Home Tryouts..: Chiang Mai, Thailand

We visited the storied city of Chiang Mai back in February, during the Chinese New Year. We stayed for a few weeks and felt a certain type of way about Chiang Mai.  We liked it! Mind you, it wasn’t love…but we really liked it. It was more than practical. We held a depth of appreciation for the potential this city held. Here are our reasons we thought Chiang Mai was worth us spending some extended time in.

  1. It’s Cheap 1 dollar = 33 baht
    • We earn American dollars and they go a long way here. Our apartment costs $360 and we live in the burbs with a pool and a view in a new development.
    • The city is as cheap as you want it to be. We are living great on $1000/ month which gives us the opportunity to pay down debt and save to travel.
  2. Easy to get around. It’s easy to take local transportation a.k.a. a songthaew (a.k.a. the red truck) around the city. Most one ways are 20 baht. Also, everything is a Grab ride away. Grabs go for 20 – 120 baht that’s .60 cents to $3.60
    • Grab is the Uber of Southwest Asia. They usually show up 2-3 minutes after being called. Modern technology….you have to love it!
  3. Expat friendly
    • The Thai Government knows that it is making coin off of expats and they make residing here relatively pain free if not convenient. The visa process is simple, even though you have the leave the country to get it. The process for renting an apartment as an expat are simple. Getting services like a phone line, internet services, electricity….are all set-up for expats to engage without any issues.
    • The people! Thailand is known the as land of smiles and it’s true. The Thai people have been nothing but warm, welcoming, and ‘smiley’.
  4. The visa process is straight forward
  5. English is a learned language so most people speak it or understand it.
  6. Easy for college graduates to get a job – specifically if you’re interested in teaching English. There are several facebook groups and job sites sharing job postings daily.
  7. A community of Black expats with very similar mindsets #tribe. We happened upon a few cool people in a restaurant one day during our February visit. Introductions were made, we connected. Through that connection we ended up meeting up with these lovely people to see Black Panther on opening weekend.
  8. There was a standard of cleanliness that we  liked; environmentally and the city in general was tidy.
  9. Lots of activities surrounding the area – such as the Night market (and other great weekly markets as well), visiting ethical elephant sanctuaries, Doi Suthep, the King’s botanical garden, sticky waterfalls, etc…
  10. Its a great jump off point to visit other countries in Southeast Asia.

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