Thailand
Feb 2024
1 month

Bangkok

An intoxicating blur of motorbikes, vitamin D and rice.

[Local Time}
{Temperature}
°C ·
[Description}

Thailand's capital offers a mix of traditional culture competing with waves of modernity.

Over 400 Buddhist temples contrast against numerous towering skyscrapers, with the iconic Sky Train dominating landscape.

Verdict:
Highly recommended

As long as you can tolerate the heat, Bangkok offers something for everyone. Worth traveling to the region for, especially.

🌎
Verdict:
Highly recommended

As long as you can tolerate the heat, Bangkok offers something for everyone. Worth traveling to the region for, especially.

Verdict:
Highly recommended

As long as you can tolerate the heat, Bangkok offers something for everyone. Worth traveling to the region for, especially.

👎
Verdict:
Highly recommended

As long as you can tolerate the heat, Bangkok offers something for everyone. Worth traveling to the region for, especially.

🛫
Thai Baht (THB)
10.9 Million
🏝️ Great for a holiday
💰 Great value
💻 Remote work hub
🥇 Top rated
🧳 Would like to return

Summary

Ever since visiting Bangkok on holiday in 2018, I'd been eyeing up a return to Thailand. I'd put it off the last couple of years due to a reluctance in shifting my work day into the evening. Traditionally, being a morning person, the idea of starting work at 14:00 felt intrinsically wrong and in conflict with my entire approach to a work day.

With that being said, after a particularly overwhelming craving for Thai food one day at the end of 2023, I thought I'd challenge this apprehension and booked a flight to Bangkok from Kigali.

Accommodation
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Not many cities can compete with the quantity, quality and price of the accommodation on offer in Bangkok. An over-supply of condo complexes across the city mean that even via Airbnb, you can expect to find a premium quality flat in a central area for under £800 a month. Given the quantity in supply, aim for a recently finished building which hasn't suffered 20 years of short term rental use. Google Maps is useful for checking the overall state of the building the apartment may be based in.

Unlike other warm weather locations where a pool is a nice to have, I'd mark it as an essential item to have on site. Combined with access to a gym, it can make your mornings off work incredibly stress free. Some of the more modern condo buildings offer on site coworking which may be something to consider if working late.

I would whole heartedly recommend the area around the T77 Community, just off Sukhumvit Road.

info
New legislation
Recent changes introduced by the Turkish government has made short-term rentals for under 100 days more restricted. Keep an eye on Reddit threads for up-to-date assessments of how the new legislation is impacting short-term rentals in practice.
Places to work
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

With most specialty coffee shops closing by 4:00 pm and even Starbucks shutting down by 8:00 pm, consider using a dedicated coworking space if you maintain European work hours. However, 24-hour access isn't offered by all coworking spaces, so plan ahead and choose accommodation near your preferred workspace. The Hive locations, for example, offer 24/7 access with monthly memberships.

While numerous cafes and coworking spaces can be found across the city, researching options in advance near your desired work and living areas can minimise reliance on public transport or taxis.

Value
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Even in 2024, Thailand remains incredibly affordable for visitors with Western salaries. Local street food stalls and markets are particularly inexpensive, while international cuisine, though pricier, is still good value compared to European standards.

Transportation within Bangkok and to other national destinations is inexpensive and convenient. Alcohol is a noticeable outlier where prices in more sophisticated venues can be comparable or even exceed their equivalents in Europe.

info
The yen is currently at a 34-year low
While this is undoubtedly a negative for the Japanese, it makes for an exceptionally good time to visit Japan from abroad. Although this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short term, it's still worth checking before visiting.
Read more
View the cost of living
open_in_new
Working hours
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Based in Indochina time, during the winter months, Thailand is 6 hours ahead of Central European, dropping to 5 during the summer.

While this is a significant time difference, adapting your daily schedule can make it manageable, especially if you have some flexibility with your working hours.

