For those who don’t already know, I’ve relocated to Bangkok for about a month or so now. I’ll be here for a year to assist with our company’s expansion into Thailand.
I’ve been pretty silent about my personal life these few months. I think I used to write to make sense of situations I couldn’t understand – but I think I’ve got it all under control now. In a sense that I know what I want, what I will take, and what I will not. With age, you kind of want stability and writing about things tend to encourage drama – which is something I would pay a million bucks to stay away from right now.
Reason why I chose to come here was because I’ve been considering to move out for over a year now and I wanted a new environment. It wasn’t cos I was trying to ‘experience’ living alone – but I just felt like I wanted a lot of alone time. In terms of freedom, I do have it in Singapore to do whatever I like but it’s just different when you have your own home. I live in a studio now and the small space is just nice for me to clean up on my own.
Thai food, as everyone knows it, is amazing
Life in Bangkok has been pretty amazing so far. I love the people, food and culture. It is very easy for Singaporeans to live lives here because it’s so similar. Food choices aren’t a world of difference; cost of living is lower. And it may surprise you that things here are quite convenient – for instance you can pay your bills through mobile and the Truemove (mobile service provider) actually communicated with me and arranged a set-up at my condo all through LINE. It’s pretty amazing. The only downside is that I gave all the Thai I’ve learnt back to school – so I struggle with communication but there’s still quite a fair bit of people who speak English. With Google translate, it can’t go wrong. My favourite food has got to be stewed pork leg rice and you have to spam raw garlic with it – it’s amazing. I had it everyday when I first moved here but I haven’t had it in 2 weeks because of how unhealthy it is (lol). It’s so difficult to find healthy food here so most of the time I eat Viet.
Living alone = Adulting is REAL
Moving here made me gain a few insights. I guess it’s also all about timing. Living alone certainly isn’t easy. Adulting is fking real guys. It’s not just a damn hashtag. Day after day, you begin to discover the little things your parents did for you. Simple things like washing your clothes – the lint here is crazy and I have to clean the washing machine just to make sure my clothes turn out fine. I mean, sure – you can spend a little money to get help with all these but it also includes arranging and scheduling all these stuff which can be quite annoying especially if you don’t speak their native language.
So I have been getting rashes (recently diagnosed to be atopic eczema but doc didnt seem sure either) just before I moved here. The first ones faded away but when I came back to Bangkok, my apartment was dusty as I left it empty over the weekend that I got hives and it turned into rashes again which, this time, spread all over my body. It’s worse than before. I had to make extra effort to ensure my apartment is clean. So I’ve spent a significant amount of money cleaning, buying equipment and also time spent to clean. I vacuum everything every single day without fail.
Well when it comes to food – thankfully, Grab is also here and there are some menu in English so all’s good. I can order online on Tesco as well for groceries and 7-11 is just a 2 minute walk away. One of the most important criteria I had when choosing my place here was making sure that there’s a convenience store less than 3 min walk away and it must not be across the road. You know the traffic here!
Choosing apartment: Convenience is key
I remember visiting one of the condos during my first few trips and the agent then was telling me that the nearest store was 5 minutes away (looked 10min btw) as it’s across the road and I’d have to go further down the corner of the junction. I told her immediately that it was too far away and she scoffed at my response – must be thinking how sheltered I am (city kid). BUT now, I know I made the right decision choosing my current place due to how convenient and safe it is. Security here is so tight. Also, I don’t take the BTS/MRT as my work place is just a 5 min grab ride away down the road.
Initially this wasn’t something I paid attention to but after living here, I realised how important it is that it’s walking distance to a particular (popular) mall here in Bangkok. You get so sick of the traffic and jam that sometimes you don’t wanna take the grab car or bike. So what I do is I walk over on weekends to get my necessities or food. If I chose any other condos I viewed, I wouldn’t have the luxury to do this. In hindsight, although it’s much pricier here, Coco chose well.
In the past, I always thought I just didn’t have friends etc. which is why I tend to be alone doing things. However, living alone made me realise that I actually do love being alone. I actually choose to do all these myself and I never get bored staying at home alone over the weekends. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I love love love it.
First off, let me declare that I am SO scared of insects. But a friend who was in town, decided to make a reservation at this new restaurant called Insects in the Backyard (located in Changchui – a beautiful hipster place and best part – it’s NOT CROWDED). It’s kind of like fine dining but with insects. I don’t know why I agreed to it but I did it anyway.
