If you are a digital nomad who is not tied to any location, Bangkok ticks all the boxes; great infrastructure, low cost of living, hi-speed Internet, food to die for! The list is indeed long and you will meet many like-minded expats who enjoy the Thai lifestyle.
Here are a few tips to help you make the transition.
- Take a short-term apartment – Hotels are expensive everywhere and in Bangkok, you can easily find a short-term apartment. Don’t commit to longer than one month, unless you have already been a few times and you know what part of the city you want to stay; there are some chic suburbs and it will take you a couple of weeks to see them all, then you can look for a long-term lease, or think about buying a condo
- Don’t forget insurance – You need annual health insurance from a leading Thai insurance provider, which can be tailored to suit. Medical treatment can be very expensive in Thailand, so we recommend taking out both health and travel insurance; this can be done online and once activated, you can relax, knowing you are covered for any emergency medical treatment.
- Get to know the canals – The klongs run through every part of the city and there are river taxis (electric) that ferry people to and from pier points, which are usually temples. For a few baht, you can travel across the city and experience a side of Thailand that some never get to see. It won’t take long to get to know the routes and you’ll meet other expats on your travels.
- Study the Thai language – Aside from the obvious benefits, learning Thai at an accredited school enables you to get a long-term visa; staying in Thailand long-term isn’t as easy as you might think and there are several ways you can stay for one year. Learning Muay Thai, Buddhism or Thai culture also allows you to stay for 12 months. Talk to a reputable visa agent about the different options if you arrive on a 60-day tourist visa. If you wish to get an insight into Thai people and their culture, speaking their language is a must and it will help you in everyday life.
- What to bring – Seriously, many people bring stuff they don’t need; of course, you need your laptop and other digital devices and a few suits and toiletries; clothing is very cheap in Bangkok, so don’t pack too many garments. You certainly won’t need any cold weather gear, but you will need a universal plug adapter to power your devices. Vape pens and e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand, so leave them at home, and if you are on medication, bring enough for a few months.
- Set up a Thai bank account – Many expats will tell you that you can’t open a bank account in Thailand without a work permit, yet it all depends on the branch manager, many will say no but some are happy for you to open a savings account. Choose online banking and you can manage your finances from your laptop. You will be issued with a debit card which works in any ATM and that avoids charges that you would incur if you used a credit card to withdraw cash.
- Get an international driving permit – If you have a driving license in your home country, you can obtain an IDP which allows you to drive in Thailand. You may wish to rent a car at some stage, or a motorcycle and getting an IDP makes things so much easier.
- Check for entry requirements – Prior to doing anything, do check online to find out about the entry requirements in Thailand, which may change at any time. You will need extra Covid insurance and you can get that from an online Thai insurer.
There are many reasons why expats like to relocate to Bangkok and you will not be alone, making lots of friends, as Bangkok has a great social scene. You might be planning to register your business in Thailand, which is best done through a local English-speaking lawyer.