Thailand’s northern capital is rich in contrast. You’ll find this sprawling, modern city nestled amongst forested foothills. Here, you can lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the vibrant centre or head in any direction to immerse yourself in lush green countryside.
Chiang Mai enjoys a year-round warm climate and, although it does get a little chilly at night in the winter months, it still reaches the balmy mid-20s C during the day.
Live in the centre of the city and enjoy all it has to offer. You can shop at the local markets and pick up fresh fruits and veggies for bargain prices. Markets throughout the city offer hand-made clothing, furniture and day-to-day items for a fraction of what you would pay at home.
When the sun goes down, there is no shortage of places to gather with friends. Dine at one of the hundreds of wonderful restaurants or sit back and relax at one of the live music venues in the city. Pick up a tasty dish from one of the hundreds of street vendors for as little as a dollar and visit with neighbours in one of the many outdoor dining areas.
Textiles, gold, silver and ceramics are only some of the items that are showcased on a regular basis in galleries around town. Many cultural events happen throughout the year where expats and local Thais work together in the community. With over 30,000 expats living in the city, it’s not hard to find others with the same interests as you.
The local international airport offers daily scheduled flights to Bangkok for less than $70. From there the world is your oyster. A trip to the nearest beach resort town in the southern part of the country will cost about the same.
As more and more people discover this gem, Chiang Mai is not as sleepy and slow-paced as it once was, but the lifestyle is still attractive and laidback when compared with the hectic schedules many of us are used to. With the great climate, good shopping, excellent healthcare and friendly locals, it may be a great fit for your retirement years.