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.

Table of Contents

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. 

Table of Contents

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:

Stray cats in Thailand_featured

Stray cats in Thailand: situation / how to make a difference

In the previous post, we talked about how there are about a million stray dogs and cats in Thailand and how you can adopt a dog from/in Thailand.

Not only stray dogs that need your attention, but also stray cats in Thailand. This is because many shelters and kind-hearted citizens who help to take care of the strays are facing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. 

Many stray cats in Thailand face challenges such as population control, illness, lack of food and other natural predators. In Thailand, there are a lot of kittens and cats on the street that fall prey to predators such as snakes and water monitors (a smaller version of comodo dragon).

In this post, we will talk about where and how you can make a difference for stray cats in Thailand. 

Stray cats in Thailand_Catsanova

Table of Contents

Where can you visit stray cats in Thailand? Shelter, cat cafes and cat island!

While many strays are still living on the streets, there are already shelters and volunteers helping to connect strays to prospective adopters. 

  1. Shelter: There are many small shelters who take care of cats across Thailand, however only a few communicate in English. For instance, PickaPet4Home-Bangkok is a shelter with bilingual language capability, and they operate a Facebook page that bridges stray animals (both cats and dogs) with prospective adopters. 
  2. Cat cafes: There are many cat cafes in Thailand, however some cafes focus solely on strays – that means you can even adopt these cats and bring them home! An example is PAWS Bangkok, which operates a cat café and rescue operation in Bangkok.
  3. Cat island: Japan has a famous cat island (Aoshima), and wait for it – Thailand has a cat island as well! Although a lot smaller in scale & less well-known, it does exist! 

One of many photos from cat island in Phuket by Catdumb.tv.

Can you adopt cats in Thailand (or from Thailand?)

Yes absolutely, the process is very simple for those who are living in Thailand. Although it is slightly more complicated to adopt from Thailand when you are overseas, it is still possible.

All you need to do is find strays who are up for adoptions via a shelter, cat café or an organization like Soi Dog. While this process is free-of-charge, some people/organizations may ask you to sign a simple adoption agreement. This agreement is purely to protect the animal and ensure that you would not torture them or sell them off.

There are many beautiful stray cats in Thailand. So, definitely you should consider the adoption route if you are a cat lover and looking for a meow furriends. You may even be able to pick up Thai  Siamese cats as well!

Adoption from overseas

If you are looking to adopt a cat in Thailand from overseas, this process gets more complicated and we recommend you to get help from local organizations like the Soi Dog Foundation. Such an organization can help you do the necessary preparation for the animals as well as the paperwork required by the immigration.

PAWS Bangkok is regularly on a look out for adopters. 

How easy is it to adopt a stray cat in Thailand?

The answer is, it is pretty easy! There are many stray cats in Thailand who are in need of help (and their number is growing). Therefore, A lot of organizations and people in the community have made it their mission to help these cats find a forever home. 

There might be some worries about adopting a cat without seeing them first. However, there are shelters and cafes that you can visit to see the cats firsthand, before you decide on adopting. With such a growing number of abandoned animals (especially cats and dogs) in Thailand, adopting is a way to help with these animals’ welfare. Do consider adopting instead of shopping for animals at the breeder/pet shop – this small action means a world to these furry friends. 

Go check out our other interesting insights into Thailand!

How to adopt a dog from Thailand_featured

How to adopt a dog from Thailand: a chance to save a life

There are about one million stray dogs and cats in Thailand, according to Thailand’s Livestock Development Department. And what’s alarming is that this number could reach 2 million in 2027. That’s what brings us to this topic: how to adopt a dog FROM or IN Thailand. We would like to encourage everyone looking for a furry companion to adopt and not shop. #adoptdontshop

Why is the increasing stray animal population an issue? This is a matter of population control and wellbeing/welfare of the animals. 

As one of the consequences from Coronavirus, the stray population in shelters is ballooning. Strays outside of the shelters either have to fend themselves or they are usually taken care of by some kind-hearted citizens. Many of these citizens are actually also facing financial difficulties due to Coronavirus. 

If you are an animal lover who is looking for a dog companion, then you can make a difference by adopting a dog IN Thailand or FROM Thailand. Remember, a small act like this could change the whole world for one’s life.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand_Soi Dog Newsletter

Source: Soi Dog Foundation April Newsletter 2021

Table of Contents

Thailand's dog adoption requirement

If you are in Thailand, there is no formal requirement per se. The process can be as easy as adopting stray dogs or cats from the streets or finding people/organizations who are looking for adopters. 

If you are adopting a dog from people or organizations who are providing temporary shelters, you might need to sign a simple adoption agreement. The agreement is mostly there to protect the animal, ensuring that you will not torture or sell the animal.

Where can you find stray dogs or cats for adoption in Thailand?

