http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment Bangkok has a huge range of accommodation options from houses to apartments, guesthouses to hotels to service apartments, condos to mansions. Foreigners staying long term generally initially choose an apartment over a house because they are more readily available and tend to be cheaper to rent as well as being more secure. The cheapest apartments start at about 1,500 a month but really, that gets you little more than a dive, a place with four walls and a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. You might not even get a fan and you'll almost certainly be sharing the bathroom which is down a dark, dirty corridor with all of the other unlucky souls who have found themselves in such inauspicious surroundings. Fortunately, few Westerners end up in such digs. At the other end of the scale, prices can go up to and exceed 200,000 baht a month for the most luxurious executive properties. http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment My attitude is that you battle a lot in Bangkok and that the environment can be, while certainly not hostile, shall we say "a challenge", that the place to stay should be as nice as you can realistically afford and with a bit of luck, tranquil and relaxing. Your rent will probably be your biggest expense but in my opinion it's worth spending a little extra to get something that where the feeling is right. Decide where you want to live, which will probably be largely dictated by where you work (of if you are retired, by where you tend to hang out), and then start searching in that area. Take your time and look at as many places as you can before making a decision. If at all possible, talk to other foreigners who are staying in the area / building and see how they have found it. Ask them about any problems they may have had and how those have been dealt with by the apartment staff. http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment Searching for and selecting the ideal rental property in Thailand is not that different from the West. Look at the upkeep of the premises. Are things clean and maintained? What is the security like? Are there many guards? Can anyone wander unchallenged into the building / compound? Is there a car park and is it secure? The principles of accommodation hunting in the West apply in Bangkok too. http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment Whatever you desire in terms of accommodation, Bangkok has it. From executive condominiums, fully serviced apartments and luxury houses to cheap and nasty, dimly-lit rooms in slum neighbourhoods where you couldn't swing a cat, Bangkok offers a huge choice and rage of accommodation options. The nature of accommodation in Bangkok with the city centre full of high rise apartments and the suburbs full of houses means that most Westerners go for an apartment over a house. Apartments are both plentiful and affordable while houses, in central areas at least, tend to be a lot more expensive. If you could find a house to rent in downtown Bangkok you'd probably have a heart attack at the asking price, a reflection of the land prices in the downtown area. Notwithstanding this if you don't mind living out on the edges of the city, houses in the suburbs can be surprisingly good value for money. The problem is that Bangkok is a very large city and this could put you quite a distance from downtown as well as other areas. http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment The Sukhumvit Road (pictured below) area has traditionally been the location where Westerners have settled for a medium to long term stay in Bangkok. It's an area with a lot of hotels, farang-oriented businesses with book shops, restaurants and bars as well as entertainment areas and is home to some shopping centres. It's not known as the farang ghetto of Bangkok for nothing. The familiarity that many Westerners have with this area from previous visits as a tourist makes it an easy option. http://www.squidoo.com/bangkokapartment Sukhumvit Road is longer than you think...it goes all the way down to Pattaya and beyond, more than 150 km away, but for all intents and purposes here, we'll just discuss the section of it in Bangkok. The start of Sukhumvit Road at the expressway just west of the JW Marriott Hotel, sees it in a very central area and as you'd expect, property prices in this area are high. Still, as is the case in Bangkok, you can still find some remarkably god deals if you are prepared to look hard. Anywhere between that section of the expressway and Soi Asoke (Sukhumvit Soi 21) is generally going to be fairly expensive because you're paying for the location. The further down Sukhumvit you go (as the soi numbers get higher), generally the prices of accommodation fall, although there are some upmarket neighbourhoods that break this rule such as some of the sois around the Emporium shopping centre where a lot of Japanese live (as with most everywhere, wherever the Japanese are found, prices tend to be much higher than elsewhere) as well as the upmarket area of Soi Thonglor, home to some very expensive apartment buildings and many well-to-do Thais and successful foreigners.
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