Bangkok is the first Asian city we arrived in and where our daughter was born. When our daughter was four, our son’s passport was about to expire and we had to renew it at the Peruvian embassy in Bangkok. When we arrived it was a little like getting home; we lived there for ten months in 2012 and could easily live there again.
We were there for four days and realized that Bangkok really is a great place for expats to live in, no matter if with family or not. Although with family is quite easy due to the great activities for kiddos. Following are the four plus reasons Bangkok is great for expats.
Food isn’t just great in Thailand, it’s amazing. I’m not just talking about Som Tam and Sticky Rice, I mean the amount and variety of food that you can get at any given time of day or night.
The amount of street stalls has diminished over the years in some areas like Thanon Sukhumvit and the famous sois like 23 and 11. Some sois like 18 still have plenty of carts, thankfully we were staying there! My favorites of the street stalls are the fresh fruit ones, specially the ones that have cold coconuts too. My son’t favorite is the grilled chicken and sticky rice stall and my daughter likes the deep fried bananas with sesame seed batter.
There are street stall around the clock! A while ago, before the military coup there was also plenty of street stall bars that stayed open until dawn. Those have disappeared now but you can still find food on the street 24 hours a day.
Not necessarily the most glamorous of places to eat, but the food courts in the mall are quite impressive! My all time favorite food floor in a shopping center is the Pier 21 complex inside the Terminal 21 on the corner of Asok and Sukhumvit.
All the sorts of food that you can get on the street, you can get in the food courts but all in one place. The sticky rice and mango stall is always surrounded by a cue of people waiting for their little tray of mango goodness.
A lot of expats will tell you that the best part of the 7-11’s is the hot ham and cheese toasty that you can get at any time of day or night for very little cash and quick as lightning. There’s other yummy treats at the 7-11’s and everyone has their favorite. Did I forget to say Slurpee? More on 7-11’s further down.
The availability of restaurants in Thailand, specially Bangkok is quite impressive. From Greek to Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese; name it and you can get it.
If you want to know all about eating out in Bangkok you check out “Bangkok Glutton” and plan your next trip to the land of smiles (and great food). If you are an expat in Thailand and aren’t following Bangkok Glutton, what are you waiting for?
The Public Transportation
I can’t stress enough how great it is for kids and family’s alike to be able to move around the city in skytrains, subways, little boat taxis, river boat buses, trains, taxis and colorful tuk-tuks.
The easy of movement in the city is unbeatable and makes me wish all cities had that level of public transport. Whenever we go to Bangkok the kids are trying to find excuses to ride the skytrain and subway and if possible the river taxis.
When we lived in Bangkok four years ago, we would visit the outdoor park playgrounds and one on the top floor of ekamai mall. Since then, indoor playgrounds, soft play centers and trampoline parks have popped up all over the city.
We visited for a few days recently and visited as many of these as we could! The two indoor trampoline parks are amazing, but no playground that I have ever been to compares to Imaginia at the Emporium mall.
Imaginia is full of educational games and the coolest tube slide with blinky lights and a camera that takes a photo of the kids as they make their way down on cloud shaped slide mats. I can’t even start to tell you all the amazing details that this playground is made of, you will just have to visit with your kids.
Yes, I am mentioning 7-11’s twice. I already told you about their melty ham and cheese toasty, but did I tell you that you can get pretty much anything there and they are open 24 hours? Not only that, you will never have to walk more than one or two blocks to find a 7-11 because Bangkok is the most densely populated city by 7-11 outlets.
There is something I must mention about the kind of products you can buy at the 7-11, specially the energy and vitamin drinks. Have you ever heard of Essence of Chicken? Bird’s nest vitamin shots, vitamin B drinks, vitamin E and whitening gel pouches.
Hold on, did I mention Slurpees?
Living in Bangkok for a long period of time gives you access to the rest of the wonderful country of Thailand and all its temples and beaches and mountains and all manner of beautiful places to visit and people to meet.
From the city you can travel by plane, on train or by rented car and go anywhere! Our family’s favorite form of transportation around the country is by train, specially overnight train. Sleeping on the train on the way to Chiang Mai and the train on the River Kwai are two very famous rides.
Krabi, Phuket and all the islands Andaman Sea are reachable by a quick airplane ride. Can you get any better than that? Ok maybe living ON an island, but then you wouldn’t get all the Bangkok wonders.
Have you been in Bangkok? What are your favorite aspects of the city?