The Big Picture
Bangkok is a heaving sprawling metropolis that in some respects doesn’t really end anywhere as the route to Pattaya is by and large completely populated from the beginning of the journey to the end.
There are excellent locations to live in the suburbs and South of the Chao Phraya River but for the purposes of this article it is best to focus on the inner city locations from a major thoroughfare perspective.
The newcomer can now take advantage of the rapidly expanding transit system both underground and over ground via the MRT and Skytrain respectively, to source high end property rentals or ‘cheap as chips’ rooms and apartments in the outer reaches of Bangkok. A separate article will look into these locations.
This is the main artery for inner Bangkok. In the old days before the Skytrain and Underground it was practically gridlocked from 5am till late at night.
A simple trip from Phrakhanong to Siam Centre would often take an hour to an hour and a half by Taxi, but these days it’s a simple trip with public transport that takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Living on Sukhumvit (or just off it) has its plus points and its negative points. On the upbeat side the Sukhumvit Road resident really is smack bang in the middle of all the action.
Everything from restaurants to shopping and neon tinged nightlife. While this may appeal to the newcomer for the first year or so it can start to weigh heavy with its noise and emphasis on tourist traffic. It’s one thing to be a stone’s throw away from all the action but it can grate on the long term resident’s nerves to be accosted by sex workers and massage touts when grabbing a morning coffee on the way to work.
Sathorn runs from Rama IV to the river. It’s a high end location these days with top hotels, embassies, first class restaurants and nightclubs, but it’s basically a motorway experience to live on or by.
Most destinations are evenly sprinkled on both sides so the resident can find that for those who prefer to walk it often involves a soulless evening stroll, looking for a bleak bridge to cross over, or using a Skytrain Station to overcome this major artery. There are however some excellent sois (small roads) leading to much more sedate and relaxing nooks and crannies off Sathorn, and these are highly recommended as central Bangkok locations.
However, exiting these delightful discoveries still requires the brutal Sathorn which on a hot day with traffic jams is about as sexy as living off a motorway services.
Rama IV runs parallel to Sukhumvit so like its big sister it’s roughly an East West directional road.
Rama IV is too disparate to accurately cover all its locations for property rental but as a taster it can provide down market cheap rentals, high rise condominiums, shabby sois, crowded traffic and proximity to Lumphini park which is really a gem of a park that will hopefully always remain a place where people can relax and take a picnic by its charming and pretty small lakes or large ponds.