Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've observed this and other forums now for several months, and the time is rapidly approaching when I'll be in the country - not reading about it on an internet board.

According to my most recent contact - a man who has lived and worked in Pattaya for the last twenty years - my plan to settle in Chiang Mai is nothing more than a pipe dream fueled by expat forum hokum.

He says moving to Chiang Mai is "going native." He swears there are few if any English speakers to be found this far north, that the food is either familiar and fabulously expensive or totally alien and unfit for consumption, that the social climate is very hostile to those without a Thai spouse, and so on, ad nauseum.

When I first started looking at retirement in Thailand, I was struck by the large number of English-speaking expatriates in Chiang Mai, and the very well-developed infrastructure for making outsiders feel at home. Was that entirely mistaken on my part, or do I have a correspondent with tunnel vision?

Any input is welcome, and I have no ax to grind in this matter. I'm still coming to CM for a short visit, and also plan to check out Kuala Lumpur and Pattaya. I'll return to the US to make my final decision, so it's not a live or die thing at this point. Opinions?
 
G

·
Sorry AP, but your contact is talking out of his proverbial. Chiang Mai is a very friendly place, and comparatively speaking - next to Pattaya - very safe. In the years I've spent there I've never had a hint of a problem. You can spend your time with as many or as few expats as you want - it's that sort of town. The food is cheap, certainly next to Pattaya where I've been several times. The social climate isn't the least bit hostile. I honestly haven't a clue how anyone could come out with such a load of BS, but I would say that although there are exceptions, a certain sort of farang picks Pattaya as a place to live, so I'm not entirely surprised.

I would kick your correspondent into touch, and find someone reliable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry AP, but your contact is talking out of his proverbial. Chiang Mai is a very friendly place, and comparatively speaking - next to Pattaya - very safe. In the years I've spent there I've never had a hint of a problem. You can spend your time with as many or as few expats as you want - it's that sort of town. The food is cheap, certainly next to Pattaya where I've been several times. The social climate isn't the least bit hostile. I honestly haven't a clue how anyone could come out with such a load of BS, but I would say that although there are exceptions, a certain sort of farang picks Pattaya as a place to live, so I'm not entirely surprised.

I would kick your correspondent into touch, and find someone reliable!
Thanks. I have considerable reason to doubt the man, but he does come through family channels. Of course he's the black sheep because of his profession, but I try not to indulge in moral judgement.

Heaven knows I'm no saint....
 
G

·
Thanks. I have considerable reason to doubt the man, but he does come through family channels. Of course he's the black sheep because of his profession, but I try not to indulge in moral judgement.

Heaven knows I'm no saint....
Nor I, but a guy deliberately choosing Pattaya in all of Thailand is a bit like deciding to move to the Netherlands, and renting a flat on top of one of the red light booths in Amsterdam's red light district, between the Banana Bar and a lap-dancing club. It kind of makes a statement about you and your priorities... (again there are exceptions, and I know one or two...). Sure you can avoid the red light district - if you walk about with your eyes closed.

In Pattaya you're not really living in Thailand, just in a farang's fantasy land, and one that I find a bit sordid after a few days there. Less friendly, in your face, hard-bitten girls, dirty, loud, just a slight feel of menace that you don't get elsewhere. I stayed in a friend's villa each time, on the outskirts of town. Not so bad there, but it's like a farang ghetto with nothing but villas, nearly all belonging to Westerners, plus a few hi-so Thais. A 150B taxi ride into town, and you can escape, but what to? A farang sexpat's playground, zero culture, and a very average beach.

The thing about Thailand is that there are places where you can get the best of all possible worlds. For me, Chiang Mai is one of them.
 
G

·
I've observed this and other forums now for several months, and the time is rapidly approaching when I'll be in the country - not reading about it on an internet board.

According to my most recent contact - a man who has lived and worked in Pattaya for the last twenty years - my plan to settle in Chiang Mai is nothing more than a pipe dream fueled by expat forum hokum.

