Budget, lifestyle, and location are major factors to consider.
by Christopher Scott Dixon.
Major factors to consider are your budget, lifestyle, and location. If you are going to be a party animal then head for tourist areas such as Nana where prices will be higher for apartments and more than likely the same with living essentials.
It’s worth booking into a hotel for a few nights and walk around some of the various districts just to get a feel of the places. You often see adverts for apartments pinned to telegraph poles or on walls with a number and brief details of the accommodation and you can pick up some good deals like this. If you have a Thai friend or colleague, ask them to call for you and to go along when flat visiting as they can prevent you, as the unsuspecting foreigner, from being misled or worse after signing an agreement. Go to the apartment building you want in the day and evening. Are there lots of children, barking dogs, loud noise from a nearby beer bar? If that’s not for you then search for somewhere quieter.
Look at the stairways, lifts, and rooms. Are they clean, working properly, and well lit? How do they dispose of the rubbish, are there attentive security staff, a CCTV system, key cards, etc?
Some apartment complexes charge extra for use of the car park and fitness center, so make sure you ask about this before you put pen to paper. Check out if there are any minimarts and convenience stores, or larger supermarkets within walking distance. These are lifelines to non-cooks and many domestically inept single males.
The most affluent neighborhoods are Sukhumvit, Silom/Sathorn, Thonglor, and Ekkamai. The inexpensive to medium priced neighborhoods in Bangkok are mainly in the areas of Phayonyothin, Ladprao, Victory Monument, Ratchadapisek, and Phayathai. The rule of thumb is, the closer you are to a BTS or MRT line, the more expensive the accommodation is likely to be.
Living farther out from the city center can be cheaper, but you have to consider the extra traveling costs to get to your work place, etc., so in the end there might not actually be much difference.
Rental costs are extremely varied from top-end THB 70,000+ per month for two-three bedroom spacious flats, mid-range THB 15-20,000 and down to around THB 8,000-9,000 for small studios and one-bedroom dwellings.
You don’t always have to sign a contract as a number of apartments offer daily or weekly rentals. Most are furnished with a bed, fridge, TV, wardrobe and possibly a chair or table. If staying short term, free Wi-Fi is usually available.
For longer arrangements, contracts are either six months or one year with a 2-3 month deposit. Metered electricity and water are charged separately then added to the monthly bill.
Do your research well to make your stay happy!