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15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

Should you seek for the preferred digital nomad areas, Chiang Mai is bound to look on that checklist. Should you don’t need 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 residing 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 residing in Chiang Mai myself, I might love to return, and I completely will in some unspecified time in the future. It’s a sociable place, in style with numerous different distant employees and pleasant locals. The professionals of residing in Chiang Mai far outweigh the negatives in my view, however it’s vital to learn about either side of the coin to make your personal knowledgeable determination earlier than taking the plunge.

15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

For me, Chiang Mai is the jewel in Thailand’s crown. Sure, Thailand is an enormous nation with wonderful 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 will help you out.

Execs of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

airplane travel

As a result of I prefer to give attention to positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with the benefits of residing in Chiang Mai. By the tip of this checklist, you’ll in all probability 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

Undoubtedly, one of many largest execs of residing in Chiang Mai is simply how straightforward it’s to satisfy different distant employees. In 2023, an enormous 3.9 million individuals handed via the doorways of Chiang Mai airport, with a good proportion of these positive to be digital nomads. Irrespective of while you go to, you’re assured to satisfy loads of different like-minded individuals, which can make your keep a lot extra fulfilling.

I’ll speak about coworking areas shortly, however most have common social evenings, with a give attention to bringing individuals collectively—the identical goes for hostels across the metropolis. It’s really easy to mingle in Chiang Mai, and I met many new associates whom I nonetheless communicate with immediately. The town presents many nice alternatives to collaborate, but when socializing is all you bear in mind, you actually gained’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 often discover an condominium within the metropolis heart and even fashionable Nimman, for round 7800-14,000 THB ($220-$390) with utilities on prime. If you will discover a coliving house 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 would like Western-style meals then you’ll be able to anticipate to pay extra. One among my favourite locations was the Chiang Mai Evening Bazaar, the place it’s doable to fill your self with avenue meals for a really small amount of money. Even espresso outlets are low cost—you will discover a cappuccino for round 55THB ($1.50), and these are nice locations to work from too.

3. Security

solo female traveller

While you’re wanting on the execs and cons of residing in Chiang Mai, you’ll little question need to learn about security to begin with. I can hand on coronary heart say that I by no means felt unsafe for even a second throughout my keep, at the same time as a solo feminine traveler. Actually, a 2023 report acknowledged that Chiang Mai is the most secure metropolis to go to in Southeast Asia general.

After all, like every other metropolis on the planet, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to all the time be practiced. General, nevertheless, Chiang Mai is taken into account a protected metropolis to go to by way of low crime charges; providing you with peace of thoughts when seeing the sights and going about your every day enterprise. Regardless of this, site 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 residing in Chiang Mai is the variety of coworking areas and the standard of web out there. In line 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 intervals on-line.

There are some implausible coworking areas across the metropolis too—Yellow Coworking Area is one in every 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 a number of hours. Once more, these are nice locations to satisfy individuals, community, and recharge on inspiration.

5. Pleasant Locals

Thai greeting

You’ll discover among the friendliest individuals on the planet in Chiang Mai and loads of locals who need to inform you 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 homeowners and even made some native associates.

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

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


One of many largest advantages of residing in Chiang Mai is the accessible, high-quality, and reasonably priced healthcare. This needs to be one thing you consider regardless of the place on the 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, however it was fortunately tremendous straightforward, and there have been English-speaking workers. After all, ensure you have good medical health insurance, and also you gained’t have any issues if a health-related challenge 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 without work. I puzzled what I might do in my spare time as 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 liked strolling across the night time markets, and there are a number of: the Sunday Strolling Market is vibrant and enjoyable and is all the time a very good choice.

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 a superb technique to beat the warmth. Should you’re a nature lover, there are some nice climbing 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 residing 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 typically short-lived, and the climate usually 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! Throughout the wet season, it may well turn into a bit 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 dwelling comforts, it’s a very cultural place with a special lifestyle. Simply strolling down the streets and seeing the superbly adorned temples and tuk-tuks passing by exhibits you that you simply’re in nearly one other world. I’ve already talked about the night time markets, however these are an exquisite technique to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a superb thought, and by doing this, you’ll admire your time in Thailand way more. Thai tradition is wealthy and straightforward to find out about; native individuals will fortunately present you their traditions so long as you present respect always. I don’t suppose I’ve skilled tradition in every other nation as a lot as I did right here, and it’s one in every of many the explanation why I need to return.

