One of the first and most important decisions that you have to make, when you move to a new location is where to live. You want to have a good and comfortable home base, when the hustle and bustle, traffic and heat becomes too much. Bangkok isn’t a city with many outdoors options. Between the heat, humidity and pollution, you may find yourself hopping from one air-conditioned space to the next.
Fortunately, one of the best aspects about Thailand and Bangkok, in particular, is the abundance of accommodation to suit all budgets. Generally speaking, it is usually easy to find an appropriate accommodation in a relatively short time and housing is a very good value for money compared to other big cities around the world. The lowest end of the market begins with the least expensive apartments around 1,500 Baht monthly, little more than a hole in the wall, and in no way suitable for foreigners! At the other end of the spectrum you find international standard executive apartments and condo’s running well into 200,000 Baht monthly. In between these opposites is a world of different options: Studio’s, 1, 2, 3 bedroom condo’s, serviced apartments and houses.
What type of accommodation you choose largely comes down to your wants and needs. Everything is available as long as you can afford it. Most foreign expats in Bangkok, who are staying for a longer period of time, rent condos with 1 year contracts. By signing a longer contract you will often be able to get a significant discount, often 10% or more.
As a newcomer to Bangkok and Thailand, you will undoubtedly have your hands full with new and exiting challenges. That is why the attitude of many expats is that, with all the chaos that is Bangkok, you will want your apartment to be as nice and relaxing as possible. Somewhere you can really relax after a day at work and battling traffic, language and heat.
Generally speaking, most condo’s and apartments that offer facilities close to what you are accustomed to in the west, begin at 10,000 Baht monthly for a nice studio or 1-bedroom apartment with access to public transport and the city center. The local Thai residents will typically be middle class families with good office jobs. 10,000 Baht will give you something like a 35 square meter. studio in the On Nut area (last stop on BTS). Most expats would probably want to spend at least 20,000 – 30,000 Baht for a one or two bedroom apartment in a central location.
Of course there is no limit to how high you can go, but beware that some condo and apartment complexes are built specifically for foreign expats and will therefore often be more expensive than a similar Thai building.
If possible, the best option is to book a serviced apartment for the first few weeks, which will let you adapt to your surroundings while you look for your ideal apartment.