No wonder, Bangkok is a very friendly city for foreigners. It has been topped by the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index as the most visited city in the world in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018. As a result, Bangkok is a very convenient city for digital nomads as well. Bangkok has a lot of advantages for the nomadic lifestyle, as a convenient city and cheap cost of living, with a top healthcare system, a vibrant culture, beautiful temples to visit, easy transportation, and potential networking opportunities. Definitely, it is worth to explore the destination for nomads and travelers.
Where to stay in Bangkok?
The best place to stay in Bangkok for digital nomads is in residential or business areas, along with MRT stations, where you can find nice facilities, supermarkets and local places where to eat. You need to consider the accessibility for your convenience.
Here are some famous districts, often preferred by expats and nomads :
Silom /Sathorn: places where you can find good deals for accommodation, the atmosphere of a business district, lots of restaurants and bars. Those places are close to Lumpini Park, which can be convenient for nature or exercise break. The downside here is the limited nightlife.
Sukhumvit, 21 to 71: In this part of Sukhumvit, you will find tons of bars and restaurants, and access to good transportation. Both cheap and expensive food options are available.
Thonglor is a busy and trendy place, upscale part of town. It comes with cool bars and restaurants, but you have to put the price for it.
On nut is a cheap place where you can enjoy lower prices. It is close to good transportation and supermarkets, but far from the nightlife. Here you can experience a local atmosphere. As traffic can be dense, better to avoid the taxis.
Victory Monument: home of the victory monument, this district also got some famous shopping mall such as Century: The Movie Plaza and Center One. With lots of bars, restaurants and local food, but also, cheap shopping options, it’s a good place if you don’t mind it to be quite busy.
Ari: Fashionable suburb of Bangkok, Ari offers modern apartments, good access to the subway, and is packed with upmarket bars, cafés, restaurants and street food. This district will also give you access to gastro bars, wine bars or jazz clubs, a good choice of gyms, some boutique for shopping and even a mall with Western food products. The logical downside here is the renting cost.
Accommodation in Bangkok for Digital Nomads
Comparing to most destinations in the world, accommodation in Bangkok is cheap, and can be quite comfortable, or even luxurious.
AIRBNB (Short term / Long term)
While budget Travelers can opt for hostels, Airbnb is also a good alternative for the low to the medium budget traveler, as it is quite developed here. Clean condominium apartments, sometimes including pool and gym, are widely available across the city, with prices starting from 400 US dollars per month.
Hostel and coworking place at the same time, you can check One Day Bangkok.
Tips for choosing your accommodation in Bangkok:
- Choose a place with subway access, MRT (underground) or BTS (Skytrain), for convenient transportation along where you will stay. Taxi is cheap, but scams are frequent, traffic can be really annoying and you’ll have to battle for the price with the taxi driver if ever you get a ride late at night or at the occasion of heavy rain.
- Make sure that the way from your condo to the subway has a sidewalk. If not, you will be forced to walk dangerously on the side of the road, or to take a taxi first, whatever place you are willing to go to.
- For soft landing, book a few nights in one of the best Bangkok hostels in advance and once you are there, you can look for your long-term place.
Coworking spaces and good places to work
BEST COWORKING SPACES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
As the co-working market in Asia is getting in demand, Bangkok benefits from several co-working options where you will be able to meet other nomads.
Hubba, is definitely n.1 coworking space for the digital nomad in Bangkok. It’s open 5 days a week / 24 a day. Monthly prices start at 90USD for a desk. Coworking Hubba is located on the 4th floor of Siam Discovery.
The Hive – is coworking located 5 minutes from Thonglor station. It’s a 5-floor building with an awesome rooftop cafe.
The Rabbit Hub is a coworking space, open daily until 10 pm with various places and price options. It’s a coworking space / educational center that organizes a lot of daily events.
Fabcafe – Japanese branch cafe that expanded to locations like Bangkok, Singapore or Barcelona.
Growth cafe – Located in Siam, it’s a cafe, working place but it also hosts events and seminars.
P.S. check this article for the extended list of best work cafes in Bangkok.
Where to meet digital nomads in Bangkok?
This will be your best bet to meet digital nomads but also you can find help and tips for accommodation or other things. Search for a group called, Bangkok Digital Nomads, with 4k+ members.
Like in any big city, one of the best ways to meet other foreigners while traveling is to use the Meetup website. You will be able to attend any kind of events, from business to social or leisure, and meet locals who are able to speak English as well as expats and other travelers.
- As for example, the Meetup group UnionActive organize some Digital Nomads Events. Find out more about the group on this page.
- You can also join business meetups like the ones organized by Startups in Bangkok
- Bangkok Digital Nomads in Meetup
Money (ATM info)
At the ATM, foreign cards in Thailand are charged a 200 baht (approx. 6.3 US dollars) fee for each withdrawal. Knowing that it’s better to reduce as much as possible your number of withdrawal.
