• How to Rent a Room In Bangkok for 1500 Baht ($48.00) a Month by Chuck "Charlie" Wilson

    I keep reading all of these so called "expat experts" all over the internet saying you need to make 100,000 to 150,000 baht a month to live in Bangkok, Thailand. That is a load of buffalo poo! I know one expat with a Thai wife and luk krueng daughter that only has about $500.00 US dollars available to spend every month. His Thai wife does work, but she only makes around 10,000 baht a month at her job. They are making it just fine. Sometimes things are a little tight, but they manage. I know another farang expat that makes 60,000 baht a month as a teacher. His Thai wife makes 15,000 baht a month at her job. He saves around 35,000 baht a month and has been doing so for the last five years. At last count, he had nearly 2 million baht that he has saved tucked away in his Thai bank account far away from Uncle Sam's greedy, dollar grabbing paws!

    Anyhow, let's get back to the subject of this article - How to Rent a Room In Bangkok for 1500 Baht a Month. You will not find a deal like this at some Bangkok internet real estate website or on Craigs List. Those sites are targeting uninformed farangs that like to pay 5, 10 or even 20 times the price they should be paying. You also will not find a cheap room using a reeal estate agent or broker. The 1500 to 2500 baht rooms will take some leg work to find, but if it saves you 100,000 baht a year, then who cares! These basement bargain rooms are not near the BTS, MRT lines or the tourist areas, but they are close by. They are in the back streets and alleys of Bangkok where the Thais rent. Just think about it- a Thai making 8000 baht a month can only afford to rent a room for 1500 baht. It is reported that there are around 12 million Thais living in Bangkok. Most of them are making 15000 baht a month or less. They need a place to live and there are plenty of rooms for all.

    The first step you need to take in renting a Cheap Charlie style accommodation is to not do it yourself. Have your Thai girlfriend, wife or other Thai friend go in and get the price quote for you. Make sure that they do not mention a farang is involved! Have them secure every piece of info about the room. How much the electric and water will cost per unit. How much the deposit and how many months rent do they want up front. Once she the figures are given, then out pops the farang. The landlord won't be happy, but won't do anything about it. You just saved yourself a few thousand baht a month.

    If you want to get a cheap room, you are going to have to rent it long term - probably a six month to one year lease. Do not expect to much - you may be stuck with a squat toilet, no air conditioning and definitely no kitchen. It is going to be a bare basic room like you see in the article photo or maybe worse! It will probably come with a mattress and maybe a junkie wardrobe or clothesline to hang your clothes on. The good news is that you can buy a small air conditioner (new or used 10,000 to 15,000 baht) for relatively cheap and then take it with you when you move to a nicer place.

    You might be asking yourself why rent a cheap room? Why not? You can live on a lot less, have a little more spending money for food and entertainment and possibly save a little money from your TEFLer wages in mean time. You can always upgrade in future once you have a little more cash at hand. To be honest a little more money gets you a huge upgrade. I know several farangs that are paying 5000 to 6000 baht a month for a cozy 3 bedroom, 2 bath shop house complete with a nice kitchen and all furniture included. These farangs are not living on Sukhumvit Soi 2, in Silom or Thong Lor. They are living away from tourist areas and saving themselves thousands of baht on rent and the good news is, so can you! In a future article, I will share with all of you how to locate a nice shop house in gated community for somewhere in the ballpark of 6000 baht a month. Until then enjoy, your newly rented Cheap Charlie sleeping room!

    Chuck "Charlie" Wilson has been living the Cheap Charlie life in Thailand for nearly two decades.
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