Chiang Mai is our home base while we are in Asia. It’s the city we have spent more time in than any other outside of the states. It’s a city we know and love, and we can give you tips for finding an apartment in Chiang Mai. The city is the perfect combination of an exotic location with the comforts of home but at a fraction of the costs. For us, Chiang Mai is the perfect city for us to work remotely from.
If you are considering moving to Chiang Mai, we will second that thought and we will try to help you find a place to stay in Chiang Mai. Finding an apartment in Chiang Mai is a relatively easy process, but there are some pitfalls to avoid and we will show them to you.
Find a Chiang Mai Apartment Online
Before moving to Chiang Mai from overseas, it’s best to get an idea of what your budget will get you. There are some great online resources to help you locate an apartment in your budget that fits your lifestyle. Use a Chiang Mai real estate company. We used Chiang Mai Perfect Homes to find an apartment before coming to Thailand.
Another great resource is blogs and Youtube. We and others have made videos and blogs about apartments in Chiang Mai. They can give you a personal perspective on what to expect in Chiang Mai apartments and living in Chiang Mai.
Consider What Area of Chiang Mai Should you Live
Of all the decisions to make when looking for an apartment in Chiang Mai locations are probably the most important. The location will largely determine the price of your rental, and it will impact how you spend your time in the city. Consider if you want to be close to where you will be working or spending your time.
You can save money by staying outside and getting a larger place, but you will sacrifice your ability to walk to activities. Living in the moat may sound like a good idea it might, but it will have a higher price tag and a generally lower standard for the money. Below is a list of the main areas of town and how the area works.
Inside the Moat – The area inside the moat, or old city, is the main tourist area of town and is full of small 2-3 story older buildings and many temples around. This part of Chiang Mai is at a higher price point for lesser standards because of the in-demand location.
Around the Moat – The area that surrounds the moat will be somewhat less expensive than inside and the Nimanheiman area. New buildings are popping up around the moat, especially on the north side.
Nimmanhemin Area – This is the area that we choose to live in because it fits our lifestyle. The area is full of coffee shops, and trendy restaurants and has a fun university vibe. The apartments are new and modern and on the higher end of the price scale.
Related Article: Other Cool Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Arrive to the City Early
It’s best to arrive in Chiang Mai and have a hotel, or other accommodation lined up in order to view a few Chiang Mai apartments. Apartment inventory in Chiang Mai moves fast, so what you find online may not be there when you arrive. Don’t worry too much about that because there are many great apartment buildings in Chiang Mai, and you will find one.
Do your research and be ready to take a good apartment when you view it. We have had times when we viewed an apartment, and while we went with the rental agent to another building, by the time we came back to the first apartment, it had already been rented. Most people move to the city from late October to December the competition for apartments is highest. Don’t rush your decision, but be prepared to move quickly.
Related Article: Expats Guide to the Best Temples in Chiang Mai
Check Out the Apartment at Night
Lastly, before deciding on an apartment and signing a lease in Chiang Mai, make sure to visit the apartment at night. We made this mistake in our rental, and it almost ruined our time in Chiang Mai. A new set of bars opened up around our apartment that played blasting Thai techno music until 2 a.m. every night. This is a common theme all over the city.
We had friends that had a quiet place away from the city, but come 9 p.m., a karaoke bar opened and belted Thai ballots until late. If you are pretty sure about a place, make sure to check it out the night before you sign the lease. See if there is going to be any loud music or other things that might keep you up at night.
Good luck on finding an apartment in Chiang Mai!
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Saturday 26th of March 2016
Excellent point on the night-time inspection ;)
I moved into an apartment right next to where the harbour is a couple of years before it was built. The car park was literally a swamp, and only a small carwash and a couple of simple noodle shops where there at the time.
Development happens fast, esp. around nimmanhaemin area. I plan to move a bit further out to somewhere quieter soon.
Thursday 24th of December 2015
Hi, Do you happen to have the phone number of your landlord? We are looking to stay in the same area for a month, but it seems like a lot of the apartments aren't up for rent for less than 6 months.
Thursday 11th of June 2015
Lovely article! I am very curious to visit Chiang Mai! The city is so old and beautiful that it is on the top of my list to visit when I go to Thailand! Thanks for the post! Greets!
Thursday 28th of May 2015
Thanks for taking the time to write this, guys. When I taught in Thailand a few years, we went through a program that took care of housing. We ended up living a few miles outside of nowhere, so I'm set on moving back to Chiang Mai one of these days, and taking care of housing myself! Hope you guys are having fun, and please eat plenty of late night roti for me!
Tuesday 9th of June 2015
I can't imagine not living within walking distance of a 7-11, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. I miss Chiang Mai every day...def check out the Nimman area if you move back there. Feel free to email us any questions as well.