5 Pros of Living in Chang Mai as an Expat
So you’ve been offered a new job in Chang Mai! Exciting times, but does it sound like a good idea to go and live there? What’s the lifestyle going to be like? Is it a huge cultural shock from your home country? Well, here are five reasons why living in Chang Mai is absolutely brilliant.
1. The Weather
So, it isn’t exactly the most exotic climate in the world, but having the sun on your back every day is lovely. Sunlight helps to boost vitamin D levels which can decrease the risk of cancer and other horrible illnesses! Living in Chang Mai also means you may never need to use an umbrella again (although that does depend on whether or not you’re moving to the rainy season and which seasons you choose).
2. It’s an Awesome Place for Health Nuts
There is a huge culture surrounding healthy lifestyles in Chang Mai. When people visit, they often say, ‘oh my god, everywhere I’ve gone, there’s been a vegan restaurant!’ Well, yes, because vegan restaurants are popular amongst locals and expats for their healthy and delicious food. There are also a number of yoga studios, meditation centers, and health food stores to help you on your way to a healthy Chang Mai lifestyle.
3. The Cost Of Living Is Really Low
Compared to other places in the world, the cost of living in Chang Mai is really low. You can survive on next to nothing – in fact, you can live in a beautiful mansion for less than the cost of renting one room in London. This is because rent prices are low.
If you’re offered a job here doesn’t worry about affording housing because that’s one thing that won’t be an issue for you. You’ll have so much money left over at the end of each month.
4. The Food Is Amazing
There’s more to Thai food than pad Thai – try some tom yum or khao soi! There are restaurants on the restaurant on the restaurant on a restaurant – and all of them have delicious food which is super good for you! Eating in Chang Mai won’t break the bank, and you’ll never be bored of the food because there’s just so much variety.
5. The People are So friendly
The locals in Chang Mai are some of the friendliest people on earth! They’re always happy to help out, and they go above and beyond to make sure that expats feel welcome in their city. If you’re ever feeling lost or need help with something, just ask a local, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out.
1. The Cost Of Living Can Be Fairly High
Locals often lament the rising costs of living in Chiang Mai. The cost of an apartment rental or condo can go upwards of $1000 (or more!) for something decent. Your food bills will also be higher than they might be elsewhere, as fresh produce is not very abundant, and there are no big grocery chains like TESCO or Carrefour.
2. It Can Be Difficult To Make Friends
The expat community in Chiang Mai is relatively small, and it can be tough to make friends if you don’t know many people when you arrive. There are lots of clubs and activities available, but it can still be hard to break into social circles here. Also, expats in Chiang Mai often tend to socialize only with other expats, and it can be hard to meet locals or integrate into the local community.
3. A Lack of Diversity
Chang Mai is full of friendly, laid-back people; however, this also means that things here are fairly homogenous. If you are interested in learning about different cultures and backgrounds, you might want to live somewhere with more diversity.
5 Best Areas to Live In Chang Mai
Are you a resident of Chang Mai, or are you considering moving there? It’s a great city for people who enjoy the laidback lifestyle that Thailand is known for. If you’re looking to settle down in the area, here are five of the best places to live in Chang Mai:
1. Baan Kang Wat Pao
The district of Baan Kang Wat is home to a large population of expats and locals alike. The area is safe and offers many conveniences that make it an attractive place to live, such as access to three major supermarkets and plenty of western-style restaurants.
However, the area’s main attraction is its incredibly peaceful vibe, which can largely be attributed to Baan Kang Wat Pao itself. This historic temple has brought people together for centuries, and it remains one of Chang Mai’s most popular attractions.
2. Huay Kaew Road
Huay Kaew Road is filled with upmarket stores, hotels, and restaurants. If you’re looking for a luxurious area to live in, this is it. Huay Kaew Road also offers easy access to some of the best hiking trails in the city. Besides, who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning and be surrounded by mountains? Also, there are many nearby spas, which themselves are an attraction.
3. Nimmanhaemin Road
Next up is the district of Nimmanhaemin Road, which has become incredibly popular among westerners in recent years. It’s known as the “hippest place to live” because it’s full of trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars. It also has a local night market with lots of delicious food and trendy clothes and trinkets. The locals in the area speak English, which is another attraction for foreigners.
4. Huay Kaew
Living in Huay Kaew offers many of the same benefits as living on Huay Kaew Road but at a more affordable price. Along with great restaurants, it has convenient access to the weekend market and Wat Suan Dok, which is another one of Chang Mai’s most historic attractions. It also offers short proximity to many of Chang Mai’s famous attractions, including Doi Suthep Mountain Temple, Elephant Nature Park, and Mae Sa Waterfall.
5. Hang Dong
Why live in the city when you could live in the forest? The district of Hang Dong is one of the most popular places for expats to settle down. It’s located near many fantastic outdoor attractions, including Elephant Nature Park, Doi Suthep Mountain Temple, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Another major advantage of living in Hang Dong is the lower cost of living compared to the city.
Frequently Asked Questions about Living in Chang Mai
Why did I choose to move to Chang Mai?
What made me pick Chang Mai is that I wanted somewhere smaller than Bangkok and more interesting than a beach area. I’ve stayed in the city before, and it felt like a really good fit. I’d heard from other people who had moved here how good it was, so I went for it!
How did I go about finding an apartment?
I didn’t look online because each complex has its own website, but I’d recommend it if you don’t mind the possibility of having to email every single one. What worked for me was walking around and asking questions at apartments that might be good for me, like rent price, whether there was a pool or gym, and whether they had any permanent residents.
Did I need to sign a lease?
Not always. I’d recommend finding one you like and then asking about the contract length if that interests you. It’s normally around three years but can be less or more depending on the complexity. You might also ask how many months’ notice you need to give when you want to leave; some places can be quite strict.
How does apartment management work?
There are staff at every complex that will help you with anything you need regarding the rent or any maintenance issues. They’ll usually come out to your place within a couple of days if something breaks down, and they’re really helpful about showing new residents around when they move in!
If you’re looking for a relaxed and culturally rich city to live in, Chang Mai might be the perfect spot for you. Located in the north of Thailand, Chang Mai is known for its beautiful temples and lush green landscapes. Nonetheless, always check this platform for more updates about living in Chang Mai as an expat.