Whether you have just moved to Bangkok, or you are thinking of moving to Thailand, or perhaps you have even been here a number of years, the question that still comes up during conversations about living in Bangkok, is ‘What is the best area to live in Bangkok as an expat?'. This is precisely the question that was posed to me by Phil, when he invited me for the Ajarn ‘Hot Seat Interview' several weeks ago.
Of course my answer then was the same as my answer today, and that is that there is not a ‘best area' or district in which to live, it's horse for courses, and one district may suit you more than others. I know plenty of expats who live well out of the well trudged expat areas of Bangkok and they have a very happy living, even without perhaps the daily conveniences of the international fare that can be found around Silom, Sukhumvit and Sathorn.
However having said all the above, it is true to say that many expats of all nationalities from Japanese to German, from Indian to Italian, and of course all those in between, flock to Sukhumvit and make it the most popular expat ‘district' of Bangkok.
So in this article I am going to briefly outline some low-cost, but good quality properties that can be located in this area.
The first two are located in the On Nut area of Bangkok, and are called both called My Condo 81 & 52. These brand new condos are built by Sansiri, a company listed on the SET and well known for building good quality and well designed buildings that suit the need of the market they are appealing to.
With studios starting at just THB 9 500/ month and well set out one bedroom units at THB 14 000/ month, we often find these condos are very popular with teachers who want or need to be near the BTS or Sukhumvit area of Bankgok.
These condos were bought with a furniture package, which is a style that is starting to become popular for developers whom are selling condos for the buy-to-let market, which My Condo fits into perfectly. This is fast becoming a good idea for all concerned. Simultaneously this action means that:
1. Buyers don't have the hassle of furnishing the condo themselves
2. The developers can make small margin on the furnishings
3. All units are generally then decorated professionally with suitable and correct fitting furniture
4. Tasteful out subtle furnishings are often chosen so when you come to view the properties you are less likely to be put off by terrible choice of furnishings (a scenario that happens often in the Bangkok buy-to-let market).
My Condo is very conveniently located near the BTS as is its slightly more expensive cousin Condo One, which with slightly larger units offers much the same practicalities and location as My Condo, at a slightly more expensive price.
Moving more towards the central part of Sukhumvit near Asoke, we find A-Space Asoke. Although technically this condo is not on Sukhumvit Road and is in fact located on Rama 9, it does have easy and quick access to Asoke BTS station and the Asoke area of Sukumvit as it is located closely to the Rama 9 MRT station.
This brand new condominium complex has Studios starting at just THB 7 500/month and one bedrooms at just THB 12 000/ month. This complex may not be as close to BTS as My Condo, but it does feature a fantastic large swimming pool.
With all the units well set out with large windows, modern furnishings and contemporary designs, this property is an excellent placer to live for both those whom want to be near the BTS and Sukhumvit or are happy to live on the MRT and have access to Ratchada, Lat Prao and Phahonyothin roads.
Many people will tell you that there are loads of great deals to be had on Sukhumvit, but if you want something new, clean and well located within a few minutes walk or motorbike taxi ride from the BTS then opportunities are rarer.
The above three properties mentioned, offer such conditions, as does Regent Condo also in the On Nut area of Sukhumvit, with units starting at just THB 7 500/month for Studio, this 1 year old building offers great comfort for an affordable price.
There are of course many more older and run-down units or not as well located in regards to the BTS than the ones above, which can be rented for similar prices to the ones mentioned above. These units also may indeed be larger and have facilities and their own benefits, but sometimes a poorly maintained building can be less comfortable to live in, can be more expensive in the long-run with older air conditioning units eating up more electricity, or perhaps problems with the plumbing...etc.
If you are here for just a year or not much longer, you of course don't want to be plagued with such problems, so we often advise to try and rent the newest and best located property as possible for your money.