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

Clelia Mattana ASIA, BLOG, FUN CORNER, THAILAND 29 Comments

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A TYPICAL THAI HOUSE  IN PICTURES


Do you want to see what a real modern Thai house looks like? Would you like to try and live 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 house to see how they live?


If you fall under 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 about the costs and opportunities to rent a house while traveling slowly.


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


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


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 THE ENTRANCE

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 not familiar with the idea of having a car parked in the kitchen /living room area. That’s why I travel, to see things I never thought I would! 🙂


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 THE OUTSIDE


3 view from our door 1


This is what I see if I look outside. And these are the typical sidecars in the village.They are mainly used to move goods around, or as a cheap alternative to the car. A nice way to carry their large families around the village.


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


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THE FRONT AREA



6 kitchen living room area


A multi-functional open space. It has so many uses, including parking, big  carpetdining area, praying area, shop, playing area and meeting area.


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


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


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THE CORRIDOR


15 corridor from the entrance


Renamed  ” INDIANA JONES corridor”  because to go to the toiled during the night, I have to walk in the dark, trying to avoid scorpions, huge spiders, cockroaches, and moths. The door at the end gives access to the backyard and the one on the right is our bedroom.


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THE BEDROOM


 

1 the bedroom


Pretty basic: 2 mattresses laying on the floor, 2 fans to avoid melting in 40 degrees and 2 small tables (one on the left side of the beds and one in front of them). No windows. We get the light from the open holes around the perimeter on the top.


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THE WARDROBE/BATHROOM AREA


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. Meaning: 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 up some water to wash the dishes.


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


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THE BATHROOM


9 squatting toilet and shower


What can I say? Pictures speak more than a 1000 words. This is Thailand: GET USED TO IT!



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THE PRIVATE BACKYARD


10 multipurpose Backyard


A well sized, slightly filthy backyard, with a protective roof (useful during 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 🙂


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THE WASHING AREA


12 washing area


In these small villages in Thailand, they 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: 2  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 looks like they are 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 sort of “restaurant” at the end of our street).


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THE KITCHEN PLAN

 


14 stove area


If you rent a house in Thailand and plan to cook your own meals, be ready to buy one of these. They don’t provide such luxury items in the house.


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


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THE COMMON BACKYARD


11 shared backyard


In addition to the roofed backyard, we also have this one, shared with the neighbors. As we don’t even use our private one, we totally gave up on this. It’s still nice to have it tough. Sometimes I just go there and have a look around, listening to some distant Thai song playing on the radio.


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CONSIDERATIONS AND COSTS OF LIVING IN THAILAND


As you can see, the size of the house measures around20 m X 6. A long, basic rectangle with a built-in room.


Some Thai houses have 2 bedrooms, and generally, the members of the family sleep together  in the same room. They don’t have our sense of privacy and are comfortable with 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). Other put sofas and 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:

 TYPICAL_WOODEN_THAI_HOUSE


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


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


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HOW MUCH DOES IT COSTS?


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


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


 


HOW TO FIND A HOUSE FOR RENT?


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


I suggest, as soon as you arrive in a place, ask to the locals. Enter a shop and see if they know of anyone renting a house. Only remember that, in small and isolated villages, the 90% of the population don’t speak a word of English.


You may need to ask  several people before finding the deal you are looking for. Search for the 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 in 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 your own experiences in renting houses while traveling.

I put all my effort to write this for you, like it and make me happy!
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Comments 29

  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

    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 🙂 And Yes, what also bothered me was the washroom, quite filthy!

  3. 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 😀
    I enjoy my lovely home country (Bulgaria that is) and it’s 4 seasons every year 🙂
    Still, I love your blog and thanks for sharing everything with us!
    Regards!

    1. Dimana, yes I get that the life I had in there is not for everyone 🙂 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!)

  4. 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 😀

  5. 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 🙂
    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 😀

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. https://www.facebook.com/ChiangMaiScooterRental. 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

  9. 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!

  10. Wow, your lifestyle in Thailand is a lot different than mine 🙂 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 🙂

    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! 🙂

  11. 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!

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

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