Ari Bangkok Thailand_skyline

Ari, Bangkok in Thailand: Review of the Ari area

We have been wanting to do a nomad lifestyle for a while and finally, we can be in Thailand. We have covered the topic of coming to Thailand during pandemic using Thailand Pass in our previous post. Upon arrival in Thailand, we had the pleasure of spending 2 months in Ari during our workation. Ari in Bangkok is an up-and-coming neighborhood known for yummy food and chic cafes. In this post, we will share a review of our experience living in Ari, Bangkok.

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Proximity and transportation

Ari is located in the Phaya Thai district of Bangkok, which is not far away from landmarks like Chatuchak market and the Victory monument. Many buses pass through Ari. But more importantly, there is a BTS station for the Ari area along the green BTS line. The BTS can conveniently take you from Ari to places like Chatuchak and Siam (where Siam Paragon and MBK are located) within a few stops.

ari bangkok_transportation

Accommodations in Ari, Bangkok

There are many apartments and condos in Ari. We ourselves had stayed in Centric Ari Station and Sailom Apartment. Both apartments are great residential sites with convenient locations. With the many available condos and apartments in the area, this means there are plenty of Airbnb in Ari, which is a good option if you are looking for a short stay. When we stayed in Sailom Apartment, we booked the place for 2 months via Airbnb and the experience was wonderful.

However, the area also has some hotels for those who are looking for one

The Ari area is known to be a good neighborhood even among the locals. It is quite safe and nice to live in.

ari bangkok_craftman hotel

Grocery and essentials shopping

From our experience living in Ari for 2 months, we find it convenient to get our daily needs in the nearby supermarkets. There are a few supermarkets but the ones that we frequented were Villa Market (right below Ari BTS station) and Big C near Saphan Kwai station.

Frankly, we went to Villa Market in Ari more because it was 10 mins by foot from Sailom Apartment. The supermarket also has some offerings that may not be available in Big C. We especially always go to Villa Market to stock up on our favorite craft beers, which are not available in Big C. Ari is one stop away from BTS from Saphan Kwai, so you can imagine the walk from our place to Big C can take up to 20-25 mins. However, having multiple options for supermarket in Ari was important to us to make sure we can get what we need.


There are an endless number of good restaurants and cafes in the area, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Some of our favorites are:

Lay Lao: for Northern-Eastern style, Isaan food

Lay Lao have such killer sour and spicy pork bone soup and also Isaan sausages that go really well with some raw vegetables. We didn’t really try their Som Tum and much of their beef menu, but according to the Michelin food guide, Som Tum and beef dishes are famous here as well. 

Wraptor: for your favorite Mexican dishes

We love Wraptor’s burritos and most importantly, their french fries. Hands down, their french fries are to die for. There are various fillings you can choose for the burritos. The burritos come in a big size and if you are not a big eater, you can even split it into 2 portions.

Thongsmith: for a bowl of comforting noodle

Thongsmith offers yummy boat noodles in their menu. The price is on a more premium side but you can tell that the ingredients are of good quality. 

JONG Dimsum: for your Chinese food and dimsum fix

Jong is our go-to place when we crave Chinese food. Their dimsum and stir fried vegetables, noodles as well as drink selections are all excellent. They use big wok and big fire for their stir fried food so you can enjoy the ‘wok hey’ aroma.

Salt: for a chill evening vibe

Salt is a restaurant with outdoor space and chill vibes. It is located among the hip cafes/restaurants in its proximity.  The vibe in the evening is quite chill and relaxing. The food and drinks there are frankly so-so for its price. If you just want to enjoy the ambiance, go try this place. 

Lek Pork Soup & Rice: for a strong pork bone soup

This food stall is located between Saphan Kwai and Ari. They have a strong and tasty pork bone soup, which is very soothing. We especially love the combo of Chinese roll, pork soup, and meat in their dishes. If you like pork innards, they also have a variety of them that you can choose from. 


In recent years, Ari has grown to be a hip area and there are a lot of cafes sprouting in the area. We visited a few and we love all of them.

Nana coffee roasters: for a great atmosphere to sit down and wide selection of good coffee 

Coffee No. 9: a wide array of coffee concoctions for takeaway 

Drop by dough: for soft and fluffy donuts, that will go very well with your black coffee

Neighbouring areas

If you are bored with what the Ari area has to offer, you can also explore the nearby places around Ari. Some options for you are Saphan Kwai and Pradiphat market,  as well as The Camping Ground, which are around 30 mins from Ari. Both Pradhipat and The Camping Ground are a hub of food stalls located in an open area. It is chill to hang out there in the evening, perhaps eating roasted chicken while sipping some beers. 

Since Ari has its own BTS station, you can travel to the popular Chatuchak market that is 2 stations away (closest BTS to Chatuchak is Mo Chit). Other than that, you can also go shopping at the Siam malls that are 5 stations away (stop at Siam station). If you want to go to the Suvarnabhumi airport and avoid the traffic on the road, you have the option to go using BTS as well via the Phaya Thai Airport link. Simply go to Phaya Thai station, which is 3 stations away from Ari and interchange to the Airport link. The total trip (including changing lines) will be around 40 mins.

Will we recommend you to stay in Ari, Bangkok?

We love staying in Ari and we would recommend this area for a short or even medium-term stay! The location is so convenient and we found it really homey after 2 months staying there. It is easy to find good food, and this is an important point for us because we want to enjoy the good food that Bangkok has to offer during our short stay there.

At some point last year, we were planning to purchase an apartment/condo in Bangkok and Ari was also at the top of our list of locations to stay at. So for those of you who are thinking of renting a place long-term, we will also recommend this area. They also have newly constructed condominiums in the area that are worth checking. 

