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Finding a serviced apartment in Bangkok

From executive style luxury penthouse suites to mosquito infested studios, Bangkok has a full range of accommodation to suit any budget. Prices will vary anywhere from THB5000 for a Thai style room to over THB50,000 per month for an executive style luxury suite.


One of the challenges with finding an apartment is the vast differences in quality and size, depending on the location. A THB15,000 apartment close to the main tourist areas on Sukhumvit Road will be completely different from a similarly priced apartment further away from the tourist areas. The first step in finding an apartment is deciding on the location you want. Many expats initially plan on staying along Sukhumvit Road due to the proximity to the many Western-oriented businesses but there are some drawbacks to that location, such as heavy traffic and a noisy nightlife.

Traffic is a major concern in Bangkok and during peak rush hour or when it rains a 30 min commute to work can easily become a 2-hour trip. If you plan on commuting to work by car then the traffic has to be taken into account when searching for a place to stay. If you are not planning on using a car then some proximity to either the BTS Skytrain or the MRT Subway is a must. However, keep in mind that the closer you are to a metro station the higher the prices will be.

Once you have found your ideal location, the next step is to determine a price range and to decide whether you want a house or a condo. Before you decide on a place I would suggest visiting it a number of times at different times during the day. It may be nice and quiet in the morning when all your neighbours have gone to work, but how loud is it when they all return home? The Thais are not known for their peace and quiet!

The easiest and quickest way to find an apartment is to hire a property agent. Tell them the size, services and price you are looking for and let them do all the work. There is no cost to you as their fee is paid by the landlord. Occasionally the use of a property agent will result in a higher rent as the landlord tries to recoup the cost of the service. To counter this find a property agent that is fluent in Thai and is willing to negotiate on your behalf.

I’ve used the service of Gerwin van de Velde of Amazing Properties. Gerwin specializes in finding unique buildings at reasonable costs. Living in Bangkok can be challenging and coming home to a nice modern building with all the westernized facilities that I am used to cannot be over emphasized.

Craigslist and the thaivisa.com forum are a good place to look for accommodation. Many expats earn a side income from rental properties and as a first timer to Bangkok it will be much easier for you if you are dealing with someone from your native country.

Another option for those who don’t mind walking is to ride the BTS line from end to end and look for “For Rent” signs on the outside of buildings. Many landlords will hang banners on the exterior of their buildings advertising rooms for rent that are visible from the BTS Sky train. If you do see such a sign and visit the building, take a walk around the neighbourhood, as you will usually find more apartments clustered together in the same area.

For those adventurous enough to navigate the maze of streets in Bangkok, the following are two excellent Thai-only accommodation websites. Typically the places advertised on Thai sites will be cheaper than those advertised on English sites but if you can read Thai (or get someone to translate) there are some great deals to be found on these sites.

For the budget conscious, Khao San Road offers plenty of cheap hostels and guesthouses suitable for typical backpackers. Prices on Khao San Road range from THB150 per night to over THB2000 per night for a Western style hotel. Khao San Road is quite a distance from any of the main tourist areas and is not on any rapid transit lines, which means that you will be paying for a taxi anytime you wish to leave the area. However, with the abundance of cheap restaurants, bars and gift stores in the area, many backpackers never feel the need to leave Khao San Road. My personal recommendation for a LIP is to avoid Khan San Road as there is a very good reason why it is called the “backpacker ghetto”. There are much nicer guesthouses at similar prices to be found in other areas of Bangkok.

Finding an apartment in Bangkok is a matter of trial and error. You will visit many places before you find your ideal home and it can be a frustrating experience but one that every expat has gone through. It is a good lesson in how things are done in Thailand.

UPDATE:
Check out Bangkok Podcast for our special show on finding an apartment in Bangkok.


Finding a comfortable home in a new city can be far from easy. Amazing Properties provides fast and easy solutions to locating new homes in Bangkok. Whether for long or short term rental, we assist our clients in securing quality apartments, houses and office space at affordable prices. We are fluent in Thai and are strong negotiators on your behalf to try and get the best deal for you.

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25 thoughts on “Finding a serviced apartment in Bangkok”

  1. Hi Tony,

    Very informative vid. I’m beginning to sense the subtle comedy coming into play!

