What Living in Bangkok Taught Me
When I first moved to Thailand ten years ago, I was a bit naive and had no idea what I was getting myself into. As an overbearing British man I was unhappy to find myself married to an overbearing Thai woman – and a decade later I was in the same situation. I realized that I needed to make some fundamental changes to myself before I could accept the new surroundings.
Cost of living in Bangkok
When it comes to the cost of living in Bangkok, the local lifestyle can be quite affordable, with a cost of living that is comparable to that of other major cities in Southeast Asia. Renting an apartment in Bangkok can range from around 30Bh per day to over $1000 per month. The cost of housing is also determined by neighborhood, with central business district apartments being much more expensive than those in outlying areas. Expatriates in Bangkok usually live in a residential neighborhood where there are many other foreigners and expatriates.
The cost of private health care in Thailand is generally good, although the cost of treatment can be high for expats. Many hospitals require payment up front before starting treatment. In addition to a high cost of living in Bangkok, it is important to note that Thailand is prone to diseases such as the Zika virus and hand, foot and mouth disease. Air pollution and smoke haze can aggravate existing bronchial sinus conditions or asthma.
Renting a studio apartment in Bangkok can cost anywhere from 10,000 to 10,000 Baht per month, depending on the area. You can find 30 square metre studio apartments for as little as 10,000 Baht, in an excellent location within walking distance of the Skytrain or MRT. If you prefer, you can opt for a serviced apartment, which will include weekly cleaning. The price of such a serviced apartment may include weekly cleaning for an additional fee, or you can simply pay a monthly fee. You should also opt for a place with an English speaking staff to help you with problems that may arise with your apartment.
In terms of apartment prices, you can opt to rent a studio apartment in Bangkok for less than 20,000 Baht per month. These accommodations will not be located near the MRT or BTS stations, however. In comparison, you can also find a six-hundred square-meter apartment in the countryside for as little as 5,000 baht a month. A good thing about these prices is that they can be split between two people, so you can save 50% of the rent and utilities.
Cost of food in Bangkok
The cost of food in Bangkok is very high. For an average meal in a restaurant in Bangkok, you can expect to pay about 80 THB (US$1.60). This includes water and an appetizer. If you want to save money, you should consider dining in local markets. Although street food is inexpensive, you can expect to spend at least 40 THB on a full meal. However, you should remember to be careful where you eat, because if the food isn’t fresh, you may get sick.
Alcohol isn’t much cheaper than back home, so it’s wise to limit your consumption to one or two drinks a day. While beer is inexpensive, you should still be careful not to drink too much, since it can cost up to $150 per month. Also, remember that public school standards are poor, so you may need to send your children to private school. You can’t afford to have a foreign-language education in Thailand, and most public schools teach Thai as the first language.
While visiting Bangkok, it’s important to realize that prices vary wildly. The cheapest street food is often Thai and can be found for $1.30 or less. For example, a chicken thigh leg can cost $2.00. Even the rich eat this food on the street, but it’s much more difficult to find. If you’re looking for an inexpensive meal, you should consider street food, which is usually packed with locals and tourists.
The cost of food in Bangkok isn’t that bad. While a cheeseburger in Thailand costs about 75 THB, a double or deluxe cheeseburger is 95 THB. This is less than the minimum wage for a Thai, so it’s hard to see how a person could survive on it on 1,000 THB a day. And for that matter, few people would go to Thailand as a poor Thai.
Air pollution in Bangkok
The weather and the wind factor play a big role in Bangkok’s air quality. While it is still relatively clean on most days, air pollution can stay in certain areas for a long time. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate the pollution. To minimize your exposure to air pollution in Bangkok, make sure to monitor the area for a month. Also, be aware of the different sources of pollution, such as open burning and crop pollution.
Trucks are also a major contributor to the bad air in Bangkok. The Pollution Department of Thailand estimates that vehicle emissions are responsible for 60 percent of the haze. Several years ago, Bangkok was one of the cleanest air cities in Asia. Now, it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. You’d be better off moving to the islands. This way, you can get a better breath of fresh air.
The government of Thailand is focusing on increasing inspections of factories, incinerators, and industrial areas to control air pollution. It has also partnered with the UN Environment to help monitor the levels of pollutants. Nonetheless, despite the government’s efforts, the level of pollution has not decreased. The city’s heavy polluters, such as automobiles, produce thick exhaust emissions. This is primarily the result of poor engine combustion.
In January 2019, the average PM2.5 concentrations in Bangkok exceeded the WHO’s annual mean air quality guideline. In February, the most polluted month, the concentrations reached nine times the guideline. According to the WHO, air pollution in Bangkok caused 4,400 premature deaths last year. Those suffering from asthma, respiratory disease, or heart disease are at increased risk because of the high concentrations of pollutants. Furthermore, the weather has made it worse in recent months, resulting in even higher air pollution levels in the city.
One of the most interesting things that I learned about Thai culture while living in Bangkok was the importance of addressing ‘farang’ in public. Thais use the word to describe all foreigners, but do not use it in a derogatory way. It is important to remember that you are a foreigner in Thailand, not a local. You may receive looks of admiration and stares from the locals, but do not be embarrassed or put off by this.
First, it is important to remember that there is a difference between the head and the feet in Thai culture. Thais generally use the ‘ny’ sound to indicate affirmative responses. This sounds very different from our Western pronunciations. Then, we have a different way of pronouncing words, with the ‘ah’ sound indicating negative. It is important to learn these differences so that you will be able to interact with people in the Thai way.
Thai people are highly respectful of their elders, especially those who are more senior to us. They also place high importance on relationships and put others’ happiness above their own. Keeping a good relationship is very important to the Thai people, and it is also one of the most rewarding aspects of life in Thailand. And when it comes to the weather, Thais are also highly dependent on their rainy season! Keeping the spirit of your family intact is one way to show respect to them.
Thai literature has many indigenous forms. In the 19th century, large numbers of Chinese migrated to the country, assimilating themselves to the Thai culture. They brought with them many literary works from their own country. One of these works is called the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” It has been translated into Thai plays, poems, and stories, and has captivated audiences worldwide. And even though the emergence of television made the media available to the majority of Thai villagers, many of the ‘literary for life’ genres were pushed aside by the rise of motion pictures.
Ways to make new friends
If you’re a new expat in Bangkok, there are a number of ways to make new friends. One of the best ways is to join a book club, which meets once a month and exchanges books. There are plenty of book clubs in Bangkok and you’ll probably find one or two that interest you. You can also try volunteering in the local community or attending events organized by other expatriates.
If you’re new to the city, one of the best ways to meet people is to volunteer with local charities. Bangkok has a huge network of charities that focus on various causes, including children and the elderly. Volunteering in a charity setting gives you the chance to meet new people and become more social. In a collaborative environment, friendships develop faster. You can also volunteer to do various tasks for charities, such as fundraising events, painting, cleaning, and cooking. You can also spend time with new friends and participate in various activities together.
Another way to make new friends while living in Bangkok is to learn Thai. Thai people are very friendly and hospitable, but they are also very shy. The best way to make friends with Thai people is to talk to them. However, many Thais become nervous when they are introduced to foreigners. It’s important to make them feel comfortable and talk to them for a while before you become friends with them.
If you’re new to the city and are looking for new friends, you can join Meetup groups. You can join groups like Coffee and Movie Meetup or Bangkok Random Thainess Meetup. Both of these meetups have guest speakers who talk about Thai culture and their experiences. You can also join a meetup group that focuses on learning a new language or trying a new sport. If you’re a book lover, you can join a silent reading party. If you’re not into socializing, you can find books lovers in a book club.