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Trebek

What Do You Like About Chiang Rai? Dislikes?

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Hi there,

I am thinking about moving to CR with my son. From what I've read, Chiang Rai seems like a great place to live for those of us who enjoy a laid back lifestyle.

Since no place is perfect, feel free to include things specific to your city that you do not care for as well.

Cheers,

Trebek

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After thinking a long time I think my answer is that there are lot of nice foreigners living in Chiang Rai. So for me it is my friends!

The 'farang'-community can very roughly be divided in the 'pre-Big C group' and the 'post-Big C group'.

The 'pre-Big C group' still remembers the time people started to buy refrigerators and filled them with bottles of water (meat and other food was still bought fresh from the market).

The time you only could buy Nescafe and bread at the old wooden store on the Tannalai Road (they traditionally provided the first missionaries with this kind of things).

The time that most houses in the villages didn't have windows and doors yet, if you didn't count old paperbags framed with bamboo. The time that many young girls from this area went to work in towns close to the Malaysian border.

The times there was no internet and no mobile phones, two airplanes a week, two times the Bangkok Post in a week. No video-shops, no satellites.

But a lot of dust ...

One bar: The Baitong Bar of Canadian Ian and his friend German Reiner. About twenty regulars and some foreigners from Chiang Mai popping in once in a while with the latest news from outside.

The time that hardly any Thai resident of Chiang Rai spoke English. The time that you had to travel all the way to Penang to renew your visa.

The time every hour about three cars could be seen passing Hiyek.

The bells of the 'samlors' made up the traffic noise ...

The oldtimers had to stick together and they still do!

The 'post-Big C group' arrived when Chiang Rai already looked western in many ways: The houses of stone and cement, the clothes, a lot of motorcycles, cars, many people speaking English.

For them it is much more difficult to understand Thai culture and many of them don't seem to see the necessity to do so.

But there are a lot of good people among them as well :o

It is very easy to check to which group a foreigner belongs:

You just say 'hello'!

The 'pre Big C group' will answer your greetings.

The 'post Big C group' will look in another direction.

(Not all of them luckywise)

Limbo.

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Concerning the 'post Big C group':

I think many of the Europeans are retired and divorced in their home country.

After the prices in traditional old-age sanctuaries Spain and Italy skyrocketed Thailand became a cheap alternative. Their Euro is worth a lot more here (one of the reasons they buy 4wd trucks even when living at excellent roads). The modern means of communication bring Thailand closer to Europe.

And a pat on a shoulder by a young and attractive Thai lady does the rest.

After decades they start to feel young again and wear short pants again (look in Big C).

In the American 'post Big C group' it seems that missionaries are overrepresented.

Also for them Chiang Rai is a good choice. It is much safer to save souls here than in Africa and economically seen you can save souls here for much less than even half the price you could do in developed countries. And being able to look CNN every night will keep homesickness away. And there is still a lot of poverty, so it relatively easy to round up a target group.

Of course none of you would recognize yourself in the above :o:D:D

Limbo.

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Mr. Trebek, sorry for my joking.

Chiang Rai has a nice climate, clean air, friendly people (Thai, Chinese, Shan and Bignosians) and the surroundings are beautiful. The town is quite and lovely boring.

A lot of good and pleasant restaurants, Thai and western, some nice meeting places for foreigners.

There are three good schools for younger (English speaking) kids: The AMEC bilingual at Ban San Sai Noi and the Montessori and St. Mary's at the Rimkok.

There are three good hospitals for basic care, the Provincial (long waiting times, but cheap), the Overbrook and the Kasemrad Sriburin.

There are two 'universities', the Rajabhat and the Mae Fah Luang.

All kind of sport accommodation, tenniscourts, swimmingpools etc etc (for the people calling golf a sport there are many alternatives as well :o ).

Catholics do it in their church and Protestants in their own. Buddhists have a hundred 'wats' to choose among and atheists, well, they do it everywhere.

Many cultures, each in their own way contributing to Chiang Rai.

There are worse places in the world!

Limbo.

PS. And there is Big C of course!

Edited by Limbo

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Hi there,

I am thinking about moving to CR with my son.  From what I've read, Chiang Rai seems like a great place to live for those of us who enjoy a laid back lifestyle.

Since no place is perfect,  feel free to include things specific to your city that you do not care for as well.

Cheers,

Trebek

Possitives:

* Friendly people - both farrangs and thais.

* I am told to drive carefully when finishing a fun night out.

* Lots of good bars.

* Almost no hassles with city steet sellers etc.

* Happy faces and kids smiling and waving hello when going for an off road motorbike ride.

* Easy traffic.

* International airport.

* BigC.

* Lots of good thai restaurents.

* Cheap and good value accomodation.

* Good doctors for both my pets and my family.

* Clean air.

* Lots of mountains.

* Very few problems with floodings (compared with other places in Thailand)

* Cheap and best overall quality massage in Thailand.

* Soon will have Texco Lotus to open.

* Near Chiang Mai, where everything is possible.

* Best weather in Thailand - This also the thais agree with.

Negatives:

* I am yet to taste a good steak (pardon me if I seem arrogant to some people)

* Connecting flights at bangkok sometimes a long waiting time.

* General lack of quality. Example I had some very bad painters paint my house and I had an accident on my motorbike in the mountains caused by a malfunctioning breaks, that just were checked before the ride.

* Not enough parking spaces at BigC during rush hours.

* At times a bit boring when nothing to do.

