Expats FAQ in Thailand

What city are you living in ?

Bank

Q: How many banks available in Bangkok?

A: There are 35 licensed banks in Bangkok but only 11 are major retail banks, and all have their website that you can check and read for more details. (Most of the websites have an English version). One bank that you can check is Bangkok Bank. It is the most prominent commercial bank here in Bangkok.

Q: Are banks open on weekends?

A: All Thai banks are open on Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm but some banks close at 4:30 pm on Fridays. There are some bank branches, particularly those inside of shopping malls that are open on Saturday and Sunday during mall hours.

Cost of living

Q: How much will it cost someone to rent an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment?

A: An unfurnished two-bedroom apartment will most likely cost around THB 40,000 while the furnished ones will cost around THB 50,000. However, these prices will vary greatly depending on their location.

Q: How much will it cost to eat in a good restaurant in the city?

A: There are several restaurants in Bangkok, and all offer superb food. In most cases, you can eat at a nice restaurant for under THB 819.50 which includes a drink or two. However, you also have the pocket-friendly options. You can have a decent meal from street vendors for as little as THB 24.59 Keep in mind that the range here is wide because traditional restaurants aren't nearly as cheap as other street-side options.

Q: What is the standard cost of living in Bangkok for a decent lifestyle?

A: The standard cost of living for a decent lifestyle will vary with each. As everyone has different comfort levels and the reason to be in Bangkok. For renting, expect tp pay up to THB 50,000. That includes access to a swimming pool and exercise room. For food expenses, eating in a fancy restaurant will most likely set you back for a few hundred bahts but there are a lot of affordable eating places you can go to for around THB 25-40.

Housing

Q: What's the best place for expats to stay in Bangkok?

A: If you are an expat, it would be best if you stay in places that are close to your workplace and if you have a child, choose one that is near your child's school or in areas that are easily accessible by public transportation.

Q: What are the best neighborhoods in the city?

A: If you want to be with other expats, then Sukhumvit is the place for you but if you are considering today's traffic jams, the best place to live in would be somewhere that is easily accessible by MRT or BTS. There is no “bad or worst place to live in” in Bangkok. Bangkok is a safe place, so the rest is a matter of your preference: accessibility, the environment, and the price.

Q: Where can I find a good real estate agent in Bangkok?

A: You'll be able to find real estate agencies in South Sathorn Road but if you want a list of real estate agencies in Bangkok, please go to the link: http://www.expatfinder.com/thailand/bangkok/housing/real-estate-agents

Leisure

Q: What kind of nightlife is there in Bangkok?

A: Like most of the big cities, you can expect several bars, discos, nightclubs, live music, cinemas, bowling, even red light district, and many more are available.

Q: What are the types of leisure activities to do in Bangkok?

A: Bangkok is famous for our massage parlors, temples, Muay Thai, colorful markets, and its vibrant nightlife. There are also plenty of ice-skating rinks and bowling alleys and even surfing. Whether you are looking to watch, participate or experience, you are sure to find plenty of fun and relaxing activities away from your hectic work schedules.

Q: How many theme parks are there in Bangkok?

A: There are a lot of theme parks situated all over Bangkok namely Art in Paradise, Laser Trek, Pattaya at Night, Dream World, Fantasia Lagoon at The Mall Bang Kae, Funarium Indoor Playground, Kidzania, Safari World, and Siam Park to name a few.

Looking for a job

Q: Is it better to look for a job in the city or in the surrounding countryside?

A: While there are a lot of job opportunities in the city, some expats will choose a job in the countryside. This allows them to live closer to nature and away from the hectic city life. A job in the city might pay higher than a job in the countryside. It will also depend on your preference.

Q: What are the common types of jobs for expats in Bangkok?

A: The most sought after jobs as an expat here in Bangkok are as English or foreign language teacher, jobs in the hotel industry, scuba diving instructor, an actor or model, and like what other do, you can start your own business.

Q: What are the regular working hours?

A: Monday to Friday. 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM but you may seldom leave the office until much later in the evening, or even as late as 8:00 AM or 9:00 PM.

Money

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Bangkok?

A: Yes, credit cards are accepted in most establishments but be careful when you use your credit card. The credit cards that are accepted in Bangkok are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Q: What is the currency in Bangkok? What are the denominations?

A: The Thai currency is Baht. The coin denominations are 1 satang, 5 satang, 10 satang, 25 satang, 50 satang, 1THB, 2THB, 5THB, and 10THB. For the paper/bills, the denominations are 20THB, 50THB, 100THB, 500THB, and 1000THB.