The first stop you can try is Facebook page. There are many Facebook communities with members who locate strays and search for appropriate adopters. While most pages are in Thai, some pages like Furget me not – Thailand and The Adoptable Puppy Café  post about dog adoptions in English. These communities/groups are very active and you’ll see new updates every now and then.

There are also renowned organizations in Thailand facilitating animal adoption process:

Adopting a dog from Thailand while you are not in the country is a much more complicated process and we will cover this in the next section.

Facebook page like The Adoptable Puppy Cafe regularly posts adoption information both in English and Thai.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand

While this is a novel idea, we have to admit that the process could be complicated (and this depends on where you live). Each country has its own processes when you want to bring a pet or animal into the country. For example, we have written about Thailand’s process in our other post.  

In general, most countries will require some preparation (for example vaccination) and paperwork (info about the animal, health certificate etc.) done on the dog. Upon arrival of the adopted dog in your country, there might also be a quarantine requirement. 

Whether you are physically in Thailand or overseas, having an organization on the ground will make the process a lot easier. For instance, the Soi Dog Foundation provides detailed information about this process and will help you through this process without any fee.

How to adopt a dog from Thailand_puppy

How easy is it to adopt a dog IN or FROM Thailand?

If you are in Thailand, the dog adoption process is very simple (almost non-existing). It can be as simple as picking up stray animals on the street as your own, or visiting a nearby shelter to adopt. 

However, if you are not in Thailand, it does get more complicated because it will involve cross-border migration. Don’t be disheartened by this, because there are local organizations like the Soi Dog Foundation that can help you get through this. They will make the preparation and paperwork process easier for you.

We have various insights into Thailand, go check out our other posts!

Transfer money to Thailand_featured

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.

Table of Contents

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:

Bringing pets into Thailand_dog

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.

Table of Contents

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  qsap_bkk@dld.go.th , 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:

Thailand capital gains tax_featured

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.

Table of Contents

"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:

long term rental Thailand_skyline

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.

Table of Contents

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!

Thailand tourist visa_featured

Thailand tourist visa and how to stay up to 3 months

It has been almost 2 years since the coronavirus first spread around the world. We have had numerous lockdowns since early 2020. There are many talks about pent up travel demand, change in workplace trend to remote working, digital nomad etc. That’s why, for many people, a one-week vacation may no longer be enough. A longer vacation (lasting for a few weeks) might be a trend that we see right after travel resumes. In this article, we will be exploring Thailand tourist visa options that would allow visitors, remote workers and digital nomads to stay in Thailand for 2-3 months.

Table of Contents

Thailand tourist visa

First of all, we need to start by acknowledging that the visa situation and treatment may vary depending on the type of passport you are holding. For example, Thailand has a visa exemption scheme with over 50+ countries. However, this would only allow visitors to stay in Thailand for no more than 30 days. The exemption is now extended to 45 days until 30 September 2021 due to Coronavirus restriction.

For a longer stay, visitors would need a Thailand tourist visa. This would allow them to stay in Thailand up to 60 days, with 1 possible extension of another 30 days once the visitor is already in Thailand. This will make a total trip duration of 90 days.

Visa process and requirement tend to vary to some extent from one country to another. You can check your local consulate/embassy or the official Thai e-visa portal ahead of your journey. Note that you can only obtain a tourist visa before flying to Thailand, and it is different from both visa exemption and visa on arrival.

Thailand tourist visa_Thai evisa portal

60 days tourist visa extension in Thailand

The 60 days tourist visa extension in Thailand will allow visitors with tourist visas to extend their stay by another 30 days. This will make a total duration of stay 90 days.

The process to get a visa extension is quite straightforward. First, the visitors need to locate the nearest immigration office among 80+ offices spread across Thailand. Then, ahead of the visit, they need to check and prepare the required documents. For most, this includes a TM7 form, copy of passport, photo, and application fee (THB 1,900). A normal tourist visa can only be extended once.

90 days special tourist visa

Since the spread of coronavirus, Thailand has also launched a special tourist visa which will give visitors an upfront 90-day visa. This visa type was launched in September 2020 and will only be available until September 2021. This special Thailand tourist visa allows a single entry and 90-day stay, which can be extended twice for up to 90 days each extension. 

The special tourist visa comes with higher requirements, such as proof of accommodation throughout the intended stay in Thailand. For example, you will need to provide 90-days worth of hotel booking or a 3-months long lease contract).

Visa on arrival and other things to watch out for

There is a difference between a tourist visa and a visa on arrival. Visas on arrival usually only allow you to stay up to 15 days, and you will need to show a flight out of Thailand within that period. Visitors who wish to stay 31 days+ in  should apply for a tourist visa or special tourist visa before flying.

Flight booking is another topic that official websites don’t cover. If you obtained a tourist visa that allows a 60-day stay in Thailand, then it is advisable that you book a return ticket that shows you are leaving within 60 days. Once you have extended your visa, then you can change your ticket accordingly. This is to avoid any issue with your airline or immigration officer.

