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Published: July 18th 2014
Street sign on Samsen Road. Bsngkok.
As the title says, this is an area where very few tourists who travel to Bangkok know about, or just happen to pass through on their way to visit an attraction, of which there are many in the 'City of Angels.' However, readers might also like to know about where and how locals live in a typical residential section of the Thai capital. I lived in one such locality called Si Yan in Bangkok's Samsen district during my five years in Bangkok from 2006 to 2011.
There are no known tourist attractions in the vicinity, only low rent housing and apartments, food shops, pharmacies, markets, and hundreds of street vendors selling anything from fried bananas to mouth watering snacks, to tasty sweets and desserts. To a foreigner it can be a fascinating blend of exotic sights and sounds!
The main reason I chose to live in this neighborhood was because it was only a 15 minute walk away from the school where I worked at that time, or five minutes by one of the motorcycles taxis that are abound in every street corner of this teeming metropolis.
My apartment building was located at the end
The motorcyle on the right is a taxi.
of a small soi
which is a side street branching off a major road. At the top of the soi
on one such big street, one can find just about anything for one's needs. In all the years I lived there I can count on the fingers of my hand, the number of times I cooked for myself. For one thing, for a person living alone, it is cheaper to eat outside at a street stall than to cook at home. If you do want to cook there is a big market appropriately called Si Yan market very close by, or a mini-shopping mall where there is a good sized grocery store called TOPS supermarket.
There is a narrow alley across from my apartment where working class people had their homes. I would often take a short cut along this alley if I wanted to go to the bank on Samsen Road, or walk further down to a bigger shopping center where they had Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dunkin' Donuts and Western restaurants.
The place where I stayed was also convenient to travel by commuter boat to many tourist sites in Bangkok as Prayap pier is only
Corridor outside my apartment in Bangkok. Note houses of neighbors across the building.
about a ten minute walk away. Khao San Road (well known to backpackers), the Grand Palace, National Museum, etc. is easily accessible by bus (about half an hour's ride) from Samsen Road too.
If any of the Travel Blog members have plans for a long term stay in Bangkok, I would definitely recommend that you find a place similar to the one where I stayed, of which there are many in various locations around the city. It's going to cost a lot less (around $220 a month) in the long run, than at a hotel or guesthouse.
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