Chiang Mai first impressions and extending the stay

Chiang Mai first impressions and extending the stay

May 12, 2019 15 By Jeffo Blogs

Settling and Networking in the North of Thailand

Upon exiting the airport in early 2018, the humidity immediately hit me. As I travelled towards my accommodation, I felt that Chiang Mai was going to be an incredible place. From the plethora of scooters and vendors to bustling streets, there was a vibrancy I hadn’t yet experienced.


Sunset from a local street in Santitham, Chiang Mai.

Thai Food and night scene

I’ve always held interest in Thai cuisine so was excited to sample authentic food. My friend and I visited a local eatery where I ordered Gaprao Moo (Minced Pork, Basil and Chilli). As expected this was very delicious and spicy. In the evening we sampled Esan food and then a complex of bars. I met locals, expats and tourists, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I also sampled the tasty Khao Soy – in this article I give more information about the dish.

Postponing New Zealand for Chiang Mai extension

I originally planned to travel to New Zealand via a brief stop in Chiang Mai. However, after a few days I chose to remain in the city. The friend I was visiting helped sway my decision by suggesting I work online. I recognise that Chiang Mai opened my eyes to location independence, a recent dream of mine. Certainly the city is relaxing to live and great for networking.

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An elephant camp trip in July 2018.

Connecting with Digital Nomads

In addition, the abundance of business and social events was an extensive factor. Many are Facebook events so digital nomads and expats share and attend. I frequented events such as the Payoneer Forum and the CNX Digital Nomad Social. Some are held regularly like the Mundo Lingo Language Exchange and Cryptocurrency workshops.

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The co founder of SuperBee wax wraps talks about the company at the Payoneer Forum 2019.

Attending events has developed my social skills, helping establish connections. Many people are keen to advise which is useful for personal development. At social and professional events I’ve discussed drop shipping, cryptocurrency and affiliate marketing. Consequently, there always appears to be someone with a new venture or idea in the city.

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My friends Becky and Tom at Mundo Lingo Language Exchange.

Cost of Living, Chiang Mai

In the Santitham area where I live, the cost of living is low. This is a reason people settle while working on startup projects. A portion of Gaprao Moo, for example, can be found for about £1. Likewise, drinks and snacks are competitively priced and rental costs are a fraction of Western Europe. Moreover, travelling domestically and within neighbouring countries is economical.

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The generously sized Gaprao Moo in all its glory.


In conclusion, the diverse nature of Chiang Mai has given me fresh life skills and indight. Chiang Mai is enriched with cultural morals and I’ve already found Thai people to be positive and respectful. I have seen this echoed in the expat community, with many integrating into Thai culture, an aim of my own.