Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

Chiang Mai is a lovely city and everyone I know who is retired here plans on remaining here.
For all the good and bad things about Chiang Mai I love it here.

Just so you know what to expect when you visit Chiang Mai or move here permanently this page has been added.

Read it over and remember what is written as some day it will happen to you when you are in Chiang Mai.

The things I love most about Chiang Mai are the Thai people first and foremost, next the affordability of the city, then the food.

Accommodation in Chiang Mai

Thai people work hard and compared to Western standards I would say VERY hard. In Western countries the unions have come in and protected the workers when they were mistreated and paid very little and since then the Unions are now protecting workers that do very little and negotiating wages that are far and above over what the job is worth. Here in Thailand there is no social welfare system, or unemployment. You have to work hard and you get paid what you are worth in most cases or the person utilizing your services will go elsewhere. So Thai people work 7 days a week and often 12 hours to 14 hours a day. When they get a day off they make the best of it and visit friends and family.

What I have seen recently is that Thai people enjoy to have a sip of alcohol now and then. A shot of whisky with water on the side or mixed wih water. Even Chiang beer or Singha in the evening with a meal or at a nightclub or even a small stand selling booze.

They work hard and are under alot of pressure and this is one of their releases so I recognize that and from what I have seen they have something to drink and are happy and NEVER loud or angy or looking to fight someone which happens in Western countries.

Hats of to the Thai people who are friendly, try to speak English, work very hard and in the most part are very honest. If the Thai people were any different this place would not be the same.

Affordablility is next and you have to come here and live like a Thai to recognize the great prices and values. I can have a breakfast at the Sheraton or Princess Hotel for $9-10 U.S. or I can have a rice soup in a pork broth with a large dish of rice, pork, fresh vegetables, with a large side dish of tomatoes and cucumbers and have a large glass of juice and ice for 60 cents U.S. which when I finish I always say it was too much and I should not have ordered that much.

So my friends there are two different prices here. One for tourists and farangs and one for the Thai's. Thai's can live here on less because they know how and that comes to eating and drinking and chasing the ladies and commuting about town.

If you think you can come here and live like a Thai I doubt it. It takes time to learn how and the willingness to eat different types of food and experience a change in living from you are accustomed to and that can be good for you.

Lastly the food which is delicious and not inexpensive but rather cheap.

I used to think that buying the sliced up fresh fruits was a great deal and now see that I can buy at the large produce market and enjoy fresh, locally grown produce for an even lower price. Last week I bought 3 pineapples for 20 baht which is about 60 cents U.S. The pineapples were cut up each day and tasted great and each day there was too much there for the two of us to eat so we shared the pineapple with a lady and her young son that ran the small Thai restaurant.

When I first arrived in Chiang Mai I had no idea where to find the best food, best value meals, how to live here well and on less money. It was by living with a Thai family that I learned what I know now. When I see people coming here to retire I say in all honesty they do not have a clue as how to live here affordably. I have yet to see one farang or foreigner come here to retire and do it the right way.

My thinking has changed in that regards from what I believed initially and now I suggest to my clients living here in a Thai complex, eating like the Thai people and commuting around not by foot or tuk tuk but rather by motorbike as most of the Thai people use as their primary means of transportation.

In that way they will spend less to live here and yet live here comfortably, eat healthy foods, go where they want when they want and have a better chance of meeting a nice Thai lady if they are men who are living here on their own. I know that many nice Thai ladies stay in small apartment complexes that can be very nice and similar to a nice hotel room but larger with more amenities. I do not know of any Thai ladies that reside at Hillside 4 condo complex.

So that is it for the BEST OF CHIANG MAI.


If you think it is the climate, crime, safety, services you are absolutely wrong. The climate is fine, I do not see any crime and trust Thai people more than Canadians, and the services here are better and much more affordable than in Canada.

The worst things that I see living in Chiang Mai are the animals many who are ill or have a broken leg or paw and or not treated well and have to eat garbage at nights.

I see fear in their faces and if you know pets you can look at a dog and tell right off the bat if the pet is happy or not. Here cats and dogs have miserable lives and if I had the means to do something about it I would.