10. Wonderful Meals

pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of residing in Chiang Mai is the meals, indubitably. It’s very straightforward to strive native delicacies, and the native markets are an awesome place to start out. Thai avenue 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 grew to become way more adventurous with making an attempt new issues.

Khao Neow Ma Muang, or sticky rice and mango, is one in every of my favourite dishes and it’s really easy to search out from avenue 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 Dwelling in Chiang Mai

pros cons balance thailand

Nowhere on the planet is 100% good, and there are some cons of residing in Chiang Mai you want to pay attention to. They’re not main deal breakers, not less than not for me, however they’re issues that might have an effect on your keep should you’re not clued up beforehand.

1. Visas Can Be Difficult to Get

visa application

One of many largest disadvantages of residing in Chiang Mai is that getting a visa over the long run could be a problem. It’s not at all unattainable, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was once and there’s loads of paperwork concerned. Rules change typically so it’s vital to double-check earlier than you intend to journey to keep away from discovering your self in a difficult state of affairs.

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

2. Doable Language Barrier

thai sign

Whilst you’ll discover English audio system round vacationer websites and in coworking areas, should you enterprise away from these areas you’ll possible expertise a slight barrier. I by no means bumped into too many issues, however I did have to make use of Google Translate a number of instances, which could be irritating, particularly should you’re looking for vital data otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as an awesome excuse to study a number of phrases of Thai. You don’t have to be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you effectively should you enterprise into rural areas otherwise you meet somebody who doesn’t converse nice English. I discovered that talking even only a few phrases made individuals need to assist me study much more, they usually appeared to understand my makes an attempt, regardless of how dangerous!

3. Burning Season

burning crops thailand

For me, one of many largest downsides of residing in Chiang Mai is the burning season. Actually, many individuals both keep away from the realm throughout this time or go away 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 subsequent 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 common haze over the complete metropolis between these months it doesn’t matter what. Should you’re somebody who suffers from respiratory points, resembling bronchial asthma, you may need to keep away from these months and go to when it’s over.

4. Site visitors

tuk tuk traffic congestion thailand

It’s no shock that in 2019, Chiang Mai ranked as primary on the checklist of most harmful locations to drive in Thailand; It even beat Bangkok, which is kind of shocking should you’ve ever been to the capital. One of many cons of residing in Chiang Mai is making an attempt to navigate site visitors, and should you select to drive, you’ll have to be very cautious certainly. Even strolling could be perilous as there are only a few first rate sidewalks.

Chiang Mai’s roads are famously congested, and many individuals driving scooters weave out and in of the site 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 offers a extra genuine expertise. I used the songthaew very often and I even made some associates on there.

5. Twin Pricing

Thai Baht

Many individuals see this as one of many downsides to residing in Chiang Mai, however I personally don’t thoughts it an excessive amount of and might perceive why it occurs. Twin pricing signifies that as a foreigner, you’ll be charged extra for some points of interest than a neighborhood particular person, and generally the distinction could be fairly vital. I’ve seen twin pricing in lots of different nations, however not as clearly as I skilled in Thailand.

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

Is Dwelling in Chiang Mai Price It?

Like anyplace else on the planet, there are execs and cons of residing in Chiang Mai. It’s manifestly apparent that my checklist has way more execs than cons, and that’s not an accident. The complete expertise of residing in Chiang Mai was optimistic sufficient for me to see these downsides as small annoyances reasonably than massive deal-breakers, excluding the visa challenge.

As one of the vital in style 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 instances it’s peaceable and chilled out—the complete metropolis is a contradiction in all the very best methods doable. It’s additionally the primary place to satisfy different individuals, a few of whom could find yourself your finest associates for all times.

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

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