Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

 Do take your shoes off when entering a temple or any residence or business establishment unless you are instructed to do otherwise. 

 Do not wear shorts in temples and try to wear shirts with sleeves.

 Do show patience with Thai people who speak English. They are speaking a foreign languare in their country. How may languages can you speak Fluently?

 Do not raise your voice, argue, or swear when talking to someone. 

 Do not say anything derogatory about the Royal family.

 Do not touch the head of children. 

Do not kiss or hug your partner in public

Those were the common ones. The ones listed below are ones that I feel deserve to be added:

 Do tip even if the service is not up to your expecations. The wages here are very low and perhaps there was a misunderstanding that led to your not being completely satisfied with the service. 

 Do smile. Many a foreigner walking around here with money bulging out of their pockets and without the common courtesy to smile, to at least say Good Morning, How are you? in Thai. Many Thai's who are not well off are smiling and courteous. 

 Do bargain but don't overdo it. Merchants have to make some profit and the prices here are very reasonable even without your bargaining down to the last baht.

 Do treat the women here as ladies as that is what they are. If they happen to work in a bar, or giving Thai massages they shouldn't be labelled as prostitutes. 

 Do realize that many people here work 7 days a week and 16 hours a day to support themselves and their families.They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect for what they have accomplished. I watch as parents bring their children to school. At one school they have to pay about $2,000 to get their child accepted into the school and this is large sum of money to many of them but they work the days and hours that they do so that their children will have a better life to look forward to. 

 Do have a great vacation and return to Chiang Mai "The Rose of the North"

The do's and dont's listed above have been shown out of my respect for Thai culture, and people and after having lived here long enough to see foreigners invade their city and help it financially but at times show little regard for the country they are visiting. 

I could not help but notice a bunch of tourists just off a bus dressed as if they were from a cartoon world parading across a beautiful bridge here in Chiang Mai, and with beer in hand including some of the ladies if I can call them that. I do not think they had a clue of what they were doing or where they were headed. 

My gut feeling was to politely ask one of them are they allowed to walk down the streets in their home city with a beer in hand at approximately 2 in the afternoon and not anywhere near a tourist area or local bars? 

Well I didn't ask. 

I wonder what they would feel like when 10-20 years from now when the Chinese become more affluent and go on tours of their country and wander around during the afternoon with beers in hand, and staring at their native women. That day will come. 

For those individuals who have not visited Thailand before I am adding a few helpful hints, ideas, and suggestions. 

From what I have seen toilets in Chiang Mai are primarily Western style. In gas stations and older establishments and in Thai homes the toilets are often squat down. 

In large shopping malls toilet tissue may be provided and in smaller bars or other places you will need to bring your own. A package that holds 6-8 smaller packages of tissue can be purchased at any 7-11 or grocery chain like Big C. It may be useful to carry a package with you just in case. 

Often I see tourists who come here without an idea of what the climate is like and they are seen to be wearing long sleeve shirts and pants and dressed alot more formally than is required here in Chiang Mai. One couple (my guess would be from Russia) was dressed up in an evening dress and suit walking down Chang Klan Road in the vicinity of the Night Bazaar. 

A young couple who thought they had to dress up to go out to dinner or night shopping. Well for your information if you dress like that here in Chiang Mai you will get more stares and people gawking at you than a 80 year man with a 20 year lady by his side. 

There are times and places to dress up, to wear long sleeved shirts and pants and to wear dressy leather shoes - but this isn't one of them. 

Oh, and the time of year at which I saw the couple dressed up formally was during the hottest time of the year here in Chiang Mai. 

So a word of advice, dress casually and comfortably. 

As to the majority of tourists that I have seen here in Chiang Mai I would say that they are respectful, courteous and even careful as to what they say, how much they tip and how they behave. To this group I would say visit Chiang Mai and Thailand again, the residents love tourists like you and this includes a farang from Canada. 

Anyone wishing to truly experience Thai living, food and people please send me an e-mail. I do not see any bed and breakfasts with Thai households and yet I consider that an experience that would be an excellent learning experience, and also a humbling one. 

If we get sufficient interest I would like to arrange foreigners to spend a day or several days living in a Thai household, it may be in the city or outside of the city. Fresh delicous food, smiling friendly faces, and both the Thai and foreigner (farang) feeling a bit awkward at the outset and yet at the end of the homestay making new friends. 

Any costs related to the homestay would go directly in their entirety to the Thai household. You would learn about the Thai people and have a pleasant day or two with them, save some money in the process and they would earn a few dollars that would go a long ways towards benefitting them. 

Good idea or wasted idea? Let me know one way or another.

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