Living in Thailand: A Tour Of My Thai House in Pictures!

In ASIA, BLOG, FUN CORNER, THAILAND by Clelia Mattana44 Comments



Do you want to see what a real modern Thai house looks like? Would you like to try living like a local but don’t know exactly what to expect in terms of accommodation? Are you just a curious person who likes sneaking inside other people’s houses to see how they live?

If you fit one of the above descriptions, you are in the right place! Today, Tomas and I are opening our “magnificent villa” just for you! I’ll show you every room and give you some insight into the costs and opportunities to rent a house while traveling slowly.

Look at the brilliant pictures, laugh if you wish (I don’t mind!), and enjoy this virtual tour of my everyday life in Thailand.

Disclaimer: I cleaned the house before taking the pictures. On average, the rooms are so messy that I need to call 911 to find my boyfriend. No Jokes! SO LET’S GET STARTED!



Every house  entrance in the Village looks pretty much  like this: 

At first, I was puzzled. I just said: “Looks great! let’s see the main entrance now!” Ermmm… NO. This is the main entrance, and there is a reason for this: Many people use the spacious area in front of the gate to set up a small business.

It’s a common practice in relatively poor villages like this one. Another reason is to use this area as a parking space. In Western countries, we are unfamiliar with having a car parked in the kitchen /living room area. That’s why I travel, to see things I never thought I would! πŸ™‚



3 view from our door 1

If I look outside, this is what I see. These are the typical sidecars in the village.They are mainly used to move goods around or as a cheap alternative to the car. They are also a nice way to carry their large families around the village.

You can see how Thai people have the habit of leaving their shoes outside to avoid bringing dirt into the house (it doesn’t matter if they park their car inside without removing the wheels). Upsss! Tiny detail!



6 kitchen living room area

It is a multi-functional open space with many uses, including parking, a dining area, a prayer area, a shop, a playing area, and a meeting area.

We just left the table and 2 benches to dine. I put up a big carpet and bought a small piece of furniture with a mirror and a chair for my “beauty routine” (Translated: desperately trying to look like a decent human before leaving the house). On my lucky days, it usually takes me between 5 and 15 minutes.

I hung my sarong on the wall, along with a picture of the Buddha, a souvenir I bought in Bali, and one of Tomas’s drawings. A touch of color is all we need to feel at home!



15 corridor from the entrance

It was renamed  ” INDIANA JONES corridor”  because I must walk in the dark to go to the toilet at night, trying to avoid scorpions, huge spiders, cockroaches, and moths. The door at the end gives access to the backyard; the one on the right is our bedroom.



1 the bedroom

The layout is pretty basic: two mattresses on the floor, two fans to prevent them from melting at 40 degrees, and two small tables (one on the left side of the beds and one in front of them). There are no windows, but light comes from the open holes around the perimeter on top.



8 wardrobe bathroom and fridge

This is a multi-purpose area. We just put a small wardrobe and a plastic chest of drawers to organize our clothes.

Close to the bathroom entrance is the fridge (we borrowed it from the school) and a cupboard with a non-specified use. That means we throw everything we can’t fit anywhere else in there. A kettle is on top of it. We use it for coffee or to warm water to wash the dishes.

The most valuable item in the house is on top of the fridge: A BOTTLE OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Finding it was almost impossible, but it’s worth more than gold to me!



9 squatting toilet and shower

What can I say? Pictures speak more than a thousand words. This is Thailand: GET USED TO IT!



10 multipurpose Backyard

A well-sized, slightly filthy backyard with a protective roof (useful during the rainy season). The clothes hanging are the neighbors. When they realized we didn’t use it, they decided to make the most of it. I wish they could wash and hang our clothes, too πŸ™‚



12 washing area

In these small villages in Thailand, people usually don’t have a proper “Western” kitchen. Forget about having a kitchen plan, a sink, and a cooking area. This is the alternative to the sink to wash the dishes: two buckets, one to wash and one to rinse. That’s all.

This is the only thing I still can not get used to.  I HATE washing dishes like that. It looked like they were still dirty even if I rinsed them 1 million times (so I gave up, and we always ended up eating out at Noom’s, our Thai friend who owned a “restaurant” at the end of our street).



