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Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Thailand.

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Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:34 pm

Hi there, Im relocating to Bangkok from sunny Scotland for 1yr + with my partner due to a job opportunity he has taken. I have never been to the far East before and am a bit apprehensive to say the least! If anyone could answer a few questions I have I would be most grateful!

Whats the health care system like?
Is it true that Bangkok isn't a very nice place to stay? All I seem to have read recently is that its very 'slummy' ?
Are there a good few english speaking companies as I would also like to work? I am an IT Support Analyst but have my previous secretarial skills to fall back on if need be.
Would Pattaya be a better option as a place to stay as this may be an alternative residence if the job allows?
Are there expat 'groups' available for newbie's to join?

Many thanks
Sarah ) :O)

 

SARAHJ101
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:17 pm

Hello Sarah,

I recently got here, so I can answer some of your questions.

I'm told the health care is very good at the hospitals that foreigners go to. Lots of people come here to get medical procedured done that they couldn't afford in their home countries. It is not hard to find an English speaking doctor for small health issues either.

Bangkok is a city of eight million people. Like any big city, I'm sure it has it's slums. Is any big city a nice place to stay? Bangkok has plenty of nice safe areas, use your city sense. Expats here don't worry a whole lot about pickpockets and that kind of stuff. I heard much more about it in Paris or Rome.

Pattaya is a lot smaller city than Bangkok, so my guess is there would be fewer jobs there... just because it is smaller place.

 

elaineous
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 10:14 pm

Bangkok is very busy, noisy, smelly (exhaust fumes, drains & food). The traffic is terrible and it can take hours to travel just a few kms. Most efficient travel is the sky train (BTS) or new underground (MRT)
Taxis are as cheap as chips but watch they switch the meter on.

The water taxis on the Chao Phraya river are also a good & very cheap way to travel. Go down the river as far as they go in afternoon & come back on the last boat around 6pm+ and the city is quite some sight in the dark.

You will see slums side by side with 21st century glass & steel sky scrapers. Its surreal.

Please be prepared to see dirty disabled (sometimes self mutilated) beggars often with VERY young children on the streets & bridges.

You need to completely forget about all your western developed world way of doing things.

Pattaya is much more relaxed, not quite so hot as its by the sea, & has many nice areas. Property rental will be cheaper here. Maybe check out Siam Country Club & Mabrachan Lake areas to the East side of Sukhumvit Highway.
About 2 hours to BKK by car, 2.5 by bus, 3 by train.
But bear in mind there is a sleasy side to Pattaya with 30,000 "working" girls there & many 1000's of younger & middle aged single men tourists.
There are many pubs, bars & restaurants & if you don't mind the above its an interesting & enjoyable place to be. Many expats (some with wives) living there.

Be open minded, adaptable, & you will love Thailand. The people are lovely, friendly & helpful (mostly), it is steeped in history & culture, and there is much beautiful scenery & just so much to see & do.

i.e. Easy to arrange to fly upto Chiang Mai or down to Koh Samui for the weekend.

Driving (on the left, same as us) is no problem once outside the cities, but be very careful in the cities, especially with motor bikes.... if one hits you, it WILL be your fault because you are the foreigner!

www.bts.co.th/en/index.asp

www.pattayaexpatsclub.com/

 

Last edited by Lancashirelad on Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

Lancashirelad
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:08 am

- elaineous

I'm told the health care is very good at the hospitals that foreigners go to.



Be very careful at the hospitals here.
If you are used to NHS in the UK, perhaps you will be satisfied.
But the standard of care here, even in the most expensive, private, hospitals can be chancy.
Same with dentists.
I've had some care of reasonable standard here, and some of gross neglect.

Here's a second opinion about the biggest, most famous, hospital in Bangkok: www.bumrungraddeath.com

- elaineous

Bangkok is a city of eight million people. Like any big city, I'm sure it has it's slums. Is any big city a nice place to stay? Bangkok has plenty of nice safe areas, use your city sense.



For a new resident, who has never been here before, and who doesn't speak or read the language, there are only a very few suitable areas to stay in Bangkok.

. . 1-Lower Sukhumvit
. . 2-Langsuan
. . 3-Silom-Sathorn
. . 4-Thonglor

The farther away you go from those areas, the more problems you will have, every day.

The main reason is the language barrier, but there are other reasons.
Imagine shopping in a grocery store where you recognize very little of the food.
All the labels, descriptions and other information are in a language you can't read.
When you ask for assistance finding something, nobody in the entire store can understand you.
Imagine going into a restaurant and trying to order, when the menu -- just a hand-written poster on the wall -- is unintelligible to you.
Imagine trying to use a bus or taxi, when nobody understands where you want to go.

Better, far better, to stay in one of the foreigner sections of Bangkok where there is lots of English all around you.

- elaineous

Expats here don't worry a whole lot about pickpockets and that kind of stuff.



All the expats I know -- those with whom I've discussed the topic of personal safety -- are, indeed, concerned about pickpockets, scams, petty theft, fraud, entrapment by the police mafia, and, recently, the specter of some worse than that.
We expats often discuss countermeasures.
On some other forums you will find entire threads on those topics.

