JOIN OUR FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

READ OUR GUIDE TO MOVING ABROAD
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

COMPARE QUOTES AND SAVE MONEY
Insurance, FX and international movers

LISTEN TO THE EXPAT FOCUS PODCAST
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

EXPERT FINANCIAL ADVICE & SERVICES
From our tax, investment and FX partners

Moving to Bangkok

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Thailand.

Reply to topicReply to topic
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Go to page 1, 2  Next 
  
Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:25 am

Hello all,

Been reading some of these hints and tips, and it seems that there is alot of people that can offer alot of good advice, so here we go
1) want to move to Bkk in October 06, where if anywhere do i need to avoid renting, any areas of the City not best.
2) Currently working in the UK but have convinced the boss to let me work remotely from Bkk, is it possible to open a bank acount in Thailand in uk£, to enable wages to be paid in by my employer?
3) From the research i have done, take it the best visa i can hope for is the multiple entry visa, requiring the 3 month visa run. If anyone knows any different, PLEASE let me know.

err,,, think thats it, thanks for reading if you still are, and hope to hear from anyone soon.

Cheers

 

Joydiv
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:44 am

Very Happy Hi
1. How about recommend area to stay for expats: Sukhumvit, Sathorn, Ploenchit area (Wireless road), Silom. Those are the area for foreigners to live easier. There are plenty of English book shops, grocery stores with westerner foods, import wines, and etc. Easily commute by BTS (Sky Train) & MRT (underground train).
2. I know only foreigners with Business Visa can do it. But in your case, I m not so sure.
3. If you don't have work permit, then you need to come by tourist visa which allow only 3 months stay. Normally, foreigners will go to Kuala Lumpur to stamp reentry visa to come back for another 3 months in Thailand.
Hope I can help a bit.
Khunsee

 

khunsee
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:10 am

- Joydiv

1) want to move to Bkk in October 06, where if anywhere do i need to avoid renting, any areas of the City not best.



Have you been to Bangkok before?
Most of Bangkok is "not best" -- I'd say 98% is worth avoiding.
There are some nice buildings here and there, but, there are no really nice neighborhoods in the city.
Way out in the suburbs, yes, but in the city, no.
In general, Bangkok is dirty, polluted, very poor maintenance, garbage littering the streets, phone wires hanging down from the poles, street lights not working.
And nobody seems to care.
That reflects Asian values: public spaces just aren't important over here.

That said, the best advice I can offer to any Westerner looking for a place to live here is to be within walking distance of two things:

#1. Subway or skytrain station.
Bangkok traffic is horrendous.
By far the best way to get around is subway (underground) or skytrain.

#2. Villa Market.
This is a chain of about a dozen supermarket stores scattered around Bangkok.
They sell many foods and other products "from home".
But, more important, arrayed around each Villa store are other shops and services catering to Westerners: from bakeries and fish & chippies, to dentists and bookstores.
If you are near any Villa market you will be near products and services you need to make your stay here more bearable and even pleasant.

2) Currently working in the UK but have convinced the boss to let me work remotely from Bkk, is it possible to open a bank acount in Thailand in uk£, to enable wages to be paid in by my employer?



Banks in Thailand do not have the same stability or level of service as banks back home.
Much simpler to keep your bank account there and merely bring your ATM card.
The ATMs here work very well.

3) From the research i have done, take it the best visa i can hope for is the multiple entry visa, requiring the 3 month visa run. If anyone knows any different, PLEASE let me know.



The best source for visa information is the web site at Thaivisa.com.
The message board there is pretty bad, but the visa information is correct.

Visa depends on your age.
If over 50, can get an annual visa that is renewable, so you never have to leave the country.
If under 50 there are still many options related to business visas.
Once you get here, see a good visa lawyer to get things sorted.
Getting the visa you want can be quick and easy if you are not adverse to paying some "extra service charges" -- corruption is everywhere in this part of the world.
If you want the name of a hard-working visa lawyer, contact me privately.
Just be prepared to pay a lawyer fee ... good ones don't work cheap.

Finally, you didn't say if you are man or woman.
Men generally love living in Thailand.
Western women seem to hate it and complain endlessly about feeling lonely and neglected here.
.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:05 pm

There are many nioce areas of Bangkok and certainly as good or better than the equivalent areas of London and other large European cities, I am amazed that Peter4 hates it so much in Bangkok yet he still stays here.

Joy, the best advice is to come to Bangkok, rent a condo or apartment or even a hotel room for a few months and get to know the city. Then decide what combination of access, central location, services and space you want. the one thing that Peter4 does have right is that proxinity to the Skytrain or Subway is a big help.

 

Jaiyen
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:56 pm

- Jaiyen

There are many nioce areas of Bangkok



Jaiyen, I'm always open to having my views changed by better information.
Which areas of Bangkok do you recommend?

I often go to explore new districts of the city.
Just yesterday I walked around Patumwan -- just to look.
Looks like a slum to me.
I sure would want NOT want to live there, even though it is the location of the premier university in Thailand.
Last week, I went exploring around Saphan Krung-Thon and around Victory Monument.
A few weeks before that, Muang-Tong-Thani.
Same opinion.

I've been living in Bangkok for two years.
Now you have me wondering where are these nicer neighborhoods.
Please specify those areas you suggest, because I want to go look and see.
Of course, close to skytrain or subway is essential.
Thanks.
.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:01 am

Hi Peter,

Of course different people will like different things, some people like the hustle and bustle of the city and for others it is not so pleasant. And like any big city Bangkok can be frustrating at times, but I like it! There are a number of neighborhoods I like in Bangkok:

Saladaeng Road and its Sois. Lots of trees, nice residential area but cheek by jowl with every type of restaurant, service, etc that one would want. Near MRT ( skytrain) and subway and Lumpini Park.

Sathorn Road: Bustling center of the Central Business District home to great hotels, nice condos and apartments. Walking distance to everything, including park and MRT and subway.

Around Soi Aree in the Paholyothin area. The sois around there are great neighborhoods of houses and low rise apartments and lots of trees. Lots and lots of small restaurants and clubs, very friendly atmosphere. Easy to get to Aree MRT station or Sanam Pao MRT
To lesser extent ( in my opinion) there are also residential communities around Chatuchak that are nice and have good services available.

The Yen-akart area behind Sathorn Road also is very green with private houses and nice low rise condos and apartments, though it is not really walking distance to SMRT or subway, but is an easy motorbike taxi ride to them.

Further towards the river there are some really nice private developments on the river at Rama 3 but you really need a car if you don't like taking the water taxis.

With the coming extension of the MRT the Thonburi side of the river might be of interest to some also. Which reminds me, the water taxis do really get you places quickly! ( if not always dryly!)

The square area btween Rama 4 and Ploenchit and Wireless and Rajdamri, including Lang Suan and Tonson is a great lving, shopping and dining area. Near the MRT, Lumpini park.

Of course if one wants to drive a car in Bangkok - or hire a driver - then there are lots of nice quiet areas in the suburbs to live.

Anyway, these are some of the areas i like in this city.

By the way, about BNH. I think the Doctors and Dentists at BNH are fine but the infrastructure and management is really lacking - and the prices have soared. Many if not most of the Doctors and Dentists also practice at other clinics and hospitals. If there is a particular Doctor or Dentist there you like, with a bit of polite inquiry (and Googling) you can probably find them and better facilities.

 

Jaiyen
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Moving to Bangkok

Post Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:58 pm

- Jaiyen

Saladaeng Road and its Sois. Lots of trees, nice residential area but cheek by jowl with every type of restaurant, service, etc that one would want. Near MRT ( skytrain) and subway and Lumpini Park.



