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15 Execs and Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai


In the event you seek for the preferred digital nomad places, Chiang Mai is bound to look on that listing. In the event you don’t wish to be immediately hooked, don’t look any additional—that is one place so intoxicating that you simply’ll be planning your journey directly. There are numerous execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai; it’s no surprise that so many distant employees and vacationers alike flock there 12 months after 12 months.

Having spent a number of months dwelling in Chiang Mai myself, I’d love to return, and I completely will in some unspecified time in the future. It’s a sociable place, common with numerous different distant employees and pleasant locals. The professionals of dwelling in Chiang Mai far outweigh the negatives for my part, but it surely’s vital to find out about each side of the coin to make your personal knowledgeable resolution earlier than taking the plunge.

15 Execs and Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

For me, Chiang Mai is the jewel in Thailand’s crown. Sure, Thailand is a giant nation with superb seashores, like Koh Samui and Phuket, and the vibrancy of Bangkok is unbeaten, however there’s nothing fairly like on a regular basis life within the northern metropolis of Chiang Mai. It has its challenges, in addition to its main benefits, and having skilled most that Chiang Mai has to supply, I really feel fairly well-informed that can assist you out.

Execs of Residing in Chiang Mai

airplane travel

As a result of I wish to deal with positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with some great benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai. By the top of this listing, you’ll most likely have one foot on the airplane and be planning your first few days within the metropolis.

1. A Nice Place to Meet Different Digital Nomads

digital nomad meeting like-minded

Indubitably, one of many largest execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai is simply how straightforward it’s to fulfill different distant employees. In 2023, an enormous 3.9 million folks handed by the doorways of Chiang Mai airport, with an honest proportion of these certain to be digital nomads. Regardless of if you go to, you’re assured to fulfill loads of different like-minded folks, which can make your keep a lot extra pleasurable.

I’ll speak about coworking areas shortly, however most have common social evenings, with a deal with bringing folks collectively—the identical goes for hostels across the metropolis. It’s really easy to mingle in Chiang Mai, and I met many new mates whom I nonetheless communicate with immediately. The town provides many nice alternatives to collaborate, but when socializing is all you bear in mind, you actually received’t battle to discover a new buddy or two.

2. Price-Effectiveness

street food market

Chiang Mai is a fairly cost-effective place to remain over the long run. For instance, you’ll be able to normally discover an condo within the metropolis middle and even fashionable Nimman, for round 7800-14,000 THB ($220-$390) with utilities on prime. If you could find a coliving area or just share with one other distant employee, you’ll save much more on lodging.

It’s low-cost to eat out too, so long as you stick with native meals; if you need Western-style meals then you’ll be able to count on to pay extra. One among my favourite locations was the Chiang Mai Night time Bazaar, the place it’s attainable to fill your self with road meals for a really small amount of money. Even espresso retailers are low-cost—you could find a cappuccino for round 55THB ($1.50), and these are nice locations to work from too.

3. Security

solo female traveller

Whenever you’re wanting on the execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai, you’ll little question wish to find out about security to start with. I can hand on coronary heart say that I by no means felt unsafe for even a second throughout my keep, whilst a solo feminine traveler. Actually, a 2023 report said that Chiang Mai is the most secure metropolis to go to in Southeast Asia total.

After all, like every other metropolis on this planet, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to at all times be practiced. Total, nonetheless, Chiang Mai is taken into account a secure metropolis to go to by way of low crime charges; providing you with peace of thoughts when seeing the sights and going about your each day enterprise. Regardless of this, visitors is a wholly separate topic which I’ll speak about later.

4. Nice Web High quality & Coworking Areas

remote working digital nomad cafe laptop

One other of the highest benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the variety of coworking areas and the standard of web out there. In accordance with Speedtest, the common add and obtain speeds in Chiang Mai are 169.21 and 198.03 Mbps respectively. I by no means struggled with the web connection as soon as, together with video calls and lengthy durations on-line.

There are some implausible coworking areas across the metropolis too—Yellow Coworking House is certainly one of my prime suggestions, however you’ll discover many dotted round. There are some low-cost choices to select from, resembling HeartWork, a coworking cafe that costs a low payment for using their web for just a few hours. Once more, these are nice locations to fulfill folks, community, and recharge on inspiration.