ATMs can be easily found in the city center, especially you can often find one near a 7-eleven.
Thailand is not really reputed for fast wifi, but most hotels and Airbnb will give you a good wifi speed. Make sure to settle this with your host before your arrival. You can also find reasonably good wifi in one of the many coffee shops available around the city, like those mentioned in the following list :
Depending on your country of origin, you will be able to enter for a limited time without a visa, or you will need a tourist visa. If you want to stay longer, it’s advisable to check about the visa options, as the 2 month Thai Visa (available for around $55).
Getting around (transportation)
In Bangkok, taxis are cheap, so you can be easily tempted to use a taxi any time you have to go somewhere. Even though taxis can definitely be an option depending on the circumstances and where or how far to go, it’s probably better to avoid them for short travels across the city especially if you want to avoid being stuck in the traffic, if you want to avoid having to convince the driver to use the meter, or even in order to avoid some scams.
MRT (underground) and BTS (Skytrain) are good options, as the Bangkok subway is efficient, safe and affordable.
Do not also hesitate to look at boat options whenever available. Some of the rides can be pretty cheap, but always make sure to agree on the price before embarking.
Finally, if you need some excursions outside of the city, you can find some deals with travel agencies. They provide tours offering guided visits, all inclusive of meals and transportation.
Mobile Internet Simcard
Finding a mobile Internet prepaid Simcard in Bangkok is quite easy, as you can find them in 7-eleven, mobile stores, but also directly at the Airport. The prepaid sim card will give you a Thai mobile phone number, several gigabytes of data, and depending on the offer, voice calls and SMS. Your passport will be needed for the registration.
Bangkok is a relatively safe destination, but it’s better to be prepared for some situations.
- Bangkok Scams: it is advised to be cautious with scams. Do not accept to be brought to recommended places, shops, or shows, and be careful when meeting new people, even with other travelers.
- Safety in Bangkok is good in most touristic places, but petty crime is common. Be sure to secure your belongings and remain careful of thieves and pickpockets. Avoid dark streets and back lanes as you would do in your own country.
- Street food: depending on your homeplace, health and immune system, street food in Bangkok can be quite tricky. It is recommended to avoid tap water, and by extension, to avoid any drinks that include ice. Also, avoid raw fruits and vegetables that you didn’t prepare yourself. Finally, choose your meal places wisely, or be prepared to encounter the well-known turista.
- Bangkok healthcare system is modern and reliable, therefore it can still be expensive depending on the hospital where you are going, especially if you go to an international hospital, which is recommended if you don’t speak Thai. Make sure that you have a reliable traveler or expat insurance before arriving.
- Mosquitoes: as Bangkok is having a situation about Dengue fever, it is advised to take it quite seriously and to be prepared against mosquitoes, by putting appropriate repellant and clothing.
- VIDEO: Free Beer and Coworking Space in Bangkok
- Best Vegan Restaurants in Bangkok
- Where To Stay in Bangkok – check out this detailed post by Nomadisbeautiful.com ;)
- Things to avoid in Bangkok – comprehensive guide by Girlwithpassport.com
Free time and fun activities
Palaces: Former or current royal’s residences, Bangkok’s main attractions are the palaces, reflecting Thailand’s culture and history. They are open to the public but you need to pay a certain amount of money as entrance fee but be sure to wear the appropriate clothing, or you will be refused to enter. Most famous palaces in Bangkok are Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho.
Shopping malls: From high street fashion and high-tech gadgets to cheap souvenirs, everything is available in Bangkok’s shopping mall. Make sure to visit Siam Paragon or Siam Discovery, for pleasant and leisure shopping experiences. Visit the 8 floors and 2500 boutiques of MBK for good prices of clothes and souvenirs. Interested in fashion, from promising local designers to renowned Thai couturiers, visit Siam Center. Finally do not forget Terminal 21, a traveling the world concept mall where floors reflect some of the most world-famous cities. Check out shopping guide for more tips on what to buy in Bangkok.
Floating markets: vibrant places with scrumptious food, floating markets are nowadays mostly tourists oriented but still, pleasant experience for digital nomads or travelers. Take a boat around the nearby klongs, and try the local food of the floating vendors. The floating markets of Bangkok are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Rooftops: With skyscrapers all around, and an affordable cost of living, Bangkok is a city with plenty of rooftop bars and skyline views. Expats, foreigners, and nomads get to enjoy a lot of Rooftop bars, such as the Moon Bar at Banyan Tree Hotel, Above Eleven at Fraser Suites Sukhumvit (make sure to check the toilet’s view) or the Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower.