Retirement in Bangkok
The popular image of Bangkok might suggest Thailand’s lively capital is the last place to seek a tranquil retirement. In reality, although Bangkok provides a lurid backdrop for hitmen and mercenaries in Hollywood thrillers, Thailand’s capital is a modern, well-functioning and exceptionally safe city.
Expats retiring in Bangkok can also achieve a stimulating and relaxed lifestyle without needing a massive income.
One of the key elements to a rewarding Bangkok lifestyle is likely to be the city’s skytrain – a high-tech transport system that has helped the city lose its reputation for pollution and traffic jams. By buying or renting a property near a skytrain station, retirees put the entire city on their doorstep.
Bangkok also has plenty of attractive and reasonably priced places to live – a good supply of villas and a vast number of high-quality condominiums.
For instance, condos near the Sukhumvit Road’s skytrain stations can offer traffic-free, leafy, residential surroundings with inner-city attractions such as lively restaurants and chic boutiques within walking distance.
An example of the upper-end options for retiring in Bangkok is the Le Monaco residences in the ‘old-money’ district of Pathon Yothin – an exclusive neighbourhood typified by palatial villas set amid prairies of manicured lawn.
Residents at Le Monaco residence get a stunning view across their verdant surroundings along with exceptional European-standard facilities. Their sustainable lifestyle comes with solar-powered water heating, health-protecting building materials and sophisticated low-E window insulation.
Listing all the attractions of a Bangkok lifestyle would take a lot of space, but the advantages for retirees include personal security, a welcoming service culture and a wealth of stimulating leisure options.
The reassurance of a choice of world-class healthcare institutions adds to Bangkok’s appeal to expats. The quality of hospitals such as Bumrungrad is apparent in the annual total of 1.2 million foreigners who fly into Thailand for healthcare services.
Bangkok was recently placed 105th in the authoritative Mercer cost-of-living survey, making it one of the world’s most affordable cities, with a cost of living around three-quarters that of New York, which was the survey’s base.
Last year Bangkok was also placed third in the influential global Travel + Leisure survey, in which Bangkok has consistently taken a top-five ranking and snatched the top spot in 2008.
For those planning ahead for retirement, Bangkok opens the possibility of deriving a substantial rental income from a future retirement home.
Last year’s Global Property Guide identified Bangkok as offering an excellent rental return of 7.97% for a 120-square-metre second-hand condo in good condition, which puts the city among the world’s most appealing destinations for real estate investors.
The guide also found that Bangkok offered some of the most affordable condos – ranked by price at 82, at the tailend of the 112 cities surveyed with a cost of $2,238 per square metre.
Why Bangkok is a place to live?
Bangkok is perfect for retirees who seek an active lifestyle. The vibrant capital offers famous attractions, modern infrastructure, cultural amenities, shopping and markets. Bangkok suits people who enjoy an urban lifestyle, even if they want to live in a leafy, residential area.
“Bangkok is a first-world city in terms of comfort, leisure, dining and entertainment venues, with the prices of a third-world city. If you combine these points with the culture of hospitality, Bangkok is the top world city for living.”