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Why Are There So Many Americans In Chiang Mai?


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#26 BookMan

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:16:05

Being American, I never really felt there were all that many of us here in comparison to others. I always feel like there are more Aussies and Kiwis. Never checked the real numbers though.


Being Australian myself, i certainly noticed a lot of Australian accents in CM also... But you hear these all over Thailand, Australian dollar being so strong, travelling in record numbers..

#27 Semper

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:24:40

Pretty simple. There are over 300 million Americans. They should equal almost all the Europeans combined.


On the other hand. Many of them don't know where or what Chiang Mai is.

#28 elektrified

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:29:27

Being American, I never really felt there were all that many of us here in comparison to others. I always feel like there are more Aussies and Kiwis. Never checked the real numbers though.

I agree. I meet a lot of Aussies but meet a whole lot more Europeans. In fact I would say that I mostly meet Europeans here. I too, have never checked the numbers but I'm guessing there are a lot of Americans here but I rarely run into them.

Not that it matters, but since someone raised the issue, I've met a lot more wealthy Europeans than Americans.

#29 Jingthing

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:33:04


Pretty simple. There are over 300 million Americans. They should equal almost all the Europeans combined.


On the other hand. Many of them don't know where or what Chiang Mai is.

Of course they do. Taiwan.

#30 TallGuyJohninBKK

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:45:15

Yanks don't tip that's why in the states they add on 15%. Posted Image


I don't know where you're getting your info from...

But speaking as a "yank," most restaurants in the U.S. don't add on any automatic service charge, so it's up to the customer to voluntarily add a tip of their choosing... 15-20% these days is considered normal...but again, it's strictly voluntary in most cases.

So in fact in Thailand, American tourists probably over-tip as a general rule. Because they're not used to or familiar with the notion of an automatic 10% service charge being added on Thai style (even if the service is crappy). But they are used to adding 15% more or less onto the total bill as is the custom back home.

So until they catch onto the 10% service charge scam, a lot of American tourists probably end up double-tipping here.

Speaking personally, I'd rather have the choice of tipping American style... There were relatively few occasions where I've ever left less than 10 or 15% -- unless the service was really bad and I wanted to send a message. But there were lots of times when I left more than 15% to reward good service.

Here, because the Thais add on 10% automatically, I rarely add on any extra of my own... But then again, at regular restaurants here in Bangkok, the service is rarely deserving of any extra tip anyway.

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK, 2012-02-22 22:01:21.


#31 Puwa

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Posted 2012-02-22 21:50:21

to get to the other side?

#32 philliphn

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Posted 2012-02-22 22:45:02

We are trying to avoid the influx of Rude Russians in Pattaya!

#33 nikster

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Posted 2012-02-23 01:47:58


Yanks don't tip that's why in the states they add on 15%. Posted Image


I don't know where you're getting your info from...

But speaking as a "yank," most restaurants in the U.S. don't add on any automatic service charge, so it's up to the customer to voluntarily add a tip of their choosing... 15-20% these days is considered normal...but again, it's strictly voluntary in most cases.

So in fact in Thailand, American tourists probably over-tip as a general rule. Because they're not used to or familiar with the notion of an automatic 10% service charge being added on Thai style (even if the service is crappy). But they are used to adding 15% more or less onto the total bill as is the custom back home.

So until they catch onto the 10% service charge scam, a lot of American tourists probably end up double-tipping here.

Speaking personally, I'd rather have the choice of tipping American style... There were relatively few occasions where I've ever left less than 10 or 15% -- unless the service was really bad and I wanted to send a message. But there were lots of times when I left more than 15% to reward good service.

Here, because the Thais add on 10% automatically, I rarely add on any extra of my own... But then again, at regular restaurants here in Bangkok, the service is rarely deserving of any extra tip anyway.


Hmm... they don't "automatically" add 10%. They do in some restaurants but it's the minority, really.

I have it on good authority from some Thai friends of mine who work in the restaurant business that the best tippers are... Thai, actually. Clearly nobody tips at the noodle stall and such, talking about nice restaurants.... Thais tend to be more loose with the money when they're having a good time... or maybe they just know how to have a good time a bit better...

Edited by nikster, 2012-02-23 01:49:21.


#34 endure

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Posted 2012-02-23 01:50:20

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Being American, I never really felt there were all that many of us here in comparison to others. I always feel like there are more Aussies and Kiwis. Never checked the real numbers though.

I agree. I meet a lot of Aussies but meet a whole lot more Europeans. In fact I would say that I mostly meet Europeans here.


Europe isn't a country.

#35 heybruce

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Posted 2012-02-23 02:05:39

Let's see, population of U.S. approximately 300 million, population of United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand about 100 million, add in about 34 million Canadians (if you can tell the difference in accents) and you get the the number of U.S. English speakers out-numbering the other first world English speakers by over two to one.

#36 CMX

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Posted 2012-02-23 07:12:03

A hodgepodge of notions:

Perhaps we USAians wish to escape our fairly recent history more than escapees from other nations (Blair's UK excepted.).

