Recently, in my post How much does it cost to live in paradise? – Koh Phangan, Thailand I informed you all about the costs involved with living on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan for an entire month and due to some expressed interested, I wanted to share with you how you can find a house to rent on the island.
Where on the island?
If you’ve never been to Koh Phangan before, you might want to get to know the island a little better before you settle into a long commitment.
Check out phangan.info for more information about Koh Phangan, and a map of what’s where.
Tips: Generally speaking the North and East are relaxing and private. Haad Rin (Southeast) is where the full moon party is (the busiest and noisiest place on the island). In the South Baan Tai has the most frequent nightlife and Thong Sala is the largest town (great for buying everything except seafood which is best in the fishing village of Chaloklum in the North). Up the West coast is where a lot of yoga students stay.
Finding a House
Like most westerners, I’d rather have a house booked, ready to move into, right when I get to the island and I spent a lot of time online looking for places to rent.
This is not the way to go.
Though it may be possible to find a place online, the company I dealt with was flaky and unprofessional and prices are usually higher online then if you find a place yourself.
One exception you may want to explore is in the facebook group “Koh Phangan Conscious Community” where members often post places to rent or sublet.
On the Island
Once you’re on the island, you’ll have a much easier time of finding a house to rent.
You might want to get a bungalow for a night, somewhere to place your bag, and spend a day exploring the island on motorbike, looking for your ideal house.
With your free tourist map in hand, or the GPS on your Smartphone explore the areas you think you may want to live. You’ll find houses and signs with Thai phone numbers everywhere.
Call the number on the sign (Thai SIM cards are cheap but make sure your phone is unlocked) and the landlord will be there to show you around in just a few minutes.
While looking for a house, I saw places ranging in price from 5,500 baht/month up (with most one bedrooms costing 8,000/month). Most places I looked at included all utilities (water, electricity, propane) and wi-fi but some do not. Every house had different kitchen supplies, appliances and furniture and many things will come into play while you’re deciding what place is best for you. You should definitely test out all of the services (water, lights, wi-fi, cell service, etc.) before agreeing to anything.
I found it. Now what?
Try not to sound to interested and if you like a place, offer a little less then asking price (I got my place for 6,000 rather then 6,500 just by asking “6,000?”)
Once you’ve agreed, pay for the month and you’ll be handed the key. There’s no paperwork, just move on in.
Most of the landlords say their last tenant just moved out and that they need to clean the place (this may or may not be true) so if it isn’t clean already, they’ll clean it before you move in.
Now kick back and enjoy your time in Paradise!
Take a look at the house I found…
My favorite area to live longterm on KPG is where you stayed.
I love the veranda, but I have never lived in a wooden house in Thailand. Was it getting hotter than in a stone house? And what about cold showers, was it easy to get used to it?
Wishing you sunny days, Wil!
I’d never been in a stone house but I imagine they’re cooler.
Since my diet was mostly fruit on the island, I was pretty adjusted to the heat and didn’t have much of a problem.
As for living without hot water… I didn’t really have a problem. It was hot enough out, outside, to rarely feel cold and I often exercised before getting in the shower (which helped as well).
The asking price on most of the same style houses in the area but with hot water was 8,000 baht/month. I was considering those but liked the location, proximity to wifi and the hammock at my place more then I wanted hot showers.
Your logic sounds very logical! 😉
do the landlords come into the place, at all?
Mine came when I asked him to help me fix something but other then that I rarely saw him. I guess it would depend on your landlord.
Hi Will, thanks for your very interesting post.
I have ben on Koh Phangan already in low season (September), I had booked a low-end bungalow online for 8.400THB for a month, which I found to be too much when I got there and realized I could find even better accommodation for as little as 5.000 in that time of the year. But now I am thinking about going back there, but in peak/high season (January), and I am wondering if I should really book something online again or just try my luck and look for a place when I get there. I have the option of renting a much nicer place than last time for 9.500THB, and I am afraid I won’t find anything cheaper of that sort in peak season. I’d be interested to know what you think!
It depends on what you’re looking for but personally. If you’re happy with the place and don’t want to bother looking around that’s definitely and option.
I would search for Koh Phangan facebook groups and post asking what people have available but anything online is marketed exclusively to foreigners and a lot of the great properties are only available by calling the number on a sign in front of them.
Thailand has made a lot of changes to their visa policies recently, banning visa runs, which has resulted in countless long term expats being forced to leave the country. I expect those changes will lower the market cost of month-to-month rentals and flood the market with household goods (blenders, toasters, etc).