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What's Your Favourite Thing, About Living In Chiang Mai ?


Ricardo

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There are so many to choose from, but probably my personal favourite, is the multi-cultural/international 'feel' of Chiang Mai.

There are plenty of different farang cultures represented, but also Lanna/central-Thai & the several hill-tribes, amongst the local people, in fact to me it feels a little like a 'small-town' version of London !

So what's your favourite ? :o

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Coming from the Arizona desert, I love that CM is green, has trees without thorns, water and not a nanny state like back home.

Lots of food, Lanna culture, Vespa heaven, and beautiful women ( more so than the rest of Thailand..don't know what's in the H2O, but they sure have the beauties here...I already told the wife that too )

I like the river, the road next to the river, the moat, the wat's...the cooler weather, even in the hot season it's cooler than back home.

and did I already mention it is Vespa heaven???

Too many things for me to even say on why I love it here.

I knew when I stepped off the plane here 4 yrs ago that this is where I want to live the rest of my life. ( with some of the ways I go about it, it might not be too much longer..)

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Actually to be honest, I have little to compare Chiang Mai to (have only been for short visits to Bangkok and once passed through Pattaya onto Coral Island.). But, when I came here, I found it too hard to leave, and although have toyed from time to time to head south, its seems im attached to the place.

Why?

I love the Chiang Mai people. I feel that im not as much of an 'Alien' here to the local people than when I visited Bangkok and Pattaya way. I feel im viewed as a person rather than just a farang. (Occasionally i get the feeling im just the farang, but not often). I feel when im being spoken to and smiled at, its warm and genuine. If I speak in Thai (my broken Thai), i like that its often not even commented on, just a regular simple conversation in Thai. So i feel more a part of the community and feel I dont stick out like a sore thumb just because of my race.

I love the environment. Sure, some things could be improved, like many places. But i love the higgilty-pilgilty winding sois, the mountains, the moat, the history. Sometimes for a split second I feel like I could be in my native Scotland, from some angles and when im in the mountains. So I get to enjoy some of the parts of Scotland I loved, but within a more welcoming climate. Truly love the mountains. They take my breath away without fail each time they come into my view or when I travel up.

Facilities. Chiang Mai is an easy city to adapt to and integrate into.

..Oh, the list could go on and on!

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So what's your favourite ? :o

I do not live there, but when I visit Chiang Mai mine is "Wat Phra That Doi Suthep" during the day and in the evening "The Local Pub"

large.jpg

Yours truly, :D

Kan Win :D

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I see Chiang Mai as offering me almost all the benefits of a larger city in terms of culture and recreation, and the benefits of a smaller one in terms of environment, quality of life, and low cost of living. And I just fell in love with it one day about 14 years go on my first visit as a tourist, and I can never explain to myself why I fell/fall in love without catching myself out in dreadful lies :o

here's a few things I really like amongst so many things here :

~ Wat Umong at sunset, down by the lake, sitting out on the little "island." particularly at the time of year the bats come out at dusk and are swooping for the insects.

~ walking over to Mae Noi's little convenience shop (she's at least eighty, perhaps going on ninety years old) and buying a funky little bag of plaa too for my kitty cat while the kitty cat wails in the distance to tell me to hurry home and get the fish chopped up and ready-to-eat. If Mae Noi is not the Earth-Mother herself, I don't know who is.

~ bicycling late at night at top-speed down near-vacant sois (faster than the dogs can chase me) to buy two or three liters of soy milk from the ever-smiling street vendors whilst singing my soy-milk song

~ the phiii, ghosts, in the magnificent old Po tree (Latin : "ficus religiosa," Sanskrit/Pali : "Bodhi" tree) behind my house who amuse me with their stories (as you may know a Po tree outside a Wat probably means at one point the land was consecrated, was used for religious purposes : when outside a Wat, it acts, by reverse magical osmosis, as a "magnet" for phii)

~ wandering around the innards of Talat Wararot during the day just enjoying seeing all the foods and treats on offer

~ wandering around Talat Meur Mai (the vegetable produce market) at 5am in the morning when it is a bustling scene

~ visiting local markets (like Nong Hoi, and San Pakhoi) around 2-3pm when the vendors of home-made fresh cooked Thai food show up with a variety of incredible dishes (most of which I can't eat because of the damage to my throat, but my sense of smell is very keen)

~ being somewhat of an "only farang" in an old Chiang Mai neighborhood where most folks have been here for generations, and are, in general, honest, friendly, hard-working, and respectful (particularly when you show you respect them)

~ the natural beauty of the area : particularly Samoeng, Chiang Dao, the area from Fang on up to Doi Mae Salong, the road from the main highway to Chiang Rai over to Payao.

~ and on and on ...

