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A guide to settling in Bangkok
Multicultural, busy night and day, the capital of the land of smiles attracts many foreign workers, often highly qualified. Thinking of settling in Bangkok? To plan your expat life in Thailand, use our tips!
Landing a job
To be able to work in Bangkok, you will of course need to begin by requesting a visa, generally a non-immigrant B visa. A work permit is also required. Do note that permits may only be delivered to foreigners earning more than 50.000 Baht per month.
Before you begin job seeking, be sure you learn about the potential legal barriers. Indeed, some occupations are prohibited to foreigners. The Alien Employment Act contains a list of 39 positions foreigners cannot fill: lawyer, tourist guide, secretary...
Finding a place to live
As Bangkok is quite famous for its huge traffic jams, choosing to live in an area close to public transport facilities is a good idea. Feel free to hire an estate agent to find the right apartment: since the landlord is the one who is supposed to pay the agent fee, you will have nothing to pay.
When renting an apartment, you will have to pay a 2 months security deposit along with one month's rent in advance. Bear in mind that many apartments already are fully furnished. Prices largely depend on the location of the property you wish to rent. On average, renting a 85 square meters furnished apartment in a nice area of Bangkok can cost almost THB 49 000.
Sending the kids to school
There is a large number of private international schools children may attend in the Thai capital, from preschool through high school. International schools follow curriculums from different countries, thought the vast majority offer British or American curriculums. Tuition fees can vary widely from one institution to another, but are generally quite high. For example, an academic year at the American School of Bangkok for a middle school child costs more than THB 257,000. Additional fees may apply (registration fee, deposit...).
Using public transport
In Bangkok you can use:
- the Skytrain (BTS),
- the subway (MRT),
- the Airport Rail Link,
- the bus.
You may purchase reload cards for the Skytrain and metro. As traffic issues are extremely common, using public transport often is much easier than getting around in your car or a cab.
To see a doctor in Bangkok, even a general practitioner, you will usually need to go to a hospital. Though healthcare provided by private hospitals is generally of high quality, it can also be very costly. By purchasing health insurance for expats in Asia, you will be able to cover your medical expenses in Thailand and will have nothing to pay in advance if you are hospitalized.
Though you will probably want to get out of the city bustle now and then, you will quickly find out that there are plenty of things to do in Bangkok!
Here are some ideas, to get started:
- visit the main temples,
- enjoy a boat ride on Chao Phraya river,
- taste the street food,
- make some good deals at Chatuchak market,
- explore Dusit parc.
To find out more about expat life in Bangkok:
How much does living in Bangkok cost? Visit Expatistan.com to learn about the cost of living in the Thai capital.