Should Single Men Live In Bangkok Or Manila?
Should single men live in Bangkok or Manila is definitely not an easy question to answer. We all have different wants and needs out of life, but we will do our best to compare them as well as we can.
There are many important questions you need to ask yourself before you make the move. What sort of budget are you working with? In the end both cities will actually cost most guys roughly the same amount of money, the money will just be divvied up into different expenses in one than the other.
Since this is GuysNightlife a lot of this comparing Bangkok and Manila for single foreign men post will revolve around hooking up with girls in both cities. These are two of the mongering capitals of the world, but you can also hook up with women who aren’t bar girls with relative ease in either.
By the end of this we hope you have a clearer picture that can help you make a more educated decision on which city to choose. We will start off by giving a quick break down of each city, and then get more into the girl scene and what single men can look forward to in both Bangkok and Manila.
However we do strongly advise to not only take our opinion or any other websites opinion if you are thinking about moving to Southeast Asia. That is a major life decision, and when you can fly from one of these cities to the other on Cebu Pacific or Air Asia for such a cheap cost you might as well check them both out on your own before settling down.
Before we get into the comparing living in either lets just do a quick general city comparison first which will help explain things later on.
General City Comparison
These are two of the bigger cities in the world, and Manila is actually the most densely populated city on the planet. It also definitely feels that way, not that Bangkok feels like a small town by any means but the streets and sidewalks don’t feel quite as crowded.
The Philippines in general is a bit dirtier and more rough around the edges then what you find in Thailand and that comes through in the capitals as well. Thailand has a much more modern feel to it and overall has a much better infrastructure to it.
The main way that this can be felt for foreign men visiting either city is in the public transportation. If you are visiting Bangkok you want to stay on Sukhumvit so you can use the very easy and convenient BTS Line.
While you can also use the MRT in Manila it doesn’t go through Makati which is the main area of town most foreigners stay. Overall the ease of the BTS is one of the more critical parts of this entire post, being able to use a sky train can save you lots of time sitting in taxis.
Another big win comes with the fact that most people will like Thai food more than Filipino food. We all have different tastes, but Thai food is famous worldwide and you aren’t likely to find pork adobo at many restaurants outside of the Phils.
Internet is more reliable in Thailand, particularly mobile data. This is very important for any digital nomads reading this, but if you are living in either long term and can get internet installed in your room you will be fine in either.
Safety generally isn’t a big concern in either city, though Manila was always a bit rougher. Now with the recent turmoil going on with cops being legally allowed to shoot anyone who uses drugs it has scared many expats away, but if you mind your business you are unlikely to be harmed in either place.
As far as money and your budget goes around 5 years ago you got roughly 30 Thai baht and 40 Philippine peso per every $1 USD. Exchange rates can change the baht got as high as 35 per dollar but it is back down to 32 currently.
However the peso has stayed weak and now you get over 50 per dollar. This means you get a lot better value now than you did a handful of years back, but as we mentioned before your cost of living or visiting will probably be pretty similar in both.
As we move along through the next sections we will talk about the different prices for things in both Bangkok and Manila so that you can figure out which one is more likely to cost more for you based on your habits. One key factor in the favor of Manila is that English is much more widely spoken and understood there.
Most foreign men reading this aren’t going to want to put in the time to learn a new language and while you can get by with only English in Bangkok it puts you at a bit of a disadvantage. In the Philippines most people speak enough English that it really isn’t necessary to learn the local language.
However if you do invest the time to learn either of the languages that will definitely help you with the girls in either. Speaking of the girls lets talk about them a bit more.
Thai Girls vs Filipina Girls
Just as food tastes can differ so can tastes in women. There are pictures of both girls all over this site, and we even did a post on the hottest Filipina Instagram models but haven’t gotten around to the Thais yet.
A simple Google image search will of course lead you to thousands of pictures of both. If the main goal when moving to Bangkok or Manila is to hook up a lot then try to choose the city with the girls you find most attractive.
We aren’t going to compare physical appearance, but we will compare them personality wise. The fact that Filipinas speak better English makes it a lot easier to meet and date them.
You can pretty much chat a girl in Manila up any time, they are very friendly and approachable plus most have a big time interest in foreign men. In Bangkok some also do, but it isn’t quite on the same level plus less of them speak English.
Day game is still quite easy in Thailand, but we are comparing it to what is probably the best place for day game anywhere in the world. One draw back to the Filipinas is that they are very flaky and lazy, getting their number is easy, getting them to actually meet up with you is another story.
When a single guy hops on Filipino Cupid or Pina Love they can get hundreds of numbers from cute girls in a day. In Bangkok you can use Thai Friendly or Thai Cupid to get some numbers, but not on the same level.
However the Thai girls are less flaky and more likely to actually meet up. Filipina girls are going to be a bit easier to hook up with, they are more likely to come back to your apartment on the first date, and more of them will accept the invitation to have the first date at your place.
