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information regarding actually being able to live (Bangkok)

Hello.I want to live in Bangkok for 6 months(for a start).
I am retired, and I have NO idea how to get a good, small apartment, where is good area (thinking of Siam Square), do I have to open a Thai bank account, how much will the govt require I put in it to support myself and pay the rent/bills
Where are good basic shops in that area, don't want to be near noisy nightclubs or red light areas. just want to come over to explore wonderful Bangkok and further afield if I get brave enough on my own.

ANY help will be great, as it's very different trying to organise to live there, when I've only been there for a week before and stayed 5* hotel.....AND HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK , AS I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS REQUIRED,.

Now I want to live in my own little apartment, and discover that amazing place. and meet some new friends who might also have a little time to travel around and learn things.

Thanks for any pointers, so I don't muck up too many times.
Marilyn Work

Bangkok Forum