He says moving to Chiang Mai is "going native." He swears there are few if any English speakers to be found this far north, that the food is either familiar and fabulously expensive or totally alien and unfit for consumption, that the social climate is very hostile to those without a Thai spouse, and so on, ad nauseum.

When I first started looking at retirement in Thailand, I was struck by the large number of English-speaking expatriates in Chiang Mai, and the very well-developed infrastructure for making outsiders feel at home. Was that entirely mistaken on my part, or do I have a correspondent with tunnel vision?

Any input is welcome, and I have no ax to grind in this matter. I'm still coming to CM for a short visit, and also plan to check out Kuala Lumpur and Pattaya. I'll return to the US to make my final decision, so it's not a live or die thing at this point. Opinions?
I do think that if you do not have a Thai wife, it will be much harder to work out where to live etc than for those of us with Thai wives who know the system and also know exactly where they want to take us to live, so that is a huge factor. Also Western wives if you are taking one with you, often have a problem with all the competition from all the Thai girls. That said if you have no wife just now, you will be able to get one soon like in a couple of hours max. Just stand anywhere and smile.
Whatever your situation really you could do worse than to stay in cheap hotels for a few months in each region and see how you like it.
Westerners are in the major cities in Thailand and it is always the same the world over when there are just a few of us anywhere we end up with more friends than when there are hundreds.
The supermarkets all over stock western food, local food is often too light for a westerner.
Good luck with your retirement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
have a happy retirement anselpixel]..sure beats a cold wet and misserable uk !..i take it that you have been to thailand before ?..only been once myself in nov 2009 but going again in feb 2010..must admit to the pattaya and bangkok expierience only,but plan on going out in the sticks next time to kamphangpet,the place [thailand] has hooked me big time,but keep it real and watch your back and you should have no probs..good luck..mike88.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do think that if you do not have a Thai wife, it will be much harder to work out where to live etc than for those of us with Thai wives who know the system and also know exactly where they want to take us to live, so that is a huge factor. Also Western wives if you are taking one with you, often have a problem with all the competition from all the Thai girls. That said if you have no wife just now, you will be able to get one soon like in a couple of hours max. Just stand anywhere and smile.
Whatever your situation really you could do worse than to stay in cheap hotels for a few months in each region and see how you like it.
Westerners are in the major cities in Thailand and it is always the same the world over when there are just a few of us anywhere we end up with more friends than when there are hundreds.
The supermarkets all over stock western food, local food is often too light for a westerner.
Good luck with your retirement.
I have no wife, and I can smile with the best. Thanks, and I'm happy to hear you're enjoying life in Thailand!
 
