The search for our rental apartment is finally over. It has taken us one week to find something suitable and it was not an easy search! Granted, a lot of our time has been taken up with enjoying all the festivities that happen in Chiang Mai at this time of year but we really thought the search would be easier!
We started off in Chiang Mai with booking a cheap guest house for our first three nights. We thought this would be enough time for us to get our bearings and find a place to live. Not so! So many of the places that were recommended to us were already fully booked until February. November and December are the busiest times of year in Chiang Mai and if you don’t get here early the pickings get slim. Because we only wanted to rent for one month our list of possibilities narrowed even more…most landlords want a six month or one year lease.
Most of the places that we saw that were not fully booked were soulless, huge apartment complexes. We don’t need anything fancy but we don’t want depressing either. None of the apartments we saw in the first few days had full kitchens either. They would have a sink, fridge, and a microwave but no stove. We like eating out a lot but we also wanted to be able to cook for ourselves too!
We saw one apartment that was absolutely gorgeous. The building was brand new, the staff was super friendly, it even had a pool. If only the price tag hadn’t been just over one thousand dollars! We splurged back in Nai Yang so with sad faces we decided we couldn’t splurge again.
And then we found our apartment. The building is new, it is in a quiet soi (lane) off of a main street and we can walk to Nimmanhaemin Road, a trendy spot full of restaurants and cafes. We are out of the old city which has its pluses and its minuses. On the plus side we are out of the super touristed areas which means a more local and expat feel and cheaper prices. On the minus side it means that the attractions in old city are no longer reachable on foot. We have decided we do not want to rent a motor bike here but luckily taking songteows (pick up trucks with covered bench seating in the back) is easy and cheap.
Our apartment has one bedroom, a living room with TV, fold out couch, and balcony, a small kitchen with a stove, and a nice bathroom with a proper bathtub. The cost for one month is roughly $550 per month plus electricity!
Tonight is the first night in the new place. The kids are so happy because we told them they could spend the whole day playing in the apartment. Between the searching for a place to live for our month in Chiang Mai, taking in all of the festivities, and meeting with new and old friends, the children are exhausted!