~o:37;

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There are so many to choose from, but probably my personal favourite, is the multi-cultural/international 'feel' of Chiang Mai.

There are plenty of different farang cultures represented, but also Lanna/central-Thai & the several hill-tribes, amongst the local people, in fact to me it feels a little like a 'small-town' version of London !

So what's your favourite ? :o

Cheap Thai food everywhere! :D

Edited by mnbcm
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easy to get around. and i see someone i know nearly every day just on the street. coming from a huge metropolitan US city, this charms me to no end.

mainly i find peace of mind here but without boredom, a nearly perfect balance. and if i do get a little restless, i travel to a nearby country or city and when i return everything's fresh again.

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It is not my favorite thing, but let me add to that 'easy to get around.' Like this week at night, when I had no idea where I was or how to get somewhere familiar, traffic kept flowing and I arrived at somewhere familiar. Later it happened again. I was never afraid or very upset.

But mostly it is the people here, even for those of us whose vocab hardly goes beyond ba'tao and ba'ka'not.

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The fresh air.

You gotta be takin the pyss Ras :o

Chiang Mai has about the worst air quality in the realm and that means half the planet as well.

Pardon me, john b good, but this is a positive thread about what people like about Chiangmai. If you think the air is not fresh in Chiangmai and want to talk about it, I suggest you start a separate thread for that purpose.

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too many to mention but i'll have a go regardless. the old city at night, the old walls lit up, the moat, the ride up doi suthep and the peace and tranquility of the temple at the top, the waterfalls, the surrounding countryside, the people, the climate, the food, the relaxed pace of life, the wildlife, the sounds, the smells. . . .i agree with miltonbentley up above, i wake up each day here with a smile on my face glad that i'm lucky enough to live here.

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The wonderful Thai people and their laid back attitude to life, always ready to help others in trouble especially the elderly. As every one says – there are so many fantastic things about Chiangmai and its people its difficult to pick the best. One thing for sure, the good and beautiful things about Chiangmai far outweigh the inconveniences, that’s why I have been living here for the last 20 years plus.

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Actually to be honest, I have little to compare Chiang Mai to (have only been for short visits to Bangkok and once passed through Pattaya onto Coral Island.). But, when I came here, I found it too hard to leave, and although have toyed from time to time to head south, its seems im attached to the place.

I came to Thailand in late 2005. I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and 2 in CM. I knew that CM would be a great place to settle so 1 year later, I moved to CM. I still haven't been south of Bangkok but hope too in the near future.

Being able to get around by bicycle was a major consideration but I agree with most of what has been already written about the pluses of CM, the people especially the beautiful women, the food, the ambiance, the mountains, the beautiful views and the fresh air (at least 3/4 of the year).

I lived most of my life in NYC and CM feels like a very large little city. :o

Edited by vagabond48
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There are so many to choose from, but probably my personal favourite, is the multi-cultural/international 'feel' of Chiang Mai.

There are plenty of different farang cultures represented, but also Lanna/central-Thai & the several hill-tribes, amongst the local people, in fact to me it feels a little like a 'small-town' version of London !

So what's your favourite ? :o

Lots.... the choking pollution, gang warfare and small town mentality are the best 3, though.

Oh and the 105 temples - I'll visit more than 2 one day.

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This is home for me.

Chiang Mai is a remarkably cosmopolitan town, which makes it very easy to find just about anything you might need that you've been used to having handy in places like the UK, Oz, America, Canada. This unfortunately has its downside.

The expatriate community --- dealing with merchants and servants, sojourns with bar girls and so on aside --- seems to be increasingly ingrown. Organizations like the CEC (Chiang Mai Expatriates Club) tend to lead to this sort of thing. The CEC serves a very good purpose in helping to acclimate people to Chiang Mai, but then expatriate social circles (and so on) develop. Not to pick on CEC, look also at the "English pub" community. Not to pick on English pubs, either, but how integrated into Thai society are they? Or you?

To pick a totally crass example, how about the search for the ultimate hamburger, a topic that has probably received more hits and comments than any other on TV over the years. I've nothing against hamburgers --- I cook a dam_n good one --- but I could do without and certainly have no need to create fetishes around farang food as found on TV.

The point or points --- if I ever get to one or more, I guess --- is to ask if what you like best about Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai or is what you like best about Chiang Mai the "comfort zone" you have created comprising the elements you have imported? Then you might ask what the import of the changes that result might be?

Edited by Mapguy
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This is home for me.

Chiang Mai is a remarkably cosmopolitan town, which makes it very easy to find just about anything you might need that you've been used to having handy in places like the UK, Oz, America, Canada. This unfortunately has its downside.

