Bangkok is the capital and most populous city in Thailand. One of the most popular Southeast Asian destinations, the city is known for its vibrant street life, cultural landmarks, ornate temples, shrines, and redlight districts. The nestled south coast of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand has an extensive river network, as chronicled by the boat-filled Chao Phraya River, which breathes life into its network of canals.
The Grand Palace, located in Rattanakosin royal district, is home to the sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple, while the nearby Wat Pho Temple (with its gigantic reclining Buddha). The two unique temples stand in stark contrast with the surrounding tourist attractions like the vibrant nightlife destinations on Khaosan Road and in Patpong.
Living and Working in Bangkok, Thailand
Feedback from digital nomads who’ve made Bangkok, Thailand, their home shows a more relaxed life. While the city boasts a very urban vibe, the cost of living is relatively cheaper than some of the most expensive cities, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, according to the 2019 World Cost of Living Survey.
Additionally, foreign workers in Bangkok say they experience a better life quality and more disposable income. Apart from that, Thailand is known for its unique, flavorful, and affordable cuisines. You’ll experience a better work-life, freeing you up to enjoy ample time with friends and engage in hobbies and other personal pursuits.
Most expatriates who choose to work in Bangkok, Thailand, are there as part of a work transfer from their parent employer to a regional office or a position with one of the branches of a multinational company based in Thailand. Regardless, the city provides plenty of opportunities for economic growth, thanks to its thriving financial sector, which attracts a large pool of foreign talents.
Where to Live in Bangkok
Being a multicultural destination, Bangkok’s neighborhoods are pretty distinct in character and lifestyle. It can be overwhelming and confusing when deciding the place to live in. Where you choose depends on your budget and whether you want to live in an active nightlife or a peaceful community.
Below are the three neighborhoods we recommend:
Sukhumvit is perhaps the best place to live in Bangkok if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. The community vaunts premium real estate, and you’ll love the vibrancy exuded by the nightlife and shopping destinations along Sukhumvit Road – one of the city’s major commercial streets. It stretches 488 kilometers (303 miles) from Bangkok, Thailand, to the border of Cambodia, making it one of the longest roads in the world. Most residents live in the neighborhood’s central area, just like in other world-renowned cities like New York, London, and Paris.
Silom is Bangkok’s Wall Street equivalent – the city’s central financial and business district. It’s where Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) Blue line and BTS Green Lines meet – two mass rapid transit systems in the city. Silom is home to Lumpini Park, a 57-hectare land with lush green walkways and beautiful ponds, where you can relax as you meet with other professionals, businessmen, and tourists. The Patpong area – the oldest redlight district in Bangkok – brings a high-spirited nightlife, but if you prefer having a more relaxed time, the Sky Bar in the Lebua State Tower provides a luxury night out.
Siam is considered the de facto geographical and commercial center of modern Bangkok. You’ll find plenty of premium destinations to spend your disposable income, including Siam Square, which vaunts a plethora of towering hotels, multistory malls, outdoor shopping spots, and never-ending markets. Besides, many international fast-food chains are located within the district’s limits, enabling foreigners to taste international cuisines. However, it’s best to be strategic with your time when exploring the neighborhood. If you’re serious about shopping, try arriving before 11 am to avoid the crowds. Likewise, avoid visiting the city’s POIs on Sundays, when half of Siam flocks to the area’s air-conditioned malls.
The Best Co-Working Spaces in Bangkok, Thailand
An advantage of being a digital nomad is that you’re not confined to one place and can handle your work wherever you please. Bangkok, Thailand, has some of the coolest shared working spaces in Southeast Asia, where you can work while interacting with new people and making new friends. Some of these co-working spaces include:
The Urban Office
The Urban Office is a vibrant setting with a dynamic community culture that combines work professionalism, urban living, and a modern lifestyle to create a workplace oasis that promotes creativity, productivity, relaxation, and a heightened focus to achieve your professional endeavors.
There’s a lot of value-added on by what the space offers. It’s a fully integrated co-working space with VoIP solutions, cognitive Wi-Fi network systems, and locally hosted servers over gigabit wired connections for enhanced work agility. Additionally, the management team and staff are fantastic and highly professional.
The Hive is one of the largest and fanciest shared working spaces you’ll find in Bangkok, Thailand. Its located five minutes by vehicle from Thonglor BTS station, thus alleviating the hassle of long commutes. It spans five floors and provides freelance workers with the choice to work in the lounge area on the rooftop. The atmosphere is breathtaking and cozy, with plenty of natural light and subtle colors, making it a great workplace.
Besides the basics, the space provides a range of amenities, including personal desks and lockers, office equipment (printers, photocopiers, scanners, etc.), conference rooms, rental, private offices, as well as complimentary coffee and beer.
Nestled on the 3rd Floor of the newly developed community mall – Summer Hill (1106 Sukhumvit 101 Alley) – Spaces provides an extensive 1,260 m² of shared workspace. The Amsterdam-hailing work hub can accommodate six dedicated desks, four bookable meeting rooms, breakout areas, and 117 private offices. There’s also a Rocket X coffee station where you can enjoy sweet, smoky, and herby cuppas daily.
Besides the co-working space at Summer Hill, Spaces has other four locations in Bangkok, Thailand, including Chamchuri Square, Phahon 19, Empire Tower, and Ratchathewi.
Impact Hub is a shared working space dedicated to accelerating career development and success. While Impact Hub is a global professional networking entity, the co-working space in Bangkok, Thailand, is founded and managed by local innovators who care deeply about impacting the lives of professionals in their community.