Learn more about Thailand with us!


Khao Yai boutique hotels: accommodation, camping & villa

Why Khao Yai? Khao Yai or Pak Chong district in Thailand is a popular getaway destination among people in Bangkok. The area is known for its proximity to Bangkok (2.5h away by car), cooler temperature, fresher mountain air and greenery. Due to its popularity, there are a number of boutique hotels in Khao Yai which you can freely choose to create a unique travel experience. We will talk about other types of Khao Yai accommodations as well including Khao Yai villas, hotels and camping sites. 

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Types of Khao Yai accommodations


This is the typical hotel that you know. Usually it has a multiple story building, rooms with balcony with hill/mountain view, and a common area/shared facility.

In our recent trip in Khao Yai, we stayed in hotel called dusitD2, part of the Dusit hotel chain. The room we stayed in was well-furnished and spacious, with balcony overlooking the mountain afar and bathtub in the room. The hotel facilities, along with its service quality was great! The only downside of this hotel was the unstable WiFi (so if you are looking to do remote work while in the hotel, make sure you have your hotspot). 

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_multistorey building
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_hotel room1
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_hotel room balcony

There are quite a few shared facilities including treehouse, alpacca and rabbit houses and pool with mountain view. The pool proves to be quite popular for photo-taking among the hotel guests.

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_swimming pool
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_tree house
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai hotels_surrounding view

Standalone villa

The benefits of staying in standalone villa is you have the whole villa/house to yourself. At the same time, the hotel still have common area/shared facility like restaurant, pool etc. In addition to that, during this pandemic period, you might feel safer being isolated from other guests by staying in your own villa. 

There are also multiple formats of villas: larger ones in resort setting or relatively smaller one that’s more down-to-earth.

We stayed in 2 formats of villa hotels:

Limon Villa Khao Yai

The first one was in Limon Villa Khao Yai. The villa lives up to its name given that it has many lemon trees in its garden. They have a restaurant and a swimming pool for hotel guests. They also provide BBQ equipment and some small food that we can grill during the BBQ.

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villa_lemon tree

The downside of this hotel is the room can be hot during the day because the AC is quite weak. Even 17 degree Celsius setting cannot beat the heat from the sun during the day. However, at night the breeze can be very cooling, so we really enjoyed the BBQ night we had in our very own private lawn there. 

Boutique hotel khao yai_Khao yai villa_BBQ

This hotel is quite affordable among other hotels. The facilities can be quite basic but sufficient. Overall, it’s a quite down-to-earth accommodation that’s just perfect for a family trip with a good degree of privacy just outside Bangkok.

Boutique hotel khao yai_Khao yai villa_room1
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villa_villa view from outside
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villa_walking path

Muthi Maya Khao Yai Forest Pool Villa

Muthi Maya is part of the bigger Kirimaya resort family. If you enter Kirimaya resort compound, you’ll be able to find Kirimaya, Atta and lastly Muthi Maya. I say “lastly” because Muthi Maya is located at the deepest location from the entrance among all hotels. This also means that it is located closest to the foot of the mountain compared to the other two. 

The concept of Muthi Maya is individual bungalow/villa that is super private. It also has its own pool surrounded by the trees, which can make you feel you are close to the nature while still being at the comfort of a hotel. 

There is an Italian restaurant in the Muthi Maya compound. Additionally, there is a common breakfast area near the check-in lobby. 

Given that the concept is “private villa”, you will need to take golf car between your villa and other places. This might be a bit cumbersome if you are not used to it and prefer walking but during the day, the sun can be very hot and you would want to just jump into the golf car and stay under the shade. 

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_muthi maya room1
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_muthi maya bedroom
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_muthi maya bathroom
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_muthi maya pool

We stayed in Muthi Maya in January and the Kirimaya complex built this Secret Garden facility with flower garden. The Secret Garden is free-of-charge during the day time for hotel guests and they can enter to take photos with the flowers and Instagram-worthy installations. At night, they can have dinner there as well, while enjoying live music performance (at additional charge).

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_secret garden flower field
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_secret garden dinner
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai villas_secret garden nightview


We did not get to try this out in our recent trip but there are many adventurous travellers who opt for camping when they go to Khao Yai. 

In Khao Yai, there are multiple campsites. The most popular ones are in the Khao Yai national park which offer visitors close-to-nature experience. Just like any traditional camping experience – you will have to bring your own tent, and virtually everything else. Khao Yai national park offer equipment for rent like tent and sleeping bag – however you may want to bring your own for better comfort and hygiene.

Note that some camping site may charge a small fee (THB30/night for Khao Yai national park) for setting up a camp. 

Major camp sites in Khao Yai also have facilities like restroom, shower, electricity and some shops/cafes to service visitors.


We had our first glamping experience while in Khao Yai and boy, it did not disappoint at all. We were looking for very private accommodation (because of the increasing number of Omicron cases) while being able to enjoy the Khao Yai nature comfortably. The glamping experience was a perfect one for this.

We stayed in one of Te Mata’s Glamping concepts i.e. Te Mata 360. This place was one of the boutique hotels in Khao Yai that we are so excited to share with you.

This place was located up on the hill. Every glamping concept that they have, there is only one accommodation available. The accommodation gets booked really fast despite the low season. We actually were planning to extend for one more night after the date that we booked, but we were too late – all fully booked!

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai glamping_te mata 360

There is no check-in desk. So we parked the car at the designated parking lot, entered the compound, met the staff inside the compound who helped us to “check in”. The whole experience feels very customized and personalized. The staff will then explain the different features and facilities in the glamping compound. We also got to choose what dinner we want to have (we chose hotpot), what ingredients we want to include and also specify what to have for breakfast the next morning. 