5. Pleasant Locals

Thai greeting

You’ll discover among the friendliest folks on this planet in Chiang Mai and loads of locals who wish to let you know about their traditions and customs. Whereas it may be tough with the language barrier generally, it’s not one thing you’ll be able to’t overcome. I had many conversations with espresso store and meals stall house owners and even made some native mates.

Locals in Chiang Mai are very accustomed to worldwide guests, and I by no means felt something apart from fully welcome. So long as you do your greatest to immerse your self within the conventional methods, you’ll meet folks from all walks of life. After all, you’ll be able to assist your self a bit of by studying just a few phrases within the native language.

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare

healthcare

One of many largest advantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the accessible, high-quality, and reasonably priced healthcare. This needs to be one thing you concentrate on irrespective of the place on this planet you might be. In Chiang Mai, you’ll discover private and non-private hospitals, each of that are reasonably priced in comparison with different nations.

I needed to go to Ram Hospital in Chiang Mai after tripping and injuring my arm. I anticipated it to be an advanced course of, but it surely was fortunately tremendous straightforward, and there have been English-speaking workers. After all, be sure you have good medical insurance, and also you received’t have any issues if a health-related problem occurs to come up.

7. Loads to See and Do

 Wat Umong chiang mai

There are such a lot of issues to see and do in Chiang Mai throughout your day off. I questioned what I’d do in my spare time as the town doesn’t have a seashore, however I shouldn’t have even questioned it—I used to be by no means bored for a second. I beloved strolling across the night time markets, and there are a number of: the Sunday Strolling Market is vibrant and enjoyable and is at all times a very good possibility.

A day journey to Inthanon Nationwide Park is a must-do in addition to a tour across the temples within the metropolis, resembling Wat Umong. I additionally suggest a day journey to Sticky Waterfall, which is an excellent method to beat the warmth. In the event you’re a nature lover, there are some nice mountaineering trails round, together with Huai Cho Reservoir Loop, which I actually loved.

8. Fantastic Climate

sunrise warm weather chiang mai

Heat climate is undoubtedly one of many execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai. Throughout the 12 months, the common temperature not often dips beneath 22°C/71°F. August is the rainiest month, with the wet season stretching between Could and October. Throughout this time, there are lots of heavy showers, however they’re usually short-lived, and the climate sometimes clears up in a short time.

April and Could are the most popular months, with common highs of 30°C/86°F, and fortunately, most locations have air con and loads of followers! In the course of the wet season, it may well turn out to be a bit of humid, however I didn’t really feel it was too overwhelming. Waking as much as the solar most days is unquestionably a plus and one of many main pulls towards Chiang Mai.

9. A Cultural Place to Discover

tuk tuk thailand

The factor I preferred most about Chiang Mai is that though it’s very easy to search out residence comforts, it’s a very cultural place with a unique lifestyle. Simply strolling down the streets and seeing the fantastically adorned temples and tuk-tuks passing by reveals you that you simply’re in virtually one other world. I’ve already talked about the night time markets, however these are a beautiful method to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a good concept, and by doing this, you’ll admire your time in Thailand way more. Thai tradition is wealthy and simple to study; native folks will fortunately present you their traditions so long as you present respect always. I don’t assume I’ve skilled tradition in every other nation as a lot as I did right here, and it’s certainly one of many the reason why I wish to return.

10. Superb Meals

pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the meals, surely. It’s very straightforward to attempt native delicacies, and the native markets are a terrific place to start out. Thai road meals is scrumptious and extremely low-cost, serving to you to maintain money in your pocket. I developed a severe love of Pad Thai in Chiang Mai and I turned way more adventurous with attempting new issues.

Khao Neow Ma Muang, or sticky rice and mango, is certainly one of my favourite dishes and it’s really easy to search out from road distributors. Thai meals can also be actually wholesome and made with the freshest produce. I took a cookery class, and I realized a lot about native delicacies; I’d extremely suggest it if you wish to throw your self into native life and take a look at one thing new.

Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai

pros cons balance thailand

Nowhere on this planet is 100% good, and there are some cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai you want to concentrate on. They’re not main deal breakers, at the very least not for me, however they’re issues that might have an effect on your keep for those who’re not clued up beforehand.

