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Thinking About A Move To Chiang Rai - Your Thoughts On My Situation Please


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Hi. I just spent my first 30 days in Thailand in Chiang Mai. I run a website professionally, so I really loved the quality internet access and cheap cost of living.

However, my understanding is that the burning of the surrounding forests will mean that that skies are filled with soot by mid March.

Because of this, I've decided to move on after my visa run to Laos.

I'm wondering if Chiang Rai might be a good place to resettle. Can those familiar with the city tell me if it meets my needs?

My requirements are

1) Cheap, fast internet access on a Chiang Mai or Bangkok level. I need it available at my hotel/ apartment, and don't want to work out of internet cafes.

2) Access to good cheap fruit. I only it raw fruits and vegetables, so this is big for me. I love Chiang Mai because there are markets all over the place, including a really cheap wholesale market where I can load up.

3) The skies will not be filled with soot from the burning

4) If there's any yoga, hiking, or biking opportunities around, that would be great.

Will Chiang Rai work?

Thanks for your input.


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Soot/smoke from burning debris in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai is almost the same. My eyes water from the smoke. Cool weather makes the problem worse because the smoke does not rise and often hugs the ground.

Many coffee shops with free WiFi. Don't know of guesthouses with free and fast Wifi.

Main market at center of town has assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits. The Fruit market at Talad Sirikorn is rather overpriced.

A few bike rental shops near the New Clock Tower. Best shop would probably be this shop called FatFree. Shop owners speak English.

Will Chiang Rai work? Your call.

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The smoke burns your eyes, fills your lungs and nose and many fall ill at this time of the year.

Not a good place to be , not only Thailand but Myanmar , Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia .

Internet connection is a joke here , some days good , other days a nightmare., If you need a stable connection for your business , forget it .

Fruit and Veg are plenty but the quality can be suspect due to overly amounts of pesticides being used . There was a big report about this last year in the BKK post.

Freedom to cycle anywhere just like everywhere else.

Coming here may suit you but not while its smoggy , try after songkran.

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Chiang Rai is less smokey than Chiang Mai. Most all of Thailand north from Bangkok are effected by the burning.

Quality internet is available if you have a private residence with direct phone line for ADSL.

6 Meg's is about 700 per month from TOT. Can get more, but not much better than the 6 Meg.

You can buy a Wireless internet card, but not as good as the DSL service.

Many Apartments, Hotels, and Guest Houses have Wi-Fi. But as you know, shared Wi-Fi is not as good as having your own ADSL line.

Lots of cheaper than Chaing Mai veggies and fruits at the Day market downtown (open nearly 24 hours a day).

Most things are cheaper in Chiang Rai.

Biking, Hiking, Yoga, exercise, football, basketball, exercise, are all available here.

Nightlife is less than Chaing Mai. Transportation is needed unless close to center of town. Tuk Tuk and Song Tow taxi's are more expensive here.

Would need at least a bicycle, or motorbike, or car here.

I know LEK Guest House has wi-fi. About a 5 minute walk to town

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Doc, don't listen to some of the whiners. They would complain with 25 degrees mild tropcal breezes and sunny with clear visability.

The smog in Bangkok is so bad you can't see 50 meters and eyes burning shut and tearing from the smoke, pollution, and smog.

The smoke stays for a couple days here, then either the winds or the rain clear it away for a few more days.

Chaing rai is much better off than a lot of places in Thailand during this one month burning.

Sky's are still blue and clear here.

Good luck.

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The smoke lasts normally for between 6 weeks and 3 months . Get it right Tacoboy , they need to know the facts as you do . :D

The time they start to burn varies, wind direction is another factor, rain does help but doesnt normally arrive much before April . Try taking a walk out in the mountains , 20 minutes drive and at times you cant see one side of the river to the other the smoke is that thick.

Edited by sunholidaysun1
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I consider my TOT at 700B a month to be better than what my father gets in Australia for more than three times that.

We can manage most requirements but the smoke...

Same same me. I have TOT, 700 baht a month and while not perfect generally just fine and not all that different than USA.

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Have you ever tried the internet in Bali?

All such things are relative. Coming to Thailand is like arriving at an internet mecca after that experience.

" I really loved the quality internet access"

You can't be serious :rolleyes:

No. Have you ever tried S.Korea :rolleyes:

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I live in Chiang Rai, and I develop, host and manage lots of websites. Getting your own, private ADSL connection at a hotel or guesthouse would not be possible, but probably easy with a rental apartment or house.

Though I've missed it for the last 5 years thanks to travel, the haze/smoke season is truly evil, and it's a wonderful time to be elsewhere.

Obviously cheap fruit and vegetables are available everywhere (it's Thailand!), though finding organic and/or safe® pesticide treated produce is considerably more challenging...but possible. We buy organic lettuce from Kawporn Hydroponics in Mae Chan, whatever is in season from home farmers (who don't spray poisons) from our local market, and Royal Project produce from Makro.

I think there is yoga in the city, and endless hiking and biking outside the city.

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If you can believe the data on this website: http://www.pcd.go.th/AirQuality/Regional/QueryAir.cfm?task=default the pollution in Chiang Rai is worse than in Chiang Mai. Probably worse than anywhere in Thailand.

Personally I found it worse than Bangkok where I lived for 9 years.

For internet I use CAT CDMA.

Fruit and vegetables in Chiang Rai are cheaper than Chiang Mai.

Cycling is great except when there is to much pollution. :(

Best thing is to take the Green Bus(VIP) and check it out for yourself.

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Those of you that have been here a while know better than to peak crap ! Those of you who have not been here at all but have been elsewhere, other than the north, speak total crap about the north.

Those who profess to knowing ALL about the north but know nothing , shut -up !! Chiang Rai is known as being a great place , but telling porky pies and bull-shi**ting scores no points amongst those who have been here a while and know far more than those who think they know all about the place when they have only been here for 5 minutes.

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If you are renting a house then you can get good, fast and reliable internet. Slows down for a few hours when the kids get out of school though.

Yes I believe the smoke gets pretty bad at times for the next couple of months. But it's also dependent upon your location. Some people are affected by it more than others. Personally It doesn't bother me one bit.

Everything else you require is here in abundance.

Enjoy your stay here.

C35B :wai:

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