14 stove area

If you rent a house in Thailand and plan to cook your meals, be ready to buy one of these. Such luxury items are not provided in the house.

Luckily, this is relatively cheap and easy to find, 50 $, and this spectacular kitchen can be yours! As you can see, I hate doing dishes (because I don’t have a sink)  so much that I cleaned everything except them for the photo shoot. I will fix the mess as soon as I finish the post. The next meal will be broccoli and cauliflowers for dinner!



11 shared backyard

In addition to the roofed backyard, we also have this one, which we shared with the neighbors. We gave up on this as we don’t even use our private one. It’s still nice to have it tough. Sometimes, I look around, listening to some distant Thai song on the radio.



As you can see, the house measures around 20 m X 6. It is a long, basic rectangle with a built-in room.

Some Thai houses have two bedrooms, and generally, the family sleeps together in the same room. They don’t have our sense of privacy and are comfortable sharing most of the spaces.

This is a basic version of what a local Thai house looks like here in Map Amarit.  I’ve seen infinite variations on the theme. Our neighbors use their front area to park the car, and they set up a small altar where they put the incense and offers for the Buddha.

You can see this practice in almost every house here in Thailand). Others put sofas, TVs, or even beds if it’s too crowded to fit everyone in the bedroom.

There are also the typical wooden Thai Houses, like this one:


They are not common in this area, but they are pretty popular all over Thailand. The structure makes the house more secure during the rainy season.

The inside is quite basic and consists of a big open space with mattresses on the floor. During the dry season, the cooking area is generally on the back or downstairs.



The monthly rent is 3500 baht (around $112), so if you share the house with a friend, it is only $56$.

The expenses, water, and electricity are ridiculously low: around $15 per month. These costs apply if you rent a house in a small, isolated village in Thailand, which is sometimes even cheaper. If you want to move to a bigger city, get ready to pay a little more or to have a smaller house.


We found this one through the director of the English school where we teach, so it was very easy.

I suggest asking the locals as soon as you arrive in a place. Enter a shop and see if they know of anyone renting a house. Only remember that, in small and isolated villages, 90% of the population doesn’t speak English, so you better learn some Thai!

You may need to ask several people before finding the deal you seek. Searching for a local English school is also a good idea. They will give you all the information you need.

All in all, this is a dirt-cheap opportunity to move slowly, appreciate living like a local, and save a lot of money on accommodation!

What do you think? Would you rent a house like this one? Have you had a similar experience? Give me your feedback or tell me about your own experiences renting houses while traveling.


  1. I would not even consider going to Thailand after seeing the pictures.

    1. Too bad, but I can understand that seeing how some of the locals IN THE VILLAGES live can be discouraging for people who simply want to relax. Thailand is very diverse and you can find resorts, fantastic (and cheap) hotels on the beach and more. This was me, my trip and my will to see for myself how local lived and have a different perspective in life. If this is not your thing, there are plenty of other options.

      1. People who are open-minded like you should not both to travel – they will not get anything from the experience but only will reinforce their small-world opinions.

  2. I’m kinda torn about the idea of no windows in the bedroom… I mean, it would be so dark and gloomy. But on the other hand, having absolute darkness for sleeping would be pretty nice. I have blackout curtains but as everyone knows, they don’t exactly keep out all the light.

    1. Hey Samantha, actually the room was without windows but it had a sort of “opening” at the top so it wasn’t completely dark. I actually like to have my room in complete darkness to sleep well and even that bit of light disturbed me πŸ™‚

  3. It’s a mess. Some elbow grease, ingenuity and a little expense would clean this dump up and make it look transformative. Build a counter for the dish washing and drying, the cooking, cutting board, and build a pantry for food, eatery, etc. Quite simple and cheap. 2×4’s and plywood with tile or hard surface protection. Next get some bricks and build a raised planter in the rear and give it some color. That drab, mildeu look doesn’t get it. Too Ghetto!. A revolving clothes dryer to hang clothes would increase the quantity and improve the look instead of various rags hanging in ackward places. Lastly add some sockets for electrical connections. The 220 v laying in vulnerable places (next to the sleeping quarters) is too 3rd world and isn’t necessary. The small things will greatly improve your health and happy enviornment with minimal effort. Get with it and show them how ingenuity trumps apathy.

