Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand with a population of 150,000 and the gateway to many cultural treasures. Set in a valley surrounded by mountains, the cool season starts from early December and finishes late February and is the most popular time to visit Chiang Mai, weather-wise. During the day the temperatures will reach a pleasant 30°C. Over 10 million tourists are expected to visit this year and the TAT Chiang Mai Office has prepared many tourism activities all year round to attract more tourist arrivals. Chiang Mai is a gateway to the Mekong region and as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development; the government will build a second airport and improve infrastructure and transport to stimulate economic growth. Lower living costs, easy access to nature, a rich culture, and a strong community combine to make Chiang Mai an attractive option for relocation.
The biggest advantage of living in Chiang Mai is the low cost of living. There are properties to suit every budget, with some condominiums and townhouses starting out as low as half a million Baht.
Greater Chiang Mai is very large but the central area is compact and easy to get around. There are over 300 temples, many of which can be found in the Old Town. Residents in this area experience a truly Thai cultural experience and can easily walk to all amenities around this busy part of the city.
The Night Bazaar area offers great shopping, entertainment, street food, and upmarket restaurants. Muay Thai boxing schools and yoga schools are found Mueang which is the main district of the city.
Set high up on a hillside, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep towers over Chiang Mai and is one of the most revered Buddhist temples in the whole of northern Thailand. It features a shining golden chedi and offers great views of the city below.
Make sure you explore some of the beautiful natural surroundings. Doi Inthanon is the tallest mountain in Thailand and the national park that encompasses it showcases some truly stunning scenery. The park has hiking trails, waterfalls, and two stunning pagodas.
Standard of Living in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has a slower pace of living than the larger, hectic city lifestyle of Bangkok. Crowds and traffic congestion are concentrated in the central areas and do not impact on daily life. While there is not a formal public transport system, a light rail system covering 35 kilometers is being built and there are plenty of cheap options for getting around including taxis, songthaew trucks, and motorcycles.
The cost of living is almost 20% lower than Bangkok and over 40,000 expats have chosen to live in Chiang Mai. There are decent choices for schooling, healthcare and other key facilities that serve the community. Visitors to Thailand must obtain a visa from one of the Thai diplomatic missions unless they come from a visa-exempt country or a country whose citizens are eligible to obtain visas on arrival.
Buddhism is the most common Thailand religion with approximately 95% of the population following this Theravada religion. This City is characterized by reasonably priced housing and is a good place to live with good safety and taxation.
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