Bangkok Impressions from an Expat Mom

7 February 2016, BKK Kids

We’ve been living in Bangkok for three months now, and from the little experience that I have, I can sum-up the city in one word: vibrant. This city never seems to sleep and I absolutely love it!

Looking back at the time we spent here, these are the four points that I can share about this fabulous city:

1. Everything is so easy

I must say that the language can sometimes be a barrier when it comes to communicating with the locals, but aside from that, the Thai culture is very welcoming and everything is so easy and accessible around here. Shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, bars, and malls are absolutely everywhere. No matter where you live in the city you can find what you need a few steps away from your house.

For a mom, this means keeping my daughter occupied is not a challenge; I just need to sit her in her stroller (on the good days when she is cooperative) and walk her around the block. Depending on the weather, on her mood, and the time available, I vary the locations to give her a different experience each time. Besides, with her curly hair, she gets to be welcomed like a superstar by the locals, which is a great distraction and contributes to keeping her busy for a while!

2. Transportation

In Thailand, they drive on the left side of the road, which means I don’t have my own car yet. However, this doesn’t stop me from being constantly active around the city. Transportation here is very easy to find, it is relatively cheap, and you get to be creative in your choices: public and private taxis, tuk-tuks, motorcycles (for the adventurous passengers) and the sky train, are available around the city. Being late for an appointment in Bangkok can’t be blamed on the lack of transportation, but probably for having too much of it… so much so that the traffic can become stationary.

However, not owning a car comes at a price, as I don’t get to use a car seat for my baby. Most public taxis I’ve encountered don’t have seat belts, and even when available, carrying the bulky seat around can be challenging. As a result, I sit her on my lap and always carry around a large bag full of snacks and toys to keep her distracted.

3. Public parks

What we absolutely love about Thailand is its very wild and abundant nature. We took our daughter to Lumpini Park on many occasions, where she got a chance to feed the birds, fish, and turtles. One time she got to see a couple of “alligators” [monitor lizards]! We also took her to the zoo, where seeing the elephants was a remarkably amazing experience.

4. Activities

Adapting to this new environment was a very pleasant and easy transition for my family. Many expat forums and websites, like BKK Kids, offer great recommendations for things to do around the city, so any newcomer can easily find their way around. Besides, Bangkok is in constant motion: since we moved here, we’ve seen several events such as the midnight marathon, the King’s birthday, Bike for Dad, Christmas festivities, and many more. Every weekend I get to find an exciting event for my daughter to experience, so she (almost) never gets bored!

 

By Ghada Karam, a first-time mom who lives in Bangkok with her husband and her two-year old daughter. She enjoys gossiping about being a mom and about her daughter’s tantrums. She thinks tantrums are great. They spice-up her day. You can follow her latest news on Confidential Mommy Talks, or socialize with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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