Bangkok rated 4th best by expats in Southeast Asia

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Smog covers Bangkok, as seen from a room in the Parliament Building on Dec 10, 2020. The high air pollution in the Thai capital is one downside mentioned by expats in this year’s global survey. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Bangkok rated 4th best by expats in Southeast Asia

Thai capital living moves up in global survey

Bangkok was rated behind Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City as the best place for expatriates to live in Southeast Asia in a global survey released on Wednesday.

Expat City Ranking 2021 by InterNations showed the Thai capital was ranked 11th globally out of 57 cities rated by expats. It was a big jump from last year’s survey, which put Bangkok at 30th out of 66 cities.

Expats living in Thailand were impressed with the low cost of living and affordable housing and friendly local people, among other things, according to the survey.

But the quality of urban living and lack of career opportunities on offer for them were rated as unfavourable factors.

“There is a great range of supermarkets, with options that cover all budgets,” the survey cited a British expat as saying in the report.

“Pollution and environmental concerns and so much plastic waste” were among the problems identified by a US expat in the survey.

The survey by InterNations, which has 4 million members in 420 cities, this year asked 12,420 expats in 57 chosen cities to rate their place of residence.

In Southeast Asia, Bangkok was rated fourth, behind Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City. The Malaysian capital dethroned Singapore as the top choice in the region.

In fact, Kuala Lumpur was rated best city in the world this year. Expats said they felt at home living there and they mentioned the friendliness towards foreign residents among their top impressions, according to the survey.

Other Asian cities favoured by expats were Shanghai, at 13th globally, and Tokyo at 53rd.