    I know a dude here in Canada who was a long-term resident in the Bang Kapi area of Bangkok.

    He commuted by boat taxis along Khlong San Saeb to get to central Bangkok. From what I understood, his apartment cost was quite reasonable.

  2. Classic ending.

    Great job on the production. Im sure this must’ve took some time to do.

    Quality work.

  3. Classic ending.

    Great job on the production. Im sure this must’ve took some time to do.

    Quality work.

  4. “For those adventurous enough to navigate the maze of streets in Bangkok, the following are two excellent Thai-only accommodation websites”
    Somehow I missed the links you mentioned about the thai language websites for apartments. Anyway you might email them to me or post the linkz?
    BTW; GREAT VIDEO!! Your post production skills have improved dramatically, kudos to you.
    You are correct, finding an apartment here in Bangkok if you don’t speak thai is far harder than a person might imagine.

  5. Great video, a real slice of life. That first apartment was a bit alarming, how can people live in a building that’s partially collapsed? And the numbers-by-thirds streets is an interesting tidbit that I missed completely on my one visit down there.

    Overall, the level of professionalism that you put into these things is head and shoulders above what you see in video blogs as a rule. I guess you’re aware of that, but I just wanted to pass on my appreciation of your extra effort.

    I’m amazed that the apartments come with beds. A Tokyo apartment comes without anything but a water heater. You have to furnish the gas range, the fridge, the washer/dryer, and often the A/C units. Is there key money in Bangkok? It’s thousands of dollars up here.

    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the kind comments.

      The market for serviced apartments is very competitive here and almost exclusively caters to the expat market. Since there is such a huge range of housing available each apartment has to keep up with the amenities of the other apartments otherwise they risk losing the precious expat revenue. There is no such thing as key money here as no expat would pay it and so no landlord would risk trying to charge it. I imagine that the market in Tokyo is much different as it caters mainly to the domestic market. I’m looking forward to meeting up in Tokyo and discussing the differences between Japan and Thailand of which there are many.

  6. This video is great and entertaining too! I watched with my Thai girlfriend, we both had a good laugh, especially when we saw the last part with the girl! Hehe! It’s amazing how you turned such a dry subject into something fun

  7. Great Vid. Do the real estate agents earn a commision from the landlords or do you pay them a persentage of your rent? How does that work?

    • The real estate commission is usually paid by the landlord so I’ve never had to pay anything. Also having a real estate agent that can speak Thai is good because they can help negotiate the rent on your behalf. If they are bringing a lot of tenants to the building the landlord may be more inclined to offer you a deal.

  8. Thank You – Thank You – Thank You Bangkok podcasts!

    As I was preparing to move to Bangkok way back in October I started to listen to gain confidence…… I contacted various apartment agencies, plus the hyper professional Gerwin of Amazing Properties and am now here in a great Condo in Bangkok…..
    Unfortunately I am only in Bangkok for 10 weeks however my needs were pretty core to include location of a school, good place for a child to be, not too expensive & easy to get to the University I am a visiting Professor at.
    A big Thanks to Tony & Greg for their great discussions I only wish my flights from the UK had not been delayed then cancelled or we would have been round for the Christmas Party and to thank them in person.
    Best Wishes Polly

  9. Thanks for the Great article Tony. I am an expat living in Krabi for the past 11 years and I always looking for new places to stay in BKK.

    All the Best,
    Pierre Yves

  10. Great video and very entertaining. One question….well two really. How much did you end up paying and just where was the apartment or is that just a to “close to home” to disclose? Again, first class production. Well done.

  11. Thanks so much for your video. Great! Though, you don’t address my biggest problem in finding an apartment… my cat! Thailand is proving a nightmare to keep my pet in, I think because Thai’s just don’t get the whole pet concept (as opposed to other places in Asia I have lived in). I know some people who take them in anyway, and the whole culture of ‘saving face’ means the management ignore it, but one would think they would be more open to westerners and their pets to get business. Perhaps this is something to raise in another video?? Thanks!! 🙂

    • I’m really surprised that you are having problems. I guess it depends on what type of apartment that you are renting but I would think you could just sneak it in and not much would be said about it. I know farangs who kept stray dogs in their apartments.

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