Siam in-between: Renting a house in Thailand without breaking the bank

After a few days in Bangkok, a birthday party in Korat and quite some cleaning we have just settled into our home for the coming months. The internet is littered with budgetary advice for long-time residents in Thailand, quoting all kinds of extreme numbers, from high to low. In this installment of Siam In-between I will start showing you how to live comfortably in the Land of Smiles, without breaking the bank. Not in Bangkok or any other touristic location, nor in the middle of a remote rice field, somewhere in-between.

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We live in a suburb of Phimai, close to the city of Korat in the Nakhon Ratchasima province. Our neighborhood isn’t rich nor poor, and features a mixture of rather primitive and more modern houses. Apart from a few foreigners, it is a completely local community, where most people do not speak any English, but are extremely friendly and helpful.

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Our bungalow is situated in a gated compound that has 4 houses in total. It is around 80 square meters large, and has a large bedroom, a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a car port. Rent includes (uncomfortable) living room furniture, a refrigerator, kitchen table, a queen-sized bed and a cupboard.

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When we got the key to the house, it appeared as if it had been vacant for a while. Even though supposedly recently cleaned, it was dusty and quite frankly, it stank. The source of the bad smell was an extremely old, moldy mattress we had removed (and replaced by a brand-new one) immediately. We spent the night cleaning and disinfecting the house with Dettol. The next day, we had a cleaning lady clean the house again, for about 300 THB (about EUR 7). It does sparkle now.

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Rent amounts to 5000 THB (about EUR 125) a month. In a future post I will list the cost of utilities.

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