There are few cities in the world where you can get super-fast WiFi, cheap flights, good transport, tasty food, friendly locals and an expat community. Or affordable modern apartments with city views, swimming pools, coworking spaces and shared gyms. You can order same-day delivery groceries for 60baht (~$2) and just about anything else using your smartphone. You can get across town in a taxi for a few dollars, enjoy great nightlife and sunshine all year round.
Bangkok is an extremely convenient place to live for digital nomads who prefer city life.
However, I don’t recommend visiting Bangkok for a holiday! Bangkok is one of those cities that you’ll either love or hate. This is a huge, bustling city and without knowing what to do or where to go, you can wind up wanting to leave as soon as you arrive. As with any city, it comes alive when you make friends and you discover the countless options to have fun within it.
Please note; this blog post doesn’t include recommendations for budget travellers. This is in my opinion, the essentials to thrive in Bangkok as a digital nomad.
Table of Contents
The Cost of Accommodation in Bangkok
Let’s jump right into the biggest expense you will have—accommodation. Bangkok is unmatched for its availability of luxury-esque condos in the city centre.
There seems to be a few new sky rise apartment buildings popping up in the city every month. This keeps the market competitive, the costs low and the new builds as modern as you can imagine. Think fingerprint access and boujee rooftop lounges.
A one-bedroom modern condo in the city costs anywhere between 18,000 to 30,000 baht [~$500-$900] per month (around the same price as a room in London where I’m from). You can find much cheaper outside of the city centre.
What you get for that price will surprise you. My current condo has a sky lounge, sky terrace on the 45th floor, swimming pool, gym, wide corner windows with an unobstructed view, wet room shower, balcony, security, concierge, cafe, and our own 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor.
Food Costs in Bangkok
Your next biggest expense (depending on how much you like to party) will be food.
This really depends on what your eating habits are. I never cook so I spend more on food than other people do. Personally, there’s just too many good choices available locally or via food delivery apps (usually arriving within 30 mins) that taste way better than anything I could ever make!
I spend on average 200 baht per meal with snacks in between and one or two boba milk teas. So I’d say between 500 to 800 baht per day [~$15-$22]. You could spend much less if you only eat local food and cook at home.
Thai food is amazing and affordable, but Bangkok has plenty of options to choose from. There’s lots of Japanese, Italian, and Mexican restaurants here. As well as some French, American, and Indian. I usually rotate between sushi, Thai rice and noodle dishes, pasta, pizza, burritos, açai bowls and healthy wraps.
Most of the time I get my meals delivered using FoodPanda while I work. Sometimes I’ll take a break and walk to a local mall or food market.
Nightlife in Bangkok
Monthly [Depends on your lifestyle choices]
This can get expensive if you’re not careful. It can also be cheap depending on where you go.
A fancy drink in one of Bangkok’s many sky bars or a cocktail bar in Thonglor could easily cost you $15. Or you could get a beer or a gin & tonic in more casual places for a few dollars. It really depends on how you like to enjoy yourself—and more power to you if you don’t need to drink alcohol to have a good time.
There’s so many bars, clubs, community spaces and food markets; you can have a few drinks (or not) with friends and meet other people.
One of the things I love about Bangkok is that the locals know how to enjoy themselves. It is rare to find a bar without at least someone dancing, singing, and just generally having a good time. Everyone in my experience has been friendly and I haven’t had any altercations.
Other Entertainment in Bangkok
You might think of a different kind of tourism when you think of Bangkok but honestly, this only happens in small areas of the city. You won’t even notice it unless you walk down certain streets.
Bangkok has lots to do. From roaming around huge malls, going to the cinema to arcades, art galleries, and community spaces.
Most of the things to do during the day are extremely affordable, if not free. You won’t get bored here and if you do, you can take an excursion to a nearby island.
Getting Around Bangkok
You’ve figured out what to do and where to go; how are you going to get there?
Public transport is efficient and well connected in Bangkok. There’s both an overground and underground train network. Buses, tuk-tuks and even river buses are also available.
Failing that, you can get taxis or Grab which are very reasonably priced. Always ask for the meter in normal taxis and if you’re going somewhere difficult to find or book a Grab which is available in most areas of the city (with the exception of the areas surrounding Khaosan road).
Coworking Spaces in Bangkok
There are coworking spaces in Bangkok but I personally never use them. You are likely going to stay in a nice apartment where you’ll enjoy working that will also have common areas and their own coworking spaces on the top floors.
However, if you enjoy the community that comes with a coworking space, try TCDC Commons at the W District for more reasonable prices.
If you’re willing to splash some more cash, you’ll find beautiful coworking spaces around the city, but some can cost as much as an apartment.
Where to find apartments to rent in Bangkok?
Airbnb offers some great monthly discounts and is the perfect starting point for someone who is new to Bangkok life. You won’t have deposits, bills or contracts to worry about. You also get a taste for different areas 1 month at a time until you find somewhere you love.
For longer stays, you can look towards agencies such as FlatMonthly. I’m currently using them and so far, it’s been good. There are a bunch of additional things to deal with (as to be expected with renting through an agency) such as contracts, cleaning fees, deposits, and bills. This is normal to most people—but if you’re living short-term abroad, I’d always recommend Airbnb to save you the hassle and confusion of learning a new system in a foreign language.
I love cities and I spend most of my year living in them instead of lounging on a beach somewhere. I’d take the lights of a cityscape outside my window over watching the waves before I sleep. I want to feel like I’m somewhere where something is happening 24/7, where I don’t have to worry about WiFi and I can meet interesting people any day of the week. Maybe because I’ve travelled on and off for a long time now, I’m gravitating more towards making friends and the convenience that city life brings.