After already 16 months in Thailand (that went fast), my friends and family are asking when I’m going back to France. I’ve been asking myself the question too, only to find always the same answer. I would only go back to France for some vacations and see my friends.
I’ve asked myself many times if I should stay in Thailand. It would be easier to get a visa and make good money in New Zealand, Canada or anywhere else in Europe as being French entitle me to live and work (almost) everywhere. (Think Ibiza 🙂 ).
Yet, I’m still here in the land of smile with no intention to move. Here is the top 10 reasons why.
I talked about it before, the daily life is easier here than anywhere else I’ve been. Being able to shop 24/7, you got food at every corner, anytime. Many major events and parties. Being able to fix my bike without appointment in a few hours, cheap massage, friendly, relaxed and respectful people… The list goes on and on. And you get used to those small things pretty fast. So much than after only over a year, I don’t feel like living without it. The simple idea of not being able to buy food or a toothbrush at 3am makes no sense now.
Welcome to the land of smile. There’s no other words. Of course it’s not true for everyone, some people are stressed, others are annoyed because they can’t slow down and don’t get the culture and the mindset here. But mainly, you quickly get used to people smiling and being relaxed. You learn to pace yourself and adapt to this slower rhythm because even though many expats have tried to push Thai to be like Westerners, they won’t change. And if you ask me, it’s better that way.
I don’t know where to start, and there’s so much to be said about it. From Street Food to awesome restaurants and buffets, Thailand and especially Bangkok pack everything you could dream of. Eat Pad Thai for 40THB for lunch and a French Cheese Platter for dinner. Anytime and everywhere you have affordable and really good food available.
Apparently Thai economy have been slowing down the last few years. It might be true, but not in every areas or industries. Just go through the city and you’ll see new buildings being constructed everywhere, new restaurants/bars popping up, tourists… Money is still flowing here and the great lifestyle have attracted a bunch of really smart people pushing the country forward in many industries. The Startup scene is huge, many Digital Nomad have taken over Coworking Spaces and keep in mind that a lot of Indians and Chinese come to visit and invest in the country (that’s over 2 Billions people…) so it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Nothing stay still, everything’s changing and a lot of new business opportunities in Thailand are showing up every days.
No matter what Jon Snow says, “Winter is NOT coming”. At least, not to Thailand, EVER. As a guy that hate being cold, I found heaven. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt everyday of the year is one of this little things I enjoy everyday. It might not suit everyone, but if you like being warm, here you’ll find an (sometime rainy) endless summer.
If like me you love to travel, you’ll find Bangkok is one of the best place you can stay in the world. Thailand itself is packed of awesome places, islands, beaches, jungle, mountains, there’s a lot to explore. Add to that cheap flights to Asia and to the world. Thailand is only a few hours away from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Singapore, … and not even that far from Europe or Australia. Bangkok is definitely one of the best location for travelers.
Ahah of course I have to talk about it. I would be hiding if I didn’t mention it as one of the reason I’m here . It’s not only about liking Asian girls. Thai girls have something more. They have this easy-going, fun and charming way to be with you and this great way to make you feel special. It’s not only about beautiful girls, of course there’s ton here (like everywhere I guess), but their attitude and the way they treat you makes you want more. Couldn’t find anyone to disagree with that.
Pool Parties all year round, festivals, big fancy clubs, cocktail bars, rooftop bars… This would please anyone like me who want to party whenever they want. You don’t have to wait for the weekend or stick to one kind of ambiance, music, bar… Start in a Speakeasy bar, move to a Go Go Bar, end up in a Club with Commercial, House, Electro or Hip Hop … all kind of music, atmosphere, crowd, prices… any night of the week. That’s where the magic happens.
Sometimes like everyone I feel like I had a rough day when life punch you right in the face and you have to force your way up again. But when I’m really down riding my bike home, I often see people in their 60’s, 70’s, sometime even more, who still work, push their food cart or selling stuff in the street. You see many people even in the city center, living in really simple houses often packed with the whole family. And they don’t complain or feel bad about themselves. Or at least they don’t show it. It really helps you to stay humble and realize that at the end of the day. If you’re healthy and have enough to enjoy life, you got nothing to complain about.
As an expat you see everything differently. You have to adapt and find your place each day in that different culture, surrounded by people with a different mindset. Everything you have here, you gained it, sometime fought for it. Just having a visa, the right to live in Thailand can sometime be a hustle. It’s been 10 months since we started MojoSons, and 16 months I’ve been here, I’m still struggling making a decent living. I still have to learn Thai, I still haven’t got a bank account, … but at least all of this push me to get out of my comfort zone everyday and to learn more about this country, about life and myself, everyday. I really don’t want to give that up. At least not yet.
Are you an expat too? You have question about what it’s like to be living in Bangkok?
Leave a comment below or let’s connect on Twitter @fayamatt.