Shoes, feet, and when to bow – and other tips for making Bangkok the best remote work experience – as told by a Thai local.
[About Pariyakorn Chamni “Kru Smuk”. She is the founder and head teacher of BananaThai Language School]
Bangkok is the world’s most visited city, followed by Paris, London, and Dubai*.
How is the city working remotely?
Some lists rank it as the most popular, others rank it as one of the world’s worse for working remotely.
Whichever side one falls – whether they love working from Bangkok or not – cultural awareness and tips from a local can make the experience best.
For this, we get familiar with the city through Kru Smuk, an education entrepreneur, Thai language school owner, and longtime Bangkok resident. And a graduate of Thammasat University.
Preserve Harmony: Thai’s avoid conflict
Thai nature is to avoid conflict at all costs to preserve face.
When someone loses their cool in a public setting, not only is that person losing face, but they are also creating general disharmony for those around them.
Thai culture is historically conservative and modest, making it difficult for members of Thai society to express negative emotions since it can be seen as a sign of weakness and disrespecting authority, which makes it difficult to repair one’s reputation.
🎬 WATCH VIDEO
Keys to Thai Cultural Awareness
How do Thais express anger?
Thais generally don’t often express their anger openly; however, the country has had a long history of political unrest that has sometimes led to violent clashes between protestors and the police. Knowing whether a foreigner has upset a Thai person can often be challenging, as many will continue to exhibit the famous “Thai Smile” while presenting a calm exterior.
Don’t talk about the monarchy in public
Be respectful of Thai religious customs
Being a bit late is mostly acceptable
Thai people have an entrepreneurial spirit across all social classes, from small business owners and food vendors to lottery ticket sellers. Many Thais work in the informal sectors since there are few social safety nets for a comfortable retirement. The government generally allows these informal sectors to operate with occasional exceptions and crackdowns.
Bangkok’s most popular neighborhood for remote workers: Thong Lo
Thong Lo is an upscale neighborhood along Sukhumvit Road that includes many trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Thong Lo has an international flavor, with many Japanese, European, and other ex-pats living in the area. The neighborhood is also popular as a nightlife destination for local Thai young people. It has some of the most expensive real estate in Bangkok but contains something for everybody.
Don’t miss these spots in Thong Lo:
Bangkok by Night
Transportation – getting from point A to B in Bangkok
Tips for renting a scooter
For those willing to brave the dangerous streets of Bangkok, riding a motorbike is a way to navigate the city’s famous traffic effectively.
Several shops offer daily to long-term rentals, from small scooters to touring motorcycles, and prices as low as 2,500 baht per month for a 125cc bike.
Rental shop options include Fat Boy Motorbikes, Emma Motorbike, and Scooter Rentals, and BSR Bike shop, among many others.
Expats living in Bangkok long-term should also consider buying their a scooter or motorcycle. They can be purchased second-hand at rental shops, new or second-hand on websites like kaidee.com, official shops like Honda, Yamaha, etc., or various neighborhood shops. Prices range from 7,500 baht to quite expensive, depending on personal taste. If buying second-hand, the buyer should be knowledgeable about checking for faulty parts.
Note: Unsafe roads
Whether riding a motorbike or driving a car, one should beware, Thailand consistently ranks in the top 10 worldwide for road fatalities yearly. It has the highest rate of motorcycle-related deaths globally at 60 deaths per day on average. Excessive speeding and intoxicated driving are unfortunately quite common, and driving at night should generally be avoided for these reasons, along with many streets not being adequately lit.
Most visited cities in the world list (before the pandemic in 2019)
- Bangkok, Thailand: 22.78 million
- Paris, France: 19.10 million
- London, United Kingdom: 19.09 million
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 15.93 million
- Singapore: 14.67 million
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 13.79 million
- New York, United States: 13.60 million
- Istanbul, Turkey: 13.40 million
- Tokyo, Japan: 12.93 million
- Antalya, Turkey: 12:41
ABOUT HIVE CO-WORK THONGLOR
ABOUT KRU SMUK
ABOUT The Borderless Office – Philip Beere
Get notified → upcoming videos
*Bangkok Is The Most Visited City In The World…Again
Following Bangkok, Paris (19.10 million) came as a close second, with London (19.01 million), Dubai (15.93 million) and Singapore (14.67 million) rounding out the top five most visited cities in the world in 2018. Mastercard’s annual list looks at visitor volume and spend at the 200 largest cities in the world, counting both vacation and business travelers in the previous year.
- Welcoming around 22.7 million international visitors, Bangkok ranked as the top destination for global travelers
- Dubai was named as the top city for international visitor spending globally at $30.82 billion.
Welcoming around 22.7 million international visitors, Bangkok ranked as the top destination for global travelers this year, according to Mastercard‘s 2019 Global Destination Cities Index.