Buying a Bathtub in Thailand; How To Source a Luxury Bathtub in Chiang Mai & Beyond
Buying a bathtub in Thailand has been on my mind a lot recently! Why? Well, a lot of you guys know I first moved to Thailand way back in 2007. Initially, I was teaching English in Chiang Mai, and fell in love with the country. So when I started my travel blog, and finally could make money online, I was free to live anywhere. So during my journey to every country in the world, I moved back to Thailand, bought a little condo in Bangkok, and focused on my business.
All good. But as I got older, I wanted more. I had been careful with my money, earning, investing. All with one goal in mind. To build my dream house in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I think Chiang Mai is a better place to start a family than Bangkok. It’s more beautiful, more chill, the lifestyle is a little more relaxed and the weather is much cooler. I spent a lot of time researching about if foreigners can buy land in Thailand, and finally worked out how to go about it. Ever since proposing in Bora Bora, and then having a Thai wife helped the process but it’s still possible without it.
But if I do build my dream house in Thailand, can I get that ‘Western finish’ complete with a luxury bathtub in Thailand? Turns out, yes, it is possible, but only if you know where to look. SO let me help you guys too.
Table of contents
- Buying a Bathtub in Thailand; How To Source a Luxury Bathtub in Chiang Mai & Beyond
- Building my house in Chiang Mai
- Planning the house
- Interior Design
- The Master Suite & The Bathware
- Buying a bathtub in Thailand
- Choosing my Bathtub in Thailand
- Final thoughts on luxury bathware and buying a bathtub in Thailand
Building my house in Chiang Mai
And so I began the whole tenuous process of buying land in Thailand. That took me about a year. I’m based in Bangkok, so I was flying up and down to Chiang Mai and back constantly. I wanted to find the right piece of land. Something big enough for me to build what I want, but also something I could afford. Something close enough to Chiang Mai city center, but also somewhere green. And finally, somewhere that would allow me to build my own house plans without forcing me to use their designers or house plans.
I finally settled on an area called ‘Wang Tan’. In Thailand, they have something called a ‘Moo Baan’ which roughly translates as a kind of high-end housing estate. If you’re going to build a luxury home, you ideally want to be in a moo-baan. They include security and security gates. They normally have club houses, swimming pools, tennis courts etc. So I knew I too wanted that. It would allow me to have a community to get to know too and all in all it was the best choice.
But new moo baans don’t allow you to have your own design. After ruling out each moo baan one by one until I came across Moo Baan Wang Tan. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, 10 minutes from the airport and land was (just about) affordable. I found one just a minute from the clubhouse and tennis courts, double my original budget, but I loved it. 3 months later, and a mountain of paperwork, the land was mine!
Planning the house
And then the fun began. Planning my dream house. I knew what I wanted. The same thing I always wanted. A kind-of Ibiza/Miami/James Bond-style modern white ‘boxy‘ villa. I had no idea if that was possible in Thailand. Traditionally wealthy Thais live in old-school Chinese-style houses. Expensive cars parked outside, but traditionally furnished houses with chunky (expensive but not very attractive) wooden furniture. Not for me.
I scoured the Northern Thailand market for a designer, architect, and project manager that had created something similar to what I wanted. I visited a few houses that were out of my budget, $1m+, and I had noticed a certain style this guy was building. Really gorgeous, modern pool-villas. This was it! But because I had to deal with agents, I couldn’t find out who had designed and built the actual thing. Months and months I searched for him until one morning, a little hungover in Bangkok, I finally found him! I sent a barrage of messages to him and got the ball rolling. Finally, we were making progress.
After agreeing on budgets (a painful journey!), the design process began. What I had hoped would be a couple of weeks of discussion turned into 4,5,6 months. of planning I had never done this process before, but it took a LOT longer than I had expected. Anyway, fast forward 150 days, and we were here:
After the outside had been planned, we moved onto the interior. Coming from Ireland, and dreaming of a modern clean villa, I had worried would it be possible to stick with a western-style here in Thailand. Things like buying a bathtub in Thailand, something I had never thought about, were suddenly big issues! The design team did a great job, and we ended up with this:
The Master Suite & The Bathware
It was always my dream to have my own little movie theatre, a gym, a ‘man-cave’, a pool and an office. Growing up on welfare, it seemed a distant dream. So I’ve been saving and investing, all with a view to this place. And although all those things are in the plan, for Jaa and me, the master suite was the area we’d be spending most of our time. So we had to get it just right.
Walk-in wardrobe. Yes please! A ‘clean’ bedroom, with almost nothing but a bed and a desk, and a big bathroom suite, complete with modern free-standing bathtub as a feature piece for the whole maser suite, but also for the whole house.
