A Newbie’s Guide to Getting Settled In Bangkok
Renting a condo:
Make an appointment with an agent. Let them know what you’re looking for. See a selection of condos. Put down a deposit on the one you like. Deposit = 1 month rent. This keeps it from being shown or rented to another party, pending contract drafting and move-in.
“First and last” doesn’t exist in Bangkok. Rent is paid in advance and a security deposit, equal to 2 month’s rent, which is returned at the end of your lease (minus any damages and outstanding bills). If you’re renting a 20k, you’ll need 60k to get your foot in the door.
Leases are typically 1 year for condos, otherwise expect a noticeable increase in rent for shorter terms.
Disclaimer: REALTOR licensing doesn’t exist in Bangkok. You *need* to research your agent. They need to come recommended. They need to work for a legitimate agency. That agency should have a proven track record. Do not give money to someone without a strong reputation.
Setting up internet:
There is a never-ending debate on who is the best internet provider in Bangkok. In my opinion, they’re essentially all the same. There’s TrueOnline, 3BB, AIS, CS LoxInfo and more. CS probably has the best deal of the bunch. 20Mbps for 450 a month. You just need to give them a call and see if they are able to install in your building.
Paying Your Bills:
If you have rented a condo, all of your bills are paid at 711/Family Mart. Electricity, internet, cable. Everything except your water bill, which you pay directly to your condo office. If you have rented an apartment, you’ll pay all your bills to the office.
Many banks also have apps which make bill payment easy.
Getting a maid:
Seekster or DO4YOU. 500 Baht +/- for a 2 hour maid visit. These companies also offer handyman services, in case anything in your condo ever needs repair.
Air Conditioning Maintenance:
Again, Seekster. You want to have your AC serviced at LEAST once every 6 months. This will keep your bills down. Unmaintained ACs are the primary contributing factor to abnormally high electric bills.
Get to know people:
Join the Bangkok Facebook groups. There is a very diverse group of them.
Bangkok Expats – I call this group the “middle ground”. You will get answers to your questions AND get trolled into the ground. Be ready for both. Don’t whine. Please.
DSBKK – Posts require approval. Group is heavily moderated. If you find yourself regularly offended, go here.
Everything Bangkok – Lots of language. Lots of insults. Lots of fun. I will *never* knock EB. I will also never admin it.
There are dozens of Bangkok groups that are more tailored to specific things. These 3 are your main.
Fun/Different Things To Do:
Want to learn a martial art, whether for health or fun? Check out Bangkok Fight Lab and Elite Training Center Thailand
Check out Spin & Slice Tennis and Fitness Club on Sukhumvit 50
Bkk Orchestra Concert at the Park happens on the occasional Sunday. The Bangkok Orchestra performs live in Lumpini Park. Bring bug spray.
FULL METAL DOJO is Thailand’s MMA promoter. If you’re a fan of UFC or One, you don’t want to miss their next event. They also host “Trinity” at Ambassador, check it out.
There is a large comedy scene in Bangkok. Almost every night of the week, you can find live, stand-up comedy at RAW Comedy, Stagetime Comedy Club, Khaosan Comedy Club, etc.
Forewarning. Taxis in Bangkok are a nightmare. When looking for a condo, try to stay as close to a BTS or MRT station as possible. Download Grab to your phone to avoid issues. They have a car, bike and taxi service.
Speaking of phones. Mobile providers in Bangkok are the same as internet but add on dtac. A SIM costs essentially nothing. You need your passport. Go to 711, ask for a SIM, get whichever. True or DTAC. Once you have a number, you can “top-up” by adding 100 Baht or more to your credit. Each provider has it’s own mobile data package. You put enough credit on the phone and then enable your choice of package. Each company has it’s own app which makes this pretty easy.