We are also concerned about the recent, very noticeable, increase in aggressive attitudes from young, Thai men.
That is also beginning to be a common topic of conversation among expats here.
I've been spit at, for no reason, just that it was on a lonely street at night.
I've been pushed almost off the footpath by groups of passing Thai youths.
Friends have been, not assaulted, but let us say, approached, by groups of Thai men who are very drunk and out looking for "fun".
It doesn't happen often, but it's happening more and more.
We're starting to wonder.

You may think you are preparing for a move to paradise.
Better you prepare for reality.

-- Peter
.

 

Last edited by Peter4 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:40 am; edited 3 times in total

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:35 am

- Lancashirelad

Bangkok is very busy, noisy, smelly (exhaust fumes, drains & food). The traffic is terrible and it can take hours to travel just a few kms. Most efficient travel is the sky train (BTS) or new underground (MRT)
Taxis are as cheap as chips but watch they switch the meter on.



Lancashirelad makes an excellent point about the most crucial factor in selecting a location for living in Bangkok.
I second his advice to live near the sky train or underground.

- Lancashirelad

The water taxis on the Chao Phraya river are also a good & very cheap way to travel. Go down the river as far as they go in afternoion & come back on the last boat around 6pm+ and the city is quite some sight in the dark.



Fun for tourists, but if you are living here, don't depend on the river ferries for your main transportation.
The time of that last boat could leave you stranded.
All the river ferries stop running at sundown.

- Lancashirelad

You need to completely forget about all your western developed world way of doing things.



That's the very best advice you could get about living in Thailand.
Please remember that: You'll be using it everyday here.

Very little here will be done as you might expect.
For that reason, I've selected to live in one of the major, Western-managed, hotels in Bangkok.
Yes, it costs a lot more than a walk-up flat with a squat toilet and no hot water.
But, at least, most of the details of daily life are handled in ways that I understand.
Some people wish to immerse themselves in primitive culture.
You may be one of them.
I am not.

- Lancashirelad

Be open minded, adaptable, & you will love Thailand. The people are lovely, fiendly & helpful (mostly), it is steeped in history & culture, and there is much beautiful scenery & just so much to see & do.



Well, every place in the world could be said to be "steeped in history & culture".

But, yes, 90% of Thai people are friendly and helpful, especially when it is in their self interest to be so.
However, do watch out for that remaining 10% here.
Some go out of their way to be quite nasty.
Including many who wear police uniforms.

- Lancashirelad

Driving (on the left, same as us) is no problem once outside the cities, but be very careful in the cities, especially with motor bikes.... if one hits you, it WILL be your fault because you are the foreigner!



Very important advice, that.
If there is a problem in Thailand, and you are involved, or even just nearby when it happens, then it IS your fault.
It's simple Thai reasoning.
Here's how it works:

If you hadn't come to Thailand, this problem wouldn't have happened, so it's your fault.
Even if it's not your fault, you are a foreigner and you have money, so it's your responsibility to pay.
Got that?

One more thing:
The OP from Scotland is using a female name.
A female's place in Thailand is very, very, different than what one might expect coming from the UK.
It could be a major adjustment, but I can't be certain of that, of course, as I'm not a female.
For a Western man coming to Thailand, it is also a major adjustment, but of quite a different sort.

Frankly, I can't imagine wanting to live anyplace else other than Thailand.
However, on forums like this, I read so much "pie in the sky" praise for Thai culture and Thai people, that I feel some obligation to insert a large dose of realism to balance the books.
Thailand has a lot of problems, both big and small.
Please, prepare yourself.

-- Peter

 

Last edited by Peter4 on Wed May 16, 2007 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total

Peter4
Regular Poster
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Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:00 am

- SARAHJ101

Im relocating to Bangkok ... with my partner due to a job opportunity he has taken.



SarahJ101 -

You've asked good questions in your original post.
But, there is one important topic which you haven't mentioned.
Perhaps you are not aware of it.
It is a delicate topic so I'll do my best to be gentle.

That topic is what you -- presumably a Western female -- might expect for the future of your relationship/marriage, with your Western man "partner" after a stay in Thailand.
I'm thinking now of the effect on him of the Thai women.

Any Western man here, of any age, is deluged with attention from young, beautiful, exotic, svelte, and willing (very willing) Thai women.
He will be faced with a Tsunami of attention from the women here.
Not only because of the way Thai culture values men over females, but also because of the way Caucasian men are considered more desirable than Asian men.
Plus, whether he is rich or not, he will be considered to be rich, simply because he is a Western man.
In a poor country, that's a big factor.

And there is one more factor.
In Bangkok, there is, simply, a vast shortage of men.
There are many lonely women here, of all ages and backgrounds.

So, when you come to Thailand, perhaps you will want to prepare for dealing with those facts of life here.
Better for you to be prepared, than to be taken by surprise.

-- Peter
.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving from Scotland to Bangkok

Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:59 pm

Last boat back from Nonthaburi LEAVES at sundown. i.e. as i said 6pm +

see here: www.bangkok-city.com/e...ssboat.htm

 

Lancashirelad
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
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