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Retire to Chiang Rai compared to Chiang Mai ?


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Comments welcome.

Currently I am in South Africa. With the increasing high crime rate here, it is time to consider the rest of my life

Wanting to retire to Thailand mid this year. My initial thought was Chiang Mai, after visiting previously. However, I believe of late, Chiang Mai is becoming more like Bangkok with the hustle and bustle of city life.

I am 65, not in to bars and clubs. Been there, done that.

I have a retirement pension which I need to budget on. Would accommodation and general way of life be cheaper in Chiang Rai than Chiang Mai.

Also, I believe, what I am told, there is more of a Thai culture feel to Chiang Rai

Thanks

Alan

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Here are a few of the things that I enjoy about Chiang Rai....I suppose you could find some of these in CM but there is something about the small town feel that makes CR more special in my eyes. I oft

I was living in Chiang Mai for 2 years and I am living now in Chiang Rai. I am not into bars and tourist environment, and I think that busy traffic and markets are OK just for a week end... or for a

Clearly those of us who live here, have made our declaration for Chiang Rai over Chiang Mai. Far more people have chosen Chiang Mai, however, and one could argue as to why that is, but I view that as

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I think Thsilsnd has had its day. I'm married and <55 but if I had a pension, I would not be here.

I have never liked Chiang Mai. Hot, smoky, landlocked. At least Bangkok is buzzing.

Then you have the politics. These issues as of late are ongoing snd unsettled from.decade/s past and won't be resolved soon.

Immigration procedures are tedious in all but the largest cities.

But hey, if you are lonely and coming for the women, I guess you too can live the dream

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Straight forward answer, Chiang Rai is a much smaller town (Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city) and consequently, Yes, Chiang Rai is cheaper than Chiang Mai.

How much cheaper depends on how you plan to live, will you buy or rent your home? how do you spend your time? your money?

The people at the Immigration office in Chiang Rai are an absolute pleasure to deal with, they always have a smile for everyone, I don't have any experience with the Immigration officials in Chiang Mai, but I have heard it's not so pleasant.

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You have to qualify that cheaper.

Yes it is cheaper for many things but for accomodation of Western Style and Condos it can be much more expensive. There is an oversupply of condos in ChiangMai so it is possible to rent a quite liveable condo for 4000 baht but here that would not get you a tiny box in one of the few condos there are here.

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I might suggest Nan - still very Thai but with a small but growing tourist and farang resident population. Great little city, but unfortunately it will end up like Chiang Mai withing 20 years with ASEAN, tourism and the Laos border opening up. It's got everything Thai that CM has - mountains, hilltribes, river, temples (and now an array of coffee shops, boutique hotels, 2 farang restaurants and even a Tesco's!). The downside is that they don't have many if any condos and the property and land prices, although quite inflationary, is not easy to access for outsiders as there doesn't seem to be any estate agencies. Also with 1 small plane a day from BKK, no railway at the moment, there are only cars and long distance buses to get there. They are widening the roads to cope with the influx. But it's worth it.

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Chiang Rai is very small and very quiet, and compared to Chiang Mai is rather primitive.

Western style nightlife is almost nonexistent.

So depending on what you are looking for, you'll either love it or hate it.

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CR is small and remote and not yet developed very much, if people here celebrating a TESCO in town I would wonder how developed the hospital situation is based on western standards: language, equipment, professionality...

Being 65, might be something to consider.

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CR is small and remote and not yet developed very much, if people here celebrating a TESCO in town I would wonder how developed the hospital situation is based on western standards: language, equipment, professionality...

Being 65, might be something to consider.

Actually it is fairly well served. It has two private hospitals of qute fair standard and a public hospital which provides very very good health services within it's means. It is well equiped to handle all routine care and a transfer to Chianmai can be done in 2 hours by ambulance at a cost of 5000 baht if you really think you need it.

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There are also villages and small developed areas outside of CM, 10-20km. That way, you can go into the city when you need towny stuff.

My own experience of horizontal entertainment in CM suggests that a wallet is often required.

I like the small and more rustic town feel of CR, although both places are a trifle boring if you like bookshops, big malls, different bars and are used to Bangkok (OK, CM has one or two bookshops with large stocks, plus more Tescos and BigCs)

The best advice is probably to visit both, and spend a bit of time.

The comments about hospitals are very germane. If you are over 60, you probably need to be in easy reach of a cardiac catheter lab and a CT/MRI scanner. Country hospitals don't have those, as far as I know. Medicine is taught at CMU, so there must be a teaching hospital there. I believe that Nursing is taught at CR, but I don't think that there is a major hospital which deals with cardiac angios or neurosurgery there. But, that said, you takes yr chances if you live anywhere in the world which is not "populated".

Eddy

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Umbanda

Just a couple of things. We usually refrain from mentioning the other Chiang Rai forum by name as they are a breakaway group who originally posted here. Also since a new immigration office has opened in Chiang Rai it doesn’t look like they will be continuing the immigration day at Central Plaza.

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Not sure of the accuracy but here is one list.

. Nakhon Ratchasima 2,582,089
. Ubon Ratchathani 1,813,088
. Khon Kaen 1,767,601
. Chiang Mai 1,640,479
. Buri Ram 1,553,765
. Udon Thani 1,544,786
. Nakhon Si Thammarat 1,522,561
. Si Sa Ket 1,452,471
. Surin 1,381,761
. Songkhla 1,357,023
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Chiang Mai is not the second largest city. : )

So which one is,Phuket,Pattya?

Numbers vary depending on which site you believe but CM usually comes in at 6th or 7th largest city in Thailand. Number two is usually shown as Nonthaburi.

CM isn't even close to being second largest city in Thailand.

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AlanM, Having lived in Chiang Rai for the first 4 years I spent in Thailand, and now living in Chiang Mai for the last 4.5 years, I would say they were similar price wise but Chiang Rai may be cheaper for the basic commodities, fruit, veges etc.

I prefer Chiang Mai myself but I know a lot of people who moved to Chiang Rai because it is not as busy. Both are great places to live and the

local people are very nice. Come and spend a bit of time in each town and make up your mind then. Hope you make the best choice for your future. Good luck.

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Concerning immigration...I was in Mae Sai earlier in the week and the immigration office confirmed they will no longer be coming to Central Plaza in Chiang Rai on the first Saturday of each month.

Reason? Because the NEW immigration office in Chiang Rai opened this Monday - January 27th. They will be handling all immigration matters with no need to go to Mae Sai immigration except for work permits. For some reason you will still have to go to Mae Sai immigration on matters dealing with work permits.

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Straight forward answer, Chiang Rai is a much smaller town (Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city) and consequently, Yes, Chiang Rai is cheaper than Chiang Mai.

How much cheaper depends on how you plan to live, will you buy or rent your home? how do you spend your time? your money?

The people at the Immigration office in Chiang Rai are an absolute pleasure to deal with, they always have a smile for everyone, I don't have any experience with the Immigration officials in Chiang Mai, but I have heard it's not so pleasant.

Obviously Chiang Mai Immigration Office is busier than the Chiang Rai one due to the size of the city but there is nothing to complain in particular, at least as far as I am concerned after 4 years of dealing with it....

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I retired to Thailand (Koh Samui) from Bedfordview, Johannesburg 7 months ago. Bought a house before coming and had many holidays here. I don't know the places you mentioned, but my advice is live there for 6 months to see if you like it and the Thai lifestyle, before committing.

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