Whether you’re just looking to spend a few months in the country or you’re looking to spend your entire retirement in Thailand, Chiang Mai is a great option to consider. Thailand as a whole is very affordable, but Chiang Mai offers an even better value than other major cities in the country such as Bangkok.
Accommodation in Chiang Mai is considered quite affordable, particularly to those more acquainted with expenses in European countries or the United States. According to this Chiang Mai rentals list for May 2016, houses with three bedrooms can range anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 baht per month for rentals and sublets.
For those interested in sharing a house or apartment, individual rooms are often available to be rented for as little as 3,500 baht.
Food is cheap in Chiang Mai as well. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you between 30 baht and 60 baht, whereas a more expensive restaurant may cost you anywhere from 300 to 700 baht. In addition to Thai food, you can also choose from a variety of Westernized restaurants. Imported beers are available as well, and will likely cost you an average of 100 baht.
For those who prefer to cook their own meals, you can visit the local markets in the city or a supermarket. Supermarkets are more expensive, but most have a variety of Western food available as well.
A loaf of bread will likely cost you about 30 baht at the supermarket, while a carton of eggs will cost you about 50 baht.
Chiang Mai offers a surplus of shopping options, and there are several large shopping malls which have just about anything you could want or need. There are plenty of bars and restaurants for you to spend time in and there are a variety of options that are geared for those from the West.
There are a number of groups and clubs geared for expats and English speakers in particular, with options for tennis, golf, dance, yoga, fitness, and even theatre.
Since Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand it is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Drive out of the city and you’ll find a variety of mountains, lakes, old villages, national parks, caves, and temples that are perfect for a day of sightseeing.
Transportation options in Chiang Mai are quite cheap. Local transportation such as Tuk Tuks and Red Trucks are available to get around with ease. Transportation on a Red Truck will cost you 20 baht, while a trip on a Tuk Tuk will cost you between 60 baht and 100 baht for about a 3 mile trip.
A motorcycle or scooter can be rented for an average of 150 baht to 200 baht a day. Transportation from Chiang Mai to other parts of Thailand and Southeast Asia by air is also available at very competitive rates.
Thailand is also known as a great place for medical care. In addition to being incredibly affordable, medical treatment is exceptional, and you can rest assured that you will be in great hands.
A teeth cleaning at the dentist will cost you about 600 baht, while a medical checkup will cost you around 200 baht. A premium health insurance policy with Bupa Blue Cross is available at around 20,000 baht a year.
Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.