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  1. #1
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    Cool Anyone live in Chiang Mai?

    I was recently reading that there are about 40,000 expats that live in Chiang Mai and surrounding areas. I guess I'm not overly surprised, but I thought that would be mostly tourists that tend to visit there during high season.

    I absolutely loved the city when I visited for a week back in 2007. The city has some good trekking, temples, and has a general laid back atmosphere compared to Bangkok anyway.

    I'd like to ask how people like living in Chiang Mia overall. How is the cost of living (from what I have read it is quite low), lifestyle, and transportation options for leaving the city? I have read a lot about CM and hope to visit long term and perhaps work there in the near future. Any comments appreciated.

  2. #2
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    This should be good....

  3. #3
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    Yep, been here since August last year. It's fairly easy to get around. You just have to time your traveling around on the ring roads to avoid peak hour, otherwise it can take 15-20 minutes to travel a couple of hundred metres when taking one of the off-ramps.
    There's plenty to do here, lots of activities for all sorts of people.
    Only thing is that at this time of year, you don't see any blue skies for a while. In fact you don't see any mountains nearby either, the air is so bad.
    Give me a yell when you are up this way.
    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." - Abe Lincoln.

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    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Abuse will arrive anytime now

    This way Please
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by palexxxx
    Give me a yell when you are up this way.
    Mmmmust nnnnot rerererespond....

  6. #6
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    Yes, Im living in CM .
    Cost of living is very reasonable , there was a clampdown on the bars recently , having to close around midnight , so the fat old pervy alcoholic sex tourists stick to pattaya , which is a good thing .

  7. #7
    Member SpicyMartin's Avatar
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    Been a frequent visitor to CM since 1988, moved here to live last year...... wish I'd done it years ago. Enjoyed some of my years down Pattaya, Jomtien & Darkside but this is a whole new chapter, and I'm lovin' it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissTraveller
    the cost of living
    quite reasonable, lots of choice in most things

    Quote Originally Posted by MissTraveller
    lifestyle
    very colourful, always something going on

    Quote Originally Posted by MissTraveller
    transportation options for leaving the city?
    lots of choice; CM is an international airport, plus buses and a train or two

    maybe there will be a high speed train one day

  9. #9
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    I am not a resident of CM, but would like to spend a fair amount of time there when the air is good. I have visited many times and found the city to be a place I could live and still be able to enjoy all things Thai. It is also good to have a US Consulate close as well.

    Some observations from a non-resident are the traffic, higher cost for housing and poor air quality. These negatives are still not enough to keep me away and I would much rather spend time there than in some of the other "tourist" towns.

    I am still researching having a place in Chiang Mai and Phuket. It may all boil down to keeping my house in the Udon area and having an apartment in CM while renting in Phuket from time to time.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Living costs here are very reasonable. You can get a furnished studio with air, cable and Internet for 4500 baht or so. Your neighbors would be mostly Thai. Step that up to 6000 and get a bit better. 10,000 baht and up gets you very nice furnished digs. That's in town. Beware that apartment owners charge for electricity and compare the rates they charge with others before making a decision.

    Red passenger trucks cost 20 baht to go anywhere in town when carrying other passengers. Bike and motorbike rental is very reasonable.

    Living outside of town is less expensive but harder to do if you don't have a car or motorbike.

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    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by palexxxx
    There's plenty to do here, lots of activities for all sorts of people. Only thing is that at this time of year, you don't see any blue skies for a while. In fact you don't see any mountains nearby either, the air is so bad.
    I was reading about this, an I wondered how bad the air quality is say compared to the pollution in Bangkok? What times of year are worse? If it is really bad it may affect me because I have asthma when the air is very bad. I do like idea of all of the outdoor activities that you can do in CM and surroundings. I'd love to meet up with CMiers when I'm there. See if I can get Chiang Mai noon out of his hidings too.

  12. #12
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    ^
    Head for the beach during burning season.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by palexxxx View Post
    Yep, been here since August last year. It's fairly easy to get around. You just have to time your traveling around on the ring roads to avoid peak hour, otherwise it can take 15-20 minutes to travel a couple of hundred metres when taking one of the off-ramps.
    There's plenty to do here, lots of activities for all sorts of people.
    Only thing is that at this time of year, you don't see any blue skies for a while. In fact you don't see any mountains nearby either, the air is so bad.
    Give me a yell when you are up this way.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Some observations from a non-resident are the traffic, higher cost for housing and poor air quality. These negatives are still not enough to keep me away and I would much rather spend time there than in some of the other "tourist" towns.

    I am still researching having a place in Chiang Mai and Phuket. It may all boil down to keeping my house in the Udon area and having an apartment in CM while renting in Phuket from time to time.
    Wouldn't the cost of living be lower than a place like Bangkok or even Phuket though? Good luck with your plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Living costs here are very reasonable. You can get a furnished studio with air, cable and Internet for 4500 baht or so. Your neighbors would be mostly Thai. Step that up to 6000 and get a bit better. 10,000 baht and up gets you very nice furnished digs. That's in town. Beware that apartment owners charge for electricity and compare the rates they charge with others before making a decision.

