Jigsaw Condominium 2

Searching for Chiang Mai Properties

After our first six months of non-stop travel we were utterly exhausted and desperate to put down our backpacks, settle in one place and recover for a month. So, in typical travel blogger fashion we headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand in search of some peace, decent wifi and delicious food. There’s no shortage of places to live in Chiang Mai, but the search for our ideal apartment still turned out to be more difficult than we’d anticipated – here’s how we managed to find our perfect pad.

The view from our Chiang Mai Apartment

What we were Looking for

Here’s what we were looking for in our dream Chiang Mai apartment:

  • A proper apartment – although it’s a more expensive option, after living in hostels and guesthouses for months we wanted to be in a proper self-contained apartment.
  • Space to work – we had a lot of work to do while we were in Chiang Mai so finding an apartment with a proper table and chairs to work on was essential.
  • Fast and reliable internet – to work, blog and travel plan we needed a fast and reliable internet connection.
  • A Kitchen – we missed cooking our favourite meals from home and thought we could save money by preparing meals in our apartment.
  • Central location – we chose to live in Chiang Mai because we like the city, therefore we wanted to be based within walking distance to the old city.
  • Budget-friendly – one of our priorities for this month was to save some money, so we began with a rough budget of £200 to spend on renting an apartment; you can read about how much we spent during our month living in Chiang Mai here.
  • A pool and gym – while not essential, we were on the lookout for apartment complexes with in-house pools or gyms.

Sound like we were asking too much? Turns out we were.

The Search for Apartments in Chiang Mai

The following prices are listed in Thai Baht; 5,000B is roughly £100 or $165.

In preparation for our apartment hunt we researched Chiang Mai Properties online and took a look at relevant articles from Never Ending Voyage and Got Passport. We decided to start our search in north-west Chiang Mai, which is a popular area for expats and temporary visitors given that it’s a short distance from markets, the old city and is full of apartment and hotel complexes. Here are details of all the places we viewed:

Chiang Mai Apartment

This place offers basic hotel rooms for long-term rent; despite being in a great location inside the city walls, we found the rooms were pretty small and not at all what we were after.

Location: Moon Muang Road 7, Sriphum, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Small bedroom with en-suite bathroom
  • Small desk, fridge and TV

Price:

  • Fan rooms for 4,500B per month
  • Air conditioned rooms for 7,000B per month
  • Electricity, wifi and water bills are not included in the above prices

Huay Keaw Residence

Although it was pretty cheap there was something about this place we really didn’t like; it felt scruffy and uncared for.

Huay Keaw Residences

Location: Huay Keaw Road, Suthep, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Had both studio and one bed apartments
  • Apartments had a small kitchen with microwave and fridge
  • TV and air conditioning
  • Gym and pool

Price:

  • 3,500B to 16,000B per month
  • Electricity, wifi and water bills are not included in the above prices
  • Free use of the gym and pool was only included with some of the apartments

Bangsook Condominium

We actually really liked this apartment and could imagine living there, even though it was over our budget. We had a second viewing and were ready to accept when we found out that they only rented apartments out for a minimum of six months.

Bangsook Condominium

Location: Ratchapruak Road, Huay Keaw, Suthep, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Brand new apartments
  • Large open-plan living room, bedroom
  • Kitchen with microwave and fridge
  • TV, wifi and air conditioning
  • Minimum stay of six months

Price:

  • 15,000B per month
  • Wifi and weekly cleaning was included in the above price
  • Electricity and water bills not included in the above price

Chiang Mai Lodge, Chai Mansion and Varada Place

These three places are essentially hotels which rent out rooms on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Although we would have saved money by staying at one of these places, we still had our hearts set on a proper apartment rather than a hotel room.  We’ve grouped these together as they were all pretty similar.

Chiang Mai Lodge

Location: Ratchapruak and Sermsuk Road, Huay Keaw, Suthep, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Hotel rooms with en-suite bathrooms
  • Fridge, TV and air conditioning

Price:

  • Chiang Mai Lodge: between 4,500B and 10,000B
  • Chai Mansion: 5,500B including internet but not electricity or water
  • Varada Place: 4,500B not including internet, electricity or water

The Dome Residence

We had heard good things about The Dome and although we liked the more homely atmosphere it still felt too much like a hotel for us.

The Dome Residence

Location: Soi Plub Plueng, Huay Keaw, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Offers studios and suites
  • Suite rooms have a small kitchen with microwave and fridge, studios have just a fridge
  • All rooms have TV and air conditioning

Price:

  • 9,000B to 15,000B per month including water and wifi
  • Electricity not included in the above price

Sakulchai Place

This place was more expensive but good value for money since it included all bills and had a pool and gym. Again, we just weren’t keen on the fact that it felt just like a hotel.

