We’ve recently found a great apartment here in Chiang Mai and wanted to share some current information for those who are coming to Chiang Mai soon and looking to rent as well. The following is a list of places we personally visited. Most of these places are in the Nimmanhaemin Road area, outside of the city walls. If you rent a motorbike you can get around anywhere you need to go in 10-15 minutes. This area is home to a mall with a bowling alley, a movie theatre, grocery stores, laundry services, copy/print services, ect.
We chose to live outside the city walls because all of the apartments located inside the old city have height restrictions, and we really wanted a view of the mountains, and a little less noise. There are a ton of great options to fit all budgets so we really wanted to share what we found in the hopes that it would help others coming soon. We did not take pictures of the apartments (except for the one we rented), because most of the apartments have websites so you can check out the different layouts/pictures for yourselves.
Our budget started at $400-500 dollars not including utilities. Initially when we started looking at places, we knew we could get a place at that price here. But looking at some selections made me cringe. I knew I could not live in a place that was not up to my standards (which I guess are pretty high). We looked at a dozen places over 4 days, and the more we looked the more our budget went up. The most important things to us became: fast internet, a kitchen with a stove and mountain views. And a quiet building. We looked at one place-the next door neighbor had her door wide open and the television could be heard down the hallway. Again, sometimes you get what you pay for, and we were willing to pay a little extra to get what we wanted. So our budget went up to $600-700 dollars.
Unless stated otherwise, you must pay separately for water & electric. In no particular order, here is what we checked out.
Pros: This place was swanky. Nicely decorated rooms, good location & good security.
Cons: No smoking in the apartment, no pool or gym. No kitchen in the deluxe room. 300 baht a month extra for internet. Expensive units.
Contact info: 22/3 Nimmanhaemin Road, www.empirenimman.com
Pros: We loved this place. The front desk was friendly, the apartments were HUGE. If you come with friends, this would be an excellent deal to split a 2/2. Loads of furniture, big windows, great views. They have 2 buildings-lots of options. A fitness area overlooks a gigantic pool. A little convenience store & cafe were also on the grounds. They also had 2 coin washing machines on the ground floor. Free internet is also included.
Cons: For the price and the choices they had, the views on the 4th floor were not great- electric wires/someone’s filthy pool. Maybe other floors were better, but we checked the 3rd and 4th floor and the views were so-so. The 8th floor apartment was great but the neighbor had a yapping dog. And they don’t even allow pets in the building? Go figure. The pool was 50 baht per use-but really well maintained & large. When you check out of your apartment, you have to pay a cleaning fee depending on the size of your unit. Overall nice but a little pricey.
Contact info: 45/38 Moo.5, Super Highway Road (On the other side of Nimmanhaemin Road) www.greenhillplace.com
Baan Thai B
Pros: This place was cheap. And its off Nimmanhaemin Road, giving it a great location. The apartment we looked at was 5200 Baht, which is less than $200 bucks a month. Dirt cheap. It had a swimming pool which was included in the price. Good security. The front desk attendant was really nice and helpful.
Cons: From the outside it looked ok, but when the attendant opened the door to the apartment, while clean, gave me the feeling of a prison room. I couldn’t shake it. It was bare bones, kind of like hotel style-it basically had a bed, a desk, and not much else. And it was tiny. Internet extra. But for the price, what can you expect? If you don’t need much this might work for you.
Contact info: 36 Nimmanhaemin Road, Tel:053219000
Outside of the Nimmanhaemin Road area we checked out:
Pros: The Smith Residence is very popular in the backpacking community. Its in a good location and easy to get to. The apartment was clean, it had access to a gym and a roof top swimming pool (although very small). They also included a weekly cleaning service.
Cons: Very limited apartments available, very small units. No kitchen for the unit we viewed so it was a little steeply priced for us. Internet extra. A rather small couch so it would be hard to have guests stay over if they wanted too. No smoking allowed, not even on your own balcony. Only on the rooftop. So if you don’t live on the rooftop level, you have to take the elevator up to the 8th floor every time you want to smoke (or of course go outside the building). If you don’t smoke-or don’t have friends that do-not such a big deal. But we knew we’d want to have dinner/drink parties and inevitably someone who smokes will come along-plus, we smoke. The apartment was too small for parties.