G

·
I have no wife, and I can smile with the best. Thanks, and I'm happy to hear you're enjoying life in Thailand!
Dude you cannot possibly go wrong in Thailand if you have no western wife you can soon get a Thai girlfriend which is as good as a wife. I have traveled, lived and worked in a lot of countries around the world but nothing comes close to being as good as Thailand if you are a guy on your own and have time to spare. So long as you can enjoy a completely different way of life and culture without getting upset by their different way of looking at life you will be fine.
You can stay in any city cheaply even if you go to a good hotel, 1200 Bhatt for a great hotel in Pattaya and even 400 Bhatt a night for a perfectly acceptable place there. In the other cities it is cheaper still. Even Bangkok you can easily stay in a nice place for 1500 Bhatt.
Finding apartments in BKK you can just wander into a suitable looking block and ask what they have. The web based apartment companies in English tend to be a bit overpriced, but the Thai ones (you will need help) are much cheaper. A good apartment in Bangkok starts at 8000 Bhatt a month plus water and electricity for the A/C which can be up to 2000 Bhatt a month. I would not recommend buying a place because of the 30 year lease problem, lots of scams, the economics and you get stuck if you need to move.
If you are worried about keeping you cash safer then Singapore is nearby with excellent banks used to multi currency international accounts – no chance of your US funds being frozen if they are not in the US
Don’t expect any of the girls to show you their home town because despite the image they will not want to be seen in their village with a farrang until they think you will marry them because they will be seen as used goods once you turn up there.
You can fly around Thailand easily and cheaply, the buses are cheaper but without a Thai to help you they are too complicated because almost no one will speak English in the ticket offices. When you arrive in town it is worth a trip to the local farrang bar where you will be able to get lots of info. Many of the farrang bars have web sites, and often they will be near the main hotel in town. You can get all western foods you need in the supermarkets and all the other needs in the department stores. Outside of BKK you can live for peanuts, when I am in our village home I can live on $2.00 per day for food.
I love Thailand I spent a number of years in Bangkok and also some time in Songkhla but better opportunities for my line of work called in other places so like a lot of guys I live in Thailand and work elsewhere. I am not ready to retire so I keep traveling but home is Thailand now. Good luck stay open to new attitudes and you will love Thailand
:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dude you cannot possibly go wrong in Thailand if you have no western wife you can soon get a Thai girlfriend which is as good as a wife. I have traveled, lived and worked in a lot of countries around the world but nothing comes close to being as good as Thailand if you are a guy on your own and have time to spare. So long as you can enjoy a completely different way of life and culture without getting upset by their different way of looking at life you will be fine.
You can stay in any city cheaply even if you go to a good hotel, 1200 Bhatt for a great hotel in Pattaya and even 400 Bhatt a night for a perfectly acceptable place there. In the other cities it is cheaper still. Even Bangkok you can easily stay in a nice place for 1500 Bhatt.
Finding apartments in BKK you can just wander into a suitable looking block and ask what they have. The web based apartment companies in English tend to be a bit overpriced, but the Thai ones (you will need help) are much cheaper. A good apartment in Bangkok starts at 8000 Bhatt a month plus water and electricity for the A/C which can be up to 2000 Bhatt a month. I would not recommend buying a place because of the 30 year lease problem, lots of scams, the economics and you get stuck if you need to move.
If you are worried about keeping you cash safer then Singapore is nearby with excellent banks used to multi currency international accounts – no chance of your US funds being frozen if they are not in the US
Don’t expect any of the girls to show you their home town because despite the image they will not want to be seen in their village with a farrang until they think you will marry them because they will be seen as used goods once you turn up there.
You can fly around Thailand easily and cheaply, the buses are cheaper but without a Thai to help you they are too complicated because almost no one will speak English in the ticket offices. When you arrive in town it is worth a trip to the local farrang bar where you will be able to get lots of info. Many of the farrang bars have web sites, and often they will be near the main hotel in town. You can get all western foods you need in the supermarkets and all the other needs in the department stores. Outside of BKK you can live for peanuts, when I am in our village home I can live on $2.00 per day for food.
I love Thailand I spent a number of years in Bangkok and also some time in Songkhla but better opportunities for my line of work called in other places so like a lot of guys I live in Thailand and work elsewhere. I am not ready to retire so I keep traveling but home is Thailand now. Good luck stay open to new attitudes and you will love Thailand
:D
Thanks again! This is the kind of positive reinforcement I really need. With the help of you guys, a lot of deep breathing and a valium, I just may make it to Chiang Mai on schedule, and in decent shape. Unless there's a hitch, I'll be standing in Thailand in 12 days, and the real period of adjustment can begin....
 
