15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

For those who seek for the preferred digital nomad areas, Chiang Mai is bound to look on that listing. For those who 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 at once. There are numerous execs of residing in Chiang Mai; it’s no marvel that so many distant employees and vacationers alike flock there yr after yr.

Having spent a number of months residing 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 residing in Chiang Mai far outweigh the negatives for my part, but it surely’s necessary to find out about each side of the coin to make your personal knowledgeable determination earlier than taking the plunge.

15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in 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 Dwelling in Chiang Mai

airplane travel

As a result of I wish to give attention to positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with some great benefits of residing in Chiang Mai. By the top of this listing, 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

Indisputably, one of many greatest execs of residing in Chiang Mai is simply how simple it’s to satisfy 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 if you go to, you’re assured to satisfy loads of different like-minded individuals, which can make your keep a lot extra satisfying.

I’ll discuss 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 pals whom I nonetheless be in contact with as we speak. The town affords many nice alternatives to collaborate, but when socializing is all you bear in mind, you actually received’t wrestle 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 possibly can often discover an house within the metropolis heart and even fashionable Nimman, for round 7800-14,000 THB ($220-$390) with utilities on high. If you’ll 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 follow native meals; if you need Western-style meals then you possibly can anticipate to pay extra. One in every of 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 retailers are low cost—you’ll find a cappuccino for round 55THB ($1.50), and these are nice locations to work from too.

3. Security

solo female traveller

Once you’re wanting on the execs and cons of residing 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.

In fact, like another metropolis on this planet, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to at all times be practiced. General, nonetheless, 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 each day enterprise. Regardless of this, site visitors is a wholly 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 residing 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 unbelievable coworking areas across the metropolis too—Yellow Coworking Area is one in every of my high suggestions, however you’ll discover many dotted round. There are some low-cost choices to select from, reminiscent of HeartWork, a coworking cafe that expenses a low price for the usage of 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 a few of the friendliest individuals 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 difficult with the language barrier generally, it’s not one thing you possibly can’t overcome. I had many conversations with espresso store and meals stall homeowners and even made some native pals.

Locals in Chiang Mai are very accustomed to worldwide guests, and I by no means felt something aside from fully welcome. So long as you do your greatest to immerse your self within the conventional methods, you’ll meet individuals from all walks of life. In fact, you possibly can assist your self somewhat by studying a number of phrases within the native language.

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


One of many greatest advantages of residing in Chiang Mai is the accessible, high-quality, and inexpensive healthcare. This needs to be one thing you consider regardless of the place on this planet you might be. In Chiang Mai, you’ll discover private and non-private hospitals, each of that are inexpensive 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 a sophisticated course of, but it surely 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 difficulty 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 questioned what I might do in my spare time as town doesn’t have a seaside, 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 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, reminiscent of Wat Umong. I additionally advocate a day journey to Sticky Waterfall, which is an excellent solution to beat the warmth. For those who’re a nature lover, there are some nice mountain 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 yr, the common temperature hardly ever dips under 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 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 might probably grow to be somewhat 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 favored most about Chiang Mai is that though it’s very easy to search out residence comforts, it’s a very cultural place with a distinct lifestyle. Simply strolling down the streets and seeing the fantastically embellished 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 solution to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a superb concept, and by doing this, you’ll respect 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 assume I’ve skilled tradition in another nation as a lot as I did right here, and it’s one in every of many the reason why I wish to return.

10. Superb Meals

pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of residing in Chiang Mai is the meals, definitely. It’s very simple to attempt native delicacies, and the native markets are an excellent 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 critical 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 one in every of my favourite dishes and it’s really easy to search out from avenue 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 take a look at one thing new.

Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

pros cons balance thailand

Nowhere on this planet is 100% excellent, and there are some cons of residing in Chiang Mai you want to concentrate on. They’re not main deal breakers, a minimum of 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 greatest disadvantages of residing in Chiang Mai is that getting a visa over the long run could be a problem. It’s certainly not inconceivable, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was and there’s lots of paperwork concerned. Laws change usually so it’s necessary to double-check earlier than you propose 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 response to nationality so, once more, double-check. You’ll be able to then apply to increase this for an additional 30 days in the event you select to. To assist make your particular state of affairs somewhat simpler to grasp, you possibly can 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 doubtless 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 might be irritating, particularly in the event you’re looking for necessary data otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as an excellent excuse to study a number of phrases of Thai. You don’t must be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you properly 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 wish to assist me study much more, and so they appeared to understand my makes an attempt, regardless of how unhealthy!

3. Burning Season

burning crops thailand

For me, one of many greatest downsides of residing 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 might probably make even strolling round pretty tough. Some years are higher than others, however there’s a basic haze over your entire metropolis between these months it doesn’t matter what. For those who’re somebody who suffers from respiratory points, reminiscent of bronchial asthma, you would possibly 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 in the event you’ve ever been to the capital. One of many cons of residing in Chiang Mai is attempting to navigate site visitors, and in the event you select to drive, you’ll must be very cautious certainly. Even strolling might 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 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 tough to make use of; it definitely works out cheaper than fuel 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 residing in Chiang Mai, however I personally don’t thoughts it an excessive amount of and may perceive why it occurs. Twin pricing signifies that as a foreigner, you’ll be charged extra for some points of interest than an area individual, and generally the distinction might be fairly vital. I’ve observed 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 received’t see it on markets, public transport, or common each day purchases. It’s one of many belongings you merely have to simply accept, but it surely’s a draw back all the identical.

Is Dwelling in Chiang Mai Price It?

Like anyplace else on this planet, there are execs and cons of residing in Chiang Mai. It’s manifestly apparent that my listing 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 relatively than massive deal-breakers, except the visa difficulty.

As one of the crucial 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 instances it’s peaceable and chilled out—your entire metropolis is a contradiction in all the most effective methods doable. It’s additionally the primary place to satisfy different individuals, a few of whom might find yourself your greatest pals for all times.

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

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