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Retire to Chiang Rai compared to Chiang Mai ?

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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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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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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".


FYI,Surin public hospital has a CT scanner,and pretty good service.

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I commented in this topic before.. I am just adding "evidences"....The picture is from the Chiang Rai Immigration Office on a busy day.....but.....if you also wants to visit Burma and the Chinese Market at the same time, is another one in Mae Sai by the border, 20 minutes away....


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I commented in this topic before.. I am just adding "evidences"....The picture is from the Chiang Rai Immigration Office on a busy day.....but.....if you also wants to visit Burma and the Chinese Market at the same time, is another one in Mae Sai by the border, 20 minutes away....

That evidence is a bit sus..

It is a photo of the office taken within a couple of days of its opening. THere has been no publicity up to now of the opening date. Many are still going to MaiSai and I bet the normal monthly crowd will turn up at Central to discover immigration is not there tomorrow. Post a photo in about three months if you want the evidence to be believable.

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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.

Hugely misleading! Nonthaburi is effectively a part of Bangkok whereas Chiang Mai comprises, to all intents and purposes, many of the surrounding districts. The last time I went through this exercise it came out that CM was the third largest city, in normally understood terms, not in wiki terms!.

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chiang mai

the traffic of bangkok without the service of bangkok.

The city is much more beautiful than chiang rai

but the quality of the air is really bad.

The big city are for the people need to work

and not the best for the people desire to retire.

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Chiang rai much better deal than Chiang mai ( and i gave chiang mai 3 big chances i was very disappointed in Chiang mai )

OK here is the reasons

1) the foreign owners of bars etc their aussies poms -----------hey they should be looking after the newcomer ----------instead they stand their say nothing watch women rip you off ( how attractive does that make a place to live ???

I mean its a pretty sad world when other westerner's are not looking after the other ???--i mean that's the pits then !

2 ) women in chaing mai well in 3 long stays their -----didn't i get overdosed in scam !

3 ) they drive you mad with the tours crap ( who needs it ) and in a nutshell no one is looking after you?? unless they got a open ticket to your wallet )

bearing all that in mind id not live in chiang mai if one of you guys bought me a place free )!!!

iam only in old fashioned principles only ---- look after your cobber no way in the way iam going to pay to live in ''any place where looking after the cobber is not / first / last and always !!!!

Women are crap money foxes ( how rude ) i went to Chiang Rai well you'd reckon id crossed into another country)) got a good bird at once ( as you should be able to do anywhere in Thailand)))) she never asked me for dime ) only wanted to look after me - i rented a place their nobody tried to rip me off & and nobody gave a rats if i was worth $10 in life or 10 million !!! --no)))) there is a great difference - the people ( well for now ) are certainly far less polluted than Chaing mai especially regarding foreign business owners and the woman -(((-oh yes its just so different !--chiang mai -it's dribbling in scam )

Personally i don't give a rats what it cost to live ))) the most important thing for longevity in life is at least your surrounded by people whom have not got a permanent fixture on your wallet -----------chaing Rai was like that ----------but Chiang mai ( they truly can stick it where the sun does not shine )

I found i was very well looked after )))) in Chiang Rai very much so - id buy a place their tomorrow if i was on the move from Aussie !

Chaing mai that pox infested smelly / smog filled dump) full of damn scam women whom have had more shoes under their beds than were owned by IMELDA MARCOS)) NO THANKS ! --

they never get me their again ! no poms on the street trying sell you tourist scam items the westerners i think are the worst --- all on the scam ---most of them !

chaing rai far more civilised!

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CM getting too busy on the roads and too many big franchises it's becoming too uniform and all those funky old shops are disappearing for ultra bland concrete shophouses all like boxes with magnolia paint.

I like the innocent country stares and smiles of Chiangrai.

For myself, i am planning a chalet residence there to start and visit there part time...an upgrade from visiting each month or two.

We have already paid a deposit on a lovely little plot, but renting is very cheap I believe.

Maybe CR-CM25-75 to start who knows later could be the other way round 75-25

If I happen to die there I guess it'll be 100-0 :-)

I think a South African will suit CR better.

Sent from my iPad using ThaiVisa app

Edited by cheeryble
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  • 2 months later...

The question is, is living in the Rai cheaper than the Mai.

My own opinion on this is that there swings and roundabouts in both places. It has to be said though that there appears to be greater scope to spend your Rand in CM than in CR. There are more pubs, restaurants and other places requiring the donning of sack-cloth and ashes post visit.

Sadly though CR is catching up fast. And what we say today may not be true next week/month/year.

If possible, I suggest learning mandarin before you come over. It'll be a great qualification here soon

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