    1. Hey Hug,

      That was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m actually quite happy the way I lived. I cleaned what you called “a dump” in 40 degrees and no aircon every single day and bought some basic furniture. I knew that wouldn’t be my home forever so why investing money (that I didn’t even have at that time) for something temporary? People are too used to have all the comfort and living in a house like this, MY DUMP, taught me to be more flexible, I never got sick and I was very happy there actually. I wouldn’t call myself lazy, on the opposite, even in a house like that I worked to keep it nice and tidy. A great life lesson, worth a lot more than living in the same conditions I was used to for the majority of my life. Traveling is also this. Experimenting with your limits and capabilities to adapt to new ways of life, cultures and understand that what is unacceptable for us, actually makes other people quite content and living a more relaxed lifestyle.


  4. I think it’s wonderful that you lived this way.. getting to know the culture of the people that live there.. also I think that rob was very rude with his comments.

    1. Thanks! Well, Rob completely misunderstood the meaning of the whole post!!

  5. I can’t believe I’m just coming across this post. You can’t beat the price! The only thing that would bother me would be the dishes and the washroom. I spent two weeks in Tanzania and your accommodations are luxurious compared to what we had πŸ™‚

    1. Michelle, funny enough, I had the opposite experience. In Tanzania, I stayed in some of the best campsites ever, Luxury tents and all. As you can see I love Luxury as much as I love the real adventure πŸ™‚ And Yes, what also bothered me was the washroom, quite filthy!

  6. I went to Thailand last year for the first time, but I was a bloody 10-day tourist. Still I enjoyed every bit of it. But there’s one thing I can NEVER get over and that is insects of any kind. I had a friggin’ mouse in my bed the first night. I couldn’t sleep after… So no, I am definitely not able to live in a place like this..And cockroaches…Especially the big flying kind that like to live in jungles… No thanks πŸ˜€
    I enjoy my lovely home country (Bulgaria that is) and it’s 4 seasons every year πŸ™‚
    Still, I love your blog and thanks for sharing everything with us!

    1. Dimana, yes I get that the life I had in there is not for everyone πŸ™‚ But for me it was certainly a great life experience and I finally got over my fear of cockroaches (I was scared to death when I saw one in the past, not anymore!)

  7. I would totally do this! The only thing that’s bothering me is the scorpions. You said you had to avoid them while going to the bathroom. Soooo wouldn’t that open up the opportunity for them to crawl up on your bed?! I don’t know how you could fall asleep at night knowing that the tingly sensation on your leg might not be the cool night breeze! Have you or anyone you know been stung by one, if so what happened? Also, why for all that is good did you leave your room a mess when you could have potentially picking up shorts that had a scorpion or cockroach in it!?

    1. Melody, Actually I wrote a blog post about my experience with insects and scorpions crawling on my legs while sleeping! Quite the experience πŸ˜€

  8. Never been to Thailand and I am planning to travel there during 2015…
    Squat toilet can have it advantage, it means exercise every time you go there, no need for a gym πŸ™‚
    Honestly the only thing I would have change or add on your living arrangement is a mosquito net; not so much for the mosquitoes but because I am scared of all the crawling things; I hate cockroaches, spiders etc… I like being under a mosquito net as I feel more protected from the creepy crawlies…
    I am from African so these living condition aren’t that different to many places in Africa in general; I still have lots of relatives who live that way.
    Anyway, Great article and nice house.

    1. Laly, in this house having a mosquito net wasn’t really an option as we didn’t know where to hang it (the roof was damn high! So after the scorpions crawling on my legs we just closed the door to avoid them πŸ˜€

      1. lived in Thailand for over 16 years in both the provinces and in the city, and I can honestly say your post is absolutely exagerated.

