Where’s The Best Place To Live In Bangkok?

Depending on who you ask, they will either tell you that Sukhumvit sucks or that it’s the best place to live in Bangkok.

Depending on your needs you’ll find it to be one of the other. I personally love Sukhumvit and here’s why.

Note: if you don’t know what Sukhumvit is, it’s a big road in Bangkok. When I refer to Sukhumvit in this article, I mean the area from Nana to Udom Suk (as Sukhumvit Road goes all the way to Pattaya).

Everything is so f***ing close

Whether I want to go to a nightclub, bar, [insert cuisine here] restaurant, go-go bar, Bangkok gyms, movies, street food, massage, a concert event or you name it – pretty much every western amenity can be found on Sukhumvit.

If you live in Phahon Yothin or somewhere else in the sticks, it becomes a lot harder to find an apartment close to everything a young male in his mid twenties wants. And catching taxis from outer Bangkok into the center can be a drag as you’ll need to leave a lot earlier to compensate for the traffic assuming you’re not flooded in.

bangkok flood

For example, I live next to Thong Lo BTS, I can reach RCA, Nana Plaza Bangkok, Racquet Club, Tops, Villa and Major Ekkamai for less than 50 baht in a cab. I could walk to most of them if I really wanted.

It’s pretty easy to navigate

As I said, Sukhumvit is one long road that goes all the way up to Pattaya.

From Nana to Udom Suk it’s pretty much a straight road with several BTS stops along the way. All the streets are numbered and once you understand the layout, it’s pretty hard to get lost unless you’re a total f***wit.

Not to mention that there’s a overground subway service that is easy to use and taxis are a plenty.

Living on the outskirt areas can get a little boring

I stayed in Phahon Yothin once, while it is a nice place to live you have less options. If I wanted to eat Indian food I had to travel some distance to find something pretty decent. If I wanted to visit a club, I’d be paying at least 150 baht in a taxi and most times I’ll be stuck in traffic for an hour.

Also, if you don’t speak Thai, living in less expat heavy areas in Bangkok you may have some trouble ordering food and the rest.

sukhumvit

And before someone in the comments tells me to learn Thai, how about you go **** yourself? Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

Okay, Sukhumvit isn’t cheap

Here’s the catch: Sukhumvit is f****ing expensive.

For example, I was paying 11,000 baht for a huge 44sq meter apartment (okay, not huge but it’s big for a studio) in Phahon Yothin.This came with a huge pool, squash and tennis courts and a proper gym with squat rack.

For a 44sq meter room in Thong Lo, you’re playing close to 18,000 baht plus usually and you may not even get a pool. You certainly aren’t getting and racket courts.

Street food costs a little more, haircuts cost more, beers cost more, restaurants cost more – pretty much everything costs more in Sukhumvit.

While I think it’s the best area of Bangkok to stay based on my needs, it’s not cheap.

Hey Harvie, you don’t know shit

I know some of you will disagree with me about Sukhumvit not being the best place to live in Bangkok and that there’s too much traffic or that real estate is too expensive and you’re right.

Traffic can be pretty bad and apartments do cost too much, but it still beats living in Samut Prakan, Bang Sue or Phra Nakhon if you want to go out and do stuff on a regular basis.

If you don’t mind catching motorcycle taxis in Bangkok or live close the the BTS, traffic is a bit of a moot point. I’m almost never stuck in traffic regardless of what time I leave my place.

If you want to spend no money and just eat street food all the time then yeah, there’s much better places than Sukhumvit to do that. But if you want total convenience and everything at your door step, Sukhumvit is the place.

Where should you stay?

I advise most people to stay somewhere along Sukhumvit for the first couple of months of their stay.

Why?

For someone who is moving to Thailand for the first time, it’s the perfect place for you to get settled with how things work here. There’s several malls about, most places have some grasp of the English language and everything you need to make your transition to Thailand easy is nearby.

Once you know the place a little better, then you should look to move to other districts based on your needs. Also, if you’re looking to move to Thailand soon, you should check out my sponsor’s website who help expats make the move here.

What’s your favorite area of Bangkok to live in? Leave a comment below.

26 thoughts on “Where’s The Best Place To Live In Bangkok?

  1. nRon
    1 January, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more! A close 2nd might be the Din Dang area off the MRT Phra Ram 9 stop, lots a reasonably priced places with Farang friendly stuff with in walking distance, (Tesco, Fortune Mall, Central Plaza) also if you head north to the MRT Huai Kwang stop lots of really nice rooms available at the Life@Ratchada-Huaykwang and RHYTHM Ratchada-Huaikhwang condo developments! Plus you have that killer night market on Pracha Rat Bamphen Road, walking distance to all those Soapy massage places, Esplanade shopping one stop away and only a few MRT stops back to Asoke (Sukhumvit). But I’m cool with the 20-ish% premium you pay to live on lower Suk! Cheers and Happy New Year 😉

    1. 2 January, 2016 at 2:47 am

      Everyone says Huay Kwang has some really good value apartments, I hope to live there one day when I can force myself out of Sukhumvit.

      1. nRon
        4 January, 2016 at 2:23 am

        another cool little area I’ve stayed at in the past was Soi Rang Nam, at Victory Monument BTS
        https://www.google.com/maps/place/The+Complete+Ratchaprarop/@13.7608112,100.5405512,18.77z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x8e4ad08f61b5df45?hl=en
        I rented a 2 bedroom condo on the 20th floor at The Complete Ratchaprarop for 22k directly from the owner. BTS is a bit of a haul if it’s raining or smoking hot but is walking distance, Soi Rang Nam has loads of great restaurants, nice little park with impeccably well-kept grounds, got ok shopping at Century Mall/Movie Plaza with a Tops in the basement and lots of fresh produce outside on the footpaths, and if your bold and choose to travel via the mini vans your on it! All and all its damn near center city BKK. I used to like hanging out at the Glen Bar at the hotel Pullman but haven’t been in years?