All devices and equipment in the glamping place were top notch. They were all very well-thought to give you the best experience during the stay. What stood out the most for us were the heated pool (this is rare among other hotels!), amazing coffee (somehow all other coffees we had in Khao Yao were so-so), and high quality devices (for e.g. Dyson hairdyer, Marshall bluetooth speaker, etc.). If you have requirement for pillow for your sleep, you can also pick your favorite from the pillow menu. 

Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai glamping_te mata 360 living room
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai glamping_te mata 360 bedroom
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai glamping_te mata 360 bathroom
Boutique hotel khao yai_khao yai glamping_te mata 360 pool

Which Khao Yai accommodation should you pick?

All depends on many things including your budget, who you are going with, what your travel style is… But rest assured, there are plenty of accommodation types in Khao Yai that can suit your preferences and needs. 

If you want to have a chill family time for one night with limited budget, you can consider cheaper accommodation like Limon Villa. 

For those who prefer to stay somewhere with big hotel chain standard, you can go to a normal hotel like dusitD2. 

If you prefer a luxurious private stay in a resort that have big chain standard, and have budget for it, you can consider a resort like Muthi Maya. There are a lot of facilities typical of what big chain has like spa facilities etc. This will suit either couples or families with kids. 

And if you want a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that is still luxurious, you can choose one of the boutique hotels in Khao Yai. The glamping place where we stayed in is one of the options that you have for this. This kind of accommodation also suits those who want to do camping but can’t stand the harsh real camping environment 😉 There are a lot of such glamping sites apart from what we reviewed i.e. Te Mata 360. Nonetheless, we believe Te Mata 360 is one of the best glamping sites and boutique hotels in Khao Yai!

We also have another post which cover Khaoyai restaurant, cafes and steakhouse here!

Explore Thailand with us via our other posts: 

Transportation in Thailand_train

Transportation in Thailand: understand different options

Now that Thailand is opening up again, and now that you are in Thailand, you will have to figure out how to get around using transportation in Thailand. In this post, we will discuss the various methods of transportation in Thailand so that you know your options.

Urban transportation in Thailand

If you are in Bangkok then there are many transportation methods available to you:

Taxi and Grab Taxi

The most convenient mode of transportation would be to take a taxi, which works just like everywhere else in the world. While Thai taxi drivers are accustomed to serving tourists, if you are worried about things lost in translation or being cheated, Grab Taxi is an alternative (Uber equivalent).

Grab app allows you to type down your destination in English. Once confirmed, it will show you estimated travel time, pricing and various vehicle options available to you. You can opt to pay by linking your credit card to the app or pay in cash.

Typical fare would be around THB 150-300 for most of your Bangkok travels, however the fare may vary depending on distance and car option. 

Three-wheelers or Tuk Tuk

transportation in Thailand_three wheeler_tuk tuk

Three-wheelers transport in Thailand is probably the most iconic transportation method in the country. Taking Tuk Tuk would probably make a good experience if it is your first visit to Thailand. 

However, we cannot recommend Tuk Tuk as a regular mode of transport for a few reasons:

1) Tuk Tuk does not typically follow meter fares so you can easily get cheated

2) Bangkok can be quite polluted especially when faced with traffic jam 

3) Seat belt not available

After your first try, Taxi or other mode of transportation might give you better peace of mind!

Rapid train system i.e. BTS or MRT

transportation in Thailand_BTS

Modes of transportation we have introduced so far have one common issue, you may get stuck in traffic! According to Bangkok Post, Bangkok is the 12th most congested city globally. 

BTS (Sky train) and MRT (subway) are great alternatives when it comes to avoiding traffic jams and their networks have become expansive over the years. 

You can easily check BTS and MRT network, fare and estimated travel time on their websites. The typical fare would be between THB 20- 60

Bus, motorcycle and ferry

We do not generally recommend these to visitors unless they are relatively experienced with Thailand. Safety aside, taking buses in Bangkok will require you to know the areas relatively well or may require you to speak Thai. This is because most buses are not equipped with electronic signs/announcements to update you on the latest location or when to get off. 

Hired motorcycle is great for avoiding traffic. However, for safety reasons, we would only recommend you to take a motorcycle outside of the main road and when no other transport method is available. For example, from the nearest BTS station into your apartment or hotel.

There are also a few cross-harbour ferries in Bangkok. However, if you are looking to enjoy the chao phraya river view then we would recommend river cruises instead. You can book these directly from an app like Klook

Traveling in other cities apart from Bangkok

Outside of Bangkok, transportation modes become a lot more limited. However, taxis and Grab taxis are still generally available and they are our recommended mode of transportation. Nonetheless, please ensure that they follow proper meter fare. 

If you are visiting a less populated location like many of the southern islands in Thailand (for example Samui), you can also choose to rent a scooter/motorcycle to ride around.

Read more about our experience using Google map for navigation in Thailand!

Inter-city transportation in Thailand

If you are in Thailand for a longer period during your travels, it is quite likely that you will be looking to visit multiple cities and provinces. How can you do that? There are a few options you can consider.

Domestic flight

The fastest inter-province transportation method would be to take domestic flights. In fact, there are a total of 6 international and a total of 20+ airports reachable via commercial flights. 

There are many options for domestic flights in Thailand and they are not costly. For example, Bangkok Chiang Mai or Bangkok Phuket flights can be as cheap as THB 2,000 and they can be booked directly on airline websites.

Local train

While not very popular, Thailand has 4 rail lines as part of its network that can take you north/east/west or south of Thailand. It is a very cheap alternative to domestic flights.

Wondering how booking train tickets in Thailand works? You can either visit a local train station (there is one directly opposite the Don Muang international airport) or visit The State Railway of Thailand’s website

Be warned that unlike in China, Taiwan or Japan, Thai railway system is dated and may not be very convenient.

