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Bangkok Condo Locations and Road and BTS guide

Bangkok is huge. From Don Mueng in the northern suburbs to Klongtoei in the south, from Thon Buri over the river in the west to Bang Kapi in the east, it is a gigantic, sprawling, vibrant monster of a metropolis. The Thai capital is at once energizing, awe-inspiring and daunting. People visiting the city as tourists or on business often come away from their trip absolutely loathing the city. As with most large conurbations in developing cities, it is hot, often dirty, smelly, and loud. A place where getting from one place to another is a terrible pride swallowing and frustrating chore. However, those that relocate here or those on visits that are lucky enough to have friends and acquaintances that are locals or themselves have located here, getting from A to B is generally far less painful than one might imagine.


Bangkok’s Skytrain is perhaps one of the most iconic transportation systems in the world. However, for all its fame, it is very simple to navigate. There are two lines, the Silom Line and the Sukhumvit line. The Silom line stretches from Wong Wian Yai across the Chao Phraya River in the south east of the city to the National Stadium station adjacent to MBK shopping mall. The Silom line passes through residential, commercial and retail districts alike including the popular tourist, shopping and nightlife area Silom Road at BTS Sala Daeng station and the central business district of Sathorn at BTS Surasak. The Silom line intersects with its bigger brother the Sukhumvit line at BTS Siam which overlooks one of Bangkok’s best known luxury shopping malls, Siam Paragon. The line then goes north to Moh Chit, home of Chatuchak Weekend Market and the city’s northern bus terminal and south-east to the recently opened BTS Bearing. Going north on the Sukhumvit line takes you through mainly residential and retail areas such as Phayathai, Ari, and Victory Monument. Travelling south-east will see you passing through business areas Ploenchit and Chitlom, areas famed for hotels and nightlife Asok and Nana, and onwards to more residential areas such as Phra Khanong and On Nut.


To complement Bangkok’s overhead transportation system, the city also has an excellent underground metro system the MRT. The MRT is a single line system that arcs through the city’s central areas from Bang Sue in the north-east to Bangkok’s main rail terminal Hua Lamphong in the south-west. The MRT intersects with the BTS at three stations, MRT Chatuchak Park for BTS Mo Chit, MRT Sukhumvit for BTS Asoke, and MRT Silom for BTS Sala Daeng. The MRT has opened up areas of Bangkok that had been for a long time overlooked by developers and investors. However, since opening in 2004, areas near the MRT stations have seen a huge number of residential and retail projects built, leading to a great deal of inexpensive and well located condos in areas such as Suthisan, Hway Kwang, and Ladprao.


Bangkok’s most recent major rail development is the Airport Rail Link which has not only revolutionized the way many of us get to and from Suvarnabhumi airport and freed us from the grips of opportunistic taxi drivers, but it has also made it more easy for people to travel from the centre of Bangkok out to the densely populated residential inner-city areas and suburbs in the city’s east. The Airport link begins in Phayathai, which connects with the BTS station of the same name, before travelling east Ratchaprarop station and then Makkasan station which is a short walk from Phetchabhuri MRT station (one station down the subway line from Asoke and the BTS), before travelling onwards to Ramkaengheng, Hua Mak and of course the airport itself. Though these are not areas that are overly familiar to tourists, short term and prospective ex-pats, this is changing. Ramkaengheng and the surrounding areas are residential and university areas with a great deal of dining and nightlife options, and is home to many of the city’s best international schools.


Of course, no city can truly be called a city without a comprehensive bus network. Unfortunately, buses in Bangkok are very much seen as means of transport for the native population. Buses in the city rarely display their destinations in English, and it will be even more unlikely that the conductors and drivers will be able to speak anything more than a few English phrases. Nevertheless, for short hop on/hop off journeys, they can be a convenient and very cost effective mode of transportation. Buses from a wide variety of companies pass at an alarming regularity day and night and trips generally cost between 7 and 13 Baht for inner-city trips that can range from a few hundred metres to tens of kilometres. The main bus terminals for those of us looking to make longer trips to other parts of Thailand are Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal station, a short walk from Ekkamai BTS, for trips to the east and south east of Thailand including Pattaya and Chonburi, Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal for trips north, Sai Thai Southern Bus Terminal located in Thon Buri for trips to the south west including Hua Hin and Krabi.


The Phayathai/Ratchathewi area of central Bangkok is not only an excellent transport hub for those needing to use the BTS, airport link or have easy access to the city buses and mini vans that congregate at the Victory Monument roundabout, but people alighting the skytrain at BTS Rathathewi can also take a short walk over the bridge towards MBK and (quite literally) jump on one of the river bus boats that patrol Saen Saeb canal. Saen Saeb canal, or Khlong Saen Saeb, is a convenient, fast, entertaining though often busy, smelly way to travel through the city’s central districts. Starting at Phan Fa Lilat in the old city near Khao San Road the route takes you east through Ratchathewi and on to drop off points near Jim Thompson’s House, Pratunam where boats interchange to travel on to Nana Nua, Asoke, Saphan Khlongtun near Phetchabhuri MRT and Makkasan airport link, and Thonglor. The boat continues then through a whole host of other areas towards the east of the city such as Ramkaengheng University, Wat Teplee, and The Mall Bangkapi where the service terminates.


Ultimately, some of us, traffic or no traffic, prefer the luxury and personal space afforded to us by driving our own cars. For many taking their first drive in the city, it is a confusing and sometimes rather intimidating experience, but like any city, Bangkok has its share of main arteries which serve as the primary means of travelling from one section of the city to another. Bangkok has a main ring road that circles the city, going south from Bang Bua Thong on the outskirts of the city in the west (the Western Outer Ring), then east and finally north at Bang Bon and over the river (Bang Phli Suk Sawat Expressway), before going south (the Eastern Outer Ring) from Theparak through Bang Kaeo and on to Lam Sai in the far northern outskirts and roads continuing to Sarabhuri. Drivers wanting to head south need only hop onto Rama II road. Going north from central Bangkok areas, drivers can take Ratchadaphisek and Viphavadi Rangsit while heading east there is Thanon Latkrabang or the Krungthep-Chon Buri New Line motorway. Finally, heading west to the western suburbs like Talng Chan over the river, drivers can take Thanon Somdet Phra Pinklao.


We at Bangkok Property Services not only pride ourselves on our depth of knowledge of Bangkok’s real estate industry and our first class customer service, but also on our understanding and experience of Bangkok itself as a city and as a home. We can answer a great deal more of your questions than those relating purely to properties and budgets, so please don’t hesitate to ask. We can help you find the perfect place to live and aid you in making the transition into living in this great city as comfortable and stress free as possible.