        1. 4 January, 2016 at 8:54 am

          I was at the Pullman hotel a few months ago, still quite busy and they have a fancy burger restaurant there now. Nice find mate, 22k for a 2b sounds like great value.

  2. Pat
    1 January, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I lived in Thong Lor and Ratchayothin. I wanted a nice place and was willing to pay.
    Many will save a few thousand just to stay in a one room place, but what about if you just wanna lounge about at home all day?
    You could go stir crazy.

    There are a few ghettos where your cheap ass farang live and many just end up complaining to others about it, the noise, smells, the morning loudspeaker vans selling pineapples, traffic, etc
    I’d say have a 12-14k minimum and you can live fairly comfortably in a decent sized place with a kitchen, balcony, separate bedroom etc.

    Good idea is to walk about, you will often see ads (in Thai) advertising places for rent in most buildings, usually directly from the owners.
    Worth spending a month looking for the right place before commiting to any contract, if it’s a low rise building maybe you can take a walk around of an evening and see if there are any hidden horrors, like a loud karaoke bar or groups of teenage motorbike gangs who would shatter any peace & quiet

    Lat phrao is well connected these days, Ratchayotin was great for eating out and drinking, Ok those parts aren’t everyones taste but as they say, shop around

    1. 2 January, 2016 at 2:48 am

      You really need to spend time looking as you said, it can be very hard to find something good. LOL at the speakers, there’s a few condos in Phar Khonong where people get woken up at 5am.

  3. Lord
    1 January, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks Harvie, great post as usual!

    Wish you a nice 2016!

    1. 2 January, 2016 at 2:48 am

      You too.

  4. Wilco
    1 January, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Im a sukhumvit hater.. I only go there if I need to. I like phahon yothin/chatujak if its close to the bts & mrt.. or sathorn, which is walkable to silom & lumpinee. But it really depends where the gym is…

    1. 2 January, 2016 at 2:49 am

      Any reason for it? I’m not really a fan of Nana or Asoke too much as it’s very touristy, but I do really enjoy the rest.

  5. Henry Reese
    2 January, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great post man. Really helpful.

  6. Allan C
    3 January, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Harvie, another great article ! Keep them coming.

    Would you recommend renting or buying a studio (onnut) if one is thinking of living in Bangkok long term.
    ( +5 years)

    1. 4 January, 2016 at 3:19 am

      Hey Allan I don’t know too much about buying condos in Thailand so I’m not the best person to ask. However I do know that more are way over priced unless you buy them during the building phase. A house is much better value (and usually better built too). To rent in On-nut is fine, the condos near the BTS are very expensive but if you don’t mind living 5 mins away you can get some good value rooms.

  7. 4 January, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Agreed! I hate living in Bangkok unless I have a decent place around Sukhumvit and a pocket full of 1,000 baht notes.

  8. Krub
    9 January, 2016 at 5:16 am

    I used to live in Phaholyothin and liked it but very inconvenient for sure. I have 2 choices right now. In On Nut or in Rama 9. Hard decision though I am leaning to Rama 9 because of the central location of it.

    1. 9 January, 2016 at 5:37 am

      I’d go for On-nnut myself, nice place and close(ish) to the nightlife.

  9. 10 January, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Last time in BKK I was at On Nut 77 for 3 months, previously Soi 3 Phra Ram 9 and I’ve stayed in Huay Kwang before. Not sure where I will stay next time. On Nut was pretty good, on the BTS line, close to the On Nut night market (now closed). Around Phra Ram 9 and Huay Kwang is close to the MRT and a few stops to Asoke, lots of shops and restaurants, but not many drinking holes. I prefer a mix of farang and Thai for a bar. So, next time I’m thinking around On Nut, Phra Khanong, Thong Lor and Ekkamai, lots of bars!

  10. roger
    11 January, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I would move to nana so i could have hookers at my doorstep 24/7

  11. don jaun
    17 January, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Im planning on coming to Bangkok this June for two plus months and will most likely stay in lower sukhimvit.Are there any parks close by where you can go for a run,bike ride ,etc?

    1. 17 January, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Phrom Phong has it’s own little park. Nice place to go run around, that’s the only little green area you’ll see in lower Suk.

      1. don jaun
        18 January, 2016 at 1:43 am

        Thanks for the reply..do you know of any bike trails nearby that you could possibly ride to or even a little further out to get a taxi to? Also any places to possibly rent a bicycle for two months?

        1. 18 January, 2016 at 3:23 am

          Hey Don,

          Google ‘Green lungs of Bangkok”, there’s not that many places you can cycle, I mean you could do it on the road. Not sure where to rent bicycles but there will be somewhere. I know a hotel/serviced apartment that gives free bicycles to its customer, they are old school bikes though.

  12. don jaun
    24 January, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the info!One last question I have is if you know of any places in Bangkok that sell health products like organic extra virgin coconut oil and Braggs raw organic apple cider vinegar?

    1. 24 January, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Check out wwww.paleorobbie.com for some of the stuff.

      Not sure if you will find Braggs raw products though, never seen them.

      1. Hans
        2 November, 2016 at 7:41 am

        Braggs products can be found at Tops.

  13. Sean Lee
    4 October, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Well, I love Bangkok big time! I’ve been working here for like 5 years and so far I can say that this is the place I want to spend the rest of my life for decades. I’ve tried living in Silom for like a year and as of the moment I am in Sukhumvit.

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