1 August 2016

Wai Choong CHONG - Expat in Bangkok, Thailand

Wai Choong  CHONG - Expat in Bangkok, Thailand

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Q: In which city are you currently residing?
A: Bangkok, Thailand

Q: What do you do in your new city?
A: Work!  Group Controller in a French pharmaceutical company.

Q: How is the quality of life in your new city in comparison to that of your home city?
A: Nice and interesting city, but overall worse than home. Lots of nice restaurants and shopping centers, but streets are congested, dirty and lack green / trees. Food is very good, though!

Q: How would you rate the healthcare system in which you are currently enrolled?
A: Good and equal in quality to what I can get back home, but more expensive.

Q: How does the cost of living compare to that of your home city?
A: Overall more expensive, especially imported products in supermarkets and mid to higher-end restaurants. Actually, most things are more expensive than in Malaysia, so we were surprised.

Q: Did you use a relocation company to help you with your move?
A:  Yes, provided by my company.

Q: How easy or difficult was the relocation process?
A: Very easy, as my company and the vendor took care of everything!

Q: Did you move here with any family members?
A: Yes, my entire family moved here with me.

Q: Did your spouse and children find it difficult to adapt to their new job and schools?
A: Yes, initially, but now they are more settled. We still look forward to going back to Malaysia.

Q: How did the family, including you, do in acclimating to the new culture and surroundings?
A: We learned from colleagues, friends, from own experience, and checked the internet too. One of the biggest problem is language. Most Thais can’t understand English at all (for some of them, not even a single word!), hence we have communication problem, so I had to learn Thai (in progress). I would have expected a country like this, with many tourists and foreigners, to embrace English. In Malaysia, everyone speaks/understands English.

Q: What is your favourite mobile app which you use to aid you in your expat life?
A: LinkedIn and facebook for connections, google maps for finding places (and restaurants )

Q: What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer a new expat in your new city?
A: Check carefully before you select & decide on your apartment, especially the tenancy terms & conditions! They’re quite biased to benefit the landlord.