1. Visas Can Be Tough to Get

visa application

One of many largest disadvantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is that getting a visa over the long run generally is a problem. It’s under no circumstances unattainable, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was and there’s loads of paperwork concerned. Rules change usually so it’s vital to double-check earlier than you propose to journey to keep away from discovering your self in a difficult state of affairs.

Total, most individuals can go to Thailand for 60 days on a vacationer visa, however this varies in line with nationality so, once more, double-check. You’ll be able to then apply to increase this for an additional 30 days for those who select to. To assist make your particular state of affairs a bit of simpler to grasp, you’ll be able to enter your passport particulars into this web site and discover out what your choices are.

2. Doable Language Barrier

thai sign

When you’ll discover English audio system round vacationer websites and in coworking areas, for those who enterprise away from these areas you’ll doubtless expertise a slight barrier. I by no means bumped into too many issues, however I did have to make use of Google Translate just a few occasions, which will be irritating, particularly for those who’re looking for vital info otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as a terrific excuse to be taught just a few phrases of Thai. You don’t must be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you properly for those who enterprise into rural areas otherwise you meet somebody who doesn’t communicate nice English. I discovered that talking even only a few phrases made folks wish to assist me be taught much more, they usually appeared to understand my makes an attempt, irrespective of how unhealthy!

3. Burning Season

burning crops thailand

For me, one of many largest downsides of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the burning season. Actually, many individuals both keep away from the realm throughout this time or depart and return as soon as it’s over. Burning season occurs between January and April throughout a lot of northern Thailand, when farmers burn their fields to prepare for the following rising season and harvest.

Throughout this time, air high quality is fairly poor, and it may well make even strolling round pretty troublesome. Some years are higher than others, however there’s a normal haze over the complete metropolis between these months it doesn’t matter what. In the event you’re somebody who suffers from respiratory points, resembling bronchial asthma, you may wish to keep away from these months and go to when it’s over.

4. Visitors

tuk tuk traffic congestion thailand

It’s no shock that in 2019, Chiang Mai ranked as primary on the listing of most harmful locations to drive in Thailand; It even beat Bangkok, which is sort of stunning for those who’ve ever been to the capital. One of many cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai is attempting to navigate visitors, and for those who select to drive, you’ll must be very cautious certainly. Even strolling will be perilous as there are only a few respectable sidewalks.

Chiang Mai’s roads are famously congested, and many individuals driving scooters weave out and in of the visitors or drive at excessive pace. Personally, I most well-liked to get round by way of public transport, and I by no means discovered it troublesome to make use of; it definitely works out cheaper than fuel and gives a extra genuine expertise. I used the songthaew very often and I even made some mates on there.

5. Twin Pricing

Thai Baht

Many individuals see this as one of many downsides to dwelling in Chiang Mai, however I personally don’t thoughts it an excessive amount of and might perceive why it occurs. Twin pricing implies that as a foreigner, you’ll be charged extra for some points of interest than an area individual, and generally the distinction will be fairly important. I’ve observed twin pricing in lots of different nations, however not as clearly as I skilled in Thailand.

It’s annoying, however what it’s important to bear in mind is that native wages are significantly lower than what most foreigners obtain and these costs replicate that. The excellent news is that this solely occurs on admission charges and also you received’t see it on markets, public transport, or common each day purchases. It’s one of many stuff you merely have to just accept, but it surely’s a draw back all the identical.

Is Residing in Chiang Mai Price It?

Like wherever else on this planet, there are execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai. It’s manifestly apparent that my listing has way more execs than cons, and that’s not an accident. Your entire expertise of dwelling in Chiang Mai was constructive sufficient for me to see these downsides as small annoyances relatively than massive deal-breakers, except for the visa problem.

As one of the common locations for digital nomads, Chiang Mai has one thing for everybody and delivers all of it with a cultural and genuine vibe. Typically it’s frenetic and loud, different occasions it’s peaceable and chilled out—the complete metropolis is a contradiction in all the very best methods attainable. It’s additionally the primary place to fulfill different folks, a few of whom might find yourself your greatest mates for all times.

I can’t wait to return; when are you going?

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