Whilst the entire city is a constant hive of activity, the area surrounding CentralWorld is particuarly busy, acting as a hub for both business and retail.
Whilst the entire city is a constant hive of activity, the area surrounding CentralWorld is particuarly busy, acting as a hub for both business and retail.
Street food still provides incredibly good value for money, with seemingly a new vendor around every corner. Expect to pay around 50 Thai Baht (Just over £1) for rice with a topping.
Street food still provides incredibly good value for money, with seemingly a new vendor around every corner. Expect to pay around 50 Thai Baht (Just over £1) for rice with a topping.
Access to a swimming pool as part of your apartment complex is a huge benefit. Mori Haus has a particularly well landscaped and maintained communal pool and relaxation area.
Access to a swimming pool as part of your apartment complex is a huge benefit. Mori Haus has a particularly well landscaped and maintained communal pool and relaxation area.

Where to stay

Bangkok is an enormous metropolis, and you should plan accordingly. I would suggest choosing an area within a 10-minute walk of Sukhumvit Road, one of the major arterial roads which can offer strong transport connections and easy access to coworking spaces.

Whilst proximity to nightlife hotspots might be alluring when on holiday, I would prioritize making your commute as hassle-free and immune to Bangkok's travel congestion as possible.

Would avoid
Recommended
On Nut
A slightly more sedate neighbourhood, only a few stops on the BTS down from Thong Lor. Good mix of locals & expats, no shortage of great places to eat with two BTS stations within easy reach. Ideal for a longer stay. Would happily return.
Would avoid
Recommended
Ari
North of Sukhumvit, a more residential neighbourhood with plenty of options for coworking. Will consider on my next visit.
Would avoid
Recommended
Thong Lor
If you see yourself doing more fine dining than street food, then this could be a great option. Affluent neighbourhood with plenty of accommodation options nearby.
Would avoid
Recommended
Khaosan Road
A great choice for a 18 year old with a backpack, not so much as a 33 year old with a Macbook. Popular area for night life with lots of hostels and bars.
Would avoid
Recommended
Soi Sukhumvit 11
Popular area for nightlife which may make sense as a base for a short holiday, but I'd have harbour no aspirations to live in the immediate vicinity.
Would avoid
Recommended
Bang Rak
Lively area, popular with tourists. Not somewhere I'd want to stay for a long stay due to this but a viable option for a shorter holiday.

Where to work

the Hive Prakanong
Top Choice
☕️ Good Coffee
📍 Top Location
🥗 On Site Cafe
🧍Community Focused
⭐️ Quality Fit Out
🌳 Outdoor Space

The Hive, a small chain of coworking spaces with locations across Asia and Bangkok, offers a mix of dedicated desks, flexible hot desks, and private offices at both Prakanong and Thong Lor.

While 24-hour workspaces may not be ubiquitous in Bangkok, The Hive provides monthly members with 24/7 access and complimentary quality espresso (and potentially other beverages). There's a good mix of locals, expats, and travelers, with regular hosted events.

The quiet and peaceful environment features dedicated phone booths for private calls and strong A/C throughout the day. Numerous restaurants are within a 5-minute walk, and a Sukhumvit Street Coffee branch is conveniently located at the building's base.

By 19:00, the space becomes practically deserted, ideal for focused work late into the night.

Remote work visa

No remote work visa
Remote work visa available
Remote work visa coming soon
If staying for a prolonged period, you may want to consider a dedicated visa for this destination.
This country is actively working on a visa support for remote workers.
Check your government website for details of how to obtain a tourist visa.

Aiming to revive its tourism industry after the pandemic, Thailand introduced the Smart Visa to attract highly skilled foreign workers, investors, executives and startup entrepreneurs wishing to work or invest in targeted industries. The Smart Visa grants permission to stay in Thailand for up to 4 years with 5 different types available based on the applicant's profile.

To qualify as a "work-from-Thailand professional" under this visa, applicants generally need to have earned at least $80,000 per year for the last 2 years, have 5+ years of experience, and work for a company with $150 million+ revenue over 3 years. Some exceptions may apply for the requirements.

View full details
To the best of my knowledge this information was correct as of 27th April 2024. If you notice something has changed drop me a message and I'll update it!

Citizen Remote is a great source of up to date knowledge for everything to do with remote work visas.

Safety

  • On the whole, a safe and secure city.Bangkok feels walkable at all hours of the day, with street traders busy until the early hours of the morning. There may be some occasional reports of petty crime but nothing that should deter you from visiting.
  • Download ride hailing apps to get around.Both Bolt and Grab are widely available across the city. Late at night you may get offered rides from unlicensed private operators which for obvious reasons are best avoided. You'd be best advised to avoid any motorbike rides at the end of a night out where the combination of faster open roads, alcohol and a loosely enforced helmet policy feel potentially problematic.