The design of the villa meant that the master bedroom will open onto the swimming pool and the free-standing bathtub would also be visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. This meant that the bathtub wasn’t just a functional piece of furniture, but also a feature piece. We had to get it right.
And so we became obsessed with finding a gorgeous, modern freestanding bathtub in Thailand. And it wasn’t as easy as you may expect!
Buying a bathtub in Thailand
We visited every department store, home-improvement centre, and website in Thailand. Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and everywhere in between. We couldn’t find the right piece ANYWHERE. It was only generic, low quality (but still overpriced) bathtubs everywhere. It was a huge issue.
This feature piece was one of the center points of our new house. And having stayed in lots of lovely hotels around the world during my every country in the world trip, I knew the right bathware existed. But just, seemingly, not in Thailand!
On top of that, for those of you who don’t live in Thailand. You’re probably screaming at your phone or laptop saying “Just import a bathtub to Thailand. Done!”. And then those of you who DO live in Thailand will be quick to answer “Nope, import taxes here are insane!”. And you’d be right. Essentially, if you were to import any luxury goods to Thailand – from a car to a bathtub, whatever you pay for the unit you could pay up to 4 or 5 times in import taxes. Crazy, but true. So importing a bathtub to Thailand was out.
And then I was up in Chiang Mai to finalize our bathware choices. I was resigned to missing out on a feature piece unit. Just go with the standard tub, whatever. I went for one last Hail Mary. I did some research on some luxury hotels and malls I previously have been to. The Six Senses in Seychelles. The Sofitel in Luangprabang, Laos. And the high-end Central Embassy mall, nearby condo in Bangkok.
I dug a little deeper and FINALLY fund Trusol.co. It was perfect. Feature-piece, free-standing bathtubs (and other gorgeous bathware). AND, it was a Thai brand. No import taxes, no logistical problems. So, I contacted them immediately, checked out their Instagram, and go their catalog all within about 20 minutes. I contacted my designer and told him to hold off on the generic bathtub order. I may have found something special!
For anyone else who is trying (and failing!) to find a luxury bathtub in Thailand, don’t worry. You can check out the Trusol catalogue HERE.
Choosing my Bathtub in Thailand
Thankfully, I’m based in Bangkok. And it’s in Bangkok that we could check out the gorgeous Trusol showroom. So my wife and I decided to drop by Trusol.co showroom in order to check out all the various models, the shapes and sizes, AND to actually try out the bathtub we would like to commit to.
The Trusol.co showroom is in South Sathorn (right by BTS station Surasak train station- literally walk down from exit 4 and office will be on the right).
I had a couple of choices to make. Shape of course, then the size, and finally the material that the bathtubs are made from
The Trusol bathtubs are made of composite stone and resin so it feels, and looks, like real stone. Gorgeous. Furthermore, it means its even better in terms of durability and, even more gorgeous in terms of the aesthetics. Finally a feature bathtub, like something from a 5* hotel. The staff actually told us that the bathtub can also be placed in an outdoor terrace since it is stain-free and can easily endure both the sun and rain while outside the building, even with the heat and rainy seasons of Thailand.
So with that, the decision was made. Complete with a modern, matt-black stand-alone faucet. The staff are great at helping you pair up whatever products you’re looking at.
Now my architect in Chiang Mai knows about Trusol, he’s already made inquiries into their basins and other products. I’m hoping to add a few more pieces to my house with them too. Although only for the Master Suite, the guest rooms may have to make do with normal run-of-the-mill brands. But if you need something to stand out and look classy, then Trusol is the way to go with bathware in Thailand.
So I’m blogging about this experience with a smile on my face. The whole process of building a house in Thailand has been pretty good. But with the bathtub being such a centerpiece, I had been a little disappointed to end up ‘settling’ for something I didn’t want. I had promised that finally, this would be my dream home. And then we came across my Trusol bathtub. Yaay!
So I’ve ordered the bathtub I showed you guys above (model: BT6102 if anyone is interested). The faucet should be delivered next month, and I’m awaiting delivery on the actual tub in November. I’ll update this blog post then with photos of the finished product in my house and in use! In the meantime, I’m off back to work. My house budget has increased and increased so I’ve got to focus in order to pay for the thing. I’ll see you guys on the road I hope.
Final thoughts on luxury bathware and buying a bathtub in Thailand
It is possible to find a luxury bathtub in Thailand, it’s just a case of knowing where to look. I hope this article has helped you guys bypass that search. Trusol.co is the place to find it! Not just freestanding bathtubs, but other luxury bathware in Thailand too. But for me, it was all about the bathtub. And now I’ve found what I’m looking for, it just took a few months to hunt it down!
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