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Is The River too far out to live?


NewbieInBangkok

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Hello,

My husband and I are moving to Thailand soon and we are trying to decide where in Bangkok we should live.  The condo we like best is The River but I will be taking Thai language and art lessons (probably around Phrom Phong and Thong Lor) and I wondered if living out at the riverside is too inconvenient?

 

We don’t have kids so don’t have to consider schools.  

My husband will be driven to work out towards the airport. 

We like to go out for meals but don’t really go for drinks after dinner except maybe a couple of cocktails.

Weekends we will both be golfing and exploring Bangkok mainly.

 

Most of his coworkers live in Phrom Phong or Thong Lor.  Is this a better place for us to live rather than The River?

The cons as I see them are that there are so many buildings on top of and facing into each other.

The size of the condo apartments within our budget (healthy) are on the small side compared to The River.

The pools all seem overlooked and void of privacy whilst The River has 5 pools iirc.

The condos we like the look of here are The XXXIX, The Diplomat, Quattro, Ivy Thonglor, Eight Thinglor.

We also looked (only on internet so far) at Silom and the Ratchadamri/Chidlom/Ploenchit areas.

 

 

So, what are your thoughts and recommendations?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I think you will find it a bit isolated, given what you have said. The river views are stunning , i can understand why you like the condo. I have friends who live there and some who have now moved on, BUT

  1) it’s a long way from everywhere it sounds like you want to be, transport links from down there are not great, and then there is the traffic. They also keep saying the BTS station there will close, but I don’t know when that will be.

  2) shopping , and I don’t just mean the big department stores  (ok iconsiam) I mean even for the basics eg food, is more limited in that area. It’s a bit of a desert outside that condo.

  3) social life: I suspect you will find that friends and new acquaintances will tend to prefer to meet a bit more uptown, so you will be spending all your time in taxis.

  Most long term expats (who want or can afford central Bangkok) tend to gravitate to the Asoke/Thonglor area. There are many different reasons for this, but I guess you will realise this more depending on your lifestyle 

 

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It’s not quite near the airport where he’ll be working but north west of there.  40-60 mins according to google maps depending of time of day.  Only 4-10 mins longer than from Phrom Phong.  

We are only considering the areas I’ve mentioned for various reasons.  Most of his coworkers live in Phrom Phong-Thong Lor so the 40 min commute is normal for them.  I just wondering if it’s worth a bit extra time to live at the Riverside.

 

But thank you....I appreciate your input.

 

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3 minutes ago, wordchild said:

I think you will find it a bit isolated, given what you have said. The river views are stunning , i can understand why you like the condo. I have friends who live there and some who have now moved on, BUT

  1) it’s a long way from everywhere it sounds like you want to be, transport links from down there are not great, and then there is the traffic. They also keep saying the BTS station there will close, but I don’t know when that will be.

  2) shopping , and I don’t just mean the big department stores  (ok iconsiam) I mean even for the basics eg food, is more limited in that area. It’s a bit of a desert outside that condo.

  3) social life: I suspect you will find that friends and new acquaintances will tend to prefer to meet a bit more uptown, so you will be spending all your time in taxis.

  Most long term expats (who want or can afford central Bangkok) tend to gravitate to the Asoke/Thonglor area. There are many different reasons for this, but I guess you will realise this more depending on your lifestyle 

 

Thank you!  You’ve basically confirmed most of my concerns.  

And I also didn’t know about the BTS closing down there.

We will likely only live in Bkk 2-3 years but if the BTS closed then we’d have to go everywhere by car.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, wordchild said:

Have you looked at Athenee residence Ploenchit? Or Domus soi 18, Maybe worth a look if you haven’t 

I haven’t seen Domus on the list of condos that the company realtor uses but I’ll check again.

 

i did make a mental note of Athenee that there was something I didn’t like about it but I can’t remember what so I’ll take another look.

 

Do you recommend those 2 instead of Diplomat, XXXIX and the Thong Lor ones I mentioned?  In what ways do they compare more favourably?

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If I had buckets of money, one complex that always looked interesting was the millennium residence (Asoke area)Don’t know how it compares to the other luxury condos but the floor plans aren’t as wonky as many I have seen elsewhere.

