When we arrived in Thailand back on March 2nd we already had our destination pre-planned.
Chiang Mai was in our sights once again as a base for a few months to relax after our 7-month trip around South America last year.
This city has definitely captured our attention for a number of reasons:
1. Cheap standard of living
2. Massive networking possibilities
3. Fast WiFi
4. Cafe culture
The list goes on and on.
Chiang Mai Apartments
Our main concern initially was finding a suitable apartment in Chiang Mai for the 4 months that we were going to be living in the city. Previously when we were here at the end of 2013 for a few months, we found a studio apartment for 2 months. It was situated smack bang in the center of Nimmanhaemin.
This time around we wanted to be near Nimmanhaemin again but not on it – as it can be a little noisy at nighttime. We had a few contacts researched prior to leaving home and we also sent a few emails too.
The one thing you’ll notice here is that Chiang Mai apartments are both plentiful and affordable. Of course, you can spend big if you wanted to.
In the studio apartment last time we were here we paid 8,000 baht per month – which equates to around €215.
This time around we wanted a 1 bedroom setup and the fact that we were going to be staying for 4 months this time meant that we would be able to get something in our budget range which was €500 per month.
We arrived in Chiang Mai on 5th March after spending a few days in Bangkok to get over the jet lag. We took the train up from Bangkok as we were in no hurry and we also like the journey – even if it is 16 hours!
Arriving in the city at 10am we quickly followed up with our contacts for getting a scooter sorted as soon as possible. By 2pm we were driving around and waiting to hear from a real estate agent about an apartment viewing on Huay Keaw road.
By 7pm that night we had signed our 4 month contract for the apartment which worked out at 14,000 baht per month(€400). The fact that there’s so many condos in Chiang Mai means that you’ll never be short of options. There’s a plethora of companies like Perfect Homes that will go out of their way to help you get set up as quickly as possible.
This was our first viewing of an apartment, but we knew straight away that it ticked all the boxes that we were looking for, namely:
- Within our budget
- 1 bedroom
- Modern (brand new apartment actually)
- Wifi access
- basic cooking facilities
- communal swimming pool
- close to Nimmanhaemin
We told the estate agent there and then that if we could sign the contract and move in that same night then we’d take it. Otherwise, we were going to view a few other apartments and we may possibly find another one we liked!
Not wanting to lose out on a deal, he quickly rang the landlord and the ball got moving straight away.
We didn’t want to spend a few days looking for somewhere suitable and I suppose we were lucky to find something we liked straight off the bat.
The Options for Apartments are Endless
Accommodation options vary both in price and style in Chiang Mai. We know plenty of people here who pay about €150 per month for a nice room in a condo and others that that €1,000+.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal choice. The beauty about Chiang Mai is that it’s such an affordable city to live it. It’s no surprise that it’s such a “digital hotspot” with people from all over the world basing themselves here.
Bootstrapping your business in Chiang Mai has become very popular in the past few years – simply because of the reasons I mentioned above.
We’ve been here nearly 3 months now and with only another 6 weeks left before we head down south for some beach time, we’re already going to miss the city.
It’s been a super productive period of time for us online and we’ve literally done nothing only focus on our online businesses. That was by design though, as we’ve a few months of backpacking coming up in August when we take on India.
So we want to get as much work done as possible before then, because WiFi won’t be as freely available everywhere in India as it is here.