It’s always a nervous situation, arriving in a new city without a place to stay, but when it comes to renting long term in Chiang Mai, if you want to find something affordable you have limited options.
Cheaper rentals like to operate with cash in hand and You won’t find a way of reserving in advance online with a credit card, they simply don’t use this system.
Of course you can book an apartment on AirBnB, They have many monthly rental options, but costs are almost double as landlords know about this situation and earn a profit off of it.
Many Condominium website’s don’t even exist, instead the only information you will find seem to be posted on expat forums. Don’t bother trying their Facebook page either they are often unmanaged.
If you want to pay a low monthly price in Chiang Mai, best to do your research in advance on a number of places, then pay on the day you arrive. This is the cheapest method of doing so, this is just how it works.
If you’re interested in the monthly cost of living in Chiang Mai, I created an outline of my expenditures here that you can check out, if you want to get a picture of the basic general costs.
After renting an apartment in 5 other countries this is the first time I’ve done it this way, But turning up on the day and hunting around for a place can cut your costs in half, it’s worth the legwork and it worked out for me.
First of all you want to book a hostel for one night, this not only gives you a base to drop your bags off, but also helps when filling out your Thai visa application as you will need a hostel address. I never used the hostel I booked but it helped when applying for my tourist visa on arrival, not having an address for my first night stay might have come across suspicious and caused some issues.
Baan Thai condominium
Everyone online was raving about how great Baan Thai condominium is, after looking around at the other alternatives this was my first go to choice for condominiums in the Nimman area.
The Nimman area of Chiang Mai is considered as the alternative area, perfect for digital nomads or expats as its only a short Tuk Tuk ride away from the old town. It’s a quiet enough area to live and work and your easily find many great coffee shops, places to eat and drink within this area, it’s sort of like a hip up and coming spot of the city, great place to be.
I decided to go with my gut on this one and went for Baan Thai.
After I arrived at Chiang Mai Airport, I located a taxi and asked the driver to take me to “Tesco Lotus, Nimman”. There is only one Tesco Lotus in Nimman and it’s easier for any local driver to locate. Baan Thai condominium is next to here, much easier to find that way.
From the airport the taxi cost me 150 Bhat.
There are two buildings in Baan Thai, you want to enter the building on the left, ask security to scan you in to open the door so you can talk to the staff at reception.
As you may have noticed, this was the first thing I did once I arrived at the airport. Before anything else I just wanted to ensure I had a place to stay. Baan Thai condominium is very popular because of the price vs location vs service, it’s an all round winner.
Its pot luck, sometimes its full, sometimes it has rooms, its a game of risk.
As I went to inquire about a room, someone else was doing the same and the staff informed us that there were only 2 rooms available, I was in luck! After a tour of one of the rooms I immediately said yes without thinking and the other guy who was 50/50 noticed how fast I reacted did the same and the building was full once we both signed contracts.
The Baan Thai office is open from 09:00 to 18:00 if you wish to make an inquiry
My new room at Baan Thai was available the next day, good thing I had booked that one night at the hostel.
Why Did I say yes straight away?
From my last job I’m used to seeing hundreds of exchange students arrive in a new city, hesitate when buying something only for it to be sold in a few minutes to someone who buys it straight away without thinking.
I’d done enough research on where I wanted to rent and Baan Thai condominium was my number one choice for the location and price so I was happy that a room was available, the next day when I went to collect my keys I notice someone went to inquire about a room and the staff politely turned them away.
Making sure this is the first place you go to from the airport can help you out big time.
A tour of my Baan Thai, Chiang Mai Condo’s room
(Put together a video to best show you roughly what you should be looking for in a condo in Chiang Mai)
The Room includes:
• Air Conditioning unit
• Heated Power shower
• Western toilet
• Desk set with chairs
• Double bed with Spring mattress and duvet set
Costs for Baan Thai condominium
The deposit is huge! But it’s ok, you will get it back. The total is: 10,000 Bhat
Cheapest room is: 5,200 Bhat
This room does not include bedding or weekly cleaning.
The next bracket: 5,800 Bhat does include bedding and weekly cleaning.
In my opinion its better to pay the extra 600 as its hard to find bedding for that price, plus it includes cleaning which is a bonus.
Then extra bills
Water: 200 Bhat per month
Electric: 7 Bhat per Watt (Because of this I unplugged the TV, Fridge and air conditioning to save costs)
Apartment wifi: 600 month
You can pay 70 Bhat per month for AIS wifi (with AIS sim card) that can be found all over the place, including Camp at MAYA shopping center, which is a 5 minute walk from the Baan Thai condominium or buy a mega 4G data plan with Dtac, I paid 399 Bhat for 3GB of 4G which you can create a wifi hotspot in your room, many options.
Pictures of the room
Big double bed with spring mattress and duvet set
Fridge, TV, desk set
Western Toilet and shower room
If you want to locate a condo room in Chiang Mai, Thailand for around £100 + bills per month you simply can’t book it online and will have to go around door to door inquiring about vacancies and pay in cash. If you want to reserve online in advance expect to pay double, its that simple.
One extra tip, if you are looking to rent for 3 months this will give you more bargaining power as long term rent might reduce the price a little.
I hope you found this blog post useful and best of luck with finding your apartment in Chiang Mai Thailand!