Long distance bus as an option for transportation in Thailand

Long distance bus routes used to dominate inter-city transportation in Thailand, until it was disrupted by low-cost domestic flights. However there are still many operators who can take you to any provinces in Thailand. 

If you are considering taking a long distance bus for your domestic travel, we would recommend VIP buses. This is because they have great service and good seating (imagine a business class flight seat on a bus). And, there are only 32 seats per bus. 

Nakornchai air is an example of such a provider. They also have an English website and online booking!

Are there many options for transportation in Thailand?


However, some methods may be less safe or make you more prone to getting cheated. Some maybe less well known and might be hard to locate their booking websites. Make sure you research first on the transportation mode that you choose, to ensure smooth travels.

Learn more about Thailand through our posts: 

How long is the flight to thailand_featured

How long is the flight to Thailand: popular flight and duration

Thailand is set to open to tourism again at the end of 2021 so popular questions like “How long is the flight to Thailand” are starting to pop up again.

We will now review the ranking for top 10 origin/destination airports by passenger traffic and other popular long-haul flights. We will also provide flight durations for all of them.

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Top 10 origin and destination airports by passenger traffic

There are many factors affecting flight duration apart from distance. For example, weather condition, air traffic control and plane weight. Therefore, the figures are subject to a certain degree of changes. 

The below list is mostly short duration flights since it is ranked by passenger volume. To and from the Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), there are many more short haul flights than long haul ones. In the next section, we will explore other long haul flights from countries like the the US, the UK and Australia.

How long is the flight to Thailand from within Asia? Based on the list below, this typically ranges between ~2 – 5 hours. 

We estimate the flight duration above using this tool

Ranking list

For this ranking, we referred to the Airport of Thailand’s air traffic report in 2019 (pre-pandemic), and will be using BKK or Suvarnabhumi Airport as the key reference.  As you should have known, BKK/Suvarnabhumi is Thailand’s main international airport.

RankCountry/CityAnnual Passenger VolumeDistance (km)Flight Duration
#1Hong Kong3.8 million passengers1,6902 hours and 33 minutes
#2Singapore3.2 million passengers1,4102 hours and 13 minutes
#3Incheon (South Korea)2.7 million passengers3,6705 hours and 1 minute
#4Taipei (Taiwan)1.9 million passengers2,4903 hours and 33 minutes
#5Dubai (UAE)1.7 million passengers4,9006 hours and 33 minutes
#6Shanghai (China)1.6 million passengers2,8904 hours and 4 minutes
#7Guangzhou (China)1.5 million passengers1,7002 hours and 35 minutes
#8Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)1.2 million passengers7101 hour and 21 minutes
#9Haneda, Tokyo (Japan)1.2 million passengers4,5906 hours and 10 minutes
#10Manila (Philippines)1.2 million passengers2,1903 hours and 11 minutes
how long is the flight to Thailand_airport

How long is the flight from the United States to Thailand?

This is a trickier question since there are few to no direct flights between the US and Thailand at the moment.  Travelers most likely need to take layover flights. As you can see in the list above, there are many international hubs to pick from like Hong Kong, Incheon and Dubai. And these hubs have great airlines like Cathay Pacific, Emirate, Korean Air or Thai Airways (all within top 25 in Skytrax ranking) offering many flights to Thailand.

As an example, if you are flying from a west coast city like Los Angeles, flying to cities in North Asia first would make sense. That is, LAX<>HKG is around 14-15 hours, then another 2.5 hours flight to Thailand. 

If you are flying from an east coast city like New York then flying to Dubai makes sense. It is about 14 hours to Dubai, then another 6.5 hours to Thailand. 

How long is the flight to Thailand from Europe and Australia?

Fortunately for travelers from Europe and Australia, there are direct flight options to Bangkok.

Before the pandemic, there were direct flights between Bangkok and most of the major European cities. For instance, London (~800k passengers annually in 2019), Frankfurt (~700k) and Paris (500k). Typical flight duration is approximately 12 hours. 

Whereas for Australia, before the pandemic, there were direct flights between Bangkok and Sydney (~500k passengers), Melbourne (400k), Brisbane/Perth (100k-200k). Flight duration between Australia (Sydney) and Bangkok is approximately 9.5 hours.

Should you start planning to go to Thailand?

The answer will be: totally up to you! Safety should be the first consideration, but if you have some business there or have some family to visit, the government has recently opened up the country to 63 countries. You can see the full list here. The US, some European countries and Australia are already in the list.

Hope this information about how long is the flight to Thailand is useful, especially if you are planning your travel! (we also have a dedicated article for transportation within Thailand!)

Check out our other posts about Thailand here:

Apartment for rents Thailand_featured

Finding apartments for rent in Thailand: Tools & how-to

If you have decided to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time, whether it would be for vacation or work remotely as a digital nomad, you will need to find an accommodation. For a long term stay, most likely you will want to find an apartment that’s comfortable and affordable. In this article, we will focus on where and how to find apartments for rent in Thailand and how much to rent in Thailand.

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Understanding your rental preference

In the previous article, we have discussed different types of property for long term rental in Thailand. In general, the type of accommodation i.e. condominium, apartment, house, villa, or townhouse and their locations will have a large impact on availability and rental cost. For example, it will be a lot easier to find condominiums and apartments to rent near Bangkok business district. On the other hand, there is a good supply of townhouses or detached houses in the suburbs or other cities like Chiang Mai or Phuket.

Where to find apartments for rent in Thailand

Once you know where you want to live and the type of property you are looking for, the next step is to find a property to rent. 

