As an agent, I'm regularly contacted by people who are moving to Bangkok, are unfamiliar with the city, and are curious about the best area to live in. When I first arrived, I was in the same boat as you. If you're coming to work in Bangkok as a teacher, my top pick of area to live in is easy ....... Onnut!
Now, some of you long-term expat readers might choose to disagree but you should also revisit the area if you have the chance and see what it's become.
Onnut was at the end of the BTS line for many years before the Sukhumwit line was extended out towards Samut Prakarn and beyond. The BTS station itself is located between Sukhumvit 79 and 81 (50 to 52 on the even side of the street).
In the past, all we had was a Tesco, Big C and the beer garden. It was pretty barren. But it's distance from the "city center" and subsequent lower rents, while still having access to the BTS, has made it a popular choice for expats. The beer garden was always full of familiar faces.
But an expat population brings expat-oriented development. Commercial, as well as residential, which there has been a huge amount of.
The Tesco food court has since seen a upgrade. Tesco is also a supermarket for you American and Canadian travellers who have never heard of it.
We all thought Beacon Square on Sukhumvit 50 was going to be temporary when they first started building it, with its tin-hut style design, but it has over time become a very popular hangout, home to Cheap Charley's (a Bangkok icon for cheap drinks), Rolling Stone Pizza and soon even a Bad Burger.
Century Mall has its own movie theatre and tons of good food options. There's "The Phyll" over on Sukhumvit 54. Muscle Factory on 54. Bangkok Fight Lab on 50. Big C Supermarket on 77. And more opening all the time. "T77" and Habito Mall have had entire articles written about what they bring to the area.
And the old beer garden is still there. It's just hidden way up soi 81 and been downsized.
You're just a short a walk to a BTS station, two supermarkets, a movie theatre, good food, cheap food, and beer gardens.
Decent studios start at 10-13,000 baht a month. 1-bedroom condos go for 13-18k. It's price point makes it a most attractive choice. It offers a lot of good balance between affordable and convenience. The gym and pool facilities at some of the condos are also nothing short of very impressive.
There are pet friendly options that are beautiful and very well-priced compared to other pet friendly options on the BTS line. Adopt a cat from PAWS Bangkok. Best decision you'll ever make. Bring him or her with you if you move on to another country. Be a good parent!
If you're looking for a location that offers cost effective rent on nice condos, a large expat community, a variety of restaurants and food options as well as the convenience of being walking distance to everything you need, Onnut is my personal top choice.
If you're looking for food recommendations: Tacos and Salsa on 77 are known for their guacamole. Try the chicken quesa. Then there's Pepper Lunch in Century Mall (very underrated). I had never before tried garlic soi sauce. Oh La La Cafe on Soi 50. Nourish at BFL on Soi 50 offers vegetarian and vegan food choices. The Pho at the Vietnamese place in Habito. Any pasta at Cafe di Maria on 79.
Check out this vibrant area if you are on the hunt for a great place to live.
Are you a teacher living in the Onnud area? Tell us what you love about it in the comments section below. Or perhaps you have your own Bangkok neighborhood you want to give a mention to?