Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

There are times where we recommend train travel over plane travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. But in 90% of cases we recommend taking the plane.

The train will take about 13 hr. versus 1 hr. by plane. There is nothing to see on the train folks. Some trees and hills and that is it. No lakes, beaches, cities, just trees and hills if you take the day train and nothing to see at all at night. So ante up the additional 600-700 baht or $16-20 US and have an additional 12 x 2 = 24 hr. more in Chiang Mai.

We see many people coming here daily by train with a backpack. Well if they cannot afford the additional $20 US then they did the right thing. Otherwise what a waste of time and a waste of one day of a vacation. They all look exhaused and in need of a bath when they get off the train.

My next tip is to get yourself a good map of Chiang Mai. It used to be that McDonalds on ChangKlan rd. had the maps but on the most recent visit there I did not see any maps. I would try the train station, airport, and your local hotel. Do spend a little bit of time geting familiar with the layout of the city. It isn't difficult. No need to get lost or to waste your precious vacation time.

Drink plenty of water. You can buy a large chilled bottle of water in 7-11 for only 5 baht which is about 14 cents US. The temperatures at times need getting used to. If you get dehydrated you could get a case of the runs. Then you will blame it on a fast food meal which will not have been the cause and you will give people a false impression of eating from the small food vendors. THE FOOD IS SAFE FROM THE SAMLL VENDORS ... but you may have problems if YOU BECOME DEHYDRATED.

Dress casually and wear shorts, sandals or slip ons, short sleeve shirts, CASUAL IS THE WORD OF THE DAY.. No sense perspiring in long pants or wear socks. When you enter all residences and many businesses you will have to take your shoes off. So no need to wear socks. Wear a cap as you may end up spending more time than you thought in the sun.

Do not rent a car if you do not need one. Driving here takes getting used to. Read over our Driving in Chiang Mai page and you will see why. If you do rent a car we highly recommend North Wheels. Chiang Mai's BIGGEST and Chiang Mai's BEST in our opinion.

Do not be afraid to take the taxi's. Not the taxi's that you are accustomed to but rather the red taxi's here. They are pickups converted to taxi's and very inexpensive. A tuk tuk is noiser, smellier as you inhale the propane fumes and actually cost more than a red taxi which is larger and more comfortable believe it or not. If you want negotiate a rate with a red taxi and you will get the exclusive use of the taxi. The rates are VERY CHEAP compared to most places in the world.

Avoid McDonalds. There are only a couple of McDonals in town. To see people come all this way and go to a McDonals for the fattening, non-nutricous foods that they serve when you can have fresh, delcious food prepared for a fraction of the cost at restaurants and street vendors total amazes me. Folks, I saw a program on TV that showed a high school kid who just completed a study. He went to about 6 different popular fast food outlets in a major city in North America. He took a sample of the ice that is served with the drinks and water from the TOILET. Do you know which is safer to drink. Well the kids at the fast food outlets did not wash their hands or use gloves and therefore believe it or not the toilet water was safer to drink. Also I saw a program about a healthy man who went on a eat only at McDonalds diet. If you saw what he looked like after 30 days of Big Mac's and super sizing his fries you WOULD NEVER WANT TO TAKE YOUR KIDS THERE EVER AGAIN. But this is my opinion.

The food here in Chiang Mai is so fresh, delicous and well prepared that I am surprised to see anyone at all in McDonalds or the fast food outlets here. In fact here there are no drive thru's. You actually sit down and eat your meal.

There are many bargain items here in Chiang Mai be it locally made crafts or items made in where else, China. When you pack to come over here leave some room for items you will buy. To repeat, there are many bargains here. We recommend bringing a photo you want painted. Bring it with you or email it to us and we will get it painted and deliver it to you when you arrive. The painters here are top notch and the prices are ridiculously low for a painting that will take several days to complete. A painting that you will cherish forever whether it is of you and your wife, girlfriend, family, or mom and dad.

We have tour guides that will show you the city. They will save you money on transportation, save you money on meals, allow you to see more and do more. They will take photos of you, be in photos with you, be pleasant company for you. So for individuals, families or groups we find this has been in high demand and if you are interested let us know and we will book a tour guide for you. Go to McDonals on you own and spend 300 baht for a meal that leaves much to be desired in terms of nutrition or have yourself the best buffet you have ever had for third of the price. A great buffet, filling and nutritous, prompt and courteous service and a relaxing setting by the riverside.

Do as much as you can here. Take as many photos as you can. There are a multitude of things to do for young and old.

Carry lower denomination Thai currency. If you show a 100 baht note the price amazingly may be 98 baht. So best to get 20 and 50 and 100 baht notes. The money changing booths will have the same rates as the banks.

Try a massage be it body or foot. The prices are very affordable and after a long flight or a day shopping it could just make you feel like a million again.

If you enjoy an alcoholic drink with your meals then bring your own bottle to the restaurant. Many restaurants allow this practice. It will save you money and give you an opportunity to enjoy your favourite drink. Seagrams the World's Largest Distiller is the brand name of a Thai whisky and rum and trust me, it is GOOD and a third to a quarter of the price you would pay back home.

If you get a chance sign up for a day at a Thai cooking school. Learn to cook some Thai dishes and enjoy eating what you have cooked. Get a free recipe book and then return home to enjoy new mouth watering dishes that will surprise your family and friends.

So make the best of your vacation to Chiang Mai. Do not be afraid to eat from the local street vendors, do not be afraid to jump into a red taxi to get around town, and if you need anything when you are here give us a shout. Happy Vacationing from Yupini & George

related pages..

Nightlife in Chiang Mai

Jewelry Stores in Chiang Mai

Best Tailors in Chiang Mai

Best Dentist in Chiang Mai



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