Traditionally, the best way is to get connected and enlist help from property agents. However, if you are not currently in Thailand or new to the country – browsing through listings from online platforms can give you better ideas of apartment for rents and eventually get you in touch with the right property agents/landlords.

We have used a few platforms including:

All platforms are available in both Thai and English, they also allow you to filter buy/rent, type of property, size, location and price range.

Finding apartments for rent in Thailand_websites

Note that the majority of the listings on these platforms are managed by property agents who are hired by landlords to find them tenants. This trend can actually be good for you since 1) you may leverage the agent to find other accommodation if the existing one isn’t to your liking 2) these agents are hired by the landlords so typically you will not need to pay them any fees. We found our apartment after talking to 3 agents who were able to show us 10+ condo/apartment.

From our experience in using the 3 platforms mentioned above, DDproperty and Hipflat have advantages from a user experience standpoint. However, Living Insider offers more / unique filters like filtering for short-term rent and properties which allow pet.

Last but not least, if you are only looking to rent for a month or two, AirBnB is another valid option for finding an apartment/condo for rental.

long term rental Thailand_condo

One of the photos shot during our apartment hunt.

How much to rent apartments in Thailand

Rental in Thailand can vary by a large amount depending on location, size and the kind of property you are looking to rent. For example, monthly rent can be as cheap as THB 3,000 a month all the way to THB 100,000+.

If you already have a preferred location in mind, one way to get a sense of pricing in that area is to use the map feature from DDproperty. This feature will allow you to get a quick sense of price range in the area you are looking for. If you find the area too expensive – one option is to move further out from the city area.

Apartments for rent in Thailand_DDproperty map

So, how easy is it to find apartments for rent in Thailand?

Finding accommodation when you are new to a country can be quite challenging. You do not know the area well, how safe it is, how’s the neighborhood is like, etc. 

Thankfully, technology can help to get you the right information, or get you in touch with the right people who can help you out.

Lastly, if you are unsure about committing to long-term rental (perhaps because you are still overseas) – one option is to find a short term one first then do more work once you are on the ground. This is what we did as well, and this way you can check out other prospects for a longer-term rental in person.

Learn more about living in Thailand through our posts

Property tax Thailand_featured

Property tax Thailand: who has to pay and how much?

One of the major costs of living in Thailand is rent. Some people who are considering to migrate to, retire or work remotely in Thailand long-term may consider buying a property instead of finding rental property. While the number one consideration is property price, prospective homeowners should also keep in mind any property tax Thailand implication. 

Who has to pay property tax in Thailand? Do you have to pay extra tax on purchase? Will there be any tax consideration every year? Will your rental income get taxed as well? We will explore these in this article. 

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Who has to pay property tax in Thailand?

In short, property/land owners need to pay property tax in Thailand. Unfortunately, owners are taxed during the purchase, throughout the ownership period and also on rental income. However, on the bright side, on-going annual tax rate for land and building is a lot lower than the one-off tax purchasers and sellers have to pay during the purchase. 

We will cover more in details in the following section.

Tax on the sell/purchase of properties in Thailand

During a property transaction, both buyer and seller will need to pay tax.

In sumary, there are a total of 4 types of taxes involved during the transaction: 

  • 2% transfer fee (based on registered value) to be paid by the buyer and seller. While this is typically split, some property developers are now offering to cover this fee completely as a way to attract buyers. This is the only fee/tax purchaser need to worry about
  • 3.3% business tax (based on registered or appraised value) to be paid by the seller
  • 0.5% stamp duty (based on registered value) to be paid by the seller if business tax has been exempted
  • 1%  withholding tax (based on registered or appraised value) to be paid by the seller, however progressive rate may be applied to individual seller

If you are looking to move to Thailand, purchase a property and stay there – the only fees you should worry about in the short term is the transfer fee.

Property tax for land and building owners in Thailand

There was a new land and building act that came into effect in 2020. Under this act,  land and building owners will need to pay tax on their property every tax year – however the tax will depend on usage. 

Minimum tax rate will apply to appraised land and building value, depending on usage. 

  • For agricultural use: 0.15%
  • For residential use: 0.3%
  • In case of vacant/unused: 1.2% – 3.0% (increase by 0.3% every 3 years of vacancy until it reaches 3.0%)

The cut off date is on the first of each year. So if you own a property on the 1st of January 2022, you will be required to pay property tax in April of 2022.

Property tax Thailand_vacant land

Land owners throughout Thailand are planting trees on their vacant land to be qualified for agricultural use tax instead of vacant land tax.

Tax on rental income

If you are looking to rent out your property in Thailand, one consideration is around income tax. Thailand’s revenue department considers rental income as part of assessable income. Citing the revenue department definition of assessable income below.

“Income from letting of property and from breaches of contracts, installment sales or hire-purchase contracts.” 

So in general, any income from rental will be included in your progressive income tax calculation. Read more on this topic in our other article. 

So, do you need to pay property tax in Thailand and if yes, how much?

Whether you are a digital nomad or looking to retire in Thailand, understanding land and house tax is super important. Property ownership is an alternative to long-term rental but tax will also affect your finances and financial planning into the future.

In conclusion, property owners are subject to property tax on the day of transfer and everyday from then onwards. Moreover, there are tax increments each year. However the tax amount isn’t very significant unless you leave your land vacant. Lastly, if you are looking to rent out your property, pay attention to the progressive income tax as well.

Read our other insights into Thailand in other articles:

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Transfer money to Thailand: options and considerations

For a short trip, exchanging money before departure or at the airport is quite sufficient. However, if you are looking to stay in Thailand for medium to long term – whether it would be for work, work remotely or be a digital nomad in Thailand – you might consider transferring your money from your banks overseas. If you are working overseas and want to transfer money to your family or for investment in Thailand, you may need to transfer money into Thailand as well.

