So you decided to settle down in Bangkok and need to find an ideal location that suits your needs.
Where to live in Bangkok is a really tricky question to answer as any area of the town could be a potential candidate.
Ultimately, it all comes down to a few factors.
When I was first looking for an ideal place to stay, I made a small list listing several criteria that facilitated the decision making.
After looking at several places, I then compared each option based on my criteria, and picked the one that seemed to fit me the most.
Basically, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Price: how much can I afford to pay?
- Location: is it near any school or company of mine?
- Transportation: how far from bus, sky train, underground stations?
- Surrounding: do I like a crowded or a more quiet surrounding?
- Room Type: do I need a studio, 2 bed room apartment, or something bigger?
Location dictates the rent
Apartments that are well located near the city center are amongst the most expensive ones, while the others further out are obviously cheaper.
Since Bangkok has many sois (a side-street branching off a major street), you can live on Sukhumvit Road but deep inside a sub-soi.
Usually the deeper the apartment is in a soi, the cheaper it gets.
Generally speaking, the most convenient place in terms of restaurants, shopping malls, and good transportation is undoubtedly along Sukhumvit Road, which is located right in the city center and is Bangkok’s most famous road.
Bangkok’s BTS skytrain covers the whole road making it even more convenient.
Other well-situated areas such as Ratchada, Din Daeng, Bang Kapi, Hua Mak, Ramkamhaeng, Pahonyothin, Lad Phrao, and Petchburi are good options too.
These places are all located within the city borders where rates are much lower with most of them having access to Bangkok’s metro.
Suggested locations to live in Bangkok
Let’s have a closer look at each one of these places mentioned above in more detail.
Sukhumvit Soi 1 (Ploenchit) to 60 (Ekkamai) it is considered being in the borders of the city center. The BTS skytrain runs along this road with interchanges to the MRT metro providing superb transportation possibilities.
This is the road where most foreigners reside.
Many foreign restaurants and bars can be found there. Be it an Irish pub, a German restaurant, or a Japanese shopping zone (J-Avenue).
Soi 3 and 4 of the Sukhumvit Road is known as the Muslim part of Bangkok. There are many Arab restaurants and is dominantly occupied by Muslims.
Soi 15 (Asoke) is a huge intersection with many new apartment complexes. This Soi has great access to both the BTS skytrain and the MRT Metro.
Silom belongs to the commercial part of the town with many big company buildings having its address there.
It offers some housing possibilities but mostly a bit away from where the business is done.
Apartments in Silom can be very expensive but offers excellent transportation.
Silom is also famous for having many authentic Japanese restaurants. Many Japanese expats and visitors from Japan reside there.
About 10-15 minutes to the center, this place not only has good transportation connections with its MRT metro line but also offers great nightlife and entertainment.
Ratchada Soi 3, 4, 5 and 6 are packed with small clubs where mainly the younger generation hang out.
Rarchada is also famous for its big erotic massage parlors which can be found aplenty alongside this long road.
Close-by Ratchada are Lad Phrao, Din Daeng and Huay Kwang (which is host to the Huay Kwang Night Market).
Bang Kapi, Ramkamhaeng, and Hua Mak
About 10-15 minutes from the city away, these areas have many smaller studios and apartments targeted mainly at university students.
There is a big mall called The Mall Bangkapi but other than that there isn’t much to see or do.
The transportation possibilities there are not optimal either as neither the skytrain nor the metro cover this area.
But according to the Thai transportation authority, this is going to change soon as further expansion plans are at work.
This area would be ideal for students or people who don’t want to spend much on rent. After all it’s not to far from the city and taxis can be flagged down at any time.
Lad Phrao and Pahonyothin
Located about 20-30 minutes away from the city center, this area might be a bit far but has a lot to offer.
The BTS skytrain and MRT metro both make their stops at Ladprao thus providing some good transportation connections.
It furthermore has 3 big malls, Central Ladprao, Major Pahonyothin (cinema and mall) and the Union Mall.
The prices in this area are a bit higher than in Bangkapi. However, having all these malls close by with access to both the skytrain and metro is certainly a plus.
The world famous Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ) is located just 5 to 10 minutes car drive away from Central Lad Phrao.