I second the motion that "tips" are not included in the restaurant bill in most of the USA, except in a few self-styled 'posh' joints. Socially, it is accepted as almost manditory to tip for other than buffet or short-order restaurants. So it well may be that newcoming expats and tourists from there overtip by Thai standards. Many of us, such as Ulysses, have adapted.

Of course, we all know that Europe is not a country. But none of it is part of the Untied States, which was electrified's point.

I too find many native English language speaking folks here who are not 'Americans' and wonder, given our relative populations, if the theory that Americans are here in greater numbers is correct at all. If so, yes, it is because Chiang Mai is cheap and most of us here like cheap, no matter our standard of living.

#37 endure

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Posted 2012-02-23 07:28:29

Of course, we all know that Europe is not a country. But none of it is part of the Untied States, which was electrified's point.


Elektrified's point didn't seem to have anything to with the fact that Europe is not part of the United States.It seemed to lump all the people of the 50 sovereign states of the European land mass into a group called 'Europeans'.

Here's a clue. We're not.

#38 msg362

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:08:38

Could it be that many are missionaries?

#39 BookMan

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:38:27

Let's see, population of U.S. approximately 300 million, population of United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand about 100 million, add in about 34 million Canadians (if you can tell the difference in accents) and you get the the number of U.S. English speakers out-numbering the other first world English speakers by over two to one.


That's true. However, i'd be surprised if Americans outnumbered the British in somewhere like Samui, or outnumbered Australians in Phuket

#40 bobl

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:42:09

Buddhism vs Muslim as a core value.

Just FYI, Muslim is to Islam as Buddhist is to Buddhism - so it's Buddhism vs Islam

Sorry, the pedant in me escaped for a moment...

#41 binjalin

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:50:19



Pretty simple. There are over 300 million Americans. They should equal almost all the Europeans combined.


On the other hand. Many of them don't know where or what Chiang Mai is.

Of course they do. Taiwan.

No it's in North Carolina!



#42 bobl

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:51:21

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Europe isn't a country.

Neither is America

#43 anselpixel

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Posted 2012-02-23 08:54:38

Mexico was my first choice. I could drive myself there, and spoke the language.
However, I wasn't interested in dying during a carjacking, or while dining with friends, so I came to Chiang Mai.
Thailand may have some rough spots, but it's not a war zone. Mexico most definitely is.

#44 silverhawk_usa

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Posted 2012-02-23 09:40:48


Europe isn't a country.

Neither is America

Posted Image

#45 klikster

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Posted 2012-02-23 09:50:56


Europe isn't a country.

Neither is America


+5 :)

#46 elektrified

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Posted 2012-02-23 10:16:20


I agree. I meet a lot of Aussies but meet a whole lot more Europeans. In fact I would say that I mostly meet Europeans here.


Europe isn't a country.


Where did I say Europe was a country?

#47 elektrified

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Posted 2012-02-23 10:28:28


Of course, we all know that Europe is not a country. But none of it is part of the Untied States, which was electrified's point.


Elektrified's point didn't seem to have anything to with the fact that Europe is not part of the United States.It seemed to lump all the people of the 50 sovereign states of the European land mass into a group called 'Europeans'.

Here's a clue. We're not.

O.K. it's getting silly. All I did raise a simple point that in my daily travels I meet mostly foreigners that come from European countries (as opposed to Americans, Australians, Canadians, etc.) I wasn't offering any scientific data based on research, numbers, etc. I didn't think for such a simple reply I needed to get into how many I met were from Britain, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, "Central Europe" (as the Czechs refer to their land), etc., etc.

It was a simple reply. No need to get carried away.

#48 NancyL

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Posted 2012-02-23 11:00:21

In my circle of acquaintances, the American retirees tend to be "permanent" residents of Chiang Mai, while it's more common for Europeans and Australians to be seasonal residents, even if they do return every year and maintain a residence here. The reasons may be due to the long and expensive flight to and from the U.S. and the fact that there is no need for Americans to return to the U.S. periodically to maintain coverage in the national health care system -- there isn't one!

So, it may seem that there are more Americans just because we're here full-time and not just seasonally.

Edited by NancyL, 2012-02-23 11:01:22.


#49 marstons

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Posted 2012-02-23 12:12:27

Let's see, population of U.S. approximately 300 million, population of United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand about 100 million, add in about 34 million Canadians (if you can tell the difference in accents) and you get the the number of U.S. English speakers out-numbering the other first world English speakers by over two to one.


thought Spanish was the first language in some of the America's larger populas area's

#50 ianf

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Posted 2012-02-23 12:13:28

Speaking as a Brit the reason, I think that there are a lot of Americans here include the fact that there is a hugely out of proportion consulate here, so that's a thousand folk with their dependents; Then there's the DEA mob and their families; then there's the missionaries. Zillions of them all who seem to be living here on generous incomes.
There are a lot of retirees too and I guess the number of retirees is proportionate to the number of retired Americans compared to retired Euros. I
f we sent the missionaries home we'd cut the number of Americans here by 50% (only joking).





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