A Tale of Two Cities

Ok, so the title of this post is a little grandiose. T-bone and I are contemplating leaving the pristine swamps and rural flavuh of Samut Prakan (a municipal district located next to Bangkok) for the bright lights of Bangkok. Sometimes, we like to delude ourselves and pretend that we currently live in Bangkok, but any one of our visitors would tell you that this is a bald-faced lie. Let’s face it: we live in the stix (for a glimpse of our apartment, check out this post). The school year and our apartment lease will be wrapping up in a few months, and it’s time for us to decide where we want to live next year. We could stay put, or we could embrace change/seize the day/follow our destiny/fill-in-the-blank-new-age-crap and move. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options:

1. Stay in our Samut Prakan apartment


– located only one block away from school

– rent is cheaper than in the city

– waking up to the sound of birds and monks chanting behind our house

– spacious (2 beds 2 baths) apartment

– local “flavour”


– located only one block away from school (you can never get away)

– our building management cannot for the life of them figure out how to correctly calculate our utility bills

– having students stroll by (some of them live in the building) while you’re by the pool (ie: in your bathing suit) is overrated

– getting into the city/anywhere interesting is a s-l-o-g


An example of local flavour

2. Move into the city (Udom Suk area)


– all our friends are doin’ it

– on the BTS (sky train) line = easy access to Bangkok

– decreased likelyhood of being creeped on by students while swimming

– a chance to actually experience Bangkok

– an easier base for visitors to explore from (and easier for us to ship them off on their own adventures)


– rent is higher

– we would inevitably live in a smaller apartment (fine for day-to-day, but lame for visitors)

– the commute to school is much longer – not ridiculous, but definitely longer than 5 minutes

– less wildlife/calm surroundings

– apartment management is an unknown – our current management botches our bills, but they do respond to our concerns

We’re fairly certain what our decision will be, but I thought I’d throw it out to blog readers – what would you do if you were in our shoes? Stay put in charming-but-dull-but-cheap Samut Prakan? Or hitch your wagon to a star and move into The Big B?

9 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities

  1. you invited the cliché my friend. Aim for the stars! If you don’t quite make you’ll land among the the clouds!* (whether those clouds are white are fluffy, dark and smoggy, or strongly scented of fish sauce and chilies depends on which part of Big-B you land in =)

  2. I can easily give an immediate response to this but maybe I will be better qualified to speak when I have spent some time there!

  3. the Big B would be so cool, however I would be worried about the management of the building. if it is as I suspect as soon as you change management your on your own for everything. also you wouldn’t have a pool. Size of living space is super important, especially with company that plans to stay for a looooooong time.

    • Hopefully we wouldn’t be on our own for everything, but there would definitely be new challenges to navigate. Also, the apartments we are considering have bigger/better pools. And we would just have to have a “best before” date on company.

  4. Greg wanted to stay put in the apartment that the school found for us. I was leaning towards moving, but was still pretty undecided. Turns out, moving is way better. You feel more at home in an apartment that you choose, in a neighborhood/building that suits your needs. You see WAY more of Bangkok. We love our apartment now, but we are considering moving even further downtown just to shake things up, because every time you move you experience the city in a different way. Also, rent is really not that much more than you are being gauged for at Big Tree.

    • You make some good points, Heather. We haven’t completely made up our minds, but at this point, we’re definitely leaning towards moving. I think it’ll be one of those decisions that we’ll be glad we made after we move, but right now it feels a bit daunting. Watching a bunch of grade 5 students from the school running around on the Big Tree lawn when I wanted to go swimming the other night might have been the final nail…

What do you think? I dig discussion!

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