Relocation and family life in Bangkok

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In this series, we’re getting to know Agodans who have relocated to join us in Thailand and are raising their families here. Read on for adventures, insights, and tips on embracing family life in the Land of Smiles.

Corinna Comerci

Director of Operations, Global Accounts
Relocated from Paris, France, with my husband, and our sons Leonardo and Valentino were born here in 2017 and 2021
Originally from Rome, Italy
Lived in Thailand for 9 years

Why Thailand?
My husband and I arrived here in May 2015. We enjoyed our life in Bangkok so much that we decided to build our family here. Thai people are naturally kind and welcoming. Even when language is a barrier, they will often go above and beyond to help. We didn’t expect that level of kindness! We also love that our children are exposed to such a dynamic and multicultural environment by living here.

What I like the most about Bangkok is that I can afford to focus on my career and motherhood at the same time. Here, we can easily afford to have extra help at home, so I haven’t had to compromise either my job or my family. For me, that is priceless.

Helpful resources
When we moved, the Relocation team helped with all the basics like opening a bank account, getting in touch with agents to find an apartment, and getting a credit card. At that time, the team had just initiated the Agoda+1 pilot project to create a community of spouses and build a community of Agoda families beyond the office. My husband was part of the pilot project, and he continues to join events when he can. Agoda+1 is still flourishing today! Our company understands that family is a crucial part of life, and that facilitating the whole family’s transition to a new country is key to employees’ success and performance.

Family life and wellbeing
Bangkok has excellent healthcare and education. Young families like ours need to go to the clinic often, and Agoda offers international health insurance that has very good coverage. Of course, international schools here are pricey compared to the free education in the EU, but there is a range of curricula, activities, and fees to choose from. Our children love their school and getting to experience different cultures there.

Our family loves being outside, whether it’s at the pool, the playground, or the park. We also travel at any opportunity! My six-year-old has already taken 56 flights since he was born. We’ve gone to Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Laos, and the Maldives. Bangkok is a great hub for traveling in Asia as you can reach so many destinations in under 5 hours.

Overcoming challenges
I think moving to any country will test your adaptability, resilience, and flexibility. We were fortunate to be warmly welcomed by everyone here, but we had to remember that we are guests in a foreign country, and that tolerance and humility are essential to understanding a new culture.

The biggest challenge I faced was learning Thai people will often say ‘yes’ to be polite, when they really mean ‘no’ or ‘maybe’. I’ve since learned to change the way I communicate and ask questions to reach a better understanding.

Advice on moving to Thailand

There is a big expat community in Bangkok, and I often use social media to exchange tips and get practical recommendations from other expat families. For Agoda spouses, I would recommend connecting with the Agoda+1 community to meet new people and make friends. Finally, I wish I had brought my cooking utensils and baking dishes with me. I told myself I could re-buy them here, but it was surprisingly hard to find what I needed here. Lesson learnt!

Nitisha Soni

Engineering Manager, IT  
Relocated from Bangalore, India, with my husband and our baby Kabir, who was 19 months old 
Lived in Thailand for 4 months  

Why Bangkok?
Honestly, I was hesitant about joining Agoda, as relocating from India to Thailand was extremely daunting. However, the professionalism and warmth I encountered during my on-site interviews left a lasting impression and instilled confidence that this move would benefit my career and our family life.

Of course, one of our biggest worries was our 16-month-old adapting to a new environment. But as soon as we settled in, our fears quickly dissolved. Bangkok has proven to be an incredibly family-friendly city with an excellent, vibrant expat community. Our child has adjusted beautifully, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.

Overcoming challenges
Moving to Bangkok with our family presented a few challenges, especially as vegetarians. Initially, finding a variety of food options that suited our dietary preferences was difficult. Another hurdle was the availability of maids or cooks who could prepare vegetarian meals easily.

To overcome this, my partner and I took matters into our own hands. We started cooking together, which turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience. It allowed us to control what we eat and brought us closer as a family.

Helpful resources
The relocation process with Agoda was so welcoming and efficient! They supported us through the visa process, handled the door-to-door delivery of our house items, and assisted us in finding temporary accommodation and a permanent home in Bangkok.

