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 – 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 – Voted As One of the Best Places in the World to Retire

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, along with Vancouver, Valencia, Guam,Buenos Aires and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, has been voted by Bankrate as one of the best places in the world to retire.

The financial services group, which has come to be one of America’s best known financial advice companies says life in Chiang Mai as a retiree should be sweet.

The site credits the Northern Rose as not just cheap – ‘“under 2,000 dollars I live like a king,”says Barry’ – but in terms of weather as affable as a cuddly toy.

Although the prices the site quotes are maybe a little on the low-cost-living side for some people, it isn’t far off the mark. Every expat knows that somtum and sticky rice at the back of Chiang Mai University is a whole different world to eating at 5 star French restaurants.

We can agree or disagree, but one thing is certain, Chiang Mai is one town that just can’t stop being the top of lists.


$2,000 a month????

I know many expats, including myself, who live VERY WELL on much less than $2,000 a month!

I eat somtum and sticky rice, but I mainly eat westen food, including French, American, Italian. Mexican, Japanese, >>>>

God Gawd Almighty, I love Chiang Mai!


photo by Cricri


August 17, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants, retirement | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – The sweet life

Via: Bangkok Post

While Bangkok is crazy about Japanese-style desserts, Chiang Mai, the capital of the North, has its own sweet side as well, with many small and unique design bakeries mushrooming all over the city in recent years.

Bakeries in Chiang Mai have been popular for a while. Around every corner in the city, as well as at significant tourist spots, you can find bakery houses or coffee outlets that serve delicious home-made pastries. Besides quality products, most of the shops also have stunning interior decoration  – from the retro 1970s and luxurious Western furnishings, to graphic art and down-to-earth art studio styles. You will be amazed at the variety.


”Butter and no preservatives” is the motto of this bakery, which shares its retail space with Wawee Coffee in Panna Place shopping complex on Nimmanhemin Soi 6, about 100m from the bustling main road. Located in a vibrant area, it is the place people go for coffee and a light meal.

Bread Brasserie is famed for its fresh-baked European bread. You can find a wide selection of wholewheat bread and healthy pastries, while the shop’s show kitchen is open for customers to inspect its cleanliness.

The roasted chicken sandwich (60 baht /$1.88USD) is very good with quality bread, fresh vegetables and aromatic roasted chicken. Other signature treats include the garlic bread (50 baht / $1.56 USD) and the croissants (22 baht/ $0.69 USD).

You can select your bread at this outlet, then order coffee from the adjacent Wawee Coffee.

Bread Brasserie, 30 Nimmanhemin Road Soi 6, Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 8am-8pm. Call 053-289-229.


Read more bakery reviews, HERE:


Read reviews of more bakeries, HERE:



prior post:

My favorite bakery is still, “Butter is Better’:


July 27, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, retirement | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thailand – ‘Cost of Living’

Here in Chiang Mai. Thailand, the Single Room charge at Chiang Mai Ram Hospital is 900 baht per day ($28 USD).


QUESTION: Yeah, but it’s a shitty 3rd world hospital, right?

ANSWER: Actually, it’s a VERY GOOD hospital.


June 6, 2012 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cost comparison: US vs Thailand

At the market in Chiang Mai today, I bought a banana for 5 baht – $0.16; of course I had to filet it myself, but hey.


July 2, 2011 Posted by | cost of living, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. – healthcare has doubled in the last decade

Via: Huffington Post

U.S. healthcare is so expensive that records are broken even when cost increases slow.

According to a new report by Milliman, a global consulting and actuarial firm, the total cost of healthcare for the average family of four, if covered by a preferred provider organization, is now a now a record $19,393.

Trends over the last decade more completely illustrate the toll taken on the average American by rising healthcare costs.

“In 2002, American families had healthcare costs of $9,235, and those costs have now doubled in fewer than nine years,” said Lorraine Mayne, Milliman principal and consulting actuary, in a press release. “As costs continue to gr ow
— and even as the cost trend decelerates — the total cost of care for American families constitutes a larger and larger portion of the household budget.”

Of that $1,319 increase, employers were paid for 48.6 percent of the increase, while the additional 51.6 percent was the responsibility of employees.


In Thailand:

– I have full coverage, and I STILL pay less than my employee contribution was in 2000.

– In the U. S., without the ’employer contribution’, private insurance is prohibitively expensive.

– Yes, the premiums have gone up in Thailand, but when you start so low, . . .

– And when I say full, I mean FULL: hospital, physician, and meds.

– NO deductibles, NO denile of services, and NO paperwork hassle.

– It’s good for emergency care, outside of Thailand.

– Because I joined before turning 60, I am covered for life; that’s right, I know, my life.


“Every day in every way, it’s getting better, and better, and better”

May 17, 2011 Posted by | cost of living | , , , | 1 Comment