As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is one of Asia’s main urban centres. It is a hub for international business and employment, with a vibrant culture and spectacular scenery – making it one of the most-visited cities in the world.
Bangkok is famed for its rapid growth and industrialisation towards the end of the 20th century, which turned Thailand into one of Southeast Asia’s rising stars. Today, the country’s economy is largely fuelled by its manufacturing, agriculture and tourism industries, and the capital remains a thriving centre of economic activity.
The city is a perfect combination of the modern and the old, with ancient ornate temples only a stone’s-throw away from clusters of glittering skyscrapers. Street food stalls line Bangkok’s bustling expressways and fill the city with flavourful aromas. Tuk-tuks are also a common sight, and a great way to get around.
On the other hand, you might like to transverse Bangkok’s intricate network of canals. Longboats take you on a journey past grand palaces and sacred temples, but can also provide a fascinating insight into local life in the city.
Bangkok is ideally situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in central Thailand, with several other prime locations nearby. Pattaya, one of the country’s entertainment hubs, and the tranquil resort city of Hua Hin, are both around a two-hour drive away. Chiang Mai in the north is well connected by air, and you are able to get an hour’s flight from Bangkok to this historic city, which is home to hundreds of Buddhist temples. Flying is also a great option if you’re travelling to one of the many islands off the coast of Thailand, as it’s often quicker and easier than taking a ferry.
Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) Airport is the main airport in Thailand with a capacity of 76 flight operations per hour. With large numbers of domestic and international flights, it is a great way to get around Thailand, and connects Bangkok to all corners of the globe.
Known as “The Land of Smiles”, Thailand is also considered one of the friendliest places on earth, attracting tourists and ex-pats in huge swathes. Many choose to lay roots in Thailand due to its low cost of living, breathtaking scenery and entirely unique way of life. There are an estimated 3-4 million migrants living in the country as of 2022.
Our experts say
“As one of the world’s most-visited cities, Bangkok is a prime location for investment.
Whilst property prices have grown by more than 50% over the last 10 years, Bangkok’s prime prices per square meter still present opportunity. Currently standing at €7880psm, prime Bangkok is nearly 3 times cheaper than Tokyo, and 5 times cheaper than Hong Kong.
Interestingly, rental values are only half that of Tokyo and three times less than Hong Kong. As a result, prime Bangkok rental yields are much stronger than other capital cities in Asia whilst real estate prices remain attractive.”
– Natasha Wilson, Property Consultant
How to get there
A network of motorways is being gradually implemented throughout Thailand and has been completed in the capital. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) runs public transit buses within the Greater Bangkok area.
Like most capital cities, Bangkok is known for heavy traffic congestion. The roads are considered less safe than in other countries, which is something to take into account when choosing your mode of transport.
The train is one of the most popular ways to travel around Thailand. Both domestic and international trains are available, so you can easily travel between the different parts of Thailand and beyond.
The country has four main train lines (Northern, North-eastern, Southern and Eastern) and three smaller lines (Mae Klong, Namtok Branch and the Airport Rail Link).
Suvarnabhumi Airport connects Bangkok to destinations all over the world and transports millions of passengers every year. You can easily fly to neighbouring countries such as Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia in around an hour.
Several domestic airlines operate within Thailand, and flights are relatively cheap and easy to book. On long-distance routes, such as Bangkok-Phuket or Bangkok-Chiang Mai, fares on low-cost airlines often compare favourably to the price of a bus or train ticket.
If you’re travelling to one of the many islands off the coast of Thailand, then taking the ferry is often the best option. Several different ferry companies operate in Thailand, and you can easily book tickets online or at the port.
If you’re looking for a more unique way to get around, consider taking a ferry to one of the many islands off the coast of Thailand. This is a great way to explore the country’s stunning natural beauty – and can also be a lot of fun.
Thailand has a tropical wet climate with a dry season as well as periods of heavy rainfall. The country experiences year-round high temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. As an urban heat island, the weather in Bangkok can be particularly humid.
February through May is the hottest period of the year. Temperatures often reach 35 degrees Celsius, and the city can get particularly humid during these months.
From May, the wet season begins, with September experiencing the most rainfall. The most agreeable weather occurs during the dry season from November through to February, which also sees cooler temperatures.
Thailand has exploded onto the travel scene in the last 50 years. In the mid-20th century, the country was experiencing a stable political climate and, around the same time, Bangkok found a place at the centre of the air transport revolution. This, combined with spectacular scenery, vibrant culture and affordable living, helped transform Bangkok into the most-visited city in the world (Forbes).
In Mastercard’s last Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkok ranked 1st with a total of 22.78 international visitors. This placed the city above beloved destinations such as Paris, London, Dubai and New York.
Thailand registered an all-time high of almost 4 million visitors in the month of December 2019, according to recent data from CEIC. The country’s tourism sector has been quickly recovering from the pandemic; by August it was already welcoming over a million people per month after reopening to the world in May 2022.
At the beginning of October 2022, Thailand lifted the last of its travel restrictions in line with the end of its nationwide Covid-19 Emergency Decree. The country is also expanding the Suvarnabhumi Airport, adding new aeroplane hanger structures and connection tunnels. Phase 2, which will increase passenger capacity from 45 million to 65 million per year, is due to be completed in 2023. Phase 3 will up passenger capacity further to 85 million.
Thailand and its capital city are well-established travel hotspots and have repeatedly topped tables in tourism over the years. Therefore, Bangkok is a safe bet for holiday rentals, with guaranteed demand and generous returns.
Domestic demand in the condominium market saw an increase of 27.7% QoQ in the first quarter of 2022 (DOT property). Moreover, demand for condo rental properties increased by 20.9% QoQ and nearly 50% YoY. As an increasing number of people return to the capital following the pandemic, buying rental property in Bangkok is becoming an increasingly attractive investment opportunity.
Property in Thailand is extremely affordable compared to other capital cities. In Bangkok, the average house price is around 3.4 million THB. This equates to approximately 80,000 British pounds. To put things into perspective, the average price of a house in London could get you almost six properties in Bangkok.
And it isn’t just real estate that’s cheaper; Thailand is renowned for its low cost of living. According to Numbeo, consumer prices in Bangkok are 36% lower than in London and 33% lower than in Tokyo. This not only boosts its appeal as a holiday destination but also attracts ex-pats in their millions from across the globe.