“The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
– Italo Calvino
Foreigner Moving to Chiang Mai? Get it Right First Time Around
Some expats find living in a foreign country very difficult. Some would say that some countries in the world aren’t actually different countries to them they’re in fact different planets to them!
To Some Expats Chiang Mai is Paradise
At 73, Frederickson, a self-described “very, very active retired lady,” decided to move to Thailand after a visit with her youngest brother and his wife left her “hooked.” Today, Frederickson stays busy the way most retired people do: Reading, gardening, painting and cooking. She also volunteers with the local theater group and works as a promoter and online marketer for her housemate’s company Best Tuk Tuk Tours.
Photograph by Drat
The expat community in Chaing Mai continues to grow. Expats love Chiang Mai for many reasons but two of the biggest reasons are Healthcare and the Weather.
Chiang Mai was ranked by International Living as one of the top places to retire abroad in 2017, thanks to the low cost of healthcare and climate as well as overall quality of life.
Countryside living can be cheaper but what about amenities like local hospitals, shopping, transport etc?
The buzz on the streets among the expat community is that there are 40,000 foreigners living in Chiang Mai some say the number is higher. The reason the number is high, apart from the two factors already mentioned, is the cost of accommodation you can get a downtown place for around $550.00.
To Some Expats Chiang Mai is Challenging
Research and more research
Being so popular Chiang Mai is getting more crowded each year bringing more traffic and more pollution. Not forgetting the burning season when fields are burnt for New Year’s crops when Chiang Mai suffers from reduced air quality.
Like we say below do your homework. Once you list out all the pros and cons you will have a better idea if Chiang Mai will work for you.
In our experience the pros tend to outweigh the cons, but each person’s idea of paradise is different, so do your research and homework.
However, other things in Chiang Mai can be a lot more expensive then back home. If you eat on the streets and get your food and clothes from the marvelous markets then yes you can live cheaper so it can be paradise. If you live uptown and eat in the posh western orientated restaurants and buy your food and clothes in the new western style shopping malls and try to do it on a budget then Chiang Mai may not be the best location for you.
Peter came to Chiang Mai on a budget but he wanted a western life style so he treated himself on a daily basis. One day he slipped over during the rainy season, broke his hip and broke the bank! His family flew over, paid his medical bills and took him back to America. The moral of the story, do your homework and you will be fine.
Before taking the leap why not do a reconnaissance trip for a month or so to get first hand experience, and to determine if your budget and income would live up to your expectations.
This post was inspired by the article published in The Huffington post by Michelle Gross you can read the full article here why retirees are moving to Chiang Mai