Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Booming Bangkok – a haven for expats

The once small fishing village of Bangkok has boomed from the 1980s onwards to the high rise city that today produces between 15-35% of Thailand’s GDP. The Financial Times FT View From, sponsored by HSBC Expat, believes that Bangkok is one of the best places in the world to be an expat.

Alison Leary, from Kentucky speaks of the close knit and diverse English speaking expat community in which she has formed many close friendships. She is particularly fond of the golf which is good for both socialising and networking. “It is peaceful, much better than in a noisy crowded bar or restaurant.” Bangkok is also highly commended for its shopping which ranges from modern air conditioned malls to the old bazaar of Chatuchak market where a good haggler can secure a bargain.

The expat community in Thailand is particularly strong amongst those without children, Sarah Huang, an Indonesian-Australian, is considering her long term options now that she is 7 months pregnant. Whilst nannies are affordable, the cost of a good quality education in Thailand at high school age makes many expats consider more developed countries in the region such as Australia and Japan.

Thailand was ranked as the number 1 place for expats to live in the 2011 HSBC expat survey. Local services are well tailored to help the expat market; arranging healthcare and personal finances both ranked as number one in the 2011 survey. 78% of expats in Thailand said they are earning more since moving and only 16% noted that they had struggled to fit in to the community.

What have your experiences been? Leave a comment in the box below, or on Twitter.

Expat Explorer returns for another year – bigger and better than before! If you want to have a say in what it’s really like to live abroad and share your expat experiences with others, then click here to fill in the Expat Explorer survey for 2012.

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