Living in Chiang Mai is a special experience for many non-locals, whether Thai or foreign, who come for the culture, nature, value for money, and easy-going friendly lifestyle. Crime is extraordinarily low, the city as yet not too congested, people very friendly and welcoming, and the cost of living affordable.
For expatriates, this is one of the most attractive places in the world to live and there is a vibrant expat community numbering estimate to be as high as 50,000. The overseas’ influence has enriched life in the city with a plethora of restaurants serving every cuisine imaginable at every price point. There are also a dozen international schools catering to both expatriates and some local children.
The international airport is minutes from the city centre and with dozens of flights to domestic, regional and even trans-continental destinations. The city is easily accessible, making it an attractive base for many who work elsewhere and travel frequently.
There are some visa issues, as Thailand’s immigration struggles to keep up with the changing landscape of the world. There are also problems with petty corruption and lackadaisical management of public works, but on the whole Chiang Mai is, for many, a wonderful place to live and call home.