Friday, February 19, 2010

Bangkok Across The River - The Fine Condo

The Bangkok city center that we see today is the new Bangkok. The capital city of Thailand or Siam, what the country was known back then moved to Thonburi (across the river from today's Bangkok) from Ayutthaya after the Burmese sacked the place for the umpteenth time. The Burmese continued to sack Thonburi and hence, the capital moved across the river to where it is today.

Owing to a lack of land, many residential projects are now taking place in Thonburi. The BTS or the Bangkok Sky Train has even extended across the river deep into Thonburi, sparking some very interesting projects.

Unlike the other side of the river, Thonburi is less hectic. However, nobody can escape the famous Bangkok traffic jams which you can't see from the pic below because it was taken on a quiet Sunday.

Before the BTS extended into Thonburi, pedestrians either take the bus or walk across the Taksin bridge or take one of the many ferries either offered by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority or there are free ones by 5-star hotels.

Ferries or river taxis also ply along the river. This one below goes all the way up and down the river and it is a staple transport for many people to get to work or home.

Just across the river from the busy Bangrak area, made famous by ethnic Cantonese cuisines, the Shangrila hotel and the former BTS terminal station, Saphan Taksin is Charoen Nakhon, the gateway into Thonburi. One of the interesting projects that I am interested in is the Fine Condo, which is located just by the river.

The road entrance of the condo is over at Charoen Nakhon road, the road that runs along the Chao Phya river on the Thonburi side. At the same time, the developer has also made a river entrance and they will soon start a ferry service to take residents across to the Saphan Taksin boat and BTS stations.

The beauty of the project is the niche-ness... It offers tranquility and quality away from the busy Bangkok life. One can imagine coming back to this everyday and every weekend...

The condo consists of 2 blocks and about 100 units from small 35sqm studios right up to 2, 3 bedroom units and penthouses facing the Chao Phya river. Each block have their own gym and the car parks are just beneath which worries me about the frequent flooding. Since I don't own a car in Bangkok, I guess this is alright :)

The main block below is built around an inner quadrangle which will soon be furnished as a lobby/waiting area.

Many of the units are furnished for rental and also sub-sale. I am not too keen on some of their furnitures but I guess this is one of those dilemmas by investors who has just taken vacant possession - they need to furnish in order to rent and at the same time try to sell it in the sub-sale market. So, it's one of those try not to spend too much syndrome...

The kitchen is absolutely conducive for Asian style cooking. It is well ventilated and is a separated room. Only problem it is a bit too narrow.

This corner 2-bedroom unit which was eventually sold for about RM450k has a nice view of the river. But the afternoon sun facing was too over-whelming for me especially during the Thai Summer.

Overall the fittings is nothing to shout about, but the layout is nice. Every unit comes with developer fitted Air-conditioning. The maintenance fee is not cheap, around RM5 per square meter but rest assured, Thais have a very good maintenance culture compared with Malaysians.

So, in the end, OK location, great project, nice layout and acceptable pricing - but there are too many choices... So take the sweet time and look around a bit more...

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