G

·
Thanks again! This is the kind of positive reinforcement I really need. With the help of you guys, a lot of deep breathing and a valium, I just may make it to Chiang Mai on schedule, and in decent shape. Unless there's a hitch, I'll be standing in Thailand in 12 days, and the real period of adjustment can begin....
I used to work for a seriously big US international company. We used to recon on 1% of the guys we shipped to Thailand going AWOL on day one and we would have to go and find them. Most of them refused to come back to work. It wasn't too difficult to find them if we knew where they had started out from, because the Thais will remember who the farrang met and we could follow the trail. It was always due to a girl but also the lifestyle. When I lived in the US it was work for work’s sake and shop for stuff you didn’t need. In Thailand a few of the Thais are emulating the US but far more take it easy to the point of appearing lazy if you don’t see through that.
We also reckoned that 100% of the guys would eventually try one way or another to stay in Thailand – myself included and I did. The Thais are kind hearted and love to help. A nice example, two truck loads full of our furniture and stuff arrived late at night at our home in the North East. Before I knew it, dozens of villagers turned up to help us unload it and set the house straight. For any cynics nothing was stolen. Keep in mind that unlike the USA you don’t have to commit to any one place in Thailand you will be free to go all over and it is cheap enough to do that. Good luck and hope you keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Sure beats snow, cold and gray!

You are probably already in Thailand, or may have made your journey for a visit. I have got to tell you that you will not go wrong in Thailand. No heavy coats, no frozen mornings in the frozen car, and no need for boots in Thailand. As for the guy who lived in Pattaya, you would have to remove all of my teeth to get me to live there. I currently have a condo in Bangkok which is "free hold", which means that I own it. Even if it were the 30 year lease, I am sure that I will not be around to see how that turns out. My Thai partner and I are talking about living in the north. I love the north, Chiang Rai or Issan Province is great. Issan is a great place to relax, everything is cheap, cheap, cheap. The people are very friendly and if you are single, the girls are easy to meet. Not bar girls, but the marrying type. Yes, you have to be careful that you don't buy the water buffalo, or pay for the operation for your girl friends breast implants, but you will find many women, who love farang. My cousin has been married to a Thai for 20 years and lives in the north.

As for the guy in Pattaya, I think he has inhaled way to much CO2. Now I do have a friend in Pattaya from the UK and he is married to a great Thai girl. He loves it there, but not for me.

All I can say if you haven't been to Thailand you are missing out big time. Currently I am back in Chicago because of a job, but as of May of this year it is good bye to the cold, wet, frozen midwest.

In the north you will find things much cheaper than Bangkok. I love Bangkok, as my partners family is there and many friends. The thing is that Bangkok is more expensive. Our condo in Bangkok is in a 99% Thai building, which makes it cheaper, but now with the new BTS to the airport, my condo is within 1 meter of the station. I can get anywhere in the city. We have many shops and resturants on the first floor. Still in the north you will spend probably 25% less than in BKK, maybe even 35%. It depends. In the north you can get a house in the country and raise some of your vege's or go to the morning market at 6am and it is so cheap.

Sorry for the long message, but I can tell you how wonderful the north is and the silly dude in Pattaya is way off base!!!!!!

I've observed this and other forums now for several months, and the time is rapidly approaching when I'll be in the country - not reading about it on an internet board.

According to my most recent contact - a man who has lived and worked in Pattaya for the last twenty years - my plan to settle in Chiang Mai is nothing more than a pipe dream fueled by expat forum hokum.

He says moving to Chiang Mai is "going native." He swears there are few if any English speakers to be found this far north, that the food is either familiar and fabulously expensive or totally alien and unfit for consumption, that the social climate is very hostile to those without a Thai spouse, and so on, ad nauseum.

When I first started looking at retirement in Thailand, I was struck by the large number of English-speaking expatriates in Chiang Mai, and the very well-developed infrastructure for making outsiders feel at home. Was that entirely mistaken on my part, or do I have a correspondent with tunnel vision?

Any input is welcome, and I have no ax to grind in this matter. I'm still coming to CM for a short visit, and also plan to check out Kuala Lumpur and Pattaya. I'll return to the US to make my final decision, so it's not a live or die thing at this point. Opinions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
What can I say? There is a greater density of western expats in Chiang Mai then anywhere in Thailand. It is a place chosen often by retirees because you can still live there (and I mean LIVE and not just exist). The people are friendly, far more so than in Pattaya!