The expatriate community --- dealing with merchants and servants, sojourns with bar girls and so on aside --- seems to be increasingly ingrown. Organizations like the CEC (Chiang Mai Expatriates Club) tend to lead to this sort of thing. The CEC serves a very good purpose in helping to acclimate people to Chiang Mai, but then expatriate social circles (and so on) develop. Not to pick on CEC, look also at the "English pub" community. Not to pick on English pubs, either, but how integrated into Thai society are they? Or you?

To pick a totally crass example, how about the search for the ultimate hamburger, a topic that has probably received more hits and comments than any other on TV over the years. I've nothing against hamburgers --- I cook a dam_n good one --- but I could do without and certainly have no need to create fetishes around farang food as found on TV.

The point or points --- if I ever get to one or more, I guess --- is to ask if what you like best about Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai or is what you like best about Chiang Mai the "comfort zone" you have created comprising the elements you have imported? Then you might ask what the import of the changes that result might be?

Agree. All this talk about local culture is largely a sop. Many hang around their own circle - take a look at the 'Social Scene' of CM News. If CM is 'better' than most other big cities in Thailand, it's because expats can indulge in a closely knit circle of like-minds. Otherwise all the expats would live in Lampang, Ubon or Nan - but they don't, you see, they don't.

Edited by Tyke
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I don't live there (yet) but as others have said the first moment I arrived I knew it was a place I was going to love.

- small sois with wooden houses and trees on either side

- beautiful girls on motorbikes

- warm weather

- green mountains covered by a clear blue sky

- the friendliness of the people

- beautiful girls on motorbikes

- the food

- the feeling of being away from the pointless pressure I enforce on myself in the west

- the feeling of being away from people who will try and find the negatives in everything (hi mapguy :o )

- beautiful girls on motorbikes

- the inexplicable inner peace that grows stronger inside me with every day that i spend there

- the varied nightlife

- the way you can go and sit at a bar and within minutes be involved in a conversation with somebody who actually has something to say

- the way that it literally inspires the poet inside of me

etc etc. I could go on but it's making me feel bad about being stuck in the UK. Roll on September... I'll be back.

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The point or points --- if I ever get to one or more, I guess --- is to ask if what you like best about Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai or is what you like best about Chiang Mai the "comfort zone" you have created comprising the elements you have imported? Then you might ask what the import of the changes that result might be?

I think we (most expats) live in a "fantasy zone".

We like both the 'hamburger factor" and the contrast with the more frenetic pace of the countries we have left behind; the "otherness", the charm of the old city and the mountains, but know little of the daily reality of the locals, in all their variety, other than superficially.

I do like "the rhythm", too.

I am told that the roads to CMU were bordered with rice paddies, just a few decades ago. This is usually noted with some regret. Our (expat) presence is not considered an unmitigatedly good one.

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I like Chiang Mai just fine, I guess if anything it is the lack of violence I am accustom to in my own country and a higher level of courtesy toward fellow human beings. Aside from that it's not much different than any other place for me, I get up early in the morning, get my daughter ready for school kiss my wife and baby good bye, drop my daughter off at school, go to work 8:00-4:00 pick my daughter up at school, go home have dinner, watch TV and spend some family time together. Life is the same in general almost anywhere you go.

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I just filled out a brochure for a Thailand tourism survey and when it comes right down to it there are a variety of reasons why I pick Chaing Mai to make my winter home. If it came down to one word I would say it is the "diversity" of interests available. Here are just a few photos to show what I mean...

The view from Doi Suthep

Chiang_Mai_panorama.jpg

The temple itself...

Doi_Suthep_temple_4.jpg

The waterfall pools on the stream that flows down from Doi Suthep

Barcelona_off_cliff.sized.jpg

Lili_Singkrut_2.jpg

Then of course there is the big zoo/park that makes a great day hike around the hillside in natural beauty to see the various animals from Asia.

Lili_Singkrut_4.jpg

Lili_Singkrut_8.sized.jpg

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Then of course there is the city itself. It is an ideal city that is big enough that you can never learn all its secrets, but small enough to walk across... or around, in a morning hike. I like the flavour of the old culture mixed in with the new. I'm glad to see portions of the old wall still intact. The mote is attractive and makes a nice walking area. Once the roads around the mote were changed to one way on either side the system works much better. For those that may not know, it is exactly 1.8 km from corner to corner of the inner city, and a total of 7.2 km around if you walk the outside perimeter.

Chiang_Mai_gate_2.jpg

Chiang_Mai_mote_2.jpg

Chiang_Mai_mote_1.jpg

Of course there is the Ping River to add its beauty... as a rive will do for any city. The river also makes a geat place to take a walk.

Chiang_Mai_Ping_River_1.jpg

Chiang_Mai_Ping_River_2.jpg

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