Location: Soi Plub Plueng, Huay Keaw, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Hotel rooms
  • Small kitchen with fridge
  • TV, wifi and air conditioning
  • Swimming pool and gym

Price:

  • 18,000B per month,
  • All bills and use of the pool and gym included

Pacific Cool

Another glorified hotel room and not in great condition; the free pool and gym weren’t enough to persuade us to stay here.

Pacific Cool hotel Chiang Mai

Location: Hussadhisawee Road, Chang Phuak, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Hotel Rooms
  • Small kitchen with fridge
  • TV and air conditioning
  • Pool and gym

Price:

  • 13,500B per month including use of the pool and gym
  • Electricity, wifi and water not included

The Loft Residence

The Loft did have slightly larger rooms with separate bedrooms but we were still looking for something more like an apartment.

The Loft Residence, Chiang Mai

Location: Soi 4, Hussadhisawee Road, Chang Phuak, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Studio or Suite Rooms
  • Kettle, fridge, TV and air conditioning

Price:

  • 5,000B or 8,500B per month
  • Electricity, wifi and water not included in the above price

The Royal Shilton Resort

Our final viewing that day was The Royal Shilton, this was a little further out of town and had sets of bungalows arranged around a few small swimming pools. It felt very much like holiday accommodation rather than a longer-term place to stay.

Location: Jedyod Soi 7, Jedyod-Chiangkian Road, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • Grand Room, Business Room or Villa
  • Kettle, fridge, TV and air conditioning
  • One small pool between about five rooms

Price:

  • 10,000B, 13,000B or 15,000B per month
  • Electricity, wifi and water not included

In addition to the details above, many of the places we visited added 1,000B or more to the monthly rate if you were only staying for one month. Some apartments also required a deposit equal to one months’ rent.

Which of the Chiang Mai Properties did we Choose?

We were pretty disheartened after our first day of apartment searching. Bangsook had been the only place we’d liked enough to move into and it wasn’t available for short-term rent; everything else we saw was just too much like a hotel. In despair, we checked AirBnB on the off chance and came across an ad for an apartment in Jigsaw Condo; although it was out of town near the bus terminal it looked like a proper apartment. Believing it was all too good to be true; we arranged a visit the next morning.

Immediately upon arriving we loved the apartment; it was cosy, light and quiet with brilliant internet and a table to work on. There was a super-comfy sofa in the lounge, a kitchen with a hob, microwave and fridge as well as a balcony, separate bedroom and a bathroom with a tub. The complex even had an in-house gym, pool and was near a supermarket.

The only sticking points were the location and price; we’d need to walk 10 minutes to the bus terminal and then catch a songtheaw each time we wanted to get into the city. The owner was also now quoting us a much more expensive price than had been listed online. In the end we decided that since we planned to stay in working and relaxing for most of the month, being a bit further away from the city wasn’t a big deal. After much negotiation, we also managed to get the price down to something manageable – it was still way above our original budget but we reasoned that we needed some comfort and would be able to save money by cooking for ourselves. It turned out we made a great decision and really loved our month-long stay in Chiang Mai – here are the details of our Jigsaw Condo:

Jigsaw Condominium 2

Our Jigsaw Condominium 2 Apartment

Our Jigsaw Condominium 2 Living Room, Chiang Mai

Our Jigsaw Condominium 2 Bedroom, Chiang Mai

Location: Chiang Mai Business Park, Superhighway, Chiang Mai.
Features:

  • One bed apartment with separate living area
  • Kitchen with microwave, hob and fridge
  • Living room with sofa and TV
  • Table and chairs and air conditioning
  • Bathroom with shower and bathtub
  • Fast internet
  • Pool and gym
  • Close to Big C Extra shopping centre

Price:

  • 17,000B per month including water, cleaning every four days and wifi
  • This price didn’t include electricity, which cost us 1,600B for the month
  • 4,000B deposit, all of which was returned without any issues

So what do you think of our apartment? Have you rented in Chiang Mai?

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33 Comments
  • Mig
    Posted at 16:50h, 18 December Reply

    Wow! Impressed with your research. Sweet digs you got there. I’d like to live there one day too! I had to slow down from constant travel too. It does get exhausting and taking a break once in a while to recharge (and work a bit) is good. While I haven’t rented an entire apartment, I’ve been successful at finding rooms to rent via CouchSurfing classified forums.

    • Andrew
      Posted at 17:10h, 18 December Reply

      Thanks Mig, we really liked the apartment; it was just what we needed. 🙂

  • Rob
    Posted at 21:34h, 18 December Reply

    That is proper decent research mate! We also had an epic task finding our place in Playa, but it’s worth that bit of extra effort to find what actually suits you. Seems like you can still get a real deal in Chiang Mai. Nice work!
    Rob recently posted..The time I got stuck outside in just a pair of little pants!My Profile

    • Andrew
      Posted at 06:59h, 19 December Reply

      Thanks Rob, since we were there for a month we thought it best to look properly. We didn’t get locked out of our place at all though. 😉

  • Patti
    Posted at 00:23h, 19 December Reply

    Looks as if you found the perfect fit. How much in dollars is 17,000B?

