Venture with us into the vibrant cityscape of Bangkok, a city teeming with a rich tapestry of districts and neighborhoods. Choosing the perfect location to settle down in this bustling metropolis can seem like a daunting task. But fear not! In this in-depth guide, we’ve curated an exclusive selection of Bangkok’s top neighborhoods, catering to an array of lifestyles and budgets.
Whether you’re an ambitious young professional thirsting for the city’s energy, a family in search of a nurturing community for your children, or a retiree yearning for a tranquil retreat, our comprehensive guide has been meticulously crafted to meet your needs.
Without further ado, let’s immerse ourselves in the effervescent spirit of Bangkok and uncover the perfect enclave for you to call home. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey as we navigate through this city of contrasts, revealing the best places to live in Bangkok.
Let’s start with Sukhumvit
Nestled along the stretch of Sukhumvit Road and its myriad sideroads (Soi), is Sukhumvit – a vibrant patchwork of commercial and residential neighborhoods. Each distinct neighborhood adopts the name of its local BTS Skytrain station, weaving a network of conveniently connected communities.
Arguably the most favored district amongst expats, Sukhumvit presents an international tableau of eateries, bars, and retail outlets. The neighborhood’s superb connectivity, serviced by both the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway systems, facilitates effortless navigation around the city. Be advised, though, the cost of living in Sukhumvit can be slightly steeper compared to other parts of Bangkok.
Sukhumvit is commonly segmented into Lower, Mid, and Upper parts. Each segment houses a selection of uniquely appealing neighborhoods.
Lower Sukhumvit, the epicenter of excitement and diversity, is home to neighborhoods such as Nana and Asoke. Mid Sukhumvit, the heart of cosmopolitan living, includes thriving locales like Phrom Phong, Thong Lo, and Ekkamai. Upper Sukhumvit, a blend of old and new, features the charming districts of Phra Khanong and On Nut.
Now, let’s delve deeper into each neighborhood’s unique appeal and ambiance. Get ready to uncover the heart of Bangkok living, Sukhumvit style.
Nana Area is a great neighborhood with many residential and nightlife options. At its heart, it is one of the main entertainment and nightlife hubs. However, you can find some great condos tucked away in quiet corners here and there, all surrounded by green areas with restaurants, coffee shops, and kindergartens.
If you have children, remember that one of Bangkok’s most exclusive and reputed international schools, the NIST school, is just at the north end of Soi 15.
The best places to look for housing are in Soi 8, 10, 12, and 14, on the south side of Sukhumvit Road between Asok and Nana BTS.
Shopping and entertainment-wise, everything is on your doorstep, including Nana Square, which has five floors of shops.
For something more interesting, visit Artbox in Soi 10. It is a high-end street market that offers a great selection of bars and food.
Want to enjoy some green space? Benchakitti Park is a beautiful public park located nearby.
Soi 11 is a popular area for Western pubs and restaurants, making it a great spot to grab a drink or bite.
For a different experience, venture into Soi Nana (also known as Sukhumvit Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy, located at the bustling Asoke intersection. These areas have gained notoriety as Bangkok’s infamous red-light districts, with a lively atmosphere and a unique blend of entertainment.
The area is not particularly cheap, but finding a one-bed apartment for around $600 is possible.
Asok is another well-located and modern area. It also gives you easy access to the rest of the city as BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (the Metropolitan Rapid Transit) stops are right at the Asok intersection. Plus, you are very close to the Petchburi MRT stop on the Airport Rail Link that takes you to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. This is perfect if you have to travel a lot.
The area is full of offices, so it gets busy on weekdays and absolutely mad during the rush hours. The weekends, in comparison, feel positively serene.
You have plenty of shopping and entertainment here, including restaurants, the Terminal 21 shopping mall with a huge food court, multiple pubs and cafes, and a notorious Soi Cowboy red-light district.
The food scene varies from Argentinian steaks to Italian pasta to Japanese food. Nana is also just one BTS stop away. Benjakitti Park is within walking distance when you need a nature fix.
Asok is considered a fairly expensive area to stay in Bangkok, although it is not the most expensive. Rental prices are close to Nana’s and average at about $600 monthly for a decent 1-bed apartment.
3. Phrom Phong
Welcome to “the little Japan” of Bangkok. This area is a hotspot for Japanese and Korean expats. Some of them own businesses catering to the local Japanese folk, so if you are a fan of Japanese food, you have found the perfect spot to live.
Japanese-owned supermarkets here sell all the essentials, including matcha, Japanese rice, and, of course, sake and shochu. Or, if you are not into cooking, you can visit one of the numerous cafes in the area, have sushi in Isao or ramen in Bankara Ramen or enjoy other cuisines, including Indian, Thai, and unspecified Western.
Phrom Phong is a bustling neighborhood that is equally lively during the day and night. It is home to numerous shopping malls, including Emporium and EmQuartier, food spots, trendy bars, exceptional bakeries, and much more.
Housing-wise, the glistening luxury high-rise condominiums of Phrom Phong offer amazing options. Look at Noble Around Sukhumvit 33, with stunning gardens, or The XXXIX by Sansiri, with modern facilities and a children’s play area.
It’s great for families as some family-friendly housing options are available here, from condos to apartment buildings to townhouses and single houses. Everything is on your doorstep, including The American School of Bangkok, Sukhumvit Hospital, and Samitivej Hospital. And, of course, let’s not forget the gorgeous Benjasiri Park, which is next door to the Emporium and Emsphere shopping complex,
Rental prices reflect the popularity of the area. You can rent a 3-4 bed townhouse for around $2600 a month. A condo will cost you around $700.
4. Thong Lo
Thong Lo, also known as Thong Lor, is a Beverly Hills of Bangkok. It is a highly desirable residential area located around Sukhumvit Soi 55. It is a popular choice for affluent Thais and a mix of foreign expats who live in the city.
The area is mainly between Sukhumvit Road and Phetchaburi Road, but it is now expanding along Thong Lo Road and beyond.
Thong Lo offers luxury lifestyle options with some of the most prestigious condos in Thailand, close to all the amenities you need.
The area boasts excellent restaurants, cafes, and places to hang out at any time of day or night. Shopping centers like The Maze and J Avenue and numerous community malls provide spaces to shop, dine out and entertain yourself.
Thong Lo Soi 10 is home to many bars and nightclubs, and the dining scene is superb.
The area is popular with young families, working professionals, and wealthy expats. Consequently, it is on the pricey side. Renting 1-bed apartment costs between $730 and $890 a month, while if you need more space, prepare to pay between $1200 and $1800 for a 2-bed apartment.
Another great neighborhood in the sweet spot of Sukhumvit, Ekkamai is an absolute gem if you need to travel to the areas of the city as it has its own BTS stop and the Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal.
Ekkamai has a trendy vibe, although not quite on the scale of Thong Lo, and boasts numerous dining and leisure options. It offers plenty to do and see without the crowds of tourists that often come with it.
This area is largely a proper residential area. It is not as much of a shopping hub as other nearby neighborhoods like Phrom Phong, just two BTS stops away. A large Gateway Mall near the Skytrain station is mostly about restaurants and cafes rather than retail stores.
There are a lot of amenities around that make life here very convenient: a bowling alley and a Major Cineplex, Sub-Zero Ice Skate Club, and Snow Town if you fancy a break from the heat and humidity.
You can rent a decent townhouse here starting at $1800 a month. A 1-bedroom condo can be found at $1000.
6. Phra Khanong
If you’re looking for a neighborhood in Bangkok that’s convenient and easy on the wallet, Phra Khanong is the place to be.
While close to the glitzy Thong Lo and the up-market Ekkamai, Phra Khanong offers more affordable housing options. A 1-bed apartment can be rented for $550 a month. For $800 a month, you can have a really nice 2-bed in a more luxurious condominium complex.
While Phra Khanong may have a predominantly Thai population, it also boasts a welcoming expat community. It’s a great place to connect with people from different backgrounds while enjoying that cozy neighborhood feel. Plus, reaching the major commercial areas of Bangkok is a breeze from here.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the famous W District! Located in Phra Khanong, it’s a popular hub where you can indulge in great food, shopping, and entertainment events.
7. On Nut
Located between Phra Khanong and On Nut BTS Station, this new area is becoming increasingly popular among expats in Bangkok. While it may not be the best option for the nightlife and proximity to Thong Lo, it offers lower rent prices and access to Western and Thai restaurants and shops.
This neighborhood has more of a Thai vibe and is less busy than Lower and Mid Sukhumvit, making it a great option for those looking for a more laid-back atmosphere. However, the area is rapidly changing with the development of new condos and an influx of people moving in.
On Nut is becoming a hot spot for expats, and it’s easy to see why. With affordable rent, convenient access to the city center, and a range of local amenities, this neighborhood is winning the hearts of many. While it may be mostly occupied by Thai residents, more expats and their families are joining the On Nut community. You’ll find supermarkets, various food options, and even co-working spaces for those who work remotely.
8. Sathon and Silom
We are leaving Sukhumvit and moving to the Sathon district, which stretches from the Chao Phraya River north to Lumpini Park.
Sathon and Silom Roads run parallel to each other and are very often referred to as one entity. The whole area can be loosely defined as extending from Lumpini Park and Rama IV in the east, reaching as far south as Chan Road, and stretching westward to the Chao Phraya River before spilling over into Silom Road in the north.
The best bit about living here is access to the Silom branch of the BTS Skytrain, with stations at Sala Deang, Chong Nonsi, and Surasak, as well as the Lumpini and Silom stations of the MRT subway system.
