Bangkok has accommodation to suit every level of income and budget. At a mid-range level there are apartments, condominiums and houses that offer the opportunity to live within a Thai community, are very close to the transport links, and also having easy access to restaurants, and all the shopping that Bangkok has to offer.
Expats often find that many things are much less expensive in Thailand than in their home country. There are restaurants of all variety, from extremely cheap, to high quality. There are many street stalls that make it possible to enjoy authentic Thai food at a very low price.
Thailand’s culture is much like Bangkok itself, rich, and full of variety. Among the rising steel and glass structures of shopping malls, hotels and offices, expats will find temples, revered Buddha images and Spirit Houses with offerings piled high, jasmine garlands aplenty and incense burning day and night. Expats will oftentimes be on the receiving end of the ‘wai’ which is a respectful Thai greeting where both hands are held together at chest level and the head is bowed. Thai people are very welcoming of foreigners visiting and living in their country, so respect of their cultures and traditions will go a long way.
Visiting a hospital or dentist in Bangkok is like walking through the doors of an expensive hotel without dreading the bill afterwards. Most hospitals are very easy to get to and staff often treat foreigners, so there is a high level of English speaking and understanding. After registering, the patient will be seen to very quickly with the relevant tests undertaken in a timely and efficient manner. Securing a consultation with a specialist doctor is also relatively easy.
Transport is cheap, and there are several different options. A taxis' fare is dependent on the traffic and the distance driven with the meter on. Often the thought of using public transport can be a bit daunting at first, but expats should make an effort to get acquainted with Bangkok's public transport. There’s a BTS, often referred to as the Skytrain because it runs above all the traffic on the roads, as well as the MRT or underground, not to mention buses, tuk-tuks, taxis, and motorbike taxis. The BTS and MRT are air-conditioned, and the two are linked at certain stations. Getting around Bangkok is both affordable and in many instances efficient and clean.
There are several different Malls, and other shopping experiences all over the city which cater to all sorts of budgets. These are easily accessed via public transport and are open 24/7. From the Chatuchak Weekend Market, Pratunam Market, MBK and Platinum Shopping Malls that are perfect those looking for a bargain and like to barter, to the high-end shopping malls of Emporium, Siam Paragon, Central World and Central Chidlom, where just about anything can be bought - from designer fashion to electronics, home décor and even cars! For something a little different try Terminal 21 and Amarin Plaza.