Contact info: 37-39 Nuntharam Rd, www.chiangmaismithres.com
Pros: This place was luxury living at its best. If you can afford it, live here. The bellman opens the door for you, the staff cater to you. We felt like this place was too fancy for us. Gorgeous rooms. Spanking new kitchens, clean clean clean. Really a nice place to live. They also do daily rentals. The monthly rate included water & internet, also a cleaning service 3 times a week. All I could say was wow every time they showed us a unit. They also agreed to give us a small discount for paying all the rent up front.
Cons: For us, way too expensive. That is all. Sigh.
Contact info: 70/1 MuenDamPraKot Road, www.thegrandnapat.com
And finally, the one we choose:
ViangPing Mansion & Condotel
*Note: We are only speaking from seeing this one unit, which will be available when we leave in December (we think). We can’t be sure what all the units look like, as we only saw this one.
Pros: Centrally located-this place has a huge outdoor food court literally steps away. We found a laundry service and everything else we needed a short motorbike ride away. On the other side of Nimmanhaemin Road (off the super highway road.) They complex also sells gallon jugs of drinking/cooking water in the lobby. Our apartment was newly refurbished and included internet and satellite cable tv. We have our own modem for the wifi in the unit and its pretty fast. We’ve got 2 balconies (with killer views as we are on floor 12 of 14) it’s really quiet on our floor, and we can smoke in the apartment.
Cons: From the outside the building might not look as well painted as some of the others. The security is good enough, but no key card entry. We really don’t mind.
Contact info: We found this place through our realtor. But, its located at 52 M. 5 (really, that’s what it says on the card) Tel: 053225844
After seeing so many apartments, one day after eating lunch we spotted a Real Estate office on Nimmanhaemin Road. We decided to check it out. This was a great idea as the guy that helped us, Warut, was really nice, the service was free, and he showed us many different types of places in our price range. The one we chose was the last option. It was the only unit we had seen that included the internet, cable, and was within our budget. Its almost 100 sq m (which is pretty large). We pay $670 per month and we pay water & electric separate. But, we got a 2/2 and its nice to be able to have a place for our friends to stay, and also to host couchsurfers. Here are some pictures of our new place.
Some last tips:
- Find a temporary place when you arrive, and rent a motorbike or get a taxi to take you to the places you want to see. Don’t rush the process as you will be stuck with whatever you pick out so make sure you like it, and the area you chose. Visit the area at different times of the day to check the noise level. You might see a place in the evening and not realize there is construction nearby that goes on in the daytime. Get as much info as you can.
- If you can’t find anything that you like, or want more options, we recommend getting a realtor. The company we used, Chiang Mai Properties, has 2 offices and the staff speaks English. They were so helpful-Warut, our Realtor, even picked us up at our guesthouse with our bags and moved us to the new apartment. Incredibly time saving and didn’t cost us a cent.
- Make a list of the things that you need and the things you can live without. If you want a gym, or a pool, or internet/cable included in your rent, take that into consideration when checking the prices. It’s hard to find a good gym here, and sometimes the extra costs can break your budget. Don’t disregard a place if the price is right and it doesn’t have a pool. How often were you going to use the pool anyway? Discuss these things and do check out the facilities the apartment building offers. One place we looked at included a maintenance fee for the pool, but the pool looked like crap. We weren’t sure we wanted to pay a premium for a service we could not use.
- Be prepared to pay up to a 2 month deposit at some places. All the places we checked out allowed 3 month leases, which is what we got. If you sign a 1 year lease the cost went down a bit as well. If you can afford to, maybe ask if they will give you an extra discount for paying the rent up front. Of course, if you are staying a year that might be difficult, but for a shorter term lease it might save you some money.
We hope this helps you out when you are searching for a place here in Chiang Mai. Some of these places might not be in your budget, but check out all the websites before you decide, as they have different sizes for most budgets. This post was not sponsored by the Real Estate office, nor did we receive anything other than amazing service from them, which was free.