The Expat Interview: Kristyna in Bangkok

1. Where are you from? I’m from a small town in Czech Republic.

2. How long have you been living in Bangkok? Over 5 years.

3. Why Bangkok?
I didn’t choose to live in Bangkok at first. I moved to a seaside party town in Thailand, where I lived for a year and I had enough of that kind of a lifestyle. Bangkok was the only option where I can realistically move at that time. And luckily it was love at first site.
4. What are the top 3 things you love about the city
Mainly I love how the city looks. The contrast between the modern luxury skyscrapers which are right next to the old traditional wooden houses is something which will never stop to amaze me.
The food! My favourite cuisine is Thai. And the best Thai food is definitely in Bangkok. We get the most amazing northern and southern Thai dishes in Bangkok. Plus we possibly have a restaurant for every world cuisine in here since Bangkok is very international city.
And I love the weather! All year long the temperature is day and night still around 30°C. There is 6 months of pure blue sky and 6 months when we have hour or two of rain a day. But otherwise it is still boiling hot. This is the perfect climate for me.KR2
5. Is there something that shocked you about the local lifestyle when you first moved?
I was quite shocked to see that many kids from poorer families are growing up with their grandparents far from their parents. Some of them see their parents once a year (if that). And that is considered as something quite normal.
But on the other side the sense of community and how are people helping each other on daily basis was very nice culture shock for me.
6. What is the best thing about being an expat in Bangkok?
That there is a place for everyone. If you want to live on 300 USD or 30 000 USD budget per month, this city cater for everybody. You can find yourself a modern apartment or house in jungle like area and you will still be close to public transport which will take you to your office in 30-40 minutes.
Bangkok is very relaxed place and (unless you are going to a temple) you are free to dress as you like. You can have a crazy haircut and carry a teddy bear instead of a handbag and nobody will care.
7. How did you make friends at first?
Mainly through facebook expat groups and from our appartment building. And surprisingly few friends came from Instagram as well.
8. Which is the best neighbourhood to live in?
I love Sathorn because there is many great places to live, lots of street food, the best European breakfast places, local markets and funky bars. We have a huge park here and sky train stop too. So for me I get the best of all in this neighbourhood.
But what I love the most about this area is, that the foreigners here are expats – not so much tourists. I have nothing against tourists, but I don’t enjoy to be viewed like one on everyday basis. In Sathorn I don’t
have massage girls screaming special offers at me as soon as I exit our home. I don’t get offered Tuk Tuk every 3 seconds and I don’t have to explain why I don’t want to buy tickets for a show where girl pops out ping pong balls from her private parts all day long.
Sathorn is more friendly for expats than other places in my opinion and definitely nice for families too.
9. One nice place only the locals know about?
Well, if I know about that place, than it won’t be 100% local! But one interesting place where I saw no foreigners was at Bang Poo. You can visit a pier where are hundreds of seagulls desperately trying to take pork scratchings from your hand. It is terrifying and incredible all together.
Also you can watch walking fish (Mudskippers) fighting vigorously with each other under the pier. Highly recommended!k1-e1539668778626.jpg

10. How do you usually spend your weekends in Bangkok?
We like to take our bicycle and ride for brunch somewhere, do bit of shopping and have a drink by the pool. But since we got our motorbike we are exploring more places outside of Bangkok on the weekends. And when we are not too lazy we like to do waterskiing at the TE Wake N Ski.
11. What do you miss about Bangkok when you are away?
I always miss the heat! Because all of the other places I have been so far were always bit chilly at least at night. I just like to wear clothes because I like how they look, not because I need to keep warm!
12. Would you recommend Bangkok as a destination for expats?
Yes and no. I think it is great place for couples, young girls or single guys.
I personally think that there are possibly better places to raise a child than Bangkok. This city is not ready for prams. And if your are an ultra careful parent, you can find it difficult when buying groceries, because the testing is not up to European standards in here.
Some western girls are having a hard time looking for love in Bangkok, because many of them don’t want a man who lived here too long and went through all the stereotypes.
I didn’t experience parenthood or being single in Bangkok. This city was always very good to me. There is so many young successful entrepreneurs, who would probably not make it so easily in the saturated western market, but they managed it in Bangkok.
So if you are looking for cheerful and affordable fun place in Asia, I would definitely recommend Bangkok over any other place! (…in my very biased opinion)

Follow Krystina’s adventures on Instagram and stay tuned for next week’s interview with Dani from Singapore.

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