Then, reality set in. We actually went apartment hunting in Chiang Mai while on spring break from our teaching jobs. What we were shown in our budget at first was just what Randy and I expected to see....light, airy, modern, and with amenities. I happily checked all the boxes on our wish list. Then, they asked us how long we planned to stay. When we told them 2-3 months (the length of a standard tourist visa), they either turned us down flat or raised the price per month to well above our budget. Discouraging? That's an understatement. Place after place gave us the same story. Stay at least a year, which is the most common Thai lease agreement, or pay dearly.
So, we revised our budget (lower) and set off on our own the next day to see apartments in our new cheaper price range. Big mistake. What we saw next was far, far from what I was expecting. Most were dark, dated, had no amenities whatsoever, no balcony, views of an A/C condenser, and one place even had roaches kicked out of the way before we entered the place! *Shudder*
One minor meltdown later (mine), we have since upped the time we'll be spending in Thailand in order to avoid the type of short term rental apartment seen below. We have a plethora of choices if we stay a year, so we'll be getting a year long education visa and enroll in a Thai language school to learn a thing or two while we're there. Once we have signed a contract in September, on a place yet to be determined, we will give you the grand tour via our blog. Wish us luck that our next apartment search goes much, much better.