Off-work

Explore China Town

One of the largest Chinatowns in the world, it is a particularly busy and immersive part of the city home to a bewildering number of restaurants and markets. An ideal place to spend a couple of hours on foot during the weekend.

Learn more
Take a weekend break

The rest of Thailand is easily accessible from Bangkok via all transport methods. If you don't fancy the hassle of going through the airport, Koh Samet can be reached by bus in 3 hours making it a perfect option for a weekend away. 12Go Asia is a reliable option for booking bus and ferry tickets.

Explore Bang Kachao by bike

Given the enormity of its urban landscape, Bangkok doesn't excel in its availability of city parks. If you are seeking a break from the intensity of the city, Bang Kacha is an ideal place to spend an afternoon cycling on quiet waterways, with plenty of options for food and drink along the way. M-BIKE offers reliable bikes at low prices.

Take a weekend break

The rest of Thailand is easily accessible from Bangkok via all transport methods. If you don't fancy the hassle of going through the airport, Koh Samet can be reached by bus in 3 hours making it a perfect option for a weekend away. 12Go Asia is a reliable option for booking bus and ferry tickets.

Explore Bang Kachao by bike

Given the enormity of its urban landscape, Bangkok doesn't excel in its availability of city parks. If you are seeking a break from the intensity of the city, Bang Kacha is an ideal place to spend an afternoon cycling on quiet waterways, with plenty of options for food and drink along the way. M-BIKE offers reliable bikes at low prices.

Explore China Town

One of the largest Chinatowns in the world, it is a particularly busy and immersive part of the city home to a bewildering number of restaurants and markets. An ideal place to spend a couple of hours on foot during the weekend.

Duration & season

Whilst February was hot, it was by no means unbearable. Temperatures are routinely in the mid-30s during the day, dropping by 10 degrees overnight. With only one day of notable rain, it felt an ideal time to be based in the city, with the noticeable smell of blooming plant life in the evenings.

March-June is classed as the summer and can see daytime temperatures reaching 40, with the rainy season running from July to October. If you can be flexible with your timings, the window between November and February seems an ideal balance.

There is more than enough within the city for a one month stay, with the rest of the country easily accessible for weekend trips to islands or more remote settings.

Food & drink

River Walk
·
Walk
The volume of traffic on the roads can make walking taxing after a while, for a more peaceful journey, the urban waterways offer a more secluded route across the city reminiscent of London's grand union canal. The route from Charn Issara Pier to Hua Chang is relatively uninterrupted and shady throughout.
Bang Kachao Cycle
·
Cycle
If you are looking to escape the hustle of the city centre, take the short ferry from Wat Khlong Toei Nok Pier to Bang Krachao Pier. Good quality bicycles can be hired for £2 per day, where you can explore the quiet roads and waterways.
Benchakitti Forest Park
·
Walk
Substantial park just off of Sukhumvit Road, with a lake and amphitheatre. Great for a walk near sunset.

People

Even for a country that has been saturated with tourists for the past 30 years, Thai people remain warm, friendly, and approachable. English is widely spoken, albeit with varying levels of proficiency.

As one of the world's most popular cities for international tourists, there is a constant stream of people entering and departing the country, with many passing through Bangkok to reach more exotic locations within the country.

If you are looking to meet fellow remote workers, you won't have to try very hard. Brits and Germans appeared to be some of the most notable groups, alongside remote workers from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