Manila girls are also less materialistic and will care less about your age or appearance. The Thais will care more about how you are dressed, if you own the newest iPhone, and if you take them to a nice restaurant.
All of the above is speaking in general terms, as we all know you can’t just put a full race of people into one mold. It is still easy for a single guy to hook up with lots of Thai girls, he will just need to put in a bit more effort to do so.
And of course there are many hookers in both, so whether you want to pick up non pro girls or monger you will be getting laid as much as you want.
Cost Of Living In Bangkok
We covered this before but if a single guy wants to live in Bangkok the best thing he can do is a get an apartment on Sukhumvit that runs along the BTS line. That way he can move around the city easily and girls can come meet him cheaply and easily as well.
The main tourist and sexpat area of town is down on lower Sukhumvit between Soi 4 and Soi 30ish, and this is where most guys stay. If you plan to hit up the red light districts then definitely be as close to here as possible, if not then you don’t really need to be in that area.
You can get a nice apartment in this area of town for around 12k-16k baht, lets call it $400-$500. If you don’t mind living outside of the city center, like in On Nut perhaps, you can find places in the $200-$300 range pretty easily.
One of the main advantages Bangkok has over Manila is the value you get in accommodation. Not only will you be paying less money for your room but it will likely be a lot nicer and more modern than what you find in Manila.
You can eat cheaply here if you eat most of your meals at the local Thai restaurants. Western restaurants are more expensive here on average than in Manila, and most guys probably will spend more on food here unless they eat lots of Thai food.
The visa isn’t easy and from what we have heard it is getting quite a bit harder. Some guys have even been getting refused entry into Thailand, and if you do stay here you need to make visa runs every few months.
Even the normal monthly extension is a pain in the ass because the immigration office is located far away outside of the city. When it comes to nightlife there is everything imaginable here, we all know about the mongering but the non pro nightlife will be more expensive here than Manila.
Most clubs have entry fees and more expensive drinks. It is also harder to pull a girl from a club here unless you are talking to a hooker.
Thai Friendly can help you get laid for free. While cost of living expenses can vary from person to person the cost of living in Bangkok can start at around $800-$900 in a nice apartment and while eating good food. Of course the sky is the limit depending on how much you want to indulge in the nightlife, but a bare bones budget for a comfortable life could start there.
Cost Of Living In Manila
Most foreign men will feel a lot more comfortable in certain areas when they first move to Manila. Makati and The Fort are the two main places most stay, and they also are the most expensive.
Expect to spend anywhere from 20k-40k pesos for an apartment, which is in the $400-$800 range. Somewhere like Gramercy or Knightsbridge are in a pretty good area and are both nice and modern, finding a room for $600 in either isn’t too hard.
As mentioned before Thailand really beats the Philippines when it comes to value on accommodation. The local food here isn’t near as good either and most foreign men won’t be comfortable eating the street food.
It isn’t a problem though, you can still easily find pretty good cheap food around town. There aren’t as many high end restaurants as you find in Bangkok, most meals cost in the 150-300 peso range.
The lack of good public transportation means more wasted time in taxis and higher costs on transportation. The visa is a whole lot easier, there is an immigration office in Makati, another in The Fort, and you don’t have to worry about visa runs for years down the road.
The costs for immigration are also about half as much when you factor in having to pay for the plane tickets out of Thailand. Overall that is a major advantage, cheaper and easier is always nice.
Nightlife won’t be as expensive, most bars and clubs don’t have entry fees or if they do they are pretty small and drinks should be cheaper in most as well. Plus when you take your Filipino Cupid date out it will likely cost less, you can just meet her at the mall by your place by her a coffee and then head up to your room most of the time.
Overall though the cost of living in Manila for single foreign men would likely need to start at around $1,000 or a bit more. After you pay around $600 for an apartment, $300 for food, roughly $50 for your visa that isn’t leaving as much wiggle room.
It is easier, safer, and more comfortable to live cheaply in Bangkok, but if you plan on doing a lot of partying it might end up being cheaper to live in Manila. As we mentioned before the differences really aren’t that drastic, though if you are on a bare bones budget you probably will have a more comfortable life in Bangkok.
So Which City Is Better For Foreign Men?
At the end of the day like most things in life that will come down to personal preferences. We tried to do a full comparison of living in Manila and Bangkok and give single foreign men an idea of what to expect in both.
Bangkok can be done cheaper, is more modern and clean, and has better infrastructure. We like to say that it is better for germaphobes or guys who are expecting perfection, it really isn’t a third world city it is much closer to the first world in many ways.
Manila is rougher around the edges but has plenty of advantages. The local people speak better English and are friendlier to foreign men. The visa is easier, and Filipina girls take less effort to hook up with.
At the end of the day you probably will be quite happy in either. Hopefully you now have a clearer understanding of whether you should live in Bangkok or Manila as a single man.