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Greetings all!

New to the site and wanted to introduce myself. I'm a brand new United Nations employee and will be starting my first position with the organization in Bangkok in two weeks. Thankfully the UN is very helpful in doing a lot of the legwork to expedite my transition there, however they can't help with all the details.

This is the first time I will be in Thailand and I'll be in country for two years. A few things that are up in the air for me still so here come some questions.

1) Are there any other UN employees lurking on these forums? Specifically ones who work in Bangkok?

2) To my understanding Sukhumvit is one of the big expat centers in the city. What are the other ones (Western ones in particular)?

3) I keep waffling on if I should lease a car while I'm there. I understand that Bangkok can have awful traffic. Where is a good place (with reasonable prices, of course) to get a long term lease that also provides insurance?

4) Is the Bank of Siam a good bank for expats? The site "looks" nice, but you never know from looks alone.

There are probably a million other smaller questions I can't think of or not have thought of yet. I'll also gladly take some unsolicited advice!

Anxious and excited to get over there!
 

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Emptyrepublic:

Congratulations on your assignment. Read through this forum for insight and answers to many of your questions.

You'll find many nice surprises, and a few disappointing ones. I won't spoil them for you.

Bangkok traffic is indescribable (perhaps "parking lot" best describes it). Based on this; as far as leasing a vehicle. Spend a couple of months using public transportation before deciding if the purchase or lease of a vehicle is warranted.

Enjoy - I hope you like it hot, and I hope you like it spicy.

As in every case, your assignment will be what you make of it.
 

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Second the suggestion to stick with public transport for a while - I think you will come to the conclusion that a car is more trouble than it is worth. If traveling out of the city, you can rent a car short term.

Have a look at Bangkok Bank. They have a branch in NYC which makes it very easy to transfer funds from the US.

Enjoy your first posting!
 

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Banking in Thailand is easy and foreigner friendly - I bank with Siam Commercial and in six years living here never had a problem - in particular foreign transfers always handled well. There are several banks to choose from and not heard a major problem with any of them.

If you're living and working in Bkk I wouldn't bother with a car due to horrendous traffic conditions plus creative driving styles you may not have encountered before - good public transport systems or taxis , etc will get you virtually anywhere you want. Likewise when you want to explore the country there's buses , trains , planes and boats to anywhere.
 

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Welcome to the site. As usual the regular posters have already provided good advice.

How did you manage to score a UN job? Let me know if you need a helper!

Don't bother with a car - because that's all it will be. You may not want to be surrounded by expats so don't make that a determining factor for choosing a place to live. Many expats here are quite odd and you might enjoy cultural immersion amongst the Thais - many do. But do choose a place close to the underground or overhead railway line.
 

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housing

One important heads-up when selecting a housing location (NOISE). Bangkok is NOISY.

Find housing located on a back street, away from traffic, away from trains, away from parks (noisy festivals) away from motorcycle repair shops, away from bars, discotheques and any other establishment which may have entertainment.

As cnx bruce states you want to be close enough to walk to the sky train or subways for transportation purposes, but you want to be far enough away so the noise will not bother you.
 
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