Agoda also helped us contact nanny services. This proactive approach meant that we had already finalized arrangements with two nannies by the time we landed in Thailand, which was a huge relief. What could have been a complex move was totally streamlined, making it far simpler than we anticipated.

Lifestyle and wellbeing
In our free time, we often explore hidden gems around the city, and there’s always something exciting to do. We took an incredible trip to Vietnam recently, which was great for the whole family.

We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the warmth and friendliness of the Thai people, who have made us feel at home from day one. Since we had to be away from family during Holi, a colorful festival in India celebrated with water and colors, we thought we might miss out on the joy this year. Little did we know what was in store for us! One of the most delightful surprises was experiencing the Songkran festival. We were amazed by the joyous atmosphere as people celebrated with water splashing and festive activities.

Advice on moving to Thailand
If you’re ready for an adventure, take a leap and come to Thailand. Let Agoda handle the rest—they’ve got you covered. You’ll be amazed by the genuine hospitality of the Thai people, who make you feel at home wherever your journey takes you.

Richard Tsai  

Engineering Manager, IT 
Relocated from Taiwan with my wife and our daughter, Niu Niu, who was two at the time, but our son Perry didn’t relocate with us as he was preparing to start university
Lived in Bangkok for seven years and eight months

 

Why Thailand?
My wife and I wanted to leave our comfort zone and try living in another country. I hadn’t lived abroad before, but she had studied in Canada for a few years. We’d both been to Thailand before, but my onsite interview was the first time we visited Bangkok. During the trip, we quickly understood why it’s known as ‘the Land of Smiles.’ The warmth of the Thai people and the richness of their culture left a profound impression on us. We were convinced this vibrant metropolis would be an ideal place to establish our home and nurture our young child.

Thai people are known to be friendly, but they’re especially kind to children. Every time we took the BTS Skytrain while my daughter was still little, Thai people would smile at her and give her a seat. When it was just my wife traveling around with our daughter, there was always someone to help her carry the baby stroller.   

Thai culture teaches kids to respect parents and teachers, much like we do in Taiwan. Thai schools also have rituals like ‘wai khru,’ where students express gratitude to their teachers, and similar traditions on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day as well. We appreciate that these traditional virtues are preserved well in Thai culture, even at international schools.  

Overcoming challenges
Before we relocated, we expected many challenges. Our main concern was education. How would our child adapt to this new environment if she only speaks Mandarin? Would she like it here? If we moved back to Taiwan someday, could she continue her education because the curriculums are so different? Where could she learn Mandarin, especially the reading and writing of traditional Chinese?

We don’t worry about these things now as we’ve settled in. Our daughter adapted to the new environment much faster than we expected. She’s naturally building a global mindset and respect for different cultures at her international school. We found a weekly class for her to keep up with her traditional Chinese studies, and on our recent trip back to Taiwan, she was pleased to see that she could read very well.

Helpful resources

Agoda provided wonderful support for our relocation process, including the visa process, moving, flights, and temporary accommodation. The team perfectly organized everything so our family could focus on other things. Agoda also invited my wife to join the Agoda+1 community and meet other spouses and partners of Agoda employees. She quickly met some good friends through their social events.

Lifestyle and wellbeing
We found that Thailand is a perfect match for our family’s lifestyle. We love exploring new places. Besides Bangkok, we also go somewhere outside the city at least once a month, like Phi Ta Khon Festival in Loei, Koh Lipe, Koh Surin, Similan, and Mon Bridge in Sangkhlaburi. In addition to exploring Thailand, we’ve also traveled to Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

We’re a very active family and enjoy the wide variety of sports available in Bangkok. My wife loves dancing and was a part-time Samba dancer in Taiwan. Now, she’s passionate about Zumba and has become an instructor in Bangkok. My daughter joined her school’s swimming squad and gymnastics team, and we attend all her competitions. I like running, swimming, and strength training. As a family, we had a lot of fun training and competing in the Spartan races in Phuket and Pattaya.

Advice on moving to Thailand
Take the time to consider each family member’s lifestyle. Will they be able to continue doing what they like or find other things they enjoy?

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