        150 dollars In a small Thai village for this ,your either bring ripped off like a mug or your just trying to make your posts seen more exciting You can get a nice little apartment on the out skirts of Bangkok for that, living in a smaller Thai village I was renting a modern 3 bed house with an actual kitchen and bathroom for 150 dollars.
        Also are you really trying to say that house is
        Half the length of an Olympic swimming pool,
        There’s 3 sections to that house , the front then the bedroom and finally the bathroom area , pretty sure if you bother to take out a tape measure ( if you can find one in Thailand ,they may be as rare as the olive oil you claim was so hard to find)
        You’ll find that those posts are approx 3.6 meters apart so that’s bewten 10 and 11 meters long and around 4 Meters wide , it’s a basic design based off of the government spec blueprints. So half the size of what you’ve stated.

        Trying to avoid scorpions whilst going to the toilet, laughable …. I’ve seen a scorpion once in over 16 years and really you couldn’t find extra virgin olive oil ? LMAO

        Finally there very few Thais from the overall population that would live in the conditions you’re living in so why try to portray that’s how they live when you claim to admire them so much , and yes I do have associations with poor Thai people as well as wealthier.

        1. Hi Si, thanks for your long and detailed message. It gives me the opportunity to reply to you and all the people who might have read this article the wrong way.
          First, I don’t truly get the point of attacking me (if you weren’t, my apologies, but that’s how that felt) saying that I wasn’t telling the truth.

          1) Not sure where you read I paid 150$? I said we paid 50$ max each including all bills (internet, water, electricity. So, are you saying that I’ve lied? Maybe the people offering us the place inflated it a bit (who knows, It was the second month of my trip) but the house was pretty long. I also lived in Chiang Mai, the center close to the mall in a nice Condo with aircon, a swimming pool and all amenities for 250$ plus bills. This article was about my life experience in Map Ammarit close to Chumpon, Chiang Mai was relatively cheap compared to that and what it offered. But I was referred to this condo by other colleagues and I know of people paying much more back then (2016 for Chiang Mai and 2013 for Map Ammarit).

          So regarding the price, this was my experience and I simply said that coming from the western countries it was nothing.
          Regarding the scorpions. We were close to the fields so yes, it was full as well as cockroaches and centipedes. If you think I’m exaggerating… well, just keep thinking that, I’m not here to convince anyone, I simply explained how my life was like, that’s all.

          extra virgin Olive oil in a remote village? Yes, totally hard to get. TOTALLY. In Chiang Mai? Of course not. I’m talking about my experience in a remote village, being Italian I notice if a very basic ingredient like extra virgin olive oil is missing. And it was in that specific village. Not sure why you try to bring people down instead of constructing a debate useful for people just stating your experience and not alluding that I have exaggerated. Why? To look cool? Maybe some people might find it cool, for me, living exactly like my next-door neighbor was a great eye-opening experience. End of. And YES I ADMIRE PEOPLE THAN CAN LIVE WITH VERY LESS. Am I saying all Thai people live like that? No, I am saying what I saw in a remote village. I still have friends there, I speak to them, I worked for them, so yes, I KNOW. If you care to share your experiences in detail, without making this a competition on who’s the coolest, you’re more than welcome to do so. it will be an occasion to educate people of the various living condition in Thailand, as well as comparing totally different experiences you might encounter when living there.
          If you only want to prove that you’re smart and cool then this is not the right place for you.
          Best Regards
          Clelia Mattana

  9. On the one hand, experiencing life on a local level is infinitely better than skimming the surface as a ten-day tourist. But even so you are unashamedly slumming it – somewhat gleefully so, in fact.

    I’m 64 now and I escaped to Thailand in 1997. Since this time I’ve been back to my own country on one occasion, just for 2 months. I have a minimal residual income that’s supplemented by occasional but regular part time work, so have never been able to afford a rent of more than $150 a month. But I certainly wouldn’t consider sleeping on the floor again in a bare room, as I did in the first few months when I came here.

    Would you consider living in the featured house above for 20 years? I think not. As you say, it was a ‘fricking hard’ passing adventure. So I have to confess to being irritated by your ‘look at us – isn’t this amazing!’ smugness. Not to mention the admiring pats on the back by way of the approving comments.

