How to Find Good Spots to Live: Homes in Chiang Mai Edition

It’s been two months since I left Chiang Mai but as I mentioned on my previous post, I will make a feature of my homes in Chiang Mai. So here it is.

When you travel for a long time, it does get tiring to be moving from one place to another. During the first seven months of my trip, I was moving a lot, trying to cover as many exciting destinations I can. It’s been an amazing first half of my trip. But from time to time, I missed having a regular place to stay and not having to pack and unpack.

When one of the travelers I met suggested the two of us taking an English teaching course in Chiang Mai, my initial reaction was why not? I’ve been to Chiang Mai once and loved it and both of us had very similar goals in our travels and it that it could be an exciting part of our trip, not to mention finance our trips. She was still then in Bali and I was in Manila spending the holidays with family. So we enrolled, met again in Chiang Mai and were put in this apartment close to Chiang Mai University.

lobby

The lobby at my first apartment

We each got ourselves a standard room- equipped with two double beds, western toilet, huge closet, tv, ref,a desk and a little balcony. A standard room  here costs $160 plus utilities which is around $50-$70 a month. room1

My room in my first apartment was good though the pillows were as hard as rocks

On my second month living in Chiang Mai, I moved to a different apartment because my contract expired and I was outside Thailand for a visa run.

room2

My room in my second apartment. One of the most comfortable beds ever

My second apartment was a lot bigger and more brand new. It was equipped with large and beautiful wooden closets, a king bed, ref, a flat screen TV and a brand new western toilet. But those weren’t the reasons why I moved here. It was because of this view:

mountain

I paid a little bit more for my second apartment because I chose the top floor with the most amazing view. I could also see Doi Suthep Temple on a very clear day. I paid $200 for a month at this place. It was an amazing value for money.

Miss Annzventures recommendations for fabulous but budget friendly apartments:

1. Word of mouth

There are a lot of expats living around Thailand especially in Chiang Mai. Ask the expats or travel friends and even locals and get their recommendations. The first apartment was a school recommendation. It was perfect for us since the classes were held just right at the mansion.

2. Walk around

I found my second apartment because I was looking for a place to eat. I stumbled upon a really nice apartment complex and inquired about the renting situation. It was a done deal since it was so close to a lot of eating spots.

3. Go outside city center

Wherever you are in the world, the basic real estate rules apply. If you live right in town, you pay higher cost for smaller space. But if you go a few kilometers outside the city center (or the old town in Chiang Mai), you’ll find a lot of better options that are cheaper and bigger.

4. Check out the University Scene

Living close to the university was more convenient for me during the time I lived there. But I realized that everything else in the university area is cheap- food and accommodation wise. Staying here cut my travel costs in half. I also loved the fact that I was in a more local place than a touristy area.

5. Internet

Though this wasn’t one of the options I did while looking for a place to live, it certainly is a better option for other countries. There’s craigslist, airbnb and roomorama. I’ve used craigslist while I was searching for an apartment in the US. I used airbnb for short term rentals when I was in Macau and Colombo, Sri Lanka. I haven’t used roomorama yet but more than likely will use it here in Europe based on a recommendation.

Sure you can find cheaper options to live in Thailand. I know people living at apartments for $100 a month (with some uninvited tenants i.e. geckos and cockroaches). Not me man! If will be living here for a month, I’d rather stay in a place where I’ll feel more comfortable, more at home and feel like I’m living my dream.

P1120574

Sunset view from my room + night market

As you see living in Thailand (or even South East Asia) is such a bargain and an excellent value for money if you know where to find good spots. So if you feel like you’ve gotten a travel fatigue or maybe fell in love with a place, I recommend settling for a few months. Some people wonder why I stayed too long in Chiang Mai. When you’re a long term traveler, It pays to take a rest for a while. Not only did I get to try to immerse into the country’s culture and teach English, I also met here the most incredible group of people who still remains very close friends. It was also in Chiang Mai where I had time and launched this site.

Who knows? Living in one place could be a highlight of your entire trip. It sure was with mine.

A fan of fabulous apartments,

Anna

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Author:Anna

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