February 10, 2019

10 days in Bangkok

After 4 months living in Canggu, Bali, I decided to move to Thailand to discover this amazing country.

I landed in Bangkok and started my Thai life by living 10 days there.

Lumphini Park

Rent

For short term stay, staying in a hotel/Airbnb in the center of Bangkok was too expensive for me so I just picked a nice hostel.

I chose Vivit Hostel located near the Grand Palace.

I paid 3 134 baht for 8 nights, that’s 88€ or 11€/night.

The hostel was great, and I had an included breakfast which was really good (juices, bread with butter and jam, coffee/tea, bananas)

Vivit hostel rooms are for 4 people, and beds are clearly delimited with proper curtains, so you feel you’re in your own space. There is AC so you don’t sweat the whole night because of the outside temperature/humidity.

There is a lobby with medium quality internet if you want to check things on your laptop, and machines for your laundry.

Wi-Fi is ok for basic tasks but not enough for all-day work.

I met very nice people in this hostel, and never had any issues with them in the room, I was able to sleep when I wanted.

The only downside of this hostel is that it’s a little far from any BTS station (Bangkok Skytrain), so if you want to get somewhere you have to either walk 40 minutes to the first station, or get a Grab (local Uber).

Coworking space

As I’m working on Gladys Assistant 3 days/week and working 2 days/week as a Software Engineer contractor, I always need to find coworking spaces with proper internet.

I found online that Hubba Coworking space is well known in Bangkok, and tried 2 of their offices: Hubba Siam Discovery and Hubba Silom.

Hubba Siam Discovery was 390 baht/day (11€/day) and Hubba Silom was 290 baht/day (8€/day).

Hubba Siam Discovery was more recent with really good working chair, whereas Hubba Silom had more basic furnitures.

Still, both were great and had amazing internet speed, so I spent most days at Hubba Silom to get the cheapest price.

Hubba Bangkok internet speed

In terms of community, I was amazed to see that both coworking space were… empty!

I was literally the only one working here! It was great to focus, but I felt lonely in those big spaces and I wouldn’t spend a full month there working alone.

Food

People told me that food in Thailand is amazing, and I have to say that it’s true.

I was eating mostly street food, like the famous Pad Thaï for 50 baht (1,40€)

Pad Thai Bangkok

Or a duck soup for 60 baht (1,68€)

Duck soup Bangkok

Or chicken vegetables with Rice for 60 baht:

Chicken Vegetables

My rules when traveling is to eat where locals are eating.

So I try to be in restaurants where I’m the only westerner eating.

That’s the only way to get real local food and real local prices!

To compare with my previous experience in Bali, I would say that food is a little more expensive in Thailand.

In Bali I could easily eat under 1€, but in Thailand it’s just impossible.

You can say “sure, but still it’s super cheap compared to European restaurant”.

It’s true, but the key difference here is that you don’t eat 3 times a day at the restaurant in Europe, you just go to the restaurant once in a while.

Thai people eat way more outside (street food) and as a digital nomad I almost eat 100% outside. I’m not in holiday, this is my daily life!

So compare those prices to the cost of making food at home in Europe. Pad Thai is basically pasta, and I’m sure you can do pasta at the same price at home in Europe. Keep that in mind when comparing!

Night Life

Night Life in Bangkok is really active and you’ll always find people partying at any day of the week.

I would recommended staying not too close from partying area if you want to sleep well (trust me, sound level is one of the loudest level I’ve ever heard), but not too far if you want to go party and come back home by foot.

My hostel was 5 min walk from Koah San Road, so it was perfect to go there after work to eat something outside and meet people.

Massage

How can I talk about Thailand without talking about Thai massage?!

Thai massage is a very specific type of massage without any oil. Like Wikipedia says, “rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked”.

I tried Thai massage in Bangkok and really enjoyed it. I actually went several times for massage in 10 days 😁

In terms of pricing, it’s a little more expensive that Bali (250/300 baht for a one hour massage, that’s 7/8€), but it still really cheap.

Massage prices

The quality of the massage is probably a little better (hard to compare as it’s totally different kind of massage), but as always, it really depends where you’re going for the massage, and who’s the therapist.

Visiting Bangkok

Bangkok city is really beautiful: you have lots of temple to see, and Thai culture is really visible, it’s not just a business center.

Here are a few pictures I took in Bangkok:

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Finally back in Asia after Christmas in France with the family 🎄 This time I’m in Thailand for 2 months. First time here for me 🙂 Can’t wait to learn more about this amazing country!

A post shared by Pierre-Gilles Leymarie (@pierregilles.leymarie) on

Wat Arun Ratchawararam

Wat Arun Ratchawararam

Lots of Buddha!

Buddha

Pollution

Unfortunately this is for me the biggest downside of Bangkok.

When I was there, there was a big pollution spike and air quality was one of the worst in the world.

It was so polluted that the government had to deploy rain-making planes over the city to seed clouds and create a fake rain.

So we were in the middle of the dry season and it was raining in Bangkok!

When you see the traffic in Bangkok, you easily understand where the pollution comes from. When I left Bangkok, pollution was so terrible that they had to close school… Not fun!

To conclude

I loved my stay in Bangkok, I have met a lot of nice people and this was a really good introduction to the Thai culture.

If Bangkok was not that polluted, I would actually love to stay more time in Bangkok.

The city feels safe, the BTS is awesome to move around the city, food is great, and internet is amazing.

This was definitely not my last time in Bangkok 🤙

I’m now staying in Koh Lanta for 1.5 months here. I’ll write an article about it after my stay with my feedback on this island.

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