This week we made a interview focused on facilitating the work of those who consider settle down, work in Bangkok and live in this Asian city. We do it from the experienced hand of Pol.
After making a long trip through Southeast Asia, Pol settled in Bangkok and from that place tells us his experience and offers advice for living in the Thai capital. Currently, Pol manages a travel agency specializing in Thailand.
We enter in his house to ask a few questions and clarify how is everyday life in Thailand, the ease of finding rent, how can we look for work in Bangkok and some secrets that you can share with us.
How does the visa issue work for living in Thailand? Do you have to go in and out every 3 months or can you get a residence visa?
It is best to have a visa with a work permit. Although this is quite complicated and there are many people living in Thailand who do not have it. Another option is with a student visa; They are usually 6 months or a year and it lasts for the duration of the course. Most people study Thai but you can also get it by studying other things like cooking, massage, muay thai, etc. And the last option is to request a tourist visa with a double entry, leaving once a country to renew it allows you to stay 6 months. Embassies in countries around Thailand are always full of foreigners processing tourist visas, most of them live in Thailand. I once was 5 minutes in Cambodia to renew mine!
Baiyoke Tower, Bangkok, Thailand
I imagine you will take advantage of your vacation days to travel through Southeast Asia that is so close to Bangkok. What places have you visited recently that you can recommend?
Yes! To which I can I escape for a backpacking around. Thailand is a country somewhat larger than Spain, so it goes a long way. There are hundreds of islands and many natural parks to visit. I was recently in Khao Sok National Park, in southern Thailand, and I was very impressed. There is a lake surrounded by huge cliffs that is great.
At the level of Southeast Asia, in all countries there are things to see and do, but one place that I especially liked because of its nature was the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
Is there an island in Thailand that tourism has not touched much yet?
Of course, there are many, what happens is that the least exploited are not so accessible. One that I found quite a virgin was the small island of Koh Maak, near the border with Cambodia. The way to find them is, logically, going to those that do not appear too much in the guides or on the Internet.
Patpong Market, Bangkok, Thailand
How do you move around the city? Do you use the bike, public transport or do you have your own car?
If you do not want to complicate your life, here you can directly book your transfer from Bangkok airport to your final destination:
In Bangkok there are practically no bicycles, and if riding a motorcycle is already a risk sport, cycling is almost a suicide. It is also very hot, there is humidity and you sweat a lot so you would get to work totally soaked with sweat. I use the Sky Train, the elevated train, the taxis, which I think should be the cheapest in the world, the buses, and when these are anchored in the traffic I take the motorcycle taxis, which is the fastest to move, it is awesome as they dodge cars; I also use the boats on the canals and occasionally the Túk-Túk or Sam Lo in Thai which means three wheels.
At the level of friendships do you have Thai friends or do you usually interact more with Spanish or European expats?
In Bangkok there is a huge expat community. There are people from all sides. I have some Thai friends with whom I stay quite a lot, and Spanish and Catalan friends. One even from my city, Sabadell. In Bangkok there are many (usually private) schools where only English is taught, so those who study there speak perfect English. If you go to villages in more rural Thailand you will have a hard time making friends with whom you can communicate, unless you learn Thai, which will not be quick either.
How is the sense of Thai humor? Can you have a laugh with them with an acid humor or not?
In Thailand, the concept of Sanook, fun is very important, and almost everything that is done must be sanaok, if not for what? So even in my Spanish classes, students always want to do fun games and activities that allow them to make jokes to other classmates and ultimately laugh all the time. Humor is like everywhere else, the problem is that my Thai is very basic, so understanding a joke is almost impossible. However, many of my Thai friends speak English perfectly and, many of my students can joke in Spanish.
How much does an apartment or studio rental average in Bangkok?Usually people rent rooms or apartments (condos call them). The price depends on the situation, as closer to the business area and shopping centers, more expensive. It also depends on the services the building has, since many have a pool and gym. You can rent a simple room, without kitchen but with bathroom and air conditioning for about 180-200 € per month. If you want a micro apartment with kitchen you will have to pay at least € 250-300 per month. Something bigger than 60 m2 goes up to a minimum € 380-420.Is there a lot of expatriate living in Bangkok? What are the most common nationalities that settle in Thailand?
Yes, there are many. Apart from the Indians and the Chinese who have been part of Thai society for years, I would say Japanese, North American and British. That is why there is Chinatown, Little India and now there is also an area called Little Japan.
Wat Arun Temple, Bangkok, Thailand