Do you want to live in Chiang Mai, Thailand?

Living in Chiang Mai

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How to retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand?

Retiring in Chiang Mai

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Find Expats living in Chiang Mai, Thailand?

Expats in Chiang Mai

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How much does it cost to live in Chiang Mai?

Cost of Living Chiang Mai

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Find Expat Friendly Services in Chiang Mai?

Expat Business Services

Business Services

Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai has become very popular with travellers and is a great destination for people wanting to retire or live overseas. If you are thinking of spending time in Chiang Mai or Thailand, then Living in Chiang Mai is your best guide to making the most of your trip.

Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city, with a population of roughly 500,000 people and an estimated expat population of more than 40,000 foreigners. Chiang Mai is the cultural centre of Thailand and also has a thriving commercial centre, as well as been a favourite tourist destination.

Moving To Chiang Mai

Moving to Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are many reasons people choose to move to Chiang Mai, for most it’s the amazing lifestyle it has to offer and the relative cheap cost of living. Chiang Mai also enjoys a well-established network of services, malls, markets, schools, clubs, entertainment, shops and social circles.

In Chiang Mai, English is commonly spoken and there are plenty of services by locals catering for the expat community. If you are serious about moving to Chiang Mai, we would highly recommend subscribing to and supporting the Living in Chiang Mai subscriptions.

Expats Living in Chiang Mai

There is a good reason why expats living in Chiang Mai are on the increase. Chiang Mai has been rated among the top ten most liveable cities in Asia and in US. News an American publication, rated Chiang Mai as one of the best places to retire. Chiang Mai also has affordable housing options and good medical services.

Just about anything can be found in Chiang Mai. It’s a great place to stay for the young travellers on their gap year, the American digital nomad & travel bloggers, teachers, Eat, Pray, Loves on spiritual journeys and yoga courses or those wishing to retire and live a lifestyle they could never afford back home.

Retiring in Chiang Mai

Retiring in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is one of the best places to retire, based on the modern health care, low crime, low cost of living, Western amenities and things to do. Apartments, condos and houses are abundant where one can rent a nice place for as little 3000 to 15,000 baht per month, which is about $100 to $480. If you go to the old city, there are lots of places and accommodation for both long and short-term travellers that can be had for 150-500 baht per day, these often come with a private bathroom, balcony and free Wi-Fi.

Chiang Mai a great place for a cheap cost of living, comfortable atmosphere, awesome food, and welcoming people.

Cost of Living in Chiang Mai

The basic cost of living in Chiang Mai is generally cheaper than most places in the world. How cheap of course mainly depends on your lifestyle. As a general guide to the cost of living in Chiang Mai, you could live simply and comfortably on about 15,000 baht to 25,000 baht per month (US$480-US$800). This all depends on your budget, most expat couples prefer a few more comforts from home and seem to spend around US$1500 a month for two people. Food is usually very cheap in Chiang Mai and eating out is affordable with great deals available.

Entertainment is also pretty affordable in Chiang Mai. Going out to the cinema can cost as little as a 100 Baht per ticket (US$3.20).

Teaching in Chiang Mai

Working & Teaching in Chiang Mai

The most popular way of working and living in Chiang Mai is to teach. Teaching English in Chiang Mai is in high demand for qualified teachers. However, it has become more difficult for non-qualified teachers in recent years. The good news is there a number of decent TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) courses in Chiang Mai. The teaching courses in Chiang Mai usually last for about 4 weeks and cost about US$1500.

It is also possible for expats to start a businesses in Chiang Mai. However, Thailand in general can be tricky for foreigners to start a business. Non-Thais can usually only own 49 percent of a business, we suggest you do your homework and be very careful as to who you decide to partner up with. Some of the most successful businesses for expats are online businesses. If you are not sure how to do this, join and learn how to start an online business in Thailand.

Places to Stay in Chiang Mai

There are plenty of short and long-stay options available in Chiang Mai. For the long-stay expat, rent is one of the real bargains in Chiang Mai. The main reason for this is that there seems to be an oversupply of condos, apartments and houses. There also does not seem to be an end to new developments coming up. Houses can be as little as 5,000 Baht per month in a Thai neighbourhood to a nice suburban house, fully-furnished costing around 25,000 Baht per month.

For the short-term traveller to Chiang Mai, there are many guest houses, backpackers, apartments, happy to extend the stay of their guests at a discounted rate. Which can be rented on a month per month basis, popular with digital nomads living in Chiang Mai.

What to do in Chiang Mai

What to do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is not just a great spot for living and retiring. Chiang Mai is also the launch pad for most adventure activities in Thailand. Very popular with young travellers wanting to do volunteering and trekking. Chiang Mai is also popular with what is locally referred to as the Eat, Pray, Love community. Lots of yoga course, meditation, spiritual pursuits and amazing food. Some even find the love of their life's here.

Chiang Mai can be the city of new beginnings and many expats from Europe find their way here for six months of the year just to rejuvenate, relax and escape the rat race. Below is a list of the many things you can do and places of interest in Chiang Mai.

