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Expat Advice: Retiring in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Submitted by mananui

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Chang Mai, Thailand

An expat retiree from Hawaii shares her experiences living in Chang Mai, Thailand. She appreciates the excellent, low-cost healthcare and low cost of living in Thailand. She also enjoys Chang Mai's active expat community and wonderful restaurants.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Chiang Mai

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

I was working in Asia and America, and I, just changed too much. Out of the system.

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?


Why did you choose the country you retired to?

I just happened to be here for many years, always intending to return to Hawaii.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

I worked abroad for many years.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

2 years. Came to Thailand 28 years ago...Time passed.

How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?

only Thailand

What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

Being a woman in Asia and humidity.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Quality of life is good, medical is good. Massage and alternative lifestyle.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

I would have gone home, (Hawaii) one more time.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

Chiang Mai has a very active expat world. Very alternative, organic food, vegetarian restaurants, art, culture. Bars, restaurants.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

Extremely easy. There is no actual "residency" It is an extension of stay for 1 year, reporting to immigration every 90 days.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

No ownership although many people are building and condo are offering incentives.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

It is so easy here, I didn't get around to going home.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

Depends on what you want.

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

It is possible to live on $500.00 a month. Some spend even less.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

Medical here is excellent. Affordable and plentiful.

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Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

In Chiang Mai, no.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

I do not have a car or motorbike. Local transportation is easy and affordable.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Every where.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

I have lived abroad for so long, going back to America would be extremely stressful for me.

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Comments about this Report

Sep 19, 2016 12:29

We enjoyed living in Chiang Mai for all the reasons Mananui talked about. We did however have a problem with corruption and property In 2013 after living in Thailand for 12 years we decided to sell a property there and move to Europe (Sicily, Italy). We contacted Kun Jaroonroat Krasaesuk (better known as Tom -The lawyer when he worked for Alan Hall the crooked chairman of the Chiang Mai Ex Pats Club)) and he sold the property. When the money arrived in his account (XS and JK solutions Co Ltd.) he asked if we will lend him 1,000,000 baht so that he could renovate a hotel in Chiang Mai. We agreed and we all signed a Loan Agreement. It is now over 3 years later and we haven’t received one Baht. Despite about 50 emails with cajoling and threats he hasn’t made one monthly repayment. His partner Xavior Segura has sent several very unprofessional emails where he swears at us and threatens to take us to court for slander! The situation now is that we are considering hiring a lawyer to recover the money. In the meantime I would like to advise all ex-pats in Chiang Mai to avoid XS and JK solutions. The hotel we helped finance the renovation of is the Wua Lai Boutique Guest house.

Sep 19, 2016 18:50

Thank you so much for this encouraging report. I hope to move there with my dog next summer and once there do not plan to return to the States. Your experience is very much as I would hope mine would be. To live with no car, relying on the friendship of the Thais who, I think are lovely kind people. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience,

Nov 14, 2016 07:02

Heading to CM tomorrow forva month and rented an apt near the University. Familiar with CM but not this area. Any suggestiions re local expat hangouts. I enjoy thais but starved for real conversation. My email All responses welcome. Thx. Steven

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