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17 minutes ago, wordchild said:

Have you looked at Athenee residence Ploenchit? Or Domus soi 18, Maybe worth a look if you haven’t 

I just checked the list of condos we can choose from and the cheapest Domus one they have is 130k so a bit over budget.  The only Athenee one they have looks ok but nothing special.  Worth taking a look maybe.

The ones in that area that I liked the look of are in;

Magnolia Ratchadamri

Oriental Residence 

The Rajdamri

The Park Chidlom

Millenium

 

 

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I don’t really know the Thong Lor ones, but the Diplomat and the others on soi 39 are a bit crowded in so I know what you meant in your original post.  And anything built in Bangkok in the last 5 years or so will feel cramped compared to the River. There are many that might be worth a look , and I am not a realtor so I have limited knowledge, my comments are only based on my experience and friends. FWIW , I would look at Athenee, Domus (probably best in Bangkok for kids) , Royce, Millenium (not for everyone but good facilities) Park Lane, ficus Lane, and many others. I would focus on slightly older but well maintained with good space.

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Just now, Airalee said:

If I had buckets of money, one complex that always looked interesting was the millennium residence (Asoke area)Don’t know how it compares to the other luxury condos but the floor plans aren’t as wonky as many I have seen elsewhere.

The Millenium is on the list that I liked too but it seemed a bit far from the BTS.

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Just now, NewbieInBangkok said:

The Millenium is on the list that I liked too but it seemed a bit far from the BTS.

Ok....thanks for the info.  Not sure what size place you’re looking for and how healthy your budget is, but Sky Walk has a sweet place for rent (100k for 250sqm) at the moment.  Close to the Phra Khanong BTS.   The value for money spent gets much better just a couple stops past Thonglor.

 

https://www.hipflat.com/listings/bangkok-condo-chcgkhyp

 

 

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3 minutes ago, wordchild said:

I don’t really know the Thong Lor ones, but the Diplomat and the others on soi 39 are a bit crowded in so I know what you meant in your original post.  And anything built in Bangkok in the last 5 years or so will feel cramped compared to the River. There are many that might be worth a look , and I am not a realtor so I have limited knowledge, my comments are only based on my experience and friends. FWIW , I would look at Athenee, Domus (probably best in Bangkok for kids) , Royce, Millenium (not for everyone but good facilities) Park Lane, ficus Lane, and many others. I would focus on slightly older but well maintained with good space.

Thank you for taking so much time to give info.

 

The problem we have is that we will have to decide on a few to view before we fly over to Bangkok.  Once there we will have just 1.5 days to decide which of them we will live in.  If I had longer to decide it would make things much easier.

 

There are soooo many that would be completely fine and I’m glad that the company realtor we are dealing with does not have access to everything available so that has helped to narrow things down.

 

Furnishings is important to me so I must admit I was tending to rule out the older condos because the furniture might be shabby but it is true that they have the larger rooms.

 

Decisions, decisions...

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1 minute ago, Airalee said:

Ok....thanks for the info.  Not sure what size place you’re looking for and how healthy your budget is, but Sky Walk has a sweet place for rent (100k for 250sqm) at the moment.  Close to the Phra Khanong BTS.   The value for money spent gets much better just a couple stops past Thonglor.

 

https://www.hipflat.com/listings/bangkok-condo-chcgkhyp

 

 

Looking for at least 80 square metres but 120 plus would be perfect.  Budget is up to 100k.  I’ll have a look at Sky Walk.  

 

Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

Furnishings is important to me so I must admit I was tending to rule out the older condos because the furniture might be shabby

Furniture is gonna be a crapshoot here.  I have already bought new sofas (along with the obligatory mattress) for each of my places here in BKK.  The landlords love me for it. 

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2 minutes ago, Airalee said:

Furniture is gonna be a crapshoot here.  I have already bought new sofas (along with the obligatory mattress) for each of my places here in BKK.  The landlords love me for it. 

Lol....we have 2 sets of sofas plus a mattress from previous overseas transfers for the same reason so we could bring some with us...but they would take a while to arrive.

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11 minutes ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

Looking for at least 80 square metres but 120 plus would be perfect.  Budget is up to 100k.  I’ll have a look at Sky Walk.  

 

Thanks!

You should easily be able to get a good sized condo within your budget, it’s a renters market at the moment.  As a general rule, if you take your  months budget, and double it, Knock off  3 zeros, then that would be the kind of sqm condo you could get if a little older and slightly off pitch, eg 100000 would get you a B grade, slightly older  200 Sqm a Little way from the BTS. For better quality and or location add a premium to that. Eg for 100000 budget  , I would expect you should get a premium quality and location around 150 plus sqm

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Another question....

