Bangkok City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 19, 2008

movingtothailandIMAGE200Bangkok is the economic center of the Kingdom of Thailand as much investment and activity is infused in the capital city. This has made the city the 22nd most populous city in the world. Bangkok is also the center of trade, industry and tourism in the Southeast Asian continent. Local residents and foreigners who visit the city for business functions or tourism amount to 20 million in number. Originally, Bangkok was a small trading center on the west bank of Chap Phraya River under Ayutthaya Kingdom. Now it has been a center of commerce in Asia, which attributes to the sudden influx of high-rise buildings and chains of companies, ranging from retails stores to international corporations.

The overall condition of Bangkok has made it a haven for expats and this was explained in the Thailand Expat Forum last August 27, 2009:

I would try to negotiate a “look and see” visit with the company and definetely negotiate the use of a relocation agent. We used asian tiger transpo when we came. My husband and I came for a week 6 months before we moved here and the agent showed us everything. We moved to pattaya. We looked at 30 or more houses. We visited all the international schools. She took us to grocery stores, outdoor markets…..showed us the family activities in pattaya. It made our move from america very smooth. My husband came back for a month 6 weeks before we moved and secured our house. She negotiated the rental agreement for us. My then 4 year old son was signed up for school and started within a week of moving here. She also took care of setting up the utilities for us when we moved here and in general it is very useful to have someone working for you that can take care of things.

I can’t answer the questions about bangkok except that the level of medical care is good here. There are two very nice private hospitals in bangkok.

Our experience living as an expat family here has been all good. We came with the idea that this was an adventure and we would make the most of it. We’ve been able to travel throughout southeast asia as airfare is very reasonable. In general thailand is a very pleasant place to live for expats. The people are very pleasing. Our son goes to regents school in pattaya which also has a branch in bangkok. We have been very pleased with the school so far but it is very expensive. Almost $3000 US dollars per term.

Residential Places in Bangkok

Due to the increase of expatriates from all over the country, Bangkok has expanded its repertoire to include residential areas varying from common bachelors pad, luxury apartments and condos, to fully furnished mansions. The northern and eastern areas are the primary residential areas for the middle class in Bangkok.  The areas around the International School of Bangkok in Soi Nichada Thani, in Samakee Road, Pakkret, Nonthaburi Thailand are ideal locations for residential areas. The place hosts brand new apartments with a swimming pool, and recreational facilities, such as sports and fitness gyms all within the compound. The basic price for most furnished apartments in the city ranges from 150,000 to 200,000 Bhat. If you consider renting or purchasing a residential unit within the heart of the city, then a condo would be the perfect selection for your needs. The condos in the city are fully furnished, from bedroom amenities to dining, and would serve you well during your stay. Most of these condos are located in Central Lumpini and Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

Hospitals and Universities of Bangkok

Already on their 35th year of service, Bangkok Hospital Medical Center is located in 2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road, Bangkapi, Huay Khwang Bangkok 10310. From humble beginnings, the hospital is now accommodating at least 2,200 walk-in patients a day, and has various centers spread all throughout the region.

The hospital is situated in a 16-storey building with 400-bed facility with services ranging from basic maternal and child check ups to complicated surgeries. For further inquiries regarding their services, the hospital can be contacted through their telephone number +662310 3000 or can be reached through local number 1719. Further inquiries regarding the hospital’s services can also be sent to their email address at [email protected].

Another hospital in the city is the Bumrungrad Hospital located on Sukumvit Road. This is the hospital frequented by expats, wealthy Thais and medical tourists. Another one is the Samithivej Hospital and all have received accreditation from the Joint Commission International.

Learning Facilities

Bangkok has not only been a center for commerce and trade, but the recent century shows that various foreigners flock to the regions to study in various programs offered by many public and private institutions in the country. The University of Bangkok has been one of the paramount institutions in the city, with courses ranging from Business Administration to School of Engineering. They also offer special programs in the field of Information Technology which is in demand with various business sectors all around the world.

Commercial Places in Bangkok

Considering the number of tourists and guests that flocks the region, Bangkok has risen to the challenge in providing the best commercial and entertainment venues in the Southeast. The Central World Shopping Complex in Bangkok is the biggest and best shopping mall in the city. The 550,000 square meters of retail space is filled with shopping areas from basic fashion boutiques to luxurious jewelers. The place also has venues for entertainment for family and friends to enjoy. There is also the Ratchaprasong district, the foremost shopping area for foreigners and locals alike. The Sukhumvit area boasts of the Chatuchak Weekend Market where many bargains can be found.