The driving here takes getting used to and the car drivers are too agressive and pass wherever they want, and ignore the rules of the road. The police are never around to enforce the rules so there are no rules. Make them up if you want.

The tuk tuk drivers speed about when they have passengers in an effort to scare them in my opinion so that they will be glad to get out and pay a tip to get out. The tuk tuk drivers drive very slowly when they have no passengers and much too quickly when they have passengers. A tuk tuk driver can hold 3 passengers at most and charges more than a red taxi that is roomier, more comfortable and holds more passengers. In a tuk tuk you have to put up with the horrible propane fumes as you drive about. Try it once and then go for an automatic motorbike rental or a red taxi (convered pick up truck with bench seating at back).

The bars here have ladies working there to make money. Without male customers with whom they get tips or bar fines the city would not be the same. Hundreds of ladies rely on the money they make in bars for their living and for that of other members of the family. If someone thinks that the young attractive ladies derive pleasure from being with a male twice her age who has too much to drink then they should think again.

In fact if you add the ladies that work in go go bars, beer bars, karaoke, massage, and men's clubs you would find that THOUSANDS of Thai ladies are employed in these establishments.

The establishments often take advantage of the ladies. The massage establishments pay the ladies a small fraction of what the customer pays for a massage and that goes for the men's clubs. The ladies working at the bars seem to have it the easiest as they sit around waiting for customers. Their income is not quaranteed and as they get older there is less demand for their services be it someone to talk to, or someone to take out.

This is one time I would like to see a Union and to see the ladies get paid more.

The farangs or foreigners that come here are often men and they come because of the ladies. The ladies have to learn how to max out the earnings from these male clients as some are cheap and they will likely not see them again.

The owners of the Massage, Men's Clubs, Beer Bars, and Go Go's are the one's that I dislike. They use the ladies and have no thoughts about the well being of the ladies. Now this may not be the case in every situation and there may be exceptions but I call a Spade a Spade. Most bar owners do csre about the Thai ladies working there. Recruit them while they are young and attractive and replace them with someone younger and better looking.

If you want to come to Chiang Mai on vacation or to retire this is a great city. Stay away from the bars as your money will go faster than you can count it. You can meet a lovely Thai lady without resorting to going to the bars, paying bar fines, or paying bar tabs where the bar owners will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Find a nice Thai lady if you are here to stay long term and if you are on your own. Treat the lady well and set something aside for her as she is giving you some of the best years of her life and she needs something in return.

The Thai ladies are treasures and should be treated with respect, and kindness. They often have worked harder than you or I, have had to do things that you and I would never do, and have little to show for their efforts. Where a good farang comes along and settles down with a Thai lady I know that both of them are extremely happy. She gets the security she needs and he gets the care and loving he requires.

A nightclub serving water, juice and pop and no alcohol. A nightclub where Western men could meet Thai ladies. That is what we need here. Not bar owners who put little into their tiny run down bars and yet promote themselves as being the best bar in Chiang Mai.

The small bars here that have one pool table, are tucked away on some side street, employ attractive Thai ladies who are paid to encourage Western men to drink as much as possible and I could mention names but I won't should be closed down and replaced with establishments that have quiet music, serve non-alcoholic beverages, and have things for the Thai lady and Western man to do, and have a translator on hand to help with the communications.

At the end of the night the man could pay a fee for the companionship of the lady and if they both wanted to they could arrange to meet for lunch or dinner on a following day. Call it matchmaking, introduction, social club. Much better than a run down bar with loud music, serving booze and no food, pushy waitresses, and without even a place where someone can sit down comfortably and talk to someone who they find interesting.

Well I am sure I will get some comments on this web page from farangs who think that the bars are fine and the girls there would raised just to please them.

But I did not write this page to anger people but rather to alert people to what things are really like here in Chiang Mai or in fact Thailand. I dislike seeing the ladies getting taken advantage of and I am thrilled when I see a farang settle down here with a Thai lady and seeing them happy as can be together.

related pages..
Retirement to Chiang Mai

Retirement to Chiang Rai

Retirement to Pattaya

Retirement to Phuket



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