Singapore Bangkok compared

How Do Singapore And Bangkok Compare?


Singapore – The ultra-modern and advanced jewel of Southeast Asia, a relatively small island state that punches way above it’s weight, not just in the financial sector but also in the technological advancement realm.

Bangkok – The expansive global city and capital of Thailand. It is rich in age-old culture and in modern architecture, a true mix of grittiness and opulence.

So, how do these two Asian powerhouses compare to each other? We are going to look at several indices of these cities and see how each of them stack up against the other. One city may hold a distinct advantage over the other in any given category, but it is ultimately up to you to decide which one you favor most. Some of these comparisons may be mostly objective, some may be more subjective as to which one is better. It all really comes down to your preferences.

7. Cost Of Living

This is a good place to kick things off, because the cost of living of a city is one of the most important factors people consider when they want to move somewhere new.

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Singapore’s city center is 3,625 Singapore dollars, which is equal to 2,687 USD. If you don’t live in the city center, you can shave off some of the expenses, and rent would drop to 2,696 Singapore dollars, or about 2,000 USD. If you tack on utilities, that would add an additional 200-250 Singapore dollars, or around 150 to 185 USD.

Rent in Bangkok’s city center averages 31,485 baht a month, which comes to around 907 USD. Renting outside the city center is much cheaper and averages 14,819 baht, or 427 USD a month. Utilities will tack on around 3,600 baht a month on average, which comes to 103 US dollars.

The biggest discrepancy comes in housing costs and it really depends largely on what part of the city you chose to live in. Transportation and food is also cheaper in Bangkok, so the clear winner for the most affordable city goes to BKK.

6. Skylines

Both Bangkok and Singapore have world-class skylines, Bangkok having 109 buildings (and counting) that are over 150 meters tall.

Singapore is very close to that number, having 95 skyscrapers that are at least 150 meters tall in the city proper.

However, Singapore’s skyline is much more dense than that of Bangkok. Bangkok covers an area of over 1,500 square kilometers, with Singapore only having 728 square kilometers, so less than half the area of BKK.

Bangkok’s skyline also varies in height more than Singapore, with 4 skyscrapers currently breaking the super-tall status; whereas Singapore has towers more in the 200- to 300-meter range.

Both skylines are impressive and come with a host of buildings with interesting architecture, so it really comes down to personal preferences.

5. Modern Architectural Icons

For Bangkok, it has to be none other than King Power Mahanakhon, the easily recognizable pixelated skyscraper that anchors central Bangkok. In a city that has well over 400 skyscrapers that are at least 100 meters tall, King Power Mahanakhon stands out as the clear winner among all it’s high-rise peers.

For Singapore, the most recognizable iconic structure has to be Marina Bay Sands, the luxurious and dazzling hotel that has become a symbol for Singapore’s rapid advancement and development.

King Power Mahanakhon cost a total of 620 million USD to build, as compared to the staggering amount of 5.6 billion USD for the development of Marina Bay Sands.

Marina Bay Sands also attracts more tourism, with over 300 million visitors over the past decade. Although King Power Mahanakhon sees plenty of visitors on it’s highest observation deck in the city and in it’s ritzy hotel, it doesn’t bring in the same amount of visitors that Sands does.

4. Infrastructure

Both cities have a modern high-speed rail network and both are expanding access at a rapid pace.

As mentioned previously, Bangkok covers a larger area than Singapore, so they will naturally have more demand for a huge network of high-speed railways.

However, Singapore has over 230 kilometers of light rail compared to Bangkok’s 210 kilometers. Those numbers are increasing all the time, so it really comes down to demand and how much each government decides to invest in their light rail.

Singapore’s streets tend to be better maintained and the walkways are generally cleaner. Bangkok’s sidewalks can be uneven at times, so you need to watch your step.

There is actually an infrastructure index that uses a few different metrics to measure and rank infrastructure and Singapore has recently been ranked #1 on the index. Keep in mind, these metrics also include business and economic status, which Singapore ranks very high in.

3. Nightlife

Bangkok is notorious for it’s nightlife, so it’s pretty hard to compete with it in this category. Whether it’s Khao San Road, nightclubs, or one of it’s numerous red light districts, Bangkok has a diverse and lively nightlife that caters to just about everyone.

Singapore, as a whole, is more reserved and less chaotic; however, that doesn’t mean that the city has no nightlife. Singapore has a host of nightclubs and lounges, everything from budget bars to ritzy cocktail clubs that can be found in areas like Clarke Quay and different venues around the city center.

Bangkok is also in close proximity to many other nightlife hot spots on the Gulf of Thailand or in the nearby islands, so that just makes Bangkok that much more attractive to travelers who want to let their hair down and party all night, every night!

2. Culture

Despite both cities being located in Southeast Asia, they seem to be worlds apart at the same time.

Bangkok has many temples, some of which are extravagant, but also has bustling streets and sidewalks, often times jam-packed with street vendors and food stalls.

Singapore also has no shortage of temples, but the city boasts a more diverse array of religious ideologies and prides itself on spiritual freedom and diversity.

There also aren’t nearly as many food vendors crowding the streets of Singapore as there are in Bangkok. The city has more of a Western feel to it, it is more orderly and polished.

So, it really comes down to what your personal taste is. Do you want a city that is frenetic, chaotic, and a little bit unpredictable or one that is more tame and regulated?

1. Safety

East Asian cities, as you may know, are commonly some of the safest cities in the world, so you could expect both these cities to be fairly safe, at least compared to the rest of the world.

Maybe it’s the tough, stringent legal system; the higher cost of living, or the more reserved culture and nightlife, but Singapore (for one reason or another) is safer than Bangkok when it comes to non-violent crimes.

You are more likely to get scammed or pick-pocketed in Bangkok rather than in Singapore. You are also more likely to be involved in a car accident in Bangkok, and you always have to watch for motorcycles on the sidewalks, they seem to be everywhere in the city.

Singapore actually has one of the lowest road fatality rates of any developed country on the planet, which is a rate of 2.73 per 100,000 residents. Singapore is very safe, even compared to other major cities in the region.


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