The food is cheap and good. For example, last night after work I went out (not working today is my excuse :p). I went out at 8pm and sat in my (not so) local (see A gathering place sticky thread) and had a great time. I left at 3am this morning after about 6 large bottles of Leo beer, prawn panang cuury and rice and buying some roses (OK the beer was working at this point :D) it was down about 700B (thats $20 US) - In the UK (London) two pints would have seen an end to that! Made some new friends as I do almost every time I go to the Guitarman, a German guy (actually two German guys, but I had met one of them once before - they didn't know eachother either - in fact they were chatting in English until I mentioned that they were both German!), an Ozzie, a Brit, an American and a couple of Thais.

In England my daily commute was 2.5 to 3 hours (more on bad days) each way on the M25 (which passes through some beautiful areas - all of which are blocked from view by boarding or banked walls! Here my commute takes 15 minurtes, is warm and takes me from my Moo Bahn (beautiful lawns and houses) on to the back roads with rice paddies either side with pretty painted wooden houses as a backdrop, then I turn right and get a view of the golden roof od a local temple in the shadow of the mighty Doi Suthep mountain. The highway (called the super highway) is three lanes wide with shops on both sides. I pass the back of the airport, sometimes an airforce jet flies over the road, and I arrive at work.

Most Thais speak some English (the ones you will need to encounter anyway_ - or wiull call someone over who does (usually a kid :)).

I really dislike Pattaya, Bangkok is still too busy and dirty for my likjing and the community too spread out. CM is the place for me - I have more friends here and time to spend with them, than I ever did in the UK after half a lifetime there.

...and as said girlfriends will find you very quickly if you allow it - just be careful with your choice and don't tie yourself down with the first girl that tells you you're special (CM equivalent of "Hansum Man").

It seems to me Pattaya has a way of twisting expats into bitter people. I have met many escapees in CM who recount it and posters here and other forums that have lived in Patters for any amount of time always seem jadded.

Of course many expats are in Patters for work rather than the sex scene, and are a possible exception to the rule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
KhwaamLap, You are so right on! CM and CR are great places to socialize. Time does have a way of getting away from you and yes it can be almost morning and you are just getting home. In Bangkok it's a bit more rigid and you need to watch your time, as you may have to get on the road to go to work soon. If your retired then you don't have to worry much about time. When you said that 2 pints would be 20 dollars, you are so right and chances are that you will not enjoy that beer as much.

As for guys looking for girls, I have a funny story. My partner and I went to the north for a promise that he had made to an Abbot from one of the Temples 2 years previous that he would return for a New Year's visit. We hopped on an overnight bus. It took us 8 hours to get to the town. The sun was just coming up and the market was just full of people. He knew a women and so we went to her stall. It was a wonderful experience. Now to get the picture, I am over 200 pounds, 6 foot 3" and a shaved head and very white except for my tan. I totally got into the people, the sounds and smells of the village. Like a fish in water!!!!

It was now time to go to the temple. We were greeted by about 15 older women and a few older men as we found our way to the Temple. The women took over and smiled so much. This was a happy smile!! They put a sash on each of us and the ceremony began. After the ceremony, which was wonderful they all wanted to have their picture taken with me. They were just beautiful, toothless women who had an agenda. My partner told me that they wanted me to meet their grand daughters. They invited us to a community lunch and like show dogs, we met so many quality women. I trully felt honored. These were really wonderful women, who's grandmother's were trying find them a husband. The bottom line is that my partner and I are both men and have been in a long-term relationship. He is Thai and I am Falang. Even when they new this, it did not stop them. It was one of moments that I will always remember of my early day's in Thailand. I fell in love with the people in this village and we go back often. They remember us and always ask in a polite way if we are still katoey! Just wanted to share a great experience, if you are open to meeting quality women, in a great village in the north. By the way my cousin from the U.S. has been married to a beautiful Thai women for 20 years. I can't wait to get out of this hell of a winter here in Chicago. In May it's goodbye Chicago, hello Thailand again!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
KhwaamLap, You are so right on! CM and CR are great places to socialize. Time does have a way of getting away from you and yes it can be almost morning and you are just getting home. In Bangkok it's a bit more rigid and you need to watch your time, as you may have to get on the road to go to work soon. If your retired then you don't have to worry much about time. When you said that 2 pints would be 20 dollars, you are so right and chances are that you will not enjoy that beer as much.

