We've just been told that my husband's company is moving us from Dongguan City in South China to Bangkok. Although we're very excited we also feel very unprepared. I have a few questions and i would like to thank everyone who replies in advance - Thank you!
1. Which area in Bangkok would be suited for a young couple (just entered our 30's) to live in and to be able to meet other expats. What would the rents be like in these areas?
2. Can we get an apartment for about 800USD? We need atleast 2 bedrooms and a separate study.
3. We have a few bits and peices of furniture so would it be possible to get a partially furnished apartment? (Sofa, couple of chairs, coffee table)
4. How much should we budget for utilities in a month (Electricity+ Gas+ Water)
5. How much would it cost to hire a maid to come in 6 days a week to do the cleaning and ironing?
6. Is there any cost related issues specific to Bangkok that i should be aware of?
My husband is in the process of negotiating our living expenses allowance so any guidance would be much appreciated.
Looking forward to moving!!
Welcome to the nuthouse.
1) Preferably somewhere close to a BTS or MRT station. The area along Sukhumvit between Asoke BTS and Thonglor is popular, as is the Sathorn, and Surriwongse area. Thonglor is the more expensive of those areas but has the better class amenities.
2) You will be looking around the Surriwongse, Sathorn and Rama IV areas but certainly US$ 800 is possible.
3) No problem
4) You would be pushed to spend Bht 5,000 - it depends upon how you use the airconditioning.
5) It depends upon how long she spends on the job. Try to get a maid by recommendation. There are good ones and horrendous ones. In town Thais of that calibre will consider Bht 10,000 per month a good income so it comes down to whether she is servicing other apartments too.
7. Bangkok traffic is notorious. You will need to live very close to your work, or if the work is close to an MRT or BTS station make sure your apartment is too. Thailand is a cheap place to live in theory (overall about 25% of the UK) but there is a lot more to spend your money on, so watch the extra little luxuries as they mount up. ..... oh and keep hubby away from the naughty girls.
Thank you both for your reply.
I've checked out the Asiaexpat property section and have a pretty good idea about how much apartments will cost. Unfortunately it's going to be considerably more expensive than here in China (but we live in a small town) and i have a feeling that the apartments are going to be smaller.
What do you think would be the best way to look at apartments if i were in Bangkok for say 3 days?
And are there any roads/localities to avoid?
I wont have much time to make a decison over a one year lease so i guess i want to get it right the first time! Maybe it makes more sense to stay in a serviced apartment for say a month while looking at apartments and then making up my mind?
About the maid - i'd like one to come in for about 2 hours everyday to sweep, mop, do dishes, wash clothes, do the dusting and iron the clothes. So how much do you reckon that would cost?
Thanks for the heads up about the naughty girls, the hubby has been duly warned (threatened with dire circumstances i mean!).
Most apartment complexes have vacancies so three days should be sufficient, but do check the journeytime to work. Also look to see how well maintained the property is, and just how well occupied. Very low occupancy can mean the maintenance fund is low or exhausted which, in turn, causes people to move out. It's a downward spiral.
Bangkok is a peaceful city and rough often exists alongside smooth. I would personally avoid the area between Rama IV and Soi Tarntawan because it is the centre of the sex industry here. Some people do prefer to live there for just that reason though and you may be woken up at 3.am by a group of girls singing karaoke next door with a few drunken farangs.
You are better advised to evaluate the apartment complex rather than the district.
Good maids are like gold dust. You may well get what you are looking for at around Bht 4,000 - 5,000 per month, but if someone recommends a good one then pay her what she asks. Good ones won't try to fleece you but do make sure you clarify from the start what is required and how much is paid, then stick o it rigidly. Just remember the guidelines I have quoted here.
Do remember that Thais like routine (not to mention credit payments) and once you start doing something then it soon becomes expected. If you start paying Bht xxx then there's no reducing it, they will have committed that money and if you don't pay them on time it can cause untold hardship.
Another hidden expense can be the not-so-naughty girls in hairdressing salons etc. They will feed stories to expats about how they are struggling to pay for English lessons, or their mother's operation, etc. I've seen my hairdresser accept large sums off three different men based upon the same school fee receipt. Keep a wet fish in the fridge and slap hubby with it if they catch him on that one.
Thanks heaps for your comments!
During my previous two visits to Bangkok i have been told a few sob stories by masseuses but i did not give them any money other than a tip.But did go away feeling very sad for them and guilty for not giving them more money. Do you think there is any truth in what they say?
I'll remember your advice - if all goes well we should be in Bangkok in January and i'll remember to keep the wet fish on stand-by ;-)
Girls here could give the Catholic church lessons in guilt. Decent Thais won't ask for money, they are too proud and will try to work for it. This does mean that, where I live, just about everyone is trying to find something they can do for the farang, but they never give me sob stories or beg for money.
Good luck in Bangkok, it's a tremendous place.
So how was the move? ( I was Chang until recently )
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