Q: What are the best foreign currency exchange options in the city?

A: There are several banks and exchange booths throughout the city and the airport where you can exchange your money. Most of the booths are open for 24 hours.

Shopping

Q: Where to shop in Bangkok?

A: There are a lot of places where you can shop here in Bangkok, places like shopping malls, markets, and floating markets. For those who don’t want to shop under the heat of the sun, go to shopping malls where air-con is available. For those who are after the more authentic shopping experience, do the market shopping and floating markets.

Q: Are there night markets in Bangkok?

A: Yes. The most popular is Patpong Night Market. Other night markets are Asiatique, Khaosan Shopping, Khlong Lod Night Market, Khlong Thom Market, Major Ratchoyothin Market, Ratchada Night Bazaar, Rod Fai Market, and Saphan Phut Night Market.

Q: What time do the malls open and close?

A: Most shops open from about 10:00 am until 8:00 or 10:00 pm. However, it is important to take note that some small shops in malls usually close on Sundays.

Telecommunications

Q: Which telecommunications company is best when it comes to internet connection?

A: There are a lot of telecom companies here offering a range of internet services like dial up, ADSL broadband, wireless but there are three providers that offer the fastest speed up to 10Gbit/s are KIRZ, CS Loxinfo, and CAT Telecom. However, you should also keep in mind that the speed will vary depending on your address.

Q: Which mobile carrier is most widely used in Bangkok?

A: There are three GSM mobile service providers here in Bangkok, namely AIS, DTAC and Truemove. All three providers are great when it comes to the packages they offer.

Q: How many telephone providers in Bangkok?

A: The three main telephone line providers in Bangkok: TOT, TT&T, and True. All of which provide English-speaking customer service representatives when you need their help.

Transport

Q: Is it necessary to have a private car to get around Bangkok?

A: No need for a car, it takes lesser time to take the public transportation; however, public transportation doesn't always get you exactly where you want to go. In some cases, you'll need to ride the Tuk-Tuk or motorcycle taxi.

Q: What are the types of public transportation that are present in Bangkok?

A: There are various types of transportation here in Bangkok. You can choose from the following: River Boats for Chao Phraya River and Saen Saep Canal, Skytrain (BTS) and Subway (MRT), Buses, Taxi, Tuk-Tuk, Motorcycle Taxi, and the National train.

Q: Where is the Train Central Station in Bangkok and the Bus Central Stations located?

A: The Train Central Station is known as Hua Lamphong and is located in Pathum Wan District or near Chinatown. The bus stations will depend on your destination. If you are going East, head to the Ekkamai Bus Station. If you are going North, head to the Mochit Bus Station. For Southern destinations, go to Sai Tai Bus Station and if you are travelling to short destinations around Bangkok, got to the Victory Monument Station.

Travel

Q: What is the typical cost of staying in a hostel or a hotel in Bangkok?

A: Staying in a budget hotel or a hostel is very cheap. For hostels, the dorm room prices would start at around 98.34 ฿ while budget hotels, it would cost around 491.70 to 983.40 ฿ per night. One example is the Suk 11 Hostel.

Q: What is the cheapest way to travel within the city?

A: The cheapest way would be to travel by BTS or MRT and if you want to travel outside of the city, the minivans are the ones who are using the quickest routes.

Q: What are the must see places when in Bangkok?

A: You can visit various temples, palaces, museums, Chinatown, and the famous floating market. Bangkok has a lot to offer, all you need is time and energy to visit all the attractions.

Visa

Q: Where can a person arriving in Bangkok file for a visa?

A: It is known as Visa on Arrival and for those who would like to file for one, there are service counters at the Suvarnabhumi airport as well as with Don Muang Airport. The processing fee is 1000 Baht.

Q: What is the process when a person would like to leave Bangkok but has every intention of returning?

A: If a person would like to leave Bangkok but has the intention to return, he or she will need to contact Immigration Division 1. He or she will also need to present the following documents for Endorsement of Departure and Non-Quota Immigrant Visa at Government Complex Building B Chaengwattana Road, Bangkok: his/her passport, Residence Certificate, Alien Registration Book, 4x6 Photographs, and Application Fee for Endorsement.

Q: Where can expats apply for extension of temporary stay of Non-Immigrant visa in Bangkok?

A: He or she can apply for extension of temporary stay at the Provincial Immigration office located in the same area of their residence and he/she has to contact Immigration Division 1, Government Complex (Building B) Chaengwattana Road, Thung Song Hong, Laksi District, Bangkok