Living Like a Local in a Bangkok

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Among everything else, staying in hostels was a new experience to me when I started traveling, and the longer I travel, the more hostels become my calling. I also wanted to make sure I included a lot of variety on my journey, accommodation options included.

In planning my trip, I randomly decided that Bangkok would be a good place to try out an apartment. I would be just over half way through with my first RTW trip and would indulge in some privacy for a week or two. Thanks to Roomorama and a $30/night apartment in a modern, luxury building, I lived like a queen for a week in one of Bangkok’s great neighborhoods.

After staying in a nice hostel that was a bit out of the way from the attractions, I was more than ready to move to a new part of town. I needed some peace from roommates coming in late at night, turning on the lights, and playing music in the morning. The day I changed locations, I managed to find the apartment all on my own and saved myself a 100-200 baht taxi ride. Don’t you love it when the place you want to go is a lot easier to find than expected?

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Anyway, when I got to the building, I was immediately escorted to my new home on the 8th floor without question. I opened the door and literally squealed and started jumping for joy, I was so happy.

The apartment was so quaint. It wasn’t huge, but it was just enough space. It was perfect, in fact. The size of the apartment is exactly what I wish for in any apartment I live in. As I walked in, I was greeted with air conditioning, a washing machine, stove, toaster oven, microwave, fridge, all the pots & pans I needed for cooking, free bottled water, and cookies. The apartment opens up to a small living room with a TV, DVD player, a cozy futon, a small dining table, clean bathroom with fresh towels, and a bedroom with a king size bed.

In the living room, the floor-to-ceiling windows open up to a balcony where I could hang my clothes to dry and get an incredible view of the Bangkok skyline that goes on for miles with skyscrapers popping up here and there. I had the luxury of sitting on the balcony in the warm, summer evenings drinking tea like a scene from a movie. I was in heaven.

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Although there wasn’t wifi in the actual apartment, they had free wifi downstairs in the lobby, a pool on the roof which I made good use of, a doorman, key card access, and a lot of young people living in the building.

For a whole week, I was flashing my badge to security and swiping it in the elevator, coming and going as I pleased without worrying what kind of mess I would come back to or the new roommates to which I would have to introduce myself. After a long day of exploring, it was nice to return to the peace and quiet of an apartment.

As I walked the streets, I gave my spare change to the homeless sitting outside. Every other day or so, I’d spent an hour lost in the Big C supermarket buying groceries. I had settled in so easily that I felt like I really belonged.

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To be greeted with smiles by the shop owners down the streets, nod to the doorman as I walked in and out, and mingle with neighbors, these are often simple pleasures we overlook because they become part of a routine we get bored with rather quickly. It isn’t until you’re stripped away from those things that you begin to appreciate them.

Just a short walk from the Phahon Yothin stop on the MRT, I was surrounded by small shops, street food, boutique salons/spas, supermarkets, and two malls. I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal location.

If I ever come back to Bangkok, you can bet that I’ll be looking into staying in this exact apartment again. What a treat.

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