Location: The Locker Room (Thonglor Soi 12) and Ping’s Kitchen (Thonglor Soi 10). Coincidentally, both establishments are owned and run by Singaporeans.
Here we are with Eddie Yii. Eddie is a Malaysian and he was born and bred in Singapore. Eddie was educated at Hua Chong Institution, Raffles Junior College and got his degree from the National University of Singapore. He is currently working and living in Bangkok. He has a blog entitled Stranger In Bangkok. He is living, working and bringing up his family in Bangkok.
What made you come to Bangkok?
Opportunity, I was lucky enough to be offered 2 jobs, 1 in Hong Kong and the other in Bangkok, both cities which my wife and I loved dearly. I eventually chose Bangkok because the project felt more concrete and gave me more freedom to express myself.
Where do you live in Bangkok and why do you choose to live there?
I live between Punnawithi and Udomsuk Bts stations. I chose to live here because it’s towards the direction of my office, which is nearer to Suvarnabhumi airport, and yet it’s accessible to the BTS station. On BTS it takes me only 25 minutes to reach Siam. It’s away from the tourist crowd, in a real local residential zone. I don’t see many major traffic jams here too.
What are the biggest challenges that you face as a foreigner working and living in Bangkok?
Language, obviously, and the time taken to make sense of the culture and behaviour of the people here.
How do you spend your free time in Bangkok?
I have 2 little kids, free time is usually spent spending quantity time with the family.
Which location in Bangkok do you think are the growth areas in terms of population growth, business and inflow of foreign talent?
I feel that business and population growth will be a little bit out of the main city area from now on. For example, the Rama 9 area will have lots of business development, and Punnawithi will also have a new tech hub coming soon.
Foreigner-wise, I feel that more and more expats will choose to live in the hipster areas like Thong Lor, Ekamai and Ari.
In the time that you have spent in Bangkok, what are the changes or improvements you have seen in the city?
I have been here for 8 years now, changes have been immense, especially in terms of living quality as world-class residential property, shopping malls and dining locations are sprouting like mushrooms here. Public transport has improved as well, soon there will be almost double the number of BTS stations working as compared to when I came in 2010.
Where do you think is a good area to purchase property in Bangkok?
Depends on what you want it for. For living, I recommend a little bit away from the mess in town, maybe Phra Khanong and beyond. For investment, maybe a smaller studio right smack in ‘hot zones’ like Siam, Ploenchit and even hipster places like Thong Lo and Ekamai.
Will you retire in Bangkok and why?
Yes, I think it is a possibility. My family is settling down here really well and the locals don’t see foreigners as ‘intruders’. I can live comfortably amongst the locals in most cities in Thailand, including Bangkok.
Eddie’s blog, Stranger In Bangkok, can be found here.