Jaiyen certainly knows his way around Bangkok.
He has provided a list of neighborhoods in Bangkok with potential for expats wanting to live here.
I'll offer some additional comments and plenty of critique:

Saladaeng Road -- along with the adjacent Soi Convent -- offer possibilities.
That area is one of the more attractive areas of central Bangkok, and worth serious consideration for certain expats.
It is across from Lumpini Park; Bangkok's imitation of Sydney's Hyde Park or San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, just not so large, nor so clean.
If you work in one of the large office buildings in the Silom business district, Saladaeng would be the very best choice.
If you like "fern bars" and Starbucks-style coffee shops;
If you want endless shopping at department stores nearby;
If you enjoy mid-town Manhattan; then Saladaeng would be for you.
And Saladaeng is within easy reach of both skytrain and subway.

Saladaeng is primarily focused on the "young, urban, professional".
It is very crowded, so crowded that just walking the last 50 meters to the skytrain is always difficult.
All of Bangkok is polluted, and the central area around Saladaeng would be in the centre of the pollution.
The main roads leading into/out of Saladaeng (Silom Road and Rama IV Road) are among the most congested in Bangkok with perpetual traffic jams.

Saladaeng is across the road from Patpong and Soi Thaniya -- two of the major bar/brothel areas in the city -- with variations for Western men and for Japanese men.
And, for a homosexual man with money to spend, Saladaeng would do nicely, because it is near the main area where they congretate in Bangkok.

While there are a few more trees per block in Saladaeng than in some other neighborhoods of Bangkok, look beneath the trees: at the cracked footpaths (sidewalks) and broken pavements, the piles of trash and garbage, the dark alleys heading off every soi, the dangling utility wires that descend to neck level.
That's not just Saladaeng, that's everywhere in central Bangkok.

Sathorn Road: Bustling center of the Central Business District home to great hotels, nice condos and apartments. Walking distance to everything, including park and MRT and subway.



Sathorn road is office tower after office tower, interspersed with embassies and Starbucks-style coffee shops.
In the side sois, there are lots of condos and serviced apartments.
Living in Sathorn is ideal for people who go to work there, and and then go home to shower and sleep, then repeat, repeat, repeat.
There's not much else there.
Yes, skytrain stations are nearby (Chong-nongsi and Surasak), and the river ferry pier is at Saphan Taksin bridge.
Both of those are useful ways to get around the city.
Soi Suan Plu offers shopping in traditional style shops: small, old, dingy, shop-houses that haven't been cleaned or painted since they were built 35 years ago, and with some of the original stock, too.
If you enjoy spending 3 hours searching thru piles of dusty tools for a certain size of screw-driver, then those sorts of shops would be suitable for you.
The prices will be cheap.
But any clothing or shoes you'd find in the area would not fit most Western bodies.
For shopping like that you'll need to hike or ride a taxi to some other area.
Unless you were working in Sathorn Road, I don't see any reason for living there.

Around Soi Aree in the Paholyothin area. The sois around there are great neighborhoods of houses and low rise apartments and lots of trees. Lots and lots of small restaurants and clubs, very friendly atmosphere ...[snip]... To lesser extent ( in my opinion) there are also residential communities around Chatuchak that are nice and have good services available.



I don't know either area, but I will issue a caution:
All those areas are Thai neighborhoods -- as is most of Bangkok, of course.
Nothing will be in English: restaurant menus, shop signs, store displays.
There won't be any stores selling Western style foods, clothes, books, etc.
If you want anything that looks like "home", you will need to travel to get it:
Vegemite, or a tin of baked beans, English magazines or books, shirts or socks in Western sizes.
In addition, the people in those areas are not likely to understand your English.
In someplace like Saladaeng or Sathorn, there will many shop clerks who can handle enough English to bring your Amaretto latte or your beans on toast or a hamburger with fries.
But elsewhere in Bangkok, your only choices will be food you've never seen before.

The Yen-akart area behind Sathorn Road also is very green with private houses and nice low rise condos and apartments, though it is not really walking distance to SMRT or subway, but is an easy motorbike taxi ride to them.


