The “Rose of the North” has been a prime backpacker destination for several decades. Today, the northern city of Chiang Mai continues to attract tourists from around the world as well as thousands of expats looking for a warm, economical retirement destination.
Thailand is a popular choice for those looking to retire abroad, thanks in no small part to its top-notch healthcare, inexpensive housing and friendly residents. And Chiang Mai is one of the most popular areas of the country in which to settle down.
Chiang Mai offers all the amenities of big city life at small town prices. Glitzy shopping centres, modern cinemas and wonderful restaurants all contribute to a great lifestyle for local expats. Whether you choose a modern apartment in the centre of town or a spacious house in the beautiful surrounding countryside, you will be surprised at the low monthly rental costs.
Dozens of markets throughout the city offer fresh produce for a fraction of the price you would pay in Australia. For those who miss foreign ingredients and favourite snacks, there are several large grocery stores scattered throughout the city that provide a tempting selection of international foods.
A good network of hospitals and clinics throughout the city provides excellent healthcare. Finding English-speaking doctors is never a problem and the costs are usually a fraction of what you would pay in your home country. A typical visit to a specialist will usually be less than $40.
If you love the outdoors, there are several national parks within easy driving distance. Take a spin along one of the many scenic country roads or cool off in a cascading mountain stream. The highest mountain in Thailand is a short drive away and offers spectacular vistas of the jungles and valleys below.
With its many colourful annual festivals, spectacular scenery and inexpensive cost of living, Chiang Mai could be the ideal retirement destination you are looking for.