For many people, moving to Bangkok, Thailand means throwing a few things in a suitcase and getting on a plane. All well and good, until it comes to moving into their first Bangkok apartment, then they realize the average cost of setting up an apartment in Bangkok is a bit more costly than that.
If you are planning on setting up an apartment in Bangkok though, don’t worry, follow these easy tips and you’ll find you can do it on a fraction of the budget you thought you could.
Typical Bangkok Apartment Furnishings – First of all, the good news. Whereas, with most western apartments you have to think about buying furniture when you set up an apartment, in Bangkok most apartments come fully furnished. They also have refrigerators and sometimes washers and dryers too.
So, before you start setting up your Bangkok apartment, you’ve already drastically reduced your average costs, as you don’t need the big ticket items usually needed in the west.
Setting Up a Living Room in a Bangkok Apartment – Because most apartments come fully-furnished, average cost for the living room is cheap. For most people, to make it feel like home, going to somewhere like Chatuchak Weekend Market and buying a couple of pillows for the sofa and an ornament or two, and that’s it for your first few months in your new living room.
Cost? Two pillows at Chatuchak, 300 baht ($10) and an ornament and a wooden bowl (for fruit maybe?) 150 baht ($5). Total cost for the living room is 450 baht or $15.
Setting Up a Kitchen in a Bangkok Apartment – Setting up the kitchen in a Bangkok apartment can be quite a bit more costly. Most Bangkok kitchens will come with a fridge and a microwave but nothing else.
First of all, you will at least need an electric wok (most Thai kitchens don’t have stoves, so you’ll need something to cook in that you just plug into the wall), with the basic cost of 600 baht ($20) for a good one that won’t burn or cause your food to stick to the surface.
Add onto that a hot water jug to heat hot water for tea or coffee and hot water for doing dishes (most Thai kitchens only have cold running water), for another 500 baht ($16.50).
Count in cups, plates, bowls, knives and forks as well as a few cooking utensils, but all of these can be bought at a supermarket like Big C, or at Chatuchak Weekend Market for less than 650 baht ($21.75).
If you also want a coffee maker and a toaster, you’ll have to add another 2,000 baht ($66), but I think it’s worth it as you have most modern conveniences in the kitchen then. Total cost for the kitchen 3,750 or $123.75.
Setting Up a Bathroom in a Bangkok Apartment – The bathroom in a Bangkok apartment is inexpensive to set up. All you’ll need is soap, toothpaste and toilet paper as well as a few razors and, maybe, a hairdryer. Coming in at around 800 baht, $26 will buy everything.
You’ll also need a shower curtain and three or four towels. With shower curtains being as cheap as 250 baht ($8) for pretty ones, and beautifully quality towels at Big C or Chatuchak Market for 150 baht each, you can easily get away with 850 baht ($28) for four towels and a shower curtain.
I recommend against bath mats as Bangkok is dusty and you will find them difficult to keep clean. Just sweep the floor every day, and mop it every few days, and the bathroom tiles will stay clean and shiny.
Total cost for setting up a bathroom in Bangkok then, is only 1,650 baht or $62.
Setting Up a Bedroom in a Bangkok Apartment – Setting up a bedroom is the most costly room in a Bangkok apartment in my opinion as, even though it is fully furnished, you still need things like sheets and pillows.
Western-style sheets are expensive, as they are imported, but I recommend buying them and not the Thai cheap sheets, which tend to fall apart in a couple of months. For a set of sheets and pillowcases, as well as a comforter and comforter cover, you will easily spend 7,500 baht or $250. It is worth it though, as they will last a long time.
Don’t forget too, you will need pillows but these can be bought at Index Mall or a local supermarket for 200 baht each ($6.75) and, if you need four of them like I always do, you can buy a set for 800 baht or $26.
Throw in a couple of photograph frames to make it look a bit more homey and a bedside lamp (as very few Thai apartments come with them), and that’s another 800 baht ($26). Total cost for setting up a bedroom in a Bangkok apartment is 9,150 baht or $308.75.
Incidentals Involved With Setting Up a Bangkok Apartment – Don’t forget cleanings supplies, washing up liquid, a garbage can and garbage bags, a can opener, a broom and a mop. All of these can be bought at any of Bangkok’s large supermarkets for a total of no more than 1,300 baht ($43).
Food, Bottled Water and Drinks – You also might want to buy a few canned items, some dried noodles, potato chips, bottled water, fruit and some cans of pop. Another 1,000 baht ($33) should get you enough things to last you the first week in your new apartment.
Adding everything up to set yourself up in a Bangkok apartment, the total cost should be no more than 18,300 baht or around $600.
Not a lot of money to set yourself up very comfortably and much cheaper than you could ever do in any western country. Plus, the longer you stay in Bangkok, the more items you can buy to make your apartment even cozier.