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Expat Letter From Bangkok

Located around midway along the BTS Sukhumvit line from Central station Siam to Bang Na lies Phrom Phong. This area is still quite close to Asok, but has at its advantage a number of sois leading off in either direction that are home to hotels, condos, eateries, coffee shops and entertainment complexes. 

The area runs roughly from soi 22 to soi 39 and is home to a number of other attractions including the Emporium shopping mall and Benjari Park. The Emporium in particular is very well established as the go to place for designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and electronics, as well as having a movie theatre on the 6th floor and a large number of dining options on the 5th floor. The building is located directly opposite Phrom Phong BTS station and features a connecting walkway on the second floor so that you don’t have to ascend from street level. 
On the other side of Sukhumvit road, not far from the Emporium building lies a villa supermarket and a string of restaurants and dining options including the Robin Hood and the Londoner pubs to name just two. 
Not surprisingly this is a popular locale for people to reside in and the sois are full of condos both established and newly built. Just behind the Emporium lies the Krunthep Thani Tower Condo. This is a 27-story apartment building located midway along soi 24. Facilities include a tennis court, a children’s play area, a garden area and golf range as well as a swimming pool, gym and sauna. Covered parking and 24 hour security also come as standard. The project was completed in 1998 and features 76 substantial apartment units in both 2 bedroom 190 square meter to 215 square meter configurations and 3 bedroom 330 square meter floor plans. There are also some penthouse units that go up in size to 460 square meters. The building also features a rare bonus for pet lovers and that is that pets are allowed in the units. A 330 square meter 3-bedroom unit can be rented for as little as 110,000 baht per month.
Within walking distance to Phrom Phong BTS station in soi 26, is the Seed Musee condo building. This boutique style low rise development has 9 floors and houses studio condos in the size range of 34 to 37 square meters, compact 1 bedroom units in the range 43 square meters to 55 square meters and two bedroom apartments in the range of 65 square meters to 67.5 square meters. Facilities at The Seed Musee include a fitness room, steam room, an Infinity edge swimming pool, artistic lobby with Wi-Fi and underground covered parking as well as security in the form of key cards and 24 hour security staff on hand. In addition there is a private shuttle service to the BTS station though in reality it is barely a few minutes walk away. 
The Seed Musee is ideally situated for access to the Emporium, and nearby K Village mall, which is located between sois 24 and 26 near to Rama IV road. A 34 square meter studio can be rented for around 20,000 baht per month whilst a one bedroom unit in the range of 44 square meters to 45 square meters can be found for around 28,000 to 30,000 baht per month. In adjacent soi 24, the Emporio Place condo is a high-rise development featuring twin towers that are 35 and 42 floors high, housing a total of 329 units. Sizes range from 1 bedroom 48 square meter to 3 bedroom units covering 160 square meters. 2 bedroom apartments are also on offer from 100 square meters to 136 square meters.

The project was recently completed in early 2010 and is close by to the Emporium shopping center. Facilities include a good sized pool with sun deck area, a garden terrace and BBQ area. Ample parking is available in the covered car park and the project also features a library, children’s play area, tennis court, minimart and coffee shop as well as a large lobby and 24 hour security.  

Of note is that there are a large number of duplexes featured in the building. A 2 bedroom 145 square meter duplex can be bought for around 14.5 million baht or rented for 85,000 baht per month. Smaller 1 bedroom duplexes are also available covering 67 square meters and these can be bought for as little as 9.7 million baht or rented for 50,000 baht per month. 
Slightly further down Sukhumvit Road in soi 30/1 is the imposing Waterford Diamond condo. This is a well established project that comes in the form of a substantial 46 floor tower building and can be seen as a landmark from most locations in the area. The building was completed in 1999 and houses some 500 units.

Apartments on offer range from 1 bedroom 60 square meter configurations to 3 bedroom 145 square meter layouts. Facilities include a well equipped gymnasium complete with boxing ring, two good sized swimming pools, a squash court, sauna and two garden areas on different floors. There is also a meeting room, library, children’s play area, ample parking set over 10 floors and 24 hour manned security. In the substantial lobby, a range shops and eateries can be found. 
Prices are inexpensive with a 70 square meter 1 bedroom condos available for rent at around 30,000 bath per month. 62 square meter units can be bought for as little as 5.6 million baht or rented from as little as 20,000 baht per month. Larger units are also available with 187 square meter 3 bedroom units renting for 65,000 baht per month and 146 square meter units available from 55,000 baht per month. 
Another high-rise condominium building located nearby in Sukhumvit Soi 26, is the Condo X One Sukhumvit. It lies only a few hundred meters from the main Sukhumvit highway and is in easy reach of Phrom Phong BTS station.  The project, which has 28 floors and 329 units in various sizes and configurations is relatively new built and was completed in 2008.

Studios can be found in a 33 square meter footprint for around 18,000 baht per month whilst 2 and 3 bedroom units up to 70 square meters can be bought for around 7.8 million baht. One bedroom and 2 bedroom units in the 50 square meter range can be bought for around 5 million baht.  The project features a swimming pool, luxurious lobby, steam and laundry rooms as well as a garden area and 24 hour security including CCTV. 
On the other side of Sukhumvit Road, in soi 39 the Royal Castle Condominium is a 26 floor high-rise project within walking distance from Sukhumvit road and Phrom Phong BTS station. This more established building was completed in 1996 and has 146 good sized units in it. The building has a castle type deign with archways and moldings and is built in a courtyard style. Units at the Royal Castle Condominium come in 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 5 bedroom layouts.   
Prices are reasonable. A 3 bedroom 134 square meter condo can be bought for only 8.25 million baht, barely 60,000 per square meter. 165 square meter units can be bought for around 9.5 million baht. On the rental side, 140 square meter 3 bedroom units can be rented for 50,000 baht per month and 132 square meter condos can be found for around 45,000 baht per month.

Facilities include a large fitness room, good sized swimming pool, opulent lobby area, sauna, children’s play area and 24 hours manned security. For those looking for a substantial sized apartment, the prices could be considered very tempting.