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A Newbie's Guide to Getting Settled In Bangkok

posted 9 Jan 2019, 23:33 by Happi Mess   [ updated 10 Jan 2019, 01:27 ]

Key points

Renting a condo: 
Make an appointment with an agent. Let them know what you're looking for. See a selection of condos. Put down a deposit on the one you like. Deposit = 1 month rent. This keeps it from being shown or rented to another party, pending contract drafting and move-in.

"First and last" doesn't exist in Bangkok. Rent is paid in advance and a security deposit, equal to 2 month's rent, which is returned at the end of your lease (minus any damages and outstanding bills). If you're renting a 20k, you'll need 60k to get your foot in the door.

Leases are typically 1 year for condos, otherwise expect a noticeable increase in rent for shorter terms and a very decreased selection.

Disclaimer: REALTOR licensing doesn't exist in Bangkok. You *need* to research your agent. They need to come recommended. They need to work for a legitimate agency. That agency should have a proven track record. Do not give money to someone without a strong reputation.

Setting up internet:
There is a never-ending debate on who is the best internet provider in Bangkok. In my opinion, they're essentially all the same. There's TrueOnline, 3BB, AIS, CS LoxInfo and more. CS probably has the best deal of the bunch. 20Mbps for 450 a month. You just need to give them a call and see if they are able to install in your building.

Paying Your Bills:
If you have rented a condo, all of your bills are paid at 711/Family Mart. Electricity, internet, cable. Everything except your water bill, which you pay directly to your condo office. If you have rented an apartment, you'll pay all your bills to the office.

Many banks also have apps which make bill payment easy.

Getting a maid:
Seekster or DO4YOU. 500 Baht +/- for a 2 hour maid visit. These companies also offer handyman services, in case anything in your condo ever needs repair.

Air Conditioning Maintenance:
Again, Seekster. You want to have your AC serviced at LEAST once every 6 months. This will keep your bills down. Unmaintained ACs are the primary contributing factor to abnormally high electric bills.

Get to know people:
Join the Bangkok Facebook groups. There is a very diverse group of them.

Bangkok Expats - I call this group the "middle ground". You will get answers to your questions AND get trolled into the ground. Be ready for both. Don't whine. Please.

DSBKK - Posts require approval. Group is heavily moderated. If you find yourself regularly offended, go here.

BANGKOK EXPATS - In all caps. Similar to Bangkok Expats.

There are dozens of Bangkok groups that are more tailored to specific things. These 3 are your main.

Fun/Different Things To Do:
Want to learn a martial art, whether for health or fun? Check out Bangkok Fight Lab (Sukhumvit 50) and Elite Training Center Thailand (Sukhumvit 30/1)

Check out Spin & Slice Tennis and Fitness Club (Sukhumvit 50)

Bkk Orchestra Concert at the Park happens on the occasional Sunday. The Bangkok Orchestra performs live in Lumpini Park. Bring bug spray.

FULL METAL DOJO is Thailand's MMA promoter. If you're a fan of UFC or One, you don't want to miss their next event. There is also the Kumite 3000  Prize fighting League.

There is a large comedy scene in Bangkok. Almost every night of the week, you can find live, stand-up comedy at RAW ComedyKhaosan Comedy Club, etc.

Forewarning. Taxis in Bangkok are a nightmare. When looking for a condo, try to stay as close to a BTS or MRT station as possible. Download Grab to your phone to avoid issues. They have a car, bike and taxi service. Use the code GRABBESTLIFE to get ride discounts when signing up.

SIM Cards:
Speaking of phones. Mobile providers in Bangkok are the same as internet but add on dtac. A SIM costs essentially nothing. You need your passport. Go to 711, ask for a SIM, get whichever. True or DTAC. Once you have a number, you can "top-up" by adding 100 Baht or more to your credit. Each provider has it's own mobile data package. You put enough credit on the phone and then enable your choice of package. Each company has it's own app which makes this pretty easy.

Kasikorn (K-Bank) have proven themselves to be the most accommodating to foreigners. Bring your passport, lease agreement and a surplus of patience to a branch.

Job hunting: 
If you're a teacher, visit "Ajarn". If you're looking for anything else, visit "JobsDB".

Avoiding Online Scams: 
Never send money to someone selling something in any group via bank transfer or online. Never. Meet in person. Always.

Buying Electronics:
Visit Pantip, Fortune and MBK for phones, computers, games, etc. Both Tesco and Big C I'll also have a selection that will have a warranty. You're gambling when you buy from a market.

This should get you started. If you have any additional questions or things you think should be added to this list, please comment or send a message.

PS: Rent or buy your next home in Bangkok with BKK BestLife Real Estate. All those rumours you hear about real estate in Bangkok? At a minimum, you can avoid all that by doing business with us. And after writing all that out, I think you all can grant me 1 shameless plug. 

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Above article copied from Facebook group Bangkok expats link

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