15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

In the event you seek for the most well-liked digital nomad areas, Chiang Mai is certain to look on that listing. In the event you don’t wish to be immediately hooked, don’t look any additional—that is one place so intoxicating that you just’ll be planning your journey at once. There are numerous execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai; it’s no marvel that so many distant employees and vacationers alike flock there 12 months after 12 months.

Having spent a number of months dwelling in Chiang Mai myself, I might love to return, and I completely will in some unspecified time in the future. It’s a sociable place, standard with numerous different distant employees and pleasant locals. The professionals of dwelling in Chiang Mai far outweigh the negatives for my part, however it’s necessary to learn about each side of the coin to make your individual knowledgeable determination earlier than taking the plunge.

15 Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

For me, Chiang Mai is the jewel in Thailand’s crown. Sure, Thailand is a giant 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.

Execs of Dwelling in Chiang Mai

airplane travel

As a result of I prefer to give attention to positivity earlier than the rest, let’s begin with the benefits of dwelling in Chiang Mai. By the top of this listing, you’ll most likely 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

No doubt, 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 folks handed via the doorways of Chiang Mai airport, with a good proportion of these certain to be digital nomads. Regardless of whenever you go to, you’re assured to satisfy loads of different like-minded folks, which can make your keep a lot extra gratifying.

I’ll discuss coworking areas shortly, however most have common social evenings, with a give attention to bringing folks 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 at present. Town affords many nice alternatives to collaborate, but when socializing is all you keep in mind, you actually received’t wrestle to discover a new buddy or two.

2. Value-Effectiveness

street food market

Chiang Mai is a fairly cost-effective place to remain over the long run. For instance, you possibly can normally discover an condo within the metropolis middle and even fashionable 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 follow native meals; in order for you Western-style meals then you possibly can anticipate to pay extra. Considered one of my favourite locations was the Chiang Mai Night time Bazaar, the place it’s doable to fill your self with road meals for a really small amount of money. Even espresso retailers 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

Whenever you’re trying on the execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai, you’ll little question wish to learn about security to begin 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. In actual fact, 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 the planet, you shouldn’t take undue dangers, and customary sense ought to all the time be practiced. General, nevertheless, Chiang Mai is taken into account a protected 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, 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 accordance 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 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 expenses a low payment for the usage of their web for a number of hours. Once more, these are nice locations to satisfy folks, community, and recharge on inspiration.

5. Pleasant Locals

Thai greeting

You’ll discover a few of the friendliest folks on the planet in Chiang Mai and loads of locals who wish to let you know about their traditions and customs. Whereas it may be tough with the language barrier typically, 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 totally welcome. So long as you do your finest to immerse your self within the conventional methods, you’ll meet folks from all walks of life. In fact, you possibly can assist your self a bit of 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 reasonably priced healthcare. This needs to be one thing you consider regardless of the place on the planet you’re. In Chiang Mai, you’ll discover private and non-private hospitals, each of that are reasonably priced 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 an advanced course of, however it was fortunately tremendous simple, and there have been English-speaking employees. In fact, ensure you have good medical insurance, and also you received’t have any issues if a health-related challenge occurs to come up.

7. Lots 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 cherished strolling across the night time markets, and there are a number of: the Sunday Strolling Market is vibrant and enjoyable and is all the time 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 option to beat the warmth. In the event you’re a nature lover, there are some nice mountain climbing trails round, together with Huai Cho Reservoir Loop, which I actually loved.

8. Great Climate

sunrise warm weather chiang mai

Heat climate is undoubtedly one of many execs of dwelling in Chiang Mai. Throughout the 12 months, the common temperature hardly ever dips beneath 22°C/71°F. August is the rainiest month, with the wet season stretching between Might and October. Throughout this time, there are numerous heavy showers, however they’re typically short-lived, and the climate sometimes clears up in a short time.

April and Might are the most popular 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 actually change into a bit of 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

tuk tuk thailand

The factor I preferred 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 reveals you that you just’re in nearly one other world. I’ve already talked about the night time markets, however these are an exquisite option to simply immerse your self within the tradition.

Absorbing the native tradition is a good thought, and by doing this, you’ll admire your time in Thailand far more. Thai tradition is wealthy and straightforward to find out about; native folks 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 explanation why I wish to return.

10. Superb Meals

pad thai local dish thailand

One of many main advantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the meals, surely. It’s very simple to attempt native delicacies, and the native markets are an awesome 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 far 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 search out from road distributors. Thai meals can also 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 the planet is 100% good, and there are some cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai you want to concentrate on. They’re not main deal breakers, at the very least not for me, however they’re issues that would have an effect on your keep in case you’re not clued up beforehand.

1. Visas Can Be Difficult to Get

visa application

One of many greatest disadvantages of dwelling in Chiang Mai is that getting a visa over the long run generally is a problem. It’s not at all inconceivable, however the necessities are a lot stricter than they was once and there’s lots of paperwork concerned. Rules 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 state of affairs.

General, most individuals can go to Thailand for 60 days on a vacationer visa, however this varies in line with nationality so, once more, double-check. You may then apply to increase this for one more 30 days in case you select to. To assist make your particular state of affairs a bit of simpler to know, you possibly can enter your passport particulars into this website 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 case you enterprise away from these areas you’ll probably 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 occasions, which may be irritating, particularly in case you’re looking for necessary data otherwise you need assistance.

I made a decision to view this as an awesome excuse to be taught a number of phrases of Thai. You don’t should be fluent to get by, however the fundamentals will serve you effectively in case you enterprise into rural areas otherwise you meet somebody who doesn’t converse nice English. I discovered that talking even only a few phrases made folks wish to assist me be taught much more, they usually appeared to understand my makes an attempt, regardless of how dangerous!

3. Burning Season

burning crops thailand

For me, one of many greatest downsides of dwelling in Chiang Mai is the burning season. In actual fact, 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 subsequent rising season and harvest.

Throughout this time, air high quality is fairly poor, and it could actually make even strolling round pretty troublesome. Some years are higher than others, however there’s a common 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 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 kind of stunning in case 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 case you select to drive, you’ll should be very cautious certainly. Even strolling may be perilous as there are only a few first rate 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 by way of public transport, and I by no means discovered it troublesome to make use of; it definitely works out cheaper than gasoline and gives 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 points of interest than a neighborhood individual, and typically the distinction may 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 need to keep 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 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, however it’s a draw back all the identical.

Is Dwelling in Chiang Mai Value It?

Like anyplace else on the planet, there are execs and cons of dwelling in Chiang Mai. It’s obviously apparent that my listing has much more execs than cons, and that’s not an accident. The whole expertise of dwelling in Chiang Mai was optimistic sufficient for me to see these downsides as small annoyances moderately than large deal-breakers, except the visa challenge.

As one of the crucial standard 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 doable. It’s additionally the primary place to satisfy different folks, 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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