As for guys looking for girls, I have a funny story. My partner and I went to the north for a promise that he had made to an Abbot from one of the Temples 2 years previous that he would return for a New Year's visit. We hopped on an overnight bus. It took us 8 hours to get to the town. The sun was just coming up and the market was just full of people. He knew a women and so we went to her stall. It was a wonderful experience. Now to get the picture, I am over 200 pounds, 6 foot 3" and a shaved head and very white except for my tan. I totally got into the people, the sounds and smells of the village. Like a fish in water!!!!

It was now time to go to the temple. We were greeted by about 15 older women and a few older men as we found our way to the Temple. The women took over and smiled so much. This was a happy smile!! They put a sash on each of us and the ceremony began. After the ceremony, which was wonderful they all wanted to have their picture taken with me. They were just beautiful, toothless women who had an agenda. My partner told me that they wanted me to meet their grand daughters. They invited us to a community lunch and like show dogs, we met so many quality women. I trully felt honored. These were really wonderful women, who's grandmother's were trying find them a husband. The bottom line is that my partner and I are both men and have been in a long-term relationship. He is Thai and I am Falang. Even when they new this, it did not stop them. It was one of moments that I will always remember of my early day's in Thailand. I fell in love with the people in this village and we go back often. They remember us and always ask in a polite way if we are still katoey! Just wanted to share a great experience, if you are open to meeting quality women, in a great village in the north. By the way my cousin from the U.S. has been married to a beautiful Thai women for 20 years. I can't wait to get out of this hell of a winter here in Chicago. In May it's goodbye Chicago, hello Thailand again!!!!!

Yeah I'm alway surporised, as I've said before, that farangs go looking in brothels for brides. As you so elloquantly put it, a trip up to CR or almost any, not so well trodden, place here and get involved even minutely with the culture and Bob's your uncle. Lots of poor lasses looking for husbands (especially divorcees and widows) that would be a great life partner. The odds are significantly better of it lasting too.

I used to have a friend here who was in a same gender relationship. He was an older guy, sixties I guess, and had a thirty-something Thai boyfriend. It amazed me how, on one hand they were accepted by the Thais, and on the other it was the Farang who made the nasty comments and excluded him (them). He left, went back the the States, several years ago now. Its a real shame that people have to bring their petty so called morals wth them - it just doesn't suit the culture. I like the way they ask you if you are still Katoey (I guess they mean gay, unless you are cross gender?), as if it may "wear off" :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Years ago I adopted the Thai saying Mai Penh Rai

I agree with you. When you live in another part of the world, you need to leave your baggage at the door. Way too many people that I know cannot just leave their past, they try to recreate it. My attitude is and has been that this is my new life and I accept it. My Thai partner and I are equals, for the most part. (He's shorter and I'm taller) hehehehehe I am part of a large Thai family and have been accepted as my partners, significant other. We had a big ceremoney in downtown Bangkok, with 300 friends, family and clients. To this day, the people who attended always ask Vee to give me their regards. If we call to say hello they ask us for dinner or come to stay at their hotel. When a person drops their attitude, is real, and accepts their new life, it is really a beautiful thing. That stands for same gender couples as well as traditional. So many Farang leave their wife because of their family. It is the way! Accept the fact that mom will come to visit, and the nieces and nephew's will come over to see their uncle, just because they want to (an ice cream cone helps). People need to embrace change and life will become so much more relaxed. So to the guys who are looking for a great wife, they are out there, and you don't have to warm the seat of a bar stool everyday to find one. Go local and wow you will have a very active dating life!!!
Yes, 5 years latter they are still hoping!!!

