Learn how to find an apartment in 9 easy steps
Finding an apartment in Bangkok is relatively easy. However keep in mind that you have to be patient, persevered and confident. Having some knowledge of the Thai language also go’s a long way. But no worries, there are many rental opportunities in Bangkok. If you are determined then you will find the right spot for the right price.
In this article I teach you how to find an apartment in Bangkok. When reading this article, keep in mind that I am focusing on one room rental opportunities in the price range of 100 to 300 dollars (about 3500 to 1000 baht). Of course the sky is the limit when you want to have a bigger home, but do not expect to get something decent if you want to rent for lower prices.
Step 1. Choose the area
The first important decision you have to make is the area in which you want to live. There are a few things you might want to consider when choosing a living area:
- Is it the city center or a suburban area?
- Is it a touristic area or a place with manly locals?
- Is it a cheap or expensive area?
- Is it a quiet or a busy area?
Living in the center is nice and convenient but the place will most likely be very touristic, busy and expensive. In addition, if you live outside of the center, you might have to spend more time and money to get to your places of interest. Check your area carefully to see what is available so that you avoid spending time and money on traveling around.
Where to go
I recommend Ramkhamhaeng if you want to live in a cheap area. This is a student area with many great restaurants and markets. Rooms and food prices are cheap but traveling can become a bit expensive due to lesser public transportation options. Sukhumvit is a nice area if you want to live in the center. More expensive but also more comfortable because you can enjoy the conveniences that a city center has to offer.
Choose your neighborhood carefully. Look at the same attention points as with choosing the area, cheap or expensive, busy or quiet etc. Most neighborhoods are really safe places. However, I recommend living in a lively neighborhood with wide roads, which are well lit. It is most likely not criminal Thai people you have to worry about, but at night many unpleasant stray dogs roam around in the dark small allies.
Personally I like living in a lively neighborhood. You have a lesser change of getting attacked by something. It is also very convenient when you have many shops in your neighborhood, so that you do not have to travel far for any needs. Try to find a place in a local neighborhood. The prices are better, the people are more friendly, and you will not be bothered by annoying tourist hunters like tuk tuk drivers.
Step 3. Walk around
After choosing the area and the neighborhood it is time to start walking around with focused eyes. It is time to look around for the perfect spot. You can also choose to look online. However, I do not recommend this. Rental prices are often not up to date, talking on the phone can be difficult and you can not directly check the room. You will succeed quicker if you stroll around at your target destination.
When searching, try to bring a friend who can speak and read Thai. Many buildings have signs which say apartment for rent but many of those signs are written in Thai. Your friend can recognize those advertisements, and he or she can also speak with the building staff when you are interested in renting a room.
Step 4. Choose the building
When choosing an apartment building it is important to check the surroundings of your accommodation. Are there any noisy construction works going on? Is the place connected to a lively street ? Living close to a lively street is an advantage. For your safety it is important that you reach the main street quickly. Remember those dogs? They love to hang around in small and dark places.
Bangkok’s populations is increasing and so are its buildings. Construction is booming but booming means noise. For sure you do not want to wake up every morning because of construction sounds. I had to live with this inconvenience for six months as they where building a new building next to mine.
Step 5. Open doors
Have the courage to open doors. Step inside to ask for information. Don’t be shy and ask at every place that attracts your interest. Even if you think it is above your budget. When we went looking we where too picky. We ignored buildings which where labeled as mansions or resorts. thinking the rental costs would be to expensive.
The next day we dropped that thought. That decision opened up a whole new world. We figured out that even expensive looking resorts with swimming pools and fitness centers where offering affordable rental prices. You can walk past your dream location just because you think it will be to expensive. Don’t be picky and check every opportunity. Maybe you even decide to spend a little more because the place is so awesome.
Step 6. Check the room
Check if the building suits to your needs. Make sure to pay attention to the following points:
– What is the condition of the air conditioner? Is it new or old? A new air conditioner can safe you a lot of money on electricity costs.
– Does the room have a water heater for the shower? Not necessary in a hot climate but maybe you hate cold showers.
– Does the room have a balcony? An absolute must for me but a room without it can be cheaper. Pay attention to the position of the balcony. You can have a problem with your privacy when your balcony faces the one of your opposite neighbor. I prefer an open view.
– Does the room have furniture? Available chairs, closets, tables and a bed are important items for the traveler who settles only for a short period. Make sure you avoid having to buy those items.
– On which floor is the room situated? Higher floors are more hot (hot air goes up) but they can be more convenient as well. The higher you go the less sound you hear from the busy street.
Step 7. Discuss the rental conditions
Are you satisfied about the room? Then it is time to discus the rental conditions with the owners/staff. What are the renting costs? How much do you pay per electricity and water unit? Does the building provide WiFi and how much does it costs per month? are there any other costs? How much deposit money do you have to pay? Are you allowed to have guests? Are you allowed to cook in the room?
Step 8. Make the decision
Do not settle to quickly just because you are tired of looking. Remember that you make a decision about where you are going to spend most of your time. It needs to be a convenient place where you feel safe and comfortable. It can really suck if you signed a rental contract for six months only to realize in the first week that the room is not fulfilling to your expectations.
Step 9. Move in
Did you find your dream location? Then it is time to move. I always recommend that you travel light if you are a long time traveler. You can save a lot of money if you only have a few small bags. However, if you have a lot of stuff then you can choose different useful transportation options.
Do you have Thai friends? Check if you know someone with a pick up truck who can move your stuff to the new place. Maybe your friend is willing to do it for a free or for a cheap price. You can also ask a tuck tuck driver to move your stuff. For once these tuck tucks can prove to be useful. Small belongings can also be transferred with the help of a taxi.
- 9apartment.com: You can use this site If you decide to look online for an apartment. There are many offers on this website, but keep in mind that the provided information is not always up to date.
- How to rent Cheap Apartments in Bangkok,Thailand: A very informative article from fellow blogger Mark Wiens. He describes how you can rent a cheap apartment in Bangkok. The post provides a lot of useful information. For example where to look and the rental costs that you can expect.
- Fixed Costs For Renting in Bangkok: After one rental month you will have to pay the bill. Read this article about fixed costs and know which prices you can expect.
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Do you have any other tips for renting an apartment in Bangkok? Post your tips or questions in the comments section below?