‘I made it’: Five Agodans’ stories of building a life in Bangkok

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Bangkok is home to Agoda’s biggest office, where we bring together smart, passionate people with a shared goal of bridging the world through travel. We’re committed to finding the best people for the job, which means our talent comes from across the globe, with many Agodans relocating to join our team in Thailand. It’s not easy to take the leap and move somewhere new, but it’s well worth it. We spoke with five Agoda employees who each shared their ‘I made it’ moments of settling into life in Bangkok

Collecting 7-Eleven stamps to redeem Minions merch

Gabi Norkaityte
Talent Acquisition Partner
Moved from London, England
Lived in Bangkok for over a year

Aside from adopting the Thai habit of keeping my AC blasting at home while curled up in a warm blanket? My ‘I made it’ moment was when 7-Eleven had a promotion where you could collect the stamps they give with your purchases and exchange them for Minions merch. I spent two months collecting stamps and asking everyone I knew if they could share their stamps with me so that I could redeem them for a free mug. My Thai friends are still laughing and telling me this is the most local thing to do!

Advice for others who are moving to Bangkok:
Say yes. Keep an open mind!

Finding a community and going to dream concerts

Rendi Dengah
Strategic Partnership Coordinator
Moved from Jakarta, Indonesia
Lived in Bangkok for two years

As someone who’s always been passionate about social justice, I’m proud to work for a company that values the contributions of its employees beyond their identities. After I joined Agoda, I was thrilled to discover the Agoda Pride Employee Resource Group, a community that aims to support LGBTQIA+ Agodans and foster a culture of equality, where I found myself standing among a diverse group of colleagues and witnessing the impact of our collective efforts. I became a part of the community and had the honor of being chosen as an ERG lead to help shape our initiatives. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity, as it’s long been one of my life goals to amplify LGBTQIA+ voices and help people feel accepted. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I’ve also had the opportunity to see my all-time favorite K-pop group, BLACKPINK, perform in Bangkok not once but twice! It’s almost unbelievable to think about everything I might have missed out on if I hadn’t moved to Thailand.

Advice for others who are moving to Bangkok:
Always remember that everyone’s experience is unique, and adapting to a new country takes time. Enjoy the process of exploration and growth, and don’t hesitate to seek support from local communities or fellow expats when needed!

Giving my friends a tour of Bangkok

James Lau
Senior Strategic Account Manager
Moved from Vancouver, Canada, but I’m originally from Malaysia
Lived in Bangkok for two years

My ‘I made it’ moment was when my friends came to visit me in Bangkok and I was able to host them and take them around myself: ordering food for them, having conversations with our taxi drivers, and even bargaining for them at night markets. This was about one year into my time in Bangkok. At the time, I was learning Thai through Agoda’s language program, and I’ve continued to study it on my own. 

Advice for others who are moving to Bangkok:
Try to immerse yourself in Thai culture by learning the language. My experience of Thailand really changed in a highly positive way when I started to be able to converse with locals. It enabled me to build a strong network of friends and experience the city in a completely new way, beyond how a typical expat or tourist would. As they say: “If you talk to someone in a language they understand, that goes to the head. If you talk to them in their language, that goes to the heart.”

My local coffee shop knew my order right away

Shamani Krishnan
Associate Global PR Manager
Moved from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lived in Bangkok for just shy of a year

My ‘I made it’ moment was when I realized I’d reached the status of a regular at Sarnies, one of my favorite coffee shops. As soon as I walked in, the barista instantly knew my order, and I got the coffee before I could even go up to the counter to tell them what I wanted!

Advice for others who are moving to Bangkok:
Keep an open mind and say yes to things. Those experiences might surprise you, and they could even become part of your routine or favorite things to do in Bangkok.


Finding a dream apartment and chatting with locals in Thai

Til Emmerichs
PPC Analyst
Moved from Bonn, Germany
Lived in Bangkok for over a year

When I was little, I dreamed of having a city apartment with a skyline view, and at the same time, every summer (which lasts about two weeks in Germany!) I dreamed of having a pool when I grew up. I was aware that you usually can’t have both of those things at the same time, but I ignored that fact. However, when I started at Agoda, I moved into an apartment on the 32nd floor with a fantastic view and a community pool where I now swim every morning. When I moved in, I couldn’t believe that things had turned out this way, that this would be my home from now on, and that I had achieved my naive 12-year-old self’s dreams.

My other ‘I made it’ moment was when I started learning Thai and made quite some progress. Agoda offers a Thai course, which helped me a lot, and I used my Agoda Choice allowance to take an additional Thai course. Now, I can chat with taxi drivers and shop sellers, read some Thai menus, and communicate with Thais who aren’t comfortable with English.

Advice for others who are moving to Bangkok:
First, try to learn Thai. Secondly, don’t be afraid of the unknown and things that are different from your home country. Embrace the differences and get out of your comfort zone. You will not only get to know another way of life and explore new passions, but you will also get to know yourself better.

Join our team and start your journey in Bangkok. We’re hiring!

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