Yeah I'm alway surporised, as I've said before, that farangs go looking in brothels for brides. As you so elloquantly put it, a trip up to CR or almost any, not so well trodden, place here and get involved even minutely with the culture and Bob's your uncle. Lots of poor lasses looking for husbands (especially divorcees and widows) that would be a great life partner. The odds are significantly better of it lasting too.

I used to have a friend here who was in a same gender relationship. He was an older guy, sixties I guess, and had a thirty-something Thai boyfriend. It amazed me how, on one hand they were accepted by the Thais, and on the other it was the Farang who made the nasty comments and excluded him (them). He left, went back the the States, several years ago now. Its a real shame that people have to bring their petty so called morals wth them - it just doesn't suit the culture. I like the way they ask you if you are still Katoey (I guess they mean gay, unless you are cross gender?), as if it may "wear off" :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's really interesting to see just how right all you optimists are. I've been in Chiang Mai for a week now, and have settled into my headquarters for this trek. I've been pleased and amazed to discover how helpful, friendly and generally accommodating everybody around here has been - expats and locals alike. I've had to adjust my attitudes a lot these past few days, because it's natural for me to be somewhat guarded, and reticent to depend on others. It quickly became apparent I had no choice about all that, and although I've had to steer around a few bad eggs, it's been very rewarding to see that the overwhelming majority of people here are solid, well-meaning and, in the case of the service people I've used thus far, more than capable. These are intelligent, sensitive people, and I'm really enjoying them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Glad that you are finally here!!!! It's an amazing place. I think so often it is what you project that you get back from people all over the world. CM is just the right size to have most everything that you need, but small enough that you will have a chance to meet people. Go a bit north to Chiang Rai and you will really find a small city, and so relaxing. The attitude there is truly Mai Penh Rai!!! Enjoy yourself and you will begin to let your guard down. I'm from the US too and from a big city so it takes time to adjust your attitude in CM, but when you are decompressed you will feel like a new man. Just go with the flow, do watch out for the few who might be the rotten eggs. Above all have fun!!! :clap2::)

It's really interesting to see just how right all you optimists are. I've been in Chiang Mai for a week now, and have settled into my headquarters for this trek. I've been pleased and amazed to discover how helpful, friendly and generally accommodating everybody around here has been - expats and locals alike. I've had to adjust my attitudes a lot these past few days, because it's natural for me to be somewhat guarded, and reticent to depend on others. It quickly became apparent I had no choice about all that, and although I've had to steer around a few bad eggs, it's been very rewarding to see that the overwhelming majority of people here are solid, well-meaning and, in the case of the service people I've used thus far, more than capable. These are intelligent, sensitive people, and I'm really enjoying them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Dude you cannot possibly go wrong in Thailand if you have no western wife you can soon get a Thai girlfriend which is as good as a wife. I have traveled, lived and worked in a lot of countries around the world but nothing comes close to being as good as Thailand if you are a guy on your own and have time to spare. So long as you can enjoy a completely different way of life and culture without getting upset by their different way of looking at life you will be fine.
You can stay in any city cheaply even if you go to a good hotel, 1200 Bhatt for a great hotel in Pattaya and even 400 Bhatt a night for a perfectly acceptable place there. In the other cities it is cheaper still. Even Bangkok you can easily stay in a nice place for 1500 Bhatt.
Finding apartments in BKK you can just wander into a suitable looking block and ask what they have. The web based apartment companies in English tend to be a bit overpriced, but the Thai ones (you will need help) are much cheaper. A good apartment in Bangkok starts at 8000 Bhatt a month plus water and electricity for the A/C which can be up to 2000 Bhatt a month. I would not recommend buying a place because of the 30 year lease problem, lots of scams, the economics and you get stuck if you need to move.
If you are worried about keeping you cash safer then Singapore is nearby with excellent banks used to multi currency international accounts – no chance of your US funds being frozen if they are not in the US
Don’t expect any of the girls to show you their home town because despite the image they will not want to be seen in their village with a farrang until they think you will marry them because they will be seen as used goods once you turn up there.
You can fly around Thailand easily and cheaply, the buses are cheaper but without a Thai to help you they are too complicated because almost no one will speak English in the ticket offices. When you arrive in town it is worth a trip to the local farrang bar where you will be able to get lots of info. Many of the farrang bars have web sites, and often they will be near the main hotel in town. You can get all western foods you need in the supermarkets and all the other needs in the department stores. Outside of BKK you can live for peanuts, when I am in our village home I can live on $2.00 per day for food.
I love Thailand I spent a number of years in Bangkok and also some time in Songkhla but better opportunities for my line of work called in other places so like a lot of guys I live in Thailand and work elsewhere. I am not ready to retire so I keep traveling but home is Thailand now. Good luck stay open to new attitudes and you will love Thailand
:D
What happens to those with western wives? I understand the "seeing the western wives as competition" by Thai women and really any women in Asia; where can one go for help in finding an apartment/condo or a house? No Thai girlfriend and not knowing anyone yet in Chiangmai.... ! Numerous postings on the high price rentals if going with a real estate company.....

