If you are a fan of city life, then you need to consider basing yourself in Bangkok. I was fortunate to base myself there for one month as a digital nomad, but I could have easily have stayed for much longer. It’s one of the few major global cities that I have visited that I have fallen in love with. And unlike the majority of global cities, it is very affordable to live there if you manage to earn an income of at least $2000 USD per month.
Accommodation in Bangkok.
As I usually say in my posts, it is better to stay at a place for the long-term, as you get much better value for money.
If you are a solo traveller, you can get a much cheaper deal by renting a room or sharing a room with another traveller.
The accommodation costs work out to be a little bit cheaper than what I would pay back in Australia, however the electricity and water is usually included in the price.
To stay in the city centre of Bangkok close to their train line (BTS), you will need to budget between $1200-2000. Although if you are able to book a place over the long-term (3-6 months), then it is possible to accommodation at a cheaper price.
Internet connection in Bangkok.
I found that the connection was about 50mbps, which is quick. We were able to upload and download videos within a few minutes, which was excellent.
You will have to check with any places you stay or where you work from to see what the internet connection will be like. Just because a place advertises that they have Wi-Fi, doesn’t mean that they will have a good internet connection.
Workspaces in Bangkok.
Bangkok is a business city. There are plenty of places to work from. You can even get yourself connected with a pocket Wi-Fi and work from anywhere, if you are prepared to spend the money to purchase it.
There are co-working spaces. But as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I prefer to work from home to minimise the amount of distractions when I am working.
How did I structure my working day?
I started my working day at 8am and I would usually work until 5 or 6pm. This way I could have a solid amount of time dedicated towards working productively.
Things to do in Bangkok.
There were so many things that could be done in Bangkok. If you like shopping centres that have the hustle and bustle, then you could easily go down to Siam station and enjoy yourself for hours in the massive supermarket complexes and outdoor market stalls that they have in the area.
There are people doing showcase events, so it is easy to discover something new.
It’s a major city hub in Asia, so if you want to travel abroad, you can easily venture to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos or Burma. There’s also a fantastic transportation network in the city that connects you to other major cities and islands around the country. So if you base yourself in Bangkok, you can do a short weekend getaway to the island of Krabi or Koh Samui. Or you can do a quick bus and boat ride to Koh Samet.
Nightlife in Thailand.
It depends what interests you. There’s many world class markets, clubs and bars to explore. One of our favourite places to go to was the moon bar, which overlooked the entire city of Bangkok. The place would give you vertigo, but the views are spectacular.
What are some things that you should beware of as a digital nomad?
It is incredibly important to find accommodation that will allow you to be well rested and that will also give you a productive working environment. We found the area we stayed in was far too noisy and it was inconvenient to work in. So our productivity level declined severely when we were in Bangkok.
We did opt for cheaper accommodation. In hindsight, I would be prepared to pay for excellent accommodation that costs more, but allows us to maximise our productivity. I think at the time, I paid around $1000 Australian dollars for the accommodation, but the bed was far too hard for me and there really wasn’t a sufficient work space in the apartment. (This is nothing against the owner of the apartment, it was just that I had chosen the apartment based on price rather than on its functionality).
Splitting the time to enjoy the experience of Thailand as a tourist was difficult due to the demands of my work. Before I’d arrived in Thailand, I’d hoped to learn Thai and do some of the local activities while I was there. But it soon became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to fulfil those goals since the demands of my business were a priority. I was still able to go out for lunch and to do some things in the evening, but I felt like much more could have been done and it wasn’t.
Did we feel safe in Thailand?
Personally, I felt fine in Thailand. We opted for accommodation that had good security, since we had brought our camera equipment along with us on our travels. That being said, there’s areas that have a bit of crime and there is a lot of poverty and homelessness in Bangkok. We’d walked home in the middle of the night one night. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do.
Even though nothing happened to us, we did walk down a few dark alleyways and if fate wasn’t on our side, the outcome of our night wouldn’t have been so pleasant.
How’s the cleanliness in Bangkok?
Most major cities aren’t that clean. It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t the best. If you walk past a city drain or river, expect to have a pungent odour hit your nostrils and tilt your head back. I’d see people fishing and cleaning food to consume in the water. It’s not something that I would dare go near. Sometimes the food is cheap, but it is cheap for a reason. So just make sure that you err on the side of caution.
To conclude, I really enjoyed staying in Bangkok. I think it is a very affordable and cosmopolitan city. If you like the hustle and bustle of city life, this should be an option to consider.