    When we rented an apartment in Paris we ended up moving twice and we were reasonably happy with the 3rd apartment. What we learned from that experience is that we will never rent sight unseen again. I think you were smart to check them out 1st.
    Patti recently posted..See the U.S.A. – 6: 3,000 Miles & Counting ~My Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 07:02h, 19 December Reply

      Hi Patti, 17,000B is around $500. You’re right about checking the places in person before you rent, it’s a much better way of finding a good apartment; we try to do the same for hotels and guesthouses too as the online pictures can be really misleading.

  • Beth
    Posted at 04:06h, 19 December Reply

    Hi there, great info…thanks for sharing. We will need similar digs for a month…good internet, maybe a bit more villa like though…will have visitors staying with us. Any ideas about how to go about finding this in advance of arrival?? Websites?? I have checked Agoda! Thanks!!!

    • Amy
      Posted at 07:00h, 19 December Reply

      Hi Beth, check out airBnB, that’s where we found our flat. The Guys from Never Ending Voyage are living in a house in Chiang Mai at the moment, it might be worth asking them how they found that, their website is: http://www.neverendingvoyage.com

  • Heidi Wagoner
    Posted at 10:08h, 19 December Reply

    Great info guys! Obviously you don’t need more than 1 bedroom, but in your search did you see any 2 or 3 available for decent prices? We have similar desires in an apartment, but with more bedrooms. I guess we will just have to see when we get there next year.
    Heidi Wagoner recently posted..Córdoba – A Great One Day ItineraryMy Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:14h, 19 December Reply

      We didn’t see any 2 or 3 bed properties Heidi but I’m sure they exist; I just did a quick google search to see if there were any 2 beds in the Jigsaw condo where we stayed and it appears that there are. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something.

  • Kerri
    Posted at 18:19h, 19 December Reply

    Great apartment. Isn’t it wonderful sometimes just to be able to have a place to call home?
    Kerri recently posted..Pamukkale and the Ruins of HierapolisMy Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 05:05h, 20 December Reply

      It definitely is Kerri, especially when you’ve spent months living out of a backpack!

  • Simon Lee
    Posted at 09:23h, 20 December Reply

    Hi Amy, I think you guys got a nice serviced apartment, but the rental seems to be a bit on the high side? Dont you think so?
    Simon Lee recently posted..2 Days KL Shopping & Spa Tour (Suggested Itinerary)My Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:47h, 20 December Reply

      Yes, it was a bit pricey Simon; there were definitely much cheaper options but we chose to pay a bit extra for the comfort of having a proper apartment and kitchen facilities.

  • Jan
    Posted at 15:33h, 20 December Reply

    Good post.

    Finding something is not so easy, but I just moved into a brand new room with kitchen, fridge, desk, table, leather couch, TV, bed etc… Even some dishes and cooking utensils included. All that for 6500 per month plus Government electricity rate(about 3,6 baht) and 100 baht flat fee for water.

    • Amy
      Posted at 15:35h, 20 December Reply

      Hi Jan, that sounds like a great deal; which hotel/apartment complex are you in?

      • Jan
        Posted at 19:55h, 24 December Reply

        Pp Condominiums.. Actually it’s 6000/m. But that is for minimum 6 Months. One year contracts are 500 baht less. Check out buyinchiangmai.com

        • Amy
          Posted at 05:00h, 25 December Reply

          Sounds like a great deal Jan – we’ll check it out if we’re ever back in Chiang Mai for a long period.

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  • Miriam of Adventurous Miriam
    Posted at 22:08h, 07 December Reply

    Great info, you guys! I will definitely bookmark this!
    Miriam of Adventurous Miriam recently posted..Free things to do in SingaporeMy Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:32h, 08 December Reply

      Glad you found it useful 🙂

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  • Tim
    Posted at 08:23h, 10 September Reply

    Hi,

    Thanks for this. Really helped me out even though its a few years old. I recently moved to Chiang mai after getting sick of the rat race in London. Eventually i found a place on this site https://www.propertythailand.co.th/long-term-rentals/chiang-mai/. Its seems to be inspired by AirBnB, but it had just what i needed. Now i can relax working from my Chiang Mai home. No more early morning sardine journeys on the tube! Whaaoo!!
    Tim recently posted..Classic shrimp, advocado and bacon saladMy Profile

    • Amy
      Posted at 15:53h, 10 September Reply

      No worries Tim, it sounds like you’ve found a great place and thanks for letting us know about that property website. I don’t miss those sardine journeys either, I have to say 🙂

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