Chiang Mai : Thailand


What It Is Like to Retire in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, an historic city located along the Ping River and within some of Thailand's tallest mountains, is frequently cited on this website as a top place to retire. The friendly people, beautiful setting, and low cost of living are among the major reasons. It is said you can live here comfortably for $1,000 per month. The area is famous for its more than 300 Buddhist temples. Downtown Chiang Mai is a bustling place with cafes and markets. It is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. Photo of person walking along wall courtesy of Martin-Manuel Beaulne and Wikipedia in the public domain.


Where to Retire in Chiang Mai and Home Prices

There are limitations on what foreigners can do about purchasing property, especially land. But there are plenty of rentals and condos as living options. Large homes in gated communities in this city are very inexpensive compared to similar ones in the U.S. Looking at various listings online it looks like condos are available for purchase from around 2,000,000 baht (about $65,000 US) and homes from 8,000,000 to 13,000,000. One U.S. dollar is worth 31 baht. Renting a house is possible from around 12,000 baht ($400 a month).


What Is Special about Chiang Mai

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the city's most famous temple, stands on Doi Suthep, a hill to the northwest of the city. This temple dates from 1383. The setting is very picturesque and there is much to see and do.


What Is Not Special about Chiang Mai

For Americans and Europeans this is a very distant and strange country to live in. Air pollution is an increasing problem.


Who Will Like Retirement in Chiang Mai

Adventurous souls looking for a low cost, interesting and highly exotic lifestyle. World travelers and former U.S. soldiers with experience in Southeast Asia will find it familar.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism is very important - over 1,000,000 foreign tourists come here per year.


Climate and Physical Environment

The temperature does not change much since Thailand is near the Equator (it's hot year round - average temp in the high 70's and 80's. The summer brings the rainy season. Chaing Mai is more than 400 miles north of Bangkok in the mountains - the elevation is about 1,000'.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Chaing Mai has numerous festivals throughout the year. Those include Loi Krathong, which feautures decorative lanterns sent skyward, and the Flower Festival. Of course for those who love Thai food the many restaurants are a big attraction.



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Medical Facilities

Some expats report that medical care is inexpensive and of high quality.



Chaing Mai has an international airport and a rail link to Bangkok. There is also bus service. Around town 3 wheel tuk-tuks are a popular and inexpensive way to get around.


Valuable Links

The Chaing Mai lifestyle (useful information)


What people are saying about Chiang Mai

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