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For those looking to work, live or visit Bangkok, finding the right place to stay can sometimes be a hassle. Major factors to consider are lifestyle, location and budget. Here are some basic tips to help you with your search for the right rental apartment in the City of Angels:
If you are going to be a party animal, then head for tourist areas such as Nana or Thonglor where prices will be higher for apartments than in other quieter areas with the same 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 neighborhood. 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.
Go to the apartment building you want in the day and also in the evening. Are there lots of children, barking dogs or loud noise from a nearby beer bar? If that’s not for you, then search for something quieter.
Look at the stairways, lifts and rooms. Are they clean, working properly and well lit? How do they dispose of 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 mini-marts and convenience stores, or larger supermarkets within walking distance. These are lifelines to non-cooks and domestically inept singles.
The most affluent neighborhoods are Sukhumvit, Silom, Sathorn, Thonglor and Ekamai. The less expensive to medium priced localities in the inner city are, among others, mainly in the area of Phaholyothin, Ari, Ladprao, and Phaya Thai.
The rule of thumb is, the closer you are to a BTS or MRT line, the more expensive the accommodation will be. Living further out from the city center can be cheaper, but you have to consider the extra traveling expenses to get around, so ultimately there might not be much of a difference.
Rental costs can vary widely from top-end THB 70,000 or more per month for two-three bedroom spacious flats, to mid-range of about THB 15-20,000 and down to THB 8-9,000 for studios and one-bedroom flats.
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 two to three-month deposit. Metered electricity and water are charged separately then added to the monthly bill.
Whatever you choose, do your research, keep your focus, have a plan of exactly what you are looking for, and seek as much advice as you can to make sure that your stay in this great city is a happy one!