Thai immigration states there are roughly 20,000 expats living in Chiang Mai alone, that’s a huge community of people from overseas who have found a home in Chiang Mai Thailand. Why so many foreigners living in Chiang Mai? Probably because it’s one of the cheapest places to live in all of Thailand.
Living In Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai Life
The vast number of expat foreigners living in Chiang Mai has created a whole market that caters to not only tourists but the large number of “farang” that live here. It’s not just british US and Australian citizens that live here either, there are large amounts of Koreans and Japanese that have made their life in Chiang Mai.
The vast majority of Expats living in Chiang Mai are retirees though I am now seeing an increase in business investors, and internet whizzes living in Thailand, most people have a story about how they make money in order to live their life in Chiang Mai, everyone is different, but it still remains the place to retire in Thailand.
Chiang Mai is no where near as hot as other places in Thailand which is probably a huge draw on living here, though it does get hot it rains more often than anywhere else in Thailand and the nights are cool, during winder you’ll need a jacket. More info on weather in Thailand.
As I mentioned earlier many investors are coming to Chiang Mai because of the low cost of investment, if you don’t speak Thai you’ll have a lot of hurdles and get ripped off, what you need is a strong right hand that you can trust to deal with the locals. Even if you speak fluent Thai like I do, you’ll still have a hard time because most of the people in Chiang Mai don’t even speak Thai, in fact more often than not they refuse to speak the main language and prefer to speak the local lanna Chiang Mai dialect which is extremely difficult to learn. Starting a business in Chiang Mai is more difficult because of this language problem.
The city life in Chiang Mai is very laid back and relaxed, expats start out by living in the city but then end up settling in the outer suburbs of Hang Dong or Sansai, where you can get a 3 bedroom house starting from $33,000 USD.
The Chiang Mai expat community is also very alive, meeting and networking together. Minicost Guesthouse is a stopping point for many an expat that come to share stories bitch about life in Chiang Mai and wonder in the fun things to do.
Most expats don’t typically hang out in the nightlife inside the city, some though like to hang out on Loh Croh road, but most stay away from the area because of the cost, Chiang Mai can be a cheap place to live but it can be expensive also.