"The longer I stay here, the more I realise I’ve made a good choice," says Leo Ellis of his new home in the colourful Thai city of Chiang Mai. Leo moved here in 2012—at the modest age of 87. Four years later, he’s as happy as ever to call it home.
About Derek Workman
David Smith spent every holiday for 20 years in Thailand, revelling in the country’s culture and way of life. In 2002, at the age of 52, he found himself unemployed and decided the time was right to move there permanently.
Many people think of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand as Chiang Mai’s little brother but most of those who live there take that as a compliment. True, there isn’t the nightlife that you find in its big brother a three-hour drive south but that’s more than made up for by the easy pace of life, deliciously spicy Lana food and some weirdly wonderful local attractions.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that since I arrived in Chiang Mai in January last year I’ve barely left the city. It’s simply because I find it so engaging. I’m not a barfly (I drink very little alcohol so that barely registers in my budget) and having spent a number of years as a restaurant reviewer I’m no longer attracted to fancy restaurants at fancy prices. I prefer to cycle or walk for the simple pleasure of discovering the more idiosyncratic side of Thai life. I live a comfortable and enjoyable life and don’t feel as if I miss anything that other expats on larger incomes might be experiencing.