living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Cheapest Places to Retire WELL

Via:Huffington Post


1) Chiang Mai, Thailand ($920)

Not 1) Cuenca, Ecuador ($1,010)

Not 1)Dumaguete, Philippines ($910)

Not 1) George Town, Malaysia ($1,070)

Not 1) Granada, Nicaragua ($1,040)

Not 1) Istanbul, Turkey ($1,045)

Not 1) Nha Trang, Vietnam ($680)

Not 1) Samana, Dominican Republic ($1,155)

Note: Keyword – WELL



September 5, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – 9 Top Havens for Expat Retirees

Via: U.S. News & World Report



Chiang Mai, Thailand

Estimated expat population: 20,000+

Chiang Mai has been luring expats from the West for years. The attraction is twofold–the low cost of living and housing and the weather.

The high quality health care and health-related services are other big pluses for foreign retirees in this part of the world.

The city boasts modern infrastructure and an abundance of Western amenities.



TrekEarth – Amit Raj Singh



Personal Note:

I retired nine-years ago, and have been living in Chiang Mai.

Good Gawd Almighty, I LOVE Chiang Mai!





September 1, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Viangbua Mansion – CHEAP EATS!


The meals, regardless of whether it’s breakfast or lunch, are uniformly inexpensive.

However, my current favorite is the ‘Omelette Set’, which includes:

– coffee or tea

– fresh fruit (watermelon and/or pineapple)

– orange juice (NOT orange drink!)

– two pieces of toast

and the,

– omelette (not huge, but big enough, and absoulely filled with ham and vegetables!)



59 baht ($1.82 USD)


$1.82 for Gawd Sakes!


Please don’t be a CHEAP CHARLIE – leave a tip for Moi (See Photo), and the other waitress, Ann.

khup khun krup


‘Chiang Mai – Viangbua Mansion – Review’


March 19, 2014 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , , | 1 Comment

Chiang Mai – Nu’s Place Restaurant


Nu’s is a small open air restaurant in the North End of Chiang Mai, serving both lunch and dinner.

Nu is fluent in English, and has menus in Thai AND English.

Note: If you don’t want the food ‘too spicy’ he will understand.

The vast majority of dishes are Thai, although he does have several western items, such as club sanwhiches.


ONE of my favorite meals:

A very well made, and large, Chicken Pad Thai, and (3) three chicken satays (skewers) with peanut sauce.

TOTAL COST = 65baht @ 32.5 = $2.00. That’s right, $2.00USD!



It’s about 100-feet from the BEST Seviced Apartment in  Chiang Mai, the Viangbua Mansion.


I tell ya what: ‘Everyday in Everyway, it’s getting Better, and Better, and Better’!


March 12, 2014 Posted by | accomodation, cost of living, restaurants | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Selected as one of the most affordable places to retire (that’s right, AGAIN!)

Via: CBS Money Watch


Chiang Mai is a historic city located along the Ping River, nestled within some of Thailand’s tallest mountains, which are dotted with Buddhist temples. The city hosts several festivals, including Loi Krathong/Yi Peng (SEE gif), where residents launch decorative lanterns whose heat sends them skyward, and the Flower Festival, which takes place when the city’s tropical flowers are in full bloom.

Q: But really, how affordable is it?

A: Without trying, I’m under-running my Social Security by $500 to $600 every month. Try that in the States!

Q: What about affordable medical care?

A: I have full ‘private’ medical insurance. And when I say full, I mean FULL (physician, hospital, AND meds).

AND, I pay less than my co-payment in 2000!


Q: Do you think Chiang Mai is a good option for EVERYONE to retire to?


But, I tell ya what; most expats I’ve met here in the past eight LOVE the place, and can’t conceive of living ANYWHERE else!


September 6, 2013 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Having trouble streching your Social Security/Pension? Well hell, move to Chiang Mai!


Via: buy  ( or rent) in Chiang

Size : 30 sqm
Bedrooms : Studio
Bathrooms : 1
Furnished : Fully
Airconditioned : Fully
Floor :
Location : Chareon muang Rd. Soi 8 (Soi Kai Daeng)

12 month lease : 3,500 THB/month (@ 32 baht to the dollar = $109.38 per month)

6 month lease : 4,000 THB/month

Nice and well-designed studio room.

Very cozy fully furnished including flat screen TV, air-con, kitchenette with fridge, microwave and more!!

Located close to Train Station and Super Highway.



You Tube:

Chiang Mai – PP Condomium @ 4.000 baht per month

Note: There are hundreds. if not thousands, of condos to rent in Chiang Mai in addition to the PP Condomium.