Are you a digital nomad or remote worker looking for an extended stay? You will most likely not have to worry about tax if you are only staying 90 days under a tourist visa. However, if you are staying longer than 6 months (possible under STV), then you should be mindful of any potential tax implications. We cover this topic more extensively in our other article.

Thailand tourist visa_immigration

Thailand visas for your extended stay in Thailand

Thailand tourist visa is relatively easy to obtain and it allows you to stay up to 90 days in the country. Extensions are possible, which will allow you to stay even longer in Thailand!

If you are flying from the west, the cost of living in Thailand would be appealing to enjoy an extended stay. There are so many places in Thailand that you might want to explore as well! However, to ensure your trip is smooth, make sure to pick the right type of visa for your stay to avoid any trouble from the immigration office. 

Check out our other articles on Thailand!

Digital nomad visa Thailand_visa application

Digital nomad visa to long-stay or work remotely in Thailand

Digital nomads or remote workers currently can work in Thailand, but most would be in the grey area. We also explored this topic in our previous Thailand’s digital nomad visa article. Thailand is working on 2 special visas in 2021 which might be just what digital nomads need to enjoy a worry-free stay in Thailand.

Let’s explore the digital nomad visa available in Thailand now, and changes that are to come in the future.

Table of Contents

Digital nomad visa Thailand: SMART visa

The Thai government introduced SMART visa in 2018. This was an initiative to attract talents and investors to nurture Thailand’s development.

SMART visa can give you a renewable 2 to 4-year visa, which also allows you to work in Thailand without any work permit. The SMART visa comprises of 5 categories namely:

  • SMART T (Talent): targeting highly skilled professionals. In this case, applicants must satisfy certain employment and salary requirement
  • SMART I (Investor): targeting investors within the tech sector. In this case, applicants must satisfy certain investment criteria. Mainly the criteria have to do with having investment in targeted industries within Thailand
  • SMART E (Executive): targeting high-level executives (Chairman or Director level). In this case, applicants must satisfy certain position, income, and employer requirement
  • SMART S (Start-up): targeting entrepreneurs who look to set up a technology-based company in Thailand. In this case, applicants must satisfy company ownership and financial criteria
  • Smart O (Other): mostly to help child and spouse of SMART visa holders

The SMART T visa

Smart T visa is the most relevant to digital nomad and remote workers. Currently, if you are an employee of a company within the targeted industry, have a minimum contract length of 1 year, and have a monthly salary of at least THB 100,000 (US$3,200), then your employer can help you to apply for the SMART T visa.

With the strict requirements above, a SMART T visa is not the most convenient for a digital nomad or remote worker to enjoy a long stay in Thailand. In fact, only 156 people have managed to get approval for this visa so far.

The government has recognized this as an important issue and they are looking to relax the requirement. This includes allowing employees to apply for the visa themselves and reducing the contract length requirement to 6 months.

Digital nomad visa thailand_nature

Visa is often the last thing between digital nomads and a worry-free, long stay experience in Thailand.

Thailand digital nomad visa 2021 – the new 10 years visa

To some, 4 years with no renewal guarantee of the visa might be too short for a permanent/long-term migration. If you are looking for a longer-term visa then you are in luck.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has recently proposed a new type of long-stay visa in Thailand to the government for review and approval. The aim of this visa is to attract talent and stimulate the Thai economy. 

The visa has 4 main targets:

  • Wealthy (high earners and investors): to qualify, the applicant must have at least US$500,000 of investment in real estate or government bond + proof of annual income of at least US$80,000 in the past 2 years + US$100,000 coverage of health insurance
  • Retiree (50 years or older with retirement income): to qualify, the applicant must have at least US$250,000 investment in real estate or government bond + proof of income at least US$40,000 of income per year + US$100,000 coverage of health insurance
  • Digital nomad and remote worker (with overseas employers): to qualify, the applicant must have at least US$80,000 of annual income over the past 2 years (or US$40,000 per year if the applicant has a master degree / own IP / received series A funding) + have 5 years of work experience + US$100,000 coverage of health insurance
  • Specialist (professionals within Thailand’s targeted industries or university professors). The same requirement as the above, but need to be within Thailand’s targeted industries – the details are not out at the moment 

With this 10 years visa, there is finally a visa specifically for the digital nomad or remote worker. However, the requirement is still pretty steep. 

It is still in its early days for the long-stay visa. But we hope to see that some of the requirements relaxed before government approval.

So, what’s the status of Thailand's digital nomad visa in 2021?

There are a diverse range of experiences that Thailand can offer to digital nomads. However, it is still not easy to get a visa and work with peace of mind as a digital nomad in Thailand.

The country has recognized the importance of having a proper digital nomad visa. That is visas to support foreign workforce who may not be working for companies in Thailand.

Whether it is through the Thailand SMART visa or the new 10-year visa, we hope to see the process made easier and simpler. 

Check out more posts about Thailand: