Moving to Chiang Mai - need information

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by dunder, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. dunder

    dunder Member

    Hi all

    I'm planning to move to Chiang Mai from Bangkok in March. I haven't decided what to do yet though and I'm more in information-gathering-mode at the moment. Hopefully you can help me out.

    I have been to CM a few times and I really like your city and the surroundings. I know it will be a big change from the smoking lovely Bangkok but I still think that I want to try..

    What I'm looking for/Some preferences:
    -3-4 br house/ 2br and an office
    -Relatively newly built (a couple of years old)
    -Preferrably in a gated community (names of different GC's would be great)
    -Close to a school for a 6-year-old boy (thai school)
    -Not more than 10-15 km from the city center
    -Half/fully furnitured
    -Telephone line with adsl possibility
    -Western kitchen
    -Air conditioning

    Budget: up to 35k/month

    I appreciate all the information you can provide. If anyone know of a real-estate agent with a good reputation that would also be great.

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  3. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Give Dawn a call at 0871932898, she's is up on many houses available near the Varee school.
  4. dunder

    dunder Member

    I have looked at lots of houses on some Chiang Mai real estate agents websites now. There are plenty of houses that seems great within my price range but I still would like to hear some fellow bikers opinions about areas that are great to live in. I am not familiar with the different districts around the city center. What district is the best in your opinion if I am bringing my girlfriend and a six-year-old boy with me? Where are you guys living and how do you like it?

  5. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Hi Dunder,
    Mae Rim is the Nicest Area to live!!! You are nearer the Hills and it is Cooler than the Flat Areas and not to far to town. When You are up here next call in and I can show You a couple of Housing estates close by.
  6. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Hi Dunder,
    Maybe you could say how far out of the town centre you are happy to live. Mae Rim is over 20km out from lets say the Kafe. Personally, living alone, I only have myself to consider, I like to eat out and go into town one or two times every day, so 20km is too far. I live 5km from the Kafe, just off the 118, the Chiang Rai road. This seems a quieter part and easy to get to as it is near the middle or second ring road (3029) and the 118. There are a number of gated communities off the 3029 and more a little further out off the 121, the outer ring road. Both these roads give you the chance to travel virtually right around the town without too much traffic. Then head in on whichever road is nearest to your destination.
    Your budget will get you a house in most if not all of the gated communities above. As you obviously need good school access and good locality for family living your needs are different to mine and so I am not much help, but I am very happy to take you around Chiang Mai to some of the areas you will get pointed to in this thread, if that is useful to you, so you do not waste too much time finding your way.

    PS. Read your post more carefully with better glasses on, and see you already say 10- 15 km which gives you most of the area between the second and outer ring roads. I would suggest avoiding the South end, between the 11 and the 108 Hang Dong road as this seems much busier with traffic heading in and out, just my pennyworth as others will no doubt say different.
  7. dunder

    dunder Member

    Thanks for your reflections Ian and John.. I will travel to Chiang Mai in december or january and go around looking and I'll contact you both before that.
    There are quite a few variables that needs to be thought of before making a decision.. you all know how it is to move and especially move to a new city:)

    Looking forward to hear even more opinions and thoughts of living in/around Chiang Mai.
  8. skybluestu

    skybluestu Ol'Timer

    If you move in March it'll be smokier than BKK!
  9. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Hey Dunder, great to hear you're coming, it's the riding, isn't it? :p

    Anyway the first thing you need to know is that March/April is no-no time for Chiang Mai, and actually the entire north of Thailand. My family and I always escape to an island from about mid-March to mid-April. Chiang Mai gets unbearably hot, but what's worse is that it's prime burning season. Forests, fields, trash, you name it, the locals set it on fire during that time. Not just around Chiang Mai, but all over the north of Thailand, Burma, and Laos - it's has a long tradition, probably going back hundreds of years. The effect is that, for example, we're in Pai, in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by forests, and the air is worse than it ever gets in Bangkok. People thought it was funny we'd go visit the grandparents in BKK - for the better air! Imagine it's very bad - it's about 2x worse than that. Everyone's coughing, and I am actually concerned my kids will get some long term lung damage. Last year when we left Pai, visibility was about 100m. All smoke! We were 4 hours south of CM, almost in BKK before the air got better. No escaping it here in the north.

    The rest of the year, the air is fine, just March / April

    We live in Mae Hia, about 5km from downtown on Canal road - no stoplights and only light traffic on this road so it's literally 5 minutes to get to town. Rent is competitive, we live in an upscale moo baan full of Thai doctors + other upper-middle class Thais, and the odd Farang and pay 20k for a nice little 3BR house. Nice facilities too, and very well kept. We were looking at a few places that were 30 - 50k but they were all either too far away or had some other issue with them. Finding a nice place inside the city is very difficult - most buildings near the center are very old, so there just isn't much to choose from. We didn't see anything (for any price) when we were looking. There were a few large but very old (and crappy) houses for way too much money - I guess if you committed long term and wanted to fix a place up it would be OK. Many schools around there too. Place is called Siwalee Land&House - has a very good rep in CM. The only thing is I wish our house had 1 more BR and 1 office, but there's always a handful of houses around the moo baan available - in hindsight we should have looked at all of them. Keeping that in mind for next time.

    Once you go out 10 - 20km you can find all sorts of fantastic deals, huge houses with private pools for not much - but we wanted to live closer to the city after living in Pai for the last 5 years we miss civilization a bit. Mae Rim is nice (and the X-Center not far ;) ) - but the traffic on the Mae Rim road is crazy. CM is getting a bit like BKK, people buy more and more cars, but they're not building more and more roads, and the place is not that big.

    And since I remember some stories you told me... I'd recommend staying away from the city at night, traffic is really dangerous and if you, say, happened to ride a little too fast on your ZX-10R... very risky. My wife is from Bangkok, she always says people here can't drive. And that's true. Traffic in BKK is exciting, but at least people know what they're doing. In Chiang Mai, much less so.
  10. BJ

    BJ Ol'Timer

    Hi Dunder

    You really need to go to CNX and get a feel for the place.
    You can easily get a cheap monthy guesthouse to start your time in CNX and look around.
    You will be able to see what sutes your lifestyle after that. City living or 15 to 20 minutes out there a some great places outside the city with great
    villages that you may like. Don't sign up for anywhere without having a look around.
  11. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    I don't think it is, actually. Obviously everyone who lives here chose the location carefully so wherever we are, it's the best for us. Hopefully there's still some good info for Mr. Dunder.

    That said, 20ks outta CM, are you kidding me??? LOL.
  12. dunder

    dunder Member

  13. dunder

    dunder Member

    Great advice.. I will travel to Chiang Mai before I move and really get the feel for a particular area. I just don't want to move all my stuff from Bkk, put it in a storage room and move it once again. I will try to gather as much information as possible beforehand.. and so far GT-riders have been very helpful. Looking forward reading even more reflections:)

  14. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    You have grown up. Hahaha, OK I believe it when I see it :p

    I'd recommend to come after Songkran due to the bad air, yep.

    Yes Siwalee Land&House is a gated community. Unlike some others it's not a ghost town, most houses are occupied. There's others on Canal road one or two of which I'd say are nearby, but I know nothing about them. Land&House is building a new one around the corner (I think also called Siwalee) if you're interested in buying.

    Internet here is 3BB, the ex-TT&T. No True, I asked them and they don't come here. I didn't ask about TOT or CAT DSL (past experience). 3BB is OK, check their website for deals. Currently on 888 Baht for 8Mbit after deciding that A) I don't need 12Mbit if it's not a premium line and B) the premium 5Mbit / 2500 baht too expensive and probably not much more reliable. I also have CAT CDMA - around 1Mbit mobile connection, very reliable. And True 3G on the iPhone, also very reliable, and usually a bit faster than CAT CDMA. So in case the 3BB is down I have 2 backup connections. Oh yeah True 3G actually works everywhere in CM, and it's fast, too. Incredible deal for 599/month unlimited. I guess you work online like me...

    I know this area is known for having many schools around but I don't know any particulars except the one we're sending our son to, and that's currently 4 year old max (I think) - it's the brand-new-and-only Montessori school in CM, called Chiang Mai montessori. That's about 10 minutes in the car from here, 5 on the bike. they say it's up to 6 years, if you're really keen on montessori you could ask them. Right now they only have 5 kids aged 3 - 4 or so, and some toddlers which just started last week. This school was the first one I looked at, and it was a perfect fit so didn't go looking at any others.
  15. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Great advice.. I will travel to Chiang Mai before I move and really get the feel for a particular area. I just don't want to move all my stuff from Bkk, put it in a storage room and move it once again. I will try to gather as much information as possible beforehand.. and so far GT-riders have been very helpful. Looking forward reading even more reflections:)

    +1 yes absolutely, better to take a look first, explore the roads....
  16. dunder

    dunder Member

  17. dunder

    dunder Member

    I have tried to find some kind of directory of thai schools but I haven't found anything online.. only international schools.

    Anyone know where I can find locations online? Need a school for my girlfriends 6-year-old son..

  18. Mr Damage

    Mr Damage Member

    Have a house can rent, 5 bedroom, office, gym room, 130 sq wah located in the city near Riverside Condo, so very close to the city. Not a gated community, but next door neighbor is a Police General so no security issues whatsoever :). Fully furnished with HD flatscreen TVs, western kitchen with oven, marble floors, fans, air-con etc etc. Mail me through the forum if it sounds along the lines of what might be suitable. Thai and Bilingual schools 5 minutes away.

    Also January will have another in Land & House gated community I am renovating, 4 bedroom, office & spare room. The houses are big as have a big tribe. By another I mean I want to rent one of them but which one doesn't matter.
  19. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Let me know where too, I don't think I'll have built a house next year when the lease runs out here, and I definitely need more rooms - now have 3 - 4 + 1 office would be great - big tribe, yep!

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