Bangkok, long seen as a cheap destination for holidaymakers and expatriates alike, has seen a huge jump in its ranking, moving the most out of all Asian cities surveyed, according to Lee Quane, regional director for Asia with ECA International.
Bangkok has moved up 75 places in the last two years, and now ranks 47th in the annual ECA Cost of Living survey. This is a result of the strong baht, he said.
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, remains the most expensive city in Asia and the world for expats for a second year running thanks to a combination of high inflation and a black market currency rate far weaker than the official exchange rate.
Meanwhile, the cost of living in Japan’s Tokyo ranks second in Asia, followed by China’s Hong Kong, and Japan’s Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka cities. Singapore is the seventh most expensive location in Asia for expat workers to live, and the 13th most expensive in the world.
Middle Eastern countries have generally continued to see an increase in the cost of living because of the strength of their currencies -- many of which are tied to the USD. Tel Aviv entered the top 10 for the first time in ninth place and Jerusalem was 12th.
Apart from Swiss cities that continue to dominate the top 10 worldwide, most European cities have fallen in the rankings since last year.
ECA International has been researching the cost of living for more than 45 years. It carries out two main surveys per year to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so their employees' spending power is protected while on international assignment.