Expats have long flocked to Thailand. Whether they come for the warm weather, pristine beaches, or the exotic culture, people from around the world choose to make Thailand their home for a variety of reasons. Improvements to public infrastructure and a growth in real estate and businesses in downtown Bangkok has caused an increase in the number of expats settling in and around the city.
There isn’t a single district or area to settle where all foreigners choose in particular. Instead, small bubbles of expat communities exist in districts throughout the city. But there currently are two districts in particular that are separating themselves from the rest when it comes to appealing to expat living – Sukhumvit and Sathorn. Each has its own attraction, and expats settle in similar numbers in each, depending on their list of requirements. If you’re thinking of moving to Bangkok, or to a new area within the city, our Sathorn vs Sukhumvit guide may just help sway your decision!
The Sathorn district, which is one of the newest areas in the city, stretches from the Chao Phraya River north to Lumpini Park. This modern, trendy district is popular with foreign tourists, thanks the many luxurious hotels, such as the Metropolitan and the Banyan Tree, that are located there. Expats from anywhere in the world will enjoy the selection of high-end international restaurants, in addition to the large variety of luxury dining spots serving up both local and international cuisine.
Sathorn is also close by to a number of attractions. Bangkok’s largest park, Lumpini Park, is a great place to walk or run, rent a boat, take a fitness class, or just to relax. It’s within walking distance to many parts of the Sathorn neighbourhood and is a real gem that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of central Bangkok. Those new to the city will enjoy visiting the Thonburi area just across the river. This old-world district offers a more traditional view of Bangkok. Sathorn is still developing and as it does, a mature and sophisticated crowd are relocating here. Naturally, trendy and upmarket restaurants and bars are being created by savvy businesspeople to cater for this demographic.
Named after, and built around, the longest road in Thailand, the Sukhumvit district has a variety of attractions that make it popular with the expat community. Small, quiet cafes, and tea and coffee houses fill many of the streets, while others contain some of the wildest nightlife in the city. Sukhumvit in Bangkok is renowned as the place to be later on in the evening, with Soi 11 being a particularly good hotspot for partying into the early hours. For those who prefer a more relaxed life, day spas, trendy restaurants, hip stores, and more are spread throughout the district, making it a great choice for anyone who enjoys walking everywhere without having to travel far afield for all of their amenities.
Like Sathorn, Sukhumvit still has its share of luxury hotels and condominiums, as well as high-end restaurants and shops. The further south you go along Sukhumvit Road, the more residential the neighbourhood becomes, with most of the hotels and other tourist attractions concentrated in the northern area.
Both Sathorn and Sukhumvit are serviced by Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain network, making it simple to visit other districts or downtown Bangkok. They also both offer similar housing and rental prices to one another, generally.
Bangkok is so diverse that even districts can vary from one end to another. However, Sathorn generally provides a more mature and relaxed living than Sukhumvit in our opinion. If you like venturing out until the early hours, and want literally everything at your fingertips then Sukhumvit could be the place for you to live. However, if you prefer a slower pace of life with bigger areas of natural spaces, fine dining and sophisticated nightlife then Sathorn is the better pick. It is generally quieter than Sukhumvit so if you’re into a more relaxed pace of life rather than constant party action then this is another tick in Sathorn’s favour.
If you’re looking for a condominium or home to rent or buy in either district, or elsewhere in Bangkok, now is the time to buy; changes in the real estate market and the nation’s economy mean prices are currently achievable but are set to continue increasing in the coming years if plans come to fruition. For further advice on any of Bangkok’s district please contact us.
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