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Transfer money to Thailand: 3 important factors to consider

  1. Exchange rate/exchange margin: This is the most obvious one, and is easiest to watch out for. Exchange rate is usually available on all transfer pages of banks or third party service providers. Many platforms would charge some exchange margin. Therefore, you should check the rate against other banks/platforms. You can also simply check the rate against Google’s data “Search convert USD to THB for example” to get a rough understanding of the margin you are paying for
  2. Transfer fee: Transfer fee varies by a large amount across different banks and platforms. Some fees are also hidden, and the banks/vendors might charge the recipient for receiving your transfer. That is, the recipient would receive less money. They might charge the transfer fee as a flat fee or as % of the transfer
  3. Speed: Another factor which can vary by a large amount. We have seen transfer speed of within a day to a few business days. This will depend on the bank or platform that you are using. Some of the digital platforms (which we will be talking about in next section), are very fast in their processing of the transfer
Transfer money to Thailand wise

Some digital platforms are offering full details around rate, fee and speed so that you can make an informed transfer decision. Source: Wise

Cheapest way to transfer money to Thailand

There are many ways to transfer money like using your banks, Paypal, Westernunion or digital platforms such as Wise, Instarem, OFX and many more. 

We are frequent users (and fans of) Wise and Instarem, so we will be focusing more on this method using digital money remittance platform. 

Key reasons why we are a fan of their services:

  • Transparent pricing: Both platforms offer full transparency of their pricing (exchange rate and fee) before you decide to do the transfer. This allows you to easily check their pricing against other platforms or your banks. Based on our experience, the transfer fee is usually less than 1% of transaction value even for cross-continent transfers
  • High speed: the fastest we have seen is a few hours (within-Asia transfer). To and from North America transactions usually take 2-3 days at most, based on our experience. If you are using Wise, they are also providing some estimate time in which the fund would arrive
  • Excellent user experience: You can use Wise and Instarem both on websites or you can download their mobile applications – both methods are quite intuitive. We have tried their customer support as well. While you do not get instant reply every time, their staffs usually reply you within the same or next business day

Digital money remittance platforms

To clarify, while we are a fan of Wise and Instarem, we are recommending digital money remittance platforms in general. Keep in mind that we have never tried some of them. You can check out other platforms like OFX, MoneyGram and others listed here.

How do these platforms work? First time users will need to set up an account and undergo a short KYC. After that, you just need to log in, add a recipient, make a transfer instruction on the platform, choose and make payment. The payment can be via direct debit, wire transfer, debit or credit card. Then, you just need to wait for payment to take place.

Mobile application of Instarem allows you to initiate a transfer in a few steps. Source: Instarem

Other things to keep in mind when transferring money

If you are not familiar with overseas transfers, it can get complicated as different banks and platforms would require different information. Apart from standard bank account number, they might ask for branch code, bank address, SWIFT code, routing number, and the list goes on.

When transferring to a new recipient or using a new platform, we highly recommend doing a small test transfer first. This is important to avoid any mistake in transfer and the headache of trying to get your money back. Subsequent transfers are usually easier to do.

Another consideration is around tax. We have previously talked about tax residency in Thailand. If you are staying longer than 6 months in Thailand within a year, there might be tax implication. That is, the government might check the amount of money you bring into the country for tax purposes.

Pro tip on money transfer

You may be able to use a combination of digital remittance platform and credit/debit card with cash back on online transaction to earn cash back and offset any transfer fee.

For example, debit/credit cards offered by virtual banks in Hong Kong offer cash rebate on all online transactions!

So, what is the best way to transfer money to Thailand?

In general, we use digital remittance platforms to transfer money online to Thailand (our experience is limited to Wise and Instarem). They are transparent, cheap and fast. 

However, to some people, the best way might be the way in which they are most comfortable with. If traditional bank transfer is your thing, then go with that. It would be very frustrating if anything goes wrong just because of lack of familiarity with the transfer process. 

Explore our other posts on Thailand:

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Bringing pets into Thailand: process and considerations

We love pets and animals, and so do many people. While it is okay to part with your pets for a week during your holiday in Thailand, you can’t do the same if you are away for a long time. If you are planning to move, work remotely or become a digital nomad in Thailand for 3 months to 1 year+, certainly you want to move your pets with you as well. In this article, we will be exploring the process and considerations of bringing pets into Thailand.

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Is bringing pets into Thailand allowed?

If you are looking to bring cats and dogs into Thailand, then the answer is yes – as long as your pets are at least 4 months old. The regulation for other animals would be more complicated. 

There is of course some preparation work for you to do before flying in order to ensure a smooth process for you and your pet. 

In general, the easiest way is for you to fly together with your pets in the same flight. Otherwise additional process and documentation will be required.

Requirements for bringing pets into Thailand

The process can be broken down into:

  1. Fill in a form from Department of Livestock Development: the form requires basic information such as your details, contact, travel itinerary and information about your pet
  2. Prepare and email the form together with additional information: email the form in #1 to , together with 
    • Copy of owner’s passport
    • Proof of vaccination
      • Vaccinated against Rabies not less than 21 days prior to the departure. Pets from free-of-Rabies certified country do not need a Rabies vaccination
      • Vaccinated against Leptospirosis not less than 21 days prior to the departure. The negative result of Leptospirosis test during 30 days prior to the departure can also fulfill the requirement
    • Picture of the pet: make sure the picture clearly shows face of the pet and is in color
    • Additional information such as pet species, pet details like breed/sex/color, home address, address of accommodation in Thailand, travel date port of departure and entry
  3. Call the animal quarantine station (contact info below) to ensure that your application is received and is being processed
    Suvarnabhumi Airport Animal Quarantine, Free Zone Area, Custom Export Building
    Tel: +66 2134 0731; Fax. +66 2134 3640
    Business Hours: Monday – Friday / 08:30 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 16.30 (closed on Thailand’s holidays)
  4. Receive and print your import permit: this is only valid for 60 days
  5. Obtain an official health certificate from your local, certified veterinarian. For example, if you are flying from the U.S. then you must seek out a USDA accredited veterinarian
Bringing pets into Thailand_procedure

Additional things to look out for

Please make sure to read the official procedure and guideline provided by the Department of Livestock Development. If you are still unsure about the process, we highly recommend that you reach out to your local consulate (for example the Thai consulate in LA has a clear guideline on their website) or contact the Department of Livestock Development in Thailand. 

