So far on this blog the content have been in article style, but in this post I’m going to write it more like an actual blog. The point is to share my experience and provide valuable information for people considering moving here. And yeah, there is already an ocean of Chiang Mai information out there so I will *try* to focus on things that doesn’t have to do with co-working, accommodation and food. Any products or services that I list in this post is not sponsored and its just stuff that I personally use.
But for starters I would like to share the environment where I’m currently writing this, sipping on a cappuccino (had to google to spellcheck that word).
I arrived in the afternoon on the 24th of September, so that is exactly 1 week ago. I choose Nimman as the spot to start at, with the plan to branch out from there. As expected, I consider the Nimman area as a bit of a bubble away from the “real Thailand”. Nevertheless the keyword for Nimman is CONVENIENCE. It’s just so god damn convenient. Everything is at your reach within a stone throw away. I found an apartment on day 2 at Green Hill which is located north of Maya Mall. It’s pricey for what you get but it’s a good choice for people just arriving. It will give you some time to scout for better deals.
I’m going to list a few items that I feel are really important for staying long term in the city.
If you are planning to venture outside of Nimman, which you should, then a motorbike is a must! Don’t get a car, unless you want to be stuck in traffic. If you are not used to driving a motorbike, don’t worry! It will be a bit scary the first few times but you will get into it quickly. It will open up a world of possibilities and you are going to feel really free. I often find myself driving around with a big smile on my face (unless I’m stuck at the traffic light of hell at Maya). I rent my motorbike from Chloe motorbike rentals. It’s owned by a woman from the UK. She only does monthly contracts. I’ll provide a link to an interview with the owner so you can learn all you need to know. Click here!
Thai bank account
Alright so I don’t have one myself yet but I’ve done my research on how to get one. It is possible to get an account even on a 30 day visa exemption. The bank that seem to be most willing to open up an account for foreigners seem to be Bangkok bank, they also have good information in English on their site. Note that even though it says on their page that you can open up an account it doesn’t mean that the specific branch that you are walking in to is willing to do that. Even if you show the official website in their face. Strange, but something you have to deal with.
The rules here seem to constantly change so I’m not going to write the procedure here. Your best bet is probably to ask on a forum or Facebook page to get the up-to-date information. If you want to pay for convenience just use Chiang Mai Buddy, they will help you make this process smoother.
If you are too lazy to open up an account, find a bank that does cash advance. Hand over your passport and your card and they will take out money for you at a fair exchange rate. At least, this way you will avoid the 200+ baht ATM robbery.
Alright so this is not a must if you don’t want to. Although its still recommended to get that flesh moving after devouring all that Thai food hehe…
I’m sure there are many many options in the city but I will just tell you about the one that I have experience with. It’s called Go gym and it’s located north of the old city. It’s a really rough looking place with all the equipment you will ever need. I paid 2000 baht for a 3 month membership. If you want a more fancy gym with air con and equipment that gets cleaned every hour I guess you can pay 3000 baht a month for the gym in Maya mall. Hopefully for that price they will also come up to you and wipe the sweat from your body.
You definitely don’t need to plan too much before coming here. It’s really super easy for anyone new to get started. So far I think you get a higher quality for life for a cheaper price. It’s just incredible really. It might not be the city for people who want a more high intensity lifestyle, in that case maybe try Bangkok. To be honest most of the stuff I know about Chiang Mai comes from Brett Dev, he has a website here and also a YouTube channel with tons of valuable information. If you want to see more from me, here is my twitter.