    You could have brought your living costs down even further by putting up a couple of tents somewhere – but I really wouldn’t feel proud, in your position. On the other hand it might be nice one day to show your kids that you were able to live with the uneducated peasants for a month or two. But I wouldn’t want to boast about it . . .

    1. Hi Rob,

      First of all, thanks for your comment. I found it really interesting and useful for a further discussion on the topic.

      Before I get into the details of my reply, just let me clarify that I’ve never stated (here or anywhere else on my blog) that I lived with “uneducated peasants”. I found it pretty offensive for the lovely people who welcomed me in the village as i were one of them.

      Regarding the points you made, my intention was not slumming the place I’ve lived in for 1 year.

      I simply wanted to show how and where I was spending my days whilst living in Thailand, in a small village.

      That’s all. I tough that people might be curious to see the way most of the inhabitants of that village were living. Nothing more. Since i am a very flexible person, and on a limited budget I accepted the house and despite my western complains, I started to like it and to really understand another type of culture.

      I am a very respectful person when it comes to other cultures and I’d never dream to lower them in any way.

      I also come from a very poor family and my parents did’t even had a proper bathroom inside the house.

      So I honestly don’t get why you were irritated by my post. There are people living in worst condition than these. So what? it doesn’t mean they are inferior beings. It only means they are not as lucky as other people..which is only sad.

      Please feel free to add your own thoughts on my comment if you feel like doing it. I always welcome constructive critiques as a way to learn and try to understand others people point of view. Thanks again.

        1. Strangely enough when I reply with my answers asking for a civil debate, they all disappear. No idea why people love to try to put others down instead of contributing with their different experiences.
          Thanks for your comment Rose.

  10. This is amazing. I always wondered if Westerners could live the (truly)traditional Thai lifestyle, and you just answered it. It’s great to see foreigners embrace the local way of life and in turn reap the benefit of savings.

    Excellent post, thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Rashad, that was definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far. Sometimes it just takes a bit of flexibility to experience the real deal for ridiculous prices!

  11. Hello, I need someone who has experience in tourism in Chiang Mai and want to know more about the hotel. Attractions. Includes motorcycle hire. Where is the good service and not expensive prices for travelers. And I know that this is a good motorbike for rent. Do you know or not. Please recommend the hotel you stayed or where you have a restaurant or rent a motorbike etc.
    Thank you so much

  12. Looks like my apartment. Except mine is smaller id say but I have an AC unit which is nice. I like your kitchen. Looking back I should have gotten a gas burner like you. THeres always next time!

  13. Wow, your lifestyle in Thailand is a lot different than mine πŸ™‚ I have a western bathroom, with a bath and a shower, air conditioning, a western kitchen and all in a huge one-bedroom apartment with cable TV and maid service. Sure, it costs me 10,000 baht a month but that’s in Bangkok. An apartment like this would be much cheaper somewhere like Chiang Mai.

    Good for you, though, living like a ‘native’. I wouldn’t want to do it (and neither do any of my Thai friends :), but it’s great that you can and it’s sure to be an interesting experience.

    Lovely blog, btw and awesome photos. Off to read more πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Rachel,thanks for stopping by! are you implying that i live like an animal? lol Just kidding, i know that my lifestyle is quite basic at the moment but i’ll have a very good memory of it. I surely miss a hot bath or even a proper shower, but i know this isn’t forever so i stick with it for the sake of saving money! πŸ™‚

  14. Nice post! We appreciated the honest look of your adventure in Thailand. You did a good job cleaning up for the photo shoot! Everything looks neat and tidy to us. Did you have your teaching jobs before you arrived, or did you find them while traveling?

    1. Hey Tamara!cleaning was a hell of a job.. regarding the teaching job, i had it before i arrived in Thailand but i was already traveling since February. My boyfriend was already teaching there and they needed someone to help!

  15. It’s a really nice house! And cheap too.. I’d surely live in a place like this.

    1. Even with the squatting toilet and the cockroaches running into your face at night? πŸ™‚ just kidding…the house is nice, and for the price i can’t really complain!

    1. Ah Michelle.. The Bathtub! what a dream..but Even a HOT shower would do now πŸ™‚

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