Exercise

River Walk
The volume of traffic on the roads can make walking taxing after a while, for a more peaceful journey, the urban waterways offer a more secluded route across the city reminiscent of London's grand union canal. The route from Charn Issara Pier to Hua Chang is relatively uninterrupted and shady throughout.
keyboard_arrow_down
Bang Kachao Cycle
If you are looking to escape the hustle of the city centre, take the short ferry from Wat Khlong Toei Nok Pier to Bang Krachao Pier. Good quality bicycles can be hired for £2 per day, where you can explore the quiet roads and waterways.
keyboard_arrow_down
Benchakitti Forest Park
Substantial park just off of Sukhumvit Road, with a lake and amphitheatre. Great for a walk near sunset.
keyboard_arrow_down
River Walk
The volume of traffic on the roads can make walking taxing after a while, for a more peaceful journey, the urban waterways offer a more secluded route across the city reminiscent of London's grand union canal. The route from Charn Issara Pier to Hua Chang is relatively uninterrupted and shady throughout.
Bang Kachao Cycle
If you are looking to escape the hustle of the city centre, take the short ferry from Wat Khlong Toei Nok Pier to Bang Krachao Pier. Good quality bicycles can be hired for £2 per day, where you can explore the quiet roads and waterways.
Benchakitti Forest Park
Substantial park just off of Sukhumvit Road, with a lake and amphitheatre. Great for a walk near sunset.

Verdict

Positives
  • If you enjoy Asian food, there is arguably no better city in the world.The endless selection of Thai food is complemented by a glut of options from all across the region, with Japanese and Chinese options particularly prominent and inexpensive.
  • A world class city for coffee.Since I last visited in 2018, there appears to have been an explosion in the number of specialty outlets dotted across the city. Expect to find espresso blends featuring beans from the north of Thailand, Laos and Burma, as well as options from across the world.
  • A glut of affordable accommodation options.I can't think of anywhere else in the world where Airbnb availability and quality is so high. Even with short notice, you'll be spoilt for choice on affordable, attractive options.
  • It's unlikely you will ever be bored.There's so much constantly going on in the city, it's hard to imagine there would be a day where you wouldn't know how to spend it.
  • A large community of remote workers and expats across the city.Perhaps the late working hours and more candid evening setting played a contributing role in speaking to people,  but I found Bangkok to be the most natural place to meet people in a similar position.
  • There's benefits to working later in the day.Starting work in the afternoon means you have the mornings to spend in whichever way you see fit, whether that be a in the gym, getting a haircut, going out for brunch or getting a £7 Thai massage.
Negatives
  • Hot, busy and hectic.If it sounds like the sort of urban environment you would hate to be working in, then you should probably stick with your gut instincts.
  • Poor air quality.Air pollution is an issue throughout the country which is often bemoaned at by locals. It's not something I felt particularly affected by, but something which may put you off a prolonged stay in the city.
  • Working hours have the potential to be problematic.If you have to adhere to a strict 18:00 finishing time in the UK, then a 01:00 finish may not sound too appetising. If you are able to work a schedule which allows you to have wrapped up by 23:00, you can maintain a relatively normal schedule.
Tips
  • Take big chunks of cash out - you will need it.Outside of big international chains, card availability is still patchy at best and non existent with street vendors. ATM fees are extortionately high (up to £6 per transaction), if you are near Centralworld AEON bank fees are the lowest in the country at around £3 however as of April 2024 they appear to be discontinuing this service.
  • Get a BTS card.Remember to take your passport to the BTS office to initially register for a card. The metro service is ran by a different operator and will require different cards.
  • Grab a local sim at the airport.Unlimited monthly 5G data plans can be got for around £25, I was more than happy with Tru Mobile.
  • Hailing rides via Taxi apps can take a long time.Expect waits of up to 15 minutes for a car throughout the day and evening. Motorbikes offer a quicker (and exhilarating) alternative.
  • Make use of the highly efficient food delivery apps.Especially use if you are working late into the evening, order something on the Grab app and it's likely to be at your door within 20 minutes.
  • Avoid the rainy season.Intense rainfall brings the city to an abrupt halt, which you're likely to experience a lot more of during this period.
  • Download the local messaging app.LINE is the local WhatsApp equivalent and is useful to have on your phone to communicate with local businesses.
Planning a trip?
I loved everything about this trip to Japan. I've put together some thoughts on my entire stay in the country, which may come in handy if you are planning a visit soon.
Avoid the rainy season (July - October) to minimise the likelihood of scenes like this.
China Town is one of the most hectic areas in the entire city and a constant assault on the senses.
Bangkok is home to an intricate network of rivers running through it's suburbs which make for ideal walkways away from the intense road traffic.
If there's any data missing that you would like to see in these articles please leave some feedback and I'll aim to add it in.