Deciding to move to a specific Bangkok neighborhood can be difficult although some are better than others. All neighborhoods have pros and cons, and often depend on what’s important to you. What do you like to do? How do you like to spend your free time? Do you need public transportation or do you drive? With many neighborhoods to choose from in Bangkok, these six are the most popular and, many people think, are the best.
Ari Area – The Ari area of Bangkok is a popular neighborhood to live in for western expats. Close to the Ari sky train station, it’s only 10 minutes into downtown Bangkok. Ari itself has trendy restaurants, shops and cafes. There’s branches of every bank in Bangkok here, as well as many large businesses. If you like western food, you’ll love shopping at Villa Supermarket with its thousands of imported food items. You’ll enjoy coffee at Starbucks or one of the Thai cafes and don’t miss the Japanese restaurants and the shabu-shabu place.
Ari also has tons of excellent streetside food stalls, selling amazing (and cheap) Thai food.Apartments at Ari are usually priced in between north Bangkok and true downtown prices so, living here, you can get a deal.
Pahonyothin/Ladprao Area – The Payonyothin/Ladprao area of Bangkok is popular with those expats who don’t always need to be enjoying the bar scene every night. It’s also a great neighborhood for families. If you live on Pahonyothin or Ladprao roads, you’re only 5-10 minutes from to a sky train or underground train station and another 15 minutes to downtown. You’re close to the Central Ladprao shopping mall, a few minutes from Major Cineplex and its bowling alley and movie theatres, and close to Chatuchak Weekend Market, south east Asia’s largest outdoor market. There are four large supermarkets within a few minutes of each other as well as thousands of restaurants, cafes and street stalls.
In the Pahonyothin/Ladprao area, apartments, town houses and houses are 50% cheaper than similar properties downtown. The traffic is usually lighter and getting to Suvarnabhumi Airport is less than a 30 minute drive. The Pahonyothin/Ladprao area has a large number of schools and universities – important if you’re a teacher and need a job.
Sukhumvit Area – Sukhumvit is the main road that runs all the way through Bangkok, so the Sukhumvit area covers many kilometers. Living on or just off Sukhumvit can be a great decision as you’re close to major hotels, top restaurants and cafes, many of Bangkok’s tourist attractions and slap bang next to the main sky train and underground train stations. Most of the city’s enormous malls are close by and, if you like the river, taking a boat up the Chao Praya is easy too.
The Sukhumvit area is more expensive for finding accommodation though as everyone wants to live here. An apartment that would cost 9,000 baht a month ($300) in the Pahonyothin/Ladprao area is 18,000 baht or more just off Sukhumvit. There are also less townhouses and houses for rent, so less choice.
Victory Monument Area – The Victory Monument area is hugely popular with Thai university students. It’s a cheaper area, it’s close to the sky train and less than 10 minutes to downtown Bangkok. You’re also close to Chatuchak Weekend Market here. The Victory Monument area has movie theatres, lots of cafes, restaurants, a cool jazz pub with nightly live music, and many street stalls serving cheap Thai food.Apartments, again, are mid-range.
Cheaper than the Sukhumvit area but slightly more expensive than Pahonyothin/Ladprao due to its closer proximity to downtown Bangkok. But, there’s a good choice of apartments, townhouses and houses. Victory Monument is not too far from the Chao Praya River and many tourist attractions.
Soi Langsuan Area – One of the most upscale neighborhoods in Bangkok, the Soi Langsuan area is full of high-end apartment buildings. It’s also the trendy place to eat out with high-end restaurants and cafes, a Starbucks located in a beautiful traditional Thai house, and close to Central Chidlom department store. Soi Langusan is just down the street from the Chidlom sky train station, so it’s easy to get around the city and less than 10 minutes from everything the Sukhumvit area has to offer. Bangkok’s favorite mall, Central World Plaza, is five minutes away with its upscale stores, restaurants and businesses.Apartment prices on Soi Langsuan are high, both for rent or to purchase, with average rental prices over 60-70,000 baht a month ($2-2,300 a month), exorbitant for most Bangkokians.
If you love luxury and serviced apartments though, the Soi Langsuan area has the best of the best.
Deciding on a Bangkok neighborhood to live in depends on what you want and what your price range is. A typical teacher isn’t likely to be able to afford Soi Langsuan, and an expat business man probably doesn’t want to live in the Pahonyothin/Ladprao area as it’s too far from the city center. Figure out your budget and your likes and dislikes, then look at these best five Bangkok neighborhoods. One of them is sure to please.
Photo copyright – Khun Ton – a soi off Sukhumvit in downtown Bangkok