Staying in Chiang Mai for a month we decided to check out renting an apartment to save some money and be able to prepare and cook our own meals from time to time. An agent took us to Green Hills and showed us 4 different apartments. The two in the newest block had kitchens but no cooking appliances or utensils but the apartments in the older block did so we chose a 38sqm studio apartment for 11000 baht a month. This equals about 300 baht a night – 5* accommodation at backpacker prices!
A spacious room but with lots of empty wasted space and although it had a kitchen with microwave, one ring electric stove, etc, there wasn’t a table and chairs to eat any food prepared so one of us would eat at the office desk and the other at the dressing table. The bathroom was large with an efficient hot shower. The aircon unit was quiet and efficient.
There is a coffee shop next to the restaurant which also serves meals at very reasonable prices until 8pm. There’s also a little minimart which again, charges very competitive prices. The only thing overcharged is the washing machines at 50 baht when the going rate elsewhere is 10-20 baht. There is nowhere to dry the washing within the apartment – we had to buy a rail.
Cleaning of the room costs 300 baht and it seems to just involve changing the bed linen and sweeping the floor. There’s a compulsory cleaning charge of 500 baht on departure. On arrival all the mirrors in our room were dirty and they remained that way when we left. Our feet were always dirty if we walked barefoot in the room so I don’t think the floors were ever washed. This was quite a disappointment given the standard of accommodation.
The pool is wonderful – clean, refreshing and pretty big. The downside is that there are only 6 sunloungers which have no cushions so are very uncomfortable, and 6 plastic chairs which are insufficient for the amount of people who need them. There is also only one sun umbrella for those of us who prefer not to fry in the tropical sun!
Nimmenheimen Road is a short walk away with plenty of coffee shops and restaurants (predominantly Japanese) and there are also local food stalls very close by. There is however, nowhere to buy meat, fruit and veg without getting a songthaew to a market or to Tesco Lotus.
There is a lot of aircraft noise but it is limited to reasonable hours of the day and there is a lot of building work in the area. Green Hills is currently building another unit of apartments and there is another site about 100m away with pile drivers going all day so for the present time it’s not too peaceful but I feel the other benefits together with a really good price compensate for this.
However, if we were to rent in Chiang Mai again, I think we’d try to find something closer to the Old Town though I suspect we would have to pay a bit more.