Luxury goods are practically served in a golden platter in the shops of Siam Paragon Shopping Centre. This five-storey commercial complex is filled to the brim with luxurious brands from textiles, shoes to fine jewelry. Also the 500,000 square meter compound sports both commercial and entertainment venue that rivals none others in all of Bangkok.

World Renowned Spa and Massage Therapy

When in the city of Bangkok, one has to indulge in the pleasures of Asian health therapy. Various hotels and spas in the area offer the legendary Thai massage technique which is famous worldwide. The Hapa Spa located in 20/4 Sukhumvit Soi 3, Klong Toey, Bangkok, offers other services aside from the traditional Thai massage; such services include the Infrared Thermal Sauna, Hydrotherapy, and organic therapies.

An expat recommended a travel itinerary that is best for your needs. The post is located in the Thailand Expat Forum last June 18, 2007:

Living in Thailand is great, especially for expats. Many westerners take a long stay after their retirement, or even live here forever. The cost of living is quite small. For you, even having dinner in good restaurants may not cost much, like 1000 baht a menu, but eating street vendor food even cost much smaller, only like 25 baht for noodle or 30 baht for rice with curry. Drinking costs you 10 baht for a bottle of water. I do not know much about owning a property. But if you want to travel around Thailand during your retirement stay here, try Exotissimo Travel. It is a reliable travel company based in Bangkok (and also in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, Vientiane and Luang Prabang)

And I believe that a retiree like you love to travel on private or a little more exclusive. Exotissimo Travel also has tailor-made luxury tours and hotels option for you. Just visit Exotissimo Luxury Travel Collection and contact any staff of each country.

Service Establishments of Bangkok

Being the center of trade, commerce and entertainment in Southeast Asia, Bangkok aims to provide quality 24-hour service which ensures the safety and comfort of any residents, whether local or foreigners alike.

Important Hotlines

The police hotline can be dialed through the local number 191 and the fire brigade in 199. For problems on the road, you may contact the highway police in 1193. In case of health injuries or accidents, Medical Evaluation and Ambulance Service can be contacted through their telephone number 02 282 1815. Loss or stolen cards can now be reported with a push of a button. Every credit card company has a specific hotline to accommodate their subscribers in lost credit cards. Master Card has their own hotline number in 1155 while Visa has 197. Diners Card is 1699 while AMEX or American Express can be reached through 191. Finally, tourist will no longer have any problems while in the city since the Tourist Assistance Center can now be reached via their telephone number 02 281 5051; the Tourism Authority of Thailand can now be contacted at 02 694 1222.

Embassies in Bangkok

The British Embassy and British Honorary Consul both aims to provide assistance to Britons who are within the Chiang Mai area from passport application to legal assistance.

The British Embassy is located in 14 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Thailand. The can be contact through their telephone number +66 02 395 8333 with extension numbers 2334 and 2318. Fax number +66 02 255 6051 is readily available to accept documents pertaining to the needed assistance from the embassy. The embassy can also be reached through their email address [email protected].

British Honorary Consul is situated in 198 Bumrungraj Road, Muang Chiang Mai Thailand. Their hotline +66 053 263015 and fax +66 053 263016 are readily available to accept inquiries and consultation from 9:00AM to 11:30AM Mondays to Fridays. Correspondence may also be sent via their email address [email protected].

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

We are a couple (american / scottish) with a 7 year old boy who will be attending the Lycée in Bangkok. We currently live in France. We will be moving just before the school year begins (yes, I know – very short time to get sorted out) and we are wondering about accommodation near the Lycee Français International Bangkok.
In our perfect fantasy world 😉 we would rent a furnished apartment from someone who wants to have a year out themselves! I know. Fantasy 🙂 Anyway if anyone could help steer us in the direction of a not too expensive condo or a good rental estate agent I would be grateful. We are LOVELY and clean and wouldn’t steal the silver – I promise!


john barton April 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I am moving out to live and work in Bangkok and would like to know of any EX Pat groups that meet up regularly.
I am a keen sportsman so if anyone plays 5 a side footie, or rugby, I would be keen to know the details.
Also where are best places to live?


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