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  • Business in Chiang Mai

    Business Services in Chiang Mai

    Find farang or expat friendly business and local services in Chiang Mai. Their are many great and reliable expat run business to choose from.

  • Markets in Chiang Mai

    Some of the best markets in Thailand are in Chiang Mai. The Sunday Walking Street Market and Night Bazaar Market near the old city are amongst the best.

  • Spa & Thai Massage in Chiang Mai

    There is a wide range of luxury spas and traditional Thai massages in Chiang Mai. We highly recommend you try a 'medical' Thai massage for the best result.

  • Tours in Chiang Mai

    There are a lot of trekking operators for the adventure seeking travelers. If you wish to get to know Chiang Mai, we recommend a private guided tour or a Meet & Greet for new expats.

  • Entertainment in Chiang Mai

    There is always something to do in Chiang Mai. Lots if events, live music and festivals. A few malls have cinemas or ice-skating available.

  • Teaching Jobs in Chiang Mai

    Teaching English in the local and private schools is a popular way in which expats make a living in Chiang Mai. Find a teaching job!

  • Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai

    Much of the social activity in Chiang Mai revolves around drinking coffee. There is very good coffee grown locally by the hill tribes.

  • Food in Chiang Mai

    Here is where you get spoiled for choice. The local Lanna dishes are some of the most delicious in Thailand. Local organic food available in the markets.

  • Yoga in Chiang Mai

    Popular with female solo travelers and the more flexible, try out one of the many yoga class in Chiang Mai. There are also beginner courses for yoga available.

  • Restaurants in Chiang Mai

    People love to eat in Thailand and you are never far from a great restaurant in Chiang Mai. There is both Eastern and Western-style restaurants and food served in Chiang Mai.

  • Dating in Chiang Mai

    This seems to be a rather popular activity amongst single expats in Chiang Mai. Many romantic spots around and affordable.

  • TEFL & Teaching Courses in Chiang Mai

    If you wish to teach English in Chiang Mai or Thailand, we recommend a TEFL or Celta course. There are a few places in Chiang Mai.

Supporting the People & Conservation

There are a few ways you can help support us. If you are a business helping expats then please sponsor a page in the "Free Chiang Mai Flyer". If you are moving to Chiang Mai or Thailand, then please subscribe to "Living in Thailand Survival Guide". Or if you prefer you can also Donate. We are non profit community based and any support is most welcome. Thank You!

'' Moving to a new city or country is a big decision to make. Especially when the culture and language is different from home. Having the support and information from the expat community and meeting others who've been through it before was vital in making our choice to move and live in Chiang Mai a success. ''

An American Expat Living in Chiang Mai

''Many expats are involved in volunteering in Chiang Mai. We try to support the local wildlife, birds, elephants, tigers, parks, even the street dogs and other conservation projects in the area. Expats are involved in helping preserving the things that make Chiang Mai a great place to live in. It can be difficult at times in a ever-changing and modernizing world, but we do what we can.''

Volunteering in Chiang Mai, Thailand

How Start Living in Chiang Mai?

Join Chiang Mai Expat Community Living in Thailand.

Start an Online Business in Chiang Mai

Over the years we have seen many expats move to Chiang Mai from all over the world. What still amazes us is how little thought or preparation is taken before coming here to live long-term. Remember that living in Thailand and visiting Thailand as a tourist are two very different things. Chiang Mai is a great place to live but there are still some obstacles and unrealistic expectation that need to be overcome if you wish to live a successful life in Chiang Mai. Remember that even dating Thai girls in Chiang Mai can get expensive, you need a plan to stay long-term. Before you take a leap into the unknown, serious about making a change and living in Chiang Mai or Thailand. Then we suggest you subscribe to our Living in Chiang Mai Magazine. Bi-monthly you will receive a newsletter breaking down the basics you need to thrive in Chiang Mai. Also we can get you set up and started with a website, social media marketing and online business listings. Help with the basics on "How To Start An Online Business In Chiang Mai". Your subscription will help us support many of the community and conservation projects we love in Chiang Mai.


Why just survive when you can Thrive!

Get started living in Chiang Mai

How to Start Living in Chiang Mai & Thailand

Supporting the community

Supporting the Community & Environment

How To Start an Online Business in Thailand

Make money and live a successful life in Thailand.

Free Chiang Mai Flyer

Living in Chiang Mai , is a local community flyer for the expats living in Chiang Mai and is free to subscribe to. Starting from humble beginnings as a expat digital newsletter for sharing advice on expat-friendly businesses, medical, retirement, travel, volunteering, places to stay, shopping, coffee shops and general meet ups. Living in Chiang Mai has grown to include thousands of subscribers from all over the world. We are pleased to announce that a printed version of the free Chiang Mai flyer will now be available at multiple locations around Chiang Mai. If you would like to contribute to the flyer, write an article or be a sponsor. Then please contact us!