Things to Think About When Moving to Bangkok
Bangkok is unique in being one of the few cities in the world where tradition and modernization meet. Where else will you see elephants freely walking the main entertainment avenue? Where else will you find a palace made of gold among the shopping malls? Bangkok is around 605 square miles with a population of 9 million people. It is considered the 73rd largest city in the world and also considered the funnel of Asia. Many visitors going to other Asian countries, like Vietnam, land in Bangkok first. This makes Thailand a unique place to live. It’s where cultures meet and where diversity becomes the unifying theme. These are the things that gives this city some unique nuisances. Things that you need to consider before moving in.
Things to Think About When Moving to Bangkok: Proximity
It is not known for being one of the most congested cities for nothing. Although a map might tell you that a place is but two kilometres away, it doesn’t mean you can get there in less than ten minutes unless you are willing to walk. Zero hour can hold you back for hours so it’s better to choose a place that is as near as possible to your main area of business.
Things to Think About When Moving to Bangkok: Transportation
Bangkok tremendously improved its traffic with the construction of trains which essentially connects major commercial areas. Bangkok has an above-ground train called the BTS Skytrain which runs from 6am to midnight every day. This train system has two lanes that connect the leading hotels and shopping centers of Bangkok. You can see it running above the Phahonyothin, Silom, Sukhumvit, and Sathorn roads. The fare starts at 15B per stop. If you’re going to be using this train regularly, you might want to get one of the store value cards so you can save the time you’ll spend just waiting in line. The other train system available is the Bangkok Underground or the MRT. Like the BTS, this operates from 6am to 12 midnight daily. It currently only has one line, the blue line which runs from Hualamphong to Bang Sue, passing by many of the top tourist attractions such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the Lumpini Park, and the Thailand Cultural Center. The minimum fare per stop is 15B, just like the BTS. Both train systems are a fast and inexpensive way to travel around the city; there are trains arriving at each station about every 5 minutes and the fares cost less than any form of taxi. Getting a place that is near a station of either train stations would save you a lot of time.
Boats and Ferries.
There are a lot of transport along and across the Chao Praya River and its adjoining canals. The Chao Praya Express boat is one of them. River express boats and ferries are generally cheaper and faster than any of the taxi because you don’t need to contend with traffic. There are about 20 main stops along the river and the fare ranges between 5B to 10B depending on the distance. There are also smaller boats that cross the river at every stop, which costs around 1B to 2B. Commuting by river is also a nice experience for tourists as you get to see the temples alongside modern developments such as hotels, residences, and even warehouses. If you can’t get a place near a train station, try to get one near a boat or ferry stop.
Thais are generally friendly and honest but it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with standard fares. The taxi meter rate is 35B for the first 2 kilometers and an additional 4.50B for each kilometre after until you reach 12km. The rate then changes to 5B from kilometre 13 until 20 and 5.50B for any distance greater than 20km. Taxis also have a standing charge when traffic is slow so don’t be surprised if you get charged for that as well. The famous tuk-tuk, or motorized rickshaw, is another type of taxi service available in the city. The minimum fare for 3km is generally about 30-40B. Also, make sure that you negotiate the price before getting on.
Things to Think About When Moving to Bangkok: Important Offices and Places
Your Country’s Embassy
To know where your embassy is, the best way to is to go online and check this website: http://www.bkkpages.com/useful/embassies. It measures the distance of each embassy from a certain station of the BTS Skytrain or wherever you may be located. Most embassies can be reached by travelling through the mass transit system (BTS or MRT) and this would also be the fastest route for you as you will be avoiding traffic.
Hospitals. For a list of hospitals and the locations, you should look at this site: http://www.bkkpages.com/health-and-beauty/hospitals. Knowing where to go and how to get there is a good emergency plan. Also, take note of the emergency number to call in case of medical emergencies: 1669.
Police Stations. One last place that you should take note of, just in case, is the police station nearest you. Much like the hospitals, it is better to know them than to regret it later on. For a quick guide on where to go to if you need help from the police, check this out: http://www.bkkpages.com/useful/police.
Things to Think About When Moving to Bangkok: Khao San Road
Yes, you need to know here Khao San Road is because it is important to have a good time and Khao San is where you go to have one. This is located at the northern side of Rattanakosin near the Chao Praya River. There are numerous bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes here that are extremely affordable that even the locals go here to wind down. Aside from the numerous places to hang out, the Khao San Road is also famous for shopping. There are a lot of stalls selling clothes, bags, shoes, and other accessories. For the book lovers, a lot of second hand book stores are also located here. Because the BTS and MRT do not pass by here, the mode of transport is usually by boat, bus, or taxi. We hope that helps. We will be writing more about things you need to consider when moving to Bangkok so be sure to check back in.