Why Retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand?

Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of Thailand. Its right sized (1.6 M), warm, friendly, and lush. Smiling people. 3 restaurant meals cost $7.50 a day!

I could go on all day about life in Chiang Mai but, before I start raving, let me point out that my town was voted was voted #2 in the "Worlds Best Cities" in the 2010 survey of Travel Leisure readers. It was voted #1 by HSBC Bank’s expat customers worldwide as the best expat city on earth. So it’s not just me.http://www.chiangmaiisme.com/retirement-chiang-mai-thailand/why-retire-in-chiang-mai-thailand-1.jpg

I’ll write more about this in later posts, but let’s look at the basics first. And the most basic element of living anywhere is having an affordable roof over your head. Here’s mine, at right. It’s what’s called here a moo baan: an apartment or housing community with its own security and, often, restaurants, gyms, etc. My 1-bedroom place is brand new and has a study (with free high-speed Internet), a large airy, modern bathroom, living room and kitchen. It’s on a green hillside in a quiet, winding street, 10 minutes walk to the University campus. The cost? $240/month.

Now that we’ve found somewhere to live, what about something to eat? I eat out 3 meals a day. A big breakfast of rice congee (porridge) with pork balls, raw egg, green scallions, fresh ginger and noodles. Lunch is garlic chicken with savory fresh vegetables and steamed rice. Dinner is a smoothie: a whole fresh coconut blended with either an avocado or with 2 bananas and 4 passionfruit. My total food bill for all three meals? $7.50. Total.
I hope I’ve got your attention with this little introduction.
 
There are another 38 reasons why I live in Chiang Mai and I’ll get into them in future posts. Next time I’ll talk a little about the beer here, and how a large bottle of premium beer, ice cold and served at your table, costs 65¢....




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