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Long term stay in Bangkok

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London, United...
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Long term stay in Bangkok

Hello everyone

I'm about to move to Bangkok. I will be working in Klong Toey every day. Eventually I'll move in to a permanent apartment, but for the first few weeks I'm not sure where to stay while I find my feet.

Any suggestions? I want to be somewhere fairly cheap, but vibrant and fun. So far I'm thinking Victory Monument area...

Please recommend hotels/apartments and areas...

Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

Lots of options. It depends on how much you want to pay, the ammenities, location, transport etc.

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

You really will want to minimize your daily commute distance, unless you expect that you otherwise will be impressed to work (unpaid) overtime. Ideally you can walk to work. Lower Sukhumvit is much closer to Khlong Toei than Victory Monument, so it should be better to get temporary accommodation there while you look for a more permanent apartment.

http://www.suk11.com/suk11hostel/room-rate/ would be one of the cheapest guesthouses in the area but close to Nana BTS station. If your work is closer to Ekamai or Thonglor, it could make sense to start your stay in that area thonglor-ekamai.com/map_thonglor_ekamai.html.

Many of the even numbered Sukumvit sois between 14 and 26 extend all the way to Rama IV Road and I know that there are condominiums in that neighborhood. These are pretty close to the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre MRT or Khlong Toei MRT, so there would be good access to mass transit if your permanent residence will be there.

You don't say anything about your budget, but if you are looking for cheap apartment, pounding the pavement by yourself is apparently the most effective method. Stickman's recent apartment hunting experiences on his website's latest weekly issue are rather enlightening and in a relevant neighborhood.

TripAdvisor probably is not the best source of information for long term residents. Take a look at expat web sites like http://bangkok.angloinfo.com/ or http://www.thaivisa.com ,

Worldwide
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3. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

TA sometimes frowns on relocation-residency oriented materials. So let's look at this, in the spirit of your OP, as thoughts on where to stay in Bangkok before putting down roots.

When I relocated to Bangkok the HR office that hired me gave me a list of hotels - and one service apartment - with which they had special rates. I took the service apartment and went there directly from the airport. I thus started with a month-to-month rate. My original plan was to stay awhile in each of several neighbourhoods, to get their feel. But the first place wound up being perfect for quite awhile. I wound up staying there for 16 months, then putting down roots near to our son's school (so I had the commute, not him).

This was rare - as most of my mates had gone to a hotel, and thus felt more rushed into finding longer-term digs (while also getting immersed in a new job). I could do the home hunting at my leisure, as I was comfortable, and spending much less, on my monthly arrangement (and also had a kitchen so I could eat more healthily and pleasantly with some of my meals prepared/taken at home).

Though our son's school was on lower Sukhumvit Road, and our home had a great location for that area (including being in walking distance to the SkyTrain, 5 supermarkets, a wet market, and uncountable restaurants, pubs, a tolerable distance from two parks, etc.) I now prefer neighbourhoods which have a slightly lower concentration of tourists. (The Lower Sukhumvit "night market" may interest some tourists, but is a real pain for neighbourhood residents, and the concentration of hustlers in that area causes many residents to relocate to more peaceful areas.) BTW, proximity to a park can be a godsend for when you want some physical and mental "space" in an environment where everyone around you is enjoying the vibe. Finding a place (a hotel or a home) tolerably connected to the workplace, but also near one or more supermarkets, a park, and a rail station is my key.

One option might be to try modest-term (weekly or monthly) rates at one or more service apartments or hotels (some hotels also have monthly rates, which may not be published but are available if one talks with hotel staff). You could then get the feel for several areas, which will be helpful long-term.

Do you have a landmark - such as a specific road intersection, near your work place? If so, I can give you a URL on a Website which provides a directory of businesses (hotels, apartments, restaurants, shops). The organization of that Website is great. You can find specific types of businesses (e.g. hotels or apartments) near a location (it gives proximities in metres). For apartments it summarizes unit room arrangements, apartment size in square metres, etc. it's great for shopping accommodation. (There are other such sites - which greatly facilitate your pounding pavements.)

Using such Websites is how I find places in Bangkok - other than, of course, asking colleagues. And, when you arrive, I hope you will find interesting (and interested in your welfare) colleagues who can help you immensely for perspective.

So start by picking an area (e.g. near a BTS, MRT, or Airport Rail Link station, or a Chao Phraya Express Boat pier for mobility) - hopefully one suggested by your HR office. Use tools like TA hotel reviews (learn how to support the shills from the serious reviews), etc.

Post #2 mentions the Stickman column on apartment hunting. I was surprised by that column, as I would have expected him to be more savvy on leveraging Web tools plus colleagues in searching for accommodation (a hotel or a flat). One doesn't blindly pound pavement. And one doesn't use an old-style agent. One starts with a short list - which the Web and colleagues can help you compile.

Another Website to check is ajarn.com (teacher-oriented so aims for value which is useful even if your budget is larger than that). Also, don't forget Craigslist for Thailand (as a resource if you use it well).

London, United...
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4. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. Those are two very useful replies.

I stupidly didn't mention my budget, which is 5-7,000.

For EarthlingOnline: the nearest landmark seems to be 'Princess Mothers Commemoration Park'. And I am in total agreement about both wanting to avoid overly touristy areas as well as wanting to be near a park.

Thanks again.

London, United...
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5. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

* I should have said 5-7,000 a month. What I'd like to avoid doing is spending a month's rent of a modest apartment on two weeks in a hotel!

Worldwide
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6. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

Here's a link:

http://www.soidb.com/bangkok/stay/index.html

http://www.soidb.com/bangkok/apartment/list.html?mi=3000&ma=7000&st[]=&ar[]=&nl=

The first link is for various types of accommodation. The second link is a list of apartments in the nominal monthly rental range of 3000-7000 baht/month. If you look at many of them you will find (for at least some of them)

1. Room descriptions, monthly rental asking prices (negotiation is sometimes possible – on terms if not always on price), photos.

2. Map locations, Google street view of the neighbourhood, phone number and Website.

3. List of nearby facilities – including other accommodation (with nominal price) with distances.

4. Ignore their “ranking”. That merely refers to page hits (on their own page only) over the past month – a very skewed way to rank a place. (The latest murder, car crash, or celeb gossip would be the highest ranked experience in many cities using such criteria.)

The Website SoiDB is hardly perfect, but it has an interesting way to navigate using such tools as above, plus the search window which can be opened on the upper left corner of each page. To illustrate, here is another link, to an apartment in an area that I like for its pleasantness:

soidb.com/bangkok/…montmas-mansion.html

I have not been inside this particular place, but have been by it many times. Looks pleasant and clean on the outside, and well located for the price. Overlooks a truly beautiful park, is a 15 minute walk to the Victory Monument BTS station, 10 minutes to a supermarket, 5 minutes to a 7-11 for sundries, lots of restaurants and street food right outside, yet on a quiet side street between major roads. Every taxi driver knows landmarks nearby. Lots of bus routes converge on Victory Monument – for wide-ranging cheap access on a budget. Not a short walk to your place of work, however.

From the pages above you should be able to navigate around Bangkok, to check on hotels & guest houses for shorter stay, or apartments for longer stay.

A place close to your worksite is this:

www.soidb.com/bangkok/hotel/shadow-inn.html

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293916-d335011…

Extremely cheap – reviews on TA and elsewhere suggest it's extremely basic. Some reviewers seem able to enjoy staying here – others not. (I have not seen this place.)

Here's a place that's also not too far away from your work, is accessible to the SkyTrain, is adjacent to markets and shops, and could be a good place to stay for several days/weeks/months. It's bookable on its own Website or Agoda as a hotel, and through their own office by the month. It had a 8000 baht/month sign in front when I visited (the sign is visible on a photo on the TA reviews page linked to below). That's probably for the most basic rooms. A slight upgrade would get you a rather nicer room, and access to the olympic pool and fitness centre. But check the place (including the condition of the facilities, and access to them from various room categories) before negotiating anything long-term.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293916-d152748…

http://www.aiyaresidence.com/

agoda.com/asia/thailand/bangkok/aiya_residen…

The pool is olympic sized – you won't get this in any hotel, nor in any apartment-condo that I know of. Like with other budget places, assess the reviews carefully. Are these folks imagining the Hilton for 8000 (per month, not per night)? I have a review of that place..

Your workmates should know where nearby inexpensive rental places (locals often stay in ~30 square metre – 300 square foot – studio apartments with mini kitchenette) are located. I have seen rooms for 2000 baht/month (VERY basic), but often such low prices suggest the level of your neighbours and 5000-10000 baht should be rather better.

Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

I'm a bit confused about the statement that Shadow Inn would be close to the "Princess Mothers Commemoration Park" in Khlong Toei since the inn is located in Chinatown. Google Maps proposes two parks when you search this name. The first candidate is near Chinatown, but is actually named "Princess Mothers Memorial Park". The second one is named precisely "Princess Mothers Commemoration Park" and is in Khlong Toei area. Sometimes Google is too smart for its own good. :-o

So Queen Sirikit Convention Centre and Khlong Toei would be the closest mass transit stations. De Talak tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293916-d254970… would seem to be a close-by hostel. It might be OK for the first few days, but likely to be way too much for your budget for any longer period if you require privacy.

It might be good to arrive a week or two before your job starts so that you can search full-time for cheap enough accommodation if you really have to work every day.

Bangkok, Thailand
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8. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

With such a tight budget you need to compare the apartment prices so that you include also the mandatory daily commute costs. If you need to use BTS trains, you will use 44 baht per day on return trips even if you keep loading 50-trip 30-day passes onto a Rabbit card, and 1200 baht/month for travel is a significant piece of your accommodation budget.

Watch out also for inflated electricity fees. These are not included in the monthly rent of apartments and depending on the arrangements the owners may charge an inflated rate. This can be a really significant cost especially if you use air conditioning.

Pawtucket, RI
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9. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

Maybe contact some of the people you will be working with and get their advice. Perhaps another Farang can suggest a good place.

A few nights in a hotel might be worth the extra money because this would allow you to inspect any apartment in person. Also check this neighborhood out at night too. If you sign a lease and then find out you don't like the area that could be a problem.

I find that when visiting Thai only apartments that some of them can be a little noisy at night!! If you run the A/C often (if there is one) expect to pay for that extra electricity. You may get charged for your water use too. I have retired friends who preferred to use cheap hotels and run their A/C as often as they need and also have free wifi and cable TV along with security.

Good luck.

10. Re: Long term stay in Bangkok

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