Dorm Alternatives: Condos & Houses

Perhaps the Payap University dorm alternatives are a too noisy, to dirty or too small ... or maybe you want a kitchen?

Chiang Mai Condos

Condos in Chiang Mai usually start around 7,000-8,000 baht per month, but most are around 10,000-15,000. The only advantage a condo has over an apartment is a kitchen. Most apartments don't have kitchens and most condos do. Although they are not elaborate—maybe you'd call them kitchenettes—they do have counter space and a sink that you won't get in an apartment.

condo near payap university
Hillside Payap Condo

condo near payap university
Average Condo Kitchenette

condo near payap university

Chiang Mai Townhomes

Townhomes start in the same range as condos and have two advantages. Fewer neighbours (no one above you) and you pay the electricity.

Electricity in Thailand is subsidized by the government. But if you live in an apartment or condo you don't get the subsidies. Condos and apartments charge around 5 to 8 baht per "unit" for electricity. You pay the staff of your building and they pay the electricity company. If you live in a townhome or house you pay the electricity company. My electricity bill is around 300-400 baht per month in an apartment but I have friends in townhomes with no bill at all—the subsidy covering in-full the first couple hundred baht.

(note: most people from a temperate climate use a lot of air conditioning. It's not uncommon for an average north american to have a 2,000-3,000 baht electricity bill.)

town house near payap university
3-Story Chiang Mai Townhome

townhouse near payap university
2-Story Chiang Mai Townhome

Chiang Mai Homes

Single-family, detached homes can be found under 10,000 baht per month. Usually at this price they are poorly furnished and more remote but they can be found close to town with decent furniture. Most houses with nice yards and good furnishings start around 15,000. That's for a 2-3 bedroom in a gated community.

house near payap university
A 15,000 baht Chiang Mai Home

The above is what I've noticed after one and a half years in Chiang Mai. These are averages, and there are exceptions. I was told about a house for rent close to Payap University for 2,000 baht—it was down the ring-road, requiring an inconvenient U-turn, it had no furniture or air conditioning and wasn't close to any restaurants, stores or markets ... but it was 2,000 baht for a house. And the exceptions can go the other way too. I've seen houses with little furniture and 20 year-old air conditioning's for 25,000.

Agents with any English proficiency tend to show expensive homes. The best way to find a place is get a map and start combing the neighborhoods you like. When you see a for-rent sign—call. It would probably be helpful to carry a Thai speaker with you...

There's also a weekly email newsletter, Chiang Mai Community Classifieds, with condos and homes for rent (as well as vehicles, home appliances, jobs and other things). You can sign-up by sending an email to