Shoot, you’re probably spending more than $109.38 a MONTH to live in your Mom’s basement!



July 29, 2013 Posted by | accomodation, cost of living | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Retire on $1,000


Via: Huffington Post / Live and Invest Overseas

Rent: $400
Basic groceries for a couple: $250
Electricity: $35
Water: $5
Gas: $5
Cable: $20
Internet: $20
Landline phone: $10
Entertainment: $250
Total: $1,000


personal thought:

I have a much different distribution than shown here, but the $1,000 is not unreasonable for the listed items.


However, my costs are several hundred MORE each month because I have FULL MEDICAL INSURANCE (physician, hospitpal, and meds).

More than a few old geezer expats feel they can ‘pay as you go’ for medical costs (physican, hospital, and meds).

Well fine, but do you have enough to pay, gawd forbid, for a hip replacement or a coronary bypass?

Many DO, but for those who DON’T are truly f’d if something catestrophic happens!


I think if you ‘plan for the worst, hope for the best’ you will love your retirement in the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai, Thailand.


June 20, 2013 Posted by | cost of living | , , , | 1 Comment

Chiang Mai – Le Spice Restaurant

Via: Epicurean

Of all the indian restaurants I’ve tried in Chiang Mai, Le Spice is my favourite.

This place identifies as an indian, thai, and seafood restaurant. My suggestion: go indian. The sets start at 99 baht (USD $3.19) and generally include two curries, a dahl, raita, papadum and rice. (see photo)

If you’re with a group of people, it’s always fun to order a number of dishes a la carte and share. Just think, the more people you’re with, the more dishes you can try.

The menu is extensive.

To aid the selection process, decide what kind of curry you’re in the mood for [vindaloo, masala, saag, etc.] and then choose the meat/vegetable [chicken, mutton, beef, fish, paneer, etc].

To get there, drive down the night bazaar road and about midway you’ll see the Kalare complex on your left.  Turn immediately left down the soi and you’ll see the brightly-lit Le Spice sign on the right.

notables | fish tikka. malai kofta [vegetable balls in a creamy curry]. vindaloo and/or masala [fish, chicken, mutton, you decide]. saag paneer [homemade indian cheese in spinach curry]. bengan bharta [eggplant curry]. any rice biriyani. lots of garlic naan. le spice naan [addition of dried fruit, coconut = funky].

sweet notables | kulfi [spiced rice ice cream]. kheer [indian rice pudding].


note | definitely vegetarian-friendly.

personal note: It’s also  very ‘carnivore friendly’.



October 10, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Lemon Grass Restaurant

Via: Ching Mai Dining Guide

Original Thai fusion food at reasonable prices in a down-to-earth setting in the heart of the Nightbazaar (just up the street from Burger King & McDonalds).


Veggie Rolls (see photo)

– 60 baht (USD $1.94)

Deep-fried vegetarian rolls, stuffed with cabbage, carrots, silver noodle, black mushrooms, served with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce.


See more ‘Lemon Grass Restaurant’ choices, HERE:


October 7, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Panchalee Vietnamese Restaurant

Via: where to eat in Chiang Mai?

Panchalee is a rather unassuming restaurant in a quite lane off trendy (and rather hectic) Nimmanhaemin Road, which is great because I can easily find parking! It’s really nice to sit in the outdoor section – in fact, most of the diners opt to sit there, at least when I’ve been here for dinner. Bring your mosquito repellants though if you don’t want to get eaten alive!

1 – My favourites (so far) at Panchalee:

Kuay Jub (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) – 40 baht ($1.29 USD)

tried to stay away from noodles for this post, but I can’t help it!

This Vietnamese Noodle Soup at Panchalee is a dream!  Lovely silky smooth noodles & soup, very slightly thickened, highlighted with a peppery flavour and earthiness of fried onions. It’s so good I think I’ll be happy just eating this!


2 – Shrimp on Sugarcane 85 baht ($2.74 USD)

This is a really great dish too. The sugarcane prawns are nice and crispy, the “meat” firm. I also love to chew on the sweet and crunchy sugarcane sticks inside. Very nice with the sauce.


3 –  “Pak Mor” – Pork mixed withspring onion in steamed flour – 50 baht ($1.61 USD)

The flour “skin” is amazing. Just the right consistency. Sticky and soft enough to hold everything together, but we are still able to break the “pak mor” easily with our spoon or fork. Tasty and aromatic filling. Topped with “moo yor” – sliced pork loaf. Really good when steaming hot!


Panchalee Vietnamese Restaurant
Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 15 (end of soi)
Tel: 084 1738372


Read more, HERE:


September 14, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , , , | Leave a comment