Nonsi is the coolest place in Bangkok, and luckily enough, that’s also were I lived.
Nonsi Residence is where exchange students from Chulalongkorn University live, and it’s pretty much like a little universe inside of Bangkok. It’s a pink building, in the middle of Khlong Toei, a neighbourhood located just outside of the city centre, only 2 metro stops from Chula (the uni), and 20 min cab ride from Siam Paragon (the shopping mall where you can get yourself the newest Ferrari or Bentley, or as in my case, a tuna sandwich from Subway). The 20 minutes is of course relative, if you decided to go during rush hour, which in Bangkok last pretty much most of the time, you might as well get stuck in traffic for an hour.
Nonsi is a little strange place. Imagine bunch of kids, from all around the world, living under the same roof, going to school together, having dinner together, partying together. That means of course a great deal of trouble and equally great deal of fun. Whatever you do, say or see the night before will be the hot topic of all Nonsi- conversations by the lunch time, but that’s how it is when you and your 80 friends live under the same roof.
Living in Nonsi means living with all your friends, rarely eating a meal alone, partying at least 3 times a week, meeting half of your classmates and party mates on your way to classes, eating a lot of rice and curry at Mama’s and Papa’s, drinking a lot of Hon Tong in garage (Thai alcohol that is probably a mix of everything) having detailed conversations with your girlfriends about the events of last night right after waking up, chilling by the pool for a couple of hours after school and constantly being surrounded by a lot of awesome, open minded people from all around the world. You are never alone, and you can’t never be bored. There is always someone up for a little temple sightseeing, and even more people up for a bottle of free vodka at Levels on Tuesday night (yep, free vodka).
Nonsi life is a really fun life, trust me, it really is. Unless someone decided to use the group picture to create a very specific “fuck map”, that is supposed to indicate who got little too close after one of many parties, by connecting people’s heads with red lines. Yep, that actually happened. It was kind of fun, for everyone that didn’t have a red line coming out of their head, less fun for the ones that had a couple of them.
The thing that I hated the most about Nonsi at first was its location, the thing that I loved the most when I was leaving was the location.
Living in Bangkok for 5 months thought me that living in the heart of Khlong Toei on Chua Phloeng- Road is simply the coolest thing ever, because you get to experience the real Bangkok. Not the Bangkok full of tourists, restaurants selling pizza and Swedish meatballs, annoying tuk-tuk drivers and massage salons, or not the Bangkok of the high-rise luxury apartment buildings, with infinity pools and fancy French wine shops on the corners.
Khlong Toei was the real Bangkok to me, my Bangkok. Bangkok that I really love.
Khlong Toei is not too far from the center, but far enough to avoid the chaos of the inner city. Life was more calm in Khlong Toei, and I guess whoever has been to Bangkok knows, that Bangkok is not necessary what you call a calm city. That is why, it’s really nice to live in more quite and less busy area, and most important of all, tourist free area. No hate on tourists, being a tourist is the best thing ever, because that means that you’re traveling, and traveling is the best thing ever, but unfortunately tourists, like in many other big cities, bring out some dark sides of Bangkok.
There was not much happening on our street, it was just us, the embassy of Brazil and mama’s and papa’s (two street food
“restaurants” where we would have dinners).
One of the best things about our street was how green it was, when you live in the city of 15 millions, you really appreciate being surrounded by trees. Beside the trees, we also had chickens and a couple of very loud roosters just outside of our windows (yes, someone decided to keep chickens in the middle of Bangkok), not mentioning, countless frogs, birds, bats, lizards and geckos, that were our neighbours, and made very loud noises, especially at night.
The first night at Nonsi I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I was sleeping in a jungle, I was laying in bed listening to all these
sounds, praying not to hear the worst of the worst, my biggest fear and the only part that I actually dislike about living in Thailand, cockroaches. Cockroaches are definitely on top of my list of things that I hate. I’ve been traumatised in Vietnam, when one very brave/ stupid cockroach jumped on my friend’s bed, right in front of my eyes.
Another great thing about living in Nonsi was the view (see the pictures below or at least 100 other pictures that I’ve already posted all over my Instagram). The view was incredible, we could see Bangkok’s skyline from our windows, and it’s a pretty impressive skyline. Every time I walked into my apartment, I had a hard time believing that I actually live there. This view, especially early in the morning, when Bangkok still felt quite (even thought Bangkok is never really quite) or late in the evening during the sunset, is something that puts a smile on my face every time I think about it.
Living in Nonsi, was an amazing experience, that I will be forever grateful for. I had time of my life and I met people that I’m pretty sure will stay in my life for a long time. After all what really makes the place is the people.
Sure I like that the walls at Nonsi were pink and that we had a swimming pool and palm trees (and roosters) outside of the window, but what really made this place so special is all the great people I met, and all the great memories that will stay with me forever.
Living in Nonsi was a blast, and it made the whole experience of living in Bangkok so much better. Nonsi really felt like home to me, and when you are so far away from your family and from everything that you know, you really need a place that will feel like home. I already miss it so bad, Nonsi will definitely stay in my heart forever.
I talk to you soon
check out my videos if you want to see more of my life in Bangkok 🙂