    Red passenger trucks cost 20 baht to go anywhere in town when carrying other passengers. Bike and motorbike rental is very reasonable.

    Living outside of town is less expensive but harder to do if you don't have a car or motorbike.
    The cost of living does seem quite reasonable. Thanks for the information.
    What do you pay for electricity a month? How do you find living there being a woman and all?

    I know it is a touristy town and I'd hope there are areas that are not as touristy?

  15. #15
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    ^
    Misskit, are you really a woman?

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    ^
    Misskit, are you really a woman?
    I most certainly am.

    As far as being female and living in Chiang Mai, it's absolutely no problem when you get away from the tourist area in town. Not to say that it isn't fun hanging out or shopping in that area of town, it's a blast, just that is where you run into dodgy characters trying to take advantage. Be more on guard there. You don't have to worry much at all about people in the residential areas or villages.

    With the exception of the growing traffic problem and the air quality in March, April, and May life here is very nice. If you've asthma, then you can expect to stay indoors or suffer.

  17. #17
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    ^Thanks for that. Do they have good hospitals and clinics in CM, just in case?
    How long have you lived there, misskit? The traffic seemed pretty bad when I was there nad that was in 2007, I can imagine how it could be worse now.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Several hospitals and dozens of clinics around town. No problem keeping healthy.

    I've kept a house here since '97. First visited in '89.

  19. #19
    Member SpicyMartin's Avatar
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    ^^ Plenty of good hospitals.

    Traffic? Personally I spent too many years down Pattaya way, and consider the traffic here in CM to be "regular small town heavy" and nothing to complain about, with the usual "could be any city in the world" rush hour....... so I just avoid rush hour! (But I only use 2 wheels..... small scooter for round town, big bikes for touring).

    If you look at living around 10-15km outside town (Doi Saket, Maejo etc) you'll find some terrific houses in older housing estates (ie not matchboxes built on top of one another) for very reasonable rates...... I'm in a big 3 bed 2 bath bungalow w/fully fitted kitchen for 10k/month!

    Burning season? Not too bad if you've lived anywhere you have to put up with smog. And the "Green Season" more than makes up for it! Sure, you will not want to go touring around the high country during March coz you'll not see anything as it's so hazy....... but it's not as bad as some folk make out.


    Growing Old Disgracefully!

  20. #20
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    From my few visits there the only negative about CM is it's so far away. And for balance, Phuket isn't far enough.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissTraveller View Post
    The cost of living does seem quite reasonable. Thanks for the information.
    What do you pay for electricity a month? How do you find living there being a woman and all?

    I know it is a touristy town and I'd hope there are areas that are not as touristy?

    The price of electricity varies according to the season and how many air conditioners you have. During the hot season when I was running one or two air conditioners throughout the day and night my electricity bill was around 1500 baht. During winter it was down to 600 baht.

    There are lots of areas that are not touristy.

  22. #22
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    Geez, you guys and gals are the greatest. Thanks so much. That is one thing I really love about TD is the helpful people. I owe you all a beer at some point. Keep the suggestions coming.

    How do you like rainy season and what do you do at that time of year, hibernate or just dress for it. I`m not used to living in a tropical climate, although I do like the sound of the rain, it could make for some good writing time.

  23. #23
    Member SpicyMartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissTraveller View Post
    Geez, you guys and gals are the greatest. Thanks so much. That is one thing I really love about TD is the helpful people. I owe you all a beer at some point. Keep the suggestions coming.

    How do you like rainy season and what do you do at that time of year, hibernate or just dress for it. I`m not used to living in a tropical climate, although I do like the sound of the rain, it could make for some good writing time.
    Jump on a bike, head for Mae Hong Son, or Doi Mae Salong, or Chiang Khong, or Nan, and photograph & soak up the amazing greenery. Every single shade of green you've ever heard of....... is here!

    I cannot post pics here but there's a couple of specialty forums with loads of photographic trip reports from folk who love to tour the high country: if you're interested PM me and I'll send you the links. And no, you don't have to be a biker...... folk do the high country just as easily on a semi-auto scooter or car/pick-up. The 2 and 3 day rides/tours out north, south, west or east using CM as a central hub are endless, and are exactly what a huge % of expats are living here for.

    Btw it'll be a cider ta very much, not a beer!
    Last edited by SpicyMartin; 17-04-2013 at 04:21 PM.

  24. #24
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    A mountain villa for rent at good price. Owned by a TD member.

    The villa.



    The view


  25. #25
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    Anyone live in Chiang Mai?

    Population (2008) - 148,477

    Chiang Mai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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