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Bangkok is a feast of sights and sounds. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shopping malls, open markets, golf courses, temples, parks and an array of exotic scents all combine to make up the lifestyle in Bangkok. New and established expats will find themselves with plenty to see and do in the Thai capital.
A weekend in Bangkok can fly by in a blur, and whether a foreign resident takes the tourist route through the city's countless side streets or prefers to settle in and sit shoulder to shoulder with the locals, there's never a dull moment.
Shopping in Bangkok
From trinkets found at the city’s famous floating markets to high-end fashion, Bangkok has it all when it comes to shopping. Expats merely have to decide if they are in the mood to trawl street stalls for the perfect bargain, or if they'd prefer the easy access of mega malls which house everything from cinemas to bowling alleys and even the odd aquarium.
For fans of shopping malls, an entire weekend in Bangkok can be spent at Siam Paragon, which is easily accessible by the BTS Sky Train. Other major malls are Iconsiam, CentralWorld and CentralPlaza WestGate.
Those after a more authentic shopping experience can try out Bangkok’s ever-popular open markets. Chatuchak Weekend Market, said to be one of the world’s largest flea markets, provides excellent value for everything unusual and unique that the country has to offer.
Nightlife in Bangkok
Bangkok comes to life at night, and new arrivals eager to spend a weekend in the city will have no trouble finding a variety of vibrant entertainment venues to pop in to. Whether expats want to let their hair down and dance the night away or prefer to sip on cocktails at sophisticated rooftop bars, there's something for everyone in Bangkok. Sukhumvit is popular with expats and tourists alike, while Royal City Avenue tends to be frequented by a more local crowd.
Eating out in Bangkok
Locals in Bangkok are passionate about food. It won't be long before expats begin to understand what food means to the locals and to appreciate the amazing variety in Bangkok. Whether a streetside noodle dish with homemade broth or a local vendor concocting spicy somtam, a plethora of exciting dishes are available, tasty and reasonably priced.
Naturally, at some point, every expat experiences a yearning for different options, or something that tastes like home. Bangkok happily obliges with a whole host of bars and restaurants offering good quality international dining options, but at much higher prices.
Sports and outdoor activities in Bangkok
Dotted around Bangkok are a few green parks which offer residents the chance to enjoy a picnic, paddle around the pond, walk the dog, play with their children, or simply take a break from the rushed pace of city living.
Bangkok is the perfect place to try Muay Thai, a form of Thai boxing. Those wanting to escape the soaring outdoor temperatures will find a number of reputable gyms and yoga studios throughout Bangkok. There are also plenty of great cycling and running routes in and around the city.
Alternatively, those looking for something a bit different always have the option of heading out to a golf course. There are plenty of quality courses situated around Bangkok which offer excellent value for money.
►For information on sightseeing, shopping and nightlife, read our See and Do in Bangkok page.
►For more on entertainment, have a look at What's On in Bangkok.
Are you an expat living in Bangkok?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bangkok. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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