Sathon and Siom are quite upmarket locations with two most notable attractions – the Chao Phraya River and Lumpini Park.
It’s a touristy area full of luxurious hotels and fine dining venues of which local residents can take full advantage. You can enjoy a full range of global tastes here, from the most refined example of Italian cuisine in Sensi to the best Thai in Issaya Siamese Club to fancy cocktails at the city’s best rooftop bars.
The biggest perk of living here is Lumpini Park, which provides endless recreational options, from a relaxing walk to renting a boat to taking a fitness class or having a picnic and enjoying some time at a playground with your child.
Sathon and Silom offer a variety of amenities. There are grocery stores, bars, and restaurants here. The area has two good hospitals. There are also several good schools in the area, including St. Andrews International School, Raintree International School, Phramae Mary Sathon School, St. Joseph Convent School, and Hampton International Pre-School.
Within the towering office buildings of Silom, you’ll discover numerous high-end condominiums offering monthly rental rates starting at $600.
Overall, it s a business area with many offices along both roads. So if you work here, this will be the most convenient residential option for you, too.
Sathon Road also boasts a collection of condominiums, some of which are situated within expansive grounds and offer an impressive array of amenities.
Narrowing down your options, Sala Daeng is worth considering. Sala Daeng Soi 1 is calmer and more peaceful with its shaded sidewalks under trees. However, it is still in the main business and entertainment district, so work days are busy with office workers and nights – with affluent crowds indulging in dining and drinks.
Sala Daeng Soi 1 caters to all your essential needs, including pharmacies, salons, and dental clinics. Moreover, you’ll find the conveniences of Silom Complex, Bangkok Christian Hospital (Silom Road), BNH (Convent Road), and the nearby Lumphini Park, providing a range of amenities and recreational opportunities.
If you’re searching for a house, your best bet would be to venture south of Sathon Road towards Yenakart and Nanglinchi.
In these areas, condominiums and apartments often provide better value for money, albeit slightly farther from the mass transit network. However, these locations also offer a sense of community.
Additionally, Sathon Soi 10 and 12 present a few condominium options that provide a quieter living space in a popular neighborhood.
Ari is just the place if you are after an area that offers a calmer vibe without straying too far from the city center. It may not be as centrally located as other expat-popular areas. Still, as a result, Ari is all about a laid-back style and a slower pace, perfect if you need a more relaxed living environment.
Getting to Ari is incredibly convenient via the BTS Skytrain. All you need to do is take the Sukhumvit Line and disembark at Ari Station (N5).
Situated in the north-central part of Bangkok, this neighborhood stands apart from the bustling tourist attractions, making it a haven away from the tourist crowds. Popular among middle-class Thais and expatriates, it is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and thriving hipster cafe culture.
The real attractions of the area lie along Soi Ari itself and the tranquil, tree-lined side streets offering a relaxing vibe, green open spaces, varied food offerings, cool cafes, and a truly diverse international crowd.
Living here, you are close to the city center and other popular neighborhoods and have easy access to the Rama VI Expressway.
A one-bedroom condo near BTS Ari can be rented at around $650 a month. In more upscale residences, spacious 2-bedroom condos will cost you around $2000 a month, but you will get a lot for this price.
10. Phloen Chit
Phloen Chit offers a unique living experience distinct from more central areas like Thong Lo. This stylish neighborhood is increasingly becoming a sought-after residential destination for affluent Thais and expatriates. Unlike other areas that predominantly feature condominiums, Phloen Chit is perfect if you are looking for a house.
Nestled between Sukhumvit and Siam Square, Phloen Chit marks the starting point after Sukhumvit Road ends. It is an ideal location if you work in the city yet desire a family-friendly environment for your children.
This is where many foreign embassies are located, including the Swiss Embassy, the United States Embassy, and the British Embassy. This adds to the area’s prestige, safety, and general atmosphere.
Phloen Chit offers an abundance of amenities nearby. There is a wide selection of international-style restaurants and upscale shopping options like the Central Embassy Shopping Mall.
With its prestigious residential addresses, convenient amenities, and an upscale atmosphere, Phloen Chit stands out as one of Bangkok’s best places to live. This is reflected in the rental price. You can find a 4-bed house for rent in the area for about $3000 monthly. A one-bedroom condo at Noble Phloenchit can be rented for just over $1000 monthly.
Final thoughts on the best places to live in Bangkok
When it comes to finding a place to live in Thailand, Bangkok is a city that truly has it all. With its rich culture, lively streets, and mouth-watering cuisine, it’s no surprise that so many expats and travelers decide to make this city their home.
By exploring the diverse neighborhoods that Bangkok has to offer, you’re sure to find the perfect living option that suits your unique lifestyle and budget.
So, why not discover what this vibrant and exciting city has in store for you?