How busy do the pools get at some of these condos?  I’ve watched lots of YouTube videos of people showing off their condos but there is never anyone in either the gym or the pool when they are walking around.  And I mean the foreigners that are filming where they live, not the realtors showing new builds.

 

Are they just rarely used by the residents or are there really busy times?

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1 minute ago, wordchild said:

You should easily be able to get a good sized condo within your budget, it’s a renters market at the moment.  As a general rule, if you take you months budget, and double it, then that would be the kind of sqm condo you could get if a little older and slightly off pitch, eg 100000 would get you a B grade, slightly older  200 Sqm a Little way from the BTS. For better quality and or location add a premium to that. Eg for 100000 , I would expect you should get a premium quality and location around 150 plus sqm

Great info, thank you 😊 

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3 minutes ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

Lol....we have 2 sets of sofas plus a mattress from previous overseas transfers for the same reason so we could bring some with us...but they would take a while to arrive.

I wouldn’t bother shipping furniture.  Customs is a pain in the a$$.

 

If you can slum it in 60sqm (1br), Rhythm Sukhumvit has some pretty cool duplex loft condos on the backside so you won’t be beaten to death by the sun in the afternoon.

 

https://www.hipflat.com/listings/bangkok-condo-rbveeevn

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1 minute ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

Another question....

How busy do the pools get at some of these condos?  I’ve watched lots of YouTube videos of people showing off their condos but there is never anyone in either the gym or the pool when they are walking around.  And I mean the foreigners that are filming where they live, not the realtors showing new builds.

 

Are they just rarely used by the residents or are there really busy times?

Empty 90% of the time, depends on kid population in the condo,and school hours etc. 

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8 minutes ago, Airalee said:

I wouldn’t bother shipping furniture.  Customs is a pain in the a$$.

 

If you can slum it in 60sqm (1br), Rhythm Sukhumvit has some pretty cool duplex loft condos on the backside so you won’t be beaten to death by the sun in the afternoon.

 

https://www.hipflat.com/listings/bangkok-condo-rbveeevn

We have to ship some stuff by sea and by air anyway (company pays) but yes, I wasn’t planning to bring the sofas or mattress if we can help it.  

 

1 br way too small.  I need space for my painting stuff, preferably a separate room.

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12 minutes ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

We have to ship some stuff by sea and by air anyway (company pays) but yes, I wasn’t planning to bring the sofas or mattress if we can help it.  

 

1 br way too small.  I need space for my painting stuff, preferably a separate room.

If the company is paying to ship it (plus customs), by all means bring the sofas (if you like them).  Good furniture here is ridiculously expensive.  Think Design Within Reach (dwr.com) prices for lower quality.  Mattresses aren’t so bad as they’re always on sale.

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11 minutes ago, NewbieInBangkok said:

We have to ship some stuff by sea and by air anyway (company pays) but yes, I wasn’t planning to bring the sofas or mattress if we can help it.  

 

1 br way too small.  I need space for my painting stuff, preferably a separate room.

Ill just chime in to say that your condo sould be selected for transport. Yer hubby has to go to work, so pick a place with easy access to the highway. Since you are going to TL or PP, you have easy access as long as you are on a train line. But his road line needs to come first, sitting in BKK traffic with a driver sucks the same as driving in BKK traffic. Its traffic.

 

Personally, I think Central Bangkok which I define as Sala Daeng into Prom Prong/Thong Lo, is touristy, over priced and/or seedy. Choose wisely

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I think you have to consider your husband’s commute first, because from the wrong location, even getting a short distance, in the morning traffic,  to get onto the highway can be a bit of a nightmare. Maybe focus on ease of highway access first and foremost and stress that to your agent.  From that perspective , mid Sukhumvit is a bit less attractive, and maybe better to consider either Ploenchit area , where you are close to the highway or further out, past Ekhami, also with highway  access and which is also cheaper. I use the airport a great deal (almost weekly)  and have mostly lived in the Ploenchit area during  my time in Bangkok: on a good day, early morning, I can be at the airport in 30/35 minutes from where I live, even a bad day normally under 50 minutes . It would be even quicker from the Phrakanong/Bang Na area. 

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