15 Professionals and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

For those who seek for the most well-liked digital nomad areas, Chiang Mai is bound to seem 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 immediately. There are numerous execs of dwelling 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 dwelling in Chiang Mai myself, I’d 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 dwelling in Chiang Mai far outweigh the negatives in my view, however it’s necessary to learn about each side of the coin to make your individual knowledgeable choice earlier than taking the plunge.

15 Professionals and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

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 can assist you out.

Professionals of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

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As a result of I prefer to concentrate on positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with some great benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai. By the top 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

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Surely, one of many greatest execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai is simply how simple it’s to satisfy different distant employees. In 2023, an enormous 3.9 million individuals handed via the doorways of Chiang Mai airport, with an honest proportion of these certain to be digital nomads. Irrespective of once 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 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 communicate with right this moment. Town gives many nice alternatives to collaborate, but when socializing is all you bear in mind, you actually gained’t wrestle to discover a new buddy or two.

2. Price-Effectiveness

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Chiang Mai is a fairly cost-effective place to remain over the long run. For instance, you possibly can often discover an residence within the metropolis heart and even stylish Nimman, for round 7800-14,000 THB ($220-$390) with utilities on prime. 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’d like Western-style meals then you possibly can count on 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 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

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While you’re wanting on the execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai, you’ll little question wish to learn 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, at the same time as a solo feminine traveler. Actually, a 2023 report said that Chiang Mai is the most secure metropolis to go to in Southeast Asia general.

After all, like some other metropolis on the planet, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to at all times be practiced. Total, nonetheless, 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 each day enterprise. Regardless of this, site visitors is a completely separate topic which I’ll speak about later.

4. Nice Web High quality & Coworking Areas

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One other of the highest benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the variety of coworking areas and the standard of web out there. In keeping with 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 intervals on-line.

There are some improbable coworking areas across the metropolis too—Yellow Coworking House is considered one 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 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

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You’ll discover a few of the friendliest individuals on the planet in Chiang Mai and loads of locals who wish to inform you about their traditions and customs. Whereas it may be tough 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 apart from completely 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 possibly can assist your self slightly by studying a number of phrases within the native language.

6. Excessive-High quality Healthcare


One of many greatest 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 planet you’re. 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, however it was fortunately tremendous simple, 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 subject occurs to come up.

7. Lots to See and Do

 Wat Umong chiang mai Wat Umong chiang mai

There are such a lot of issues to see and do in Chiang Mai throughout your day without work. I questioned what I’d 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 cherished 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, resembling Wat Umong. I additionally advocate a day journey to Sticky Waterfall, which is a superb technique to beat the warmth. For those who’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 maisunrise 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 a lot of heavy showers, however they’re typically short-lived, and the climate sometimes 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! In the course of the wet season, it may well turn out to be slightly humid, however I didn’t really feel it was too overwhelming. Waking as much as the solar most days is certainly a plus and one of many main pulls towards Chiang Mai.

9. A Cultural Place to Discover

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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 special 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 technique to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a good concept, and by doing this, you’ll admire your time in Thailand far more. Thai tradition is wealthy and simple to study; native individuals will fortunately present you their traditions so long as you present respect always. I don’t suppose I’ve skilled tradition in some other nation as a lot as I did right here, and it’s considered one of many the reason why I wish to return.

10. Wonderful Meals

pad thai local dish thailand pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the meals, surely. It’s very simple to strive native delicacies, and the native markets are an excellent place to begin. 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 far more adventurous with attempting new issues.

Khao Neow Ma Muang, or sticky rice and mango, is considered one 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 realized 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

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

1. Visas Can Be Difficult to Get

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One of many greatest disadvantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is that getting a visa over the long run could be a problem. It’s in no way not possible, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was once and there’s quite a lot of paperwork concerned. Laws change typically so it’s necessary to double-check earlier than you propose 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 response to nationality so, once more, double-check. You may then apply to increase this for an additional 30 days if you happen to select to. To assist make your particular scenario slightly simpler to know, you possibly can enter your passport particulars into this website and discover out what your choices are.

2. Attainable Language Barrier

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Whilst you’ll discover English audio system round vacationer websites and in coworking areas, if you happen to 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 might be irritating, particularly if you happen to’re looking for necessary data otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as an excellent excuse to be taught a number of phrases of Thai. You don’t must be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you nicely if you happen to 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 be taught much more, and so they appeared to understand my makes an attempt, irrespective of how dangerous!

3. Burning Season

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For me, one of many greatest downsides of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the burning season. Actually, 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 following rising season and harvest.

Throughout this time, air high quality is fairly poor, and it may well make even strolling round pretty tough. Some years are higher than others, however there’s a common haze over the complete metropolis between these months it doesn’t matter what. For those who’re somebody who suffers from respiratory points, resembling bronchial asthma, you would possibly wish to keep away from these months and go to when it’s over.

4. Site visitors

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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 shocking if you happen to’ve ever been to the capital. One of many cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai is attempting to navigate site visitors, and if you happen to 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 velocity. Personally, I most popular to get round through public transport, and I by no means discovered it tough to make use of; it definitely works out cheaper than gasoline and offers a extra genuine expertise. I used the songthaew very often and I even made some pals on there.

5. Twin Pricing

Thai BahtThai 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 points of interest than a neighborhood 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 must bear in mind is that native wages are significantly lower than what most foreigners obtain and these costs replicate 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 each day purchases. It’s one of many belongings you merely have to simply accept, however it’s a draw back all the identical.

Is Dwelling in Chiang Mai Price It?

Like wherever else on the planet, 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. Your complete expertise of dwelling in Chiang Mai was optimistic sufficient for me to see these downsides as small annoyances somewhat than large deal-breakers, except the visa subject.

As one of the in style locations for digital nomads, Chiang Mai has one thing for everybody and delivers all of it with a cultural and genuine vibe. Generally 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 might find yourself your finest pals for all times.

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

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