Other than that, please check with your airline if they have specific requirements about flying with pets. The application process could take up to 7 business days so do not leave things to the last minute.

Procedure upon arrival at the airport

First, you go through the immigration and pick up your luggage. Then, you pick up your pet at the oversized baggage area and you bring them to the quarantine inspection area. Pay a fee of about 500 to 1,000 THB and then receive your import license. This whole process can take up to 60 minutes.

Pet friendly hotel Thailand: what are the options?

Our guess is you are most likely looking to stay in Thailand for a medium to long term if you are bringing your pets. You have several options for pet friendly hotel or other accommodation in Thailand, which include hotel/service apartment, AirBnb or entering into rental contract. Check our other post about medium to long term rental in Thailand.

Thailand has a reasonable range of pet-friendly hotels, service apartments and condominiums for rent. Some examples below:

Another option for you to consider is to rent a landed property which will give your pet more space. However, carefully choose a well-fenced property for the safety of yourself and your pet.

There are a good number of pet friendly hotels in Thailand. Each have their own restriction, for example Novotel Hua Hin allow pets under 10 kg.

Is it difficult to move to Thailand along with your pets?

There are some procedures and preparations that you will need to do before bringing your pets into Thailand. However, the process is relatively simple and there are many expats who have done so in the past. So it’s a manageable task!

It is not that complicated to find a way to live with your pets in Thailand. Thailand has a good range of pet friendly hotels, service apartments, and if you want to have more space for your pets, you can also choose landed property.

Looking for a companion for your pet? check out our adoption posts here:

Other interest posts about Thailand:

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Thailand capital gains tax: an implication on your investment

Many of us look to investment in order to beat inflation and generate returns on our hard-earned money. Whether you are living in Thailand or you are a digital nomad who is looking to work remotely in Thailand, it’s good to understand capital gains tax implications while you are in the country.

In this article, we will be looking at capital gain on your investment (shares, funds and cryptocurrency) in and outside of Thailand.

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"Capital gain” definition from Thailand revenue department

Thailand’s revenue department describes capital gain under assessable income as the below.

“Income in the nature of dividends, interest on deposits with banks in Thailand, shares of profits or other benefits from a juristic company, juristic partnership, or mutual fund, payments received as a result of the reduction of capital, a bonus, an increased capital holdings, gains from amalgamation, acquisition or dissolution of juristic companies or partnerships, and gains from transferring of shares or partnership holdings”.

Based on the above, Thailand regards capital gain as assessable income in general. Does this mean whenever you make profit from divesting your investment, you will need to pay tax in Thailand? Not necessary, and we will explain why in the sections below.

Thailand capital gains tax on shares and funds in Thailand

Thailand has made some tax exemptions on certain types of investment made in Thailand. These include capital gain from the sales of shares in companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and sales of units in certain long term mutual funds in Thailand. This means, if you buy and sell shares on SET listed stocks, you will get Thailand capital gain tax exemption. 

However, if you hold onto stocks or cash then earn dividend or interest in Thailand, the revenue department will consider these as part of your assessable income. Feel free to check our other post on how income tax is computed in Thailand.

Now if you are a digital nomad or person working remotely in Thailand, we know what you are thinking. You might have this question in your head, so what’s the impact on my investments held in my home country or overseas? Let’s see more about this in the next section.

Thailand capital gain tax for foreigners

Thailand capital gains tax does not consider any investment gain from investment outside of Thailand. For example, you might have an investment portfolio in the U.S. that a U.S. broker manages. Investment gain from such a source is not taxable in Thailand.

However, there are 2 important things to note:

  1. Any capital gain remitted into Thailand may be subject to taxation (more about money transfer options)
  2. Investment gain made in your own country may still be subject to tax in your country tax (for example, the U.S. has capital gain tax of up to 20%)

Cryptocurrency tax in Thailand

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic recently and a lot of people invest/trade cryptocurrency in Thailand. However, Thailand has yet to make very specific rules for cryptocurrency tax. Nonetheless, any capital gain produced from digital assets is generally subject to Thailand’s progressive tax as part of addressable income. Furthermore, cryptocurrency, which is a digital asset, is subject to 15% withholding tax as well.

In addition to the above, another common question about this topic: when is cryptocurrency taxable? According to a law firm Frank Legal & Tax, the main events are selling cryptocurrency for fiat (like THB, USD etc.) or use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services.

Can you actually purchase anything using cryptocurrency in Thailand? The answer is yes. A major property developer recently announced that they have started accepting crypto currency payment!

As you can see from the infographic, Sansiri is now accepting crypto currency payment for their properties! 

How extensive is the Thailand capital gains tax on one’s investments?

In general, if you are a digital nomad or remote worker who already invests in your own country, most likely you don’t need to pay any capital gain tax in Thailand. However, there is an exception, which is when you remit your proceeds into the country.

On the other hand, if you are looking to invest locally in Thailand, you can consider investing in local stocks. Local stocks are those available in the Thailand stock exchange. Such investment can give you tax exemptions as well.

