Bangkok, Thailand's capital, is an enormous city known for elaborate temples and some of the worst traffic in the world. The Chao Praya River which flows through Bangkok, is home to the famous Grand Palace, and houses the Wat Phra Kaew chapel, across from it is the majestic and beautiful to photograph Wat Arun Temple and nearby is the famous Wat Pho Temple with it's colossal reclining Buddha statue and famous massage school that offers quality massage at super cheap prices.
While the city is one of the most well-known tourist hotspots in Southeast Asia, Bangkok attracts foreigners to live there because of its reasonable average cost for basic items, the vibrance of the city and the hospitality of Thai people.
A few years ago you could get a 90-day visa on landing; then it got changed to 60 days and right now it's down to a paltry 30 days. This is for American residents and I think in all cases it'd be the equivalent for different nations who used to have a similar arrangement.
If you get a 30 day landing visa and go to the Immigration Bureau to extend it another 30 days, you will have to wait in a super long queue. To give you an idea, you can come in at 10 a.m. and wait until 7 - 10 p.m. in the evening before they get to your number.
So in order to avoid having to wait on the super long line, I strongly advise that you apply for a 60 day tourist visa at a Thailand Embassy near you.
With a 60-day visa, you can easily extend the duration at the immigration bureau. You will be placed in a different queue than the landing visa people and you should be in and out within an hour or so.
Okay, so the most key thing to deal with whenever you land at a new country is lodging. Cost of lodging, since hotels can get extremely costly. High turnover of Airbnb rooms with such a large number of travellers coming in and out, combined with high prices, Airbnb is like a second-to-last resort option in my opinion. What I lean toward for Bangkok usually involves going out and searching for a room. I can get a decent room, I can get an idea for the area.
So what can you hope to pay as far as rents are is anywhere from $300 and up. You know the sky's the limit; it just depends on what you're searching for. I highly recommend finding something nearby to either a BTS or MRT station, along these lines so you can get around the city without a lot of hassle.
Cost of Food
There's going to be a difference in pricing from street food versus mall food versus ordering delivery from one of the food apps. There's a lot of different food apps you can use like there's GrabFood, there's FoodPanda, there's also WongNai but I'm not too sure how to use WongNai. I never used their app to order food so I'm not gonna be talking about that. so street food it's gonna be obviously the cheapest with different options depending on where you live. If you live next to a night market then there'll be like a different range of foods that you can get super cheap.
The next thing is mall food, mall food is gonna be a bit more expensive about you can expect to pay maybe about three to four times more eating at the mall compared to street food so as we're pricing like street food you can get like a whole plate of food say like rice, meat, vegetables and sometimes soup on the side and now we're on you about under 100 baht so like maybe 60 to 80 baht so you know between 60 to 100 baht that's about $3 and then if you go eat at the mall that can run you up to 200 baht and more so you know double or triple the cost.
Food delivery you know depending on where you get it some places are cheaper than others and then food delivery prices could be almost comparable to mall food so I would say food delivery falls in between the realm, especially if you use those popular food apps. The pricing will fall between night market street food and mall food the price will be like in-between so you can expect to pay sometimes more than 100 baht.
If you're on a budget you want to find an accommodation that's near a night market so that way you can go there every day and get some cheap food and usually night markets are open for lunch also so you don't have to worry about that. For breakfast, that's always a different case. The night market doesn't have English breakfast and unless you like rice soup, you're gonna have to go to a different place like a bar or mall for a proper western style breakfast.
The cheapest option for mall food will be at a shopping mall that has a Tesco Lotus. Tesco Lotus is a supermarket chain and they usually have a food court and it's pretty cheap. It's gonna be cheaper than mall food and it's gonna be a little bit more expensive than night market food so that's a good alternative.
If you live next to a BTS station and if you live next to an MRT station the costs you get to ride on the train may vary. It's by distance so depending on how far you go the price will increase. The standard fare will be about 30 baht which is roughly $1, I wonder if I've actually seen something cheaper like 20 baht. On average it's about $1 for a ride. It's confusing sometimes but every place has the map that will tell you the pricing.
The pricing is different based on where you're located so the average ride will cost you about $2 or $3. If you buy a rabbit card which is good for only the BTS because the MRT system which is the underground train system has a different card and you can prepay ahead of time that way you can save a little bit of money.
In Bangkok, a lot of places have super slow Wi-Fi. There's a solution to this: if you get an AIS super Wi-Fi card then you can log into any Wi-Fi, a public Wi-Fi that they have in any mall in Bangkok and you can get a super-fast Wi-Fi connection.
Big Co-Working Space
This place is unfortunately not opened 24-hours. It does open pretty early around 7-8am. This place you need to get a pass which costs between 150-200 baht so it's about $3 to $6. They have nice clean tables, a big open space and it's relatively quiet. The only downside is the location kind of sucks because there’s not really that much food options without having to bike out to the mall.
Most budget option for your workout is going to be resistance bands and a jump rope. However if you want to join a gym, the thing about is that short term options can get pretty expensive in Bangkok.
The average cost you can expect to pay is between $40 to $60 for a gym membership in Bangkok per month.
From time to time I'll go with some friends to some karaoke bars and since I don't drink alcohol anymore because I have developed allergies recently in the last few years. It's super cheap for me to go because all I buy is soft drinks or tea. It comes up pretty cheap for me like $3 to $6 for a few hours of karaoke bar with some friends. My friends usually pay anywhere between $30 for their drinks.
I don't know I'm not really much of a party out guy and I'm not a clubber so I can't review clubs in Bangkok. But one thing is for sure, alcohol prices are gonna be a lot cheaper compared to any westernized country and so it just depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
I hope this article was insightful to you. I hope you got an idea of what to expect and how much you should save for. In general I recommend calculating the maximum amount you need per month and saving up at least 3-6x that amount just as a safety net.