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Excellent! Well thought out answers from both of you. :o

American missionaries eh? I thought it would be nice to be surrounded by Buddhists for a change.

Cheers,

Trebek

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[quote=Potter,2005-

* I am yet to taste a good steak (pardon me if I seem arrogant to some people)

Dear Mr. Singasong Potter, :o:D:D

I think almost everybody agrees that 'The Bakery' (mentioned already by Tayto and me in some other topics) is a superb steakhouse (beef, pork, salmon, oistrich, between 180 and 240 Baht).

And a perfect 'ambiance'. Very few people, almost exclusively Thai.

I hope Chang35Baht forgives me that I mention it. I recommend it, which comes very close to advertising. But I won't give their website. I don't even know if they have one.

From Hayek (Porkhun, King Mengrai Monument) throught the gate with the portret of His Majesty direction Ban Panjamorn/Wiangchai. After about two kilometer. About hundred meter before you turn to the left to Sanam Kila (the sportfields).

It is a soi on your left hand with a big yellow sign with neonlight.

You might enjoy it!

Limbo.

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It is my understanding that the high speed internet connections in Chiang Rai are really bad.....very slow alot of the time (slower than a dial up) and not functioning at all sometimes. I have a dial up so this information is based on the information contained in a topic that you can see below this topic in the Chiang Rai forum. You could go and look yourself.

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How are TGs up there?

Form Bangkok up to Chiang Rai you can take TG 180 (at 07.30)

and TG 182 (at 18.00)

They are fine (Airbus 380)! Give it a try!

Limbo :o

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It is my understanding that the high speed internet connections in Chiang Rai are really bad.....very slow alot of the time (slower than a dial up) and not functioning at all sometimes.  I have a dial up so this information is based on the information contained in a topic that you can see below this topic in the Chiang Rai forum.  You could go and look yourself.

I also still use the dial up (T-net 335 Baht a month excluding the calls).

Like everything in Chiang Rai also the internet is slow.

Let's say you would be looking at a portrait. It might take 40 seconds, starting with the eyebrows, before finally the moustache comes into the picture. :o

Limbo

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After thinking a long time I think my answer is that there are lot of nice foreigners living in Chiang Rai. So for me it is my friends!

The 'farang'-community can very roughly be divided in the 'pre-Big C group' and the 'post-Big C group'.

The 'pre-Big C group' still remembers the time people started to buy refrigerators and filled them with bottles of water (meat and other food was still bought fresh from the market).

The time you only could buy Nescafe and bread at the old wooden store on the Tannalai Road (they traditionally provided the first missionaries with this kind of things).

The time that most houses in the villages didn't have windows and doors yet, if you didn't count old paperbags framed with bamboo. The time that many young girls from this area went to work in towns close to the Malaysian border.

The times there was no internet and no mobile phones, two airplanes a week, two times the Bangkok Post in a week. No video-shops, no satellites.

But a lot of dust ...

One bar: The Baitong Bar of Canadian Ian and his friend German Reiner. About twenty regulars and some foreigners from Chiang Mai popping in once in a while with the latest news from outside.

The time that hardly any Thai resident of Chiang Rai spoke English. The time that you had to travel all the way to Penang to renew your visa.

The time every hour about three cars could be seen passing Hiyek.

The bells of the 'samlors' made up the traffic noise ...

The oldtimers had to stick together and they still do!

The 'post-Big C group' arrived when Chiang Rai already looked western in many ways: The houses of stone and cement, the clothes, a lot of motorcycles, cars, many people speaking English.

For them it is much more difficult to understand Thai culture and many of them don't seem to see the necessity to do so.

But there are a lot of good people among them as well  :o

It is very easy to check to which group a foreigner belongs:

You just say 'hello'!

The 'pre Big C group' will answer your greetings.

The 'post Big C group' will look in another direction.

(Not all of them luckywise)

Limbo.

I seem to remember a time where these two worlds overlapped.

Around 1991-92 the best Italian restauarant in Northern Thailand (La Cantina?) was in Chiang Rai -not Chiang Mai - and the Easy Bar which had great burgers, was Thai run but catered to Westerners. A few bakeries sold real, good, cinnamon rolls there long before Chiang Mai discovered them, and there was that famous pie place.

Hookers were cheap and beautiful and lots would visit the guesthouses in the daytime looking for "boyfriends".

Chiang Rai had better foreign restaurants than Chiang Mai back then but was also a lot more laid back.

In my opinion, it has gone downhill since then, but I still enjoy it. :D

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Trebek,

Don't listen to anything Limbo says. He is a paid official from big C and gets a kickback evertime he mentions them. :o

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I sincerely hope Limbo that you haven`t upset any of your post BigC friends who I`m sure make up the majority of your friends.

Maybe from now on there will be more people than normal turning the other way when you say hello my good friend. :o Cheers from a post BigC buddy.

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I sincerely hope Limbo that you haven`t upset any of your post BigC friends who I`m sure make up the majority of your friends.

Maybe from now on there will be more people than normal turning the other way when you say hello my good friend. :D Cheers from a post BigC buddy.

Dear. Mr. Columbo,

The choice of your nick is pure clandestine advertising for Bo's Place (the old Bierstube and expat place number 1 of Chiang Rai, not to mistake for Hamburger number 1 which is the second expat place but in Bandu).

Everybody is guessing who you are but until now in vain.

Do you (or anybody else) know a good homestay in the Chiang Rai area, not to far from town?

Limbo :o

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