In summary, you can manage your tax exposure carefully if you understand what’s taxable and what’s not according to Thailand’s tax regulation. Hope this knowledge about how Thailand capital gains tax works can give you more peace of mind! 

Check out our other posts on Thailand:

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Long term rental Thailand: living cost and rental process

Cost of living in Thailand can be affordable as we have covered in our previous article. It all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have. If you are looking to stay in Thailand on a longer term – say 3 months to 12 months – one of the major costs you will be facing is the cost of accommodation. In this article, we will look more into long term rental in Thailand, cost of rent in Thailand and breakdown the rental process.

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What can you rent in Thailand?

First of all, we will go through a few common types of property available in Thailand. 

Condominium / Apartment
There is a slight difference in definition of condominium and apartment. To keep things very simple, a condominium is more expensive, but with the additional money you pay, it comes with better facilities than an apartment. CBRE has a very good explanation on these differences in case you are interested. Modern condominiums come in 25 to 60 sqm, with some larger ones spanning up to 90-100 sqm.

Serviced apartment
As the name implies, a serviced apartment is like having an apartment but with extra services. These extra services may include concierge and cleaning, some also provide breakfast to guests. 

House / villa
Generally, we also refer to this kind of accommodation as a detached house. This means you have an entire house along with a garage and a garden to yourself (most commonly fenced, 1-2 story building).

A smaller housing unit with 1-2 walls shared with your neighbors. Townhouses are usually 2-3 stories tall and have a usable area of 100+ sqm.

long term rental Thailand_condo

Modern condos in Thailand are usually equipped with great facilities such as gym and swimming pool.

How much is long term rental in Thailand?

Impact on property location on cost of rent

Location plays a very big role in determining your cost of rent in Thailand. To illustrate this, we will compare land cost (highest land cost measured in THB per sqm) from a few selected provinces among Thailand’s 77 provinces for your reference. Our source is the data from DDproperty & Thailand Treasury Department.

  • Bangkok: 250,000 THB/sqm (Silom 250,000 THB/sqm, Sukhumvit 187,500 THB/sqm, Phaholyothin 125,000 THB/sqm)
  • Chiang Mai: 60,000 THB/sqm
  • Chonburi (Pattaya): 55,000 THB/sqm
  • Phuket: 50,000 THB/sqm
  • Krabi: 18,000 THB/sqm

The figure above is the highest land cost which we display for comparison purposes only. Hopefully this can demonstrate the importance of location. Keep in mind that in reality, you will be able to find units with a lot lower cost per sqm.

Long term rental in Thailand: cost considerations when choosing a place to stay

Rental in city center areas

If you are looking to stay around Bangkok’s CBD/shopping district, condominiums and apartments are the most common options. For example, if you wish to be among expat communities with good proximity to public transportation like BTS/MTR- your rent will likely be around THB15,000 to THB50,000 per month depending on the size (range from 30 sqm to 70 sqm) and the quality of your condominium. 

If the same condominium were in the center of Chiang Mai or Phuket instead, monthly rental cost would go down drastically to THB7,000 to THB30,000 per month.

Rental outside the city center

However, if you are looking for a more quiet personal space, a detached house in a less central area would be a more valid option.

All major cities like Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya etc. have a wide range of affordable house rental which can cost between THB8,000 to THB30,000 per month for a 3-bedroom detached house size around 120 to 300 sqm. However, do note that many of these houses are located outside of the city center and you may need to drive a car or ride a motorcycle for about 10+ minutes to get into the city.

A detached house / townhouse is also an option for people who are looking to stay in Bangkok. Those in the suburbs cost roughly the same as renting a condominium in the city center, but you can get twice the space. There is a caveat though: you will have to face traffic jams on the commute every day. Detached houses in the city center can be very costly, and can cost up to THB100,000+ per month to rent.

long term rental thailand_detached house

A 4-bedroom detached house in Chiang Mai can be rented at THB25,000 per month. The same price as renting an apartment in the center of Bangkok. Source: DDproperty.

Options for renting a property for medium to long term in Thailand

The most common way to rent a property in Thailand is by entering into a rental/lease agreement with a landlord. If you are not familiar with the market, having a property agent can be helpful (although you or the landlord will need to pay a fee). Property websites like DDProperty or Livinginsider are also useful. Typical duration of a contract in Thailand is 12 month, however you can also negotiate for a shorter duration. 

While Airbnb is not exactly legal in Thailand, it is still a great portal to find short to medium rent through the platform. If you choose a long enough period, the portal will automatically convert your pricing to per month pricing. However, we are not sure whether Airbnb booking would serve as a legitimate document if you need to submit booking proof for your visa application. So please do your own research on this.

Renting process & what to look out for

If possible, always visit the property before making any decision. If you are overseas, at least request for a virtual/video visit. Ideally, check everything including electricity, air conditioner, water (if it’s running, if it smells, if it has colors etc.)

Usually the rental process is simple and is the same as other markets. The contract in Thailand provided by an experienced landlord should be quite standard – you are required to pay 1-2 months of security deposit and 1 month of advance rental. So you’ll need to pay a total of 2-3x of monthly rent on the date of signing.

If you choose to use a property agent, the typical fee is half a month of rent.

Long term rental Thailand in summary: what to pick and how much it costs?

When it comes to long term rental, you should consider many things – mainly the location and type of property. Understanding the local process of renting is also important so that you can prepare yourself well before getting your place. 

Make sure you do enough research before deciding on where to live. Picking a right accommodation can shape your experience, but just as importantly it will impact your cost of living in Thailand for the long run. Therefore, it is very important to decide carefully on your long-term rental in Thailand.

Take a look at our other posts on Thailand!