Bangkok’s Impact Hub offers a collaborative and inspiring atmosphere for business owners and internet-based workers. It boasts a variety of workspace options, including dedicated desks, private offices, and hot desks. Remote workers can also access a range of amenities, such as high-speed internet connection, scanners, printers, conference rooms, and event spaces.
Considered Manhattan’s biggest co-working space provider and one of the fastest-growing (with 485 locations in 105 cities since 2010), WeWork is the latest global shared-office conglomerate in Bangkok, Thailand (after Spaces and Regus). The company has two locations, one in Thonglor (occupying seven floors at T-One Building) and another in Sathom (occupying five floors at the Asia Center building).
WeWork office-sharing space is a comfortable and conducive working environment with open-plan desk areas, private offices, meeting rooms, and common areas. It also provides several amenities, including mail handling, printing, and access to a business lounge. Members can choose monthly or annual membership plans that give them the freedom to use any WeWork co-working location around the globe.
Best Work-Friendly Cafes in Bangkok
Apart from co-working spaces, Bangkok, Thailand, also has some of the best cafes that really know how to create work-friendly atmospheres that break the monotony of conventional office spaces. Whether you want to be around other people or thrive in an outdoor environment, there are many reasons to enjoy work-friendly cafes.
Furthermore, the city’s bustling café scene makes it easy to find plenty of spots serving authentic coffee from Northern Thailand. But if you want something more complex, you can pop into a café serving a blend of Thai coffee with beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Colombia.
If you’d like to work from a café instead of a co-working space, here are the top work-friendly cafes in Bangkok:
- Little Spoon in Asoke
- Roots (Sathorn)
- Rocket Coffee Bar (Sathorn)
- Artis (Sukhumvit)
- Sarnies (Charoenkrung and Phloenchit)
Bangkok: A Southeast Asia Health and Wellness Destination
After working for a week, it’s normal to feel stressed and tired. That’s when you need a rejuvenating spa experience to get much-needed relaxation. Fortunately, Bangkok has plenty of temporal and divine delights. Among them are its pampering spas that offer the famous Thai massage therapy that is sure to take away even the highest level of fatigue.
Here are some top spas in Bangkok:
- Let’s Relax Spa – This spa company has 13 locations in Bangkok, providing a range of massages and herbal compresses to relax your body by reducing stress and tension. You can even book two masseurs to enjoy a four-handed, deep massage.
- Siam Kempinski Spa – Situated in the luxurious Siam Kempinski Hotel, this spa offer treatments based on the four seasons. It focuses on nature, using wide-ranging herbs, flowers, and plants in various massages, body scrubs, facials, etc.
- Oasis Spa – For a private spa experience, head to Oasis Spa. The establishment has two locations. The Sukhumvit 31 features a lotus pond where clients can soak in and wallow in serenity, while the Sukhumvit 51 location boasts a modern, bohemian atmosphere that delivers a more luxurious spa experience. Regardless of the location, you can enjoy a Thai Lanna spa treatment with deep massages and herbal compresses.
Things to Do on Weekends
If you prefer a city excursion instead of a spa treatment, there are many attractions to help you understand Bangkok’s culture, art, and lifestyle. The following are some of the things to do in the city:
Bangkok is home to many ornate temples (locally known as “wat”). They form an integral part of Thai culture and are major tourist magnates. Some famous temples in Bangkok include:
- Wat Phra Kaew (home to the Emerald Buddha)
- Wat Arun (famous for the Khmer-style towers)
- Wat Pho (home to the gigantic reclining Buddha)
- Wat Saket (popular for its breathtaking views of the cityscape)
For a city with a rich history and traditional heritage, Bangkok has many fascinating museums showcasing a wide range of artifacts, exhibitions, and objects chronicling the city’s art, culture, history, science, and technology. Examples of museums you’d like to visit in Bangkok include:
- Bangkok National Museum – It’s the largest museum in Thailand and is home to a large collection of artifacts and art masterpieces from various parts of the country and the world.
- Museum Siam – This interactive museum provides an immersive experience with its engaging and informative perspective on the identity and culture of the Thai people.
- Art and Culture Center – The Bangkok Art and Culture Center is a modern museum focused on contemporary art. Walk around and see fascinating exhibitions by both locally and internationally acclaimed artists.
Go to Muay Thai Fight
Muay Thai is Thailand’s traditional martial art that involves fighting techniques using fists, elbows, shins, and knees. These fights are typically held in rings with various fighting rounds. Trained fighters stick to the basic principles of fighting, although they may combine various techniques to defeat their opponents. Muay Thai fights are a popular form of entertainment held in sports arenas and stadia with many tourist spectators.
Attend a Khon Dance Show
Khon is Thailand’s traditional dance characterized by ornate masks, elaborate costumes, and makeup. Performed in groups, the Khon dance narrates the story of the Ramayana myths, and it’s easy to partake in a dance, as they are held in various venues, such as theaters, hotels, and cultural centers.
Visit the Grand Palace
Nestled at the heart of Bangkok, the Grand Palace is a complex of buildings, including royal palaces and temples. The 18th-century palace is a design enthusiast’s paradise as it features stunning Thai architecture. While at the palace, ensure you stop at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Royal Court, throne hall, and other structures used by the Thai monarchy.
Also known as Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown is the best place to experience authentic culture, from the food, clothes, shopping, temples, and nightlife. It’s the best place to experience the vibrant and colorful side of Bangkok.
Bangkok is a shopper’s haven, providing a wide range of shopping destinations to suit every taste and budget. You’ll find it all in Bangkok, from trendy malls and boutique stores to local markets and street retailers. Some popular shopping options in the city include MBK Center, Siam Square, Platinum Shopping Mall, and Asiatique – The Riverfront, among others.