We are planning to move to CM in June and this doesn't sound very encouraging to those who are married.

Shed some light?
 
G

·
There are plenty of Western couples who retire to Thailand. A Thai contact doesn't necessarily have to be a wife or gf - there are other ways of integrating, getting to know Chiang Mai. There's the 'Expat Circle', or whatever it's called (I've never met any of the members, but they are plentiful). And having a Thai wife/gf is not a prerequisite for membership! It's a busy organisation, with lots of contacts and members who can advise on pretty much every topic.

Sorry I can't be any more specific, but I know they meet regularly somewhere. If Khwaamlaap doesn't know, I'll try to find the info and post it in this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
It oftyen helps to Guest House it for a while if possible - monthly rates can compare quite well with house rentals! Only luggage, pets and such rules this out. If so, then use an agent, but on a short term (say 3 months max) let. Then move. Most things here are done by word or mouth or geting out and about yourself. A simple way is to go to any moo bahn and drive around - I've yet to see any moo bahn here without at least one board up on a gate saying house for rent. Its the best way to get a good price.

Also, as FB suggests, get in with some expats here in the know. This can be as simple as going to Tuskers, Guitarman or the Garden (ask any tuktuk and they will take you there - don't pay more than 50B from Thaipae Gate though to any of these places) - in fact Tuskers is just around the corner from TP Gate and the Garden is close too..

Personally I frequesnt the Guitarman. All these places are filled to the rafters with expats of an evening and we are generally a friendly crowd who will chat and say "hi" if you look open to a chat. Or just join in a conversation that sounds genral enough. I chat with new people all the time - tourists and expats - just sit near the other farangs (who are not obvious tourists). If its the Guitarman, sit outside at the bar or the big table and you can't not get involved in some innane chatter.

Someone will know a place that's up for rent etc. You can also try the classifieds, but they are often put up by agencies, so not the cheapest.

As to Expat groups - there are literally hundreds here, but the famous are the CEC (Chiangmai Expats Club - Welcome) which meet twice a month at the swanky Shagrila Hotel - perhaps a little business orientated, but plenty of long time expats there.

When you get here try and grab a copy of Pim's CityLife Magazine (its free) - Here is an old page from her site that shows some groups including a women's group(http://www.chiangmainews.com/ecmn/viewfa.php?id=2303). Pim, the mag owner, is very friendly (half Thai half English - like my dauighters) so drop her an email and she may be able to point you in the direction of some women or family groups here. Also CL has a classifieds section that often has house rentals in from expats going home or moving on.

Good luck.

PS: Drop by the Guitarman to say hi one Firday evening, bring the Mrs, you will see a fair amount of western men with western wives.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top