Chiang Mai

9 Good Reasons to Prefer Chiang Mai to Retire

A kind of desire to spend your retirement abroad, but a little doubt in your mind prevents you to do it? You are not sure about the country, the city, or simply … the life there? We did reassemble for you 9 Excellent Reasons to spend your retirement in Chiang Mai, in Thailand. Go and check your passport before reading this article though, you might want to use it very soon… 😉



Thailand is a flagship destination for international retired people. The very respected ranking of the best destinations where to retire from International Living actually puts the Land of Smile on the 14th position… so 2nd favourite of the francophone retired people. But what city to choose? Here you will find a little list of reasons why Chiang Mai could actually seduce you well…


  1. Chiang Mai, just Chiang Mai.


What could other arguments actually be our first point? Nothing but the name and the idea of Chiang Mai crossing our mind is enough to convince more than one…

The success of Chiang Mai is not a secret for anyone anymore. 3rd biggest city of the country with 1,7 million inhabitants, the « Rose of the North » has been a very popular destination for several generations of tourists, digital nomads and expats. A tropical climate, hundreds of gold temples, a huge variety of international restaurants or else new commercial centres offer a large choice of activities to the new arrivals. But Chiang Mai, it is also artisanal cafés, a typical charm and more mountains that you are actually imagining. Bref, the North of Thailand has a lot to offer…


  1. Art and Culture, so much to discover.

Chiang Mai has always been known as one of the principal cultural centres of Thailand. This is added to the fact that it is a university city, which implies lots of artistic and cultural events liked by everyone.

Textiles, gold, silver and ceramic are just a short idea of the objects that are regularly presented in the city’s galleries. Lots of cultural events are taking place through the year where expat people and local Thai people are working together in the community.


  1. Climate, warmness = happiness.


Chiang Mai’s climate varies from hot to super hot during the major part of the year. It is a tropical climate – humid and dry, but during the dry season from November to April, nights can be super fresh. It is one of the reasons why expats prefer to live in the North of the country.

At the spring arrival, days temperatures increase and reach their maximum in April. Fortunately, the Songkran Festival, famous in the entire world, is also happening at the start of the month, which gives to everyone the occasion of getting fresher thanks to the important water fights during the whole week.

During a normal year, precipitations increase each month until reaching their maximum in August/September. During the rain season, imposing storm clouds are appearing during the warmness peaks of the day and turn into torrential showers at the end of the afternoon, that can last from some minutes to one hour. Nevertheless, it is habitual to not be able to go out the whole day, rain moments being relatively short.


  1. Living Cost, great city commodities with small city prices.


Come you choose a modern condo in the city centre or a spacious house in the beautiful surrounding countryside, you will be surprised by the low rental costs. Rentals are, indeed, easy to find and to adapt to all kind of modest budgets in the city centre and the rural zones.

Some expats prefer to live in the trendy district of Nimmanhaemin, with its condos and high-ranged restaurants, its artist’s stores and popular bars. Others would rather go to the old town … but for many, living in the countryside is the ultimate living mode of retirement. There, they can have a big garden, cultivate their own fruits and vegetable, and often have a spectacular view of the mountains and the rice fields.


Costly speaking, the website The Nomad classes Chiang Mai as one of the places where it is cheap to live in – 1€ = 38 THB. But please, also note that you do have to earn minimum 65 000 THB – so about 1756 € – to get the Retirement VISA. Note that it is also possible to get it by having a bank account with minimum of 2 000 000 THB on it – so 54 000 €.


  1. Thai Gastronomy, one of the richest worldwide.

Useless to promote more in details the Thai gastronomy, we all know how rich it is. The markets dispersed through the city offer fruits and vegetables locally cultivated as well as a variety of small dishes often cooked for less than a euro.

Dozens of supermarkets offer fresh products and for those who are looking for more familiar stuff, they can find a large choice of imported products.


  1. Activities, a fan of all kind of tastes.


If you like being outside and breathing the fresh air, the different national parks of Chiang Mai are made for you. Just go and have a moment in one of the roads of the picturesque countryside or get fresher in a stream or a waterfall.

The highest mountain of Thailand – the Doi Inthanon – is nearby by car and offer spectacular views of the jungle and valleys.


Furthermore, meetings are pretty easy, the city counts more than 40 000 expats who regularly meet up. Besides, those over 60 years old, who only represented 10% of the francophone community in Thailand ten years ago, represent nowadays more than the quarter (26,56%).


  1. Shopping places more cosmopolite.

The shopping adepts will be delighted to find out the 5 huge modern commercial centres. Each of them has a big modern Cineplex, local stores and international brands. Therefore, it is not complicated to find most of the stuff you are looking for in this cosmopolite centre, there are things for all kind of tastes!


  1. Health Cares, quality and price have never been that interesting.

Thailand has always been known for its health cares known as excellent and affordable, and Chiang Mai is obviously not an exception. It exists in more than 20 hospitals – public and private, with doctors and employees speaking Anglais and/or translators. Thailand imposes itself as one of the leaders worldwide in terms of medical tourism.

For example, we can note that an elective surgery in Thailand will cost about one ten of the price that the same surgery would cost in the USA.


  1. Travel, so calm but so close to everything.


The only thing missing in Chiang Mai is… the beach! However, for less than 100 € return and 2 hours travelling by plane, you could be sitting in one of the several beaches of the country by sipping your cocktail.

Going outside the city is not something hard. The international airport of Chiang Mai is located 10 minutes away from the city centre and offers regular flights to Bangkok, Singapore, China, Taiwan, and Laos.

Actually, the local international airport offers regular flights to Bangkok for less than 50 €. From there, the world is yours!


You can find all our articles about Chiang Mai HERE.

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