procedures. Most women above 30 take monthly Botox injections.
    • Obsessed with fairness, much like India.
  8. Obsessed with social media. Are always on their phones even when out for meals with others and even dates. I saw the same thing in China.
  9. Have a strange relationship with ambient temperature.
    • Like to keep indoor temperature very chilly. But then wear jackets and coats. What a waste of energy unnecessarily cooling a place.
    • Cannot handle temperatures above 30C.
    • Cannot handle temperatures below 20C.
  10. Treat pets very strangely, is irritating.
    • Don’t sterilise their pet.
    • Many Thais keep part-time pets. Basically this means that the pet stays on the streets, but comes home to feed. Such people won’t let the “pets” be taken away and sheltered, neither will take responsibility when the “pet” harms someone.
    • Don’t let their dogs meet other dogs on the street even though the dog is begging for it.
    • They also try to project their desire to have a baby on the dog. Come on just let them be dogs
      • Keep wiping the saliva from their dog’s mouths.
      • Scold their dog if it sniffs another dog’s butt.
      • Don’t do anything when their unsterilised horny dog mounts another one at the dog park.
  11. Too non-confrontational. Will take abuse and insults without any retaliation.

Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives not only in quantity but also in intensity. Looking forward to many more years staying here.

Talk to the dawg, yo

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.