We decided on sharing one tasting menu and I am so glad I insisted for that to happen because I didn’t eat much. I tried everything but they mostly featured silkworms, crickets, ants, giant water beetle and grasshoppers. GRASSHOPPERS WERE HUGE and they did not look dead. I ate it anyway as you can see from the below gram. Silk worms, interestingly, tasted very much like oats. It was quite a pungent taste – it was still there the next day lol. We had Tomyum gins and it was sooo good.
One interesting fact is that ever since I’ve eaten them, I’m a lot less scared of insects now. The very next day I caught a beetle in the room and I wasnt freaking out about it.
But will I eat them again? Never. But the food is pretty good btw.
If you’re weird like us and want to eat them insects, visit their Instagram here. I don’t think you can DM to reserve, I’m not sure as my friend did it lol.
I don’t miss Singapore
Honestly, I don’t miss anything in Singapore. You could say I seem lonely here, but it’s not much of a difference back there. All I did was party on the weekends in Sg but I actually don’t drink much at all in Bangkok. I spend my weekends cleaning and just listening to music, doing my chores or work. I actually prefer my lifestyle here – I’m a lot more in control and disciplined right here.
In terms of safety, I think Bangkok could possibly be one of the safest SEA cities a Singaporean woman can move to. The grab drivers and bikers have been super nice, friendly and helpful. People in general are really well mannered and helpful. No cases of scam (yet) – although there was one particular incident a 7-11 staff kept some of my purchased items while I wasn’t looking. But I went back (angrily) with the receipt (after I google translated to make sure items were charged) and he surrendered the items automatically.
I’ve also met a taxi driver who told me he’s surprised I moved to work alone here as there’re a lot more men who move here due to what Bangkok is kind of known to offer. But I think beyond the facades of entertainment, there is so much more to this city – and I hope I’ll move my lazy ass around to visit them and share with you.
Another thing I wanted to highlight is how much more affordable Grab rides here are- an hour’s trip from airport to town could be around 350 baht (ard S$20) but a typical ride 20min away never exceeds 160 baht (S$7+). Whenever I get back to Sg, I’m not used to the rates!
Popular questions I’ve received
Some people have asked me questions on IG, Fb etc.. I’ll share the answers here.
Q: How did you find this job in Bangkok?
I’m still under the same company as I have been for the last 2 years (well, almost) – a blockchain advisory and investment firm. We’re in most SEA countries but Bangkok. We had an opportunity and time was just nice, so we took it. I volunteered to move when the boss asked. So nope, I didn’t look for this job online or anything. I don’t need a visa either as I’m still engaged under Sg’s company and I fly back and forth – besides logistical and administrative reasons, the team is HQed in Sg and I would still have to go back for meetings yada yada.
Q: What about immigration?
I’ve applied for APEC card but it’s still being processed. Typically, as stated on the site, it takes around 3 months. However I do realise that for the timings I come and go, immigration is usually smooth and cleared within 20-30 mins, if not within 10. It really depends. But I’m not hating the wait time yet so all’s good.
Q: Any places to recommend?
Unfortunately no, I haven’t travelled around at all. I’ve been busy adulting. In fact I could use some local recommendations. Please don’t send me touristy places 😦
Q: Have you met any new friends?
Eh, I made one new friend from Tinder when I first arrived. I swiped a little and met up with one person after many failed attempts (work, rashes etc..). But I’m off tinder now so nope, I’m not meeting new people. Okay I guess WeWork employees count since we’re based there. They’re really nice! Oh and of course my agent and 1 colleague, hahaha. I’ve met a few Singaporean friends here when they came. I guess one good thing is that there are so many Singaporeans who work, or travel, here so it still feels so familiar. Every time I go to the mall, there will be Singaporeans – I mean you just know when they speak.
Q: Are you learning Thai?
Nope I am not. I learnt it in uni before but I’ve forgotten. I need to read my notes again.
Q: Dating scene in Thailand?
I think the competition here is fierce. The ladies are so beautiful – and the men here are so good looking too on Tinder. It’s so much easier to get matches in Singapore I swear. But then again if you’re a Singaporean man, apparently, you’re ranked number 1 (according to my taxi driver) amongst Thai women. Reason being Singaporean men provide and treat them well. The worst being Koreans lol. Not my words! If you’re a Singaporean woman like me, I guess your only selling point, as my friends say, you’re from the city and you speak English lol (which is not much, evidently).
Well, I’ve had a few bad days here so far but I am thankful for all the support I’ve been given by a particular someone for the last two months. It’s amazing that you never know what you needed until you’ve had it. Conversely, you never know what’s important to you until you’ve lost it. People say these so much but one can never relate until it has happened. If you’re considering to move to Bangkok, I would recommend it.