I don't know that area, having only passed thru in a taxi a few dozen times -- never actually walked around.
However, I will say something about motorbike taxis.
First, they are cheap: 10-20 baht takes you most anywhere in the neighborhood.
Second, they are convenient: you'll find moto-cy taxis everywhere through Bangkok.
Third, they are insanely dangerous.
I have used moto-cy taxis about 10 times in two years.
Each time I promise myself it will be the last.
A few times, Thai friends have seen me pass by on the back of a moto-cy taxi.
Each time they strongly urge me not to ride again.
I would not want to be dependent on moto-cy taxis to get to and from some place I lived.
Just too dangerous.

Further towards the river there are some really nice private developments on the river at Rama 3 but you really need a car if you don't like taking the water taxis.



They may be really nice, but the cost and perpetual difficulties of having a car in Bangkok would overwhelm any niceness:
traffic jams everywhere, lack of parking everywhere, difficulty of getting parts and reliable service.
Why anyone would even think of owning a car in Bangkok is beyond my understanding.
Yet, millions of people here do.

The water taxis are lots of fun: on a clear day.
They are quick, very cheap, and service is frequent.
The river ferries -- really more like bus boats -- are clean and efficient.
But they are open to the elements and not air-conditioned.
In the heat -- and plenty of heat in the tropics -- you'd be soaked with perspiration even before arriving at your destination.
In the rain -- and there is a lot of rain here -- you might get soaked from rain above and river spray below at the same time.
The main river in Bangkok is an open sewer -- the idea of river spray is not tempting.
The river ferries do NOT actually dock at the pier -- nothing quite so tidy as, say, Sydney's Manley Ferry.
In Bangkok the boat just wiggles up and down and back and forth within a hop of the boarding float and people jump on and off.
If the wood is wet, it's slippery.
If you are carrying parcels, it's chancy.
I enjoy riding the river ferries, but I'd hate to depend on them every day to go everywhere.
The skytrain and the subway are much more convenient and comfortable.

With the coming extension of the MRT the Thonburi side of the river might be of interest to some also.



"The coming extension" might be here in one year, might be three years, might be 10 years.
Place your bets.
Who knows?
And all my comments above about living in Thai neighborhoods applies to all of Thonburi on the West side of the river:
Dingy, dirty, unkempt, rough around all the edges, with nothing of interest to any expat except very cheap housing.
The three times I've been over to that side, I've seen no reason to go back for more, let alone live there.
If you can't read, speak, and understand Thai language and it's Isaan dialect, you'll have a very, very, difficult time living on the Thonburi side.

The square area btween Rama 4 and Ploenchit and Wireless and Rajdamri, including Lang Suan and Tonson is a great lving, shopping and dining area. Near the MRT, Lumpini park.



If you wish to live within walking distance of a Versace store, this is the place.
This is the most expensive and the most pretentious residential area of central Bangkok.

This was one of the areas I'd considered for living myself.
And I've spend some time walking around there, especially soi Langsuan.
There is lots in that area to please a Western expat, albeit at rather high prices.
The rates for condos and rentals will be the highest in Bangkok, as will the prices for everything else.

For "shopping" and for "dining" there are lots of options in that area.
If you wish to have Amaretto latte available at your doorstep, this is the right neighborhood.
If you frequently dine on "Poached Cannelloni of Sea Trout, roasted asparagus tips, fin de claire oyster butter foam" or "Pan-Roasted Foie Gras, glazed anjou pear, watercress and black truffle salad" then this neighborhood will meet your needs.
(Actually that foi gras does sound tempting to me.)
And that neighborhood is convenient to skytrain with stations at Chitlom and Ploenchit.

Well, those are some counter-points to this discussion of expat living in Bangkok.
The alert reader will wonder where this writer lives in Bangkok, and why he is still content after two years in this location.
A good question.
And one which I prefer remains unanswered on this public forum.
I like my neighborhood just as it is, thank you.
I don't feel the need to attract any more people.
.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
Page 1 of 2
Go to page 1, 2  Next









Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy