If you’re thinking of relocating to Thailand, the first name that springs to mind is inevitably Bangkok, one of the most famous cities on earth and visited by millions every year. But would it be the right choice for you? In this article we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages both Bangkok and Pattaya have for the new to Thailand expat and what they can offer you.

For me personally, the choice is easy. Having lived in Pattaya for many years and being a frequent visitor to Bangkok, the seaside city wins hands down. Let’s go through the reasons why I say this here and it may help you to decide that Pattaya is the place for you. Of course if work or business dictate that Bangkok is the option, then Bangkok it is. But for retirees, families who relocate for work and others, Pattaya has mostly everything Bangkok has and some that it doesn’t, so let’s get started. 

First things first, and the most important difference if you’re buying or renting a property, is what you get for your money. You will find that a property that may be out of reach in the capital will be well within reach in Pattaya, and the choice is wider because of it. It could be a single unit condo or a four bedroom family villa, you will find the price much more to your liking in Pattaya and your budget will go much further. 

If you’re relocating here with children, of equal importance is the standard of education that is available to you and Pattaya has a great choice of International schools, many of which are branches of schools available in Bangkok. Even people that work in Bangkok are deciding to live outside the capital and send their children to these schools, not least because they can at least get the children to school on time and plan the journey in. Something that is very difficult in Bangkok because of the horrendous traffic problems, which is something else you should consider before you live there. 

For bars, restaurants, shopping and general entertainment, Bangkok is the best. You will need to become familiar with the place, which takes time, but the choices are almost unlimited once you know them. That’s not to say that Pattaya is short of options, as it has world class shopping malls of its own, including Terminal 21 and Central Festival and the restaurant scene is alive with hundreds of choices, from the world famous Thai street food to five star hotels serving up world class cuisine. 

Where Pattaya scores heavily is its variety of mainland beaches and the proximity of some beautiful island getaways, including Koh Samet, which is an hours drive and a world away from the hustle and bustle of any city. Koh Larn is the nearest island and you can get a ferry from the local Bali Hai pier at any time and enjoy a delightful day on a beautiful beach there. 

If you’re a golfer, both Bangkok and Pattaya will have plenty of choice for you as far as courses are concerned, but Pattaya has the most variety and by far the best value! There are currently around 30 courses within an hour of the city, including some world class venues. Some quality tournaments are being played in Thailand too now and the chance to see some world class players close up is terrific, with comfortable viewing and excellent value admission prices. The LPGA Honda Classic, played every year at the Siam Country Club springs to mind. 

So, as you can clearly see, I much prefer Pattaya as a place to live and work in. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends who live in Bangkok who absolutely love it, but it’s usually people who have spent a long time there and have finally gotten to know it and all its wrinkles. With Pattaya, because of the light and space and having so much to do, you can get out and about immediately and start to get the benefits of living by the beach. Don’t forget though, research everything. Visas, health insurance, property and anything else that may concern you. The main thing is to do plenty of research yourself and make a clear decision. 

If property is your first concern, the People at Gustaf Real Estate, one of the most highly thought of and reliable agencies in the city, will guide you through the process in a clear and concise way, whether your enquiry is from here or your home country. If you need advice on property, renting or buying, get in touch with them and take advantage of their excellent service.

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