Sunday, 12 November 2017

Moving room in Bangkok

Moving room in Bangkok

In Sep 2016, there was a lucky coincidence: trip to Germany to stay 5 weeks (Sep-Oct) on the day my rent contract runs out, some interesting job offers in Germany, and a Thai friend moved in near my place and allowed me to store my stuff in his room for free.

Thus I give up my room and move all my stuff into my Thai friend’s place, which takes over 2 days packing and moving (about 200 kg, of which about 50 kg books, one refrigerator, one heavy wooden table; from 3rd floor to ground level, about 200 m along the road at times when there is little traffic, and up to 3rd floor).

I didn’t get a job in Germany. On my return in Oct 2016, stay at another friend’s place for free and look for a new room (while I was happy with my old room, several friends say I can probably get something similar for cheaper).

Some things to watch out when looking for a room: convenience store nearby (every now and then I run out of toast or butter, and then wake up in the morning and have to go to buy some to have breakfast), restaurants nearby, public transport nearby, mocy taxi not important for me but maybe for others, no flooding during rainy season, no soi dogs, no construction sites.

Charges for electricity, water, WiFi. With contract with electricity company, you pay between 3.5 and 4 THB/kWh, but landlords often charge 7. Water is 18 THB/m3, but landlords often have a minimum charge of 100 or more. WiFi is free in some places, others charge 500 per month which is outrageous considering I had a contract for 499 in 2013.

Another point that would have to be considered is travelling: I have several friends in Sathorn area who I can visit on foot, as well as walking to/from Silom, the money I save in rent I would spend on public transport.

I have a look at various places in various areas: (continuation of

A surprising observation from various places: wide hallway but small rooms.
Grand Mandarin Residence Ladprao Soi 130
I once went to see a boy who lives there, and the rooms are fine and cheaper than in Sathorn (4500 + 590 WiFi vs 8000 THB with WiFi included). But on the day when I wanted to see the rooms (I want a room with window north or west so I don’t have the sun in the morning and during day), there was none available.

Baan Rajaprarop บ้านราชปรารภ near Victory Monument
I had a look at this already in 2014, and now back again. Tucked away in a dead end (I like quiet), but near Victory Monument and Santhipap park. At 7000 a good deal, window north, but at the end I’m indecisive. And there is a manned reception, which means someone sees every boy I take back to my room which I don’t like.

39 Place 39 เพลส Soi Kraisi off Soi Sri Bamphen
Another place that I looked at in 2014 and that almost made it. Dead end side road means quiet. Nice entrance area.

Ask at reception to see a room. If that woman thinks as slowly as she walks and speaks, we will need a while.

Window northward, with view of Q House Lumpini (I like the architecture). Balcony with stainless steel kitchen table (awesome, so I can have all my food storage, preparation, consumption on the balcony). A bit small for 7000, and when looking at the empty room I did not know how I would put all my stuff in.

I want to check the aircon (I can’t sleep with noisy aircon), but the woman from reception does not have the remote control. The owner has it, and I should come back tomorrow.

Go again the following day, and call from the main door to be let in: booked out. I assume woman at reception gets paid regardless of the room is occupied or not, and if it starts with a customer wanting to test the aircon, there is more trouble ahead.

Lumpini Place Rama4 – Sathorn ลุมพินี เพลส พระราม4-สาทร
An awesome room for 12,000, balcony with view of pool (and use of pool as well, and the pool is in the shade most of the day). But I have no use for separate kitchen (all food I prepare is toast and fruit), it would be a waste of money. 

Out of 30 days per month I spend only 20 in Bangkok, and then 10 days out all day, and less than 5 visitors. I need a room only for the 3 s: sleep shower sex.
Along Sri Bam Pen road
Asking wherever I see a sign “room for rent” (most of them in Thai), and at one place the manager (whom I do not recognize) asks me “Last year you stayed in …, why don’t you like it there any more?”. Surprised how she remembers me and can place me.

Sri Bam Pen Apartment SBPA
At the end, settle in Sri Bam Pen Apartment. I stayed there in Dec 2010 to Feb 2011 for 4000, and even now after a price rise to 4800, it’s good value for money considering size and location (but not standard).

I made the mistake of going there with a Thai friend, and when I’m with someone I often mess things up. While the sound of the aircon was bearable during day (with other noise mixed in), during night it was too loud. The window goes east, I have the rising sun in my room. Only cold water in shower. Construction work in the building. No WiFi. How could I miss all these? When I have someone around me who interferes in my activities, my brain does not work well.

Furniture is spartan, I would have to buy door mat, dustbin, table, chair, all of which was supplied in my previous place.

While the charge for electricity is reasonable at 5.5 THB/kWh, charging a flat fee for water of 100 THB is not (I use 1 m3 per month which cost me 18 THB in my previous place). Now that there is no dustbin, and I pay 100 for water anyway, I can as well rinse down all my organic waste (most of my waste is seeds and peels from cutting fruit; the little paper and plastic I can take out separately) down the sink. It turned out not to be a good idea, after some days it drains slower because it’s partially blocked, but I could dissolve the block with soda (caustic soda 400 g for 18 THB, cheaper than drain cleaner).

I spotted several cute boys in and out of SBPA, and some months later a BFC stayed there: But there are more things I don’t like: people sitting on stairs to smoke or telephone, or just to have a quiet moment (when sharing one room with a family). Reception is manned throughout, and even the person who distributes post knows me (one day there was a letter for me, and when I passed he called me to give it to me).

Nonetheless, the place is clean and well managed except for ants and cockroaches and pigeons all around. Now they have renovated rooms with hot water and modern aircon for 5500, which are a good deal (but still no WiFi!).

Live out of boxes for a month (I can bear it, but when I take a boy to my room I am worried he doesn’t like it), then look for a new place and move out. There is a big surprise: the written rent contract in English says 1 month, but the lady at reception tells me minimum rent time is 3 months, and having paid 2 months deposit there is nothing I can do. I put the room on craigslist and within about a month I find a new renter (who is gay and with whom I would become friends), so I can recover one month’s rent (and in the end save money, but the effort of two moves was not worth it).

Now it’s moving all my stuff again (down 5 floors, along the road, up to my new place) which takes two days.

Exhausting, and psychologically dragged me down for weeks (packing and putting into storage, then realizing I don't like the first room, and moving again).

Copyright 2017 ChristianPFC


  1. you don't need dustbin, use plastic shopping bag for your refuse, after full just tie it up and dump wherever they collect garbage.

  2. Moving house (in your case moving room) has been noted as one of the most stressful things in life. Plan carefully.

    1. but it's also only chance to get stock of out worldly possessions and get rid of all that long forgotten stuff tucked here and there

  3. I live very near to Lad Phrao Soi 130. Everything is near and its easy to go to MRT Rachada by Khlong Boat (never traffic jam - but only until 20.00. But at night time buses or taxis are fast.) Some apartments always available. Big but not deep swimming pool use included. LINE jokimb

  4. Of all of the people I know you are one of the most strange.


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