Find a place to call home when you’re living in Bangkok
Bangkok is a buzzing metropolis in the heart of South East Asia. Here you can enjoy the extremes of the glitz and glamour, a never-ending urban sprawl and of course the fascinating local traditions and customs. You’ll find welcoming Thai hospitality everywhere you go, which makes the question “where should I live in Bangkok?” a rather tough one.
Typically, expats in Thailand choose to live in the heart of the city, in suburbs like Silom, Sathorn and Sukhumvit. Sukhumvit is normally their first choice, thanks to the busy neighborhoods, fantastic shopping and the many offices in the area. You’ll be in close proximity to public transport, hospitals, museums, shopping malls, schools, bars and restaurants, which makes daily life in Thailand quite simple. Having an apartment within walking distance of your office makes all the difference during the heavy traffic of peak hour, but there’s always a compromise. Downtown you’ll find plenty of pollution, a distinct lack of parks/playgrounds for young kids, and a few particular areas which are definitely adult oriented. The best bet is to explore your intended neighborhood on foot before you sign the lease, making sure you check it out at different times of the day so you get a feel of what living there will really be like.
When it comes to prices for apartments, location is everything in Bangkok. Rent varies dramatically based on the proximity to public transport (like the BTS or the MRT). The further you get from the central hubs of the city, you’ll find your rental budget will get you increasingly better properties. If you plan on driving, this can be an option, just remember that traffic can hit a standstill during peak hour, and a 30 minute drive at 11am may be a 2 hour commute at 6pm. Being able to easily reach public transport when the traffic is stuck can be a blessing when you’re living in Bangkok, but you’ll be paying a higher rents for this privilege.
Apartment living in Bangkok provides a wealth of choice, and you can find options for every budget. Full-serviced suites with maids, fitness centers, pools and a lobby are much like living in a hotel, while non-serviced apartments are often cheaper, and come in all shapes and sizes. What you need to keep in mind as you’re looking for your new home is to remember what’s most important to you, and check out all the different options available within your budget.
For families not interested in apartments, gated communities are very popular. You’ll find plenty of western style houses in peaceful suburbs, which are perfect for families who want a little more space. Many also have international schools quite close by, so it’s perfect for your kids. The compromise you make is being located further from the CBD, and some communities are not well connected to public transport. This means a long drive through the daily commute to get to work, or a higher price tag if they’re one of the communities with a public transport link.
Bangkok has options to suit whatever you’re looking for when it comes to your home, but the trick is learning what is most important to you. Finding the perfect place while you’re living in Bangkok means a compromise needs to be made on either the location, the size of your home, or the budget you’re willing to spend. Pick what’s important to you, and you’ll be very happy in your new home away from home.