It is definitely not easy to find a serviced apartment here in Bangkok given the requirements I have: quiet location, nice neighborhood, close to the subway and to Chulalongkorn University, not higher than floor 10, and if possible in an old style house.
Prior to coming here, I searched the internet and found all kinds of exclusive apartments, ranging in price from 200 to 1000 Euro/night, all of which were situated higher than floor 20 in one of the super high rises that make up Bangkok’s skyline. Nothing close to what I had had in mind. Most of the apartments, whether cheap or expensive were, however, only for longer rentals of six months or more.
But in the end and when I was close to giving up, I did find several less expensive apartments, which seemed acceptable, but were still a far way from my idealized place. With my list of apartments I spent a whole day (with the help of Nut) going around from place to place, from floor 26 to floor 8, and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Apartments #1 and #2 were on floor 26 and 20, respectively of a completely new building on campus. The view over Bangkok from so high up was of course great, but I could have never enjoyed it, because I would never have gone near the windows or out on the balcony!
Apartments #3, 4, and 5 were less high – floor 10-15 only, and seemed quite ok, but not for a longer stay. The last place of the day was Nonsi Residence, cheap and fairly clean, with a shuttle bus to the university (twice a day), but located more or less in the middle of the major express highways! They had rooms on floor 8 and I took my chance and rented a 60 square meter apartment with a view on a school and the swimming pool, and moved happily in with all my stuff.
What I did not realize then was that the windows face south and southwest: meaning sun all day and with a daily temperature of 32 degrees C, this makes for a lot of air conditioning; that the little streets in the surroundings have no shops or restaurants and feel pretty deserted: meaning no walking alone after 6 pm, only and always take a taxi; that the subway station is close, but still not close: I need to take a taxi to get there and the taxi needs to make a large detour and a U-turn; walking is not advised, because it would mean crossing the Express Highway.
After the first night here I realized that this place is not my place, that I would not survive more than a few days, and that I urgently need to change my current situation and find somewhere else to stay.
More internet searches and testing the availability of several places online did not lead me any further. So today I decided to go to my top choice and ask directly if they had an apartment available for the coming months. And they did! On the first floor of a cozy older house. Next week I will move to this place, the House by the Pond, with a nice garden, just off Sukhumvit, but in a quiet small side lane with small restaurants and shops. I really hope that this is the place I had been looking for!