Chiang Mai is our favorite city in all of Thailand — it has just the right combination of nature and healthy living. It’s slightly cooler than the other popular destinations in Thailand. It’s peaceful & quiet and the people are very friendly and sincere.

You can enjoy a sophisticated modern city life. There are top quality restaurants (for upmarket western food or straight-ford yet delicious Thai or even Japanese food). And plenty of coffee shops.

There are numerous excellent hospitals and dental clinics run by first-rate doctors.

And there is no shortage of things to do. The entertainment ranges from bars (with sports TV) and nightclubs to classical music concerts and live jazz music and karaoke, as well as festivals and markets. There are several outstanding golf courses, tennis & squash courts, swimming pools & rock pools and a hot spring. You can get all kinds of massage for no more than $8/hr, usually less.

There is good internet and cable TV and it’s quick and easy to get around, either using public transport or a motorbike. And the lush countryside is within a short ride from the city – withinin 10 minutes, you’ll be in the mountainous forests and a popular rock pool with waterfall. There are many popular nature trails where you can ride elephants, enjoy white-water rafting, mountain biking, go rock climbing, as well as walking along the tree tops and ziplining down.

Being a university town, boasting three top universities, there are people from all walks of life and all ages. It’s a popular destination for American, UK, European and Japanese retirees or ‘winter’ expats.

A smart 1-bedroom condo in town will cost $300-$500pm. The same price will get you a small house with garden just outside the city.