15 Execs and Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai

15 Execs and Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai

In the event you seek for the most well-liked digital nomad areas, Chiang Mai is certain to seem on that listing. In the event 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 dwelling in Chiang Mai; it’s no surprise that so many distant employees and vacationers alike flock there yr after yr.

Having spent a number of months dwelling in Chiang Mai myself, I might love to return, and I completely will sooner or later. It’s a sociable place, widespread with numerous different distant employees and pleasant locals. The professionals of dwelling 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 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 will help you out.

Execs of Residing in Chiang Mai

airplane travel

As a result of I prefer to concentrate on positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with the benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai. By the tip of this listing, you’ll in all probability have one foot on the aircraft and be planning your first few days within the metropolis.

1. A Nice Place to Meet Different Digital Nomads

digital nomad meeting like-minded

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

I’ll discuss coworking areas shortly, however most have common social evenings, with a concentrate on 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 pals whom I nonetheless keep up a correspondence with right this moment. 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 reasonably cost-effective place to remain over the long run. For instance, you may often discover an house within the metropolis heart and even stylish Nimman, for round 7800-14,000 THB ($220-$390) with utilities on high. If you could find 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 keep on with native meals; if you need Western-style meals then you may count on to pay extra. One in all my favourite locations was the Chiang Mai Evening Bazaar, the place it’s potential to fill your self with road meals for a really small amount of money. Even espresso outlets 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

If you’re trying on the execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai, you’ll little doubt need to learn about security initially. 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. In truth, a 2023 report acknowledged that Chiang Mai is the most secure metropolis to go to in Southeast Asia general.

In fact, like another metropolis on the earth, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to at all times be practiced. Total, nevertheless, Chiang Mai is taken into account a secure metropolis to go to when it comes to low crime charges; providing you with peace of thoughts when seeing the sights and going about your day by day enterprise. Regardless of this, visitors is a completely separate topic which I’ll discuss 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 accessible. In response to Speedtest, the typical 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 one in every of my high suggestions, however you’ll discover many dotted round. There are some low-cost choices to select from, corresponding to 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 individuals, community, and recharge on inspiration.

5. Pleasant Locals

Thai greeting

You’ll discover a few of the friendliest individuals on the earth 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 may’t overcome. I had many conversations with espresso store and meals stall house owners and even made some native pals.

Locals in Chiang Mai are very accustomed to worldwide guests, and I by no means felt something apart from solely 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. In fact, you may assist your self a bit of by studying just a few phrases within the native language.

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


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

I needed to go to Ram Hospital in Chiang Mai after tripping and injuring my arm. I anticipated it to be a sophisticated course of, however it was fortunately tremendous simple, and there have been English-speaking workers. In fact, be sure to have good medical insurance, and also you received’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 time without work. I puzzled what I might 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 choice.

A day journey to Inthanon Nationwide Park is a must-do in addition to a tour across the temples within the metropolis, corresponding to Wat Umong. I additionally advocate a day journey to Sticky Waterfall, which is a superb 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 yr, 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 numerous heavy showers, however they’re usually short-lived, and the climate sometimes clears up in a short time.

April and Could are the most well liked 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 could possibly grow 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 appreciated most about Chiang Mai is that though it’s very easy to seek out house comforts, it’s a very cultural place with a distinct lifestyle. Simply strolling down the streets and seeing the superbly embellished 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 an exquisite method to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a superb concept, and by doing this, you’ll admire your time in Thailand rather more. Thai tradition is wealthy and simple 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 another 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. Superb Meals

pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the meals, indisputably. It’s very simple to attempt native delicacies, and the native markets are an excellent place to begin. 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 rather 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 seek out from road distributors. Thai meals can be actually wholesome and made with the freshest produce. I took a cookery class, and I discovered a lot about native delicacies; I’d extremely advocate it if you wish to throw your self into native life and check out one thing new.

Cons of Residing in Chiang Mai

pros cons balance thailand

Nowhere on the earth is 100% good, and there are some cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai you want to concentrate on. They’re not main deal breakers, no less than not for me, however they’re issues that would have an effect on your keep in the event you’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 could be a problem. It’s on no account not possible, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was and there’s a number of paperwork concerned. Rules change usually so it’s vital to double-check earlier than you intend to journey to keep away from discovering your self in a difficult scenario.

Total, 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 possibly can then apply to increase this for an additional 30 days in the event you select to. To assist make your particular scenario a bit of simpler to grasp, you may enter your passport particulars into this web site 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, in the event you enterprise away from these areas you’ll seemingly 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 could be irritating, particularly in the event you’re looking for vital info otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as an excellent excuse to study just a few phrases of Thai. You don’t must be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you nicely in the event you enterprise into rural areas otherwise you meet somebody who doesn’t communicate nice English. I discovered that talking even just some phrases made individuals need to assist me study much more, and so they appeared to understand my makes an attempt, irrespective of how dangerous!

3. Burning Season

burning crops thailand

For me, one of many largest downsides of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the burning season. In truth, many individuals both keep away from the world 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 subsequent rising season and harvest.

Throughout this time, air high quality is fairly poor, and it could possibly make even strolling round pretty tough. Some years are higher than others, however there’s a basic haze over the whole metropolis between these months it doesn’t matter what. In the event you’re somebody who suffers from respiratory points, corresponding to 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 listing of most harmful locations to drive in Thailand; It even beat Bangkok, which is kind of stunning in the event you’ve ever been to the capital. One of many cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai is making an attempt to navigate visitors, and in the event you select to drive, you’ll must be very cautious certainly. Even strolling could 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 popular to get round through public transport, and I by no means discovered it tough to make use of; it actually works out cheaper than gasoline and supplies a extra genuine expertise. I used the songthaew very often and I even made some pals 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 may perceive why it occurs. Twin pricing implies that as a foreigner, you’ll be charged extra for some sights than a neighborhood particular person, and generally the distinction could be fairly important. I’ve observed twin pricing in lots of different international locations, however not as clearly as I skilled in Thailand.

It’s annoying, however what you must keep 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 received’t see it on markets, public transport, or common day by day purchases. It’s one of many stuff you merely have to simply accept, however it’s a draw back all the identical.

Is Residing in Chiang Mai Price It?

Like anyplace else on the earth, 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. The whole expertise of dwelling in Chiang Mai was constructive sufficient for me to see these downsides as small annoyances somewhat than huge deal-breakers, aside from the visa challenge.

As probably the most widespread 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 whole metropolis is a contradiction in all the perfect methods potential. It’s additionally the primary place to fulfill different individuals, a few of whom could find yourself your finest pals for all times.

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

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