To experience what Bangkok has to offer, you need to spend some time here. Your first impressions may be that Bangkok is a huge, sprawling city with a few major tourist attractions, a lot of bars, and a decent food scene. As you stay longer, though, your perception of Bangkok will likely change. You’ll appreciate the ease of obtaining a long-stay retirement visa and the low cost of living. You’ll find that relatively cheap rent, bargain street food, and inexpensive transportation are definite benefits to living here. If you don’t mind living simply, you can get by on a monthly budget of well under US$1,000 per month. If you can manage a budget of US$3,000 per month, you’ll be living like royalty.
Medical care in Bangkok is outstanding. Internationally accredited hospitals and clinics provide top-notch care at prices that are a fraction of the cost of Western health care. Year-round warm weather, dozens of golf courses, and easy access to some of the nicest beaches in Thailand provide further incentives for retirees.
A recently constructed, state-of-the-art public transportation system has made it much easier to get around. There are now plenty of five-star hotels and restaurants that provide top-end luxury. Art galleries, philharmonic orchestras, and luxury spas offer upscale entertainment, though there is still plenty of the grit that made the city so popular with GIs back in the 1960s. Bangkok is a city that has something for everybody, which explains why more expatriates live here than in any other city in Southeast Asia.