A Retiring Attitude

 |  April 30, 2009

A common complaint heard lately here is the one about the double pricing system, one for Thais, another for foreigners, in use at public facilities and parks in Thailand. My way of dealing with this problem is to go to places that are free. Below are my favourite free places to go to for a great outdoor experience right in Chiang Mai.

Ang Kaew at Chiang Mai University (for the romantic)

In the university campus, behind the Faculty of Humanities, right at the base of Doi Suthep Mountain is the Ang Kaew Reservoir. CMU students bring sticky rice meals there to eat on the lake’s shores. As the sun sets over the mountain the air cools and the egrets fly home to their roosts on the small island in the middle of the lake. This is THE place to take a romantic stroll.

700 Year Stadium (for the healthy)

If you are looking for a place on the north side of town to go for a good open-air work out in the evening this is it. Hundreds of people come to walk, jog, or run around the stadium, in a completely soi-dog-free environment. When the sun gets behind the mountain the temperatures cool down and it is the perfect time for a little exercise.

Chiang Mai University Research Fields (for the nature lover)

About 5 kilometres south of the Suthep Road/Canal Road intersection are the agricultural research fields of Chiang Mai University. It is hard to believe that right in the city of Chiang Mai there is such an expanse of open fields right at the base of the mountains. It is a great, almost car free, place for walking, running, and bicycle riding. It is the best place in the city to go bird watching especially in the early mornings.

Kham Tiang Market (for the gardener)

I have probably spent more money at this flower and garden market than any market in Chiang Mai. But of course it’s free to browse. Thousands of plants, trees, and flowers are here for sale. It is as good as any botanical garden in the country and is situated right behind the Tesco Lotus off of the Superhighway.

All of these places are right in the Muang District of Chiang Mai and are free of charge, the perfect price for a frugal retiree’s budget.

For further information about retiring to Thailand check out Hugh’s site www.retire2thailand.com.